Tag: Short Story

  • Broken Promises Trailer – Dark Woods

    When capture or surrender means death, failure is not an option!

    Broken Promises. Despite insurmountable odds, a young woman must risk traversing unfamiliar and hostile territory to find help. As you read, be sure to consider: When capture or surrender means that your life is forfeit, failure is not an option.


  • Evelyn Reads A Seahag’s Song

    Rating: 5 out of 5.

    A Seahag’s Song is a historical fantasy written by independent author Sara Flower Kjeldsen. This short story follows a sea hag, a woman cursed to haunt the ocean depths. A creature who is focused on a young maiden pushing the boundaries of her society.

    A Seahag's Song by Sara Flower Kjeldsen
    A Seahag’s Song by Sara Flower Kjeldsen

    This character-driven tale involves many themes and forces the reader to ask. What is beauty? How much is our world view  tainted by our experiences? Have we been corrupted by how we view ourselves? Would we want to forget all our woes? If so, at what cost?

    Kjeldsen breathes life to these characters as the story reaches a surprising end. While you may be initially reviled by this cursed woman, you’ll soon fall under her spell.

    This quick read is well-worth your time!


  • Evelyn Reads What Lies Within

    Rating: 4 out of 5.

    The blurb for What Lies Within, from indie author D.W. Harvey, mentions a dark hidden secret, an evil spirit’s curse, and a sole survivor… all of which perfectly set the stage for this story.

    What Lies Within by D.W. Harvey
    What Lies Within by D.W. Harvey

    This story is written from the point of view of the sole survivor as she nears the end of her journey. We are quickly brought up to speed on the character’s motivations, her need to be there, and what she intends to do.

    However, there is plenty of room for discovery, and readers may well be left guessing to the very end. It offers a satisfying ending and leaves you yearning for more, the latter of which is this reader’s only complaint. Sadly, this was little more than a glimpse into a world filled with wonder.


  • Evelyn Reads Eve and Adam

    Rating: 5 out of 5.

    Sara Flower Kjeldsen is the author of Eve and Adam, a literary short story that tells the tale of two people who find each other when they are most in need of a friend. In this case, support and companionship come in the form of a complete stranger.

    Eve and Adam bySara Flower Kjeldsen

    The narrative is told from both points of view, and Kjeldsen uses this juxtaposition to breathe life into Eve and Adam. As the story develops, this seemingly innocent tale of lovers from different worlds takes on a dark twist and forces them both to face the inevitable.

    Eve and Adam is a quick read that will steal your heart before shocking you to your very core. When reading this tale, it’s best to remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side.


  • Cause and Effect – Part V

    Breanna heard a series of hurried steps down adjoining corridors. People were scrambling to evacuate the building, so naturally she wondered why. Her curiosity was further piqued when her mobile vibrated, the sound it made was deafening in this quiet room.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence - Saturday Scenes

    While their technology was far superior to such a crude device, nothing of theirs was currently operational. Since Mason and Brett were busy removing panels from the false floor in an attempt to access the generators, she used her fingerprint to unlock the device.

    It took a moment for the men to realise what Breanna was up to. How was this possible? Their technology were designed to survive the rigours of interstellar travel, and yet a toy designed by these apes worked fine.

    “What are you doing with that?” Mason asked.

    “As in doing with a mobile? Or what am I busy doing with it?” Breanna asked absentmindedly.

    Mason had to think about it before answering, “Let’s start with the first part.”

    “People think those who don’t have these things as though they are from Mars,” Breanna said in all seriousness.

    The men looked at one another and smirked. It seemed that their female cohort spent far more time amongst the apes then they assumed. It also spoke volumes on how much attention they paid her.

    “Besides,” Breanna added. “It’s a great way to get out of any unwanted small talk, or get some creep off my back.”

    That concept was alien to them, sure they looked like Greek gods, but women tended not to force themselves upon them. This was their first real insight they had on the plight of human females.

    “Glad I was selected to be a male,” Brett said with a smirk.

    Breanna gave Brett a dirty look before saying, “I got tired of disintegrating aggressors.” Her eyes narrowed on the last part, just to drive home the point that this was a less than subtle threat, before adding, “That tends to bring up a lot of unpleasant questions, not to mention the need for an alibi when someone is last seen alive with you.”

