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I have a new plugin (well, a few) that I’m working with, so there are some things that are a work in progress. The plugin I’m fiddling with right now is the ‘organize series’ plugin and that means that the only series I currently have, the World Walkers series, is a little muddled, as none of the stories are yet in the correct order. I’ll work on that tomorrow, because the plugin is one of the most useful I’ve found for my writing. (Unless someone really nice would like to offer to do it for me – I pay in stories.)

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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Jason walked alone along the street, not paying attention to anything other than the voices he could hear. Some of the wishes were ones he would never even contemplate fulfilling, because they were selfish or they’d affect someone else adversely, but then there were others, more heartfelt, that tugged at his empathy. Not all wishes could be granted, so he spent much of his time learning about each person he wanted to help. That was what everyone with wish magic did. Every day they heard the voices of the many races of the web and made their choices about which wishes they could grant.

When Jason was a younger he had granted wishes that he probably shouldn’t have done, the way almost everyone with the ability had, because it was harder then to look at every wish dispassionately. All granted wishes were recorded, as were the effects, so he knew that none of the wishes had done any real damage to a person or timeline, as he could hear wishes from people who had lived hundreds of years before him. There were those who could also hear wishes from people in the future. That was why some said that they knew more about the web than the walkers did, but he wasn’t sure that was necessarily true. He would admit that they probably knew more about the people of the web than the walkers did.

Each wish that was granted had an effect on the web and sometimes it wasn’t possible to know what sort of an effect it would be until it happened. Jason had seen some innocuous wishes that seemed as though they couldn’t have any major effect turning one of the worlds upside down, while there were those that could have changed the worlds and didn’t do anything much at all. No matter how much research they did there was no way to be totally sure what would happen, so all they could do was guess and hope for the best.

There were rules about the wishes they could grant, but not everyone followed them, and there was no way to keep track of everyone with wish magic. Jason had first realised he had the ability when he was thirteen, which was the normal age for the races of Siaral to gain their power. He’d thought it was likely because his mother had wish magic and it had missed his older sister. It was something she was glad of, as she’d always wanted to be a unicorn breeder. If he’d wanted to keep his ability to himself it would have been easy enough to lie, because his power didn’t show outwardly, and he didn’t have to do anything to grant wishes.

Sighing, Jason told himself to stop thinking about the things he couldn’t change. When there were rules there were always going to be people who wanted to break them and people who were doing their best to stop those rules from being broken. He had always followed the rules they were given, knowing it was for the good of the web, even though there were times he could have broken them to help people who needed it.

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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“Come with me,” Paul said, smiling. “You’ve told me before how much you’d love to explore time and now is the time to do it.”

Vanessa looked at Paul. Their eyes met and she bit her lip. Time travelling wasn’t something anyone did without careful planning or the agreement of at least one of the officials in charge of controlling who went where. He was holding one of the stones in his hand, that she knew couldn’t be bought, so he must have gone through the official channels, but she was still unsure.

“I don’t know,” she replied, glancing at the stone and then back at Paul’s face.

“We’ll be there for two weeks and then we’ll come home. I know you’re on holiday, so it’s not as though it’s going to be a problem getting time off, and I really want to show you my favourite time period.” Paul reached out and touched her hand. “Please, Nessa.”

Paul was saying the right words, but Vanessa had a feeling there was something he wasn’t telling her. They’d known each other since childhood, even though they hadn’t always been friends, and there were times she knew him better than she knew herself. She was certain this was one of those times. In his eyes, behind the convincing smile, was another emotion.

“Why now?” she asked.

“It feels like the right time.”

“Is there something that you’re not telling me?”

When Paul shook his head Vanessa knew he was lying to her, but there was no evidence. It was just her intuition telling her that she shouldn’t go with him, not right then, because he had another reason for travelling back in time. At the same time she couldn’t help thinking that she should go with him. He wouldn’t have asked her if he didn’t want her with him.

“I know it’s short notice and I probably should have at least mentioned the idea of us going time travelling together, but I wanted it to be a surprise. This is something you’ve always wanted to do.”

Nodding, Vanessa glanced at the stone again. “How did you manage to convince someone to let me go with you?”

“I’m not going back in time to do anything in particular, just to check a couple of things are going the way they’re meant to be, and when someone outside of one of the organisations goes time travelling they have to have a chaperon, so I thought I’d combine the two.”

