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Sixteen-year-old Ella wakes up from a coma with no memory. Soon she will discover 3 important truths: She isn’t entirely human. She has powers she can’t use because she is cursed. She is supposed to save the world without them.Share Tweet LinkedIn Embed pszr.co/kmjwL 505 views
|Science Fiction & Fantasy|
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The story takes place in a dystopia around the year 2124, 100 years after the world suffered a devastating war and a strange pandemic (trust me this has nothing to do with 2020 or the current events, I wrote this book way before that, maybe I have some clairvoyant powers myself), leaving the population reduced to two habitable regions: The Elite (Center of government) and the New People Settlement (Survivors).
It is discovered that The Army of Nactiar was silently behind the human war. It is led by June, an ancient witch who managed to steal two important magical objects: the book of the mark of the sun and the moon, which contains all the secrets of the universe, and The Elise Medallion, a gem coveted for its value and power. With them, she plans to alienate the supernatural races that inhabited the earth and condemn the human race to slavery. However, a third region remained hidden. Paradise is inhabited by fairies and humans from another world called Lubathar, who establish The Legion of Dreams on earth, a secret rebel population that will attempt to reclaim the earth for the human race by the hand of Ella the fairy prophet.
However, the fairy loses her powers thanks to a curse and remains unconscious for 100 years, the same in which the Legion manages to keep her safe while waiting for her to awaken. She also loses her memory and this new condition threatens the plans of the rebel fighters. Everything will depend on Ella, whose internal conflicts will make her question her role as the fairy prophet, and who will have to go through many tests before being able to face her enemies and her destiny, fighting as a regular teenage human girl.
YA: Ages 13-18
Review of The Lake of Miracles:
"In just over 200 pages the Lake of Miracles takes us through a series of adventures and misadventures with a wealth of words that create rich images in our minds. The story is a love story, the love that moves humanity to seek and give the best of itself. That love that redeems everything, everything forgives, everything achieves. We follow Agatha in a mix of Harry Potter, fables by Paulo Cohello, dragons and other fantastic beings touching on profound themes such as eternity, time, infinity, universe, good, evil, etc. represented in clouds, mountains, caverns, unicorns, mermaids, elves, forests, dreams, cities,... and yes, lakes. Lothar, Keno, Elise, Dante, Iriel, so many characters parade before us making us reflect on courage, dreams, fear, hopes, imagination. This book would make a great entertainment film for adults and young people alike. Highly recommended! Thank you Paola for this jewel that kept me awake reading avidly and asking me: what is going to happen?"
El Lago de los Milagros (2016)/ The Lake of Miracles (2017), an Award-Winning Book at the International Latino Book Awards 2017.
The Anxious Mom Manifesto: 18 Lessons to Control Your Anxiety Monster. Honorable Mention at the International Latino book Awards 2022.
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Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel
Immortal races opposing, in a world in which they don't belong,
the mystic symbol of the Sun will be reborn
and in the new-blood fairy, their destiny will be posed.
The new world will fall in chains.
Her blood and tears are all that darkness claims.
A brave heart fighting blind,
a great battle wrecking the land.
A decision made in the darkest night,
with all her strength win she might.
If there is a story worth telling, it is how the world stopped being what it was and came to the hands of beings who did not deserve it, followed by the plan of how we intend to give it back to the survivors. But to be able to tell it I must begin from the moment when I woke up from a long dream and when I thought that one's memory is essential to recognize her value.
I couldn't start telling it from the beginning. Now that I think about everything that has happened, I understand why things happen as they should, and when they should happen. Every moment is appropriate and perfect, whether it bears tears or laughter. I understand why playing with time is a very dangerous practice, because time can confuse the mind when it is not focused on only one thing: the now. Of course, the past tends to give us perspective, there is no better teacher than the past, especially after pain. In most cases when we reconstruct our own stories, we would like to change some detail, or we think that the alternatives would have been different in case we had changed some type of decision. But sooner or later we realize that this does not make sense because we are aware that the past cannot be changed, no matter how hard we try to think and imagine the infinite possibilities that could have emerged from a single event in our lives, none of that matters. The past is a time that can only be admired as a spectator if the mind decides to return to it, and we must learn and continue living with what is left behind.
And what about the future ... that fruit that has not yet been sown but that we try to harvest at all costs. And we spend our lives thinking about what we don't have yet when all we need to know is that we have fertile ground under our feet.
One day I opened my eyes and I didn't know who I was, or where I was. I must confess that for someone like me, someone who was kept in the shadows for so long, someone without memory, all of that talking about time is insignificant. Without memories, without a tangible past to learn from, how can one continue living, without knowing what is reality or fantasy in the reconstruction of a story that, although it is one's own, seems like the retelling of someone else's story? How to think about the future without feeling that we are driving blindly down a path full of meaningless nooks and crannies?
