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Trapped, Book One of the Shadow Shaman Saga


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I'm going to share a few chapters of my novel that I finished during the National Novel Writing Month last year. Because the novel is currently for sale on Amazon, I will not link to it nor do I want to spoil the whole thing. I would however like to get more feedback on it before I begin laying the foundation for the sequel for this year's NaNoWriMo.

Without further adieu, I hope you all enjoy Shawn's adventures in The Shadow Shaman Saga, book one, Trapped!
Chapter One

Dreams are power.

Shawn Mendez had heard his aunt mentioning it more than once since he’d revealed that he’d begun having dreams of the past, the present and the future. That he’d seen shadows begin to dance upon the walls, beckoning him to come and join them. His aunt had quickly given him a crash course in the history of their family. She told of how they had migrated to the United States from Europe around the age of the Industrial Revolution, settling in the far south, where magic still held sway and was respected. His aunt had quickly plied her trade as a witch.

Yeah, you heard me. A witch.

Not the kind that you think of that constantly is on television commercials, promising to read your fortune or tell your fortune through a reading of her crystal ball. No, she was a genuine witch. Complete with hexes, curses and bones. She said bones and blood were old magic, very powerful. She explained that every third generation, a male was born with the gift. A shaman. It was his job to keep watch against the nightmares of the Shadow Realm through dreams.

Shawn had laughed at her.

It wasn’t very funny now though, he mused, as he struggled against the ropes binding his wrists and ankles, causing them to dig painfully into his skin. He couldn’t tell where he was or when he was. Time passed differently here. He’d learn that the first few times he’d ventured in his dreams or ‘traveled’ as his aunt called it. He’d thought it pretty cool at first, a sort of ‘bragging right’ to his friends. She’d warned him that this was no game and that he needed to treat his gift with respect or he would soon find himself in a predicament because with great power, comes greater dangers.

“You need to respect your gift Shawn,” Aunt Agatha had warned, her beautiful features frowning at him as he struggled against her vice-like grip on his hand. “It is a rare and powerful thing. Your dreams hold more power than you know. You can travel the past, the present the future. See what is and what is not. You are able to travel through dimensions, across worlds. You are not bound to the physical realm.”

Shawn merely grumbled and muttered that he understood. Now, he was wishing he’d heeded her advice more closely and accepted her multiple offerings to tutor him. How could anyone blame a high school student for not wanting to take things seriously? He was more concerned with what was happening the next, upcoming weekend, girls and sports. His friends felt the same way and seemed supportive. He wasn’t sure if they really understood what he was talking about though.

Now though, he wished for company, any company at all. Anything but the awful silence of the shadows around him. He’d heard the sound of footsteps and had yelled out for help several times. It only earned him a gag for his trouble. The fabric smelled of old, gym socks and he didn’t think he wanted to know just whose socks they were. The floor he lay on looked to be made of wood; but, it sounded wrong when the creatures moved across it, all give and no creaking.

The world around him was composed of shadows and light that reflected nothing, his eyesight straining to see farther than the few feet in front of him. It proved fruitless and he settled back against the wall behind him. Despite the utter bleakness and lack of color, he felt no chill, no change in the temperature. It would have been strange if he hadn’t been distracted by everything else currently going on at the moment. He shuffled his feet, bringing his knees up to his chest so that he could rest his chin on them. He felt tears begin to brim on the edges of his eyelids and wondered if anyone was even aware that he was trapped here, trapped in his dreams.

I have to thank you Shawn… the voice echoed through the shadows, startling him out of his self-pity party. He glanced around, looking for the source of the voice and heard only a dark, drawn out chuckle.

Looking for something?

Come out and fight me!

You don’t even know what I am. It replied, matter of factly. Shawn realized, the voice was right and that he probably shouldn’t be encouraging some unknown entity to ‘fight’ him.

Point taken. Still, what do you want with me?

