Alive (The Veiled World Book 1)

Alive (The Veiled World Book 1) by Vanessa Garden

Book: Alive (The Veiled World Book 1) by Vanessa Garden Read Free Book Online
Authors: Vanessa Garden
head. “No. Hear me out first. I must speak to you. All of you.” He stood and tapped his glass with a knife.
    Everyone set their cutlery and glasses down. They were just as eager to know more about our situation as I was.
    “By now, I’m sure you are aware of the fact that you are no longer in your own world. And that you have been brought here for a purpose.”
    I shared a glance with Kyle, who’s tanned skin seemed to pale dramatically. He was scared. So was I. And we weren’t the only ones. When I put my hands onto my lap, Claire closed her fingers over mine, giving me a squeeze. I didn’t look at her. If I did, then maybe I’d cry. She hadn’t come this close to me, let alone touched me, for such a long time. Instead I kept my eyes on the king, wanting to memorise his every word.
    Something in me, despite what I’d heard on the plane with the boys, felt like this was possible. Despite the two against two million odds. That I could actually bring my brother back. And if I did, everything in my life would be okay again. Okay was all I wanted. I was fine with okay. I just wanted everything back to the way it was before Sam died.
    “Well, that purpose is to journey through the Veiled World to the Land of Resting Souls.” He took a sip of his red wine and swallowed thickly, his bony Adam’s apple bobbing up and down inside his thin neck. “The world we are in is not like yours. We are, at this present moment, at the gateway to the Veiled World, which is a place where the dead live out their heavens and hells for eternity. At the heart of this Veiled World lies the Land of Resting Souls. A place all souls, good and bad, come to rest.” He nodded in thought and met each of our gazes. “Ever since our ancestors have been sucked into this world, we have attempted to reach the Land of Resting Souls. Historical documents state that this has happened twice in the past. But we have been failing of late. The past fifty years have seen the kingdom reduced by ninety-five percent. There is hardly anybody left. All have gone to seek the dead only to become dead themselves. The more I have sent out to retrieve those newly dead the more I have lost.” Wine spilled over the edge of his crystal goblet. He set it down with shaking hands.
    “You are our last chance.” He sighed and stared across the room to what I guessed to be a portrait of his beautiful wife. Long black hair framed a beautiful, round face with full lips and large, round green eyes. “My wife has been dead since my son was born. Taken by his birth.” He frowned at Ollie, who was at this moment motioning for old Anya with the crook of his finger to take his plate. The king, temporarily distracted, raised his brows at his son and cleared his throat.
    Then he slammed his fist down on the table. “But I will not rest. Not until my wife is back.”
    Anya began collecting plates of those who had finished but the king stopped her in her tracks with a glare.
    “As I have said, we have documentation from our ancestors. Information that will help you on your journey. So listen closely to what I have to say. Those who were marooned here, those who accidentally slipped through the portal that brings us here, just the way you did yesterday, they are who will guide you. Their sacrifices will be what aid you. They documented the changing landscapes, which you have now witnessed for yourselves; your first taste of it. Beyond this kingdom, no landscapes are ever the same.” His eyes scanned our faces. “And why is that?”
    At first I thought it was rhetorical, but he slammed his fist against the table again, making his goblet jump.
    “No one cares to guess?”
    Kyle hesitantly put a hand in the air.
    “Yes, my friend, what do you think?”
    “To stop people from bringing the dead back from their resting place.” He looked around the table and shrugged. “Maybe the dead are supposed to stay dead. Maybe it was just their time.”
    Kyle had lost his grandparents, so

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