    “So what about the latter?” Mason asked in an attempt to change the subject.

    Breanna looked up at the boys for a few moments before she answered, “According to Bealzabook and some of the major news services. There are several reports of a shockwave that circumnavigated the globe.”

    “Global?” Mason asked.

    “Since McMurdo station in Antarctica reported the disturbance,” Breanna said. “I think it’s safe to say that it is.”

    Mason paused for a moment, his mind going over the hundreds of variables in his head. All in an attempt to figure out what was required to generate this kind of event? None of the permutations he could think of would permit it, at least not with the precise application of frequency and power.

    “Did you confirm all of the settings prior to triggering the tachyon discharge?” Breanna asked before giggling at some random meme on her timeline.

    Mason turned to look at Brett, because that was the one variable he had yet to consider. There was no way that someone in this room was capable of making such a simple mistake.

    “Oops,” Brett said.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!


  • Cause and Effect – Part IV

    Moments later, ripples in the pool settled, permitting Evelyn to the reflection of her smiling face. She knelt down, touched the pools surface, and watched as the ripples propagated throughout the pool.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence - Saturday Scenes

    “She put up more of a fight then either her parents,” Marc said before placing a pair of uniquely crafted rings on the edge of the pool.

    Evelyn looked at the rings, scoffed at how ostentatious they were, and kicked them into the pool. Once those rings disappeared from sight the imp giggled, it was like an intolerable, tingling sweetness of water glasses when played on by a cunning hand.

    Evelyn moved away from the precipice and found Marc waiting for her. For a moment they stared into each other’s eyes, and without saying another word left the pool behind.

    After all, there was nothing more to say on the matter. Had she accepted their gift, she would have clawed her way out of the pool, an act permissible only to those who chose to embrace the eternal night.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!


  • Cause and Effect – Part III

    For a moment, Evelyn considered baiting Victoria to make sure she still had the woman’s full support. There were conditions to their way of life, and choice featured prominently amongst the core tenants of their faith.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence - Saturday Scenes

    “How odd?” Evelyn whispered.

    That nagging voice in the back of her thoughts had gone silent. A general sense of laissez-faire permeated her mind, which only served to strengthen the moral certainty that everything was above board.

    Victoria noticed that Evelyn was silent, either for effect or as a part of the ritual; either way Victoria did not care. She knew that her character was aware of her thoughts, so why the inaction? In all honesty, she found the concept intriguing and frightening. How many wanted someone to truly understand how they felt in times of need? Especially during their darkest hour? Evelyn was in a way, a kindred spirit, or perhaps some twisted version of the fairy godmother.

    “What did Evelyn choose?” Victoria wondered.

    She never realised how all of this had been part of the show. A deliberate period of inaction to distract and deceive, to keep her blissfully unaware of what lurked behind her.

    In the background, the smooth and reflective surface of the blood pool began to congeal. This transformation brought about tendrils, and with these, it began to move in a coherent mass out of the pool. This creature was drawn to Victoria, seeking out that one element lacking in the rest of this room, the spark of life.

    Once the creature was within a sliver of that spark, Evelyn’s smile changed. Victoria focused on Evelyn, as the empress’ arm came forward. That hand then formed into a fist before she struck out a lone thumb, which was pointed towards the floor, and meant certain death. Victoria gasped, not knowing that this would be her last breath. That thing latched on, and dragged her into the depths.

    Before Victoria realised what was going on, her vision had turned red. Above, she saw nothing more than a point of light growing smaller with every passing second. Perhaps panic should have set in, which would have left her flaying about like a fish out of water, but this was ludicrous! Left to drown in a pool of blood, after a chance meeting with one’s own creation? Surely, it was more likely that she was suffering from psychosis?

    At first, she saw nothing more than fading light, but as time passed and her need to breathe grew, a black substance crept up from out of the depths. It seemed disjointed, lacking any form and Victoria wondered which part of her mind conjure up this apparition.

    Once the spectre took a definite shape, she realised how literal Evelyn’s words were. The light peering from the surface represented the light of God, while the creature below would assist her in turning away. Turning away? No, those words did not apply, she would be torn away from his divine presence, and sentenced to suffer the same fate as that whore!