From the moment I woke up from the coma, I lived for months with a divided memory. I remembered absolutely nothing before my "accident." As the days passed, my memories were divided into two: Those that came from my dreams, the same ones that Amiel, my therapist, preferred to call "episodes." My other memory was spun with what I lived day to day, what I could learn about myself from others.
I met with Amiel every morning, and we talked about a little bit of everything. She started showing me dozens of photographs and videos that I could identify as recently given my appearance in them, I went through my past belongings, things that reflected what that supposed life that I did not remember had been. But all those faces, voices, things, and moments were unfamiliar to me. It was like watching someone else's movie. I had no idea who the protagonist was, or where the story was going. It was so strange for me to understand things in the world, remember historical details, recognize places on a map, have all my general knowledge intact, and know about everything except my life. It was as if someone had broken into the computer in my head and deleted the entire folder that contained specific information in my memory of who I was.
I trusted Amiel fully. She was one of the few people I didn't feel uncomfortable with. Now I fully understand why Amiel had the ability to make me feel at peace and why she was precisely the one designated to try to make me remember. Definitely, the council could not have chosen a better "therapist". Sweet, charismatic, always with a smile on her face, absolutely beautiful and elegant, possessing a charming naturalness and the most sincere look that anyone could have. At times I thought that her tenderness was not entirely earthly ... She was the only one to whom I could describe my "episodes" without fear of being judged or labeled as crazy. It was not easy to tell her everything I experienced during those days. There were times when I could swear that my "episodes" were more real than what I experienced when I woke up. Even so, the connection we have sometimes with certain people to whom we can be an open book is inexplicable. In those cases, it's better to let that happen and just let it be.
My first episode happened within days of waking from the coma. I had fallen asleep on the couch on a rainy afternoon. At that moment I had what I call a "lucid dream", those dreams in which I could swear were being a reality, perhaps elsewhere, but real, after all, with each of their sensations.
I saw myself walking in the middle of a swamp. I felt my legs sinking into the heavy wet ground, but I didn't mind the uncomfortable feeling of having them pass through the water and the brush. I could hardly see what was happening around me because the air was covered with a thick fog, it was like walking through clouds that are about to rain. It was increasingly difficult to try to break through because the undergrowth was getting more intense. My hands were trying to tear off what they could to move forward. But an intense pain had begun to spread throughout my body, exhausted from so much walking as if many hours had passed. I was wearing a strange metal armor, with a mark on the chest: the sun intertwined with the moon. I recognized it. It was exactly the same as the medallion that I wore on my neck, a strange, but beautiful object that I always wore asleep or awake and that for some reason felt like part of my body as if that medallion was the only bridge between my memory and my unknown past. The weight of the armor began to become unbearable as the minutes passed. My head, however, was uncovered. The undergrowth grew thicker, my pain was sharper. I tried to remove the armor, but it seemed like it was glued to my body. Suddenly I heard a woman's voice.
“Where are you? Come out of your hiding place little child. Sooner or later I will find you... Tell me how have you been? I'll find you, and you will give me back what you took from me.”
I started looking everywhere trying to distinguish where the voice was coming from. It was strange. I didn't see anyone around. The voice seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere. It was a voice that scared me. The sun's rays began to somehow penetrate the mist and upon contact of the light with the armor, it began to melt. In the distance, I observed a creature approaching. It was surely a white dove, but it was unusually giant, and on top of it was a woman dressed in white. She had hair black as night and pale skin that seemed translucent. She looked like an angel, or that's how I imagined them. She had a long staff stick in her hand, sort of like a magical artifact, it is the best way to describe that object which at its tip was what appeared to be a crystal ball. The woman flew over my head several times raising the long magic wand from which an incandescent light was released that began to expand, forming a protective dome over me. The woman in the dove began to scream to the air as if she was responding to the voice that spoke to me a moment ago.
“Leave her alone! You cannot harm her, you have no power over this kingdom.”
The voice replied, "Oh, but it's you. I'm glad to hear from you… ha ha ha” laughed the mocking voice, “your little protégé will not be hidden forever, and when I find her, neither you nor anyone else can stop me.”
"I'll never allow it, June," the woman on the dove yelled again.
"As always so sure of herself my dear Elise ..." replied the woman's voice, "I see that you have not lost your challenging spirit. It's okay. I will go for now. But I will come back and find her and she will be mine forever.”
A rumble echoed through the place. I was already without the armor that had completely melted. I was wearing only a white robe and the medallion that shone with intensity emanating a light of blue rays. Now I was barefoot. The undergrowth had also disappeared and the swamp soon began to turn into an endless desert, and I began to feel the warm sand. The dome began to fade as well. The woman landed the giant bird just a few steps from me. She got down, came over to me, and looked at me. Her blue eyes penetrated to the depths of my soul, I had never seen such a creature. "She surely is an angel," I thought again. Then she told me:
“It is time to wake up. But you should know that dreams sometimes lead us to memories. For now, wake up. And trust me.”
