A Puran must exist to protect those vulnerable to the dangers kept hidden by the Veil. In following through, he must respectively keep his existence and the existence of the Society hidden from such individuals. - THE PURAN BELIEF

A human must not know of their existence.
The Society's very existence depends on this not happening. Purans are faster, better, stronger than humans.

Alonyssa 'Nyssa' Jordan, lost her parents the day after her fourth birthday in a car accident. Living with Pops, a family friend, she takes on odd jobs here and there; working at a funeral home. A dead jock.

A burial. A vision and voices. All conspire and drives Nyssa in a head-to-head collision with Purans and in danger of breaching their law.

Hidden behind the Veil, there has been an ancient fight between Light and Dark. A fight that affects everything, human and not. A fight that strangely enough affects Nyssa closer than she thinks.

Being Tainted might not be so bad after all, right?


1. Chapter One

THE AIR FELT STRANGE. Stranger than the usual happy small town atmosphere. I felt the need to spew my breakfast out onto the sidewalk.

The last of August’s heat was suffocating, making me feel like a roast slowly baking in the oven for Sunday brunch. Even the slight breeze that managed to hit you if you stood still enough couldn’t help mask the heat and the nauseating odour that resulted from the many bodies gathered. The heat contributed to my current state of nausea, its effects flowing down my scorched skin like a river.

The cracked sidewalk beside the old stone cathedral was littered with black. Black dresses, black hats and black suits. The holy place was as murky as a starless night.

I tugged at the non-existent wrinkles on my black suit, trying to play off the uncomfortable expression on my face as frustration.

The six by two box was being loaded into the back of the conspicuous black car by four nondescript men. The car jerked slightly as the extra weight was added, like a bouncy castle that wobbled under the weight of children.

A little girl stood off to the side, her brown curls trapped in a messy bun. She buried herself in the shelter that was a middle aged woman standing beside her, her face a blunt shade of red that matched the puffiness under her eyes from the long never-ending process that was crying.

The sight of the little girl reminded me of myself, of young. Memories tugged at me of years ago. I remembered the confusion I felt when everyone hugged me and muttered promises of the future that they didn’t have any hope of knowing. It’s going to be okay, they’d said.

She turned her eyes away from where they were focused and met mine. She didn’t smile, didn’t cry. She simply stared at me, expressionless and devoid of any emotion.

Tearing my eyes away from her, I focused instead on the sea of never ending black. I should’ve stayed home, the words ran through my mind for the umpteenth time since I pulled up outside the cathedral. I could be sprawled out lazily on the couch, having the delight of total control over the remote whilst enjoying my Friday.

Stupid, stupid Nyssa. Why’d you have to volunteer? And all because Joe had to rush to the hospital, after a call from his wife that she was in labour.

The bright side had outweighed the negatives at the time. After this job I was that much closer to saving up for the brand new radiator I needed for my Prius. By the sound of it yesterday, I was going to be needing it pretty soon.

The Smoothie Bar, the only place relatively cool enough to hang out at would have been the best choice I had to get the needed cash, but I chose the job that had the least likely chance of attracting teens. Instead of having friends remotely close to my age group, I had Pops and his friends that came over every weekend to catch a game being played on the telly. A habit that I was accustomed to, after having been raised by them since the day after my fourth, the day my parents died in a car accident.

Working for Pops was better than any old smoothie joint; it actually paid well because not that many people were hammering to do it. In actual fact, people tend to stay far away from such jobs, only making the visit there when the time came. You see, Pops ran a funeral home. Joe, who’d I’d volunteered to sub for today was the hearse driver.

And the words that had been replaying ever since I opened my trap and volunteered ran through my mind again, I was going to be driving someone to his or her resting place.

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