Here is the first chapter of my new children’s book, Riverland (Book 1 of the Dividing Line).
Chapter 1: Halves Matter
I wasn’t the first one in my family to visit Riverland. The first one was Uncle Tim. He was five when he went. I wasn’t around when he was five. I was invisible. My mother says that nowadays, I’m very visible. That’s because I’m seven and a half. Seven and a half is much older than seven. Halves matter a lot when you’ve only been visible for a short amount of halves. I guess halves don’t matter when you have been around as long as Nannie.
I am halfway through recording Waldmeer (Book 1 of Waldmeer Series) as an audiobook. Here is the first chapter. More than an engaging story, the 7-book Waldmeer Series is a doorway to personal and spiritual growth. It takes courage to tread one’s course, but only at the beginning of each new stage. We hope that we are safe, but we are not yet sure.
Purnima means full moon. Full moons are auspicious occasions for new beginnings, and so we begin; again. Merlyn and Gabriel stood awkwardly at the entrance of Twenty Mile Track. Awkward because they barely knew each other, and this seemed too big an adventure for virtual strangers. Nevertheless, there they were, brought together by some unknown force.
It was Monday morning. As Ben walked through the glass doors of the State Ballet building, he came across one of the older professionals of the company, a friend of many years.
“Morning, Ben,” said the man. “How’s Store Creek going?”
“Morning,” said Ben. “Fine. I suppose.”
Truth be told, two weekends had passed since Ben had seen Merlyn. More, he hadn’t even spoken to her. Nor had he messaged. Every day, if not many times a day, he checked his messages to see if she had messaged him. She hadn’t.
After six months of living in Store Creek with the cold weather, it was good to finally arrive at spring’s doorstep. Merlyn wondered if that was why Ben had decided to visit today. He said it was a rental inspection. But that was just a joke. At least, Merlyn hoped it was a joke. Although it was two years since their separation, they had been married for three years. Nothing needed inspecting.
Ten years ago, in Borderfirma, when Bethany was told that she would begin her training to take over the running of the Borderfirma Mountains, she asked where her mother would be going.
Lady Faith replied, “The Inner Circle is not the end of the journey. There is another land. It lies between Borderfirma and Heaven. It is the place where all conflicting thoughts are settled and all illusions are dismantled. Once there, Heaven’s pull is very great.”
Spring had come and gone in Waldmeer and it was well into summer. As Waldmeer is in the Southern Hemisphere, summer carries with it a new year. Gabriel and Aristotle were travelling in the car to Waldmeer from Gabriel’s apartment in Darnall. It was Aristotle’s idea. Gabriel didn’t like going to Waldmeer anymore. Since Amira had mysteriously disappeared in early spring and her nasty cousin, Eve, had taken over the house, the whole of Waldmeer felt different. It was as if a light had gone out and a dark cloud had spread over the town. Nevertheless, Aristotle wanted to visit, so Gabriel said yes. Gabriel said yes to almost everything Aristotle wanted. They had been inseparable buddies for the last three months even though Aristotle was only twelve and Gabriel was forty. Aristotle was probably the child Gabriel had never had. What an exceptional child he was – intelligent, kind, quick-witted, and altogether delightful to be around. When Gabriel looked at Aristotle, a thought often popped into his mind – Look after my boy. He could not remember that they were Lady Faith’s parting words when he and Aristotle entered the frame which transported them from Borderfirma to Waldmeer.
Amira took every opportunity that crisp, glorious day to be outside. She walked down to the beach and returned via the shops and up the hill taking the longer route past Verloren’s holiday house. There was a For Sale sign in the front garden. She stopped to look at it and wondered why Verloren would be selling.
In the five years since Farkas sold this house to Verloren, thought Amira, he has lived at Charlie’s property in the back hills and in Ide’s bungalow, bought a house, started a relationship, had a baby, ended a relationship, and, hopefully, is now resurrecting that same relationship.
The past few weekends in Waldmeer, Amira had been seeing a man out of the corner of her eye. She could tell that the man was no longer an Earth resident because he was translucent. That made it easy! If she looked at him directly, he would disappear. He was about her age. Tall, blonde, broad shoulders like a footballer. Amira felt that it was not actually her that he wanted to speak to. She guessed that he wanted to speak to someone in Waldmeer who couldn’t see him. She had no idea who, but life always has a way of telling us what we need to know.
* * *
Ide looked at his sleeping body. She loved those strong, broad shoulders. It was not only a beautiful body but, so far, it had proved itself to be a resilient one after all that he had put it through. Fabian’s body was not yet showing the ravages of recurring addiction. He was probably more at home in his body than anywhere else in this world. His mind was fractured. His spirit fragile. Yet, his body had always served him well. In sports, in love; he radiated physical health and competence. She wished that he would not destroy his beautiful body by a sick mind but she knew it was only a matter of time.
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