Sword of Deaths
Also available at:
Sword of Deaths
by Christopher Mannino
Series: The Scythe Wielder's Secret: Book 2
Tags Grim Reaper, Dragons, Young Adult, Magic, Elementals, Death, Afterlife, Scythe, Bullying, Coming-of-Age, Curses, Souls
Release August 25, 2015
Editor Lea Schizas
Cover Designer Celairen
Print ISBN 978-1-77127-739-6
Susan Sarnio made a choice, and will spend the rest of her life as the only female Death. Last year she was bullied and ostracized. Now, to her complete bewilderment, four Deaths vie for her affection. Yet, something is terribly wrong at the College of Deaths. When a ship carrying scythe metal is attacked, many blame the newly-freed Elementals, but Susan knows the Elementals are innocent.
Shadows from the distant past come to light. Dragons circle the horizon, blood spills, and nothing is what it seems. Susan and her friends struggle to stop a war. They search for the fabled First Scythe, hoping to sway the balance, but who is the true enemy?
“What’s going on over there?” asked Billy.
The throng grew, moving toward the Sea with raised voices.
“Let’s find out,” said Frank.
Suzie, Billy, and Frank joined the crowd. They lost sight of Eshue, then saw him behind them. The city poured toward the Port.
“Never seen anything like it,” said a voice.
“Just there on the water?”
“You can see it now.”
“How could this happen?”
So many shouts, so much noise. Frank could hardly make out the sentences, but sensed the anxiety.
Fire and blood. With a pang, the image returned to his mind. The jumbles dissolved into a single image of fire on water. Past and future collided to form a single warning for the present.
They rounded a bend and the endless sea emerged before them.
It was on fire.
No, not the sea. A massive plume of smoke billowed toward Mors. Beneath it, a large boat floated toward the Port. Flames soared up from the sides of the ship. It limped through the waters, listing violently to one side. Enormous tongues of red and gold flame licked the sky. Frank’s eyes watered from blowing smoke.
“That’s a mortamant ship,” said a Death near him.
“How could this happen?” said another.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“It must be the ’Mentals,” said another.
Smaller vessels circled the massive craft, but the Deaths seemed unable to do anything. The large ship hit the side of a long pier. With a crash louder than thunder, half of the burning ship fell into the sea.
The Deaths around him surged forward.
“Fire!” shouted a voice. “’Mentals did this. ’Mentals!”
Even if ’Mentals had done this, the Deaths deserved it. Yet, the fire seemed wrong. Why would his people target a boat?
The angry chants grew louder. A hand grabbed Frank and spun him around.
“You see what happens when you touch the Lethe,” said Eshue. He glared with wild eyes, then spun away and darted into the throng of Deaths.
“We should get back to the College,” said Billy.
“How,” replied Frank. “If Eshue blames us for touching the water, will the other captains give us passage?”
Billy, Suzie, and Frank ran through the crowds. They halted at the large globe on the beach.
“What’s happening?” asked Suzie. “Why is everyone panicking? I know the boat was attacked, but shouldn’t people be trying to help?”
“That ship was carrying mortamant,” said Billy. “The metal for scythes. If they’ve lost a shipment that large, the entire World of the Dead will be affected.”
“Maybe it was an accident,” said Frank.
“Accident or not, they seem to think it was a ’Mental attack. This city’s going to turn ugly fast,” said Billy. “If they were using ’Mentals to stop bullets before this happened, I don’t want to see what they’ll do now.”
The implication hit home. They blamed the ’Mentals. Whether justified or not, if the Deaths learned he was a ’Mental in disguise there’d be problems.
“Let’s get our stuff and get out of here,” said Billy.
“Eshue said we can’t use the boat,” said Suzie.
“We’ll find something else.”
* * * *
Frank let the beautiful creature do the work. The sleek, white horses were calm and graceful. He’d never ridden before. Turning in the saddle, he saw Suzie clutching Billy’s waist. Of course they’d ride together, while Frank rode alone.
“Hurry up!” shouted a horseman in front of them. They’d spent the rest of their money to secure the two horses, and rode with a larger group. The land route to the College would take an extra two days. None of the other Deaths said a word to them.
Behind him, against the sinking sun, the city of Mors seemed calm. Yet, the Deaths buzzed with anger.
None had survived the ship’s attack. A huge amount of mortamant was lost. Everyone blamed the ’Mentals. In every street, he’d heard whispers of war.
Whatever progress they’d made by defeating Sindril, seemed lost now.
The visions were true; they always were. This was just the beginning.