This should be the first day of the rest of Ariana Vega’s life. She doesn’t know yet. Things have changed now. Darkness lurks in our not too distant memory… it’s the Scorpio Army starting to raise Evil again.
Maybe that’s why she’s been called back. It’s my job to make that happen. It’s always been my job, since the Bind.
“…Packing for the cabin… *sigh*… I’ll need my rubber boots, jacket, some jeans I can mess up. Oh, I hate having to go back… Mintaka – land of mantics, wonder, ruthless Scorpios, and memories that shred my heart. If I ‘d just stayed home that day… If I’d just…
I want nothing with that merciless world. It took too much of me. But then there’s The Bind – not for another two years though. Oh Ariana…. What ever did you bring with you into this life? I know you will see through my tears and sorrow. I’ll be there for you…”
Freakin’ scorpion marks across my arms. They’re not healing; fresh open wounds. What the heck was it anyway; it’s impossible for a normal sized scorpion to slash my arms like that. “I guess Ariana was the only one who saw the size of the beast,” I tell mom, who covers my wounds with a special powder to stop the seeping blood. “How’d she do that?”
“Luca,” she says patiently, “Ariana has no idea what she is.”
Oh… Oops. “No wonder the face when I called her a Stellan,” I look at her for approval of my major snafu.
She sighs, “I always cave into that mischievous spark in your eyes, even at fourteen.”
“I didn’t do it on purpose though. I really thought they had come back this weekend because of the Calling.”
“No,” mom says, “they’ll come back when the Stellankin is ready for Ariana.”
“You mean when Ariana is ready for the Stellank…”
“No,” mom interrupts as she walks out, “I meant that exactly the way I said it…”
My grandmother’s warning words ring in my ears like a flock of turkeys on the loose before Thanksgiving feast. Make it stop!
“Brace yourself, Ariana,” she used to say, her voice shaky with age, “for your destiny has been written among the stars.” Well… now I know what she meant. And brace yourself doesn’t quite cover what I need to do.
Note to self* run to hardware store and buy fifty yards of bubble-wrap. And tape. Lots of tape. If you knew what I know now about the Stellankin, you’d be rolling me in bubble-wrap too.
Not much can be done against the Scorpio Army. We need something more powerful…
A foreword by Mirnami Crosk Centauri
Mintaka lives on…the place where mystery, myth, Good and Evil meet.
The ancient race of the Stellankin has lost countless souls to an unreachable dimension; the Forcefully Forgotten. Warriors, enemies and innocent souls have remained entrapped, and the hope to bring them back into their bodies has nourished only myths. It will take something more powerful, perhaps the conquering fate of Ariana Vega; if the bind holds true.
Today, Sacramento Mountain as mortals call it, is home to those of us whose ascendants behold the stars and myths that have tickled our dreams for eons. The stories born into Constellations were not just legends…
We still live. Welcome to the Stellankin…