Colleen Houck

“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

Colleen's blog

  • Miracle Girl

    January 15, 2014

    Miracle Girl


    “So you think she’s the one?”

    He set down the file he’d been studying. “I believe she is,” he said confidently, then hesitated, “I hope she is, Nilima. For their sakes.”

    Nilima sat back in the comfortable leather seat and sipped her tea. In just five years she’d gone from a boring desk job, to being the personal assistant of one of the most reclusive and powerful men in the world, to becoming the literal face of Rajaram Industries.  She had control of more wealth and corporate influence than she ever dreamed existed and it was all because of this man.

    The refined elder gentleman sitting across from her was not only the man who controlled a financial empire and was not merely her boss. He was a man with secrets. Unbelievable secrets. The kind of secrets that would send family members scrambling for the phone number of the nearest mental institution.

    He’d told her that the purpose of his entire existence was to break a terrible curse.  That all his money, all his power, all his energies were focused on that one goal. That the reason he’d hired her was so he could turn his attention more fully to the mysterious and incredible fairytale that encompassed him. He’d trusted her with his secrets and, though it seemed crazy, she believed his story and was determined to help him.

    “Tell me again what the monk said to look for,” Nilima prompted.

    “We were to look for a girl with brown hair and eyes, no parents, and with some kind of power in her speech.”

    “But there are perhaps millions of girls that fit that description.”

    “Yes. But this girl is special. She is to become a warrior, strong and beautiful.”

    She set her empty teacup on the service tray in the bar.  “You aren’t hungry?” she asked as she removed the plate with his uneaten dinner.


    The window outside was black. It would be close to midnight by the time they’d land in Portland. He dropped several sheets of paper on the table and rubbed his tired eyes.

    When Nilima returned, she picked up a photo of the girl and studied her face.  “She doesn’t look like a warrior.  I’d have a hard time being convinced that this girl is destined to break a curse.  She looks…fragile.”

    He opened his eyes and replied thoughtfully, “Indeed.  Did you know she lost her parents?”

    “No.  What happened?”

    “A car accident.  She was fourteen when they were killed by a drunk driver. She’s lucky to have survived. The car caught on fire and her parents were trapped inside. They were dead long before help arrived.”

    Nilima glanced at the photo again. “She doesn’t have any visible scars.”

    “No. In fact, she was found not too far from the crash. She has no memory of escaping the vehicle. She wasn’t thrown from it, nor was she injured.”

    She clicked her tongue. “A miracle girl, then.”

    “Yes.” He set down his teacup as he mused, “So many years searching. I’ve spent my life looking for this one special girl. I’ve invested millions of dollars and sought out the help of monks, magicians, fiends, and frauds to find her, and yet it made no difference. This girl found us. It’s strange but when I first heard her name, it seemed familiar to me. Almost as if I’d known her all these years but that I’d merely forgotten her face.”

    “How old is she now?”


    “She’s young.”

    Too young for what will be asked of her.” He sat back in the leather seat, clasped his hands, and rested them in his lap.

    “You’re worrying too much,” Nilima admonished. “What’s so hard about asking her to come to India? To fly off in a private jet, where she’ll be treated to every luxurious comfort that money can buy?”

    “It’s not taking her to India that worries me. It’s exposing her to the magic and mystery associated with the curse.”

    “I handled it just fine.”

    Kadam chuckled. “You handled it, but I wouldn’t say it was easy for you.”

    “No,” she agreed. “It was difficult at first but I trusted you. I believed you.”

    “But she doesn’t have the benefit of trusting us first. She’s already been through so much in her young life.  I hate to ask more of her.”

    Nilima patted his hand. “We will help her. Try to make her as comfortable as possible. She may not even be the girl you seek.”

    “She’s the girl,” he said softly. “No one else has been able to wake the prince from his prison in all these years.”

    “What’s he like?”

    “Prince Dhiren?”

    She nodded.

    “He’s,” Kadam laughed quietly, “I don’t really know anymore.  When he was a prince, he was the hope of the kingdom—bright, diplomatic, and self-assured. Now…I don’t know. He’s been trapped for centuries.  I think I’d go mad in that time.”

    “How did he seem on the phone?”

    “Our conversation was brief.  All he said was, ‘Kadam. I’ve found her and I’m ready to come home.’”

    They sat in silence for a few seconds.  The plane angled slightly.  Brilliant moonlight streamed through the window and fell upon the face of the girl in the picture. Kadam picked it up and said, “Perhaps this young girl was saved from death for a reason. Perhaps our destinies are intertwined. Perhaps she will be the salvation of us all.”

    Nilima gathered the papers and tucked them into his briefcase then she brought him a blanket and pillow and said, “Try to sleep for a few hours. We’ll speak of destiny again soon enough.”

    “Yes, you’re right, of course,” he replied.

    As he closed his eyes and tried to rest, Nilima placed a few phone calls to assure that all things were prepared for their arrival.

    After she hung up, she dimmed the lights. Could they honestly expect a young girl of seventeen who had absolutely no ties to India to not only believe their story but feel sympathetic enough to help?  It was a lot to ask. 

    Nilima pulled another blanket and pillow out of the overhead compartment and sat in the seat across from the man that had changed the course of her life.  After getting comfortable, she stared out the dark window.

    Though she’d had a hard time believing what he’d told her, a part of her had always known there was something special about him.  That knowledge had helped her overcome her fear and hesitation.  He was all alone in the world and she’d sensed that he’d needed her.  Perhaps this young girl, Kelsey Hayes, sensed the same thing in the lost prince.

    Nilima closed her eyes. As she drifted to sleep, the plane sped on, moving them closer to destiny.



    This entry was posted in Bonus Material, Tiger's Curse.

    One Response to Miracle Girl

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Author Bio
    Colleen Houck

    New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she's not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.