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Enigma of Fire & Shadows (Newly Published Adult Fiction Mystery Fantasy Novel)-Excerpt

Updated on April 14, 2016
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An experienced integrative healthcare professional & Member of the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists

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An experienced integrative healthcare professional with a passion for health and beauty and interested in career and business opportunities to amalgamate my skills and experience into a holistic approach to healing and helping people. Also an active fundraiser & philanthropist for RSPCA & Cancer Support & Research

An aspiring novelist and also an Avid Art Lover, Please feel free to check out my latest Adult fiction Novel here (in Paperback and Ebook Formats respectively):

http://www.lulu.com/shop/natalia-satya/enigma-of-fire-shadows/paperback/product-22640788.html

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E7JEQ7C

http://www.amazon.com/Enigma-Fire-Shadows-Natalia-Satya-ebook/dp/B01E2SE4GQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1460523190&sr=8-2&keywords=enigma+of+fire+and+shadows

PROLOGUE

Fernande found himself battling through the wilderness, paving his path through the thick woods. The sun was beginning to set. It was getting steadily darker and increasingly difficult to manoeuvre his way out of the dense forests. “At least the heat is fading,” he thought positively, determined to escape the grasps of the tendrils and branches of any surrounding trees that had gone awry. There seemed to be no end to the Black Forests. Everywhere Fernande looked, he could only see the same bushes engulfing him, unsure of which way to head finally toward open fields again... Fernande continued walking at a brisk pace. Then from a distance, he could faintly see a glimmer of golden light streaming through the bushes like a sharp knife through soft butter. He couldn’t make out what it was from afar and so he headed towards the light source. Sweat trickled down his forehead, some of which entered his eyes. Day had turned into night. The air, although cool only a moment ago, had progressively turned hotter as he approached the light. Shards of burnt matter flew out randomly from the blaze. One of them landed in front of him, right where his left foot was about to step into. Bending down, Fernande examined it closer. It looked like what used to be part of a plant that had most of its tiny needle-like leaves burnt nearly to a crisp. There was also a subtle aroma resembling Pine. The temperature was then getting stiflingly hot and he was soaked. Wiping the sweat from his forehead, he stopped to observe the apparition which was assuming form in the majestic prowess of the flames. Increasing numbers of burnt plant and other matter continued to fill the ground beneath him. Amongst the charred leaves and twigs, Fernande saw a single red rose-uncharred and untainted. The apparition had by now completely taken the form of a woman with long luscious fiery hair or that was all one could see for the light from the fire was too bright to look into directly without harming one’s vision. There was however, a bush right beside the ‘lady from the fire’. The bush had the same leaves as the ones he’d seen earlier, the same burnt matter or charred remains of what was/used to be. He now recognized it. It was not Pine at all but the plant Rosemary. Perhaps the red rose had been a clue to the name of the plant. This Rosemary bush encircled a crystal ball and Fernande’s crown was within it. Fernande reached for his crown but it was too far for him to reach. The ‘lady from the fire’ giggled gleefully and smiled at him but did not utter a single word. She has a most alluring smile. Even though she was too glaring to look at directly, Fernande could tell that she was beautiful. Like moth to a flame, he was drawn to her; he stepped into the fire in spite of knowing that he would burn like the rosemary bush into mere ashes of what had been. Judging from the rosemary bushes that had almost burnt to the ground, it would not take very long for Fernande to himself be set ablaze and suffer the same plight. Their fingertips were already touching! Her pull was getting stronger. Within seconds, Fernande’s lips were locked in a passionate kiss with the mysterious woman from the fire. The kiss felt so familiar to him, so familiar that he felt it in his bones. They were in each other’s arms. He could feel her warmth emanating from her body. Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t hot at all in the blaze. He would describe it as more of an elated experience of comfort. Perhaps it was a magical fire. “Your kingdom awaits, my Love,” said she, not through her lips but from her mind to his. The flames started to die down and the mysterious lady disappeared along with it. None of the rosemary bushes were left and the ardent red rose he had picked up from before had fallen to the ground where the flames once were, leaving him all alone, just him and his crown. The lady was no more. His heart sank feeling as if his heart had been ripped clean out from his chest. He probably will not see his love again, his mysterious Pyruvia, the lady from the flames. The pain was too unbearable. Falling to his knees, he grasped his left bosom and cried out into the night air, “No!!! Pyruvia!!!”