Vanessa realised she was still chewing on her lip and told herself to stop, as she attempted to think things through. Paul had been with one of the secretive time travelling organisations for five years, since they had left school, and she couldn’t imagine him turning his back on them, but she knew he wasn’t always comfortable with what he was asked to do. They’d never been able to talk about exactly what he did, because everything was confidential, and she couldn’t help feeling relieved. It was too easy to imagine what he may have been asked to do.

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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“When one of the Nox Gadael disappears everyone else simply assumes that they’ve been caught by the hunters, because that’s normal for us,” Monique said, her voice sad, “and there are too few of us for the memory wiping thing to work.” She tilted her head to one side, looking thoughtful. “Although it does seem as though there are more Nox Gadael than we believe there is, because there are packs here we never knew existed.”

Zoe bit her lip, trying not to compare her easy life to that of the Nox Gadael. “It seems impossible, with the number of humans on Earth, that anyone I knew might end up here.” She shrugged. “I don’t know if I’d want them to.”

“That is understandable, considering what humans are forced to give up when they are brought here by the door. We see it as a positive change in our lives, because we would otherwise still be hunted, but for you…” Monique shook her head. “I wish we could affect the door in some way, to only bring those who need sanctuary to Taithmarin, but no one understands the magic that was used to create it.”

“I don’t regret what happened, but it took me some time to get to understand that. I had no real aim in life if I stop and really think about what I was doing, although I was happy being aimless. Now I’m here I realise that there was so much more I could be doing with my time and I plan on making the most of being here.” Zoe smiled, even though she still felt a little sad about who she had left behind. “Making friends was always something I was good at, so the only thing I need to work on is getting used to the calendar here, and then I can get a job.”

“Do you have any magic?” Isen asked.

“That’s something I still need to find out. Joel, my guide, told me that many of the humans who end up on Taithmarin have the ability to use the magic of the world, but it’s not something I’ve experimented with yet.”

Monique wagged her tail. “We know Joel. He often visits us.”

“I liked Joel.” Zoe hadn’t wanted to like him, but it had been impossible not to. “He wants to meet up once he’s done with his latest new arrival so he can see how I’m getting on.”

“If it wasn’t for his work as a guide he would have several puppies by now.”

“How does that work?”

“We don’t tell everyone this, but often young Gadeal puppies connect with one of the other races and they choose to live with that person. It’s a pack thing, we think, although it’s not something we have a lot of understanding of.”

Zoe nodded. “It’s hardly something that would have happened on your old world.”

“Exactly. It doesn’t happen as much with the older Gadael, who have travelled here from our old world, but a few have chosen to live with other races.” Monique gave Zoe that look that made her think the Gadael was smiling. “There are even some Nox Gadael living with the Alati Felis.”

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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At first all Astrid could do was stare around the room she had found herself in, unable to believe what she was seeing. When she had walked out of the cave she shared with her pack she had never expected to step onto another world and end up… She turned to look at Nerys.

“It’s yours,” Nerys said, wagging her tail. “You do have to pay rent, but here you will always have a comfortable home.”

Astrid’s happiness faded for a moment. “How do I pay rent?”

“Until you are used to Taithmarin and feel capable of working you will be given money each month, as a sort of welcome gift. Once you start working you will earn your own money and have more choice as to where you live.”

“Working?” Astrid shook her head. “This place is so different and I haven’t even had a chance to look around.”

“I know. I felt exactly the same way when I first got here.”

“Okay, tell me what I need to know, Nerys.”

“That’s going to take a while. As your guide I will be here for two weeks to help you get used to Taithmarin, the races that live here, and how our magic has changed.”

Astrid sat down. “I really have stepped onto a different world, haven’t I?”

“Yes, you have.” Nerys stepped forward and touched her nose to Astrid’s. “It’s going to be fine, but getting to know this place is going to get time. That’s why I’m here.”

“How long have you been here?” Astrid asked as their eyes met.

“Just over three years.”

“I last saw you seven months ago.”

“No one really knows how the door works, so I couldn’t know how long it had been for you, but time is very different here.”

“So if anyone else from our pack finds a door then it could be years after I arrived here, even though it won’t be anywhere near as much time for them?”

Nerys nodded. “Are you thinking about your mum?”

Breathing deeply at the reminder, Astrid shook her head. “We believe she was caught by hunters during her patrol, but we don’t know for sure. She just disappeared, so we held a memorial service for her, and…” She sighed. “Of course now there’s the possibility she might be alive here, but I doubt it.”

