Restoration (The Revelation Series Book 5)

By: Randi Cooley Wilson

Prologue





Life is an unwritten book, full of empty pages, waiting to be filled with our story. Each moment is a poignant chapter. Some we’d like to revisit. Others we would rather skim over. Yet every instant has a purpose, a reason for our being. I don’t know if I believe all of the written words defining my journey but I will say this: every beginning has an ending, and every ending, a beginning. — Eve Collins, The Revelation Series





Chapter 1





The End Begins





The mist is breathtaking as it creeps hauntingly onto the property, bathing the lush landscaping in bluish-gray hues. I allow myself to succumb to its magical allure, as I take in a deep cleansing breath, filling my lungs with the damp, cool air.

My gaze drops to the pad of paper sitting on my lap. With my index finger I trace the numerous sketches of a circular, barbed-wire dragon I’ve drawn over and over again, in shades of black and gray. I know it means something. What . . . I don’t know.

With a rough exhale, I place the notebook and pen next to me on my favorite bench under the old oak tree and brush my bare feet across the dewy blades of emerald grass. The world is still. Silent. Embodying a sense of calm and peace. Somehow, in this moment, I know my mind needs the tranquility.

Vaguely, I hear a voice in the back of my head. It speaks to me in a soft murmur. Whispering words of protection and love. My memories sit locked in a jar, inside my mind. It’s painful to try to release them.

I knit my brows and allow my gaze to roam over the landscape. I don’t recall how I got here. Or why my feet are bare. I’m not even sure where here is.

The warm breeze picks up and my hair lifts and twirls in the wind. As I attempt to get control of the wild strands, my hand brushes over the wound on my head, beneath my hairline. My fingers linger on the bandage. Something else I don’t remember.

Curling my feet under my legs, I cover them with my long, white, cotton dress and study the quiet grounds. I’m unsure how I know this, but there was a heaviness that used to inhabit my chest. Now, it’s gone. I think it pleases me to feel numb.

I think . . .

Unlike the other days when I’ve sat in this very spot, today, a strange loneliness begins to seep into my soul, a revelation that produces an eerie emptiness deep within me.

My heart feels vacant.

Something isn’t right.

I’m not right.

Confusion sets in again, causing me to shake my head slowly, trying to remove the cobwebs that have wrapped their intricately woven, tangled maze around my memories and thoughts, holding them hostage.

The balmy breeze picks up once again, carrying with it the familiar and comforting scent of bubble gum. Odd. With curiosity, my gaze lifts and focuses on a shadow beginning to form within the mist. I watch in awe as an outline of a person emerges from within the darkness. I keep my eyes glued to the unknown figure.

I’m not afraid. The petite silhouette comes closer and I reach my hand out awkwardly to touch it, but at the last minute show restraint and pull away.

“Are you okay?” the shadow asks, with concern laced in its recognizable voice.

My heart stops when I hear the words. There’s silence, as the figure waits for an answer. I open and close my mouth, trying to form intelligent words, but am stunned into silence by what I’m witnessing.

The being sighs in disappointment at my temperament and begins to slowly edge closer to me. I think it believes I’m scared of it, so it’s treading lightly, so as not to startle me.

The dark shadow breaks through the heavy mist and comes into focus. For a moment, I can only stare in disbelief. My body is frozen in place. I can’t pull my gaze away from her.

Memories float through me like a movie. Snapshots of cherished moments. The locked jar releases just enough to help me understand who and what I’m seeing. I swallow hard when recollection hits me. My eyes blink unhurriedly.

“I think I’m having an outlandish dream,” I whisper, trying to find my voice.

“No shit.” The dark outline says with sarcasm dripping from her lips. “Same one?”

My gaze lifts, locking onto a pair of chocolate orbs, staring warmly at me.

“Oh God,” I exhale on a weak breath.

“I feel like we’ve had this conversation before,” the amused voice quips.

The ghost kneels in front of me, enfolding my hands in one of her own and using the other to tuck a strand of hair behind my ear. The apparition smiles and it makes me want to cry.

“I’m here to help you find your way back, Eve Collins.” She speaks in a low, lulling tone.

“I’m lost?” I question her in a soft voice.

“Yes. It would seem that you are in need of redemption,” she confirms.

I pause for a moment. “I don’t . . . I don’t think I’m supposed to be here,” I offer, mystified.

“You are supposed to,” the spirit assures. “Everything happened the way it was meant to.”

Her words trigger something inside of me and for the first time in days, I feel. Emotion floats through my veins almost painfully. My heart and soul fill with a surge of grief and my eyes begin to sting with a rush of tears.

“Aria?” I choke out.

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