The following is a draft excerpt from my upcoming novel DAYBREAK RISING and may not 100% reflect the future published text.
Privilege was something Adan Poole had in spades when it came to being Spirit-touched, but it didn't mean that people automatically liked him, either. His name spoken in reverence or scorn, depending on the day. People loved him for his ability to communicate with the Spirits, or they hated him for deciding to live his life as the man he was.
Today was a day in which his fellows treated him with decency, mainly because they needed something. He found himself in the middle of an argument with his client and their surviving relatives, wishing he had some aspirin on him.
No such luck, Danny.
“How do we know Dad actually said he wanted the estate divided between all the children? Even those without magic? That doesn’t even make sense!” a woman named Claire was muttering under her breath to her sister, the daughter of one deceased Timothy Carrington whom contacted him in the Spirit Realm for representation regarding his estate. Unfortunately for both of them, this meant dealing with his rather unkind children.
“Listen, you’ve got to help me out. I passed by your office every day before I died. Give a guy a break, will you buddy?” Tim pleaded. Normally, Adan refused requests from the dead, though Tim eventually wore him down.
What concentration of Adan’s wasn’t taken up from projecting Tim’s spirit into the realm of the living turned to the spirit as he stared at his eldest daughter with an expression that was half horror, jaw dropped and muscles tense, and half rage.
“Claire Alissa Carrington, those people ‘without magic’ are your brothers and sisters, and their children. I raised you better than this. Mister Poole, the terms of my will stand--and if Claire will not comply, I ask that you remove her from it and replace it with, oh--I don’t know, yourself.” Tim said as he continued to glare at his daughter.
“He doesn’t need the money! He’s rich!” Claire countered. Adan raised his hands in a gesture of entreaty in an effort at calming the tension.
Steady. Don’t lose the projection.
“Be that as it may. Mister Poole, if my daughter does not distribute my funds and assets as per the terms of my will, I trust you will remove her from it and take the things there for yourself or your family.”
“Mr. Carrington, legally I can’t actually do that…” He paused just long enough that Claire finally turned to look at him, “What I could do is distribute it to the University as a charitable donation. Pay some college kid’s tuition.” he nodded as Claire looked scandalized.
“Either one. Claire, you have one week.” Tim said sternly. Adan noted that her shoulders were hunched, expression solemn. He broke his connection with Adan, the lawyer showing himself out of the building in blissful silence after the arguing of the last few hours.
In Caldova, those having issues to settle with their dead relatives were often well off, paying a hefty sum for Adan’s legal counsel, representation, and documents. He was an expert at settling family disputes, chalking it up to being the baby of two sisters and a brother. Adan was called in to settle legal matters for the Council and the magic users of Caldova alike. In matters of estate trials, sudden death, murder, or accidental tragedies, Adan ensured the spirit of the deceased had their final wishes carried out respectfully; instead of leaving their decisions open to the interpretation of their surviving relatives.
If they don’t call me, they end up with someone like Claire making their decisions for them. That’s never a good thing.
Law was a slippery slope, though ability to enact the wishes of the dead was entertaining, to say the least. People treated him with respect, and he appreciated being able to pass along messages from the Spirits to those they left behind in the world of the living. He knew he could also command the souls of the dead, though it was an offensive talent he hoped to never use. He trained on it at University, as all Spirit-touched students were, albeit begrudgingly within the Council’s limited curriculum.
Many teenagers took their plea bargain for access to University and the chance to understand what little the Council would let them know about their powers. Some Elementalists got assigned to Valeria, aiding the Eighth Decorum and Council alike. They created new medicines, technology, and weapons that would later serve the Council in their quest to control all of Esonith. This had no doubt been Adelin’s driving force; aiming to have Valeria amass such resources, that no one would ever stand against the Council’s forces
Kiran Oliver is a 31 year old writer and author residing in New Zealand with his wife and their cat, Ember.