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Angel of Tarut - Prequel - EBOOK

Angel of Tarut - Prequel - EBOOK

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A chance encounter, a magical birth, and a catastrophic event. 

Matt Walker has finished university and has gone travelling. While in the Middle East, a chance encounter with a mysterious, but captivating young woman leads to a discovery that will change Matt's life forever. 

Set 17 years before Magi Dawn, this is the prequel to the epic Magi Saga series. 

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The Angel of Tārūt
The Middle East
Modern Day.

“Thank you,” Matt said to the taxi driver and handed him some cash.
The driver nodded and took the money, briefly counting it before stuffing it in his pocket.
“You brave man, coming here,” the driver said in broken English. “You British?”
Matt nodded “I am. It’s very beautiful here. Thank you for the ride.”
“No problem. You be careful, yes?”
“I will, thanks,” Matt said, climbing out the vehicle, shutting the door, and watching the driver turn the car around and drive off over the bridge, back to the mainland via the Riyadh Road. He wasn’t quite sure how he’d get back to Bahrain, but he’d figure it out, eventually.
Adjusting his backpack, Matt turned and looked inland, up the road into the centre of town. He’d been travelling through Saudi Arabia and had just spent the day on the island of Bahrain, where he’d been told of the second largest island in the Persian Gulf—the island of Tārūt.
It was apparently an undiscovered gem and well worth a visit. So, he’d taken an early taxi to Tārūt and crossed to the island. The cab had dropped him on the edge of Al-Qatif, the main urban area on the island. It looked amazing, just as he’d hoped it would.
Having graduated from university with a degree in Computer Science he’d longed to travel the world. He wanted to have adventures and experience other cultures before he found a job and started his career.
Looking every bit the typical tourist, Matt immediately started exploring the streets, ambling through the markets and enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of the town. Local traders picked him out from the crowd as an easy target and hawked their wares to him. Everything from rugs to spices were offered, but he’d long since learned how to handle their attentions and keep his money in his pocket.
The streets were often narrow and little more than sandy tracks snaking through the buildings. They were busy with crowds pushing their way through, going about their business for the day. The occasional car or moped dodged through the pedestrians, sounding their horns to try to make people move, but it never seemed to help much.
After wandering for about an hour through Al-Qatif, fascinated by the local culture and soaking up the atmosphere, he began to think about heading out of town. Matt was keen to see more of the island, but something caught his eye through the crowds that looked as out of place as he did.
For days he’d seen almost no other Westerners. No one else with pasty white skin. Everywhere he’d looked, the skin was dark and the hair black, so when he saw deep, flame-red hair framing an alabaster face, he couldn’t help but notice. A young woman stood in the street a short distance from him. Matt could just about make out her head and shoulders through the bustle of people.
She seemed to be alone and a little lost, and he wondered if he could help. Making his way through the crowd, he tried to settle on a way to open conversation with her. As he approached, he couldn’t help but admire her. She appeared to be a similar age to him, in her early twenties, and he thought she was beautiful. As he got closer, thoughts about how he could chat her up rushed through his head. He had something of a soft spot for redheads. There was just something about that eye-catching hair colour and fiery personality that he found attractive. He’d yet to date one though, but couldn’t help but hope that his luck was changing.
She had her back to him as he stepped up to her, her long, bright red hair hiding her face as it fell over her shoulders.
“Hi,” he said, leaning slightly forward as he spoke.
She immediately turned and looked up at him, one of her eyebrows arched in surprise. She had beautiful green eyes that fixed him with their stare and held him there. For a brief, crazy moment, it felt like she was able to read his thoughts or stare into his soul, and he found himself transfixed by her striking features.
The redhead had a girl-next-door look to her—a natural kind of beauty that fascinated him. She was shorter than Matt, maybe about five foot six.
She was also heavily pregnant. Really heavily pregnant. She looked literally about to burst, her hands rested on the sides of her distended belly, her swollen bosom straining her top.
