Aqua Notes

 

Last Christmas, Supergirl gave me a unique gift — the best thing ever invented. Ever. Ever x 2.

 

It’s called Aqua Notes and it’s a waterproof notepad that you can hang in the shower. Since 87.23% of all good ideas are generated while taking a shower (along with 99.673% of all fake statistics), this thing is a must-have for almost everyone, but especially for authors.

Before she gave me this, I’d take a shower and then have to run through the house dripping wet looking for a way to record all the great ideas I came up with. Invariably, I forgot 62.31% of the ideas and got 34.21% of the house wet.

I’ve tested this invention for almost 9 months now. I’ve gotten it a little wet (writing on it with wet hands), and a lot wet  (it fell off the wall while the shower was running at least twice). So far, I haven’t had to sharpen the pencil.

The paper is made of magic, I’m pretty sure. It’s just a regular pencil, but even submerging the pad in water doesn’t smudge or smear what’s written on that paper. Of course, the paper might not be made of magic. It might be a product of unicorn spit. Or dragon scales. Or fire.

Or it might just be coated paper. Nah. It’s definitely magic.

American Gods

Supergirl and I binge-watched American Gods this weekend. It’s based on the book of the same title by Neil Gaiman. The show is available on the Starz network and made this months subscription worth every penny. I strongly recommend it.

The list of stars involved in this show is pretty incredible (full cast here). Ricky Whittle does an outstanding job as Shadow Moon, Ian McShane, Gillian Anderson, Orlando Jones, Pablo Schreiber, Crispin Glover, and Peter Stormare were my favorite God-impersonators. Ian McShane was perfectly cast, in my opinion, as were Gillian Anderson and Pablo Schreiber. Crispin Glover is absolutely creepy and Peter Stormare’s performance brings a whole new level to understated menace. Orlando Jones’ introductory sequence might be the best scene in the entire season — and that’s saying quite a bit, given the production quality of the show.

Watching the show brought back memories of reading Neil Gaiman’s book about a decade ago. I loved the depth of the story, the layers, the way Gaiman wove the mythologies of numerous cultures into a solid, believable narrative.

We loved this show, and can’t wait for more!  Congratulations to all involved!

The Dark Tower

I was lucky enough to get into an advance showing of The Dark Tower yesterday.  I had a great time, but fair warning: if you are going to see it expecting it to follow The Dark Tower series, it sort of does, but it mostly doesn’t. It’s like the film makers viewed the books as a general direction, rather than a specific set of scenes and story arcs, but hey, how could they make a 2-hour movie out of thousands and thousands of pages? If you go into it knowing that the movie is fun and interesting. If it has to be just like the books for you, you probably will not like it. It’s an adaptation, rather than a series made into a movie.

Spoiler alert!

Spoiler alert!

Okay, you’ve been warned.

Here are the things I loved:

  1. Roland’s abilities — Played by Idris Elba (which may seem like a strange choice, but Idris pulls it off like he was born into the role), Roland’s fight scenes are fun and interesting. In the novel’s Roland has trained his hands to automatically reload his revolvers so he can do it without thinking.  In the film, there is a little more to it than physical training, but it works. It works well.  Probably because of the special treatment Walter’s magics got…
  2. Walter’s magics — The Man in Black is played by Matthew McConaughey, and the man adds a layer of evil to Walter that is almost too much.  Almost. In the film, Walter’s magics are more immediate, more blatant, and far less subtle than in the books, but like the addition to Roland’s abilities, it just works in the film. I sort of found myself wishing for the bad guys to screw up so Walter would kill them (or make them kill each other) — it was that cool.  McConaughey pulls the magic casting off as if it were old hat, as if the power Walter wields is something he’s used every day of his life.
  3. Jake’s shine — and yes, they call it “shining” in the film, a nod towards The Shining and Doctor Sleep.  For the most part, Jake dreams, but once he gets to Midworld and learns a thing or two, the whole esp thing really takes off. The effects were cool, if maybe not completely unexpected.
  4. The Taheen — yeah, they are there, and they are done with awesome special effects. The costuming and digital effects make these hybrids look real. I love how the special effects team pulled off the “loose skin” thing.

Here are the things I didn’t love:

  1. Everything being condensed into 2 hours  — It felt rushed. Supergirl went along, and she’s never read the books.  Her comment was that there were a lot of things she missed out on, because she didn’t have all those pages to fall back on.  Some of the things are pretty crucial–like what the Dark Tower is and why these two guys are fighting over it.
  2. The doors — In the film it was a little too easy to travel between worlds.  If you can put in your ATM code, then you’re golden as long as you know where the machine-based doors are (and evidently they are all over the place).  I didn’t like leaving off the magical doors all together — one scene was weakened a great deal, IMO, by this omission.
  3. Eddie and Susan (Detta/Odetta) aren’t in it — Yeah.  I know, but they aren’t in it.  What can a guy do?
  4. Major Spoiler!!  I didn’t like the portrayal of Roland having abandoned the Gunslinger creed. At all.  I can see why they did it, but I still hate it.

Overall, I’d go see this if I were you.  If you are a hard core Dark Tower fan, manage your expectations and go enjoy it. It’s a fun, well-acted, well-directed movie with a high production value. It’s worth the price of admission.

Having said all that… I walked into the theater and ordered a small drink.

“$6.15,” said the pimply guy behind the counter.

My brain skipped a beat.  $6.15? For a SMALL drink?

Then he handed me the rain-barrel cup.

Even so, $6.15??  After paying $27.00 to get in the door??

😛

 

SPR Review!

Being compared to Neil Gaiman and China Mieville is not a bad way to start a day!  That’s how my day started when I read the review by Self-Publishing Review.

Here is the Amazon Editorial version of the review:

“A horror collection of deliciously disturbing and unsettling tales. The collection is brilliantly composed through slow, creeping exposition and enough shuddering moments to keep readers awake at night. The narratives bridge reality and the occult with ease, with the same dark grace as Neil Gaiman or China Mieville. Devils successfully taps into the dark thoughts that many might have locked away, making for a chilling and effective collection of horror fiction.”

You can find the full review by clicking the link below (be warned, he didn’t like the cover :P):

 

BookViral Review

Devils was reviewed by BookViral.com (a review site for original horror fiction) and the review is live this afternoon.  I couldn’t be happier with it and am quite flattered by their praise.

You can see the Devils spotlight page and cast your vote for the Crimson Quill award by clicking on the BookViral image below.