“I’ll ask around. There have been a lot of new arrivals recently. I was the last guide without an arrival to help, so we’re hoping that there isn’t another one for at least two weeks.”

“Is that normal?”

“Occasionally it happens. We don’t know why, but we do our best to help every new Nox Gadael arrival. If there is another new arrival then you may find them staying here.” Nerys shook her head. “That doesn’t mean your mum is here, but I hope she is.”

Astrid shrugged. “I don’t know if I want her to be or not. I haven’t had time to mourn her, but to me she was gone for good.”

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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“We never knew all the packs,” Nerys explained, sitting opposite Astrid. “In Little Hill we have three of the local packs and then there are Gadael packs from all over the world.” Nerys shook her head. “Until I came here I didn’t have any idea how many Gadael there really were on our old world, but there were more than we thought there were.”

“It makes sense.” Astrid sighed. “Knowing all of the Gadael was impossible when we were all in hiding.”

Nerys nodded. “I’m glad, though. Meeting so many Gadael here had been wonderful, Astrid, and now you’re here I don’t have anyone else to worry about.” Their eyes met. “I think you’re going to be happy here.”

Astrid shrugged, trying not to think about her mother, who would never know what it was like to feel safe, and the rest of her pack. “What’s Little Hill like?”

“It’s interesting. Let me show you to your new place of residence and then we can talk more, because I’m going to be your guide for the next two weeks.”

“Was my arrival planned for?”

“All arrivals are planned for.” Nerys stood. “There is a connection between the door that brought you here and a record book that is kept in Little Hill’s council building. Every town has a record book, watched over by someone at all hours of the day, so they can let the guides know about the new arrivals. With some arrivals we have more warning that others and we were told about your arrival yesterday.”

“Okay…” Astrid looked around and then back at Nerys. “I think Taithmarin is going to take some getting used to.”

As Nerys walked down the corridor Astrid followed her. It was the only thing she could do. She would never be able to get home, not that she wanted to return to a life of fear, and she didn’t know anything about Little Hill or Taithmarin. Having a guide, who was also a friend, was something she was grateful for, so even if it hadn’t been the only thing she could do it would have been her choice.

“Taithmarin, from what I know, is a world that was created purely with magic, so it is a little unusual,” Nerys explained. “The door has chosen a number of different races to bring here, but with some races no one is entirely sure why. Many people have theories that we can never prove, because we can’t ask the door or the race who created it, as we believe they’re extinct. I’m glad it chose the Nox Gadael. It’s keeping our race from extinction.” They stopped in front of a door. “This is going to be your home for the next two years, Astrid.” She pressed her paw against the door and it swung open slowly. “I hope you like it.”

Slowly, Astrid walked into the room, not sure what to expect. The cave she had left behind hadn’t exactly been what she could have called comfortable, but they hadn’t had a choice, and her new residence was going to be very different to what she had left behind.

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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Monique looked very much like she would have smiled back is she could, instead settling for wagging her tail harder. “How long have you been here?” she asked.

“Just over two weeks,” Zoe replied, “but it feels much longer.”

The Nox Gadael all nodded. “We had the same problem,” Isen said. “Our old world had a much shorter day too and getting used to the thirty-six hour day took more time than I think any of us expected it to.”

“When did you all arrive?”

“Monique was the first of our pack to arrive on Taithmarin, then Gerald found a door, and finally I appeared about six months after Gerald.” Isen sat on his haunches. “On our world it was six months. Here it was…” He looked at Monique and Gerald. “About eighteen months, I think.”

“And three years after I first arrived,” Monique continued. “None of us are exactly sure why, because logically it should have been fewer months for us that it was for Isen, but no one here understands the way the door works.” She sighed, her tail no longer moving. “We wish we did, because we’re hoping that more members of our pack may arrive soon.”

Zoe was thankful she’d taken the time to study the Nox Gadael, because it meant she didn’t have to ask what a pack was. “Are there many more of your pack left on your world?”

The three Nox Gadael shared a look. “We don’t know,” Monique replied, looking back at Zoe. “When Isen arrived here there were still six members of our pack alive, but they may all be dead by now.” Monique’s expression made Zoe think of someone biting their lip as they were thinking about what they should say. “On our old world,” she continued, “we are hunted for our magic.”