    Victoria tried to break away from the tentacles’ grasp, by pushing against the walls, using what was left of her strength. Nothing seemed to be effective, even digging in her nails into the rough edges of the wall did nothing more than tear them off. She knew that time was limited, and that her life would soon be forfeit unless she broke free. With her body drawing upon the last of its last reserves, reality set in, her chance for escape was long gone.

    Once the darkness reached Victoria, the creature released its iron grip while the spectre embraced her. The spectre’s hold was oddly comforting, like a mother rocking her child to sleep. With her lungs burning for air, Victoria calmed down. Intent on leaving this world on her own terms, she took a deep breath which filled her lungs with fluid. In that moment, Victoria something that evaded her for most of her life, peace.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!


  • Cause and Effect – Part II

    There was a long pause as the group collectively assimilated what had been projected before their eyes. While the men were clearly distraught by the way that vampire ended Victoria’s life. They were even disgusted by the outward display of inhumanity, however Breanna was far more subdued.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence - Saturday Scenes

    “That was brutal,” Brett said astonished.

    Breanna snorted before countering, “She’s done a lot worse! That was pretty merciful actually.”

    “Really?” Brett asked.

    “Yeah,” Breanna replied. “Almost a hundred years ago, three seasoned investigators were committed after investigating one of her more creative murders.”

    “Bullshit,” the men said in unison.

    “It’s true!” Breanna exclaimed. “We were dating at the time—”

    “No way!” They exclaimed in unison, which looked like a badly rehearsed comedy skit.

    “You mean she’s not—,” Mason inquired.

    “Straight?” Breanna asked. “She hates men, and wants nothing to do with them.”

    “So what—,” Brett demanded.

    “Their relationship… is complicated. It was never physical,” Breanna replied. “Although I’d avoid bringing that up in her company.”

    “How did you two cross paths?” Brett asked, snooping around for some gossip.

    “She was at the Grand during its construction,” Breanna said as though reliving a dream. “You two sent me there to establish our lab in that region, remember?”

    Evelyn had been searching for a model, and conveniently Breanna was bored out of her skull. Establishing an outpost on the site had been a cinch, and would not return on investments until years later.

    Breanna concealed a slight smile, as she thought back to her first experience in human sexuality. Evelyn may have been a vampire, but was more than adept at teaching her the ins and outs. To this day, no one could even hope to approximate that woman’s skill.

    “Attentive, determined, and utterly sensual. Is there a better combination for a lover?” Breanna asked herself.

    “A small reward for allowing me capture your beauty in stone,” Evelyn whispered that day in bed, after a particularly vigorous session.

    “What’s with you and women at the Grand?” Mason asked. When Breanna did not register what was alluded to, he added, “The girl with hundreds of past lives?”

    Breanna’s eyes narrowed a moment before they exploded in a bright glow. It was obvious to the others that memories of that brief interlude had also been memorable.

    “Hey!” Breanna exclaimed. “She came onto me and didn’t care that my appearance was artificial, or that my hips were well-suited for childbearing. Besides, the experiences gained from having lived a hundred lifetimes… helped us to consolidate centuries of human history.”

    “Did you two bond over the beating heart research?” Brett asked.

    Breanna glared at Brett, and for a moment looked as though she were about to gouge his eyes out. The opportunity to study and dissect an immortal, should have been her ticket out of here. Unfortunately, someone managed to steal that beating heart in a jar, which invalidated all associated research. To this day, these two knuckleheads never failed to rub salt in the wound.

    “Did Anna Hunter tell you that?” Breanna asked Brett to dredge up another experiment that went sideways for the group.

    While Breanna maintained her composure, Brett reacted violently. He slammed the surface of his workstation, which caused a display element to shift; a virtual dial changed from a dark green, to a deep red.

    “Just because you two look like the descendants of apes,” Mason said. “It doesn’t mean that you have to fling shit at each other!”

    Breanna and Brett looked down to avoid the gaze of the expedition’s senior scientist. While Mason was stuck here like the rest, they both knew he had the authority to make things worse, all in the name of research.