Suddenly I opened my eyes. I was convinced that although what I had just dreamed was something that did not make any sense, somehow it had to do with my past, but I had to decipher it. I felt completely exhausted, both physically and mentally, and in my body, I could still feel the pain of the weight of the armor and even feel the warm desert breeze. I never imagined that this dream was going to be the beginning of a war. The moment I opened Pandora's box. The beginning of true chaos.
As the days passed, the more I convinced myself of not being a normal girl. At first, I thought that I was in a kind of orphanage for young people with mental health issues, judging by the type of company with whom I later met in that place. None of the young people who lived in “Eden” were conventional, although now I understand that conventional does not mean the same for everyone and that the word normal can mean an innumerable amount of things depending on who judges. Besides, I now can see that we all have something we struggle with, and there is nothing wrong with it. Amiel had told me about them. They used to live in this place but were instructed to go and wait somewhere else until I woke up from the coma and it was considered convenient for me to see them back again. At the time she told me that all of us who lived there had been welcomed by the owner of the house since childhood, which he had named Eden for considering a paradise in a land of conflicts, something that I would understand later.
Daniel Lake was a fair young and enigmatic man, very wealthy and attractive not only because of his looks but there was an aura around him, a charisma that not everyone possesses. He was the first person I saw when I "came back." I still remember seeing him sitting by my side, somewhat nervous and clearly very tired. When he realized I was awake, this man turned into the personification of joy. In the days that followed, I learned that he was also a doctor, among many other things he devoted his time to. He did not appear to be more than thirty years old, something that I immediately saw as unusual for a high-profile neurosurgeon, judging by the multiple diplomas with his name that I later saw in his office. He was not one of those men with a pretty perfect face but very manly, although with a wise as well as sad look. His smile gave me confidence and his voice calmed me like hearing a lullaby. His presence was familiar to me but I was very confused.
"You finally woke up Ella!" He said to me when I opened my eyes in a room that didn't really look like a hospital, but it did have the same feeling. Cold, white, without many accessories.
That is how I knew my name, although the truth did not mean anything to me without being able to remember who I was. I learned more about him as the days passed. Daniel had lost the love of his life tragically, or that was what Amiel told me initially without giving me many details. In fact, I didn't have many details about anything really because Amiel assured me that it was better for my recovery not to know more than necessary. She told me that to alleviate his pain and loneliness, Daniel, who had traveled the world, adopted four children in different places before finally settling in the southern United States. He had adopted me in a Latin American country, but no details were provided about where or about my biological parents and honestly, I was not interested in them at the moment.
The hardest thing for me was seeing myself in the mirror. So much that, at some point, I asked to have them removed completely from the house. It was as if when I saw the girl in the reflection I was looking at a complete stranger. A sad girl with dark brown hair, long almost to the waist, and my caramel big but dull eyes. Not a very tall girl, but scrawny and weak, something that I alluded to being in a coma since in the photographs from the past I looked much more athletic and healthy in general terms. My skin had paled a bit, but shortly after I started taking on the sunlight again, I got my natural tanned color back, perhaps what I liked most about my physique.
Eden was, without a doubt, a special place that Daniel built thanks to his enormous fortune. It could not be otherwise, it was a place that seemed taken from a dream. A huge house, secluded, far from the chaos of a big city. He also named it Eden because in the center there was a very old and lush tree that was said to have existed there forever. Ferns and moss sprouted from its branches, and its trunk was incredibly thick and strong. Around it, the house had large gardens covered with flowers of different colors, a stable, a huge library, an indoor swimming pool, a small cinema room with a projector, which was the maximum technology that I saw in that place without televisions or telephones or audio equipment, and a garden bordering a lake at the rear of the house, surrounded by a small but dense forest. However, the main attraction of the place was that tree with large, intertwined branches in whose shade I liked to sit and read on sunny days.
Amiel had told me that in that house four of us grew up as siblings: Nicholas, Leonardo, Sarah, and I. All very different, both physically and in our personalities. She kept assuring me that when I would be ready to see them, they would come back. In reality, I felt very lonely. She spoke about them often maybe with the intention of making me feel better, even hopeful to share my life with more people, but I could not recognize any of their faces in the pictures and none of the stories she told me felt familiar. I actually was dreading meeting them, the idea made me anxious and I was more comfortable on my own.