The fact that you’re asking shows how little you really know. The voice chuckled again, though there was anything but mirth in it. The voice faded into silence and Shawn found himself left to his thoughts. He wondered why the voice had decided to speak with him at all. There was always a purpose. He’d learned that much from the countless action movies he’d watched growing up with his best friends. The thought of his friends twisted a knife deep in his gut and he wished more than ever he could go home. He didn’t even know if they knew he was gone, trapped in this hellish nightmare.

You could always give in. The voice whispered against his ear, all silk and honey.

**** you. The words seemed stronger than he expected as they whispered off his lips, a sign of his inner strength and desire to get out of his predicament, no matter how difficult it might be before then.

Realizing there was little else he could do at this current point in time, he rolled on to his side, his knees tugged tightly against his chest, arms circled around them as he closed his eyes. He didn’t know how you could dream in a dream; but, somehow he was falling, his mind traveling through a blur of space and time until the world came slowly into focus and he realized he was in his room. Yet, somehow, he wasn’t. He reached out to touch one of the posters of his favorite sports team on the wall and frowned as his hand passed clean through.

“I warned you,” His Aunt’s voice was amused and mischievous. “I told you that your gift was not something to be taken lightly and as any adolescent, you ignored my advice because, let me guess, you know everything.”

He turned to see his Aunt, her long auburn hair in a braid over her shoulder, sitting on the edge of the bed, her eyes closed, her fingers rubbing small circles over his hand where they lay, motionless, on top of his covers. “You didn’t tell me you meant this!” He cried, trying to reach out and touch her and growling when his hands passed through her as well.

“You can’t touch this reality while you’re a shadow,” She murmured, lifting his hands to clasp upon his chest. “You would have known this had you listened to me. Alas, we have little time, child.”

“Little time?”

“We don’t have time for pointless questions,” She replied, her voice rising slightly, her eyes flitting back and forth quickly beneath her eyelashes. “Our link grows weaker and I do not know how much longer I can maintain it. Ask your questions before it fails because I do not know if I can do it again.”

“Where am I?”

She chuckled. “You do not know?”

He growled in response.

“Fair enough,” She murmured, standing and walking to the window, somehow avoiding the piles of strewn clothing and toys on the floor. “You are in the Shadow World. Do you remember it from the few lessons you allowed?”


“What do you remember?” A test then.

“That it mirrors our own, a world of gray and white, outlines, vague shapes. A world lacking substance, a world of darkness and bleak despair.”

“Yes, yes. Go on.”

“This world is as old as ours, created in a fit of jealousy by the Shadow King. Jealousy at his brothers for their creation of man and his perfection. The Shadow King, mocked by his siblings for his disfigured face, had long ago adorned a mask and his deformity in shadows, preferring the solace and company of darkness. He hated man and his perfection, wanted to destroy it.”


“The siblings sacrificed themselves to bind their sibling in his world, denying him a bridge to ours until our ancestors were born, the first shamans, dream walkers.”

She chuckled. “Close enough, continue.”

“I don’t see what this has to do with anything,” Shawn grumbled, rubbing his temples where a migraine was beginning to develop and the world began to shimmer and blur. “Wait!”

His aunt’s voice sounded far away, disappearing down a long, dark tunnel. “Remember your power, Shawn.”

My power? He mused quietly to no one in particular. My power to dream? This power hasn’t caused me anything but trouble. I mean, I’m trapped in the very dimension that our elders imprisoned the Shadow King. Perhaps…no, he moaned in despair.

I see you’re as wise as your aunt gives you credit for! The voice whispered, surrounding and enveloping him. Now that you know who I am, what are you going to do to stop me?

Why are you asking me?

The voice laughed mockingly and faded away again, leaving him to his silent reflection. He wondered at the passing of time until his stomach rumbled and he curled tighter into a ball. He forced his eyes closed and let his mind drift, though instead of traveling this time, he found himself fading into the welcome embrace of sleep and he allowed himself to be enveloped by the welcoming darkness.

Tick tock, Shawn, tick tock. The time of the eclipse is nearly upon and when the time comes, you’re going to help me shroud the world in shadow and in the darkness then, I shall finally bring an end to my sibling’s perfections. So sleep tight and wake, you have work to do when the time comes. So much work.
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