The Time Stone releases in just a couple more days! Are you excited? Have you pre-ordered? It’s available at all the major retailers, including these: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble. And the print version should be available soon too!
The stone Sydney is looking for in this first series is the oldest one of the set. And after you read Sydney’s story, you can read the origin story right afterward. Or, you can read it right here, right now!
Her death would be an honor.
A deep, steady beat throbbed over the dense green canopy, giving pause to the natural cacophony that normally filled the spaces below. The sun was just rising over the jungle, its rays not quite strong enough to penetrate the blanket of mist hovering over the valley below. Kalika stood on a rocky outcropping half-way up Lima Mountain, watching the early morning light for what would be the last time.
She longed to run the Low Trail once more, but time was short. When the sun reached its zenith, her life would be forfeit – a sacrifice to the Sun God by her people. In the end, Kalika’s spirit would live on in an object to be forged from her remains mixed with molten rock. If her spirit was pure and the Sun God accepted her gift, the resulting object would bring great honor to her family, and blessings to all who touched it.
If her gift was rejected, any object so forged would be forever cursed and her family along with it. They would have to guard it until it could be cast back into the fiery mountain to be destroyed, breaking the curse and restoring her family’s good health and status in the tribe.
There were those in her position who feared the sacrifice, but not Kalika. Her parents had raised her to be strong, to be their beautiful offering. Her whole life had been about preparing for this single day, just as her brothers and sisters had been raised to care for her once she formed the sacred object. They would protect her and guard her from those who would use her unwisely, and tell her when it was safe to bestow her favors on those who would ask.
With one last look at the valley, Kalika turned and made her way back across the High Trail. Passing underneath the thick canopy, she strode purposefully through the dim light, a smile flitting at her lips and a song in her heart that matched the drums calling her tribe to the sacrificial altar.