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SKY 21


For Sky Riece, life has been anything but easy.  What starts as a simple sheltered existence quickly turns into a torturous life of betrayal and imprisonment.  She is haunted by devastating visions of death and convinced that she carries the burden of their  murders. 

Sky documents the trials and tribulations she experiences as she searches for the truth about her past, her present and her dark future.  Before she knows it Sky is being forced to     question everything and everyone she has ever known and  begins to realise that we are not alone in this universe. 

With everyday that passes she discovers more  deception and loses herself to a greater power. If she does not take control and follow her destiny   humanity will be lost for ever. 

In Store Price: $23.00 
Online Price:   $22.00

ISBN:1-9211-1873-3
Format: A5 Paperback
Number of pages: 185
Genre: Fiction

 


Author: Tracey Lavender
Imprint: Poseidon
Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published:  2006
Language: English

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About the Author  

From a young age, I realised that I had an artistic and creative drive within that I had to share. When I was fifteen, I started writing this book as a way of venting my feelings and confusion as I grew into an adult. I grew up in a small town, surrounded by narrow-minded people who gave me very little encouragement to follow my dreams.  

It has been 11 years since I started writing this book. Many edits later, I have finally finished it. I could have changed so much of the book but felt that I should leave the storyline the way I had envisioned it many years ago. It really depicts the confusion and mistrust that I had toward everyone as a young woman.  

If it hadn’t been for my supportive family and the endless inspiration and encouragement of my boyfriend, I would probably never have finished the book, let alone published it. I really hope that people enjoy if for what it is and don’t compare and judge it.  

This was a dream, a story thought up by a young girl who needed a way to express herself and escape from the pressures of life. If only we could all live in a fantasy world of excitement and dreams. Perhaps not one quite as scary as the one depicted in this book, but one in which we could all make our dreams come true.  

Enjoy the read.

Chapter One

A cold silence surrounded me as I remained motionless in the midst of a light that burned deeply into my sight. I could move no limb nor muscle as I tried fiercely to rebel from the blinding brightness. As I failed to escape, I felt my pulse intensify and my heart thump with such force it took my breath away, leaving me gasping for air and life. In an instant, my vision was restored only to reveal a ghastly vision of lifeless bodies surrounding me, my hands covered in their blood, hearing nothing but their screams of horror. From within the pool of slaughtered bodies came a loud piercing cry for mercy that took the last breath of air from my lungs, leaving me lifeless. Slowly I became cold as ice, my limbs ceased to jolt and my vision drifted into darkness as silence and stillness drew over me once again. Opening my eyes in horror as I clutched at the blanket entangled around my ankles, with sweat dripping from my forehead, I awoke to the innocent cry of a storm bird on the windowsill.

Rubbing my eyes and squinting from the sun reflecting off the clear window pane I realised that the dream had haunted me once again. The night had become day so quickly, so silently, yet much time had passed since I had laid my weary head down. When I had closed my eyes the previous night, I had unleashed my nightmares all over again and opened a doorway for memories and torture from my past. This was my life, destined never to be at peace and forever trying to escape my past.

 

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

 

The horrific and devastating tale began many years ago when I was only eighteen and had this dream for the first time. I was unable to sleep, unable to settle myself, with the fear of what ghastly nightmares I may set free if I closed my eyes once more. I felt a chilling breeze blow gently past me as my hair softly flew across my still moist cheek and fluttered in front of my eyes. Pulling down my bed covers and slowly creeping out of bed, I wandered towards the window. Looking out into the cold dark night, memories of my childhood flooded back. The joy and love of my family, and the pain and suffering of my father’s death.

Curling up on the windowsill, I stared out at the misty night and brilliant sky lit up by billions of stars. As the branches of the small shrub near my room scratched at the glass, my eyelids grew heavier and heavier. Tick…tick…tick…tick. My bedside clock ticked over quietly in the background. Gently resting my head against the old wooden window frame, I noticed that everything around me seemed to become even more silent than before. Even the wind came to a halt, almost as if everything stood still. I sat there tiredly watching the clock tick over, minute after minute, until time itself seem to stop. Slowly the wind picked up, the trees began swaying fiercely and everything came alive again, yet stronger and more frighteningly than before. With my head still resting against the window, I felt a tapping on the glass. Turning, expecting to see the branches scratching at the glass again, I came face to face with a dark figure standing beyond the glass staring in at me. In fear, I jumped away from the windowsill and ran for the door. As I reached it and grabbed for the handle I looked back toward the shadow. With everything that I had seen that night in my dreams I guess I wasn’t sure any more of what was real and what was not.

