The holidays were so crazy, I nearly forgot all about this! From now through Friday January 9th, you can grab my paranormal novella on Amazon for free! Dreams of the past become a message for the present when Iona starts seeing Mayan temples and dreams of death.
By day, Iona Mendoza is a college student at the University of Arizona, studying psychology and trying to avoid Justin Tabers, an annoying fellow student. By night, however, she is the daughter of a Mayan priest, being forced to marry against her will before the neighboring kingdom attacks her city. As the danger escalates, Iona begins to encounter issues in her real life–or are the dreams more real?
She must figure out the mystery before war comes to her dreams and possibly takes away both her futures.
This can’t be a dream.
Iona walked through the center of the marketplace, bustling with women wearing cotton blouses and skirts or men wearing only loincloths. They spoke in a near constant chatter of syllables she knew she shouldn’t understand, but she did. It was crowded, the sun blazing overhead, and heat of the earth seeped through her thin sandals. People muttered about the lack of rain, the lack of food. It hadn’t always been this way, Iona knew, although she didn’t know how she knew. She fought her way through the busy streets, towards the temple district, towards home.
The palace was a long rectangular building with many windows and doors, two-storied and flanked by towers. There were memories, memories that Iona had but could not clearly recall, of battles that had been fought between local tribes, leading to the buildup of higher walls, grander towers. She lived inside the palace, in one of the many rooms, but she was not royalty. As soon as Iona thought that, she was inside the palace, in one of the rooms, dimly lit by a single window shining light onto an earthen floor. Her father was there, speaking to her.
“There’s talk that Ucit Zok is going to attack the city again,” he was saying, but Iona was only half hearing the words. Something felt wrong, but she wasn’t sure what it was. She looked down at her hands, noticing the brown skin, the calluses and cracked nails. There was a jade bracelet on her wrist that looked like a parrot. Those were not her hands. And yet, they were.
Her father spoke again. “Ixtar, do you hear what I am saying? The city is becoming unstable. I want to make sure you are safe. I’m going to arrange your marriage to Tuk Baal, the merchant. He is wealthy, and he has the option to trade with our enemies or leave this city if things grow worse.” Iona stared at the wizened-looking man before her, wearing a long loincloth and a beaded necklace with some kind of animal claw dangling just above his chest. He was a stranger. Yet he was also her father.
“I don’t wish to marry him,” Iona found herself saying. And she didn’t–Tuk was a stupid, loud man who laughed too much and showed off his wealth.
“You will marry him. The wedding will take place in three days, during the summer solstice. It is an auspicious year.” A chill went through Iona at her father’s words.
“I would rather die,” she told him, but she obediently took the clay tablet from him to deliver his message to Tuk Baal.