Soon, the time had come when Daniel felt it was time for them to return. One day I woke up hearing a great noise inside the house. Amiel came into my room and told me that my “siblings” had arrived. I was very nervous to meet them. Before going down the great stairs that led to the living room, I had to stop in silence several times to breathe a little, as anxiety was taking over my body like an invasive demon. I did not like to feel that sensation, because I felt that it was as if a force was absorbing me, while my heart was racing and my head was spinning making me believe that I was going to succumb to an imminent death. Amiel had taught me various techniques to counteract that feeling, but in these cases, it was very difficult for me to find calm. I didn't know if I was ready to hang out with other people, and what to say to others who seemed as strange as me... How wrong I was at that time.
I heard Daniel's voice calling me, while I walked very slowly trying to feel something that would restore my confidence. I had to stop to breathe and find a balance within myself and the strength to keep walking. I had realized over the past few days that my sensations were extremely important and spot-on, and this was kind of encouraging as I couldn't remember. My senses would be the replacement of my memories meanwhile my instinct would be my own internal language. I had spent many days alone in that house wandering the corners, trying to identify sensations. Despite not remembering anything at all, there were things that aroused feelings of familiarity in me. For example, the huge shelf with small statues and mementos from different parts of the world that Daniel kept as one of his greatest treasures. I still didn't understand how such a young man had been able to travel the world and study so many things at his age. But strangely, the very sense of familiarity kept me from wondering much about these details. I trusted Daniel and Eden was a nice home where I felt safe after all.
I saw them standing in line waiting for me. They looked like soldiers or kids from a school waiting for their teacher. None were over sixteen years old. The pink-haired girl with the face of a catalog doll, Sarah, had tears in her eyes. The blond boy with cherub curls, Nicholas, had a wide smile on his face and an expression of emotion in his eyes that he seemed not to contain. But who undoubtedly caught my attention was the stocky boy with dark, almost feline eyes, who was holding the largest and most beautiful sunflowers I have ever seen: Leonardo. His gaze provoked in me a sensation that to this day I cannot forget. Despite not recognizing him, for a few seconds, I had an intense urge to run into his arms, a feeling I held back because I couldn't really remember him. Now I understand why I felt it. Leo is without a doubt the most special person in my life. He always was, always has been, and always will be despite everything. It is the same connection that I have referred to before, it is one of those people with whom we have experiences that neither forgetting memories nor distance, nor time can erase.
Remembering them was impossible. I did my best to pretend my happiness to see them. But I was stunned in an unreal stupor that froze me for seconds until Sarah ran to hug me. She hugged me as tightly as she could and started crying.
"Ella!," she said, "you're really here! This is incredible!”
I was practically immobilized as well as shocked. I heard the voice of Leo who clearly annoyed said, "Sarah, at least let her breathe."
The girl let go of me and mumbled "you're right Leo.” Then she started touching my head, stroking my hair, and holding my hands while asking thousands of questions. "How do you feel? Can you remember anything?” she asked and followed with something that struck me as the strangest thing I'd heard in all this time. “I'm dying for you to tell me what TharSomnus is really like.”
“Enough!” Leo yelled at her as he took her by the arm and pulled her away from me. "Sarah, control yourself. Can't you see that she doesn't remember anything? The only thing you are doing is scaring her with your silly questions.”
"It’s Ok I am fine," I replied to calm things down. “Forgive me, forgive me all, but I don't remember anything.”
Sarah stared at me with such great disappointment hidden behind her beautiful green eyes that I felt very sorry for her.
"I really want to remember you," I said to her, "from what I see you were, you are," I quickly corrected, "someone important to me and in time I will remember that."
Leo and Nicholas were silently watching us. The girl was still petrified, making remarkable efforts not to cry.
“Oh no please, you are the one who has to forgive me. I believe I didn’t think about your reaction. I knew you had no memory, but it is very difficult for me to see you here after all this time and not be able to hug you.”
"Give me time," I replied with a wink.
"We're glad to see you back, little troublemaker!" Nicholas told me, giving me a tender hug.
Then they all stared at Leo who was still standing as if waiting for his turn. My heart started pounding when I saw him approaching me. But it was not another panic attack like the ones I felt sometimes. What made my heartbeat this fast was the incredible attraction I felt immediately for him...
"You may not remember, but they are your favorite flowers," he said, smiling, handing me the sunflowers. At that moment we hugged very tightly for a few seconds, I closed my eyes and for the first time since I woke up from the coma, I felt a feeling of natural love, however, a love that I did not know how to classify.
“They are beautiful. Thank you very much!" I said, trying to look away, as I began to feel myself blushing.
Sarah took me by the arm and led me into the dining room. They had prepared a great breakfast for me, according to her without help from the cooks of Eden. Daniel was at the other end next to Amiel watching us with joy as if they had been planning this reunion for a long time. On Amiel's recommendation, no one could harass me with questions, or many stories to make me remember something. And although everyone made an effort to normalize the situation, there was a certain tension. Another recommendation was not to mention my accident.
