Storm's Fury : A Telesa World Novel, in Serial Format

Storm's Fury : A Telesa World Novel, in Serial Format

Read along with me as I write the first draft of the next Telesa World novel, adding chapters as I go. See the creative process in action and be the first to discover these new characters, meeting them the same time as I do! Have the opportunity to comment and give me feedback and suggestions as Im writing, so you could even influence the story a little lol. But be aware of the following disclaimers as you do:

1. This is a work in progress. So it's incomplete. And chapters can and will change as I go back and forth, adding and possibly deleting as I write. That's the risk you take when you read a serial work that's being created weekly. 

2. It's unedited.

3. When I have finished the chapters, then they will be given to my editor to work on. The refined, polished, edited and proofed version of this novel will then be published as a novel for purchase here on my store and from all major book retailers. 

Chapter One

They are waiting for me on the road home. Manu and his friends. Five of them this time. They’re lounging under the pulu tree and when they see me coming, they nudge each other and sit up. Expectant and eager. Like our cat Mintie when it sees a lizard.

It never ends well for the lizard.

“There she is,” says Fitu. She’s the short one with deep-grained po’u marks on her legs. We used to be friends when we were at Pastor’s School. Back when we were small. When I was still one of them. Before she discovered the age-old truth, if you don’t want to be one of the bullied, then you choose the side of the bully. I can’t be mad at her for that. Survival of the fittest and all that.

Riki jumps up first and plants himself in my path. “Hey Lua, what you got there?” He shoves his leery face in mine. Pocked with splotchy red pimples. I can smell the elegi sandwiches he ate for lunch. 

"Don't get too close to him," says Manu. "You know that's what he wants. What every fafa wants. To touch you all over!" Laughter. 

I used to try and stand my ground. Fight back with words and then with my fists. But it only ever made things worse. So I don’t try anymore. Instead, I run. Sidestep Riki and dash away through the bushes on the side of the road.  Even though I know I’m only delaying the inevitable.

Keeping hold of the box of lavalava makes running difficult but I can’t drop it. Going home with missing stock will earn me a hiding. And so I hold tight to the box with one hand and push tree branches out of my way with the other. I’d hoped they would give up the chase if I came this way, but they’re determined today. I hear them, cheering and shouting encouragement at each other as they gain on me.

I wish it would rain. The air is thick with the promise of a storm, making it hard to breathe. Grey clouds overhead. If it rains then maybe they’ll leave me alone? But the stubborn sky holds fast to its wetness and the rain doesn't come.

“I’ve got him!” Even as he shouts, I feel Riki’s hand grab at my hair. A sharp yank that nearly has me stop in my tracks. No. This can’t be it. I refuse to let them catch me this easily. I ignore the pain and instead I grab my braid with my free hand and pull it from his grasp. Then I run again. Back onto the sidewalk, I sprint down the road, past houses and curious chickens and pigs snuffling for bugs in the grass. An old woman sitting cross-legged in the shade of a frangipani tree, pauses in her weeding and calls out as I run by.

 “Eh where you going? Are you being chased by an aitu?” She cackles at her own joke and I ignore her. Run, run, run. Don’t stop.

 The pack is still chasing me. I can hear their whoops of laughter and the pounding of their footsteps on the pavement. I know I can outrun them if I just run and never stop. But I can't run forever. Maybe if I could go somewhere safe? Home? What a joke. The thought of what waits for me at the house has my steps faltering. Then a feisty dog leaps out from behind a hibiscus hedge. Barking with excitement as it lunges at my leg, teeth snapping.

I swerve, caught off guard and stumble. “Halu!” I scream. “Get away! Halu!”

Children from the house look over from where they are playing and yell at their dog. It listens and stops chasing me. I keep running, glad, that I've avoided a dog bite.