“That’s…” Zoe trailed off as she tried to find the right words. “I can’t imagine what that must have been like for you.” Part of her wanted to gather all three Nox Gadael in her arms and give them a hug. “I hope that the rest of your pack do make it to Taithmarin.”

“Thank you.” Monique wagged her tail a couple of times. “Taithmarin has been good for us and getting to know other magical races, who don’t want to hunt us, has been wonderful. Although a lot of humans have a problem with talking dogs we have also made some very good human friends here.” Their eyes met. “What did you have to leave behind?”

Zoe thought about the question, trying to find the right answer, but there was no right answer. “My family are all still on Earth, but I stepped through the door with a man I thought I still loved, and coming here has left the naive girl I once was back there.” She ran a hand through her hair. “I haven’t worked out if I miss her yet. I miss my family, because I know I’ll never see them again, but I’m glad they will never know that I’m gone.”

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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Wrapping her arms around herself Mira kept walking. As long as she focused on putting one foot in front of the other she would be fine. Part of her wanted to turn around and go back through the door, no matter what the outcome was going to be, but it was her mother, her Queen, who had told her to go. Those were orders she couldn’t ignore. Another tear trickled down her cheek. She didn’t bother to wipe it away. It was hard to believe she was never going to see her mother again, or the rest of her family, and she would never get a chance to say goodbye.

Mira couldn’t stop herself from turning to look for the door. When she realised it wasn’t there she wasn’t sure how she’d felt. In a way she was grateful, because it meant she couldn’t go back, but at the same time she felt anger welling up inside her. All of her choices had been taken away by someone who had just destroyed her family and there was nothing she could do about it. Finally, once she had pushed away as much of the anger as she could, she started walking again, keeping her back to where the door had been.

The walkers Mira had talked to had told her about ‘demons’. That was how she knew what she was. Her mother had kept that from her and when Mira has asked why the answer had been one she should have known to expect: having the ability to walk through doors without any tattoos didn’t make her a bad person. Some people with the same ability had done things that walkers didn’t like, which was the reason they were called ‘demons’, but that didn’t make her a ‘demon’. While she walked she kept those words in her mind, because she was almost certain that the people who had appeared in her home were ‘demons’.

By the time Mira got to an edge of the forest the sun was beginning to rise, but her lack of knowledge meant she had no idea if sunrise on her new world was the same as it was on Raenarin. She looked around, hoping for a path to guide her, and found nothing. Sighing, she kept walking in what she hoped was a straight line. There had to be something somewhere, because all of the other worlds were inhabited, so all she had to do was keep going until she found it.

To keep herself occupied she thought about what she was going to do if she didn’t find a town before nightfall. Food was the first thing on the list, because she was beginning to feel hungry. If she had been on Raenarin she would have been able to feed herself with berries and roots, but she wasn’t, so she had no idea what was edible and what would poison her. She was happy she was beginning to warm up, thanks to the sun, even though being warm wasn’t going to keep her alive. Being the last remaining member of her family, who should be the witch Queen of Raenarin, so she was determined to survive.

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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This entry is part 19 of 66 in the The World Walkers collection

They’d been together for as long as Liadan could remember. Most days she wished she could have chosen her own mate, but finding a bond mate early seemed the safest thing to do, as there were stories of magic users who had died due to their inability to find someone to bond with. Often it was the parents of daughters, like hers, who went searching for another child, usually a year or two older, to bond their child to, to keep her safe from any harm. It was understandable, even though it was frustrating, and something she didn’t think would ever change.

When choosing a mate gender didn’t matter. Nothing really mattered to the parents of newborns, and Liadan had seen it with her own eyes, apart from making sure their child had a mate. It didn’t really make a lot of sense, because his or her mate were always going to be more important to the child than anyone else, so she thought taking more time to find the right mate made more sense. Getting away from your mate was almost impossible, which meant being mated to someone who could also be a friend was essential, especially as having other friends could be difficult. Mates who didn’t get on were easy to distinguish and it seemed like there were more of those than mates who were friends.

Sighing, Liadan tapped her fingers on the table. Idris had always been a good friend and he’d told her he wanted more, but she knew she would never fall in love with him. She just didn’t want to tell him that. Being with someone else was never going to be an option, even if she travelled to one of the other worlds, because there would always be at least three people in the relationship. Under normal circumstances she knew it wouldn’t be a problem, but she had to think of Idris and she knew that it would hurt him if she chose someone else. There was a part of her, a part she ignored most of the time, that told her to break the bond and run. Breaking the bond would kill both of them, eventually, and she hated herself whenever she found herself thinking seriously about doing it. It was just hard, knowing she didn’t have any real choices.