The morning was passing normally. My siblings, who were really just housemates, started telling trivial stories. Sarah, for example, said that she had prepared three different desserts, but none of them had turned out the way she wanted. Leo was happy that he had been able to repair his old motorcycle and Nicholas mentioned that he was consumed in a new set of historical books he had found, his favorite pastime. When I asked them if they attended any school, they were silent.
"You had all been homeschooled and it would continue to be that way." Said Daniel who quickly changed the subject and started talking about music.
Almost at noon, I apologized, saying I was tired. The truth was I wanted to be alone. I felt somewhat overwhelmed with everything that was happening. Sarah offered to walk me to my room.
"I'm happy you are finally here Ella," she said. “I'll leave you alone to rest.”
Then she gave me a kiss on the cheek and left. Alone in the silence of that room, I decided to close my eyes. I wanted to sleep a lot, to melt into that state of unconsciousness in the hope that when I woke up from this nightmare I could remember something. I don't know why I thought maybe dreams could be a safer place, where I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed by all these confusing surroundings. I imagined one day finally waking up happy, remembering everything, and without so many questions. I did not know which was worse to remain in the semi-darkness fully aware of it or to be in the semi-darkness like a vegetable, as I had apparently been in the last years of my existence.
I had a session with Amiel later that day, where I confessed all my feelings to her. I tried to be as honest as possible. She just watched me and made notes on a brown notebook. Later I met everyone again for dinner, and fortunately, this time everything was much more informal, I felt much more relaxed and at ease.
When It was finally bedtime I was relieved to be able to be myself, to think or read alone in my room. But all the emotions of the day had resulted in a great burden that did not give me peace of mind. Try as I might, I couldn't sleep. Then, tossing and turning in my bed, I felt someone approaching my room. I opened the door. Leo was standing there and his gaze once again penetrated all my senses. But this time I could not contain myself and I let myself melt into his arms without imagining that what he was about to confess was going to end up confusing my mind and my heart even more.
I let him in, while he was making sure no one saw that he was entering my room.
"I waited for everyone to go to sleep. I had to come to see you alone,” he said somewhat agitated and trying his best to keep a low voice. “I have waited so long for this moment and I was hoping you would remember me when you saw me. Sorry, I don't want to scare you."
"Don't worry," I said, still feeling stunned by all my emotions.
"If someone finds out I'm here we'll be in big trouble," he said, stroking my face. "If I'm here it's because I know deep down you know who I am."
"I feel something I can't explain, but I don't know if I'm ready to hear truths at this point. I have many questions ... I want to know the truth, but I am very afraid. I don't understand why I feel different with you. I don't remember you, but I trust you, more than any other person with whom I have had any contact with. I can’t understand it!”
"Ella, I don't know if what I'm going to do right now is crazy, but I want to show you something, as a test. Maybe it will work."
He grabbed my hand and stealthily led me through the corridors of the huge house to the library. He turned the light on. It was a wide room very far from the dorms. The shelves went up almost to the ceiling that had a dome shape from which a huge sparkling chandelier was detached. While walking among the perfectly organized books, I confessed something to him.
"This place… this place gives me the feeling that I have been here before, how can that be possible?"
"It makes perfect sense!” he answered excitedly. “How can you not feel it. Books are the love of your life, so to speak. And I brought you here because it was where you spent most of your time before you lost your memory before everything changed completely.” He said, turning sad and lowering his head.
"Leo, please tell me about my accident."
"It wasn't an accident. It was a mistake. My mistake. If only I had noticed before I ... well, it's no use. I can't tell you anything for now. You wouldn't believe it. But what I can do is try to get you back to being you, nobody knows you better than me. You can be sure of that.”
"You and I ..." I said a little nervous, "are we... something?"
Leo smiled. "What's between you and me goes beyond a romantic bond. We are not a couple if that is what you mean. But we aren't siblings either as Amiel's story says. We grew up together, that part is true, but we have a very different story from other people who grew up together, in fact, you may have already realized that in this house we are all different and one day you will understand that sometimes love does not need a label.”
"Well, you've already cleared one of my doubts," I said, a little disappointed and confused at the same time.
Then he tried to cheer me up. “It will seem very strange, but in this library, there are many answers to your questions. You are going to spend a lot of time alone and I just wanted you to know that here in this room you are going to find what you are looking for.”
Then he led me to another long and narrow corridor with red walls and in them were dozens of photographs of Daniel: in the Statue of Liberty, standing in front of the Mona Lisa, in front of the Eiffel Tower, next to the Pyramids of Egypt, walking on the Chinese Wall ... they were fascinating photographs from all corners of the planet.
"That is the world that no longer exists Ella." He sort of mumbled.
“What are you talking about?”