Brushing my hair away from my face, I looked closer. But where the figure once stood was nothing but an old shrub swaying strongly in the gale. As the fear slowly settled within me, I let go of the door handle and crept toward the window, still very cautious and staring into the darkness beyond the glass. I cannot explain the fear and confusion that I felt at that moment. Was it real? Was I safe? Turning toward the door again, I heard the floorboards begin creaking closer and closer to me. From behind me, the trees began banging on the glass louder than before. Frozen with fear I began breathing heavier not knowing what lurked beyond that door. The handle slowly began rattling. Running to the door and locking it tightly I crouched down in the corner shaking. With sweat dripping from my forehead and trying to make it all disappear, I rocked back and forth whispering to myself what my father once told me when I awoke from a nightmare:

“My mind is what I allow it to be, I see only what I want to see. My mind is what I allow it to be, I see only what I want to see.”

The banging became louder. Holding my hands to my ears trying to block it out I mumbled faster until, suddenly, a hollow silence fell again. But I knew that it wasn’t over; I could feel it was far from over. The window flew open. Turning my head swiftly I saw something so extraordinary that I would never be able to forget that night. As the wind blew strongly through my curtains, hundreds of autumn leaves flew into the room. Walking through the cloud of orange and brown, my hair flying around from the forceful wind, I saw a bright light shining into my room which blinded me momentarily. By the time my vision was restored, I found myself lying in the centre of the floor covered in leaves, the window still flapping in the breeze and the sun shining from the morning sky. With my head throbbing with pain, I brushed the leaves aside and sat up to notice my jewellery box lying open beside me. I had only opened it once before in my life, the last time I saw my father. I was only very young, and my memories of its beauty and meaning were vague, but I did remember my father’s last words:

“This box holds a lifetime, Sky. Don’t ever forget its value.”

Brushing the leaves away from it and reaching slowly inside I found a small wooden cross carved in a similar style to the engravings on the box. Attaching it to my silver chain, I hung it around my neck that night and every night thereafter in memory of my father in the hope that it might chase away the torturing dreams. Struggling to my feet weakly, I crawled into bed, laying my head down once more. I drifted to sleep so easily that morning that even my soul felt at peace. At the time, I wasn’t sure whether that night was a dream or reality. But now, after everything I have been through, everything I have seen and experienced, I am certain that it was both. That night was the first night of the rest of my life.

 

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

 

When I was young, my father disappeared while away on business. Despite what everyone told me – that he was dead – I just knew that he was watching over me. I had learnt at a very young age to be independent and to never let anything come between me and my goals in life. I needed no one and vowed that I would never let myself become dependent on anyone. I believed that those I cared about would be torn from me just as my father had been so many years before. For this reason, the years ahead of me were going to be even more difficult than I imagined.

After the loss of my father, I never really felt close to anyone, not even my family. All that I had to keep me feeling alive was the hope that I held inside me, that one day I might see my father again in another place at another time. I think back now to those days when my life was so simple and I try to imagine and recreate the moments and feelings, but I just can’t. There is a point in everyone’s life when you just can’t go back, no matter how strongly you want to be there. Sure, I can remember, I can even picture some moments, but nothing could ever compete with actually being there. Those who know me now, those who think they know the real Sky Riece, can’t begin to understand who I really am, and as a result they do not understand how much of my life has been taken from me. I believe that they never will. For anyone to completely understand me they must try to understand what I represent. To understand that, they need to know what has happened to me since that autumn night so long ago. I have spent so many years trying to keep my life a secret and many of those I have spent alone. But now it is time that I told my story; it is time to break the seal of secrecy on my life. It needs to be revealed.

 

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

 

The things I witnessed that night brought about so much more fear and mystery than I could ever have anticipated. The horror I saw and the fear I felt began to haunt me every waking moment. Day after day I would spend alone shut away in my room trying to escape the devastating visions that followed me like shadows. At first, I would see only short flashbacks of the dream until the visions grew more intense. There was no way to block out the cries for help as I saw people on their knees begging for mercy. Each time, more bodies would appear and the screams would grow louder, eventually drowning out everything else.

The day came when I just couldn’t stand the torture that I was experiencing. I felt that I had to talk to someone about everything that had happened that night. But the person who I spoke to was probably the reason that things became disrupted so quickly.

