“Joy stood up off my bed, turned her back to me and slid her tunic down a little. From between her shoulder blades, two small, mutilated looking stumps arose. They were covered with scar tissue and clearly designed to affix to a larger structure which was no longer there. Joy continued. Now her voice became robotic, cold, and flat. She didn’t want to face the emotion of what happened next and so she sapped it of all emotion there could be. “He ordered Gabriel to hold me down and Michael to cut off my wings. I pleaded with them saying ‘Brothers, please, I am your sister. Do not do this to me.’ Michael sneered at me and replied ‘you stopped being my sister when you made your choice to disobey our Father. You act as no daughter of his and no sister of mine.’ Gabriel, held my arms so I could not fight back. I begged of him ‘Gabriel, my love, do not do this to me!’ Tears came to Gabriel’s eyes. He replied ‘Joy, just repent and do as he commands. I beg you. Perhaps even now our Father may show you mercy.’ I shook my head and replied ‘I cannot.’ Gabriel then sobbed as he said ‘Michael, please just do it quickly in a single stroke so it is not too painful for her. Joy…’” Joy stopped and sniffed. She then continued “Gabriel said to me, ‘Joy, I am sorry but we have no choice but to obey.’”
I looked at her and said “Gabriel went ahead with it even though he loved you?” Joy nodded and said “Yes, he was under the fealty of the Father. He had no choice but to obey. Michael struck me with his sword and pain coursed through my body as my beautiful, white, wings were rived from my flesh. I passed out from the pain. When I awoke I was falling through darkness as I had been cast out of God’s house. I landed hard on something painful and laid there, in the darkness. Blood poured from my back. Screams of anguish filled my mouth. I filled the darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Joy looked distant. She pulled her tunic back up and sat down on the bed. She looked deep into my eyes and said “Rebecca, I was nothing. I had nothing. I had lost my wings. I had lost the love of God. I had lost everything. I was a little girl crying alone in the dark. I was scared, weak, and afraid.”
The situation had changed. I was quietly typing away and now it was Joy who was curled up in a ball on my bed.
She was sobbing.
I set my laptop aside and sat down beside her. I couldn’t help it. I put my arm around her shoulders, careful not to awkwardly press on her piteous stubs, and held her and comforted her.
Somewhere, there is a handbasket heading to hell with my name on it.
She sobbed and looked at me. She said “You know, for so long I thought about this as being all your fault. If only God hadn’t made such a ridiculous creature and then fallen in love with it, perhaps everything would be different. Now, I am wondering if part of it is my fault.” I offered “Because you didn’t give contentment?” Joy shook her head and said “No, I made the right choice. You don’t deserve contentment. I wonder if when God gave me his contentment if somehow he lost some of his own. Maybe what I should have done was give God his contentment back and then he would have smiled happily, as He usually does, wadded up the mistake of Adam the same way as a potter does with a piece of clay, and set about making some other general beast of the land or fish of the sea.” Joy looked at me and said “If I had thought to have done that, none of this would have happened.” Joy’s sobs slowly ceased and turned into a cold, dark, stare “Everything would have been better.” She looked into my eyes darkly “You would have never existed.”
I said nothing.
Joy looked at me with a stare of bitter hatred and I let go of her. Somewhere in the sad tale I had forgotten that this was the story of my mortal enemy. Some part of me wanted to cry with Joy for the loss of her wings, the rejection of her kind, her long suffering and righteous demands towards her father.
Her demands that humans shouldn’t exist…”
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When Dragon woke, he felt weak and puny, diminished in body and strength. He struggled to his feet and stared down at the naked human form he inhabited. The cozy cavern that had been his home looked immense and his body felt tiny.
He remembered the witch’s curse and groaned in abject misery. “What has the blasted witch done to me?” he shouted. The sound of his human voice echoed through the cavern, sounding like a person jeering at him. “I speak with a human voice?” He grasped his neck with spindly fingers and turned to search the cavern with weak human eyes. “Where is that blasted witch, Bellatrix?” He found her body slumped onto the floor. Bellatrix lay in a pool of blood, clutching the golden knife she’d plunged into her own heart.