 I cross the road, a quick check both ways to make sure there’s no traffic. I’m coming up to a bus stop. There’s two people sitting on a bench, waiting. They barely register with me, but as I draw nearer, something strange happens. One of them is a woman in a green dress. At the sound of my footsteps, she turns to look at me with a smile. Of welcome. But that can’t be right, can it? I throw her a glance to check and no, I don’t know her. Pretty sure I’ve never seen her before in my life. But she’s smiling all the same, sitting up taller in anticipation. She must have me confused with someone else.

What happens next will forever be imprinted in my mind because it changes everything. Forever. Time seems to slow. It's as if I'm moving in slow motion. 

I run by them, muttering a ‘Tulou, excuse me’ as I do, force of habit. That’s when I notice that the woman in green is holding a walking stick. That’s odd. She’s not old?  And still in slow motion, as if from far away, I see her reach out with the stick to block my path.

I see it there, I know what will happen, and I can’t prevent it, even as I scream silently at myself to jump…dodge…sidestep! No use. It’s too quick. She jams her walking stick right in my trajectory and I trip. Even as I inwardly berate myself for trusting her and her smile.

How could you betray me like that random lady?!

I fall. Hit the ground. The box of lavalava goes flying. My hands come up to protect my face, too late. It hurts. The air is slammed out of me. I roll and come to a halt a few feet away, gasping for breath, tears already streaming down my face.


Is what I want to shout at her. But I can’t. Because I’m trying to recover. And because the code of fa’aaloalo is strong. My mother ingrained it in me.

So I say nothing. Just lie there, gasping, tasting blood in my mouth. Is it a tooth? I run my tongue over my teeth cautiously to check. No. Everything feels like its still there. I must have cut my lip open. I groan, roll slightly to my side and spit blood. Cough.

 The woman walks to stand over me. I look up. Only then do I know why she has a cane. Her eyes have a silver filminess to them. She’s blind. But still, she looks right at me.

 “We’ve been waiting for you,” she says with a smile.

 Confused, I just stare up at her.

 Another voice speaks. Dry and sardonic. “We’ve been sitting here every day at two o’clock, for the last three days. Waiting for you. ”

 It’s the woman’s companion. At first I think they’re a man. But when they move into view, and the world slowly stops its wild spinning – I see that they’re fa’atama. But unlike any fa’atama I’ve ever seen before.

 Their head is shaved. Hair is replaced by tattoos. They’re dressed entirely in white. Loose flowing pants and a white tank top. On their right forearm is stamped an unusual tattoo.  A line of triangles.

 The green woman purses her lips at her companion and shakes her head. “You know I can’t put a definitive time and date to my visions. It doesn’t work like that.”

"Yes, yes. So you've told me. Many times." They look like they are doing a mental eyeroll. 

"I know you're rolling your eyes at me. I am your Keawe, but still you are disrespectful," the green woman says. With a grin so I know she's not angry. Not really. 

"I'm not eye rolling."

"You are. Inside your head where you think I can't see," replies the green woman. Another smile. Triumphant. 

The fa'atama does not smile. She is sour. "You CAN'T see. That's the entire point."

“Oh hush Amata. That's enough," the green woman says. "Help her up." She waves her stick in my direction.

 “She’s fine,” Amata says with brusqueness.

 But the green woman insists, so Amata gives me their hand which I take unwillingly. These people tripped me deliberately. I need to get away from them as quickly as possible. But first, I gather up the lavalavas and plastic bracelets. The lavalava are dirty and bedraggled now. Two catch flight in a gust of wind and blow a ways down the road. Some of the bracelets are snapped broken.

 “Oh no,“ I mutter. To myself, but they hear me.

 “Leave them girl,” the green woman says with an airy wave of her cane. “They are ruined. Never mind such trinkets.”

 I shake my head in disgust. Only someone who’s never been poor would say that. Someone who’s never had their next meal rely on selling such ‘trinkets’.

 The fa’atama rebukes her. “Those trinkets are probably her family’s livelihood. And you just ruined them. She’ll probably get beaten.” They say it with grim satisfaction with a sardonic grin at the green woman. “You shouldn’t have tripped her.”