Chapter One

It had become evening once more in the humble village of Tulsa. Smoke emitted out of the tiny chimneys over each family home. The subtle aromas of stews and roasts filled the air as everyone anticipates the arrival of dinner. Each home was large enough to house a family of up to five and yet little enough to be cosy. The houses were made of mud and the floors of each house stepped down from the level of the ground outside. This helped insulate the house through minimising the amount of heat escaping from the house and shielded the residents from the cool drafts. Each house was shaped differently although all of them had a common area in the centre of it which housed the fireplace to allow for central heating that spread throughout the whole home. They all had a family room, a small kitchen and a bedroom. The family room was mainly the area surrounding the fireplace. People of Tulsa ate what they grew and cooked and baked from scratch. Their days begin at about four or five in the morning when the men would till the land and harvest the crops whilst the women cooked, baked, cleaned and sewed. They would go to bed pretty early as well, retiring mostly around nine at night at latest. A pot of beef stew hung over the wood fired stove in the kitchen over it stood Viola a seventeen year old young lady stirring and adding the final touches of flavour to the cuisine. “Viola, how are you doing with the stew sweetie?” “Almost ready Mom, just a little while longer and it’s done.” “Will you fill the bowls up once it’s done Vi, I’ll just go out to call your father in.” “Sure Mom, I’ll have them ready at the table once you’re both in.” It was traditional since the dawn of time in Tulsa for families to eat together and commune over their meals. People worked in the day, ate three meals per day and slept at night. Entertainment consists of sewing, baking, cooking, singing and folk dancing. They also made brews from malt and barley, built things from materials like wood and invented new and better things for harvesting and such. Viola’s interest had been toward the farming side of things which is the one thing the men of Tulsa specialised in and looked after with pride. She had learnt cooking and baking from her mother ever since she was five however the mystic of the lands and the mystery of renewal of life whenever each tiny seed sprouted up into a seedling and grew steadfastly without fail always fascinated her. The theory was so simplistic and yet it was something so reliable, so honest so pure, the magic of the circle of life. It was her first love, something she was so passionate about that she would often sneak out of the house and watch her father and the other men composed the scores of nature’s music as they made each indentation in the soft ploughed soil and planted each seed, then covering each seed with more soil, watering them all once all the seeds were embedded and waiting for mother nature to conduct her orchestra, coaxing each seed to spring into new growth and life once more. Viola also often strolled about in the forests watching the young men and their hogs hunting for mushrooms and truffles. She had always carried with her a notebook in which to record her observations of the different type of plants they grew and harvested, how they grew and what conditions were optimal for their growth, important details such as the distance between plantings, the depth each different type of seed had to be planted at, whether or not it needed support stakes like vines; plants like tomatoes and cucumbers and squash. She too had her very own collection of seeds all neatly organised and labelled that her father had saved specifically for her knowing her intense passion for planting. Her notebook was scribbled with mounts of notes and sketches of the multitude of plants she had seen. Viola was conscientious to fill each page to the brim, making sure not to waste any page as she respected the fact that it was the bark of plants that provided for the possibility of her book. The cover of her book was made with a piece of wood covered with dried leaves and protected with the resin from trees that gave it a smooth surface. She now knew how to make the covers herself. Her father had shown her how-to ever since he made her first book along with the pages within it for her on her seventh birthday. Both her parents love her and Viola knew it and felt it. She felt blessed, blessed to be cherished by both her parents. Even though Viola had having no siblings like many of the other young villagers in Tulsa had, she never felt alone for she was always in good company with her parents. There was a lot of hard work and labour but she never once felt exhausted for her soul was always fuelled with warmth from the fortunate family life she shared with her parents. There was nary a day that went by that wasn’t fruitful