GENRE: Epic Urban post-apocalyptic paranormal fantasy adventure romance, with horror/ thriller undertones
It’s been two years since Alia and her soldiers defeated The Shape and his black horde. Magic has been flowing through the tears in the lining between worlds and after The Storm, more and more things have been changing.
Unfortunately, not all of them are good. The people of Lia Fail have found a lake where the ponds used to be, and new creatures are appearing. There is also a strange group of new comers that have come to the Fail.
Once again, Alia must rally her friends to fight a brand new villain. One she never could have expected… family, love, loss and redemption all lead to The Bridging.
About the Author
The tide rose, unhurried, as each swell gently folded over the sand. The water and foam spreading out in an arc up the dunes, inching closer and closer to dry land, then receding back to the vastness of its origin. Except for the continuous cycle of the waves falling against the shore, the ocean was still and black, reflecting the dark skies above despite the brightness of the moon.
A young man with long blond hair sat alone on the beach, above the encroaching water, staring intently out at the sea. He pulled a blanket tighter around his shoulders as an icy fall breeze started to cut through his thin clothes, but his gaze never wavered, as if he were waiting for someone. He could hear the laughing and yelling of his fellow gang members nearby. They were gathered around the nightly bonfire, drinking and fighting over the items they had stolen from travelers earlier that day.
They were known as rogues to the colonies, pockets of gangs that lived near the ocean edge. His group called themselves The Slayers and they numbered about thirty, ranging in age from sixteen to fifty.
A thin girl with stringy brown hair walked silently to where he was sitting. The wind blew her dirty locks over an emaciated sallow face, as boney fingers tried to push them back behind her pronounced ears.
“Shag?” she asked, barely above a whisper.
“Can I sit with you?”
He rolled his eyes and sighed.
She glanced around, once again moving the brown filthy locks behind her ear, and shrugged.
“I don’t know… just wanted to… never mind.”
She started to turn and walk away, taking only a few steps. Then he spoke.
“Yeah, you can sit, but just don’t talk.”
Her lips curled upward, revealing several missing teeth, despite the fact that she couldn’t have been more than nineteen. The hard years of scavenging had taken their toll on her youth. She walked quickly back to where he sat and silently dropped to the sand next to the one they called Shag. Her light brown jacket pulled tightly around her, she also gazed out at the dark water. She had only been with the Slayers for a few weeks, but it was obvious to everyone that she wanted to be with Shag, their current leader. She was content just to be near him, even if he ignored her. She continued to grin as she stared out into the vastness before them.
Time dragged on as Shag persistently watched the ever-encroaching ocean. The extending swells had now risen to their feet, reaching and stretching, but never touching them. The laughter and chatter in the distance had subsided as the remaining Slayers had fallen asleep, and the bonfires reduced to embers.
The thin girl had also fallen asleep, curled into a skeletal ball, shivering in the November cold. The wind shifted and Shag winced as his nose was assaulted by the odor from the body next to him. He sneered at her, and then he heard it.
From the distance came the song, delicate and lilting. His heart began to beat fiercely as the voice became louder. His hands fell to the sand, clenching into fists as his breathing stepped in time to that of his heart. He stood up, letting the tiny granules of silicon fall back to their brethren. Stepping forward, and into the shallow water, he felt the gentle lapping of the waves wash over his feet and legs.
Then he saw her. Rising straight up and out of the stilled sea, surrounded by fountain of liquid silver, glittering against the obsidian darkness, she began to walk towards him, her feet gently stepping on the ripples of water as if they were solid. He felt his breath hitch as he gazed up at her pale, wet skin, which glowed in the moonlight as she raised her arms to push her long blonde hair from her face. She appeared to become instantly dry, her long dress flowing around her. The previously wet hair, now curled and shimmering like spun gold. Her beautiful face was the perfect palette for her shining blue eyes and deep red lips. Her mouth was open, and the song rolling from her throat had him transfixed, unaware of anything or anyone, but her.
The tiny ball of bones stirred and lifted her head. She felt the song pull at her, lifting her to her feet and drawing her into the ocean. She walked through the water, past Shag, who didn’t notice her until she stood several feet directly in front of him, the water at about mid-thigh. He watched her as she reached up to the beautiful woman before her.
The lovely creature observed the waif before her and smiled gently, as she lifted her slender arm, reaching downward to the young girl, and submitted her elegant hand. The stray smiled widely and lifted her own wasted limb, gently taking hold of the offering. Cold, wet fingers wrapped tightly around the skinny digits. The shining blue eyes of the stunning blonde gazed briefly to the young man behind the filthy little girl, and her smile became a grin, a broad toothy grin, followed by a sneer. Shag knew what was coming, and he felt his lip curl upward, his heart thrumming even faster.
The song stopped. The skinny little girl blinked a few times and looked down at her hand. Wrapped around her fingers were long, bony talons covered in cold green-grey skin. Her heart thundered in her chest as she painfully raised her head to look into the face of the being before her.
The beautiful woman that had been there moments before had disappeared, and in her place was a nightmare. The long flaxen hair had been replaced by brackish slimy sea grass, her once glowing skin was now a greenish-grey and slick, and the soft lovely features on her face were gone. Those blue eyes had been replaced by two large black orbs, with nictitating lids. Her nose had vanished and in its place, two nostrils cut into that greenish-grey skin. While her mouth, that had sung that transfixing song, was now large, lipless and full of long, fang-like teeth.
The waif stared at the creature with frightened eyes, while instinctively pulling her hand back, but the monster held fast. She turned and looked at Shag, who chuckled softly.
“Please! Please help me!” she begged, as she reached for him.
He shook his head.
“Sorry, kid. No can do.”
“No… no,” she began to cry, and as a scream was building in her throat, the other skeletal arm of the beast grabbed her throat and pulled her upward.
Shag watched as the creature opened its mouth wide, drawing the struggling girl to its maw, and then he turned and walked out of the water. The distinctive crunch of bones and gurgling he had heard so many times before lasted only moments before he heard the splash. Then he heard the voice, like an angel.
“I need more, my love. Bring me more.”
“I always do, baby.”
He smiled as he walked silently back up the sand and to his tent. He would find more travelers tomorrow.