The Concealed by Sarah Kleck
Publication date: November 1st 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
“Can you be happy when what you desire most means your doom?”
Evelyn Lakewood, an orphan, is crushed after the death of her beloved sister Zara. But the nineteen-year old enrolls in Psychology at Oxford in honor of Zara.
There, Evelyn first becomes friends with vivacious Sally and seemingly charming Felix. But the encounter with Jared Calmburry, whose incredibly blue eyes immediately captivate her, fundamentally changes her life. She is instantly drawn to this mysterious stranger around whom unusual things happen and who simply disappears every time Evelyn tries to confront him about his puzzling behavior. After finding a mysterious book with a unique symbol on its leather cover in the university library, her curiosity is perked. She doesn’t know what to make of it but Jared’s best friend Colin Sullivan encourages her with cryptic hints to continue her search for evidence. When she discovers the same medieval symbol is worn by hostile professor Karen Mayflower and engraved on another faculty member’s seal ring, she realizes that an ancient secret surrounds Jared.
I passed giant shelves with scientific literature. Some books were rather new and others had heavy, worn bindings that showed they’d passed through many hands. I’ve always had a weakness for older books like these. Their smell, their feel, everything about them was somehow magical.
While I walked through these aisles, one section in particular caught my eye. It was marked with a large FE and held only ancient, leather-bound books. Each seemed to have its own story. I couldn’t resist running my finger over their worn spines as if trying to become part of their history.
I shrank back from the book I had just touched as though I’d received an electrical shock. I hesitated. What was that? Astonished and curious, I pulled the book from the shelf and took a closer look. It was very old and seemed to have been restored several times. A barely visible embossed pattern had nearly been worn flat on the front of the leather binding. I ran my fingertips over it and traced the delicate lines. I recognized a sword crossing a staff at the center. Above it, a stylized sun, moon, and stars were shown in a circle. This symbol seemed familiar. I was almost certain I’d seen it somewhere. Now my curiosity was really piqued.
I carefully opened the book and started deciphering the faded writing. It took considerable effort to decode the medieval letters. After a few pages, I had decided to put the book back on the shelf when a word in the middle of a sentence caught my eye—Calmburry.
I felt hot. I shut the book and looked at the embossed design on the leather cover. Of course! Why didn’t I think of this right away? It was a crest. The family crest of the Calmburrys. I’d come across it on the Internet when I googled Jared’s name.
My hands were moist. Suddenly, it felt as if I were doing something forbidden. I didn’t want to be caught with this book in my hands so I warily looked over my shoulder to make sure I wasn’t being watched. No one was in sight. I could hear the librarian at the information desk turning a page in her magazine. I cautiously reopened the book, took a deep breath, and started reading again.
The Calmburry family tree extended far back into the Middle Ages. As far as I could tell, there was talk of a Kenneth Calmburry, who lived around 500 AD and had lands in the northwest of Wales that extended all the way from modern Liverpool deep into Snowdonia National Park.
He and his wife Eowyn had eleven children, but only eight made it through their first year of life. Two more children died during a major famine that hit the entire region hard. The four remaining sons, Mael, Byron, Kelby, and Myrddin, as well as the first-born, Imogen, and the youngest, Moyra, during whose birth Eowyn died, were to divide the lands of their father after his death. But an intense dispute broke out between them over their inheritance. Envy, greed, and distrust drove a wedge between the siblings, and two factions formed. The three older ones, Imogen, Mael, and Byron, fought hard over the inheritance while the younger ones, Kelby, Myrddin, and young Moyra, refused their share for the sake of peace. Many years of arguing passed, during which the land was not cultivated and it became withered and unusable.
When the siblings finally came together in their father’s house to definitively divide up his possessions, a terrible accident happened. At night, Imogen’s youngest son snuck into the stables to look after the horses. By accident, he set the animals’ hay on fire. Mael, Byron, and Imogen all died with their families in the fire.
After a period of mourning for the lost siblings, the younger ones divided their beloved father’s land evenly among themselves and cultivated it. Soon more people settled there and built small villages, where they raised crops and bred animals for the market. The three siblings were pleased with their work and were proud to have preserved their father’s memory. Kelby, who owned the northern part of the lands, married a stunningly beautiful woman whom he dearly loved and was always faithful to, though she gave him no heirs. Moyra dedicated herself to faith and went into a monastery in Ireland after Irish monks spread Christianity throughout Wales.
But Myrddin felt the call of the wider world. During his travels throughout Europe, he apprenticed with many healers and masters. In every country he visited, he took a wife and each bore him a healthy heir. Some years later he finally returned to England and . . . ding-dang-dong echoed through the library halls. I was so startled that the heavy book fell from my hands, hitting the floor with a loud thud.
“The library will close in a few minutes,” the voice of the woman at the information desk sounded over the loudspeakers.
Sarah Kleck, born in 1984, studied Education, Psychology and Sociology at the University of Augsburg.
Currently, she’s working as a human resources officer and lives with her husband and a newborn in Germany near Lake Constance.
“The Concealed” is her first novel
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