and filled with plenty of things to keep one busy and thus did not allow one’s mind to wander unnecessarily. It was October thirteenth, the day of her parents’ 25th anniversary and Viola wanted it to be extra special. She knew her mother loved quiches and her father adored mushrooms and so she planned to make an extra special dinner for them both. On the menu was Mushroom Quiche and yes she had woken up especially early to forage for and harvest the mushrooms. From her earlier days as a young child, she had learnt the art of identifying mushrooms and harvesting them. Some others preferred utilizing the humble pig to seek and identify truffles as well as mushrooms. For her, identifying mushrooms had become second nature and she could readily tell the poisonous ones apart from the edible ones. Some field mushrooms would fit her recipe perfectly. She only needed probably around 12 mushrooms to make enough quiche to fill their stomachs. Agaricus campestris or more well known by their common name: the Field Mushroom, is one of the best known out of the wild mushrooms. They are usually found carpeted along old meadows and mature pastures and they usually appear quite early in summer through to autumn. Wise mushroom collectors will have to wake up real early as the early mornings are usually the best time to pick mushrooms so as to ensure that they have not yet been attacked by insects. Furthermore, mushrooms grow almost exclusively at night time when it’s dark, hence by picking them in the early morning ensures that the best specimens are harvested. Being a fungus, mushrooms adore periods of damp as well as periods of dry and cold because the myelial threads seem to benefit from some stratification which results in better fruiting. The weather was perfect that morn, not too hot and not too cold, quite comfortable in fact. Agaricus campestris has a cap that spans between one and a quarter inch and four and three quarter inch across. It can range from a silky white colour to a light brown hue. The gills of the mushrooms which look like longitudinal lines are not attached to the stem. This is a common feature of all Agaricus mushrooms. The gills are usually pink in colour when they’re young. Armed with a good knife, an essential part of any mushroom collector’s tools, a good brush, a wide brimmed hat and a light easy to carry basket with not too open a weave in them, Viola headed to pick her field mushrooms. She knew the usual haunts of where they grew so it was common good sense to head toward there first to beat the insects and other animals to the mushroom harvest. A good strong stick was another useful tool while mushroom hunting. These are used to part the ferns and other undergrowth to see if any mushrooms are hidden there. There were also handy to turn over any specimens that does not warrant touching and to ascertain whether or not the mushrooms had volval cups. Volval cups at the base of the stem of mushrooms are usually present in those that are poisonous. It is an art to harvest the appropriate mushrooms correctly. It also takes dedication, good record keeping and experience. It is best to cut through a mushroom’s stem rather than digging it up. This is to avoid endangering the myelial threads which happens when entire mushrooms are removed from the ground. Once having cut through the mushroom’s stem, it is best to wipe or brush clean the mushroom before putting it in the basket. A good layer of fern fronds will prevent the bottom mushrooms from getting damaged. Viola had arrived on schedule and sure enough the beautiful fresh mushrooms were there in their honest reproach beckoning to her. She made sure to pick the edible ones as it was common knowledge that quite a few poisonous species grew very nearby to the edible ones, she would dismiss all the mushrooms that had volval cups and other poisonous features. Excited and happy, Viola headed back to prepare the feast she had planned for her parents. Her parents had already awoken and prepared breakfast by the time Viola arrived home. “Oh, Viola, you’re back. Where have you been child?” Viola’s mother asked. Viola’s mother Esperanza wore her best clothes that day and she had flowers in her hair. “Oh, nothing much. Just been out having an early morning walk in the meadows, there’s nothing better than an early morning exercise to get and blood pumping and the body ready for a brand new day, “Viola answered attempting her best to hide her basket of wild mushrooms harvest. “You look beautiful Mom, now let me just get myself cleaned up so I can help you in the kitchen.” “Why, thank you sweetheart. I am going out, you see, your father is taking me out for our anniversary,” Esperanza smiled to herself, her cheeks blushing slightly. “Really Mom, that’s great! I really hope you guys will have a great day, “Viola gave her mother a big warm hug and a kiss