    “So what now?” Mason asked to get these two back on track.

    “We—We are roughly two minutes away from exploiting the alternate path,” Breanna said.

    “The tachyon generators are primed, capacitors charged and waveform generators are set for optimal insertion,” Brett said.

    Mason knew the rest. They would target the area in space, and time where the differing paths began. They had no choice, since Evelyn’s current choice did not align with their goals.

    “One minute to divergent path,” Breanna said.

    By targeting just the right point, they were able to shift the probability of Evelyn making a choice they favoured. Using this method, they could alter coin tosses, or shift the tides of war.

    “Thirty seconds…” Breanna announced.

    Breanna pulled out her mobile device, something the others never embraced. While the men avoided human contact, and the pleasures that came with such interactions, she saw it as a way to better integrate and disappear into the crowd.

    “Twenty seconds,” Breanna said.

    She checked for notifications, but they were none. A tinge of disappointment overcame her, but realised that it was late, and that people needed to sleep. Well so did she, but they had ways to push themselves beyond the limits of human endurance.

    “Ten seconds,” Breanna said with a hint of excitement.

    All they needed was a well-timed nudge, fortunately the precise set of calculations made that part easy.

    “Five… four… three… two… one… now!” Breanna exclaimed.

    Brett tapped a button on his virtual interface. For a second the lights flickered, and dimmed before going out entirely. The trio were frozen like deer caught in the headlights, silent witnesses to every piece of equipment in their lab powering down.

    “What’s going on,” Mason asked while visibly annoyed, or at least he would be, if the lights were on. “We have enough power generating capacity to power half the continent.”

    Before anyone could reply, a large wave of energy originating from the centre of the building passed right through them. Mason could not help but wonder if this phenomenon was linked to their equipment failure.

    “Oops,” Brett said to break the silence.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!


  • Cause and Effect – Part I

    “Sorry I’m late!” Mason exclaimed.

    He walked into the lab, and came face to face with a world that was sterile by design. Everything in this room, including the walls were a bright white with no style or flare of any kind. To most, this room would have evoked images of an early twentieth-century sanitorium. For him, this room had all of the comforts of home.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence - Saturday Scenes

    Located within the depths of an office high-rise, this lab was invisible to those who worked and visited this building. The illusion that protected the access to the inner sanctum, was simple and effective. It took a very powerful mind to see past the deception, although that was only the first level of defence.

    “About time you showed up,” Brett said.

    Brett was physically perfect, they all were, because that had been the goal of their genetically designed appearances. Each of them could have walked off the pages of a glamour magazine; Brett a blonde Adonis, Breanna an Irish lass, and Mason the embodiment of Casanova.

    “We got an indication on a divergent event that will swing the balance of power our way,” Breanna said.

    “What are we looking at?” Mason asked.

    “The odds are better than a-million-to-one chance that this divergence will result in a step back,” Breanna said.

    “Seems too good to be true,” Mason said. “So how did we come across this gem?”

    Brett typed away on his desktop angled at a forty-five degree angle. It resembled a drafting table, and was devoid of any content except for the virtual user interface overlaid onto the surface. From this console, he could interface with any system linked to their network.

    “Picked it up an hour ago,” Brett replied. “This one was big enough to trigger every sensor we have. The strongest signals were from our listening stations near here, but sensors in Australia also registered it.”

    “Impressive,” Mason said.

    “No kidding,” Breanna quipped.

    There was excitement that permeated the air, it felt like a current was flowing between them. No one said it, and to do so would be tempting fate, but this might be their chance to get off of this primordial ooze covered rock.

    “How long have I been here?” Mason wondered.

    He had memories of the steam age and Pax Britannia, but little else prior to that. Still, that meant he had been on this backwater planet more than a century. They had been busy manipulating world events, or influencing key players to their benefit. All the while, they posed as a neutral party, one who sold technology to both sides of the conflict.

    Every attempt made to shift things in the favour triggered an opposing force that returned the system to an equilibrium. They were responsible for plunging Europe into a continental war, all in an effort to weaken the vampire’s power base. Instead, they watched as their corruption spread westward into North America, which created an even stronger power base.