Here’s a copy of the review:

A Rivetting Best In Genre Horror Anthology From Erik Henry Vick

Surreal and constantly surprising, Devils is clearly the work of a writer who knows what he’s doing with Vick taking us to the depths of devilish depravity and beyond. Delivering sharp, and above all compelling nuggets of short, but perfectly framed works of fiction these are stories to be read with the light on and will linger in your memory for days and weeks to come.  Short story writing is an art that few authors master but here Vick turns brevity to his advantage with barb sharp stucco prose and deft characterization. It’s cutting and clever and he has clearly mastered the art of expanding on any given moment. It’s most evident in his opening story, The Devil, where we find ourselves staring into the eyes of the Devil along with his hapless protagonist and in Vengeance when Rick finds himself contemplating the cost of his revenge. All in all, there’s no wanton wittering with each story punching above its word count and each one beggaring reflection as we are left dwelling on the different manifestations of evil.

Powerful, clever and above all highly entertaining Devils introduces an exciting new literary voice to a popular genre and is recommended without reservation.

Shit happens at #1

 

Many of you know that my recent book, Devils, topped Amazon’s horror anthology category list (Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Anthologies & Literature Collections > Horror). To say it was unexpected is like saying the ocean is damp. Once it hit #1, things started to happen. Here’s a partial list:

  1. Yep, that’s right. Nothing much changed. The book launched on June 30th, and hit #1 on July 4th, just 4 days after launch. You might be expecting that in the time since, I’ve been contacted by royalty from the U.K. to arrange my knighthood, but, alas, no one has reached out. You might also expect that I’ve signed 13 movie deals (looking at you, Peter Telep) or landed a major trad publishing deal (ahem, Sylvain Neuvel). Nope. Maybe you’d expect that I’ve been lauded by my peers, but no, I haven’t heard from Stephen King, Joe Hill, Clive Barker… or… well, anyone. So yeah, nothing much happened, except proving the old adage that when you’re on top, there’s nowhere to go but down.
  2. I became obsessed with hitting refresh. Before I hit that top spot, I was firm in my belief that this book wasn’t going to do well (first book in the genre and short story anthology to boot), but that it was all about getting my name out there. Yeah. So when I saw #1, all that went out the window and I began to obsess about staying in #1… then the top 3… then the top 5… then the top 10… then the top 20… I’ve finally stopped checking 13 times an hour. And that’s not even a lie. Nope. 12 isn’t 13.
  3. I developed the strangest writing habits. I began writing 2 or 3 paragraphs and then either checking the rank page, or looking at book marketing websites. Oh, or talking to Supergirl about either one. I’ve read that the best book marketing an author can do is get on with writing the next book. Well, I have one written already, so I’m working 2 deep. Of course, the book I’m writing isn’t the one I should be writing… but that’s for another post.

So, yeah, I haven’t been affected by my success at all. No. Life is slowly returning to “normal.” That is, if “normal” applies to a writer’s life.

Devils LAUNCH DAY Teaser

Devils eBook Cover

It’s LAUNCH DAY!!  To celebrate, read this teaser of Wendigo, the fourth novella in Devils.

 

John Calvin Black rode on horseback through the woods with Donehogawa, a tall, straight-backed Onondowaga warrior that he’d known all his life. The two men were of similar age and had become fast friends during the adventures of their youth. Between them, they knew every nook and cranny of the forest west of Lake Seneca in New York—useful knowledge, considering the sun had just broken over the horizon.

As they approached John’s house on the outskirts of the village of Geneva, the distant voice of Captain Wiggin broke the stillness. “I say he’s not coming, Chambers. He couldn’t find a heathen, and so he’s not coming.” John cast an apologetic glance at Donehogawa.

Mad Jack Martin stepped his horse out of the woods and onto the path in front of them. He was dressed from head to toe in cured buckskin and wore moccasins like Donehogawa’s. He nodded a greeting and fell in beside John as they passed. “Yells too much, that one,” he muttered. He preferred being alone in the forest and rarely came to the village.

Donehogawa chuckled. “Like a bear yelling into his cave to see if he’s alone,” he laughed. “Sgeno, Jack Martin.”

“Hello to you, Donehogawa,” said Mad Jack with a tip of his hat and a smile for John.

They broke from the trees in time to see Captain Wiggin glaring down at his pocket watch and muttering. Edward Chambers, the bartender and proprietor of Geneva’s ordinary—Geneva’s tavern—sat on his horse behind Wiggin and grinned. “It is only ten minutes until seven, my good Captain,” John called out. “I believe we agreed on eight of the clock.”

“I see you’ve brought Mad Jack as well. One heathen scout and one crazy scout,” said Wiggin. He shrugged his heavy shoulders. “Better than no scouts, I guess.” He climbed aboard his buckskin horse and jerked the poor animal in a tight circle. “Lead on, Mad Jack! You’ve seen the body already, no? Unlike you lot, I don’t have all day to waste on this errand.”

Nyakwal,” said Donehogawa. It was the Onondowaga word for bear.

Mad Jack snickered behind his hand.

“What did he say?” demanded Wiggin.

Struggling to keep from smiling, John looked down at his saddle. “He says ‘Let’s go.’ This is Donehogawa, by the way. You might recognize him.” He knew Wiggin didn’t and never would, no matter how much time Donehogawa spent in town. The man just didn’t see anyone whose skin wasn’t white.

Wiggin grunted and nodded in the American Indian’s direction, somehow managing to make the small politeness feel like something much less well-meant.

Donehogawa grunted back and smiled. “Nyakwal.”

Smiling from ear to ear, Mad Jack walked his horse forward and pointed west. “Yonder,” he said, and then led them to the clearing where the farmer, Nathan Bryce, had drawn his last breath.

They dismounted at the edge of the clearing. The tall grass lay matted down in a rough circle to one side. Blood stained the grass, and the stench of decay tainted the air. Bryce’s broken body lay just under the branches of a hophornbeam tree, as if he were taking a nap out of the sun.

John meandered back and forth across the clearing, staring at the ground, trying to make sense of the scene. Something large had attacked Bryce, that much was plain. But what that something was, John couldn’t tell. By the expression on his face, Mad Jack had drawn the same conclusions. “Donehogawa?”

Gatgon!” said Donehogawa, which meant witchcraft in the language of the Onondowaga.

