Does the punishment fit the crime? Tell me what you think.

Lightening flashed across the sky, strangely overlaid across the blue, cloudless view. Half-formed figures and houses appeared along the riverbank. Children laughed as they splashed in the water. There was a village here once, full of life.

“Please. Not again.” The words barely made it past his tightening throat.

Thunder rumbled in the distance. He fell to his knees, trembling. The heavy sack he wore dug into his shoulder. But that wasn’t what caused the churning inside him. It was happening again, just as it had every day since the storm. Unable to stop it, he watched as thick, roiling clouds and an orange wave poured across the valley, obliterating the town.

Children screamed over the roar of the fire. Their anguished cries penetrated past the hands clamped over his ears. Even with his eyes squeezed shut, the image burned into his vision. Nor could he block the smell of burned flesh.

Tears streamed down his face, untouched by the surrounding inferno. Firestorm was his creation. His fault. And it was his order that deployed it. He was the one who turned the world into a blackened, ash filled landscape.

“I’m sorry. So sorry.”

No one offered forgiveness. There was no one left to hear the words. Still sobbing, he pulled a seed out of the sack and pressed it into the barren soil. One seed for every life lost. Doomed to relive the destruction he caused until life returned. A millennia of toil. That was his punishment.


Don’t forget to pick up your copy of Wolf Dawn and Star Touched.

Wolf Dawn 13


Gifted with the ability to wolf-talk, Kara has lived with the wolves since she lost her memories eight years ago. Now at sixteen, snippets of her past send her searching for answers. But the warm welcome she receives in the human village hides more danger than life with the pack.






Startouched AL Kaplan


Eighteen-year-old Tatiana is running from her past and her star-touched powers. Her power to heal may be overshadowed by more destructive abilities. Fleeing the persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. But this civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Will Tatiana flee or stay and fight for the new life she has built? Only by harnessing the very forces that haunt her can Tatiana save her friends and herself.

About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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