    The activation of a gate into the Hunters’ stronghold, followed by an attack, only magnified the zealotry of those left behind. They never got the all-out war they hoped for, since the bulk of the hunters remained within the confines of the Tower. Meanwhile one of their best managed to destroy an influential vampire, which struck a serious blow to several projects their group favoured.

    That time they had a-thousand-to-one odds in favour of changing balance to favour the Georgians. That had been seen as more than favourable odds, but this? Was this even possible?

    “Georgians,” Mason said absentmindedly. “What an awful choice of name for our kind.”

    “What was that?” Breanna asked.

    Mason’s glassy stare ended with a quick shake of his head. He desperately wanted to return to his normal form, have his cybernetic implants returned, and be linked once more to the hives group consciousness. Alas the presence of such implants were not only incompatible with their physiology, they would also raise some uncomfortable questions if discovered here.

    “What?” Mason asked. “Nothing. So what’s going on that could bring about such a dramatic shift?”

    Brett’s fingers glided over the interface with ease. Every button and available option had been committed to memory long ago. The user had an intimacy with the interface that only existed between a creation and its maker.

    “Look here,” Brett said.

    They collectively looked up at the wall connected to the desk. The surface broke up into millions of tiny colour-shifting squares that moved independently from the whole to display a three dimensional image. In this case, the moment rendered had yet to occur.

    Mason looked over every detail of the scene, but did not understand how any of this would alter world events in their favour. This scene was more deserving of a soap opera than a chapter in the history books.

    There were three people visible, only one of which was human. The display included a series of overlays, which included a biometrics associated for each individual, and only one registered a body temperature above ambient.

    The human sported short blonde hair cut into a fashionable bob. Her pale blue eyes, sharp features and feminine nose would have made her attractive, if not for that mousey demeanour, and physical exhaustion. This was all part of the ritual he supposed, since Breanna had not briefed him otherwise, or bothered to explain why the woman’s clothes hung loosely from her frame.

    The young girl was a real knockout, what with those piercing green eyes, shoulder length dark hair, and a body better suited to world class runway models. She had lips that beckoned and a smile that promised so much.

    The man was harder to make out, dark hair and dark eyes enabled him to melt into the shadows. While short in stature, he was built like the strong men of old. Mason identified this one as an ancient specimen of their kind, and yet had no trouble letting his partner take the lead.

    Mason and his kind had seen this place before. The altar and the pit filled with an endless supply of blood.

    “Wait. Is that the Icon of Sin?” Brett asked with a snicker.

    Breanna slapped the back of Brett’s head before responding, “Why do you keep bringing up that video game references when we get footage of this site?”

    “Hey!” Brett exclaimed. “I loved that game, besides the name fits.”

    In a way it did, this hall of worship featured a pedestal, and icons that celebrated the cruellest of despots, psychopaths, and murderers. This was a holy site where their kind practised some of their darkest rituals.

    “Situation?” Mason asked, since it was time to get things on track.

    Breanna looked away from the display and took a seat at her own workstation. At first, she appeared to be absorbing a great deal of information, but soon commented on the situation.

    “Initiation ceremony,” Breanna said. “The brunette, Evelyn has been manipulating that blonde since early childhood.”

    “To what end?” Mason asked genuinely curious, because it was rare for their kind to toy with their food for so long.

    “Evelyn made sure to keep this child away from anything that could spoil her innocence,” Breanna replied.

    “Woman looks to be in her late twenties. How could she—,” Mason was about to ask.

    “Still a virgin,” Breanna said flatly. “Recent events led her to quit her job and start writing a story that centred on Evelyn’s life… a bit of a mind fuck ensued to prepare her… her parents were killed to start the process… Wait! Fascinating!”

    “What?” the men asked.

    “A herald,” Breanna said.

    “I don’t follow,” Mason said.

    “The predictive algorithms are still forming the narrative,” Breanna said. “But if this divergent path is strengthened. Then Victoria, the blonde, will chronicle the systematic eradication of vampires.”

    “How would her being turned lead to their extinction?” Mason queried.

    “The company her parents founded are heavily invested in the government’s military industrial complex,” Breanna replied. “Her disappearance has been noticed and will trigger an investigation to determine her whereabouts. This leads to a SWAT team being decimated in an attempt to save her, which in turn, exposes their kind’s existence to the general public.”

