Prophecy Book 4 | Sheryl Steines
Writing

Prophecy Book 4

A taste of Prophecy Book 4 of The Wizard Hall Chronicles

Since returning from France, Annie couldn’t help but think if Sturtagaard hadn’t let her know that Amelie was a vampire, she would have spent the week deliriously recovering from her recent injuries, watching television, baking, or enjoying some other mindless activity rather than chasing and killing the vampire. She shuddered at the thought.

            She had little time in France to dwell on the loss of the Black Market or of its connection to her father’s eight-year-old murder investigation. But, in the end, the journey across Europe left her exhausted. She moved the heating pad to a new location and snuggled into the corner of her sectional sofa, wrapping herself in a thick, warm blanket. It didn’t take long for sleep to overtake her, leaving her blissfully unaware for the entire afternoon.

            When she woke, she was enveloped in Cham’s arms. He was sound asleep.

            Of course and I’m not anymore.

Annie slid out of his embrace, pulled the blanket to his chin, and left him sleeping in the corner. She walked through the dark house and switched on the kitchen light, which blinded her momentarily. When she gained her bearings, she was immediately drawn to the dusty box that had been sitting on her kitchen table since before she left for France. After searching her house and garage, she had finally found it in the crawl space in the basement, where her father hid it eight years prior. But the newspaper from Sturtagaard, letting her know Princess Amelie was still alive and living as a vampire, had put going through it on hold. Though Cham was curious, he had left the box alone. Now that Annie felt better and more rested, her curiosity was overwhelming.  

Annie was fairly certain that, in it, she would find the missing file for the case her father was investigating when he died. She sighed and glanced at Cham sleeping in the other room; his chest rose and fell peacefully.

She lifted the lid and peered inside. Sure enough, she saw a file and pulled it from the box. Her father’s handwriting was slanted and square, scrawled across the spaces for guard name, case name and number. She could still feel the grooves left from where he had pressed the pen into the folder. Her stomach roiled with relief and uncertainty.

Is this still important?

With a tentative sigh, Annie opened the folder. It had been partitioned into several sections; the first item she saw was a note addressed to her in the same familiar writing.

“What the hell?” she asked no one as she unclipped the note.   

My dearest Annie,

If you are reading this, I am dead. And as I write this, that realization hits me hard with the things I will miss or have already missed. For that, my angel, I am so very sorry.

But sometimes as a wizard guard, there are cases so challenging that you are forced to do things that you otherwise would not do. Sometimes the rules can no longer apply. There is too much at stake to risk our way of life and the lives of our family.

I have to make a choice. I have to choose being with you and Samantha for as long as I can, or I can save the world from ourselves. It’s a choice that I deeply regret that I have to make. Sometimes our choices lead us to this very place and time.

I came across Wolfgange Rathbone in the course of this case. The Chintamani Stones that once belonged to King Solomon have been stolen and are sold in the Black Market. They are a danger to our people, and to the nonmagicals that we share this world with.

So sorry my love, but they asked me to stop. They asked me to hand over the stones that I was able to retrieve. They belonged to the Wizard Guard, to the Wizard Council but I did as they requested because they threatened my child. They threatened you, Annie.

My dear, sweet Annie. It wasn’t the first time that your very existence has been threatened. I regret that I will not physically be there for you at any time to protect you. But there is a reason why I so diligently trained you, my dear. Because there will be a time in your future when you need to know what to do, how to keep yourself alive. I gave you all that I could in the short time that I had with you.

I promise you, Annie, that I gave them back all of the stones I had in my possession. But when you deal with secret societies such as the Fraternitatem of Solomon, which hide themselves away and don’t participate in the world as it is, you find that you can’t trust them. They are paranoid, distrustful, and have many secrets I wish I could have shared with you.

They had Rathbone in their employ, and it’s him I fear the most. Not because I can’t defend myself against his weaknesses, but because I have you in my head, and your safety blinds me. I will die before I let them get to you. Because there is a prophecy my love. You are at the center, and I will do whatever I can in life and death to ensure that the prophecy doesn’t come true.

This might seem to be the ramblings of a man who knows his death is imminent, but I assure you, this is real. If I am dead, it was at the hands of Rathbone on the orders of the Fraternitatem of Solomon. They will still be after the stones that I promise I no longer have.

Please believe me that I will do everything in my power to keep myself safe, to keep my friends and my children away from this difficult case. I do this for all of you because it was I who dug myself into this mess.

You deserved so much better than what I gave you. I wish that I could have raised you more like I did Samantha, but I couldn’t. I had to protect you.

Rathbone knows this prophecy, and he is using it against me to get what he wants. Be wary of him. 

I didn’t die in vain. I died to protect you and the powers you will someday have.

You are so very special, my love, so strong, so beautiful. I wish you happiness, security, and safety. May you remember all that I taught you. Be safe, my darling. I love you always.

Dad

Shaking, Annie placed the folder inside her blood-lock cabinet and slammed the door shut. As she reread the letter from her father, she slid herself to the floor, lowered her head, and cried.

Prophecy on Amazon now.

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