John raised his eyebrows and looked at the brave. He was as pale as John had ever seen him. John knew his friend well, and Donehogawa’s fear showed in the tightness around his eyes and his grim slash of a smile.

“Witchcraft?” whispered John. Donehogawa wasn’t given to flights of superstitious fancy. John wondered if he’d misunderstood.

“Bah!” sputtered Wiggin. “This is just some bear or a large cougar. I don’t need the heathen to spout fairy tales at me. I need him to help us track this animal so we can kill it. It is a benefit to his people, too. Can he do that?” Wiggin turned his head and spat. “If not, then he should just scamper off home.”

“Captain,” John said, feigning patience he didn’t feel, “we asked him to read the signs here and tell us what he believes killed Nathan Bryce. Can we at least give him a moment to work through this?”

Wiggin harrumphed and stomped over to look down at Bryce.

“What is it, Donehogawa?”

“This was no animal. Not a bear, not a wolf, not a coyote, not a cougar.” He had enough English to more than handle the likes of Wiggin, but he spoke Onondowaga, which spoke to his fear as much as his dislike for the man. “This was the evil that devours. This is no lying tale, John.”

John turned at looked at the body again. Jagged bones jutted through the skin in multiple places. There were obvious signs of predation, although not much had been eaten, and no scavengers had settled in for a feast. It was as if the body had been arranged so it would be found—a message of some kind.

All at once, the woods around them went silent, as if some large predator were stalking the area.

Gatgon,” whispered Donehogawa.

“What is all that gibberish about?” groused Wiggin.

“Donehogawa is upset by this. He says it wasn’t a bear, a wolf, a coyote, or a cougar.”

Wiggin sighed. “Is this heathen a coward?” he demanded.

“No!” said John and Mad Jack at the same time. Mad Jack, angry and indignant, motioned for John to explain.

“Donehogawa is a very brave warrior. He is known throughout the Onondowaga Nation—indeed throughout much of the Iroquois League. His name means ‘He Who Guards the Gate of Sunset;’ a name he was given after leading a small group of braves in defense of Ganundasaga during the last war with the Cherokee and the Choctaw.”

Wiggin harumphed and spat.

“The main war party was elsewhere, and despite being outnumbered five to one, Donehogawa’s party fought so bravely and so hard that the Cherokee war chief broke off his attack. To honor their courage. Don’t you dare call him a coward.” John’s voice had risen to a near shout, and his eyes blazed at Captain Wiggin.

Mad Jack clapped Donehogawa on the shoulder, but the Indian didn’t notice. The brave was staring into the woods on the far side of the clearing, his eyes darting from one shadowed hedge to the next like the wings of a hummingbird. Donehogawa raised a shaking hand and pointed. “Wendigo,” he said in a voice that was barely audible.

“What is that word?” demanded Wiggin.

“It means ‘evil that devours.’ Another translation might be ‘evil that eats.’”

“And what, exactly, does that mean—with either translation?”

“I’m not entirely sure,” said John. “As best I can tell from the legends I know, it is some kind of demon that preys on human flesh.”

“Bah,” said Wiggin, but his voice lacked conviction, and he all but ran back toward the group of horses.

“John! We must leave. Now!” said Donehogawa. His eyes were fixed on a particular hedge across the clearing with an intensity that scared John.

John turned to follow Donehogawa’s gaze. As he did, the brave strode to the center of the clearing and pushed John toward the horses.

“These men fall under my protection!” called Donehogawa in his native tongue, his voice booming and echoing around them like thunder. “I am Donehogawa of the Onondowaga. Hear me!”

With a majestic grace, Donehogawa turned his back on the hedge and, shoulders back, head held high, returned to his horse and mounted. The others followed suit, each one acting brave, pretending not to hear the soft laughter coming from the woods across the clearing.

“Still think he’s a coward?” sniped Mad Jack.

Wiggin just grunted into his beard.

No one said a word as they rode back toward the village. Donehogawa never stopped scouring the woods around them as they rode. Even Wiggin kept his thoughts to himself, despite several fits of glaring at the Indian and muttering into his long, white beard. Mad Jack seemed to be lost in a reverie of some sort, eyes down on the neck of his mount, holding the reins in a lackadaisical manner and letting the horse walk where it would.

John rode beside Donehogawa in silence. He had never seen his friend as ill at ease in the forest as he was that afternoon. Every cracking branch, every shifting leaf, every noise that would, on any other day, be considered normal and beneath his notice, seemed to garner the brave’s perfect focus.

“What is it, my friend?” breathed John as soon as the village was within earshot.

“Be silent,” whispered Donehogawa. “Listen.”

John strained his ears but couldn’t hear anything but normal forest sounds.

“Meet us at the ordinary, Black. The usual rules apply to the heathen,” said Wiggin, voice blaring.

Donehogawa glared at the fat older man.

The “usual rules” dictated that no tribesman could enter the village of Geneva on the shores of Lake Seneca armed. Because of John’s association with the tribe and the location of his cabin on the edge of the village, the Onondowaga usually left their weapons and horses in John’s corral. While the others rode straight into town, John and Donehogawa stopped at John’s house. They put up their horses, and Donehogawa disarmed. Then they walked into the village.

Standing in front of the ordinary, tapping his foot with impatience, Captain Wiggin gave Donehogawa his customary look of disdain and then opened the door and walked inside. It was too early for there to be much custom at the ordinary, so they had the main public room to themselves. Wiggin took a seat at a table near the long bar and looked at Edward, eyebrows raised.

With a wry grin at John, Edward donned his apron. “I expect you’d like a whiskey, Captain?”

Wiggin grunted.

“For us all, I think,” said John.

They all sat at the table Wiggin had chosen and sipped the strong alcohol. Wiggin glared at Donehogawa, who returned his gaze, his face impassive, a disinterested look in his eyes. It was a look that John hoped Wiggin couldn’t interpret—a look that said Wiggin was beneath the brave’s notice.

“To business,” said Captain Wiggin. “I believe I know the cause of Bryce’s death.”

“But Donehogawa said—” started Jack.

“Come now, Mad Jack! We are learned men in this village. There is no such thing as what this heathen described.”

“Captain, the Bible describes demons on several occasions. If demons exist in the biblical lands they can exist everywhere—even here. Do you not agree?” said the barman.