Liadan couldn’t remember what it had been like on the day she had been bonded to Idris, although she knew the ceremony because she had been going to them ever since she was old enough to walk. Hers had been four days after her birth, and Idris had a few blurry memories, as he’d only been eighteen moons old. She knew that she was bonded to him from a young age, but she didn’t really understand what that meant until she was older. During their early years together they’d often accidentally ended up in the other’s mind, which had been strange enough, and once they had learnt how to control it they had agreed it was something they would only do in emergencies. Of course that didn’t stop the accidents from happening at night, because then neither of them was totally in control.

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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It was late when Panthea arrived back on Kniroch, well past the time the moon set, and she was tired, but there were still things she needed to do. Yawning, she switched her bag to the other shoulder. Nothing in it was particularly heavy, thankfully, just uncomfortable if it settled wrongly, as it had done during the journey back from Labyrinth. She glanced backwards, thinking about her bed, before forcing herself to walk towards the centre of town, where she’d meet her current employer to give him the things he’d asked for. Being able to travel to all five worlds was both a blessing and a curse, especially when all she wanted to do was sleep.

The walk was normally short, because Panthea had chosen her home and crossing point specifically to make the journey as easy as possible. That night it felt like she had to travel a hundred miles, which was, unfortunately, a feeling she was getting used to. Finally, when she stepped into the tavern she had agreed to meet him in, all she could think about was the journey she had back, and how much she wished right then that she had chosen a different job. He was sat in the same corner he had been when they first met, so she headed over to him, the items in her bag moving into another uncomfortable position.

He watched as Panthea slid into the seat opposite him, taking her bag off her shoulder as she did. “Have you got it?” he asked.

Their eyes met for a moment before Panthea looked down at the table. There had been people she’d worked for that she really hadn’t liked, but he was… If she hadn’t been right in front of him, knowing that he held the money she’d worked for, she would have walked away. On their first meeting he had been impatient, wanting her to go to Labyrinth right at that moment, and had refused to give her a name. However there were plenty of things she was happy to ignore if it meant she earned enough money to feed herself for a week.

“Yes, I have,” she replied, but didn’t put her hand into her bag to get it. “I’d like to see that you have the money before I give you anything.”

There had been times when Panthea had thought seriously about taking a deposit, because she had ended up out of pocket due to someone being unable to pay her. She had always taken whatever she had to the auction, but often it didn’t cover her expenses, and then she had to live off what she could hunt, which wasn’t much fun. When he stared at her, his eyebrow raised, she couldn’t help thinking he was another one. At least until he took a coin purse out from somewhere, probably a well hidden pocket. With one hand he counted out six coins, keeping his eyes on hers.

“Is that sufficient?” Strangely, he sounded slightly amused. “I have kept my side of the bargain and I’m hoping you kept yours.”

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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Crystal jars surrounded Elodie. Each one contained a soul that needed to be recorded. It was a strange job, but she grateful for it, because it meant she was unlikely to end up in one of the jars until it was truly the end of her first life. Many of the souls, and she didn’t want to know exactly how many, had died before their time as a part of Caoimhe’s experiments. People who asked too many questions, especially in the hearing of Caiomhe’s right hand man Ruarc, usually disappeared, and Elodie wouldn’t have been surprised if she was told that some of the souls she had recorded had belonged to those who had disappeared.

As she picked up another jar, this one holding a blue soul, Elodie sighed. Her choice had been made long before she even really knew what it was she was making a choice about. If she hadn’t of overheard a conversation between Ruarc and one of the gatherers she never would have known the truth. There were other recorders who were ignorant of how some of the souls were collected, but she would never know for certain who actually knew and who was just keeping their mouth shut the same way she was.

The blue soul belonged to a boy of nine. Elodie bit the end of her quill before writing down the information. In his old life he’d had magic, but he wasn’t old enough to know his abilities. He did know his family’s, so she noted that down, pretty certain that the family’s abilities had been hereditary. Before him she’d recorded his two older sisters, one of whom was old enough to have had her abilities manifest, his mother and his father, so she knew that they’d all had the same abilities. Part of Caiomhe’s experiment was about seeing if magic was something a soul would take with it to another body or if the body holding the soul would manifest new abilities.