    Once they realised how this divergent path panned out, the current that flowed amongst them increased exponentially. Their hopes rose, and despite years of experience telling them to temper their expectations, they all cracked a smile.

    “What’s the primary path?” Mason asked.

    Brett turned around and beamed a smile before saying, “Just enough of that scenario has solidified to show you.”

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!


  • Omega

    Incense hung in the air, the burned particles irritated her nose, and the smell grew more pronounced as Victoria came to. There was something peculiar about this odour; something that made her think of death and decay. In fact, the link was so strong, that it evoked images of an ancient crypt hidden away under a city forgotten by time.

    The Van Helsing Resurgence - Saturday Scenes

    She struggled to open her eyes, as though they were glued together. Was this just a case of fatigue? How long had she been unconscious? Was she even alive? Perhaps this was a dream? No, this felt far too real. Besides people rarely experienced pain or discomfort in dreams.

    Something brushed up against her lips, it was cool at first, like water trickling out from a frozen waterfall. Victoria struggled to open her eyes, but saw nothing more than an impenetrable darkness that filled her with dread. This sensation of cold spread, pushed past her numbed lips then probed the inside of her mouth. She considered biting down, but feared there would be repercussions.

    Only when the tongue withdrew, did Victoria gasp for air, and found her sight restored. The images that flashed before her eyes were blurred at first, confined to a world that moved with a mind of its own. Her sight eventually settled, but what she saw only confirmed her fears; this was in fact, not a dream.

    Before her stood Evelyn, her character, her inspiration, and role model. This time, she was dressed in a long flowing gown of white satin. Her face was adorned by a warm smile, and there were locks of long flowing hair that hung around her shoulders. This complemented Victoria’s image of an idyllic angelic figure, and was without a doubt, the same woman she met on that beach twenty years ago.

    This was the woman who blessed her as a child, using some sort of prayer. Was that the reason why their minds were linked? Did that mark the moment when Evelyn established a connection between them? Did this imply that Victoria had been nothing more than a bit player in Evelyn’s play?

    Evelyn licked her lips as though relishing the echoes of that kiss, and said, “Welcome to the world of the living ma chère. Have you gotten your affairs in order? Indulged in your last meal perhaps?”

    Her characters musical highlights in her voice were so familiar. It was eerie how much she knew this person, in spite of this being the first time they ever spoke.

    Victoria did not say a word. She was far too lethargic to formulate a proper answer.

    “Is there a proper response?” Victoria whispered.

    She knew that either decision would end in death, only the method of her death would differ. Would her death be quick and merciless, or would her character’s sadistic nature come to the surface?

    Evelyn’s smile changed, one that stripped away her angelic traits, and replaced them with a cruel harshness. Her character was truly skilled at human emotions, an expert on how to leverage them against others. How else could she convey so much based on the shape of her smile? Would Victoria be able to manipulate others just as easily?

    Before the question was answered, Victoria found herself being dragged from the altar. The world swirled nauseatingly as vertigo muddled her mind. Would she have the strength to stop herself from vomiting all over the floor?

    Once the world settled, Victoria noticed the pool of dark liquid. The surface was so dark, that it reflected back her image. Tired and weak, Victoria lost her balance, dropped to her knees, and instantly became mesmerised over the reflection. She seemed to be looking at an ideal version of herself, one immune to the ravages of time. Did she ever have such a youthful glow about her?

    Victoria reached for her chest, to check for a heartbeat, and sighed once the familiar rhythm registered. She was still alive, and yet her reflection implied that she had already crossed the threshold between life and death.

    “How can my reflection seem that much more confident and full of life,” Victoria muttered to herself while the shadow of death approached.

    As it had been with the Apostle Thomas, doubt reigned supreme in her mind. How was it possible to reflect back an image that differed from reality? At a snail’s pace, Victoria probed her face, seeking those familiar features, and was soon astounded by the gravity of the changes. Her cheeks were sunken, features sharper, with noticeably unhealthy skin. When was the last time she had a bite to heat?

    “It has been a week love,” Evelyn said, knowing that in Victoria’s current state, the full depth of those words would have no effect.