Leo responded, “I can tell you what happened, but I ask you only one thing. Let me speak first. I know you are going to have thousands of questions. What I'm going to tell you is a somewhat difficult story to believe. When I'm done, you can ask me all the questions you want. I promise you that I will respond to everything, as I can.”
I raised my hand as an obedience signal and said "promised," then I settled in to listen to him. I was very intrigued by what he was going to say, but more than knowing the story he had promised to tell me, what I wanted was to continue listening to his comforting voice and have the opportunity to observe him without the need to explain it.
"That world in the photographs disappeared. Nothing, or rather very little, remains of everything you could see in that hallway. Before your ... let's call it an accident, a great war broke out. A war like no other. No one ever knew for sure who started the first round of attacks. The truth is that it was a devastating event. Several countries were attacked at the same time. Millions of people died in a single day, as many were injured, and many more disappeared. The conflict was such that there was no time to cry or lament because the retaliation of one another came very soon. The policies that ruled the world failed, governments collapsed, and suddenly the war had spread like a ravenous fire swiftly, and devastating everything in its path."
I was staying silent as I promised but I was extremely confused. I was surprised by a melancholic feeling that suddenly consumed me as his story was becoming more somber and apocalyptic. On the other hand, I couldn't believe a word that he was saying. Little did I know that this was not even the most improbable part.
He continued, "then it came to the failure of all communications and technology. It was there when people panicked and this made things even more complicated. Many felt the need to flee, trying to find their loved ones at any cost or to take refuge in places they believed safe. Little by little everything fell apart like a house of cards, there was no way to stop the chaos. Each one survived as best they could. Countries were at war with each other, and people began to hurt each other, no matter who they were, where they came from ... all trying to survive, to protect their own, out of fear ... they were moments of darkness and pain. Only one thing could end the war. A terrible disease began to spread. The dead from the war were suddenly surpassed by the dead from the plague. It was the end of the world predicted by many."
"Hold on!" I said because I couldn't hold my thoughts. "Are you telling me that the world became 'The Walking Dead' while I was in a coma?" and I started laughing. He looked at me so serious and even a little angry.
"I told you! You have to let me speak! This is not a joke!" he said, "Do you want to remember or not? Because if you do, you need to listen to this."
"Ok ok don't get mad! Please continue, so what happened? Did they find a cure or something?"
"A group of scientists claimed to have found the cure. But by then it was too late. The world's population was being exterminated. Strangely the world succumbed to extreme natural phenomena. All of this almost at the same time. It was something that couldn't be natural. But it happened and only a very small part of the population survived on just one part of a perfectly habitable continent. Many were immune to the plague. Others lived with the disease. The scientists who found the cure called on the survivors to rebuild the planet."
At this point, I was between confused and stunned. Then I started thinking "how long was I out?" I had missed the end of the world and I started to give in to the possibility that Leo's story was true. In that case, maybe not even knowing about it was a blessing in disguise. I noticed how Leo's face started sort of transfigurating somehow. From the initial excitement now he was revealing sadness and anguish, feelings I was able to share through his now gloomy narration. As if his feelings were translating directly into my intuition. I wanted to hug him and also, I was filled with questions. I decided that I was going to let him talk even if what he was saying could resemble a fiction movie.
"It was when The Elite was founded. A city in North America where survivors came from everywhere... The Elite dismantled all kinds of government, army, or militia organizations. They said that civilization was going to depend solely on science, but under a new era that supported primitive principles, even all kinds of remaining technology and weapons were destroyed. A kind of army was created to surround and protect the city. Only those chosen by The Elite could enter there, but all the survivors intended to do so. Upon reaching that place, people underwent a series of physical and mental tests to find out if they could enter. The scientists were looking for people, according to them, free of the virus. Or people worthy of the cure. They said their mission was to repopulate the continent and start a new world. Only the scientists knew the criteria to be able to choose the inhabitants of The Elite. Those who were rejected, often without any explanation, had two options: First, they could go to a nearby place called The New People Settlement, which purpose was to work for The Elite. They were people willing to work day and night not for their survival but for the sustaining of The Elite and under the promise that, through a lottery that was exercised on a regular basis, many would be allowed to be members of that new world under the guard of the scientists. A second option was only given to some good talented workers, chosen to be servants in The Elite, although not enjoying the status of a citizen of this small city, at least they could enjoy many of its benefits. In The Settlement, there was only room for people willing to do hard work in agriculture, mining, hunting, and many other manual things necessary for survival. Those who did not want either of these two options could go looking for their luck elsewhere, although it was known that the hope of survival elsewhere was practically non-existent. The world had almost run out of fertile soils. It was very strange, but thanks to these natural phenomena most of the earth was frozen or burned. The Elite had become a kind of promised land, where everyone needed to get to and which was somehow miraculously protected, just like The New People Settlement. It was as if these two regions had been the only ones where devastation and raging nature had failed to reach. The resources to get there, however, were extremely scarce around."