Elodie knew the souls of the boy and his family would be in the recording centre again, she just didn’t know when. It was unlikely she’d see them again, but someone would, and their second life would be recorded below their first life by someone else sitting in her seat. Before her there had been a recorder writing about the lives of souls who were coming through the centre again, so she had no doubt there would be one after her, although she had heard rumours about someone wanting to put an end to Caiomhe’s experiments.

When Elodie looked at the soul one last time she was torn. The soul in the jar might have died naturally and using it again in another body was putting it to good use, or it might not have and then… She ran a hand through her hair. Maybe it was better for the experiments to end, even though the souls might just end up floating around uselessly, because she couldn’t understand how anyone could kill a little boy for any experiment.

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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It was three days after Astrid’s mother died that she walked her normal patrol route and found herself somewhere she’d never been before. For a few seconds she stood utterly still, allowing her nose to take in the scents of where she was. With her eyes closed she named each scent as she recognised them, until she got to the one thing she hadn’t been expecting: the scent of other Nox Gadael. She opened her eyes, remembering the stories she’d heard of Gadael who were believed dead because they had just disappeared one day, and knew that she had found them. They weren’t dead, any more than she was, but she would become another one of those stories, and she was grateful she had no family at home to worry about her.

When Astrid heard the sound of paws she sat down, wrapped her tail around her left hip, and waited. There was a part of her, the part that was always on alert, that screamed at her to run, but from the scent she knew it was a female Nox Gadael, which meant that she might get some answers to the questions she had. She had never before had any reason to be afraid of her own kind. It was the hunters that she needed to run away from, but she couldn’t smell a hunter, so she ignored the voice as much as possible.

The walker slowed as she got closer to where Astrid was waiting. It told her that there had been Gadael who hadn’t taken their unexpected journey well, but she wasn’t going to be one of them. There was something strangely calming about knowing she was no longer at home, knowing that there were hunters who wanted parts of her because she had magic, even though she didn’t know for sure that the new place was going to be safe.

Finally the other Nox Gadael female walked into view, around a corner that Astrid hadn’t realised existed until that moment, and wagged her tail. “Hello, Astrid,” she greeted, as Astrid blinked in surprise.

“Nerys?” Astrid said, unable to believe that she hadn’t recognised the scent of someone she had known for almost a year.

Nerys nodded. “I always hoped that one day you’d find the door.” Her tail wagged harder. “We’re safe here.”

“Where is here?”

“The world is called Taithmarin. We’re currently in the town of Little Hill.”

“How many other Nox Gadael are here?”

“Are you asking about the world or just the town?”

“Both would be good.”

“I’m not entirely sure of the world count, because there are already second and third generation Gadael puppies, but I’d say there’s between maybe six and seven thousand. In Little Hill, thanks to the puppies, we have a population of about four hundred.”

Astrid stared at Nerys. “How can there be that many Nox Gadael here? I heard that there were disappearances, but I can’t believe that we lost that many Gadael and there were only rumours.”

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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Mira stepped through the door, knowing that she had no other choice. A single tear trickled down her cheek. Being a ‘demon’ was both a blessing and a curse right at the moment. It meant she was safe from… she didn’t know exactly who it was, but she knew that her entire family was dead because of someone, as she’d could leave Raenarin behind. At the same time being alive when they were all gone was more painful than anything that had happened before. For the first time in her life she was entirely alone, on a world she didn’t know, and all she wanted to do was curl up in a ball and cry.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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The web was created by the fae to collect magic from the worlds they had created and, as the world in the centre of the web, the plan was for Athare to have the most magic. However they didn’t know until almost a century after the last world was created if it was actually working or if the whole plan had just been a waste of both time and magic, which would lead to the fae having to flee to yet another new world. This lack of knowledge didn’t stop most of them from using magic as they would have done on their old home world, even though the World Walkers Council attempted to teach them how to live without magic.

It later became used as the walkers route through the worlds. Often walkers will learn about a strand of worlds in order to make their journeys through the web easier, otherwise they would have to use temporary tattoos in order to travel through one world to get to another. There are walkers who simply make their choices based on which worlds they would most like to visit and have no problem with the temporary tattoos. Occasionally temporary doors are created, normally if the world the walker has to travel through is dangerous in some way, but these never last longer than an hour. If a temporary door is created then it’s always watched closely by a walker until it fades away. The only other time a temporary door is created is if there is a door malfunction. Normally they’re easy to solve, but as the doors get older there are more malfunctions.