“Edward, you should know better. Demons don’t manifest as physical beings! They are forces that influence the world by the temptation of men. And that leads me to what I believed happened to Bryce—if, that is, I might be allowed to continue speaking…” Wiggin glared at each man in turn—except for Donehogawa, whose emotionless eyes he avoided. “As I was saying, I have reasoned out the cause of Bryce’s demise, and I don’t need to fall back on superstitions to explain it. Nathan Bryce was killed by the heathens—or at least one heathen.”

The three village men gaped at Captain Wiggin in astonishment. Donehogawa’s face flushed and his eyes blazed with anger.

“Come now, Captain, the Onondowaga—”

“Your pet heathens are not the only red men who walk in the forest, John,” snapped Wiggin. “We all know that the heathens conduct savagery on their enemies of the same race. What wouldn’t they do to one of us? The Mohawk? The Choctaw? The Cherokee?”

“Captain! It is true that some of the tribes take slaves—”

“And scalps!” added the Captain.

“—and that some of the more savage tribes might burn captives or even smoke them like meat. But none of the tribes around here have practiced rites like that for the Lord knows how long.”

“For longer than any of us have lived,” snapped Donehogawa.

“That’s right, Captain,” said Edward, which earned him a glare.

“Even if I grant you your argument—which I do not, by the way—what’s to stop some member of another tribe moving to these woods? A man who has been run off by his own tribe. A loner. An outsider.”

“The Onondowaga Nation and the Iroquois League,” said John.

“All well and good, but they wouldn’t—couldn’t—stop one man. They might not even know about the man.”

“No!” said Donehogawa. “This was not one of the people. He may have started life as one, but now he is wendigo.”

“So, then you admit this might be the work of a man?” asked Wiggin.

Donehogawa’s brow furrowed. “No. You are not listening. Just talking about things you don’t understand.”

“Come on, man! It’s what you just said: that he might have once been a tribesman—”

“I know what I said,” snapped Donehogawa. “You refuse to hear my words, though.” He turned to John and spoke in Onondowaga. “This is a waste of time. I have to warn the council.” With that, he stood and clasped John’s shoulder. “Stay out of the woods.”

John nodded. “How do we kill it?”

Wendigos can’t be killed. They are gluttonous demons that live to eat. They can be starved, but they don’t die. They can be harmed, but they won’t die. The best we can do is trap him in his lair and seal it up. But it won’t hold him forever, sadly, no matter what we do.”

“What is all this jibber-jabber? Why is this man getting ready to leave? I haven’t dismissed him.”

Mad Jack shot Wiggin a disgusted look and stood as well. He put his hand on Donehogawa’s arm and then turned toward the door.

“Jack Martin! Where do you think you are going?” snapped Wiggin.

Mad Jack whirled to face him, his face a portrait of anger and frustration. “You asked us! You said you wanted our help, but you won’t listen. You don’t need him,” he said, crooking a thumb at Donehogawa, “or me. You need someone to follow you around like a dog!” He turned and stomped through the door, leaving the room in a state of shock. No one present could remember Mad Jack stringing that many sentences together at once.

“Well!” muttered Wiggin. “We’ll see who needs whom when the snows fall.”

“He will always have a place at my table,” John said, voice fierce, eyes blazing.

“Or with us,” said Donehogawa from the door before following Mad Jack outside.

Wiggin glared at John across the table.

“What’s more is that Mad Jack is right. If you won’t take our counsel, there is no point in offering any.” John shook his head. “Now, you have no trackers willing to help you. Well done, Captain.”

“I don’t understand what has gotten into all of you today. Why is everyone so snappish?”

John sighed and folded his hands on the table. “Is there anything else, Captain?”

“Come now, Black, you can’t believe all this superstitious nonsense.”

“I’ve learned a lot from the Onondowaga in my life, Captain. One thing I’ve learned is that they believe what they say, and they never ever lie. If Donehogawa says he believes a demon is responsible for the death of Nathan Bryce, I will act on his belief until it can be proven otherwise.”

“But a demon, Black?”

“Whatever it is,” said John, “our best bet of dealing with it lies with the Onondowaga. They’ve lived and hunted this forest for a lot longer than white men have been on this continent. They are the experts here, not us.”

“Experts? Those unwashed heathens?”

“Sir, I have never seen an Onondowaga go unwashed. Aspersions will not help us get to the bottom of Nathan Bryce’s death and indeed might slow our progress. Recall, sir, that you asked me to bring Donehogawa this morning.”

“Of course I did! I wanted help tracking an animal, Black. I did not want a bunch of primitive superstition!”

John spread his hands, palms up. “As you’ve said repeatedly. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“Everyone is so snappish,” Wiggin muttered. He leaned back in his chair until in creaked under his weight. “No, Black. There is nothing else.”

John stood and, with a nod to Edward, left the two men alone.

 

Remember:  You can buy Devils, right now!  The price is just $2.99 US, and it includes a four-chapter my next book: Errant Gods.

Devils (on Amazon) https://bit.ly/4DEVILS

 

This is copyrighted material.  (c) Erik Henry Vick 2017, all rights reserved.

Devils Teaser 3

Devils eBook Cover

Please enjoy this teaser of Sister Wives, the third novella in Devils.

 

When I came to, I was sitting in a ladder-back chair with my left wrist handcuffed to a two-inch eyebolt driven into the table. I blinked hard, trying to clear the mud out of my mind. Other women surrounded me. The table top was four inches thick and made from rough-hewn planks of oak. Eyebolts were set into the wood at every place setting, but I was the only woman handcuffed to one.

“Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for this bounty.”

The words boomed from behind me. The speaker was a man—an older man, judging by his craggy voice. I tried to turn to face him, but a stupid bonnet tied onto my head caught the back of the chair.

“We thank Thee for guiding us through the land of the Gentiles and for bringing us to this secluded spot where we are free to worship Thee as Thou commanded. We thank Thee for the calling that brought Sister Rena into our midst.”

My name was Rena, but I certainly hadn’t received any calling. The last thing I could remember was looking for a warm place to sleep since all the shelters were full. I remembered something…something about an old pickup truck. But my memories were hazy.

I jerked my wrist, and the handcuff rattled against the eyebolt. The woman sitting to my left put her palm on my knee. Her hand was warm and gentle as she gave my leg a little squeeze.

“We thank Thee for allowing Sister Rena to wake, and to partake of this fine feast that Thou has granted us in Thy bounty and mercy. We thank Thee, Heavenly Father.”

“What is this?” I hissed at the woman with her hand on my knee.

“Hush, Sister,” she whispered.