 “She was getting away!” the green woman protests. “I had to stop her.”

“No you didn’t. That’s what I’m here for," corrects Amata.

 In an entirely bizarre twist, the two then proceed to have an argument – about me. Its like they have forgotten I am even here.

 “No, you’re here to follow my orders. To do what I say because I’m the Keawe and you are my protector. That’s it,” snaps the green woman. No smiling this time. “I don’t know why they chose you to be my Olohe!”

 “I am your Olohe because you’ve been through four protectors already and I’m your last option. There’s no others after me,” says Amata through gritted teeth. “And we are not your servants to carry out your every wish without question. We navigate the world for you and keep you safe on vision missions. So when we are out of the Sanctuary, you listen to us. And let us do our job.”

I stand there, holding my box of goods, puzzled by these two as I look from one to the other as they bicker. 

 The green woman is spluttering now as she looks like she’s struggling to find a comeback. “Well, well you let me do MY job then. And my vision said come here to this bus stop to find her.”  She jabs her cane at me but miscalculates the distance between us and the cane hits my box. It falls in the dirt. Again.

My fast-fading grip on faaaloalo breaks then. “What is wrong with you?! You’re destroying all my stock.”

 The two are brought back to this reality where I’m standing here with them, listening while they bitch at each other. About me.

 The green woman bites her lip as she shifts from one foot to the other. “I apologise girl. I did not mean to damage your goods.” She adds with a dignified sniff. “I am blind.”

 Amata rolls their eyes. For real this time. “I think she’s figured that out already.”

 I quickly pick up the stock. Again. Before this crazy woman can ruin it any more than she already has. I gotta get out of here.

 The green woman draws herself up straight and tall. “We will compensate you for your losses.” To Amata she says, “Give the child money.”

 I bristle at being called a kid. This woman doesn’t look much older than twenty-five. Who does she think she is calling me a child? But I say nothing, because I need the money.

Amata takes out a crisp one hundred tala note. “Here. Is this enough?”

 It’s more than enough. But the fact that she’s asking lets me know I can push for more. I shake my head. “No. That won’t even cover half of the lavalavas.”

 Amata gives me a knowing stare. One that says, Okay I see what you’re doing here…

But I don’t back down. I stare right back. “These lavalavas are all tie dyed by hand. All my sisters and me work all day in the sun, for many days, to make them.” A lie. I have no sisters. It’s just me dipping the fabric into buckets of dye, tying them with string and then spreading them out on sun baked rocks to dry.

 Amata doesn’t look like they believe me. I keep going. “See my hands? This is what the chemicals in the dyes do to us. This is what we must endure to make these lavalavas.” I hold out my hands and they don’t lie. The blistered skin and swollen joints look even worse in the afternoon sun. Bad enough that Amata has the grace to look discomfited. They frown.

The green woman reaches out and takes my hands gently in hers. Very softly, she runs her fingers over each hand, tracing each. “Oh child, so much pain, I’m sorry.” The words are simple. But heartfelt. 

 I freeze. I haven’t been touched with kindness since my mother died. I haven’t been spoken to with softness since she said goodbye to me that day before going to catch her bus to town. In that moment, with these two strangers at the bus stop, a gaping chasm of grief opens up and threatens to swallow me whole.

I have to get out of here.

 I pull my hands away. Rough and abrupt.  “Don’t touch me." Trying for vicious and cold.

 “Amata, give her more money,” says the green woman. She waits until her companion hands over a wad of notes that I shove in to my inside pocket. Then she walks to sit on the bench again, patting the seat beside her. “Child, will you sit with me for a while? Please?”

 I’m about to say NO and leave when I see them over her shoulder. Riki and the crew. Hanging back while I talk to these adults. Curious and faikala. Annoyed that their plans for today’s fun have been delayed somewhat. They’re waiting for me. They saw these women give me a handful of money and they’re even more eager to get their hands on me.

 So I shrug. And sit. As far away from the woman as the bench will allow. Wary. Ready to run. Scream. At the first hint of danger from her. I’ve seen the TV. I know about child traffickers. I’m not dumb.

