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Cover of Book 2 of the PRIME series of novels
For the taster chapters for book 2, we join the story in 1605AD. Morag the old lady of the forest, has agreed to revive the spirit of Lady Maria who allows the shapeshifter to take her form.

 

“May I come in, my Lord?”

His Lordship's heart was beating as fast as when he attended his first ceremony. “Of course, my dear. Come in - please come in,” he said nervously as he ushered her into the room.

Morag stepped into the bedchamber. She was barefoot and simply wrapped in a shawl.  Morag had never seen such luxury.

“My Lord, what a beautiful room, and what’s this, a bath in a bedroom?” She dipped her hand in the water. “Warm water. Is that for Maria?”

Unsure of himself his Lordship began to stutter before she put him out of his misery. “My Lord, I hope we can get us both in there. It certainly looks big enough?”

Again, he stuttered. “W-well, we always used to, when we were much younger – that is.”

Morag pursed her lips holding her smile in check. “So, my Lord, it looks like we're not just going to talk about the boys.”

Deep inside, Morag felt elated. She turned to the bed; several dresses had been laid out for her to choose from. “What lovely dresses, scents, oils, and perfumes.” She dabbed the scent on the inside of her wrist and held it up for his Lordship to smell. “Does this remind you of her?”

He took a deep breath. “Yes, lavender. She used to add it to the bathwater.”

Morag opened the jar of oil and rubbed it between her thumb and forefinger. “I see, and this?”

“Her favorite oil. She loved me to massage it all over her – it made her skin so soft.”

 “She was a fortunate lady, having a man like you to look after her. Before I change, I would like to thank you for letting me wear her beautiful clothes. It is such an honor.”

 His Lordship took both her hands in his and looked into her eyes. “It's me that's honored, Morag.”

She responded by raising her eyelashes invitingly. “Well, my Lord, let us hope that we will both be well and truly honored by the end of the evening.”

The statement eased the tension, and they both burst out laughing.

“Right, my Lord, it's time for you to go. I need to change in more ways than one.”

“Right. Yes, of-of course.” His Lordship said as he backed away nervously. “Of-of c-course, I'll arrange for more hot water to be left outside the door if needed. Leave the door ajar when you’re ready.”

Morag took the jar that contained the essence of his Lordship's wife, removed the stopper, and took a deep breath. She turned to the mirror; it was larger than any mirror she had ever seen.

She removed her shawl and let it fall to the floor. She could see the reflection of her whole body, a body she could no longer recognize. Her youth had gone, where there were laughter lines, there were now deep creases. Where there had been a full bosom, she now had breasts that pointed directly to the floor. She watched and waited. Well, my lady, let’s have a look at you.

The image started to change. Morag could feel the muscles tightening throughout her body. Tingling sensations contorted her body as it began to take the form of his wife. Her creases slowly disappeared and returned to laughter lines, and her face became that of a younger woman. Not as beautiful as the Princess, but very pretty and a lot smaller. Her sagging breasts started rising and began to firm just a little. After all, his wife was middle-aged, not a teenager. Her hair was dark and straight, again not as dark as the Princess's, but still quite long. She turned in a full circle as she studied her new form in the mirror.

Yes, very pretty. So, this was the woman that stole his Lordship's heart.

A voice deep inside her touched her senses as the memories began to return. It asked questions.

*Who are you? What is this? I do not understand. What's happening? Where am I?*

It was often like this when a spirit made its way back to consciousness, a dormant soul trying to understand what was happening to them.

*My name is Morag. I am a close friend of your husband, and I am reviving your spirit and your memories. Your husband has some crucial decisions to make regarding your boys, and he wants to discuss them with you.*

The voice began to get stronger. *My boys? I can only remember one, Peter.*

*You died giving birth to your second child, whose name is Saul.*

 *My baby lived. I had no idea. How old is he now?*

*He is six years old, and Peter is ten.*

Morag could sense the panic emanating from Maria.

*My memories have been dormant for six years. Have I been nothing for six whole years?*

*

We travel almost four hundred years into the future for the next taster. More and more of Paul’s inherited memory is returning and Alice decides to help bring them to the fore.

Paul tossed and turned all night. Alice knew he was troubled. The news about his father had devastated him. She watched as he slept as she had done secretly over the last few nights, unable to believe that they had found one another again after all these centuries.

Her mind, however, was in turmoil. Paul’s father, having disappeared from that room with the door locked from the inside, did not make sense. It had happened before – or so it was rumored. It was worrying, and there was the fact that Ursula was getting stronger day by day. She knew she should be dust on the carpet after four hundred years and wondered how on earth she was still alive. She shook her head in confusion, she knew Sarah weakened after a matter of days, so why didn’t Ursula?