The ‘demons’ have more choices as to the route they take, because of the way the magic of the worlds work. Taithmarin has no connections to any of the worlds the fae created, because it wanted nothing to do with the fae, but still allows Athare to occasionally draw off any excess magic for use by the races who have to use magic from the core of the world. It views Athare as its mother and the fae as its father. The magic it gathers can also be used by the worlds surrounding it on the web, who it views as siblings, but this rarely happens. Gaelom, however, has more connections than the walkers know about, that can only be used by ‘demons’. If either the fae or the walkers had tried to utilise the doors there is every chance that they would have moved.

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

k_a_webb: (Default)

Riordan never thought that their elder would arrive back from the meeting to say that Queen Mab was seriously thinking about allowing them to create new worlds. It was something their family had talked about before, along with a couple of other families, but it was something they thought they would have to work on in secret, at least until Mab was replaced. Everyone he talked to wanted it to happen sooner rather than later, because she had made mistakes that couldn’t be forgiven. He thought differently. Forgiving his Queen wasn’t something he thought he was going to be able to do, as he’d lost too many people he’d cared about, but he didn’t think they should push her out of her position without giving her a chance to repair the damage she had done.

Shaking his head, Riordan told himself to focus on what he was meant to be doing. Even if Mab said no to their plan they were going to make a start on what needed to be done. Most of the older fae had… he sighed, running a hand through his hair. As the magic of their home had faded into nothing so had many of the people he’d looked up to. They needed to make sure that it would never happen again. Unfortunately, no one knew quite why it had happened. It was obviously because of the fae, as they had been the only race on their old world, but they didn’t have enough information on what exactly had caused the problem.

There were many who thought, still, that it had just been bad luck. It could have happened to anyone. Riordan didn’t agree. When Willow left, taking her fae with her, there had been a time when it seemed as though things were getting better. Mab thought that she’d made the right decision and the elders agreed with her, because none of them believed that they really were using up the magic they relied on. Once it failed again it happened faster than before, killing hundreds before they could even think about what to do next, but by the next day everyone who survived was on Athare.

Now it was just a case of making sure the magic of Athare didn’t fail. Riordan agreed that their only option was to create new worlds with new races, because they could replace the magic that they had used, as there wasn’t time to work anything else out. If he’d had a choice he would have studied the magic and found out why the magic had failed in the first place, before making any decisions. There was every chance that creating the new worlds, using Athare’s limited well of magic, could just destroy Athare, instead of working the way the fae needed it to.

Tapping his finger on the table, Riordan thought of who was going to be asked to work as world creators. He knew, without any doubt, that he would be one of them. It was his experiment they were basing the whole idea on, after he’d created a small town, with the help of one of his close friends, in a box. Now they wanted to create whole worlds and he didn’t know if it could work. Part of him wanted it to work, but there was a tiny voice in the back of his mind telling him that the whole thing was wrong.

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

k_a_webb: (Default)
This entry is part 7 of 47 in the The World Walkers collection

It was the sensation of eyes on her that woke Lexi up, and a warm arm wrapped around her waist. When she’d gone to sleep she’d expected to wake up alone in her own bed, the same way she had every other night she’d visited him. Her first feeling was utter terror as she rolled over to look at Ragnar. Using his free hand he brushed some hair off her face before leaning down to kiss her. Shaking her head she pulled away, not wanting him to kiss her until she had some idea what was going on, if at all.

Ragnar raised an eyebrow. “You didn’t seriously expect me to let you leave again.”

“That drink…”

“I made sure that you’ll never leave my side again.” Softly he pressed a kiss on Lexi’s cheek. “When I first saw you I knew that you were the one for me and I planned on keeping you from the beginning. It just took me some time to make the potion.”

“Send me home.”

“Even if I could I wouldn’t.”

Lexi ran a hand through her hair, trying to think. “My family’s going to be worried about me. I disappeared from my bed in the middle of the night and that’s not normal.”

“There’s nothing I can do about that.” Ragnar shrugged. “I can’t send you home because the potion is irreversible and I have no idea what world you came from. Working with dreams the way I do can be a little nebulous.”

