Judeen glided into the room silently and froze as she watched the Blue
Flame of the Divine dance across her father’s hands. The Divine Power
made her uncomfortable, and when her father used it, she got knots in
her stomach. The way his eyes changed, appearing as though they were
large, black marbles while he was using his special gift unnerved her
more than she could say.
“Must I extinguish this life?” Zayle asked of no one as he let the
flames drift away. He picked up the child and held him at arm’s
length while studying him.
“But Father, he is just a baby,” Judeen said as she looked at her
child in worry. Zayle startled at her voice.
“Daughter,” Zayle said with a heavy heart, “I understand, but you
know how my gift works. You know how the Divine works. If I could
change it, I would, but I can’t. I have explained his future to you
many times. Do we dare take this chance?” he asked as he agonized
over what he must do. “The Divine gift he receives makes him the most
powerful among our kind. Judeen, he can draw on unlimited amounts of
the Divine, and this makes him too dangerous.”
“You said your gift is not always accurate,” Judeen said as she
struggled not to plead.
“What I said was, the future it shows me is not necessarily the one
that will come to be. There are many possibilities. The one I see is
the one that is most likely, but I have seen others.”
“Others?” Judeen asked hopefully.
“I have seen a future where Kade is not corrupted by the power.
Daughter, as much as you dislike the Divine, your son has the potential
to be the strongest of us and save our kind, or….” Zayle stopped,
not willing to finish for fear of crushing her heart. “Those with
great power struggle greatly. He may be too powerful, but he also may
be our only hope,” he said as he let out a long sigh and slowly
lowered the baby back into the crib. “I have seen futures where he
cannot even wield the Divine.”
“Father, are you not able to vanquish this evil yourself?” Judeen
asked as she wrapped her arms around herself. For something to be too
powerful for her father, one of the most talented Chosen in existence,
did not bode well.
“It hides from my gift. It makes no sense,” Zayle said as he spun
through the moves for the Divine Fire and studied it closely once again.
After a moment, he snapped his hands closed and the blue fire drifted
away. The black in his eyes receded like a liquid sliding to the center
of his eye and then the normal brown shown through. Zayle ground his
teeth hard and his hands were balled into tight fists of anger. “I
have to make a choice, and the future I need to see is hidden from
“Father,” Judeen said as she laid a gentle hand on his forearm,
“you will do the right thing. I have faith in you,” she said,
knowing how much having a grandson meant to him.
She leaned over the crib, kissed her boy on the forehead and then turned
to leave her father to his decision. She knew Zayle suffered greatly
over this dilemma, but she trusted his judgment…no matter what he
decided. She did her best to keep from crying as she walked from the
room and turned to the right to walk down the hall. Had she turned
left, she would have seen her husband, Garig, standing as still as a
statue, taking in everything that was going on.
Zayle studied the child for a long time as he struggled to do what he
must. Just when he was certain on the course of action to be taken, he
would hesitate with his hands over the crib while looking into those
innocent eyes. He hated his gift for showing him what was to come.
He brought the Divine Fire to life again and studied it for several long
seconds. He snapped his hands shut and made up his mind. He had his
doubts, but if they were to discover the danger that approached, Kade
was to be their best chance. Zayle reached for the boy and lifted him
once again as he looked deep into his eyes. If he had known Garig was
standing in the hall, he would not have spoken, but believing he was
alone, he uttered five words that would haunt Garig for the rest of his
Five years later…
“Father, it has been too long since your last visit. Why can you not
come more often?” Judeen asked as she sat next to Zayle on a bench
while the two of them watched Kade play.
“The more contact I have with you, the more I put you in danger.
After this visit, the next time I return, it will be for the boy. I
have my reasons, but it is imperative that I am very careful. I must be
or everything I have worked for will be for naught.”
It was a cruel joke the Divine played on him, giving him a gift that was
more like a curse. It tortured him with visions that he did not dare
alter. It showed him his daughter suffering terribly while being
brutally beaten and he could not change it…not if he wanted her to
live. The powerful Master Chosen wished with all his heart that he
could keep her safe, but he knew if he altered her future and his
grandson’s, they would all suffer a terrible fate. He could not see
what the evil was, but he knew his daughter crossed paths with it, and
when she did, Kade would be the one to learn of it. For now, he knew he
had to trust his gift. He clenched his jaw against the vision of his
daughter hanging bruised and beaten at the top of a wooden structure and
stood to walk out into the yard.
“How would you like to see something?” Zayle asked.
“What is it?” Kade asked as he looked on in wonder at the man in the
long, flowing cloak that brushed the ground as he walked. With a gleam
in his eye, Zayle brought the Blue Flame of the Divine to life.
Kade’s eyes grew as big as saucers.
“Whoa,” Kade said as he stared in wonder. “Can you do more?”
“I can,” Zayle said, and with that, he gracefully flowed through
thirteen moves and threw his hands into the air. There was a bright
flash and a deafening thunder as a bolt of Divine Lightning raced
Kade fell on his backside and stared, wide-eyed. Zayle studied Kade
closely. After a moment, a smile slowly crept across his face as he
looked lovingly upon his grandson. Kade was like the son he never had.
The boy was breathing deeply as his eyes glanced from Zayle’s hand up
to the heavens. It only took a moment for the child to grin from ear to
“Can you do it again?” Kade asked excitedly. “Please,” he
pleaded. Zayle was more than happy to oblige. For a moment, Zayle
reached up and gripped a medallion hanging around his neck. After just
a second, he smiled again and then let the lightning fly one after the
other. He spun through several more moves and he and the boy vanished
“He makes me uncomfortable,” Garig said as he slid up to his wife.