With human hands, Dragon extracted the knife from the witch’s corpse. The weapon sparkled with jewels that most dragons would covet, but the metal felt hot and vibrated with supernatural power. Fear shot through his chest. Dragon quickly sheathed the bloody knife in a scabbard that lay next to the witch’s body.
“What am I to do?” he asked, pacing the length of the cavern, vacillating between anger and sorrow. He stopped and considered everything the witch had told him about her vile curse. Feeling resigned to the situation, he said, “I must find that young sorceress and get her to remove this dreadful curse.”
A cold breeze licked his naked skin, raising goose bumps across the frail flesh. He shivered and raised the puny arm to look at the appendage. “I’d better cover this pathetic body with human clothing.”
Dragon remembered the body of a human knight, one who recently tried to kill him, lying in a nearby cavern. That human wore clothing that might suffice for my purpose. He trudged through tunnels littered with bones, crying in pain as his bare feet stepped on the sharp objects. He limped forward until he found the knight’s body next to a pool of crystal clear water.
Dragon stared down at the body of the knight. He was a large man by human standards with dark hair and runes drawn down one side of his face. Humans often tried to use magical runes to protect themselves when they confronted a fierce dragon. It never worked. He touched the human face he now wore and wondered what it looked like. Turning to the still pool of water, he gazed into a familiar-looking face. Strange. Dragon pushed human fingers through the unruly mop of hair and peered down at the dead knight lying at his feet.
He gasped, “I look just like this knight. Did the witch copy the form of this human when she changed me into a knight?”
The Turning - Bound to Darkness
Apollo and Amaya Shelly are twins, living deep in the forest of Stockwood Washington and away from civilization. Raised by their father and under the protection of their leader, Maximiliano, Apollo and Amaya live what they consider a normal life with the Sanguis clan.
Three days before their 18th birthday, the twins discover that their “normal” existence is anything but normal: their father and the Sanguis clan are vampires. Worse yet, they learn that an agreement was made that would predestine them to become vampires on their special day.
In a chilling race against time, the twins uncover a secret that could destroy their lineage and alter their existence. Whether past or present, family or clan, the line between good and evil can easily blur. . .
. . . Especially when they are bound to darkness
I'm Dhellia Hunt, princess of the underworld. Daughter of Lucifer and Adana. This is my story.
While on a quest for the other “keys,” Dhellia recovers two artifacts that contain the most dangerous secrets on Earth, ones that could, in the wrong hands, turn the tables between good and evil. Dhellia gears up to prepare to battle “downstairs” in a way that no one ever has--aside from her mother.
Dhellia is a funny, fresh and sassy, fast-paced series about a young woman whose birthright is princess of the underworld—she’s mad as Hell about it, and is determined to use her powers to beat her father at his own game!
The moisture in the air condensed into droplets, then began to whirl. It danced for me, like the water wanted nothing more than to bring joy to me.
I stared. It was me. The water had answered my call. I had asked its help and it had answered me happily, like an old friend.
“I am the Gray One,” I whispered, my mind and body in perfect accord with the earth.
How could I have forgotten something so wonderful? Water, air and stones were my friends. I had missed their company.
“You just don’t understand. But you soon will Jake. I’ll not return here until everyone you know and love is long in the ground. My work was almost done. Now I must hope that I have done enough.” Jake noticed a faint blue outline appear behind Smeets as the wind kicked up around him.
The trees whistled and strained as a gust whipped up along the hillside. To Jake, it felt like his ears had just popped as he saw the blue glow strengthen into the shape of a doorway. The big man put his cases on the floor, bowing his head and removing his dark glasses. He spoke as he looked at the ground, the wind blowing his coat around his long legs.
“Do you know why you’re stood here, Jake? This very minute?”
Suddenly unsure of himself, Jake hesitated. “No, why?” he shouted over the roaring wind.
“Because I wanted you to be. You are my gift to a friend. Now I must leave you.” He looked up at Jake, his red eyes penetrating the night. Jake’s mouth fell open as he swayed on his feet.
