Now available at Amazon.com and as a #kindleunlimited selection.
Now available at Amazon.com and as a #kindleunlimited selection.
The night should frighten her, but this was her home ground. She actually felt more at ease in the darkness than she ever had during daylight. She and Etienne had often traversed the night long after her parents were asleep. He would call to her and she would climb down from her window to join him on their nightly excursions.
On many occasion in the past Lucille had thought that must be the reason daylight seemed to sap her strength. She had become so used to the night. As soon as the sun set, it felt as though energy flowed through her, calling her out to adventure in the darkness.
She hadn’t realized how much she missed Etienne and this place. Not until this very moment. It seemed to Lucille that she had spent so many years fighting her true calling, pushing against walls that refused to budge. Tonight it was as though she flew across the ground, weightless and free.
She inhaled the night air deeply, filling her lungs with its moist density, before entering the pavilion proper.
As she arrived at the entrance to the foyer, she halted when she noticed the hundred or so black candles burning brightly scattered through the main room. It was as though the flames hovered in the air, the candles themselves blending into the shadows of the room. And then she gasped and drew back when she saw the two pale bodies, a woman with long, flowing dark brown hair that spilled over the edges of the white marble altar, stretched out at the feet of the statue of Hel. Lucille drew back into the shadows and set down the lantern at her feet.
Flickering candlelight bathed the flesh of the naked woman sprawled on the altar, a man poised over her on his knees. Flesh so pale it matched the pristine marble of the altar upon which the woman lay. Lucille’s gaze focused on the strange wispy cloud hovering between the woman’s lips and the man’s. Undulating and swirling between them.
Lucille’s acute eyesight, particularly in the most limited illumination, had been another curiosity. Tonight it worked to her advantage as her sharp gaze flashed over the man’s body, noting the column of marble white, rigid cock swinging between his legs as he seemed to inhale the ethereal cloud, rocking his body over the woman. Tight, muscled buttocks flexed with his movements as he undulated back and forth, the image weaving a seductive spell through Lucille. The woman’s body levered and arched up, pressing against the man as though locked to him by the odd misty vapor. Her head tossed back and forth and Lucille could hear her throaty moans echo throughout the chamber. Sounds of pleasure, a keening pitch to the tone that vibrated within Lucille.
It made her yearn to be the woman, to feel the man touching her, fucking her. Something seemed so familiar about him. About the act that was being performed before her right now. Her breaths quickened as she watched, the flood of her juices evidence of the depth of her arousal as she watched the erotic passion play.
The woman dropped back down onto the ledge as though weakened by whatever had just taken place; the vapor dissipated. Her head lolled to the side, the crimson mask glittering in firelight, her eyelids fluttering as though she couldn’t keep her eyes opened.
Lucille was shocked to realize it was a look she’d often seen on Brad’s face after they’d made love until the wee hours before dawn broke.
The man rose up, grabbed the woman’s lush, pale thighs and yanked her to him, positioning his cock at her entrance. As he slammed into her, a strange white light flooded the woman, and the man stroked his hands over her body, a path of pale light trailing his every touch like bits of lightning, flickering in his wake. Veins of light littered her flesh, ragged arcs of energy racing over her skin, sucked to the surface by the path of his hands over her body.
What was he doing to the woman? Lucille had never seen anything like it. The fascination held her rooted to the spot, unable to move. The heat of sexual frenzy bloomed over her own flesh at the terrible, seductive sight.
A spectre or inhuman creature of some sort has appeared to a man dressed in conservative, contemporary clothing. A bright light from behind him indicates to me that the creature comes from another dimension, another time, another place.
The street is a back alley, maybe factory district, ground is cobbled stone. The back of the building, exposed pipe, wooden structure. There is a doorway, bordered in old wood. Steps – maybe three leading up to the door – looks to be solid wood, closed and locked.
The looming spectre has mesmerizing red eyes, threatening to the man. Barring his way? Why is a businessman walking along this alley? Has he been summoned here? Victim or villain? Innocent or jaded?
Oh wait, the spectre holds something in his hand. As I thought – he is a messenger, he is a servant – minion to another. It’s a message for the man. Who is it from? Who does this creature serve?
