Denver Cereal Denver Cereal

Grand Junction Collection

Grand Junction — 6 years of Denver Cereal in 10 books

On Sale until 12/31/2014 - all 10 eBooks for $4.95

Grand Junction runs from the peaks of heartwarming romance to the valleys of desperate trauma all bound together in by the strong friendships and fierce love that is the hallmark of Denver Cereal. Since 2008, Denver Cereal has been sweet, crunchy, and addicting fiction published one chapter a week. Grand Junction is a collection of the following books:

Volume 1 - The Denver Cereal, Volume 2 - Celia’s Puppies, Volume 3 - Cascade, Volume 4 - Cimarron, Volume 5 - Black Forest, Volume 6 - Fairplay, Volume 7 - Gold Hill, Volume 8 - Silt, Volume 9 - Larkspur, Volume 10 - Firestone.

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Chapter Three Hundred and Thirty-eight: End of the serpents (part four)

CHAPTER THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT

(part four)

“Tell me!” the serpent’s voice reflected sorrow and desperation.

“The serpents destruction is caused by three powerful forces — nature and the rising tides, human greed in the form of oil exploration, and more importantly, the consequence of the sea of amber. The serpents imprisoned too many important, powerful beings in jails of their own self-loathing and shame. Once freed, they turned these primal feelings into power. This is the power they have used to destroy the serpent.”

The serpent leaned his head back and roared.

“Why did you hold so many people for so long?” Delphie asked.

“It was our role, our culture,” the serpent said. “The sea of amber has existed since this world was created. It calls to the vulnerable — artists, writers, and sensitives. Most people were lost in their own despair long before they came to live in the sea of amber. How is that our fault?”

“And the rest?” Delphie asked. She stood a little taller and the serpent moved back.

The serpent refused to answer.

“This has the distinct smell of Olympia,” Heather said.

The serpent’s head jerked to look at her.

“I think Delphie’s right,” Heather said. “This happened in response to capturing and holding Zeus. What did you expect?”

“We never expected for him to get free!” the serpent said. “You have killed us all!”

The serpent rose up as if to attack them. He lunged forward and Delphie jumped back. As if he was a balloon, the serpent deflated. While they watched the serpent’s skin dried up and crumbled. A hot, ash-filled wind blew the serpent dust away.

“The end of the serpents,” Delphie said. “Let’s hope their demise doesn’t bring about the end of everything.”

Tanesha patted Delphie’s back.

“Can we go home now?” Jill asked. “Heather’s close and …”

They were transported to a private suite on the maternity ward at Saint Joseph’s hospital, only a few floors down from where Blane was recovering. Heather was lying in bed. Tanesha found herself holding Heather’s hand while Sandy and Jill coached from the other side. Jacob was standing in front of a laptop computer, which was resting on a side table.

“There he is!” Jacob said and stepped aside.

Blane’s face lit up the screen.

“Blane!” Heather yelled. “You made it!”

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world!” Blane said. “Now, where are our contractions?”

“Every two minutes,” Tanesha said.

“We’re in good shape,” Blane said.

Delphie came into the room with a dozen roses. She grinned at them.

“I’m going to head down to stay with Blane,” Jacob said.

He kissed Jill and left the suite. Jill got up to hug Delphie.

“Will the serpents be restored when the child is born?” Jill asked in a low voice.

“The serpents are beyond our help now,” Delphie said. “They are lost to the world.”

“They kept their agreement,” Sandy said.

“They did,” Delphie said. “We still don’t know about the financier.”

“We don’t,” Tanesha said. “Do you?”

“I know something,” Delphie said. “But not something that should stop what’s happening today.”

“What’s happening today?” Sandy asked.

“Today, we welcome another member of our tribe,” Delphie said with a smile. “Just rest now. It will be a while.”

Heather nodded.

“What was that?” Blane asked.

“Delphie said it would be a while,” Heather said.

“Good to know,” Blane said. “Let’s go through our happy delivery meditation. “

Hearing a sound, they looked up to see Delphie leaving the room. Before they could say anything, Blane called each of them by name.

“Let’s start our meditation. Jill? Sandy? You’re an integral part of this team! Tanesha? Are you ready?” Blane asked. The women shot each other amused looks. “Deep breath in…”

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…


Chapter Three Hundred and Thirty-eight: End of the serpents (part three)

CHAPTER THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT

(part three)

“So ends the serpent,” Delphie said.

The lava kept coming. The dragons continued to try to get into the bowl to save the serpents. Each time they entered, the heat, ash, and lava pushed them out.