"What about those who weren't selected" I dared to ask.
"Those rejected immediately without even the right to enter the Settlement? Well, It was like a death sentence. They were rejected without explanation. Usually, they were those whose disease was already very advanced and nothing could be done for them, or older people. But there were also cases of healthy people. Many families or groups of people who arrived together were separated when they got there. Many sacrificed themselves, they chose to renounce their passage to The Elite, but the renunciation of that privilege was exile for the person and for his family. For some, it was still devastating to have to leave their loved ones after all the pain the world had endured. Once you renounced The Elite there was no going back. They were not even allowed to enter the Settlement. However, many entered accepting the separation of their relatives in the hope that one day they would meet again. They even thought that being inside it was easier to get an influence that would allow their people to live in The Elite. But this was not so."
I simply couldn't believe any of this. I couldn't even imagine it. There was a question that I had in my head. How long did it take for all of this to happen? Leo silenced for a bit and I was curious about so many things. "How did such places survive? How about the laws, they had to have them right?" I asked instead.
"Of course." he continued. "In The Elite, money, influences, blood ties were worth absolutely nothing. No one could buy or secure their passage there. Many millionaires and even important leaders ended up living in the Settlement, or even in exile. In The Elite, people didn't need anything. It was the same for everyone. They had everything at their fingertips, including old-world luxuries. In the Settlement, the inhabitants were satisfied with what they were given daily for their work and lived with families that The Elite itself made up of groups with similar activities. Once inside The Elite or the Settlement, you couldn't escape from there. Entering was like a contract for life. In The Elite, everyone was equally "rich" and in the Settlement, everyone was equally "poor." In the Elite there was plenty. In the Settlement, there was only enough. In the Elite the dwellings were luxurious. A family could inhabit a house or a large apartment with one or two servants. In the Settlement, the houses were more precarious and had to be shared between two or three families. Other rules had been established in the Settlement. Women after the age of thirty were sterilized. Only two pregnancies were allowed before that. When the children were ten years old, they were tested. Many ended up being "claimed" by the Elite. Others followed the fate of their parents in the Settlement. The little technology that had been recovered was in The Elite. Its inhabitants had access to water, food, and even entertainment. In the Settlement there was only electricity, although limited; there were hours when it was cut. Water three times a week. Each house was assigned a person in charge of collecting the food that was distributed by the Elite army. Everyone ate the same, everyone earned the same. It could be said that the inhabitants were slaves. There were rules shared in both The Elite and the Settlement. It was forbidden to practice or preach any kind of religious belief. You couldn't steal, kill, or even lie. If found guilty of any of these crimes, the punishment was only one. Exile. There was a radical law. Those who try to rise up, escape, attack, or go against the Elite, would find death, not only their own but that of their family and friends. Without discussion. Only in those cases, exile was not an option. They were executed in public so that others would take an example. There were no second chances and there was no age discrimination. The sentence was irrefutable."
I wanted to know how he knew all of this. Was he part of one of those places? But I couldn't ask that yet. I wanted to know about the origin of those rules. "Who made this thing? Was someone in control of ruling?"
"A woman ruled The Elite. It was said that she was the one who discovered the cure, among many other things. She was a scientist, who had also discovered a way to make people long-lived. They said that she had found the elixir of eternal youth, available to people who entered The Elite. She made the rules. She was heavily guarded. She was, is, the most powerful person on the planet, because until today everything remains the same.” Leo appeared to have finished, now with tears running through his face. It was clear to me that all of this had caused him pain, and I couldn't imagine what people had to endure while this had happened. Knowing this made me think that I was actually better without any memories. I cannot imagine reliving the experience.
I remained silent for a few minutes, completely overwhelmed. Then something strange happened. I had the sensation that what Leo had just told me was a lie. Just a fictional story. For a moment I thought of laughing, but Leo had spoken with such realism and propriety that I didn't dare for fear of offending him. This couldn't be true according to my rational thinking. I refused to believe that something like this had happened, however, I finally asked what I was dying to ask: "Leo, how long has it been since all this happened?" Why does Eden exist? Didn't the war get here? How could Daniel protect this place?
But before Leo could open his mouth to reply, Daniel stormed into the library.
"Leonardo! I must have guessed. I knew I couldn't trust you."
"I can't lie to her, Daniel, I'm sorry," Leo replied somewhat defiantly.
“Go away. We'll talk tomorrow.” Daniel ordered him.
Leo left without saying goodbye and without saying another word. I was petrified, silent, feeling like I was living someone else's life. My mind could not understand how all this had happened. In any case, my logic told me that if all of this was true, it shouldn't have been a long time due to the photographs where, despite me seeing smiling and enjoying life, I practically continued to appear the same age.
