IMPOSSIBLE is not a word that fits Raven Hill’s life until she meets the emotionless, physically untouchable Storm God. He unravels her mysterious past, but can he discover love?
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Raven knows no one will believe her. Giant tiger-like creatures did not just leap from the clouds, and invisible forces do not just save your life during Sahara Desert sandstorms. Impossible, they always said, scolding her at the age of twelve. Ten years later, Raven knows the impossible is possible, and finds herself tormented with many unanswered questions concerning her birth and her mother’s mysterious disappearance.
Perhaps falling in love with Nevar, an emotionless and bodiless Storm God isn’t a good idea, but the attraction they feel for one another is impossible to deny. Soon it becomes clear that he is the only one who can unravel her puzzling past and perhaps save her life. But an evil Sea Goddess knows exactly who Raven is, and even more importantly…what she is.
The Sahara Desert
“But I did see it,” Raven declared emphatically, hands just above her hips, and glaring defiantly up at the nanny.
“That’s enough nonsense for one day, young lady. Your father would tan both our hides if he knew you’d wandered away unattended. You know better than that.” Ms. Myles bent over turning down the covers on the small cot, and motioned Raven forward, pointing at the bed.
“Why doesn’t anybody ever believe me?” She pouted and stepped ahead, tripping on her long white cotton nightshirt.
Raven snuggled down into the covers. She’d been wrong—being twelve years old was worse than being eleven.
Ms. Myles crouched down onto the carpet that lay in the sand beside Raven’s cot. She pulled the covers up under her chin.
“My goodness child, you have the most overactive imagination of anyone I know. Perhaps you had too much heat today.” The woman’s hand touched her forehead.
“I wore my hat all day…just like every day. I’m not overheated,” she grumbled, frustrated. “When will Papa be back?”
“I’m not sure when your father will be back. They are travelling quite a distance today. It’s my guess he won’t be home until long after you’ve fallen asleep.”
She looked up at the woman who had been her nanny for as far back as her memory would go. She always pulled her red hair back into a tight neatly kept bun. Her hazel colored eyes stared warmly down at her.
Raven yawned. “I don’t think I will go to sleep. What if I have a nightmare about what I saw today?”
Like every night, Ms. Myles kissed her on the forehead before turning to the zipper on the netting that enclosed her bed from the outside insects. “Sweetie, you’re yawing already. You won’t have a nightmare, but if you do, you know my bed is just on the other side of this piece of canvas. And your father is on the opposite side. You’re right in the middle, you only need to shout and we’d be here in a second.” She smiled, pulling the zipper down and disappeared into the main room of the large tent.
Raven didn’t care what they thought. Stormcat was real. She’d already given him a name, certain that she would see him again. Why wouldn’t they believe her? Well, tomorrow she’d prove it. The only problem would be finding him again, and that would depend on the weather. Raven overheard her father’s men say a Haboob was brewing. She knew the Arabic word meant “strong wind”. Would he jump out of the clouds again tomorrow?
She strained to keep her eyes open, not wanting sleep to come. Stormcat would be friendly…wouldn’t he? He had jumped out at her with a growl. With a giant yawn, her eyelids fluttered shut.
* * * *
“Well, sleepyhead are you gonna stay in bed all day?”
Her father’s teasing tone roused her. “Papa, you’re here!” she squealed, reaching her arms up toward him. “I missed you.”
Her father pulled her into his arms for a giant hug. “I missed you too, sweet pea. Ms. Myles tells me you had quite the day yesterday.”
She struggled out of his grasp, and sat straight up.
“Papa, I saw a giant tiger in the clouds. He jumped out of them straight at me,” she explained, bubbling with excitement.
He pulled the glasses off his face and frowned, peering down at her. “A tiger you say. Interesting indeed. He must have been very large to jump down here from the clouds. You know tigers don’t live in the Sahara Desert. Are you sure it was a tiger?”
“I knew you’d believe me! Nobody else would. I’ve named him Stormcat. I think he likes the stormy clouds. He was very large…as big as a car or bigger!”
He rubbed his chin as he always did when deep in thought. “Well then, you and I are just going to have to make a trip to go and find him, won’t we? But, I do have one request first.”
Raven sighed in disappointment. “What?”