Feeling movement behind her, Sandy turned to see Heather. Tanesha and Jill trailed behind her. Heather fell to her knees at the edge of the cave. The lava had risen to where it was lapsing against the opening to the cave. Heather put her hands down on the molten rock.

“Only love,” Heather said. She looked up at Sandy. “Join me.”

Sandy dropped down to her knees next to Heather. Tanesha and Jill dropped down on the other side of Heather.

“Only love,” Sandy said after Heather.

“Love,” Tanesha said.

“Only love,” Jill yelled.

“What are they doing?” the serpent asked Delphie.

“They are bringing peace,” Delphie said.

“Focus,” Heather said.

“Only love!” Tanesha yelled.

“Only love!” Heather repeated.

Jill and Sandy called out in unison. They repeated the call until a faint yellow light grew around them.

“Keep it up!” Delphie said.

Their light grew in power and intensity until the entry way to the cave was lit up by its light. When the lava hit the light of their love, the lava turned to hardened rock. There was a subtle hiss sound as the light move across the bowl. All of the pain, loss, and cruelty created in the sea of amber was released in the lava’s contact with their light. Steam filled the bowl.

Through the steam, the dragons dove into the volcanic bowl. They killed dying serpents with a blast of fire and dragged living serpents from the cooling lava. Delphie pointed to a dark olive green serpent held in the claws of a large grey dragon. The battered serpent next to her watched intently.

“I never knew how I got out of there,” the serpent said.

“So, some of you survived?” Delphie asked.

“Only a few,” the serpent said. “Two of which you killed.”

“And now?” Delphie asked.

The serpent shook his head.

“How did this happen, Oracle?” the serpent asked. “How?”

“It’s a cross of a number of things,” Delphie said. She turned away from the struggle in front of her to look at the serpent. “You know what caused this.”

“Tell me!” the serpent ordered.

Delphie shook her head. The serpent rose up in front of Delphie. Sandy and Tanesha rushed to block him. They stood in front of Delphie.

“We won’t let anything happen to her,” Tanesha said.

Delphie put a hand on Tanesha’s shoulder and another on Sandy’s. She gently pushed them apart and stepped through.

“I cannot tell you what you do not want to know,” Delphie said.

“Tell me!” the serpent’s voice reflected sorrow and desperation.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…


Chapter Three Hundred and Thirty-eight: End of the serpents (part two)

CHAPTER THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT

(part two)

“What is this happening?” the serpent asked. “Who did this to us?”

Delphie’s eyebrows furrowed over her worried eyes.

“Did the fairies do this?” the serpent asked. His voice rose with rage.

“No,” Delphie shook her head.

“Dragons?” The serpent’s voice was filled with such loathing that Sandy instinctively shuddered.

“They’re fighting against this,” Delphie said. She pointed to the air where four or five brightly colored dragons flew overhead. “Watch.”

A dragon gave a powerful pulse of its wings before tucking them to its side. The dragon dropped through the opening to the bowl only to be pushed out of the area by a eruption of lava spiking up into the air. The dragon screamed with frustration and flew out of the bowl.

“They’ve been trying to get in here as long as I’ve been standing here,” Delphie said.

“They are our enemies,” the serpent said.

“Enemy or not, they are trying to save you,” Delphie said.

“Who then?” the serpent asked. “How is this happening?”

Delphie gave a slight shake of her head. Sandy saw tears well in her eyes.

“All we can do is bear witness,” Delphie said.

The serpent roared with raw pain. A mother serpent was pushed out of a cave across the bowl from them. She had five small serpents on her back. She tried to fly but was knocked out of the air when an enormous piece of molten rock let loose from the wall. The rock hit her squarely on the back and knocked her from the air. Frantic to save her babies, she flipped over onto her back. She landed on her back with her children on her belly. The babies tried to fly from their mother’s stomach. One at a time, they were knocked into the burning lava. The final baby serpent lay down with its head near its mother’s. They sank together into oblivion.

Sandy felt tears fall from her eyes. Delphie put her arm around Sandy’s shoulders.

“My heart is breaking,” Delphie whispered to herself.

“We are not the disgusting creatures you imagined?” the serpent asked.

“Just because you’re not our friends, doesn’t mean any of us would want … this,” Sandy said.

“Yes.” The serpent’s voice held so much sorrow that Delphie turned to look at him.