on the cheek. That fits in perfectly with Viola’s plan. She had to get her parents out of the house and with her father taking her mother out, she would have all the time at home to prepare the feast she had long planned for them. This saved her from asking one of her friends parents to ask them both out for help with something or another. “Dad you look magnificent!”Viola exclaimed. He smiled. He had a white shirt on and a simple tie along with a pair of dark trousers, the kind of attire that the city town folk wore. Thomas had made reservations on one of his trips into town at a nice simple restaurant that served lovely seafood dishes which was a rarity in their village. He had saved up for this very day so that he could take his beloved to a delicious scrumptious seafood sensation to mark and celebrate their very special occasion together. And so her parents departed. “I’ll see you back at home for dinner, have a great time!” Viola waved as her parents rode off on their horse into town. “Thank you dear!” her parents shouted back. No sooner had they’d left, the house became a bumbling frenzy of business as Viola took out her kitchen utensils, pots and pans and baking trays out. Next, out came the recipe book and ingredients she had gathered including the mushrooms from the morning. Focused and mixing away, Viola prepared her dough for the quiche. If you’ve baked before you will know that it takes more energy to do it from scratch and entirely by hand without the aid of electronic gadgets like beaters and mixers. This was how Viola was doing it. You’d be able to appreciate the effort that goes into this. Many of us fail to see what women do on a daily basis in almost every culture that exists, the constant cooking, menu planning often for three or more meals every single day. This is not an easy task especially if one were surrounded by unappreciative, demanding types who fail to support their other halves or their siblings or elders or daughters. Thomas and Esperanza entered the seafood restaurant. It was named “ALLURE”. At the front of the restaurant stood an old distinguished looking gentleman dressed in a black suit. He had the best posture they had ever seen on a man of his age and a gold shiny name badge that read “James”. “What can I help you with today?” James asked with an air of class in his voice in his French-like English accent. He was looking at them quite peculiarly with his nose turned up from them. He had also taken a step back from where they stood. “We’re here for our eleven o’clock lunch reservation. It’s our anniversary today,” Thomas added. “Oh my, I guess Congratulations are in order then,” James scrolled down the reservation list with his index finger which then stopped when he found their names, “why here you are on the list, now, won’t you lovely folks follow me while I see if I can find a table for you.” James led the way walking with his unusually erect frame of a body that he could easily be mistaken for a walking stiff. The restaurant was air-conditioned and seemed to have separate dining areas, totalling about three. Each area appeared to have different-coloured tablecloths draped over them. The bigger private rooms had huge tables and the tablecloths were royal blue, the other slightly smaller rooms had red and emerald green coloured ones. They walked quite a distance from the entrance and he stopped at a small table covered in white which sat right beside where the kitchen was. Esperanza’s eyes glowed with astonishment for she hardly ever came into town. “Well, here we are,” James remarked quite prudishly and deliberately, “your table for two”; he seated them and proceeded to fetch the wine list. “Wait, there must be some mistake, couldn’t we have that table over there?” Thomas challenged politely pointing to the bigger empty table in one of the private rooms they had passed. “I assure you that there’s no mistake Sir. In all my years here, I have seated more aristocrats than any other,” James answered, stifling a frown coming on. “But I distinctly made reservations for a private room, I’m sure of it,” Thomas retorted. The other diners at the bigger tables had stopped dining and turned to face toward them. “Now, I have to ask that you calm down Sir..., let me just check the list again for you, perhaps the reservation was made in error.” James answered stuttering, his voice slightly quivering. James was obviously not used to anyone challenging his choice of tables and was trying his best to avert drawing more attention to himself. Desperately trying to stop his hands from trembling from the pressure of more and more judging eyes upon him (including that of the restaurant owner who had stepped in to collect the books), James clumsily and hurriedly rummaged through the pages of his dossier. “Now what was the name again?” James asked pretentiously. “Thomas Aitkenson,” Thomas