Will the business man turn and run? Is he weak or strong. Brave or a coward. More or less than he appears? My sense is that he also in some way serves or will serve, the same master as this creature. Blackmailed or willing servant?
What is he offered in return? What enticement will take him from ordinary businessman to servant of some dark unknown master?
Is the businessman actually the one who summoned the creature because he wants something. Is he the reason the creature has been called to this world? What kind of business is he in? What does he need? What are his desires?
It’s nighttime. Perhaps midnight? There is no moon to light the passage. Is the creature here to serve? To see the deed is accomplished? To perform a dark and dirty task?
The man will soon no longer be simply ordinary – but will he become a monster like this creature in the hooded robe? He thinks he’s smarter, that he can control what is about to happen. He’s about to make his deal with the devil. The moment he accepts the message the businessman’s becoming will commence. Eagerly he accept the paper, opens it. It has begun.
The call to battle finally stole the last of his humanity. Her wings torn asunder around her bloody and lifeless body as he held her in his arms, unable to let her go. He stared at the sky as her body grew colder and colder, becoming stiff with the claim of the underlord. Her soul seemed to have already departed.
“You don’t need to lose her forever.”
He whipped around in the direction of the voice even as he cradled her body tighter to his chest.
“You can follow her and share eternity. If you agree to serve in my court and follow my will. Or let her go and live on as a shell, half a man, in a world that does not treasure your kind. As I would in my world.”
“Traitor to my kind. There would be nothing left for either of us. No place safe.”
“Not if you follow my orders. Not if you give me your loyalty. We are not so terrible as your overlord tells you. Different perhaps, but not the vile people he wants you to believe. We care well for our own. How much is her life worth to you?”
The king held out a hand. “Come, give your soul into my keeping, and you will see.”
He stared down at her. She was his life. He would not live without her. He did not want to.
“Her soul is safe?”
“For as long as you remain loyal to me. She will be safe in my realm. As will you. You have but a short time to make your choice.”
“On my terms. There is no negotiation. You will serve me and she will live. Would you really expect terms to be offered for a life so precious to you?”
He nodded. He could already feel his strength ebbing. No one knew of a pair – where one survived if the other died.He could already feel his life fading like a shriveled flower that has lost the sun.
The king reached down to cup his jaw, tilting his head back, to look into his startlingly obsidian eyes.
“Look at me,” the king said. “Focus only on me and you shall have your wish, for her to live once again.” And then he felt the roaring pain inside his chest as the king took possession of his soul.
He screamed in agony.Then felt himself being yanked from the life he’d always known. Spinning in darkness, reeling and reeling until he lost consciousness, falling into the darkness.
* * *
“Hey. Wake up.”
His eyes shot open and he started into her beloved gaze. She was alive and his joy couldn’t be contained. The king had kept his promise. The second thing he realized was that neither of them possessed wings and a moment of panic churned his stomach.
“I think you need a drink,” she said, then turned away. Tattooed into her bare back was a set of wings. And then he recalled the bargain he’d made. Now he knew exactly where he was and the price he had paid for her life.
But when she spun back to him, he realized exactly how high that price had been. The lack of recognition, a polite curiosity in her eyes. She had no idea who he was.
“You asked for her life, not her memory,” a voice from behind him said. “I’ve granted you exactly what you sought.”
He should have known. His soul was gone, and the heart he had left was shattered. He looked at her again, but she was staring beyond him, a look of total adoration in her eyes. An adoration that had once belong to him. His bargain with darkness had cost him dearly.
A full moon. Bats in the sky. A Carriage and two horses – 1 gray, 1 black. A driver with a whip.
I’m thinking stage coach. Traveling hell for leather. Who is chasing them? Man? Animal? Supernatural being?
In the carriage is evil – a villain – he has someone with him. The journalist? So, is the villain a railroad agent? Are they heading to or away from the train? Does the story have to do with migrant workers – the Chinese? The Irish? Is a man or a family or a town in jeopardy?
What we don’t see is the Dark-Moon Rider shadowing the coach. He scents the evil and his lover. Vengeance burns in his eyes. He has no choice, he is driven to pursue the conveyance. His target is in that coach and his lover is unaware of the danger. Sweet boy must be saved from himself and Rider can do no other than see to his protection. And destroy the evil within. This is his purpose.
The night is clear. The time of year is November. It’s a cold night.