“So ends the serpent,” Delphie said.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…


Chapter Three Hundred and Thirty-eight: End of the serpents (part one)

CHAPTER THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT

(part one)

“We have to go in,” Sandy said.

She pointed toward the interior of the cave. Because she and Jill were closer to the same size, Sandy took one side of Heather and Jill took her other side.

“Go!” Jill said to Tanesha.

Tanesha ran into the cave to find a spot for them. Delphie lingered near the entrance. Jill and Sandy could only move Heather at the pace she could tolerate. It was slow going.

“Over here!” Tanesha yelled.

They shuffled toward her voice. They were halfway across a large room with a vaulted ceiling when Tanesha got a fire lit. The light and warmth drew them. They helped Heather lie down in a spot by the fire that Tanesha had cleared of debris. Heather grunted but didn’t complain.

“Where’s Delphie?” Tanesha asked without looking up from Heather.

“She’s still out there,” Jill said as she knelt down.

“I’ll go,” Sandy said.

She jogged across the dark cave to the entrance. Delphie turned to look at her and then turned back to the volcanic bowl that had once held the sea of amber. The serpent had stayed with Delphie. Together, the oracle and the serpent watched the end of the serpents. Sandy came to a stop by Delphie.

The entire bowl was filled with burning lava and putrid fumes. Serpents tried to fly away, but were caught in the cross drafts from the hot lava and the cold ocean air. The serpents crashed into the lava where they were burned alive. The sound of screaming serpents and the deeper rumble of the volcano filled Sandy’s ears. She took a step forward and was buffeted by a blast of hot air. Her lungs filled with hot volcanic ash. She took a couple of quick steps back and backed into Delphie, who caught her. Delphie gave Sandy’s arms a little squeeze before letting her go.

“What’s happening?” Sandy asked.

The serpent looked at Sandy before nodding to Delphie.

“They were protected from every foe,” Delphie said in a low referential voice. “They made their home in this volcano for warmth and protection. They never saw it coming.”

“What?” the serpent’s voice was so loud that Sandy gasped and jumped back from him. “What did we miss? What is this, Oracle? And don’t tell me it’s a natural volcanic cycle because we both know that’s not true.”

“The volcano is not erupting,” the serpent said.

“It looks like it is,” Sandy said.

The serpent’s one eye gave Sandy a hard look before turning to Delphie.

“No, you’re right,” Delphie said. “The volcano wouldn’t have erupted for another thousand years. You would have been well prepared for it.”

“What is this happening?” the serpent asked. “Who did this to us?”

Delphie’s eyebrows furrowed over her worried eyes.

“Did the fairies do this?” the serpent asked. His voice rose with rage.

“No,” Delphie shook her head.

“Dragons?” The serpent’s voice was filled with such loathing that Sandy instinctively shuddered.

“They’re fighting against this,” Delphie said. She pointed to the air where four or five brightly colored dragons flew overhead. “Watch.”

A dragon gave a powerful pulse of its wings before tucking them to its side. The dragon dropped through the opening to the bowl only to be pushed out of the area by a eruption of lava spiking up into the air. The dragon screamed with frustration and flew out of the bowl.

“They’ve been trying to get in here as long as I’ve been standing here,” Delphie said.

“They are our enemies,” the serpent said.

“Enemy or not, they are trying to save you,” Delphie said.

“Who then?” the serpent asked. “How is this happening?”

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…


Chapter Three Hundred and Thirty-seven: Chamomile tea (part six)

CHAPTER THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SEVEN

(part six)

“Watch.” The serpent commanded.

They saw their doubles disappear while Fin, Abi, King Manannàn, and the fairy army got ready to engage the serpents. The single serpent was surrounded by a great host of serpents. King Manannàn raised his sword to order the cavalry to respond and the earth began to shake. The sand around them slipped away and they were standing on a volcanic rock shelf. A small entrance to a cave appeared in the rock wall.

“Hold on!” Tanesha yelled.

“Get back!” Jill said.

Moving as fast as the trembling earth would allow, they stumbled their way into the mouth of the cave. The volcano erupted. From the safe location, they watched the destruction. Fairies and serpents flew into the air. The fairies disappeared in a flash, while the serpents bore the brunt of the volcano’s fury.

“How could this happen?” Delphie asked.

“No idea.” The ancient serpent shook his head. “Do you?”

“I…” Delphie started.

Heather screamed and dropped to her knees. Sandy ran to her side. Jill and Tanesha took off their jackets to make a blanket for Heather to lie on. Sandy helped her lie down.