replied frustrated. Esperanza was quiet. “Aitkenson, you say, Oh I thought it was Edgeson,” James replied, his hands still trembling. “Yes, here you are, table number nine, my mistake, so sorry for the trouble Sir and Madam,” James apologised almost unwillingly. It is suspect as to if he were willing to apologise for these lively country folk if it were not for the peering eyes of his supervisor and that of the aristocrats. Thomas escorted his wife to their new table with the blue tablecloth in a very nice and spacious air conditioned private room. “Please accept this wine as a token of our apology, compliments of the house,” James remarked loudly making sure everybody looking could hear him. Thomas accepted and then asked for the menu. “Of course Sir, a waiter will be down shortly to take your order, enjoy your meal,” James added, forcing a smile on his elderly face. James walked off, muttered some instructions to the waiter and headed off into the kitchen. “Why, that wretched man! I have never been this disgraced my entire life! The sheer audacity to talk back to me, the reservations master at this fine establishment! ,” James was furious, his face was turning a crab-colour red and it was getting too hot to breathe with his bowtie and shirt all buttoned to the top. The chef in the kitchen looked at James, nodding in agreement while he prepared his fine dishes. Luigi knew what kind of man James was. He had worked there ever since he was an apprentice in the kitchen, having been dealt his fair share of dealing with the narrow mindedness of this old man with his overinflated pride and shallow sense of being. He knew in his bones that James would have treated him quite differently to that of the present if he had not gone and got himself an education and worked his way to becoming the head chef of ALLURE. “I’m not going to swallow this Luigi! Especially not from a lowlife country bumpkin like him! Such men have no class, they wouldn’t know it even if it bit them in the derriere. Besides what kind of a name is Aitkenson anyway? And did you see his wife? Wildflowers in her hair, My God, how quaint is that?!” James grumbled, pouting and making a fuss like an immature child after a spat. “Are you quite done?” Luigi asked looking James dead in the eye, totally unimpressed,” Because if you are, I need you to leave the kitchen now thank you, you can see we are all quite busy here.” Unsatisfied at the lack of sensitivity displayed by Luigi, the man he had known ever since he was a young fellow starting out, James fumed off but not before he deliberately knocked over an open bottle of poppy seeds into the large pot of seafood chowder which was bubbling away at the stove beneath it. “Take that, you poppycock overgrown insensitive bastard!” James thought to himself directing the comment at Luigi. Thomas and Esperanza read the menu together and decided to order the following from the menu: For Entree, they chose the salmon pate with dill and fresh lemon For Mains, they chose the Char grilled Chilli Prawns with Paprika and Nicoise Salad For Sides, they chose the seafood chowder and For Dessert, they chose the chocolate Bavarian dessert. “Mmmm, just reading the menu is making me hungry, I can’t wait to taste all of these culinary treasures! Oh, thank you so much Honey for doing all this! I love you so much! And you were always so brave, such a strong dependable man to stand up to that awful person. I could never have had a better partner than you my love,” Esperanza said appreciatively to Thomas. “Pleasure’s all mine, my dear. You know there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do for you or Viola. You’re both the sacred treasures and the most important beings in my life. Without you, this all would not have been possible. You have been my strength and source of inspiration from the start. Happy Anniversary Dear,” Thomas leaned in, held her face in his hand and kissed her on her lips. Scattered in the largest room at ALLURE were guests of a wedding party of a wealthy family. There was a buffet banquet prepared with kitchen staff at the ready to serve the guests. Served on their menu were Seafood Chowder, Mussels a la Luigi, Roast poussin with cranberries, Honeyed Ham, Fried King Prawns with Vermouth, passionfruit cheesecake, the wedding cake which was made solely with Layered spiced cake commonly known in the native tongue of Indonesia as the Lapis Legit (which translates to layered spiced cake), chocolate mud cake and Crème Brule. It was a lavish affair and all the guests were dressed in formal attire. The women had donned a multitude of stylish elegant gowns, some had furs on their back and all of them weren’t lacking in jewellery. Many of them had platinum and gold necklaces around their necks with large gemstones such as rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds scattered