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Pen Your Pride

Chapter One: Nightmares.

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                                            The Secrets of Dragonsmoore

                                                            Book One

                                                         "The Takers"

                                              Chapter One: Nightmares.

Moments in time had already started to change. Slowly shifting, carefully altering; taking people that nobody missed. Pulling them through the walls or dragging them down through the earth. Their screams never heard. Their existence erased. Yet, there were a few who saw all and understood but were powerless to stop it. There had to be sacrifices, so they watched as fragments of altered time slithered by, pretending not to notice, waiting in silence to guide The Takers so, when the time came they could work their magic.

The Shadow Walker's anger had died now. He was weak. He'd spent days, years, or perhaps it was only moments rushing through time trying to warn her. Now he understood the unbelievable truth. He knew there was nothing more he could do but wait in the void between time and space and pray his Takers would quickly find him before it was too late...

                                                                    ***********

Thursday 20th July 9.02 a.m. Dragonsmoore Castle, Cornwall. The day had begun as any other but as soon as Montague Silverfield found the small transparent cube on his desk, he knew his life would never be the same. No ones life could ever be the same. Something, no bigger than an ice cube, shattered his whole world. He stood in his study staring out through the grimy mullion stone windows, across the greyness of the overgrown gardens, until all he could see was his own reflection gazing back at him. He glanced down at the cube still clutched in his hand; ever hopeful he'd been mistaken. But no, there was her beautiful face smiling back up at him from within it.

"Why her?" he sobbed, turning to address the thousands of books that lined his study walls.    "W-Why do you need her? She's just a child. Take me!"

Tears welled in his dark eyes; his black hair, flecked with grey, fell lank about his tormented face. Emptiness filled him. Was this why the shadows of time were changing? Had he done something to put her life in danger? Everyone's life in danger? He couldn't think. His mind felt numb. It didn't matter. One way or another, it had to be stopped but not this way. No. Nothing, not even time was going to take her away from him.

Tightly fisting the cube, he first tried to smash it and then crush it in the drawer of his oak desk but he knew it was hopeless. The cube was not of this time or of this world and was unbreakable this side of the Time barriers that divides this reality from many others. He knew the only one it would yield to, was smiling up at him from within it.

"What life do I have without her?" he shouted desperately as he tried to hide the cube in one of the many drawers in his desk. "I'll never let you take her from me! Never!"

Pushing the cube towards the back and hiding it under papers, he slammed the draw shut with such force an old brass lamp crashed to the floor, shattering the glass. He turned and stood in the middle of his study yelling up at the vaulted ceiling as though some unseen entity was there, staring down at him. Listening.

"Face me now you cowards!" he cried shaking his fist like a mad man. "Come out here into the real world and face me now! Or d'you want me to come and find you, because you know I can! And when I do, I swear I will destroy you, just as you have destroyed me!"

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