“Her water broke,” Sandy yelled to Delphie.

“You will not take the child,” Delphie said.

“No,” the ancient serpent said. “We no longer desire to inhabit humankind. We wish only for a peaceful end.”

“And the child?”

“The mother holds all of her father’s power,” the ancient serpent said.

Delphie scowled with distaste and disgust.

“We are as loathsome to you as you are to us,” the ancient serpent said. “And yet…”

“You will have to ask her,” Delphie said.

“Ask what?” Jill asked.

“There will be a great release of power when the baby is born,” Delphie said. “The serpents would like to harness this power to rest in peace.”

“That’s what they want?” Tanesha’s doubt-filled voice came from her position at Heather’s bent knees.

“As payment for the debt of killing a breeding pair of serpents,” the ancient serpent said.

“What about the financier?’ Sandy asked.

“I know nothing of this,” the ancient serpent said. “Do we have a deal?”

“Only if you no longer resent Alex and her team!” Jill said.

“Or us,” Sandy said.

“Done,” the ancient serpent said.

“Heather?” Delphie yelled to Heather.

“Get guaranteed safe passage home,” Heather said. “Be specific.”

“Safe passage for myself, Heather, the child, Tanesha, Jill, and Sandy,” Delphie said. “No harm will come to us, the military people, the children, or anyone associated with us. You will return us back to Denver in our timeline.”

“Done,” the ancient serpent said.

“And you will leave this world forever?” Delphie asked.

“We already have,” the ancient serpent said. “We will finally be at peace.”

“Ladies?” Delphie asked.

The women looked over at her.

“May love heal your wounds so that you may rest in peace.” Heather’s words came out in grunts.

“Go ahead,” Tanesha yelled.

“It will be done,” Delphie said.

Heather yelled with pain.

Denver Cereal continues on Monday…


Chapter Three Hundred and Thirty-seven: Chamomile tea (part five)

CHAPTER THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SEVEN

(part five)

Everyone turned to look at Heather. Heather, who loved lingering in the background, was now the center of attention. Heather, who rarely drew attention to herself, was now the focus of everything. And, in this moment, she looked every bit like a Goddess.

“They need you to …”

As if the wind picked up inside the Castle living room, there was a whirling sound. Before anyone could respond, the women were swept out of the room. Aden, Jacob, Jeraine, and Sam screamed and tried to grab them, but they were too late. The women sped through the world. In a blink of an eye, they were tossed onto the amber sand inside the volcano bowl which used to hold the sea of amber. They rolled in the sand and came to a stop against a sandy cliff.

The smallest of them, Sandy was the first on her feet. She ran to where Tanesha had landed and helped her up. They went to Jill and helped her to her feet. Delphie had cracked her head on a rock upon landing. She was sitting with her head in her hands.

“Where’s Heather?” Tanesha asked.

Sandy pointed. She and Tanesha left Jill with Delphie and ran to Heather. They pulled Heather to her feet.

“Look!” Jill yelled.

On the other side of the bowl, Jill appeared in the amber sand. Her father seemed to fall on top of her. Perses looked up and Jill felt their eyes meet across the sand. He turned his attention back to the Jill in front of him. Heather and Hera landed gracefully on the sand, and Sandy landed beside them.

“Is that us?” Tanesha asked.

“It’s playing out right now!” Heather said.

The military helicopter appeared overhead and Alex’s team brought Paddie and Katy. Fin and Abi arrived around the time Paddie and Katy hit the sand. The serpent appeared. They could see the serpent’s mouth move but they couldn’t hear his words. As they watched, King Manannàn appeared from the cavalry’s ranks.

“It’s fascinating, isn’t it Oracle?” a low voice came from behind them.

Delphie turned to find an ancient serpent towering over her. The dark olive green serpent was viciously scarred. The blue and red tartan pattern on its sides showed signs of being burned. His snout was now filled with broken teeth. Only one of his eyes remained. A deep white slash of a scar covered where his eye should have been.

“That’s the same serpent,” Sandy said in a low tone.

“What has happened to you?” Delphie asked.

“Our end came,” the serpent said. “You must know that, Oracle.”

“Guessed it,” Delphie said.

“We had hoped to avoid the end, to change the course of things, but…”

The serpent nodded his chin toward what they had done before. There was a rousing cheer from the military helicopter. The serpents were frozen by the combination of Sandy’s mother’s symphony and the Sword of Truth.

“Did the fairies do this to you?” Delphie asked.

“Watch.” The serpent commanded.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…


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