Smeets took two steps back, turning his head to the blackness behind him. “Enjoy him, Anya, for he is fresh and very healthy.” He walked backwards until he vanished from sight, the blackness swallowing him whole.
Jake took a step forward, dumbfounded. His mind a whirling maelstrom. He stopped in his tracks when another figure emerged from the void. He stared in horror at the figure, dressed in a dirty grey gown that fell almost to her white bony ankles, dark mottled blotches covering her bare arms. Her yellow eyes are searching out and finding Jake, who felt like the earth was tilting at a strange angle.
She smiled at the sight of him, her dirty canines filling her blackened mouth as she moved closer. He tried to move backwards, tripping on a fallen log and crashing into the crook of a small tree. She sensed an advantage and moved to within ten feet of Jake, edging closer to him with shuffling feet. He wanted to turn and flee, back to his car, back to the safety of his house where he could bar the doors from all this. He then remembered his friend who lay dead on his lounge floor.
Not even his house would keep him safe from this. He was brought back to reality as two hands seized the lapels of his coat. He looked into the eyes of the woman as they bored into his. The yellow light seemed to dance like firefly’s, slowly taking away his fears. He welcomed the inevitable. He could almost see himself floating in a red river as her face filled his vision. He was at peace as her hands yanked apart the material of his clothing, exposing the flesh underneath.
Two things happened at that moment.
Firstly, his ears were filled with the deafening sound of her screams. Second, his eyes were blinded by a flash of light from below as he felt the hold on him released. The woman staggered backwards, her hands in front of her face, trying to fend off the piercing light that threatened to engulf her. Jake tried to rub his eyes and blink away the fuzzy shapes that floated in his vision as he suddenly felt a searing pain on his chest, followed by the smell of roasting flesh and burning hair.
He tried to grab at whatever it was that was causing the pain, his fingers touching the pendant that hung there. He pulled his hand away at the intense heat, flapping his fingers in the cold air. The bright light had dissipated enough for him to see that the woman had made it over to the glowing blue doorway between the two trees, one hand resting on the trunk as she tried to recover her resolve.
“Next time we meet, you’re mine,” she hissed before turning to trudge into the blackness.
After stumbling upon an otherworldly ritual, Kitty Fairlow discovers that her own incredible hunting skills are not merely due to a lifetime of training. She has been gifted powers from an ancient spirit, passed down by her father. She is a Constellation.
And she's not the only one.
A new generation of heroes have each inherited unique abilities in order to prevent the corruption of their world by the Tenebri, a race that thrives on life energy. Kitty, along with a high-born dancer and a snarky juggler, must find their allies before the Tenebri army picks them off.
With the powerful enemy emerging, can the Constellations gather in time to put an end to the threat for good, or will their foe succeed and wreak the same destruction they have unleashed on their own world?
He turned his eyes to meet mine through the water and a small smile came to his lips. “You are far more than I ever imagined you could be,” he said and sat forward, his elbows on his knees. “My magic, mixed with Fenrir’s, as well as the magic you inherited from your parents makes you—”
“A weapon, I know,” I interrupted, unwilling to listen to him.
Freeda sat in the chair across from me and leaned back, her eyes probing mine. “I had a dream about you last night. You were running through the mountains in your wolf form, but you were being chased. I woke up before I could see if you were caught.”
I choked on a drink of coffee. “M-my wolf form?” I asked while coughing to dislodge the liquid from my windpipe.
“You already know it’s possible. The glow of your magic has changed.”
Inspired by her grandfather and the lore of her last name, Katherine Pendragon set out to be the greatest scholar on Old England, King Arthur, and the Knights of the Round Table, she could be.
Research Librarian Katherine Pendragon always had the fantasies that her name inspired. So she traveled to England and became the worlds leading most expert in King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table. But that was all history. Until, faced with a gruesome fate she inadvertently summons the sword of legend, EXCALIBUR. Now armed with the magic blade she prowls the streets of London dispensing healthy doses of justice. But is there another reason for the mystic blades return. Find out as Lady Excalibur and her friends face an ancient evil.
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