    Victoria turned around to look upon her character, her eyes brimming with fear. She then turned back to look into the radiant pool, and noticed an unnatural red hue surrounding her reflection.

    “Blood,” Victoria stuttered out as her reflection winked back in response.

    Why was her doppelgänger mocking her? The same way that her parents would when she did something innocent or amusing. The kind of mocking that was invariably accompanied by that dreadful laugh which simultaneously managed to dismiss and ridicule the child. Innocence? Once more that concept was brought to the surface. Was this an element her character sought? To what end? To destroy in another, what had been denied in life?

    “We are perversions of life, we exist counter to what the Church and the laws of science dictate. We are the embodiment of those who turned away from the light of God in exchange for perpetual existence,” Evelyn rhymed off as though in a prayer.

    Evelyn circled around the pool, and despite her light step, the motion nonetheless caused the pool to ripple. For a moment, her taunting reflection was disrupted, which gave Victoria a few moments of peace.

    Evelyn soon broke out into a fit of laughter and added, “I’m just fucking with you. That was way too melodramatic!”

    She approached the altar then grabbed the chalice upon it. Evelyn then lifted it to the full extension of her arms while staring up at the stained glass works above. After the imp uttered some sort of incantation, she brought the chalice to her lips and drank greedily, permitting any excess to spill onto the gown.

    With Evelyn’s satin robe stained in blood, she licked her lips then tossed the chalice aside. Now that her little spectacle was done and over with, she looked over to Victoria, the one who would soon be joining her in the afterlife. While Victoria was being judged, anxiety swelled from within, just like those awaiting the Emperor’s thumb.

    In the back of her mind, Victoria wondered if her character had a change of heart. Uncertainty would reign supreme until the end, never knowing if she were destined to live, or suffer at the hands of her executioner.

    Evelyn was attuned to Victoria’s mind, and had not been surprised about the growing conflict within. Not only had she been the source of that woman’s inspiration for the better part of her life, but Evelyn also had a view to the thoughts, and emotions that most kept bottled up inside.

    “Are you having a change of faith ma chère?” Evelyn asked.

    Victoria looked up, bewildered that this question had come up. Was she being tossed a life line? How foolish would it be to even consider it? Let alone acknowledge it?

    “I am not sure,” Victoria said in such a way that every single word uttered became a self-contained sentence.

    “The door is right behind me,” Evelyn said nonchalantly. “Only you can decide how to live your life.”

    Victoria’s eyes widened upon hearing those words, and that did much to betray her state of mind. As a glow of hope began to rise, her character rendered her verdict.

    The imp leaned in closer, so close that the cool breeze from her whisper sent shiver running down Victoria’s spine. In that moment, she believed there was a path to freedom, one that led away from this crazy woman.

    “Crazy?” Evelyn asked.

    Before Victoria could say another word, Evelyn grabbed the woman’s throat, and with one brutal motion tore it away from her neck. A streak of blood followed, which covered the immaculate floor in a splatter of crimson.

    “A shame,” Evelyn added before she licked the fresh blood from Victoria’s windpipe. “In the end, you turned out to be such a disappointment.”

    At first, Victoria was unsure of what happened. Her body and mind were so disjointed from the prolonged trauma that this fresh wound did not immediately register. At first she felt moisture against her skin, but before she was able to investigate the source, Victoria was greeted by sweet oblivion.

    “All that time and effort you put into that girl,” Marc commented from the shadows.

    Evelyn was tempted to betray her composure and lash out. However, that would be tantamount to her confirming that her sire was right.

    Instead, she glided over to her man, her every step a display of sensuality, she then folded into him as though they were one. The movement was fluid, sensual, and capable of evoking an emotional response in nearly everyone, well except for this lone specimen. Either way, she did not care, with all the grace of a lady, she slipped out two wedding bands from her pocket.

    These rings were unique, a pair that represented night and day, and commissioned to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary of Victoria’s parents. Without it a second look, she crushed them with her bare hands, and tossed them onto Victoria’s corpse. By now, the author’s skin was pale, her eyes glassy, while what was left of her blood flowed gingerly into the pool.

    Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!


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