The image of Zayle holding the baby five years prior sprang into his
mind. He pressed his lips together in frustration as he searched the
yard for his unseen son and father-in-law.
“Garig, he is my father. He cares for our son. He does. There is
more going on than you are aware. You must trust him,” Judeen said as
she looked him in the eyes. Garig softened ever so slightly.
“I will trust you. But I do not think I can ever be comfortable with
Judeen stopped as she listened to her father and her son play. It made
her heart feel good to hear her father laugh. It rarely happened since
mastering his gift. She focused on the sound of her son and her father
and a smile spread across her face. Yes, her son would be in good
hands. Grandfather and grandson popped into view, startling Garig and
“Mother, can I do that?” Kade asked excitedly while pointing to the
stranger. Before she could respond, Zayle spoke first.
“Maybe someday I can take you away and train you to be even more
powerful than myself,” he said as he knelt down and looked the boy in
the eyes. Kade lit up as he turned to plead with his mother. Just as
she was about to respond, she froze, seeing a look of sadness in her
father’s eyes. Zayle saw his daughter watching him and the sadness
vanished to be replaced by a huge smile. “He is a fine young boy.”
“Kade, go play while I talk with Zayle,” Judeen said while giving
Kade an affectionate swat on the bottom.
“But mother…,” Kade started to protest until she gave him a look.
He shrugged in defeat and turned to go but not before beaming at the
stranger and saying, “I want to learn.” And then he was off.
“I will give you two time to talk,” Garig said and turned to leave
without waiting for a reply from either.
“Father, why must we keep your identity a secret from him?”
“Judeen,” Zayle said with compassion in his voice. “Daughter, he
will make decisions based on that knowledge that will lead to disaster.
He must never know. Not until the right time.”
“When is that?”
“I cannot say, but if he were to learn my true identity, it would be a
disaster for us all. He must only know me as a master who has agreed to
teach him…if he can even learn. The next time I come for him will be
on his tenth birthday.”
“You are leaving again? So soon?” Judeen asked, trying hard to hide
her sadness. “You have only been here a day. Can’t you stay at
least a little longer?”
“I must go. I have no choice. Please,” Zayle said, almost
pleading, feeling a hand gripping his heart. He wrapped his arms around
her and pulled his daughter into an embrace, holding her while she wept,
cursing the Divine with all his being.
Five years later…
Judeen paced for hours the night before Kade’s tenth birthday. She
knew her son never forgot the promise given to him by the stranger and
that promise was to be fulfilled tomorrow. For different reasons, both
mother and child found sleep elusive.
As the sun rose above the trees, there was a knock on the door. Judeen
jumped, and without even opening the door, knew who it had to be. Kade
raced for the door and flung it open, grinning widely as he looked upon
the stranger who had returned as promised. He spun toward his mother
with a smile that reached his eyes. Judeen swallowed and put on her
“I am glad to see you again,” Judeen said, as she indicated for him
to enter. His face showed signs of stress with the sunken cheeks and
the haunted look in his eyes. But, when he smiled, it all seemed to
“I am happy to be back. I made a promise to this young one and I
intend on keeping it,” Zayle said as he leaned over to look Kade in
the eye. He held his fingers in the shape of a bowl. Soon, there was
light glowing in the palm of his hands. Kade’s eyes went wide as his
thirst for knowledge kindled a fire in his heart that would never be
Zayle stayed for most of the day, knowing it would be a long time before
he saw his daughter again…if ever. Kade was eager to be on his new
adventure as he urged his newfound friend to take him away. Garig was
quiet, when he was around.
Against his better judgment, Zayle stayed until the sun was starting to
set. Kade never strayed far from the Master Chosen’s side. There was
no chance this man was going to get out of the young boy’s sight.
Finally, the time came for grandfather and grandson to be on their way.
Kade danced from foot to foot as he stood by the front door, eager to be
“Wait for me outside,” Zayle said to the boy, who eagerly shot out
the door. Zayle turned to Judeen and wiped a tear off her cheek. He
wrapped her in a hug and closed his eyes as he fought his own sadness.
He could not bear to tell her it would be their last embrace. Zayle
cursed the Divine again and stepped back. He looked into his
daughter’s eyes and she shivered as she saw her father melt away to be
replaced by a powerful Master Chosen. He reached into his long cloak
and pulled an envelope from a hidden pouch, holding it tightly as he
“There will come a time in the future when Kade will come to see you.
You must give this to him. It is imperative or all we have done will be
for nothing. You must keep this safe no matter how long it takes. Our
future depends on this. Promise me,” Zayle said so intensely that
Judeen had to fight the urge to step back.
“I promise,” she said as she gingerly took the envelope as if it
Garig turned and stormed from the room. This was all he could take.
All this man did was bring sadness and suffering to this family. To
make matters worse, he was now taking Kade away to study the ways of the
Divine. If Zayle had not been so adamant that the boy had very little
chance of learning the Divine, he would have flat out refused to allow
it at all. But, Judeen was very convincing when she had to be. If he
had his way, there would be no such thing as the Divine.
Two years later...
“So this is the boy that saves us?” Jorell asked as she watched Kade
work in the field.
“Yes,” Zayle lied. Well, it was only half a lie. He hated that he
could not tell her the whole truth but too much depended on things going
Excerpted from "The Divine Apprentice (The Divine Series) (Volume 1)" by Allen J Johnston. Copyright © 2013 by Allen J Johnston. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.