“I’ll be gone for half the day, but this afternoon you and I will go find your…err, Stormcat, on one condition. I want you to stay in the perimeter of the camp until I get back. No ifs, ands or buts. It’s only for a few hours. Do we have a deal?”
“I hate those types of deals.” She whined.
“Yeah, I know you do, but those are the terms.”
“Okay, I’ll wait until you’re back, Papa.”
His large smile warmed her heart through and through. “That’s my girl.” He kissed her on the cheek and exited the room.
Raven swung her legs off the cot and onto the carpet. Running, she followed him unnoticed. She ducked out of the netting and carefully peered out the door of the large canvas tent as not to be seen. Her father, the prestigious Professor Hill, stood talking to Ms. Myles. Raven tried desperately to hear the conversation, but she only caught a few words of her father’s speech. “…don’t worry, she’ll listen.”
She clenched her small hands into fists. What could she do, she’d made her father a deal? He may have arranged the idea, but she’d stick to her promise. At least he believed her—didn’t he?
* * * *
The morning hours raced by and lapsed into the afternoon. Raven gave way to disappointment as she realized her father would likely not be home on time.
She stared down at the live habitat she'd created for the insects she collected. The glass aquarium bustled with life today. The Scarab Beetles scurried back and forth as if anxious.
A gust of dry hot desert wind teased the rim of her wide sage green hat. She didn’t need to wear it today. The clouds were coming and the smell of rain hung in the air. Raven took the hat off setting it on the arm of the chair. The hat had symbolic meaning for her because it belonged to her mother. She never went anywhere without it.
The wind continued to blow and Raven looked up into the sky. In the horizon, she could see the grey clouds swirling as they danced forward to cover the red sun. A storm was coming. Why hadn’t her father come back? Restless she jumped off the chair to go in search of Ms. Myles.
The camp buzzed in a flurry of activity. The men were ensuring the tents were tightly affixed to the ground. She found her nanny closing up trunks filled with dishes and others with clothing.
“I’m worried about Papa, Ms. Myles. He said he would be home by now and a storm is coming.”
The woman bent down in front of her and smiled. “You have nothing to worry about, Raven. Your father is well accustomed to being in the desert. Perhaps he made a huge discovery. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”
Raven sagged in defeat. “Yes, I suppose you are right, but I am worried about him. The sand storm is coming.”
Ms. Myles stood and continued packing. “You worry too much, my sweet. Can you please do a favor for me and make sure all your personal belongings from outside are securely put away or brought into the tent? We don’t have much time so please hurry and return here.”
Raven, exited the tent as the canvas flapped viciously in the wind. She peered way up. A wall of silver gray clouds towered high into the sky bringing the dark wall of sand. Was Stormcat up there? She knew he would be.
She carefully placed her aquarium in the metal storage cabinet outside the tent. Shielding her eyes, Raven headed to the door. Men were shouting orders over the howling storm.
She heard Ms. Myles yelling for her. “Raven, hurry, the storm is almost on top of us.”
Raven turned one last time, looking up at the sky, just as her hat flew off the chair and into the air.
“No!” She screamed, panicked, and bolted back into the gale force winds in the direction of her hat. Ms. Myles shouted at her to stop, but she didn’t care. The hat flew along the desert floor, Raven in pursuit. She was unaware, that with every step the darkness descended.
She ran until she thought her lungs would explode. No longer could she see her mother’s hat. Tears streamed down her dusty face. Suddenly scared she turned back from the way she’d come only to face the fury of the storm. She coughed and fell to the ground. Sand bit her sensitive skin.
“Papa!” She shouted into the deafening noise. “Help!”
It was as dark as the night. She buried her nose and mouth into her shirt, trying desperately to breathe. Raven remembered the stories she’d heard, men could die in these dust storms, and end up buried alive. She pushed herself to her feet and stumbled a few more steps only to get knocked to the ground by the wicked force of the blowing wind. She drove herself to stand once more, but as she stepped the ground disappeared from underneath her. Raven screamed and tumbled over and over down the sand dune.
When she came to a stop, she sputtered, wiping at her mouth. She squinted and rubbed her eyes, desperate to see anything. Then out of the blackness, she saw movement from the sky.
Orange, grey and white, the large cat pounced straight for her. With fangs bared, Raven could only scream, “Stormcat!” before coughs wracked her body and darkness consumed her.