"Ella, I'm sorry you had to hear this," Daniel said and continued “It wasn't the way I planned to tell you all this.”
"And how else I was supposed to know about it?" I replied, a little annoyed, "are you going to answer me again with the it-was-not-convenient-for-your-recovery thing? What is this all about, eh?
“A lot of time has passed. Your health is the most important thing now. All these changes are very difficult to assimilate.”
"You're going to answer me what Leo was going to answer before you enter. It is not a question. I am demanding it!”
“Alright. I will try.”
“I hear you.”
"I'll do something much better. I'll show you,” he told me and asked me to accompany him to the room where the projector was. He fixed the machine and started showing me photographs of the extent of the war's destruction. It was there that I discovered that the story was true, or at least pretended to be. Daniel said, “the truth is that the war never ended Ella. Eden was a place that existed a long time before the war broke out, it was the place where we lived. But we had to flee from there, then you had your accident. We went to another place for you to recover, a place out of reach of all this monstrosity. When you recover your memory you will understand that I was trying to protect you, so I had to rebuild Eden elsewhere. And I did it especially for you so that when you woke up you would not find a world in ruins, but one that you could remember. We are not close to The Elite or The Settlement. This place is secret. Unreachable.”
"Where are we now?"
"Ella, all of the truth will seem to make no sense. Many years have passed since your accident.”
"And do you think everything I've heard so far makes sense?"
"I know it doesn't make sense to you. But you have to listen to me. All of this happened and there is no way we can alter it and I need you to process it before I keep telling you more truths. It is enough for one night my child. You have to know that your life was at risk and we needed to get you to a place where no one could find you. In the world, there are places where it is somewhat difficult to reach, but ideal for the survivors, beyond the reach of the Elite and far from the Settlement. They are secret places, this is one of them. Please, trust me. You must have patience. I can't tell you everything now because you won't be able to understand it, give yourself time, it will be easier if you remember. I will propose something to you; If after a couple of months from today you can't remember anything, I'll tell you about it even if you don't understand.”
"Trust me," Daniel said, giving me a kiss on the forehead. Then he took me to my room.
Fatigue finally overcame me. But I couldn't rest. The images of what I had heard and seen a few moments ago were fixated in my head. Daniel was right about something, it was a lot to process. But when did it all happen? How did humanity as I remembered allowed this to happen? The next morning, still stunned by the revelations, things would get even stranger and more implausible.
I am so happy and grateful about the response to this book campaign. So far 2 publishers have manifested interest in my book!
on March 14, 2023, 2:18 p.m.
Can't wait to see the book!
on March 15, 2023, 5:18 p.m.
Thank you so much! This means the world to me. :)
on March 15, 2023, 12:17 a.m.
Super excited for this new adventure!
on March 15, 2023, 5:19 p.m.
Thank you! :) i am excited too!
on March 15, 2023, 12:49 a.m.
Thank you for your creativity and storytelling. ❤️❤️
on March 15, 2023, 5:19 p.m.
You are so sweet! Thank you! :)
on March 15, 2023, 5 p.m.
Very excited to read it, Paola. Proud of you!!
on March 15, 2023, 5:19 p.m.
Thank you so much!
on March 17, 2023, 12:51 p.m.
Mucha suerte con este nuevo libro que in duda alguna va a ser un éxito! Felicitaciones por todo lo que has logrado
on March 21, 2023, 11:07 a.m.
Gracias Rose! Significa mucho para mi. :)
on March 20, 2023, 5:10 p.m.
I can’t wait to read it!!! Te admiro mucho Pao y te deseo muchos éxitos 🙏♥️
on March 21, 2023, 11:07 a.m.
Mil gracias Su!!! :)
on March 21, 2023, 9:16 a.m.
Congratulations on your new book!!! I’m so excited for you, I wish you all the success in this new project. I can’t wait to get my book and start reading!
on March 21, 2023, 11:08 a.m.
Thank you so much!!! :)
on March 21, 2023, 9:39 a.m.
I am beyond excited to give this book a read! So proud of you, Paola.
on March 21, 2023, 11:08 a.m.
Thank you so so much! It mean a lot to me! :)
on March 21, 2023, 1:51 p.m.
Lo conseguí! Deseando recibir tu libro!
on March 21, 2023, 7:58 p.m.
Excited for you, Paola! Thank you for sharing with me so I can support and encourage others. You've got this!
on March 22, 2023, 7:11 p.m.
¡Muchas suerte y sigue adelante mi escritora favorita!
on March 23, 2023, 2:31 p.m.
Way to go Paula! I'm excited to read it!
on March 23, 2023, 3:53 p.m.
¡Felicidades Pao! ¡Qué se te sigan cumpliendo los sueños! Muy feliz de poder apoyarte