 What do you want with me?  Is what I want to demand. But I don’t. Because that’s rude. And my mum wouldn’t have liked it. Even if these people are child traffickers. One must still be polite. So I say nothing. I wipe my bloody lip on my sleeve and just sit. Clutching my ragged box of lavalava with one hand. Putting the other in my pocket to check the money is still there. Is really real. A warm seed of happy inside at the rustle of notes. Money means food. Money means bus fare. Money means a ride on the ferry to find my mother's other relatives in Savaii. Somewhere maybe where I am wanted. 

 “I am Hau'oli," says the green woman. "Child, what is your name?” 

 Her voice is soft and she speaks with a faint lisp, so that her ‘S’ roll into a ‘th’ sound. She cocks her head to the side, her unseeing eyes staring right at me, a half smile on her face. It’s a round pretty face. She has the longest eyelashes I’ve ever seen on a person in real life. That aren’t fake anyway. At least I don’t think they’re fake. Now that I can study her like this, I can see that she’s older than I originally thought. Closer to fifty than to thirty.

 She flutters her hands when she talks, waving them about and her long thin fingers are leaves on a liana vine in the wind.

 Her companion interrupts with a snort of disgust. “We came all this way, and you don’t even know her name?!”

The blind woman is indignant. “That’s not how my visions work. You know that.”

 Amata shakes her head in disbelief, hands on her hips. “So how do we even know if this is the right kid?” She glares at me like I have personally affronted her. Simply by tripping over Hau'oli's cane. I glare back. The lionfish that bristles. Two can play that game. And I’ve had lots of practise with glaring. Posturing.

 Hau'oli breaks our staring battle with an airy flutter of her hands, waving away Amata's question. “I know because I have seen her.” She grips her cane and stamps it firmly on the concrete beneath our feet. “Right here, in this place. Like this.” She leans forward to bridge the gap between us, reaching her hands for mine. I shrink back. Don't touch me lady.  “Child we have been waiting for you. I dreamed a dream of you when I was far away from here and I have travelled to find you. Your gift is strong, it calls to me. With the voice of the wind and water, it speaks."

She's so earnest. Like she REALLY believes the silly words coming out of her mouth. Nah, she's not a human trafficker. I reckon she's mentally unwell. There's a prickle of pity. Poor woman. She needs help. I glare over at Amata again. Why did she bring this sick woman here? 

“What’s your name?” asks Hau'oli.

 I lie. Of course. You don't need to be truthful to be polite. “Malia.”

 “Who are your parents?” she asks.

"I don't have any." The truth comes out before I can stop it. "My mother's dead."

"So where do you live? Who takes care of you?" demands Amata. Impatient to get the conversation moving. "Who do we talk to regarding you?"

Ha, like I'm going to tell them. It's none of their business. I make up a name for imaginary grandparents who love me.  Quickly gather up my gear. “I have to go now. My aiga will be worrying about me." Another lie. 

"I am sorry for causing you injury," says Hau'oli with softness. Then her face brightens into a glorious smile. It's like the sun coming out from behind dark clouds. "But I am so very happy we have found you Malia. Soon, we will come speak with your family. We have such exciting news. And plans!"

She's going to say more but Amata interrupts. "Which we'll discuss with your grandparents. Later. Be on your way."

Like I need their royal permission to walk on the road?! Like they're doing me a favor?! I really don't like Amata. I stand up. Look around cautiously. Can't see Manu and the gang anywhere. Maybe they got tired of waiting and left.

I walk away. Fast. Then break into a run. Just in case. I look over my shoulder. A quick glance back at the pair standing at the bus stop. Hau'oli is still smiling. At me. She waves. Calls out. 

"Soon. We will meet again."


Catch up on the Telesa World Novels while you're waiting!

            OCEAN'S KISS                                        EARTH'S EMBRACE


                 FIRE'S CARESS                               KEAHI:SHORT STORY