“I’m from Earth.” Lexi stared at the wall beside his head, trying to calm herself down, but it really wasn’t working. “Is there any way I can send a message to my family to let them know I’m safe?”

“Not that I know of.” Ragnar tightened his arm around her waist, pulling her flush against his body. “I don’t see why it matters. We’re together now, permanently.”

“I get that we’re together.” Lexi shook her head. “You should have asked me.”

“What would you have said?”

All Lexi could think about was the family, the friends, and the life she had left behind, and eventually she replied, “I would have said no.”

“That was why I didn’t ask. No isn’t an answer I would have accepted from you, because you belong with me.” Ragnar smiled. “One day you’ll thank me for this.”

“I doubt it.”

“This world is beautiful,” he said, carrying on as though Lexi hadn’t spoken. “It’s much nicer than Earth and I’ll teach you how to dreamwalk.”

“Is what you did normal?”

“Some dreamwalkers think that what I did is immoral. They wouldn’t bring someone through from another world unless the other person asked them to and even then they wouldn’t definitely agree to it. The rest would have done the same thing I did. I know a couple of dreamwalkers who brought their soulmate through from another world.”

“You think I’m your soulmate?”

“I know you’re my soulmate. If you weren’t the potion wouldn’t have worked and you’d have gone back to your world last night. This is where you’re meant to be.”

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

k_a_webb: (Default)

Silence followed the sounds of battle. For a moment Clio stopped, thinking of those who had lost their lives, but she didn’t have time to grieve for the people she’d become close to. She had to keep moving. That was what she had always been told to do if something happened. It was possible they would kill her, because of who she was, or they might keep her, and she couldn’t work out which was worse. Both were… she shook her head, her hand pressed against the wall as she tried to figure out where she would be safest. Nowhere was the first answer she thought of, but that was pessimism talking.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

k_a_webb: (Default)

Written forLJ user ysabetwordsmith’s prompt: How and when is New Year celebrated in this collection? Are all the worlds ‘in synch’ timewise or are they on different cycles? The story was meant to answer the question, and I think it did in some small way, but it ended up being more about Archer than the new year.

There were the walkers. Every one of them went through years of training and tests before they were permitted to get any of the tattoos that would allow them to travel to another world. It was very rare that any walker chose to travel to all of the worlds that they could. There were merchants. Often a family business, the merchants travelled to different worlds to buy and sell items, once they were verified as being legitimate by the walker’s council and registered. Both had rules. Then there were the demons. Demon wasn’t the descriptive phrase Archer would have picked, but he understood why they had been given the name. No one knew exactly how many demons there were, who they were, or where they went, and that made the walkers scared.

Archer didn’t know how many demons there were. All he knew was that he’d been born with the ability to walk through the doorways leading to other worlds without the tattoos that everyone else needed. Some did use it to do things the walkers really didn’t like – like getting involved in situations that the walkers would have just watched, instead of breaking their first commandment. He never had, but that didn’t change the way everyone would view him if they found out what he was. That was why he was always careful.

Most of the doorways had been mapped by the walkers, but there were still some hidden that the demons could use. There was one in a clearing that Archer used at least twice a year to visit his family in Gaelom. That had been the first doorway he’d ever walked through, accidentally because he’d had no idea he was a demon, and he’d found himself on Athare, the home of the walkers. He’d gone straight back through, terrified that someone might have seen him, because he’d never studied the doors before. After taking a couple of lessons he’d told his father.

It was due to his father that Archer was living on Athare alone and did only travel back to Gaelom. Tattoos were expensive, so he’d never expected to get one, and then his eighteenth birthday present had been a one way tattoo to Athare. Every year he went back to celebrate new year with his family, which was on a different day to Athare’s new year, but he never took anything back with him because he couldn’t afford another tattoo. To keep himself safe he bought anything he wanted from Gaelom off the merchants, just in case someone noticed. He couldn’t take anything to Gaelom either.

Sighing, once again wishing he could take gifts to his family, Archer stepped through the doorway. Gaelom was a very different place to Athare and smelt of magics that no one on Athare used. People knew Gaelom as the weapons world, because it was where almost all the weapons, and wielders of those weapons, came from, but that was just one small part of his home. Feeling comfortable for the first time in moons he walked in the opposite direction to the town centre, because that was where the majority of people would be, going straight to the home he wished he hadn’t left.

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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