The carriage comes to a halt, the Dark-Moon Rider sits in judgment upon the railroad agent. We learn why – what his guilt is. The journalist tries to stop the vengeance, but Dark-Moon Rider will see it done. It’s his job and he sees to it swiftly.
The journalist’s life is in jeopardy as the agent puts a gun to his head trying to save his own worthless life. It doesn’t stop Dark-Moon Rider and justice is meted out, the journalist saved.
The man is buried in loose earth. Snakes slither toward the grave and descend beneath the earth. The driver’s mind is wiped clean and he’s sent on his way. Justice will come for him in its own time. The money in the coach will be delivered to the orphans and widows.
Back at the journalist’s rooms above the newspaper, it is almost dawn, but he and the Dark-Moon Rider speak of what has occurred.
In the old west good and bad are not so sharply discernible. In war it’s even harder. The journalist is conscience-stricken. Murder does not rest easily upon his mind.
But dawn is closing in and soon his Dark-Moon Rider must leave. They make love. And then he’s gone. Leaving the journalist sated, but with questions.
The next day the journalist hears word of the disappearance of the railroad agent. And that the driver with no memory has been taken into custody. He has a black reputation. But still, the journalist feels some guilt. [He feels the guilt because the Black-Moon Rider can’t.]
[Note: the journalist is Black-Moon Rider’s conscience – his own remorse spills into the journalist, for he himself cannot feel. His desire for the journalist in a physical way is an anomaly. The sex with him is a form of purging his guilt, a cleansing ritual that must be maintained. The journalist keeps him rooted and anchored. But the journalist doesn’t realize this.]
He writes his story, the lamp burns brightly. He senses a familiar dark presence. He says simply. “Come in.”
The Dark-Moon Rider comes in.
“What vengeance tonight, Rider? What blood will you let in the name of justice?”
The journalist turns and meets the dark hungry gaze – like a wolf – of the Rider. He can’t deny him. He feels the undeniable, desperate need. The journalist blows out the lamp. The moon shines in through the window, but Rider is a ghostly presence, a shadow without definition as he moves toward the journalist and they merge as one.
Any other consideration is soon lost as the journalist entwines himself into his Dark lover’s embrace.
Outside, the owl screams. Soars downward, snatches up a mouse, soon to become his dinner. Even as the Dark Rider picks up the journalist and carries him up the stairs.
Money. Earthly. Young. Round. Disc. Stone. Carved. Display. Medieval/Gothic church/archway. The number six and the number one. Trepidation.
“I offer this to you.”
Magenta, red. Gold trim. Long fingers.
“You don’t want to go there. I’m warning you. I serve him. Not you. He is great and powerful, will do great things. See, the disk? He is immortal. You cannot win.”
Whatever lies in wait is not revealed. Behind him is the unknown.
“I have no choice. He has shackled me to his service. I cannot leave, but you can. There’s still time.”
How little he knows. You are more shackled than he. You have a right to follow this path. It is pre-ordained. You will not leave. There are answers down that corridor. Your father? He’s waiting. He knows you’re coming. Has known you would come for quite some time. Once begun there can be no turning back. He’s a monster. And you are spawn of the monster. You are of his blood. He has the answers you need. As his daughter, he has already shaped your destiny. You have come a long way to discover the answers to your questions.
Why do you shift? Why do you crave the ravaging of flesh?
He’s a scientist. He hasn’t just fathered you, he created you to be in the image of his dream. Your nightmares.
Your mother took you away as a young child. But she is dead – you killed her. That is the stain upon your soul. A guilt you can’t outrun. And it’s his fault.
This page, this child, doesn’t see the darkness in you; he sees the innocence. He sees what you want him to see. And he will lead you below, through the labyrinth. So you may end the life of he who made you.
The page – a closer link than you think. He is your half-brother. Created by him you seek, a child you cannot deny. When it is over, you will take him with you. Or is it already too late for him as well? Perhaps, but you must try. And at least neither of you will be left alone. Are there others?
You hear him laughing, laughing. You are incidental to his plan. One will live, one will die. It makes no difference to him. The page smiles, he takes your hand. You know what you must do.
A full moon. Black birds or bats in the air. A statue (Roman) with a missing arm. A young male vampire recently fed, blood dripping from his mouth down upon his chest. A human skull, blood-spattered.
