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The Shadow Setters Book 1: Prominence

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Chapter 1

The woman's voice floated majestically into the sub-consciousness with all the fluid tone and clarity of sweet soothing music. The soft caress of every syllable soothed the mind it spoke to with the power of an addictive drug. It radiated confidence and persuasion to form an irresistibly positive answer to its message. 

'You are so very special Jaon in so many ways, you must never forget that.' 

The teenager jumped out of his brief slumber as the strange dreams message had entered his mind and shocked his synapses. The attention of the car's driver moved briefly from the concentration of the inky black road in front to the sudden contortion of limb stretching in the back seats that had followed his awakening. 

'You ok back there son? You dropped off there for a bit.' 

The teenager folded his aching legs back behind the seat and yawned unashamedly. 'Yeah, I started to but this weird old dream I just had put an end to that.' 

The driver adjusted his glasses as he frowned. He stared intently at his son, the teenager however was oblivious to his father's interest in him. His attention was already diverted elsewhere. 

Staring out of the window to his left, he could not help but view the dark blanket of the harsh winter heavens wrap its cold icy grasp around the remnants of another short January day. He moved his eyes nonchalantly to the migration of windswept raindrops as they tumbled across the passenger's side glass. With a look of sheer despair, he wearily wondered to himself, could things for him at this moment in time be any worse? 

Jason Conroy's jaw had began to ache due to the amount of sulky leaning his hand had made it endure over the last three and a half hours of his and his father's journey from London, his now old home, on their trip to reach what Jason's father had enthusiastically described to his son as 'pastures new'. Nothing that Conroy senior could say would change this young sixteen year olds interpretation of a life wrecking event. Up to this point Jason thought that he had it set. He had a great social life, far better than he would ever make out to his dad, great friends and many of them, as well as loads of things to do and places to go, just as any half active teenager growing up in London will tell you, not only now but potentially in the future when he would be allowed by law to do even more of them. School had been very kind to him too on reflection. His time there unfortunately was nearly at an end with only his revision and exams left before he would be thrust out into the big wide world, though David Conroy had told his son on several occasions that further education for his boy would have to be reviewed much to the revulsion of the younger man.  

School had been fun, granted, but Jason felt the irresistible call of adventure in the adult world. His closest friends were Spider, Grant and Steve, with himself making up his little quartet that had stuck together since the start of secondary school. They had many other friends intermingled between them, but it was this four that had stuck together like glue. They had remained close to a level that only friends for life achieved, with never a bad word spoken between each other. Regardless of their obvious bond, their banter was equally special and ruthless when any opportunity presented itself. The other three constantly teased Jason about his looks but deny it or not, the fact could not be hidden that Jason was a good looking teenager. He was of a good build with dark rugged features even at this early phase in his life, deep blue eyes and was thankfully clear of the cursed spotty skin that plagued so many of his fellow students. What really went in his favour was that he was an exceptionally intelligent student and athlete but was modest towards his looks and his skills to the point of being ignorant of them. 

Jason had his share of girls ask him out; occasionally he would discover a love letter anonymously hidden in his locker or the odd splash of graffiti on a desk that would declare a secret undying love for him, much to the amusement of his friends and the embarrassment of young master Conroy. But for a fleeting glimpse in time, he had found someone. Just as it seemed as though Jason had the world at his feet, the sudden move to the north had unceremoniously stripped away everything good from him just as a criminal would, losing all his rights and dignities as a human being. He had not committed a crime, but he sure felt like he was being punished for one. His girlfriend of three months had promised so much when news of his moving away reached them but Jason was pessimistic. His friends would keep in contact. He knew that to be true, guys do that, he surmised. Mates are so important. They talked constantly about that amongst themselves. You need your mates. They are just as important as family they used to say, even more so in some cases. You could choose your mates but you could not choose your family, right? But what was the story with girls? They all concluded that they were all, unpredictable and at times, irrational. 

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