Ever since birth I had had only one doctor, Dr George Klein. For as long as I can remember he had always treated my father as well, therefore I valued his opinion and trusted his judgement. I never thought what might happen if I revealed my innermost secret. He was the only person that my father would trust to treat me. I knew, or at least thought, it was what my father would have done.

As I sat nervously in the appointment room anxiously awaiting my name to be called, I glanced around at the walls. I felt so alone. I would have given anything to have had someone by my side that day but my mother had never come to an appointment with me in my entire life. My father was always the one who had held my hand as we waited, smiling at me while the doctor examined me. Since my father had died, I had done everything on my own. My mother just seemed to drift further and further from my life.

Still glancing around the room I heard a soft, deep voice beside me call my name.

“Sky, Sky!”

Turning my head I saw a rather large man with big green eyes looking at me sadly.

“Dr Klein, how…” Before I could finish a single bead of blood ran from his nose. In shock I stood swiftly, stumbling backward. The man stood slowly, approaching me.

As he moved closer he announced loudly, “Sky, don’t do it. Please Sky.” Louder and louder, closer and closer he got.

Looking down his body I saw a knife embedded in his chest, and his clothes soaked with blood. As I reached my hands out to push him away I found them covered in blood, his blood, and shaking severely.

“You’ve done it now, Sky, look what you’ve done. How could you, Sky?”

“I…I didn’t. I didn’t do it. Go away. Please.” Still stumbling backwards, more people appeared to me, each of them covered in blood and yelling my name.

“Sky, Sky, Sky, SKY!”

“No. Go away!” Closing my eyes and crouching down in a corner I yelled over and over again for them to go away. Then the screaming changed to quiet mumbles.

Opening my eyes, I saw a crowd of people looking down at me as Dr Klein knelt down beside me calling my name softly, trying to bring me out of it.

“Welcome back, Sky. We lost you there for a while.”

“Dr Klein,” I said as I stood quickly pushing him away and looking around at the many faces, still half expecting to see them covered in blood. From behind me someone grabbed my shoulder. Pulling away as I swung my arm in an attempt to push them away, I turned to see a familiar face before me.

“Sky, are you all right?” the young man asked as he looked at me confused.

With tears in my eyes I exclaimed, “Jake?” and with my shaking hand gently touched his face.

Taking my hand in his he pulled me into his arms as he said, “It’s all right, Sky, everything is going to be all right.” Since my father had died, the only place I ever felt safe, I mean really safe, was in his arms. I knew that he would never let anything hurt me. Not even the ghastly people in my visions, as long as he held me. He was the only one I trusted now.

Jake and I had known each other since we were very young, and since my father had died he kind of became my guardian angel. He would always be there for me, he’d always love me and never hurt me. He had become a part of my life, part of me. The best friend a person could ever have.

“Look at me, Sky,” he said softly as he lifted my chin, “you’re going to get past this, you always do.”

“Please take me away from here,” I pleaded.

“What about…” he asked, looking up at Dr Klein.

“Please Jake. I can’t be here.”

Wrapping his jacket around me, he closed the door behind us and walked down the drive, leaving Dr Klein and the many patients staring at us. We didn’t speak for a couple of minutes. I assume he was giving me time to calm down. We went to a place in the nearby woods where we used to spend a lot of time when we were children. It was a small abandoned hut hidden away behind a wall of large trees. To the back was a small stream that never stopped flowing, winter and summer. On either side lay several small animal shelters that had fallen into piles of firewood. We walked in through the creaky wooden door that Jake had mended several years before. He took his jacket and hung it on a turned wooden hook by the door. As I looked around, it brought back so many good memories about our childhood – the many rainy days we had spent sitting in front of a pretend fire just telling secrets, and the days when we had just sat in silence listening to the sounds of the forest.

Jake broke the silence. “Life was simple back then, wasn’t it?” I nodded. “Sky, why won’t you talk to me, we used to share everything. Why are things so different now?” he asked.

“I don’t know, they just are.” I stared out at the forest.

“Do you want to tell me what happened back there?”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ve known you a long time, a very long time, Sky. I have never seen you walk away like that. I would almost think that you were scared, that you were running away from something or someone.”

“Yeah, well I guess you know me better than I know myself.” Turning to him I continued, “You want to know what I was running from, do you? Me, I was running from me. I’m terrified of myself, of what my sick mind sees. Do you have any idea what it’s like to see what I see? Do you? It makes you insane. I don’t know what’s real and what’s not.”

