I’m from a small town in southern Illinois. My childhood was filled with more shadows than light. It wasn’t until I lit a candle that I could see my way through the darkness of my past. Now that I have, I have more memories that do not remind me of my troubled past. Forgiveness, is certainly the key. Where do you live now and what do you do for a living? Is there something you’d rather be doing?
I live in a Victorian house somewhere in the middle of nowhere. If you look outside the window all you will see is a pitch black starry sky above and below you. This house is just a subset of a greater place called the Watch Tower. That’s where I work. The Watch Tower is a magical corporation set up to protect the world from evil entities like the Shadows which I fight. As for doing something else, I already tried that. You see I was going to be a teacher, until I realized I was settling for a dull life filled with angry administrators, indulgent parents, and self-involved children. I would much rather be fighting evil.
What’s going on in your life right now?
Right now, I am celebrating a shadowless life. I’m going to pause for a moment and reflect on the good in the world, before I take on another assignment at the Watch Tower. It’s true that there is darkness everywhere, but taking on the shadows took a lot out of me. I may have other journeys soon though. That has yet to be determined.
Is there someone special in your life?
Well, yeah. Hunter. He is the love of my life. It’s been a bumpy road that we’ve traveled, one that has spanned more than one lifetime, but the journey has been worth it in the end. We continue to spend every moment we can with each other.
How did you meet? What’s his/her family like?
I met Hunter when I first came to the Watch Tower; however, he would tell you that we’ve met before. Which, I now know is true. We’ve met before and we will continue to meet again in each life. We’re soulmates. His family, is well, not in the picture. Neither is mine, but that suits me just fine. The Watch Tower has become our family.
What’s keeping you two apart?
Right now, only a layer of clothing separates us. We’re pretty much inseparable these days. You can’t go through what we have without a need to stay close. That’s not to say that I don’t take time away to go see Jackson, although Jackson has a new love himself, so that kind of keeps him busy too. My life is pretty complete, if you think about it.
What one thing could you do that would make you feel like the relationship will work out?
Live. Breathe. Continue to take each day one step at a time and find the beauty in the world around me. If I can do that, it crosses over into my everyday life, even my relationship with Hunter. With the shadows gone, the light has found its way back into my world.
Any last comments?
Well, I just wanted to say that it’s important to cherish the people you have in your life while you have them. You never know when the shadows will take them away. And even though we’ve defeated them in our world, they still exist in yours. Do whatever you can to find a balance of peace and happiness in your life. Don’t take a single person for granted, for while they may seem to be completely healthy, they may be hiding a darkness inside that eats at their very core. If you love someone, tell them. Don’t wait until it’s too late. They may need to know that someone else cares.
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When Lyssa was at her lowest, she found herself surrounded by dark entities formed entirely from shadows. Their darkness had eaten at her very core until she had almost nothing left to give. Tired of their corruption, the young witch decides to fight back by trying to locate their power source unaware that her attempts would lead her down a path that would change her life forever.
Lyssa glanced around the clearing, not daring to move too quickly. She shouldn’t be out this late at night. The quad was barely lit up, and the shadows covered every inch around her, so she inched forward one step at a time. Lyssa needed to get back to the safety of her dorm room, and she needed to do it now.
A swish of air interrupted the silence behind her. It was not necessary to turn around, for she knew who it was…or rather, what. She grabbed her pentacle between her clasped fingers and took a deep breath. Even though she felt her courage falter, she knew the gods would protect her.
Lyssa walked a few more steps ever so slowly, so that every movement was almost undetectable. The hairs on the back of her neck rose as she closed her eyes and dropped the pentacle. It rested between the rising and falling of her chest as small angry breaths tried to break their way free from her lungs. If it wanted a fight, then so be it. She was fed up with the taunting shape, fed up with the web of darkness that tainted the world around her. When everything in her body told her to flee, she knew it was simply not an option.
Dropping her backpack, she whirled around to face her pursuer. A black shadow stood behind her, a strange black being somewhere between here and there, with no reason or rhyme, just a hollowness that ate up the air around her. It had no discernible facial features, its only human feature a pair of glowing yellow orbs where she assumed its eyes should be. As it moved closer to her, Lyssa knew it was daring her to run.
Gathering her courage, she found her voice. “I will not be threatened any longer.” The black being moved closer, floating as if there were no separation between the ground and the air. It reminded her of a ghostly grim from horror stories of long ago, and a shiver ran down her spine. She closed her eyes and concentrated on bringing her energy from within to protect her. Raising her hands, she rubbed them together slowly, picturing the energy that would soon swirl like fire between them. The newly learned skill started to generate heat as she breathed in the air around her and pushed out everything she could into the slowly growing orb of energy in her hands. An electric current started to pick up, and Lyssa took another deep breath to hold it there.
“You need to leave, right now! You’re not welcome here!” Part of her might regret banishing it, for she had learned to do no harm, but the desire to live through this moment pushed her forward. She believed in Karma, the magic of redemption and the power of returns, and it sat on her shoulders like some devil vs. angel debate. However, this thing was threatening her, and she had given it plenty of chances to leave while it still could. She had seen it before. It terrorized innocent children at night, and chased people away from places of gathering with feelings of discomfort, ill will, and a gut wrenching need to leave as quickly as possible. It hated happiness and thrived on breaking up the stillness and peace within others. It had visited her the year before, when the difference between life and death had been a mere slice away.
The dark shadow continued to float toward her, and she had no other recourse but to react. Raising her hands, she shouted “Away!” and her hands released the ball of energy. It shot through the air like a speeding bullet, and the bright light singed the darkness in the air around it and smashed into thousands of pieces as it slammed into the shadow. The dark being dissipated into a swirling mist before her, dancing like cigarette smoke in a clear open sky, before it was finally gone.
Author links, webpages, fan pages, and book trailers:
Trailer for The Land of the Shadows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lWSkgPvcTg
Author Bio: Ever since childhood, Elissa Daye has enjoyed reading stories as an escape from life. When she was a teenager she started to write her own stories that kept her entertained when she ran out of books to read. When she was accepted into Illinois Summer School for the Arts in her Junior year of High School, she knew she wanted to become a writer. Elissa graduated from Illinois State University in December 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and began her teaching career, hoping to find moments to write in her free time. After seven years of teaching, Elissa decided to focus on her writing and made the decision to put her teaching years behind her so that she could create the stories she had always dreamed of. She is now happily married and a stay at home mom, who writes in every spare moment she can find, doing her best to master the art of multitasking to get everything accomplished.