throughout. Others had comparable bracelets and anklets of the similar price range. The men all had shiny gold watches. They were all immaculately dressed and behaved as such, well at least almost all of them were. There were several men and women who were heavy around their girth whilst others were amazingly slim. There was one woman in particular that struck Esperanza’s attention and look of disapproval. She was only young, probably around Viola’s age, maybe older by a few years. She had the thickest makeup on making her appear much older that she was quite frankly, like a statue or mannequin, quite unlike a real person if she were not moving. Her hair was long, black and thick and it was up in a stylised bun with a little shiny diamond crown encircling it. She wasn’t unattractive, in fact quite the opposite but her attire did not do her family or economic stature any justice at all. All she wore was a flimsy see through short dress that ended slightly above her buttock cheeks. It had a bare back and if she were to bend over slightly, one could see her buttocks clear as the light of the day if they can’t see it already now. She looked like she wasn’t wearing any underwear or was she? Esperanza couldn’t make out the lines of her panties through the see through dress and she could distinctly see the young girl’s nipples protruding beneath the sheer satin around her full round breasts from the effects of the cold air from the air conditioning. It wasn’t a surprise as to why the men both young and old were attached to her by some invisible string and constantly followed her around, some even touching her inappropriately which the young girl did not seem to mind one bit. An older lady came along toward the young underclothed promiscuous-looking girl, attempting to cover her and protect her modesty. “Oh Mother, will you just leave me alone?! Can’t you just let me be? I’m not a little girl anymore!” she yelled at her mother and threw the coat her mother had placed over her forcefully to the side. “Britney, stop this behaviour, we’re at somebody’s wedding for goodness sakes, now look what you’ve done to your poor nephew!” her mother sighed as she bent over attempting as quickly as she could to pick up the flung coat in which her grandson was in a panic and desperately struggling to find his way out of, sneezing profusely due to his allergies. Seeing her mother in pain from her back problems, Britney coldly and quickly picked the coat up and flung it to her mother, “well, sorry for my outburst okay mom, here’s your coat, I’m going now. Sister Penelope can keep you company. After all, she’s always been your model daughter and favourite anyway,” she added without sincerity and left with one of the young men. Her mother stood there speechless, guilty and ashamed, stifling her tears all this time wondering why her youngest daughter hated her so. The food for their table had finally arrived and Esperanza stopped staring. Britney had not left the premises. Instead she had brought her young male companion into the ladies room for a little one on one. He could not control his desires any longer and so couldn’t Britney. Besides she felt she needed a rush and escape from her own stresses no matter the method of achieving this. Having had no attention she thought she deserved from her parents, she believed that the attention of men was one of her many blessings and power she was not afraid to flaunt. Britney locked the door from within while the young man named David anxiously pulled down her flimsy dress revealing one of her breasts which was fuller than before and self-supporting. He reached for it and squeezed her breast softly with his hand, nuzzling at the bottom part of her slender olive neck. She moaned...her hands busily unzipping David’s trouser fly. His trousers fell down to his ankles, revealing his boxer shorts. David’s blood was pumping with adrenaline and excitement as he carried Brittany to the bench where the sinks were. This time he pulled her whole dress off over her. Brittany’s hair was no longer in a neat bun but was in loose locks and messy strands hanging freely off her face as they kissed, tongues intertwined. She was down to her G-string, revealing the amazing womanly body she had which is the ideal body that any woman would dream of having and one that men were infatuated with. Her hands were all over David as well, caressing his firm taut buttocks, masturbating him within his pants below his waist until he was hot erect and firm enough to penetrate her. He had his face planted within her bosom, his lips gently massaging her nipples and breasts with strokes of his wet tongue. Her other hand was masturbating herself increasing her excitement. David was moaning with pleasure and he was ready as she was ready to have him within her loins...

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