The cruise ship hovers over the large castle as you peer over the side railing thinking about the offer Tasha had made to you a few days ago. Join her crew? How could you abandon you life and join her. You had been throughly enjoying you life of retirement. No more looking over you shoulder or wandering if you were going to survive yet another battle. The only battles you faced was trying to meet your deadlines. Life had been busy for you after retirement. You were a military correspondance for several networks and contributed articles about the military to several large newspapers. You enjoyed contributing as much as you could. You were even in the process of writing a book about you life in the military. But nothing compared to the story you were working on right now.
Before the tour, you had heard a rumor from several reliable sources at the Pentagon that there was a secret project that had been going on for years where 3,000 Americans had disappered on a yearly basis. Yet no one knew about the disappearnces because there were others posing as them. The imposters knew so much about the missing that they easily fooled the people who were closest to the missing person. When the missing perosn returned it they were often inspired to create something. You had thought the story was one of those governement myths that were commonly told but the more you had thought about the more the story had intriqued you. You had asked you contact how the people were selected. He had told you that the Pentagon chose the passengers. The reason the public didn't know about it was because it was kept Top Secret. You had asked your friend to make sure you had received an invitation. A few days later you had received a Fedex package with a ticket inside.
You think about Tasha offer to serve on her cruise ship. What was it she had told you? She could make this worth your while? Worth your while. All you wanted to do was find a spouse, start a family and live a normal life. A normal, uneventful life. You made plenty of money to offer whomever you married a life of ease. The Army had been generous in your retirement package. Could you give that all up to live a lie? If so, you were going to have to do something with all the evidence you had stolen. What to do? As Shakespeare had said, "That is the question."
Welcome to the Loch. I am Josephina Elena McDonnell, Queen of the Loch. I used to be plain and simple JJ. Ok I was never simple or plain but I never knew why. Today, I am here to share my first experience of my land.
From Child of the Loch:
The cave hummed with magic and I felt it travelling through my rigid body. The magic created a stinging sensation similar to prickles of a sleeping foot. It was irksome but not truly painful.
There were no bats or insects in the earthy cave which though tall was not nearly as deep as I thought. The stalactite hung from the cream ceiling like dripping candle wax. Murky water in deep puddles was staggered across the floor.
We explored deeper and deeper until we were walled in. It was the dead end of smooth wall marbled in fire branded oranges and dank coal. We could go no further.
Confused I questioned myself, shooting my thought out into the universe. Why were we in this cavern? It led to nowhere. The heavens answered my pleas. I felt, rather than saw the flash of red before us. It hemorrhaged through from somewhere outside the scope of my vision. My father's face distorted in concentration. He raised his hands wide, lava hot flames shot from his palms. Runes in an ancient tongue glowed on the wall before me. He spoke strange words and the partition opened into another cavern.
I breathed, "Wow," and my father gave me the look that screamed, "I don’t want to talk about it."
The two men strode through confidently. I, however, warily stepped through the gate to the Loch. I was afraid it might close on me and a simple, “Open says me,” would not work to open it once more.
Just as the light had appeared, it disappeared. The door was closed and I touched the air to be sure. There was nothing there and no magic was left. I was in the Loch. I was in my new land. ****
****I took a closer look at my surroundings and was overwhelmed by the beauty of the land that the door obscured. The mouth of the cave opened into a forest, not unlike the one outside my window. The wood somehow seemed taller and more dangerous as though even the most benign looking bunny would eat us with sharp teeth.
The green trunked trees were white –leaved and in full bloom with pastel flowers of all colors. It was a perpetual summer in the Loch. I sneezed when the wind tousled my hair and blew flowers into its chalky depths. I felt the distant song of the neutral wood nymphs, the un-winged, humanoid fae that guarded the woods and helped it to grow strong; they both welcomed and warned us about this beautiful region. I was home. This was my land and I fell in love with the Loch then and there.
Unable to stop myself, I sent out a happy vibe of gratitude to the wood nymphs. I didn’t know I could do that. My father felt it too and his happy laughter was joined by the far away giggles of the nymphs as my glee washed through them.
What a day that was…I tingle with excitement when I think back to it. It was also the day that I learned a bit of a tale from my family line. I will tell you the tale of our beginnings and what happened as I entered Loch.
The door to the “Outlander” world was enchanted by a powerful magus when Anoka McDonnell, the first of our line, took the throne. The two worlds were one then. Magic and dragons were commonplace and everyone lived in peace.
Peace cannot last forever and war brewed between clans from both worlds. Anoka feared that the clans of the Loch would be slaughtered and their magic lost forever. She ordered the door closed, locking in the dragons and magic of the old world.
The “Outlanders” had long forgotten the tales of how two worlds would never be one again and the Loch would be safe from the outside world. Her magic would be guarded by Lochoan people alone.
Thank you all for listening to old Queen reminisce about her youth and the wonder of her home.
Who is Elizabeth Delana Rosa?
I have always been a writer. When I first learned to write in Kindergarten, I wrote about pigs who "groo" wings and became "butterfys." I knew way back then that I would have a love affair with writing. It over took my life and has been a constant companion. Now over 20 years later, that love flows over into writing blogs, reviews, poetry and fantasy novels.