Every myth starts with truth...
Eva Martinez isn’t sure why she’s pursuing a master’s degree in religious studies, except that something about the material resonates in the depths of her soul. But when her dreams start to be invaded by lost gardens, forbidden fruit, and a strangely familiar mystery man, even she has to wonder if she’s taking her schoolwork too seriously.
Then Eva starts to notice the strangeness seeping into everyday life. The man from her dreams is real and Eva feels a curious connection with him. Her classmate, someone she’s known for years, starts to act increasingly volatile. And it seems like everyone, including her bosses, is keeping secrets…secrets that have something to do with her. Eva’s determined to find out what’s going on, how it involves her, and why she’s transforming into someone buried deep in her memories.
The deeper in that Eva gets, the more she feels like she should understand what’s happening around her. The secrets conceal real dangers, and if she can’t untangle them and find the truth in time, she--and all those she’s come to care for--will face defeat at the hands of an ancient enemy, one who recognized Eva long before she learned to recognize herself.
Waking up to the phone ringing was probably a bad start to the day. Eva groaned and rolled over while the phone continued its ungodly noise, earning a protesting meow from her large white cat, Azrael, who had made himself comfortable across her back in an attempt to claim the rest of the bed as his own. The wisps of her dream—one that seemed to repeat constantly these days—were slow to drift away.
She had an old phone, left over from the days when phones still had cords, hanging on the wall. It’d come with the apartment and, since she couldn’t justify a cell phone on her pay, she thought it was probably a good idea to have some way for people to reach her. The issue was that no one ever used it, except for charities, telemarketers, and, unfortunately, her mother.
She pushed out of bed and moved into the dining room, staring at it, debating whether or not to answer it. It wasn’t that she didn’t love her mother—she did. She was the only family Eva had, since her father had disappeared before Eva’d been born and her grandparents had died in a car accident before she’d started school.
If she didn’t answer, her mother would probably think something had happened to her. With a sigh, Eva crossed the room and answered. “Hello.”
“Querida,” came the overly cheerful voice of her mother. Eva winced. “It’s been so long since I’ve heard from you. How is school going?”
Eva could almost hear the unasked questions in her mother’s voice. When are you going to switch to a real major instead of that useless religious studies degree? What do you think you’re going to do to pay off your loans when you graduate, if you ever graduate? Have you found any friends, or anyone who’s more than a friend?
“It’s going great,” she lied. Here would be where she would elaborate, if she could think of anything to say. She furrowed her brow, searching for something, anything, to add to her original statement. “I got into that class that I really wanted.”
“That’s nice, chica,” her mother replied. “When do you think you think you’ll be home next?”
When do you think you’ll give up on that silly degree and return to the real world?
Eva shook her head. “Oh, probably not until break. There’s so much to be done—essays and projects, and I’ve got to apply for some grants before next semester. Plus I got a job and I can’t just leave without warning. You know that.”
“Ah, yes, at that bookstore.” The tone of her mother’s voice let Eva know exactly what she thought about that. “You should come home. The community college is offering teaching certification now. You could take that, become a history teacher. It’d be steady work, and the pay would be enough to support you.”
“Mother, we’ve talked about this,” Eva said. “I don’t want to be a history teacher.”
“Well, what do you want?”
Eva groaned internally. She didn’t know what she wanted. Sometimes she didn’t even know why she was getting a master’s degree in religious studies; she wasn’t particularly religious, but there was something about the subject matter that almost haunted her. She’d taken a single class on the subject as an undergraduate, and now look where she was.
But she couldn’t tell her mother that. It would just be a confirmation that Eva didn’t know what she was doing. It would be a confirmation that she needed to be told what to do, and Eva would find herself stuck back in that small town teaching history to teenagers who couldn’t care less. Trapped forever.
“Look, Mom,” Eva said, “I’m happy here. I’m really enjoying things. Everything’s great.”
“Everything?” her mother asked. Eva could hear the implication in her voice. “Because you’ll never guess who I ran into the other day. Do you remember Mrs. Wong’s son? He’s back in town, so if you transfer back to the community college, you two can spend some time together.”
Oh, God. She did not have time for this. “Everything is fine, Mother. I’m going now. I love you, adiós.”
“Eva, wait,” her mother said in that tone of voice that meant business that every mother seemed to have.
Eva sighed and waited.
“Mira,” her mother said, sounding perfectly serious. “I’m worried about you. You used to be so friendly and happy, and now you avoid me and keep everything to yourself. I want you to really think about what you’re doing. And if, at Christmas, you can’t tell me that you’re happy and make me believe it, I want you to come home.”
Unsure what to say, Eva felt an unpleasant feeling coil itself around her heart. It wouldn’t be enough time.
“And I mean it, querida. Well, have a good day!” And she hung up before Eva could respond, had she anything to say.
Eva slid down into her chair, dropping her head into her hands. It was bad enough that Eva didn’t know what she was doing, but to have her mother constantly trying to get her to do something else was exhausting. If only she were more sure about her degree. Then she’d be able to tell her mother why she was doing what she was doing, and then her mother could be proud of her, could believe that she knew what she was doing.
And Eva could believe it too.
About the Author:
Kit Campbell has never met a mythology she hasn’t liked. This sometimes leads to issues, such as the occasional Norse God of Thunder showing up in the Garden of Eden. She adores weaving in the possibilities forgotten magic can bring to a story, and enjoys making up new creatures, such as large, venomous monsters that hunt in packs.
Kit’s stories have been published in half-a-dozen anthologies, and her YA novella, Hidden Worlds, was released by Turtleduck Press in 2010. Shards is her first full-length novel.
Kit lives in Colorado in a house of ever-increasing chaos. She can be found around the internet at kitcampbellbooks.com, @KitCampbell, and on Goodreads.