“O Heavenly Father, grant us Thy continued blessings. Protect us from the Gentile government that seeks to destroy our way of life, to stop us from serving Thee in righteousness. Please allow the spring planting to proceed apace, and grant that the summer be filled with rain and blessed sunlight, each in its own right and according to Thy divine will.”

“What is this?” My voice was louder this time, and a restless rustling awoke in the women around me. “Where am I? Where are my clothes? Where’s my backpack and my phone?” The words came tumbling out in a rush. Again the woman squeezed my knee.

“Heavenly Father, give us the strength to bring Sister Rena into Thy warm embrace, for she is a Gentile, a sinner, and knows nothing of Thy ways. Grant Sister Rena the patience and wisdom to accept Thy teachings, Heavenly Father. Protect her from the evil that tempts her. Grant us the strength to resist the temptations she might bring into our midst.”

“Who are you people?” I glared at the women across the table from me. Each sat with her arms crossed over her breasts, head down, eyes closed. They ranged in age from late teens to a matronly looking older woman sitting at the end of the table. They all wore long gray dresses sewn from homespun cloth. Each had a black bonnet covering her hair.

I glanced at the woman who was now squeezing my thigh with a grip like iron. She peeked at me, her one open eye dilated with fear. She shook her head—just a little shake—and punctuated it with another squeeze.

The voice behind me sighed. “Heavenly Father, grant me patience, I beg Thee, for I am sorely tried in my own house.”

A chair scraped against the floor as someone stood up.

“We love Thee, Lord. Thy will be done. In the name of Thy son, Jesus Christ…” The voice sounded closer than it had before.

A heavy tread approached me from behind.

“Amen,” said the voice. It was right in my ear.

Everyone around me repeated the word and then the room went as silent as a church.

“Sister Sara,” said the man behind me. His voice had lost its booming quality, but it was still deep and rich. “Even as I prayed for the strength to resist temptation, you were giving in to it, chatting away, patting knees.”

Suddenly, the woman’s hand was gone from my thigh. She sucked in a breath, a fear-filled gasp. “I’m sorry, Brother Abraham. I was trying to keep her from interrupting the prayer.”

“Ah. Good intentions, then. Jacob, what do we know about good intentions?”

“They lead us down the path to Hell, Father Abraham.” The boy’s voice was piping, and he sounded young. Four or five, at best. Far too young to be worried about Hell.

“Yes, my son. You have learned well. Sister Sara, on the other hand…” He left the sentence hanging in the air, ripe with implied threat.

“I beg your forgiveness, Brother Abraham,” said Sara.

“Again, you disappoint me, Sister.” His voice was mild, but the air was pregnant with tension and suppressed violence.

Abraham’s voice was loud in my left ear, and I turned in that direction. Sara’s face had gone white—so white I thought she might faint. I tried to grasp her hand, forgetting that I was handcuffed to the table.

“A good instinct, Sister Rena, to offer comfort to those in need of it.”

A man’s head crept into view, like a demonic jack-in-the-box. He had salt-and-pepper hair, a bulbous nose, and a thick, full beard of white, wiry hair. His gray eyes reminded me of a doll’s eyes—shiny and dead.

“Sister Sara,” he said, turning toward her. “First, the prayer. Then begging me for forgiveness as if I held power over your eternal soul.”

Sara’s eyes widened, and her right nostril and the lip below it trembled. “I beg Heavenly Father’s forgiveness for my stupidity. I have always been headstrong, Brother Abraham, and prone to speak before thinking.” Her voice was small, contrite.

“Only speaking before thinking?”

“No, Brother. I also act before I’ve thought things through.” Her eyes were searching his face for clues of what he wanted from her.

“A night with Sister Mavis, then,” he said with a serene tone.

Sara’s face went even paler. Paler than I thought a living person’s face could get. Her eyes filled with tears, but she bowed her head and nodded.

“I need to hear it, Sister.”

“Yes, Brother Abraham. A night with Sister Mavis will do me good. A time to reflect and pray.”

“Yes, Sister Sara, as you say.” Abraham turned away from her and looked me in the eye. “Young Sister Rena, you are not yet aware of how Heavenly Father has commanded us to live. You are not yet responsible for your actions as Sister Sara is. That, we shall soon remedy. Heed what has happened here tonight.”

“And what has happened?” I spat. “Have all these women been kidnapped?”

“Sister Sara made an error in judgment. With my guidance, she came to realize it and to cauterize her sin before it could fester. She realizes that Heavenly Father has called me to be the head of this household that I may help and assist each and every one of you into his warm embrace at the end of days.”

“God didn’t put me here. Some sick fuck with a pocketful of roofies did that.”

To my right, a woman gasped, and then the room went as quiet as a crypt. Abraham’s eyes crawled over my face, mean and cruel. His breath was on my skin, and by the stench, he hadn’t been to a dentist in a long, long time.

“Sister Rena.” His tone was mild, but there was an undercurrent in his voice that sent shivers down my spine. He twined his fingers into my hair in a methodical manner.

I knew what was coming, but even so, when he jerked my head back, and the white-hot agony spread across the back of my skull, I cried out.

“Better to feel this pain, here on Earth, then to feel the pain of the Outer Darkness, Sister Rena,” he whispered in my ear. “I’m going to tell you how things are here, in the hope that it will save you some pain and me some aggravation.

“I am the head of this household, by divine right. The patriarch. I am a prophet of the Lord, and He speaks His will for this family through me. You will give me your respect. You will obey me.” He let go of my hair, and my head fell forward, neck aching, tears falling into my plate. “You will come to love me, and your sister wives, in time. Until you do, fear will be enough.”

Abraham withdrew. I couldn’t stop a sigh of relief. He walked back to his place. His chair scraped against the floor as he sat and then creaked as it took his weight. “Before we eat, are there any other questions or concerns from the sister wives that need to be addressed?”

There wasn’t a peep from the thirteen women around me.

“Good, then,” said Abraham. His tone became pleasant, as if he were discussing the events of the day. “Let’s eat. Pass those potatoes, Matthew.”

I glanced at Sara. She was looking down. Tears plopped, one by one, into her lap, but she didn’t make a sound. “I’m sorry,” I whispered.

Sara didn’t acknowledge the whisper. She sat still as a statue, rigid as stone.

Her skin was beautiful, pale and firm, and I guessed she was in her mid-twenties. I couldn’t understand what was scaring her so much. I was the one in fucking handcuffs. I looked down the table at the woman at its head.

