Originally, Blood of Zee was going to be a series of short stories. As it turns out, Blood of Zee: Unfinished Business was just the start of something wonderful brewing in my head, much to large to keep it a short story. Therefore, Part two in the Blood of Zee series, Old Blood, New Life, has become a novella. I’m incredibly excited about it. So here, take a little peek at the beginning. Oh, and don’t forget to buy a copy of Blood of Zee: Unfinished Business on both Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook. And when you get Blood of Zee: Unfinished Business and write a review, you enter to win an Amazon gift card!
Blood of Zee: Old Blood, New Life
Huffing and puffing. Out of breath. She can’t stop running, running as fast as she can. Sweating. She slips on the freshly buffed floor of the Gallery, sliding down the hill. She hears the rumbling–the horn of the approaching subway train. She hears the four, hurried footsteps behind her as she continues toward the sound of the train. She makes it to the stairs, the clear, glass double doors where the train is waiting impatiently on the opposite side. With her SEPTA Transpass card in hand, she wildly pushes the double-doors open, running, slid her transpass through the card reader, burst through the turnstile and onto the subway car, just as the doors began to close.
The thirteen year old girl barely made her way onto the train. Exasperated, she walked down the aisle to an empty seat. Before sitting down, she removed her coat, turned it inside out and put it back on. She removed the bobby pins in her hair to let her long, black curls tumble onto her shoulders. She removed a pair of eyeglasses from her pocket and placed them securely on her face.
Thirteen year old Zoe sat down and leaned her head back against the window, heavy breathing beginning to slow to normalcy. She smiled as she raised a hand to pat her neck which was protected underneath a stolen, knit, multi-colored scarf—the scarf that concealed the $150.00 worth of stolen necklaces around her neck. Stealing had been her hobby, her little secret since her father passed away six months ago. She exited the train at the 30th Street Station and rushed to her next train, to Cynwyd, hoping to make it home in time for dinner.
“Not like she would notice if I were late, anyway,” Zoe thought to herself as she continued upstairs to the Cynwyd platform. The train arrived and fifteen minutes later, she was in Cynwyd. The chill, November air bombarded her face while the descending sun seemed to do its best to warm the girl’s body, shining on her with each step, as if struggling to stay in the sky until Zoe could make it home.
Zoe walked through the front door of her stone, Colonial home to find her mother laying half on the couch and half on the living room floor, a spilled bottle of whiskey next to her. Zoe sighed, rolled her eyes and walked up the stairs to her bedroom. It was just another day in the aftermath of her dad’s death. Zoe removed her coat, and hung it in her closet. She twirled around as she unwrapped her new, unpaid for scarf from around her neck. She gazed into her mirror above her dresser as she twirled her new necklaces in her fingers, listening to the clinking of her new, unpaid for bracelets on her wrist. She took the bracelets off, placing them gently onto her dresser, and she took off all of the necklaces—all but one, the pearl necklace her father had given her for her thirteenth birthday. That cold, wintery day, she unwrapped the huge jewelry box to find what she thought were old people’s white pearls connected to some sort of crest, surrounded by diamonds; she had pretended to be happy about the gift, expelling a faint, yet high pitched “Yay. It’s pretty,” not knowing it would be the last material gift she’d ever receive from her father. He said it had been in his family for centuries.
She caressed the necklace, staring into the mirror. Then her hand slowly went down to the stolen necklaces spread out onto her dresser. She imagined her reflection in the mirror shake its head at her and ask “Why do you keep doing this, Zee?” And she whispered back, “Because this is the only thing people don’t know about me. Everyone knows me as the girl whose dad died in an explosion. Everyone knows me as the daughter of the drunken lady. Everyone feels sorry for me. They don’t need to. I can take care of myself. See?”
Zoe had been taking care of herself since her father passed. Even after her mother remarried some rich bloke, Zoe still felt as if she were on her own. Alone. She clung to the memories of her father, the many lessons he bestowed, including La Verdadera Destreza and Krav Maga, so much so that she frequented the gym in Center City that her father would take her to. There, she felt safe and at home, but when she left, that emptiness returned and she became lost once more.
Now, eighteen years old, about to graduate high school, Zoe has found that everything she knew was a lie: her mother is not her mother, her father is not dead, she has an older sister who, by anyone’s definition, kicks ass. More importantly, she has a purpose, a destiny to fulfill—something to do with her blood. And for the first time in a long time, Zoe didn’t feel so lost.