And then there was Paul’s dream about the ring. Could it mean he was being drawn toward the dark? If he was getting Primevil urges, the Prime would have to kill him. And his red dreams, were they secret desires worming the way to the surface? Since she was a child, she had called him, trying to draw him back to her by implanting happy memories, so where did the red dreams come from? Questions, so many questions.

Paul began to talk in his sleep. He was very agitated, and she realized he was dreaming about his past life once again. She listened intently and could make out the odd word. Maria, Peter, Saul, Sarah.

Alice watched him for up to an hour, tossing and turning, finally, he started to wake, and when he opened his eyes, he saw Alice was, once again watching him.

“Will you be watching me every time I sleep?” He said sleepily.

“You were dreaming, Paul, quickly before it drifts away. What were you dreaming about?”

He blinked a few times as his mind cleared. “It was what I call one of my white dreams, I have had it before several times - a feel-good dream.”

Alice nudged him as his eyes began to close once again. “Paul, your dream. What was it about? Don’t go to sleep again.”

Again, he blinked several times, clearing his mind. “It was those two kids from way back in the sixteen hundreds, and it was a continuation of the dream I had a couple of days ago.”

Alice prompted. “Do you mean Saul and Sarah?”

“Yea, that’s right. I didn’t realize I had told you, their names.”

She presented her Mia smile. “Hmm, what were they doing this time?”

“Moving into their new home.”

Alice paused and thought. it might be a good time to give the inherited memory scenario a little nudge.

“You mean Earlswood,” she prompted once again.

They had been drinking, but he had not drunk that much he couldn't rationalize. He studied her face intently.

“That’s right, the manor down there, how would you know that?”

“Remember our conversation at the top of the Tor, you know, the hill that used to be the Mount of Avalon – the one about inherited memory?”

He didn’t answer, he simply nodded his head and kept his eyes firmly fixed on hers.

“That’s what this dream is all about. it’s your ‘Prime ancestral memories.’ I know because I too have had that dream many times.”

He shook his head negatively. “That’s not possible,” he argued, “two people can’t have the same dream.”

Alice laughed. “It’s possible if it is a true memory. Do you remember the names of anyone else in the dream?”

“Yes, there was his brother---.”

Alice pressed two fingers against his lips. “Don’t say his name. Anyone else, no names though?”

“Sarah’s Sister, their mother and father.”

“Stop there. Okay, do you want me to tell you, their names?”

His eyes remained locked on hers. “Ok, go for it.”

“Saul’s brother's name was Peter, his mother was Maria, and she was married to Lord Monkton, and Sarah's sister was Ursula, the woman in the painting in the master bedroom. How did I do?”

His eyes were still firmly fixed on hers, his mouth half-open. He shook his head slowly in disbelief, his mind lost in time. She waited and left him to his thoughts.

“Prime dreams, you say?’ he prompted, ‘like, Prime - your religion.”

She kissed him lightly on the lips. “It's not a religion, Paul, it's a group of people, a special group of people, super Druids if you like. Prime human beings, a line that goes back to the beginning of time, and you are one of us – only you don’t realize it yet.”

Paul was stunned into silence, and he felt the hairs rise on his neck. He looked into her eyes and sensed the unknown depths within her, finally, he found his voice.

“This is getting creepy, Alice. I mean, talking to birds is one thing, but...”

She squeezed his hand to reassure him. “Are you okay, Paul? We call these flashbacks, you are beginning to recover your Prime memories, I know it happened to me a long time ago - and it does come as a bit of a shock?”

Paul sat perfectly still with his mouth half-open as he stared blindly at the wall.

Alice got to her feet and left him to come to terms with this startling information and headed into the kitchen. She called back. “Tell you what, I think you need a strong coffee.”

She returned five minutes later and handed him his drink. He immediately wrapped his hands around the cup and gazed into the swirling liquid.

“So, you’re saying this dream is something that happened to someone hundreds of years ago, and somehow I can remember it.”

“Yes, Paul, you have simply inherited the memory. If what you are telling me is true, you have remembered them all your life. See, it’s nothing to worry about, your mother was right.”

Paul studied Sarah searching every facet of her face for clues. “Alice, when you joke about having a long memory, this is what you mean, this happens to you?”

“Yes.”

“Have you told anyone else?”

 Alice smiled, and again it took his breath away. “There are thousands of people like us Paul, as I said, we are known as the ‘Prime.’”

*

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