by BC Powell
Publication date: October 4th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Science Fiction
Publication date: October 4th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Science Fiction
Chase was twelve the first time he arrived in a strange land where dark, ominous clouds never move, ancient trees violently spring to life during Darkness, and people seem to live without emotion. Doctors tell him they’re hallucinations, but he knows his visits are real. She’s there-Sash-and she’s more real than anyone he’s ever known.
His visits stop but, as years pass, the memories haunt Chase. Without warning, the young man suddenly finds himself again in a world called Krymzyn. Arriving during Darkness, he’s rescued from death by the extraordinary, beautiful but terrifying young woman he first met when he was twelve.
When Chase is thrust into the war of balance against vile creatures who threaten all who live there, Sash helps him understand his purpose in Krymzyn. A dark secret from the beginning of time reveals he might be able to stay there forever. To prove he belongs in Krymzyn and be with the only woman he can ever love, Chase will have to risk his own life in the ultimate battle.
BC Powell is a fantasy author from Los Angeles, CA. "Krymzyn" is his debut science fiction fantasy novel, the first book in a series titled "The Journals of Krymzyn."
Powell has a diverse background, having held several creative positions in the entertainment industry, including executive roles at ABC-TV and Technicolor. In recent years, he's authored several non-fiction works, primarily educational books and training programs for trading the financial markets. He dual majored in journalism and philosophy at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
Writing fiction has been his lifelong passion and goal. "Krymzyn" is his first published novel and represents, in his words, "finally finding the story I want to tell with characters that are able to bring that story to life." He's an avid reader and lists Ernest Hemingway, Frank L. Herbert, Stephen King, Jane Austen, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. as his favorite authors.
Brad, as he prefers to go by in personal communication, lives with his longtime girlfriend, three sons from a previous marriage, and their rescue dog and cat. He enjoys hiking, ocean kayaking, spending time at Southern California beaches, movies, and reading.
“Murkovin!” a roaring male voice echoes through the hills.
Rain plummets from the sky, blackened storm clouds churn in place, and my eyes try to adjust to Darkness. I spin to the shout behind me, immediately knowing I’m on the same hill as I’d been when I was twelve. There’s not a doubt in my mind.
Needles race up my spine when I see the shirtless creature crouched at the base of the hill. Tall with black veins bulging from ghostly white skin, the beast of a man scans the terrain. Wearing only black leathery pants, firm ridges of muscle lining his stomach and chest, he wildly swings a metal spear in one hand.
His head snaps to me. Long black hair twined with white whips across his face while his empty hand slashes the air in front of him. When his eyes touch mine, shadowy sockets flare blood red. The brute charges up the hill at me.
I lurch the other way and sprint into the meadow below. A torrent of rain slams against my skin as deafening creaks pierce the air. I see the flailing tree in front of me and try to stop, but my bare feet slip across the slick wet grass.
A glowing red limb lashes at me, slams into my chest, and hurls me to the ground. As the branch smashes into me again, I jerk my hands up in defense. Blood instantly spurts from gashes torn into my face, neck, and arms. Rolling across the grass, I frantically try to get out of its reach.
When I stop a few feet away, landing flat on my back, I stare straight up. A monstrous bough high above flexes into a fisted hand. I try to jump to my feet but a blur scoops me from the ground. As we speed away from the tree, silky wisps of black and scarlet brush across my face. A thunderous slam vibrates from behind us, the wooden fist pounding into the ground where, a moment earlier, my body would have been.
Into the valley we race until we’re outside the range of groping limbs. After we slide to a stop, I’m gently set on the grass. I look up to see the girl I met when I was twelve standing over me—the girl called Sash.
Her thin arms are barbed with muscular detail as she tightly grasps her spear. Metallic points, steel spikes sticking out the top of a pack slung over her shoulder, flash from behind her head. She peers down at me through radiant amber eyes.
“Are you injured?” she growls, silver raindrops beading down her hair.
Two golden-haired figures, a man and a woman holding spears in their hands, walk up the hill towards us. Two children—one an adorable girl with straight jet-black hair framing her round face, maybe twelve or thirteen, and a handsome boy, ten or eleven, stocky, with curly black hair—suddenly dart past the adults. Sash turns to see what I’m looking at.
“Keepers,” Sash says, “with two of our children.”
The Keepers stop halfway up the crimson hill, but the children keep sprinting towards us. The girl’s stride is long and sleek, her speed stunning as she races up the grassy slope. Her face reminds me of my sister at that age as I get a closer look. The boy is wilder, with less control in his young gait, although it’s strong and steady. Fierce determination flows from their amber eyes.
“I thought everyone spends Communal alone,” I say.
“Not the children,” Sash replies.
They stop a few feet in front of us and both quickly bow. Sash nods her head, and I smile to them. They stare at me with a mixture of curiosity and distrust.
“The Teller is well balanced,” Sash says to the children. “There’s no need for fear.”
“In my world,” I say, “I compete in something we call cross-country, a race of speed across hills. Both of you would be champions.”
“Champions?” the girl asks after the word dissipates.
“Winners of the race,” I answer. “Those who finish first.”
“I believe Chase the Teller is praising your speed,” Sash explains.
“Yes,” I say, smiling. “That’s exactly what Chase the Teller is doing.”
Both kids bow to me in obvious gratitude, glance at one another, and suddenly fling their bodies to the ground. They cross their arms over their chests, stiffen their legs, and roll away down the hill. I’m surprised by the lack of smiles on their faces or laughter filling the air, just the continued look of determination. It’s a test to them, not a whimsy as it would be on Earth.
The girl is the first to reach a flat area partially down the side of the steep hill. She leaps to her feet and bolts towards the Keepers with no stagger at all from dizziness. The boy sprawls onto the flat ground, catching himself with fingers dug into the grass just before he slides off the ledge to another steep part of the hill. He pulls himself forward, springs into a crouch, narrows his eyes, and sprints after the girl. When both children reach the Keepers, the four walk down the hill away from us.
“I believe Tela, the girl,” Sash says to me, “will be a Traveler when her purpose is revealed. She has great speed and a strong mind.”
“Traveler?” I ask.
“Travelers are the fastest of all in Krymzyn. They take things across the Delta and travel between the Delta and the Mount.”
“What about the boy?”
“He’s quite brave,” she answers. “Cavu is a bit reckless, but he already demonstrates mature respect for our trees. He has a tremendous desire to protect the Delta. I believe he’ll be a Watcher, although I don’t know for certain yet.”
I study Sash’s face and eyes. “Do you know things before they happen?” I ask, pretty sure I already know the answer to the question.
“Some things,” she says. When she looks down at the bottom of the hill again, a shadow of sadness falls over her face. “I’m shown visions. They’re like glimpses from waking dreams. While Tela rolled down the hill, I saw streaks of blue in her hair—the color of a Traveler. I know when Darkness is near. I can feel it inside me. Sometimes, I see something directly in front of me that will soon happen as though it’s happening in that instant, and I can change the outcome before it actually occurs.”
“Do other people here see these things?”
“No,” she says, shaking her head. “Only me.”
“Is it hard on you?” I ask, reacting to the pain evident on her face.
Turning her face to me, she seems surprised by my question. “You’re the only person to ever ask me that.”
“I don’t mean to be nosy—too personal,” I say.