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First Page

First Page: Awaken YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

First Page: Awaken YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.


1. First Day

I awoke before my alarm clock even had the chance to go off. Just like every other morning this past summer, the sun came streaming through the blinds of my bedroom window, across the wood floor, and inched across my bed just enough to reach my pillow. I guess that’s the downfall of having the only bedroom that faces the front of the house. Only this was not just another summer day. Today was the unavoidable day that most teenagers dread at the end of every summer. Today was the day that freedom officially ended and another school year began. But it wasn’t just another school year. I was starting my junior year of high school-The most important year of my academic career. I was already feeling the pressure. It felt like a beeping noise blaring in my head as a warning reminding me of what was at stake. Beep, Beep, Beep. My achievements of this year would determine what college I would attend when I graduate. Beep, Beep, Beep. They could determine my future career. Beep, Beep, Beep . . . and just when the beeping seemed like a new permanent fixture in my head, I realized that the infuriating noise was not the looming presence of my future, but my alarm clock.

As I reached over to turn off my alarm, my hand brushed the silver picture frame that I kept on my nightstand. The small, plain frame held a picture of me and my parents at my 7th birthday. Laced over the frame was a charm bracelet my mother had given to me as a present that year. They were the only memories I had of my parents. The only memories that survived the fire. I was seven when it happened, so I don’t remember much. And maybe that’s a good thing. I was told years later that my father died before he was even pulled out of the house. My mother hung on for almost a week before dying in the intensive care unit at our local hospital. I can still remember the funeral followed by moving trucks packing up the only place that I had known as home. My mother’s brother and his wife became my adoptive parents. They weren’t able to have children of their own, so they were more than happy to take me in as their new daughter.

“Emsley?”

“I’m up Aunt Sara,” I shouted in return.

With one more look, I placed the frame back on the white nightstand and grabbed my clothes off of my desk chair. I put on my dark denim skinny jeans, a white tank with lace scalloped across the top, and my ballet flats. I always loved fashion, but generally found myself one season behind. I walked into the bathroom, which was conveniently attached to my bedroom, washed my face, threw my hair into a loose ponytail, and took one last look in the mirror. I was average height and would have considered myself to look like every other average seventeen-year-old girl who lived in California; except I didn’t live in California, at least not anymore. My aunt and uncle lived in the Midwest, so when they took me in, they moved me out here to live with them. And out here, I looked nothing like the average teenage girl who all seemed to have more ‘earthier’ complexions and overall look. My skin was fair but not in an “I’ve-never-seen-the-sun kind of way”. It was almost translucent but with a soft golden glow that I could only credit my mother for. I looked exactly like she did when she was my age.

First Page: Unpublished Manuscript (Fantasy)

First Page: Unpublished Manuscript (Fantasy)

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.


Apprentice Rhea Lasko was the first to Old Silas’s farm. She sat by herself on the wall, looking up and down the ancient cobbled path before her, hitting her nail against her bottom teeth. For the past hour she had been this way, waiting for superiors and the priest who was to oversee her. Being the first to a job was part of Rhea’s self-designed routine. Sometimes, she felt like she was always waiting.

The old path before her was one that Rhea had walked many times, usually when visiting friends and doing jobs outside the Province’s capital city . It was a long line along the largely uninterrupted landscape of hills and fields, bridging the gap between the farms and small villages that sat in between the capital city and the other cities nearest to it. The stones that made up this ancient, well worn were falling apart where they lay, leaving the structure very uneven in places. The Court had many better things to spend their money on, however, and the cities with their big screens, monorails and numerous cars would forever remain a priority.

In Rhea’s bag was a sling, the leather seat folded and bound up in its own strings. It was the only weapon with which she felt properly skilled. Slings, bows, swords and other weapons were often owned by people who needed to protect themselves – there was no way that anyone outside of the Royal Court would be allowed to use a firearm. At any rate, a sling was perfect for all of Rhea’s needs. It was small, and it was effective. Properly, aimed, it could even be used to herd animals. Rhea had seen it done and it was very impressive.

Rhea stayed there on the wall for what felt like hours, back straight and nail hitting her teeth, until finally the two she was waiting for arrived. They were a young in a short red dress very similar to Rhea’s and a brother from the nearby temple. Once he was close enough to see properly, Rhea guessed that he was somewhere in his late thirties. She slid awkwardly off the wall and offered them a wave, causing the young woman to break out into a smile.

“Rhea,” she chirped, pulling the girl into a tight hug and not letting go until Rhea spluttered for air. Having been a very close to this woman since the age of eleven, Rhea was very used to this form of greeting.

“Morning, Eireen,” said Rhea, a smile growing on her face despite the pain her lungs felt. “I was wondering when you’d arrive.”

Eireen was twenty-one now and very different from Rhea in appearance. She was a tanned young woman with long blonde hair she tied up every morning and eyes that were light grey in colour. Rhea, a week from her seventeenth birthday, had eyes that were a very dark brown. Her skin was almost as dark, and she loved her shoulder-length hair despite the odd distasteful comment she used to get from teachers about it being too wild or in need of taming.

“This is Brother Thomas,” said Eireen, gesturing to the robed man standing beside her. “Enchanter Dion asked him to oversee our work today, okay? Just in case anything goes wrong.”

Brother Thomas nodded, looking Rhea firmly in the eye “From what I understand Old Silas wishes for you to place a warding spell around his flocks in order to protect them. If a warding spell is absolutely necessary, then it is my duty to ensure that he is spiritually protected.”

“Did Silas ask for protection?” asked Rhea.

“Of course he did,” said Brother Thomas. “Without a request I wouldn’t be here.”