She was heavy—thick-limbed and bountifully bosomed. Her face was severe as if it were a sculpture of brittle stone titled Discipline. Her eyes—small, dark marbles—reminded me of a ferret’s eyes.

I didn’t want to play whatever twisted little game they had going. I wanted answers. “You’re Mavis, then?” I asked.

For the third time, the room fell silent.

A small, pestilent grin appeared on the big woman’s face.

“Sister Rena,” said Abraham. His sigh ripped the air like a saw pulled across a metal file.

“What?” I asked. “How am I supposed to learn if I don’t ask questions?”

Another sigh assaulted the air. His chair scraped back. “I see I’m to have no peace during dinner tonight. No harmony in which to eat my food, no tranquility in which to digest it.”

There was a small voice in the back of my head shouting for me to keep my damn mouth shut, but I’d gone nineteen years ignoring that voice, and I saw no reason to stop now. “Are you Mormons? Because if you are, you must have missed the memo about giving up polygamy.”

The large woman at the head of my table swallowed and then cleared her throat. She put down her spoon, folded her napkin, and placed one atop the other next to her plate. She slid her chair back with the same ferocity that Abraham had. Her eyes never left mine as she walked down the length of the table to stand behind Sara’s chair.

Abraham’s heavy treads approached my chair. “Sister Lilith? If you would, please.”

“Of course, Brother Abraham.” Her voice was oily, as smarmy as a used car salesman at a junk yard. She stepped behind me. Pain ignited across the back of my skull like a brush fire as she jerked my head back, exposing my throat.

“Bitch!” I shrieked.

“You’ve made this bed, Sister Rena,” said Lilith. “Don’t cry about the uncomfortable mattress.”

I jerked my hand, rattling the cuff against the metal eyehook. “Let my hand free, and I’ll make your goddamn bed for you!”

“Sister! There are children in this room.”

“It’s okay, Sister Lilith. Sister Rena’s actions show the depth of her love for the devil and his ways. It’s good for the children to see how tight the devil’s grasp is.” Abraham’s knotted hand drifted into view, and he untied my bonnet and placed it on my empty plate.

“As you say, Brother Abraham.”

“Just so. As to this one,” he said, putting his hand on my shoulder and digging his fingers into my flesh, “we begin her education here and now.”

I tried to get to my feet, but something both freezing cold and burning hot stretched across my throat. A reflection flashed on the rafters. I glanced down. Abraham held the biggest knife I’d ever seen in his big, scarred fist.

“Do you know what a Bowie knife is, Sister Rena?”

“No.”

“It’s what I am holding here at your throat. John, can you tell Sister Rena what a Bowie knife is?”

“Yes, Father Abraham. A Bowie knife is a long-bladed knife with a cross bar and a clipped point.” The boy didn’t sound much older than Jacob.

“Excellent, John. Isaak, can you tell us what a Bowie is used for?”

“Knife fighting and butchering, Sir.”

“Yes. Good job, boys. I’m proud of you.”

I tried to twist my head free of Lilith’s hold, but that icy fire spun across my exposed throat again.

“That’s two,” said Abraham with a kind of perverted glee. “Shall I go deeper on the next?”

Hot blood ran down my neck into the top of the homespun dress. He’d cut me with that big knife! I froze, my eyes going wide.

“Do I have your attention, at last, Sister?”

“Yes,” I whispered.

“Yes what?” said Lilith. She punctuated each word with a savage twist of my hair.

“Yes…yes, sir.”

“Well, that will do,” said Abraham. “But you might as well learn to call me Brother Abraham as do the rest of my wives.”

I will never be your fucking wife! I would rather die! I shrieked inside my head. I didn’t dare say it aloud.

His grin was lazy and sardonic as if he knew what I was thinking. “Well?”

“Yes, Brother Abraham.” My voice shook with equal measures of fear and fury.

“That’s better. Since you seem ready to learn, let’s start with a set of rules for you to follow.” His voice sounded mild, in control. He looked at me and twitched his eyebrows up.

“Yes, Brother Abraham.”

“Ah, you can learn. Rule number one, Sister Rena. Unless Sister Lilith or I speak to you, you keep your fucking mouth shut!”

He screamed the last part at full volume, right in my face, and his eyes went from calm to crazy in a heartbeat. Spittle flew from his lips and spattered over my face.

“Yes, Brother Abraham.”

“During dinner, you keep your fucking mouth shut. That’s rule two.”

“Yes, Brother Abraham.”

“Good, good. Rule three—and here you may start to sense a pattern—rule three is you keep your fucking mouth shut, or I’ll slit your throat and let you bleed where you sit.” His crazy eyes drifted up and past me, looking at someone behind me. “It’s okay, Jacob. Daddy’s helping Sister Rena learn.”

His eyes snapped back to mine. “Aren’t I, Sister Rena?” There was a threat and a promise in his gaze.

“Yes, Brother Abraham.”

His hand snapped up, and he grabbed my chin in a vice-like grip. “Tell him, you stupid cow,” he whispered.

“Yes, Jacob. Brother Abraham is huh-huh-helping me.”

“What does the Lord thy God tell us about things that cause us to stumble, Jacob?”

“I know, Father Abraham! I know.”

“Yes, John, I know you do, but give your brother a chance to answer first.”

“He says that if thy foot aff…off…

Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee,” said Abraham with a caring, loving tone as if he weren’t holding a knife to a woman’s throat.

“Oh yeah. Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee.

“Yes, good, Jacob. John, can you finish it for Sister Rena?”

“Yes, Papa. It is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.

“Excellent, boys. Aren’t they clever, Sister Rena?”

He squeezed my chin until I thought my teeth would pop out. “Yes. Th-thank you both, Jacob and John.”

“Now, Matthew, can you please explain to Sister Rena what that verse means to her?”

“Yes, Father. I’d be happy to.” Matthew’s voice was the deep, resonant baritone of a young man past puberty. “What it means, Sister Rena, is that if you don’t keep your fucking mouth shut, Father Abraham will cut your fucking throat from ear to ear and then gut you like a pig.”

“Splendid, Matthew. Thank you, Sister Lilith,” said Abraham.

The red-hot fire across the back of my head faded, but I didn’t dare move my head, not with that pig sticker resting against my skin.