The eyes of the vampire are white. He’s on the hunt for another kill.
Does he look to his master or mistress for approval or for orders as to what comes next?
Who does the skull belong to? A friend? A foe? Someone he once loved? Would he have vengeance upon his maker if that were possible? Whose blood has he taken? Friend, foe, stranger?
What is next? Is he one of the thirteen? By the look of his clothes too new to be the master.
He’s one of the younger ones. He has no choice but to follow. He has no choice but to do his bidding.
He is a wily master and allows the boy to glut himself on blood. This is how he shall bind him. To give the boy just enough, and then to exact payment – to make him his slave.
His will power is gone. He belongs to him now. There’s no going back once one is immortal. Once one is dead.
A Roman guard standing sentry. Bandaged shoulder, seeping blood. He hears something. I see a sense of wariness on his face. He grips the spear. Nostrils flare as he seeks a scent from the night. Human scent or animal?
It is dark, torchlight burns. No real sense of time of year. Soot on his arms and legs. The city has been burned. Who goes there? Man or woman? Or something else that the night has spawned?
Who has been angered by the attack on the city? What has been unleashed? Who has the soldier killed with his sharp, pointy spear?
Foot soldier, not of rank. He will die.
Wolf or vampire who waits in the darkness? Or some other creature of the night? Will it attack? A sense of female, of great power. Angry, teeth, snarling, snapping. The scent of burning flesh searing its nostrils.
Conquerors will die, one by one. She will be captured by a Roman general, chained and taunted. It has happened before, it will happen again.
As he is set upon destruction, so is she. She has bitten and thus he will be changed. A remote city in the mountains of Italy. She will take him as her mate. For a time. They never last.
He’s always been conflicted about his duty. She is a queen of her kind. Her mate has been killed and now she will take another. She will take him. The others of her kind need their queen strong and fruitful. She is distracted without a mate. He will take the place of her dead mate, the smell of his slaughter still permeating the night.
She is of the old ways. An original pack of Rome, who is she today? Her mates always die, leaving her alone. Thus, it is the fate of a queen of her kind. To mate is her duty, to kill is her legacy.
It was not an awakening from sleep in the truest sense. It was more an…awareness, where before there was voidness. It was not an emergence from dreams, it was pain that thrust him back into the world. He did not breathe, his heart did not beat. And yet he was aware. That was the word. He did not smell in the sense of humans, the scents being more visually represented inside his brain. His skin was indestructible because of his origins. His heart had once beat as human. His bones, those belonging to a beloved dead man. When he walked he felt them slide together. He was one of many. Skeletal remains pieced together inside bronze, a beating heart the final piece to an intricate puzzle.
“The first is aware,” the sculptor said. “His flesh is supple.”
“You’ve done good work,” the boy heard a voice say. The sound of the voice materialized inside his head. A gigantic man, bearded, hairy, muscular. The boy was aware of the man as not a stranger. Someone familiar. But the boy had no memories of names.
His eyes focused and stiffly he stepped forward as though he had not used his limbs in a very long time. The bones inside him rubbed together, almost like flint to stone to wood, something inside him sparked and a warm shower of sparks shot through him. He gasped as the heart inside his chest thundered powerfully, and seemed to expand. He went breathless, for a moment.
“It’s all right,” a soothing voice said. The sound formed inside the boy’s head. A shape of gentle, hands sensitive, smooth pale human flesh. Lightly bearded, long dark hair. The boy’s heart sped faster. Liquid seemed to gush inside him, the sparks of bone rub diminished. Something warm spread across the boy’s bronze flesh. The boy turned toward the sound of the warm voice, already knowing the measure of the man.
“Father,” he said. “Creator.”
A gleam entered the sculptor’s eyes. “He is aware of me.”
“I have known you, father, from the moment this heart connected me to life. I felt your work upon my husk. You polished me, your hands upon my shell. You oiled me, you fashioned the whole of me. Your hands are callused, I felt you. They are knowledgeable hands.” He cocked his head. “What do you call me, creator?”
“The first,” responded his father creator. “You shall be known as Tyro.”
And thus that was the word stamped onto the boy’s forearm, an indelible mark of his beginnings.
The first of his kind.