“What are you talking about, what do you see?” Jake asked as he approached me.

“I don’t sleep at night because of what I see. Every time I close my eyes, I see them. Their bodies, their blood, their cries for mercy. They’re everywhere. They’re in my room, at the shops, in the shadows. Everywhere I go they follow me.”

“Who, Sky, who are you talking about?” he exclaimed as he gently shook me by the shoulders.

“Them, the ghost, Dr Klein. I don’t know most of them. They just keep yelling at me. I killed them. Their blood’s all over me. How could I do it?” Hysterically I began wiping my hands on my clothes as though I was trying to clean the blood off. “It’s all over me, I can’t get it off.”

Shaking me but failing to bring me out of it, Jake held me tightly as I pushed and shoved him, trying to remove the blood from my skin and clothing. Finally losing my strength, I felt my body go numb as I fainted.

When I awoke I found myself in hospital with the blankets twisted around my body and the soft sound of someone breathing as they slept. Jake sat by my side in an old wooden chair, his head resting uncomfortably against the wall. Trying quietly to climb out from under the covers, I hung my legs over the edge of the cold metal bed. Standing slowly, still with very little strength, I stumbled and fell to the floor, knocking over the breakfast tray. As the dishes smashed to the floor, Jake awoke.

“Sky, what are you doing? You’ve got to stay in bed.” Helping me back to bed he called for a nurse.

“Why am I here?” I asked.

The nurse cleared away the dishes and left before he answered.

“I spoke to Dr Klein. He said that you were hallucinating as a result of the new medication you were on.”

“You spoke to Dr Klein? Why?”

“Apparently the pills you were taking were adjusted a few weeks ago.”

“What pills?”

“What do you mean?” Jake asked inquisitively.

“I have no idea what pills you’re talking about. I don’t take any drugs. I haven’t even seen Dr Klein in the past month.”

“He specifically said that your pills had been adjusted. Why would he say that if it weren’t true?”

“I don’t know, but it’s not true.”

“Look, Sky, the main thing is that you’re ok. That’s all that matters.” Jake softly kissed my forehead.

“But I’m not, Jake, don’t you understand that? What I’m seeing is not normal. You saw me; did I look like I was all right? I actually believed that the blood was there, that I had killed those people. I don’t know what Dr Klein is talking about and I don’t care. I just want it to stop. I want to be able to sleep at night without seeing them, without hearing the screams.”

“Look, we’ll get you home and have your prescription fixed up and I’m sure everything will be ok again. I know you’ll get through this, Sky, you’re a strong young woman. You can’t let this beat you. I won’t let you.”

“Listen to me carefully, Jake. Something is wrong with me. I don’t know what, but if Dr Klein lied to you about the drugs then you can bet that he knows more than he’s telling you. I saw him in my dream. He was one of them. Don’t tell him anything. Do you understand? Please, Jake, just promise me that no matter what happens, you won’t say any more about what happened at the hut. Promise me!”

“Ok, but do you seriously think everyone’s trying to keep something from you? It’s a bit far fetched, Sky.”

“Do you believe for one minute that I would make something like this up? You know me, Jake, better than anyone does; you must believe what I’m saying! I need you to believe me. I don’t have anyone else to turn to!” My eyes began to fill with tears.

“Sky, look at me. Of course I believe you. I always have and I always will because I love you. You know that, but it hurts me to see you like this. You have always been so strong. You’ve never needed anyone. You need to listen to Dr Klein. He’s a good man, even your father would have told you that. You would have trusted your dad, I know you would have because you and he were one person,” he said as he took my hand in his.

I nodded and for the first time in my life realised just how much I was like my father, yet at the same time how different. I had grown into this person who was simply a clone of my father. I had never even entertained the thought that maybe, just maybe, I needed to find myself and make my own decisions. I had hidden the real me underneath a hard shell for so long that I had lost who I was and had simply become my father as a way of filling the void that his death had left in my life.

I realised at that instant that I needed help but I just wasn’t ready to let go of everything. Sure, I wanted to trust people as much as I trusted my father, but it just wasn’t possible. One day maybe I would be able to but for now I just needed Jake to be there for me and listen; he knew that. This was a beginning for me, a new life in a way. One which I wanted to live in my way, not my father’s. There was only one thing that I was certain of now and it was that I had to find out what was happening to me. And I had to find out before it tore me apart.

 

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