Pulling the knife away from my throat, Abraham grabbed the back of my chair and yanked it out from the table, spinning it around as he did so. I ended up looking at another long table—identical to the one I sat at, but with no eyehooks—with my arm wrenched behind me, the handcuff digging into my wrist. What I assumed to be Abraham’s many sons sat along both sides of the table, ages ranging from three or so to older than me.

At the foot of the table was an empty place setting. Resting on the plate was a picture of a woman who looked close to Abraham’s age. Like the other sister wives, she wore a gray dress and a bonnet, but hers was white. The question of whether this was Sister Mavis, at last, tickled the back of my mind.

“Perhaps an apology is in order, Sister Rena?”

“I-I-I’m sorry, everyone.” I’m sorry this sick fuck kidnapped and brought me home with him! I thought.

“You can do better than that, Sister, don’t you feel?” The knife was back at my throat, it’s keen edge biting at my neck.

“Please forgive me.”

“Dearest family,” Abraham prompted.

“Duh-dearest family, please—”

“Forgive my ill manners. Forgive my ignorance, my pride.” The knife made short scrapes on my neck with each phrase.

“Dearest family, please forgive my ill manners. Forgive my ignorance, my pride.”

Abraham grunted. “You’re not nearly as stupid as you pretend to be. Spoiled, ungracious, yes, but not entirely stupid.”

“Yes, Brother Abraham.”

He looked at me for a long moment, his eyes intent on mine. “Perhaps tonight you will help Sister Sara prepare for her evening. Since you are so interested in who Sister Mavis is.”

“Yes, Brother Abraham.”

Abraham grunted and took the knife away from my neck. He slid it into the sheath on his belt. He wore a black suit with a white shirt, but his hands were thick and calloused like one used to hard manual labor. His eyes narrowed for a moment. “And perhaps you shall sit and watch the boys and me eat tonight since you seem so disinterested in eating yourself.”

“Yes, Brother Abraham.” The disgust and hatred I was trying hard to conceal, tweaked my tone.

For a split second, he looked disgusted, and fear blossomed in my belly. Then he looked at Sister Lilith. “She’s going to be a trial. Best be ready.”

“Yes, Brother Abraham,” said Lilith. “We’ll sort her out. Leave it to me.”

“Very well, then.” Abraham went back to his chair at the head of the other table and sat. He left me facing away from my own table, my arm growing numb. “To answer your earlier question, we are not Latter-day Saints. They left the path of righteousness when Wilford Woodruff capitulated to the Gentile government. We follow the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Lion of the Lord, Brigham Young.” After that, all talk ceased, and eating commenced. When the meal ended, everyone trod out of the room—everyone but me. I was left sitting in the chair, handcuffed to the table behind me, my arm going numb.

 

Remember:  You can pre-order Devils, right now, or wait until Friday, June 30, 2017 to buy it.  The price is just $2.99 US, and it includes a four-chapter preview of my next book: Errant Gods.

Devils (on Amazon) https://bit.ly/4DEVILS

 

 

This is copyrighted material.  (c) Erik Henry Vick 2017, all rights reserved.

Devils Teaser 2

Devils eBook Cover

Please enjoy this teaser of Vengeance, the second novella in Devils.

 

When Rick’s car refused to start, rage threatened to overcome him. Fury beat through him with a staccato rhythm that matched his accelerated heartbeat. KA-thud, KA-thud, KA-thud. His hands shook in time to that insistent beat.

He wanted to pound his fist into the leather-wrapped steering wheel, to rip the door off, to smash the windshield, to grab the little red car and flip the damn thing into the ditch. He covered his teary eyes with his hands and leaned forward until his forehead rested on the cool leather wheel.

The thought of his mother, waking up alone—raped, hurt, and alone—kept the ravenous wolf of his rage at bay. He forced himself to calm down, forced thoughts of Jason Katz out of his mind. He had to focus on his mother, to be there for her, to be strong for her.

Jason Katz was for later.

He got the car started and put it in gear. With one last look at his parents’ home, he drove away, headed toward the hospital near the university. Saint John’s, he thought. The place they send you when you need a level-one trauma center. He didn’t remember how he knew that or even how he knew what a level-one trauma center was—he just knew that’s where they sent you if you were as likely to die as not.

A bum tapped on his window while he sat at a red light, staring straight ahead but seeing nothing. At first, he thought it was one of those window-washer guys who thought smearing a dirty rag around your windshield entitled them to a few bucks.

Rick cracked his window open. “Windshield’s clean,” he said, as he slipped a five through the crack. “I’d like it to stay clean, too.” The bum jerked the five from his hand, the paper making a slithery hiss against his fingertips. That should have been the end of it, but the man was still standing there. “That’s all you’re going to get from me, buddy.” Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the man’s dirty navel through a hole in his grungy, once-white T-shirt. He glanced at the clock set into the dash. 7:43 a.m. A spark of irritation threatened to set off the brush fire of his rage. “Look, buddy,” he said as he turned in his seat. When he met the man’s eyes, his words dried up, unspoken. The man was looking at Rick and yet a thousand miles away at the same time. He wore grubby black pants and, over the stained T-shirt, a jacket made from a burlap sack. It had tails like it was supposed to be a tuxedo jacket.

“You will be disappointed, White,” the old man said in a tremulous voice.

The man reeked of old wine, vomit, and stale sweat. “By what?”

“When you are in your deepest, darkest despair, you will remember me.” The man’s voice grew less and less quivery with each word, as if he were finding his voice again after years as a mute.

“What? What did you say?”

The man’s eyes dilated and drifted away from Rick’s. “When you remember me, come find me. I will help you get what you want.”

Rick scoffed. “And what will I want?”

“Vengeance, White.”

Rick smiled the smile of the nonplussed. “Vengeance? How in the hell can you help me with that? You can barely stand, you’re so drunk.” It was true. The bum was swaying like a tree in a hurricane. Rick jumped when a horn went off behind him. He twisted to look at the driver of the pickup, and the man behind him waved at the intersection ahead of them. He glanced forward and saw that the light was green.

When he looked back to the side, the bum in the burlap tuxedo was gone. He shook his head and put the car in gear, each movement feeling like he was moving against a great weight of water.

When he arrived at the hospital, Rick learned his mother had died during his conversation with the bum. 7:43 a.m. was the time written on her death certificate. It was just two hours after she’d been raped. Two hours after his father gave his life trying to protect her in their own home.

Remember:  You can pre-order Devils, right now, or wait until Friday, June 30, 2017 to buy it.  The price is just $2.99 US, and it includes a four-chapter preview of my next book: Errant Gods.

