Orsini witnesses it all. No lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion
can cloud her Sight. She sees through them all and wishes she could
close her eyes. Returning to face her past, Siobhan inherits her
grandparents’ house in California’s wine country. She encounters
a talking dragon, a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and,
oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. And that is just in the first twenty-four
fallen angels, who seek to take the Earth for themselves. Using her
gift, she will have to make a choice that will decide humanity’s
I woke filled with the dreadful certainty that I was not alone. Blinking, I tried to see around me. In the faint light, I discerned the shape of a man sitting in a chair by the window. I started to cry out when I realized a faint, growing luminosity filled the room. It came from me. I glowed with a silvery light. A slender illuminated cord came off me, traveling upward. Pulses of energy flowed along the cord away from my body, leaving me drained and weak. Movement seemed incredibly difficult, impossible. As my eyes followed the shining strand aloft, I saw in sick horror that some kind of creature hovered above me.
I couldn’t figure out at first if this dreadful phantasm actually lived. Fragile, paper-like skin covered its skeletal frame. She? He? I couldn’t say, but the thing’s emaciation made it difficult to tell if skin actually covered those bones. The thing appeared all cheekbones, its features shrunken and shriveled. The being possessed wild, wispy hair so white it shone in the shimmering glow projected from my body. The strands floated in all directions around the apparition as did its robes, more rags than clothing. I was grateful for anything shrouding any part of the wraith-like figure.
I’ll never, for all my days, be able to explain the dread radiating from its presence. The sensation came from the thing’s eyes. They burned with an electric red, yet, this flame burned in a cold fire, devoid of any warmth or compassion. Though it wore a humanoid form, nothing remotely human emanated from it.
I drew in breath to scream for Daisy, Turel, anyone. More than anything I wanted to call for help, to be as loud as possible. Instead, I whimpered. No other sound came. The thing turned its withered head to the man in the chair. “Abraxas, it speaks. Never do they talk.”
“That’s because they usually don’t wake up and even if they did, they couldn’t see you,” explained the man named Abraxas. “This one is special.”
“Yes,” it rasped. “I see it is. I like it, so delicious, my ducky.” The thing’s voice rasped as thin and emaciated as its form. The death rattle sound of those words conjured nightmares from the dark corners of my mind, places where nameless terrors lurked, and my fears scurried like beetles under a rock. The faint smell of death and decay clung to the air around us.
“What are you?” I managed to whisper. My voice sounded faint, a breath, nothing more.
The thing floating over me cackled, an insane, evil sound. “Now it speaks to me. I love its fear. See it? So pretty, wants to run and hide, but can barely move.” It drifted an inch or two closer to me and I cringed, but couldn’t look away; its hellish eyes consumed me. “Soon it will never move again. Never, ever move, little pig.”
the University of California at Davis and completed degrees in
Medieval History and Biological Sciences. A lifelong lover of books
and a scribbler of many tales from a young age (her first story was
completed at age five) she turned to writing full-time in 2011.
sea salt-yum!) and nickel slots at Vegas. Erika lives for time with
friends, a nice glass of red wine, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” &
“Doctor Who” and good conversation. Her favorite things to do are
running, cooking, reading, needlework, gardening… and of course,
writing. Erika’s music of choice is heavy metal. To pick her out in a
lineup you should know that she is very short, fairly loud, and has
dark eyebrows. The rest, as her hero Anne McCaffrey once said in her
bio, “is subject to change without notice”.
three amazing kids, and their chocolate Labrador named Selkie. To
reach Erika regarding her books, wine recommendations, or to debate
which Iron Maiden album is the best (clearly, it’s Brave New World)
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