Staring down at her bump, he wondered what he must look like. What was his expression at that moment? Surprise? Maybe a look of defeat? Who knew? But as he looked back into her eyes, he saw something else there that he’d missed before. It was a look of fear and slight confusion. Concern for her filled his mind. Something was wrong here, but what?
“Are you alright?” he asked. “Is there anything I can do?”
Her eyes bulged suddenly and she winced, bending over as she gritted her teeth.
“Oh crap,” Matt muttered to himself. She was about to give birth. “Um, help. Help, please…” he started to say. A few people looked around, but the girl’s hand shot out and grabbed his arm.
“No,” she said, without looking up, “don’t do that.”
“No help, please.”
“But you’re about to give birth. We have to do something.” Why didn’t she want any help? He felt confused. Surely they needed to get to a hospital or something.
Raising her head, she looked up at him with gritted teeth, she seemed to be thinking for a moment before her eyes locked back onto his. “Okay. You can help me. Come on.”
“What? Me? I, um, I’m not sure that’s a…”
Before he could continue his protestations she started walking, pulling him along by the arm with a grip like iron, heading to a nearby hotel.
“Look, I’m really not sure this is the best idea. I’m no doctor. I have no idea what to do,” he protested, but she wasn’t listening and her grip was surprisingly firm.
As they reached the edge of the street, he stopped objecting and gave in. She needed help and seemed fixed on the idea of him being the one to do it. So, he sucked down a steadying breath and followed her into the hotel.
The girl spoke the local language perfectly and booked a room without issue, gritting her teeth through another contraction as she dealt with the man at reception. They headed upstairs right away, the man behind the desk giving them a strange look as they went.
The girl winced and doubled up in pain a couple more times as they ascended the stairs. On reaching their door, the girl handed him the room key and Matt let them in.
The room was dank and grim-looking. No place to give birth in his opinion, but she shut the door and ordered him to lock it as she made for the bed. Matt secured the door and turned around to find her pulling off her trousers and underwear.
“Aaah, crap,” he muttered to himself as the reality of what was about to happen slammed home. His heart hammered away at his breastbone as he looked every which way, but at the girl. Out the corner of his eye, he could see her levering herself up onto the bed. She sat back against the headboard, her knees up as she huffed and puffed through another contraction.
Matt gulped.
“I need you to have a look,” she said.
“What?” he asked, suddenly feeling very squeamish and entirely inadequate. “Look? Look where?”
“You know where,” she answered, spreading her legs a little. “Come here and have a look, can you see anything? I can’t exactly get my head down that low.”
“See anything? Like what?”
“I don’t know. I just know I’m close and you need to help me, please.”
His stomach flipped.
“Um, heh heh, I’m not a doctor, isn’t there someone we can call, your husband maybe?” he stammered, feeling desperate.
“I’m not married, I’m here alone, and you’re the only one who can help me, now get over here!”
Her voice left no space for negotiation. Taking a steadying breath, Matt walked over and gingerly took a look between her legs. It wasn’t anything he hadn’t seen before and yet, for some reason, he was terrified. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting to see. Maybe a tiny face smiling back at him? But he couldn’t see anything.
“Um, it all looks normal, I guess,” he answered with a shrug. “There’s no head yet. I can’t see anything. I mean, um, I don’t know what I’m looking for.”
She sat back, closing her eyes as he spoke and seemed to concentrate on her breathing.
“Get some towels and some water. I’ll talk you through it, don’t worry,” she said, in a voice that seemed way too calm for a lady in labour.
“What’s your name?” he asked, realising he didn’t know what to call her.
Opening her eyes, the girl looked up at him and seemed to think about it for a moment, almost as if she’d forgotten her own name. “Sophia, it’s Sophia.”
“I’m Matt, Matt Walker.”
“Nice to meet you, Matt, now, can you please help me?”
Matt nodded. This was going to be a long day.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Andrew Dobell. Welcome to my website.

I'm the creator of the sprawling multi-series urban fantasy Magi Saga Universe, and the action-packed New Prometheus cyberpunk series.

I'm a storyteller at heart and have always loved creating worlds, characters, and thrilling narratives through both art and words. I enjoy spending my free time with my family and have a keen interest in cinema and genre fiction.

I'm also an artist and have worked for many years as a professional illustrator and cover artist for other authors.
I love creating art based on my novels.

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