Devils (on Amazon) https://bit.ly/4DEVILS

 

 

This is copyrighted material.  (c) Erik Henry Vick 2017, all rights reserved.

Devils Teaser 1

Devils eBook Cover

Here’s a teaser of The Devil, the first novella included in Devils.   Enjoy!

I’ve seen the devil, and she was beautiful.

The first time I saw her, I was high on coke, and I believed she must have been a hallucination or a dream. She had red hair that fell to the middle of her back like a red stage curtain at a fancy theater. When I say red, I don’t mean like what the Brits call a ginger—not like my hair at all. No, her hair was the color of arterial blood, like red licorice, or cherry snow cones.

Her skin was creamy, almost translucent, with pale blue veins drawn across it. She wore a black leather minidress and knee-high boots that ended in chrome stiletto heels—not the typical outfit for a coke house. Even so, it was her orange and strangely magnetic eyes that stood out the most.

She had walked right in like she owned the place, kicking aside the trash, needles, and junkies that were in her way. She glanced around and then stared at me. I was sure she could see my lust for her burning like a torch, and a blush crept up my cheeks. Her lips twitched in what could have either been a suppressed smile or a sneer. She flipped her hair and walked out without so much as a word for anyone, leaving me wondering if she was real at all.

The next time I saw her, I needed to score like I needed to breathe. My body was on fire with the Aches and the Shakes. The day was gray, and the air tasted desperate. I was running around harum-scarum, looking for anyone I knew who could fix me up. I was flat broke. I was always beggared, and most of the people I knew avoided me like I was soaked in gasoline and playing with a lighter.

I was under the elevated tracks between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Brighton Beach, which was a far safer place for a redhead with freckled skin to score than Harlem or Jackson Heights. I was begging a Russian dealer I knew to cut me a break when I saw her looking down at me from the second-story window of one of the row houses. Her eyes bored into mine, and I could feel her fury, though I had no idea why some strange, albeit beautiful, woman would be mad at me.

She opened the window and leaned out, still glowering at me. Her hair was like a wide swatch of blood-red silk billowing in the breeze. Her eyes were bright—like two fiery suns. I don’t mean it like she was happy or mad or whatever. They were bright like a light bulb is bright.

Ay, que chulo,” she yelled with a sneer and a twist of her chin toward the heavens.

I had no idea what that meant, but from her tone, I didn’t think it was a term of endearment. It made me feel like a scumbag, and a blush stole up my neck like a wolf stalking prey. I ducked my head, and just then, happened to see my friend Mikhail come through the alley from Tenth a couple of blocks north.

I shot her the bird as I turned toward Mikhail. It didn’t make me feel any better, though. In fact, it made me feel like more of a sleaze ball. All I wanted was a little coke, a clean needle, and some water.

“Hey there, Rob,” said Mikhail. He looked me up and down. “You look terrible!”

“I feel worse.”

He just looked at me for a second, all serious. “I will still pay for rehab, Rob. A guy like you—a soldier and all—this…this isn’t good for you.”

I tried to smile, but I hated it when Mikhail got like this. “I’m all right, Mikhail. I just need a fix.”

He nodded. “I know. But still, when you are ready, I will pay.”

“Yeah,” I breathed.

“Okay, okay,” he laughed. “That’s for later then. For now, let’s go to my apartment. You’re not going to believe the stuff I’ve got now.” He clapped me on the shoulder. As we started walking toward Oceana, he slipped his arm through mine.

Yeah, it was weird, but Mikhail did it to everyone.

The next five or six days are like a blank spot in my mind. Mikhail was rich, see? He shot coke up his arm like a fiend, sure, but he kept it under control most of the time. Not like me.

No, not like me at all.

He bought the good shit from his Russian “associates” by the kilo, and if you were his friend, he never asked you to pay up. Mikhail just smiled and laughed and patted you on the back if you tried to thank him.

Everyone said he was Bratva, that he was dangerous. I didn’t know and didn’t care. Whether he was part of the Russian mob or not, his coke was excellent, and he was willing to share.

Anyway, I woke up not knowing where in the hell I was. I didn’t know what day it was, and I didn’t care. I was much too focused on getting the eight-hundred-pound gorilla to stop stomping on my head. It’s not like I had to be anywhere. I had long since passed the point of being able to hold a job.

Not that I wanted to.

Wherever I had decided to sleep, it stank like a sewer. Eau de Rotting Garbage. Or worse.

I felt trashy and mean, lying in the proverbial gutter. Yeah, my skin ached like mad, and I felt like the fleas of a thousand dogs had infested my hairy bits, but it wasn’t just that. My mouth tasted like I’d been eating the garbage that was strewn around me. I didn’t dare open my eyes for more than a second. They burned and ached like I’d put hot coals under the lids.

I must’ve resorted to snorting coke or meth or heroine or dog shit at some point because I could feel the thick sludge trying to creep down the back of my throat. Without opening my eyes, I hawked and spat.

Something slammed into the side of my head, and the fireworks went off.

“What the fuck?” I mumbled.

Wham! More fireworks.

I knew what this was. Beat cops. Beat-down cops, to be precise.

I rolled myself into a tight little ball and waited for it to end. I just hoped to God I hadn’t spit on someone’s shoes.

I was lying there, fretting about the next boot to the head, or chest, or side, or groin. I might have been talking—I’m not clear on that. If I was, I was talking nonsense and gibberish.

“Oh, shut up, Bobby.”

The voice was electric, soft, and smoky. It made me think of every sex dream I’d ever had as a kid. It sounded familiar—like it was someone I’d known since childhood, but hadn’t seen in a long while. I opened my eyes and peeked through the fingers I had laced over my face. If I weren’t already on the ground in the garbage piled up in the alley, I’d have fallen on my ass.

It was her. The “ay, que chulo” woman. The goddess in black leather. She of the red hair and pale skin. She was even wearing the same little black dress and spike-heeled knee boots. Sex incarnate.

She was standing above me, looking down. Her hair fell toward me like a river of blood going over the falls. I couldn’t see her eyes, but everything else was just like I remembered.

Perfect.

Remember:  You can pre-order Devils, right now, or wait until Friday, June 30, 2017 to buy it.  The price is just $2.99 US, and it includes a four-chapter preview of my next book: Errant Gods.

Devils (on Amazon)

 

 

This is copyrighted material.  (c) Erik Henry Vick 2017, all rights reserved.