Fiendish friends, it’s October and it’s time for the Blog Take Over Tour! Today’s offering is from Author and all around Horror Super-Friend, Emerian Rich and her novel, Dusk’s Warriors, the follow up to her smash, Night’s Knights. Once again on display in Dusk’s Warriors is Emz’s keen eye and rich world building. But don’t be lulled into thinking you or her characters are safe… Because the scares are still ready to grab you from the page.
Ok, enough chatter from me. Read away… if you dare:
Excerpt from Dusk’s Warriors:
She grasped the iron handle and pushed, not knowing what to expect on the other side. When she stepped in, her bare feet made no sound on the cold stone beneath her. She saw one torch at the far end of the long barren room. A lone figure sat atop a throne at the far end of the hall. She knew the figure’s face well and her heart, despite her heavenly state, fluttered.
“Severina! Ser amada.” Sandro called her his beloved in her native language, Portuguese. He held out his arms to her as if she would run to him.
Pedro’s nails clicked on the stone floor in warning to the man who may try to harm his mistress. Severina let her hand fall to Pedro’s head and gave a loving pat, showing him she appreciated his presence.
“Sandro,” she said.
He looked the same as he had many years ago. Deep brown eyes, wet with blood tears, pleaded with her to embrace him. She approached him, but stopped short, staying a few yards away. Pedro sat between them, looking up at Sandro and leaning against Severina’s legs in protection.
“What’s this? My love doesn’t greet me with a kiss?” He continued to speak in their native tongue.
“Speak to me in English,” she said, her tone firm and in no way emotional.
He laughed, saying in Portuguese, “Why should I? Ours is the most beautiful language in all the world.” Sitting back, grinning, he rested his chin on his thumb and forefinger as if she were telling a joke.
“Yes it is, but your voice poisons it.”
His smile disappeared and he finally spoke in English.
“I didn’t know I had a negative effect to your ears.”
“Why are you here?”
“What do you mean? I am here to see you. I am here to find my love! To hug my little Severina after many years of being parted. To enjoy The Circle of Love with mi amor.”
She smiled, remembering how Sandro use to speak to her. Recalling how his voice used to lull her to sleep on her bed of satin inside the crypt they shared, brought to mind the nights of love they enjoyed.
Boldly stepping off of his throne, Sandro approached her.
Pedro stayed put, ready to strike at his mistress’s first sign of distress.
“Mi amor…” Sandro reached forward, putting his hands on her neck.
“Sandro,” she said, her voice breathless. “I remember how your touch used to hypnotize me and how my heart would skip to hear you come near. Our bodies connected in the Circle was my one wish!”
He traced her cheek with his thumb, his touch sending goosebumps down her neck.
“Your voice would call to me and it meant so much to hear you say you loved me.” She ran her hand across his chest.
“Sim. It was all true my love. I have waited here for you only. I adore you.” Sandro leaned in and kissed her passionately. His hands searched her soft, wavy hair with a lover’s quickness.
“I can see you do.” She looked into his eyes.
He grinned, his fangs poking into view.
“But I do not.” Severina stepped back from him.
“What?” His expression clouded.
“You took my life from me. You trampled my loved ones at your feet. You fed me religious bullshit and took my self-control from me with your hypnotizing tongue. You came in the guise of my savior, but I knew what you were from the start. Had I stronger will, had I immortal knowledge then, I might have finished you while you slept.” Taking off a necklace in the shape of an Ankh he’d given her years ago, she held it up, shaking her head. “So romantic. It was all so romantic. Yet, after all these years, I can’t get one vision out of my head. Do you know what it is?”
Sandro’s blank stare invited her to go on.
“You, standing over my father’s lifeless body, smiling as if it were some grand joke.” Throwing the necklace at him, she turned to go out of the place, Pedro following behind. “Leave this place, and never return.”
“Severina! Wait! I did it for you!” he called after her.
Pedro growled, standing between them, his lip quivering as he bared his teeth.
“You killed my family for me?” Severina spun on her heel, her control slipping.
“I gave my life for you! You were to die, but I gave you my blood! They would have killed you and look at you now! Still alive, still my strong, beautiful, Severina.”
As soon as she closed the door to the house, she would close his chapter of her life forever. No longer would she be the victim, but the victor.
“Please my love!” He reached out, catching her elbow. “Don’t leave me! I saved you! You owe me!”
Hatred consumed her.
“I owe you?” She turned to him.
Sandro’s face changed. She could see fear in his eyes. Pedro, who had been trying to run interference, backed away.
“Yes! I guess I do owe you!” Severina picked up the ankh necklace and shoved it into his mouth, pushing it in far, so it lodged in his throat. His eyes bulged, his hands grabbed at his neck as if he could pull the object out through his Adams apple. Sandro’s feet moved in a rapid pattern across the floor in no set direction.
In his mind, she could see her impressive embodiment of Dusk. Her auburn hair turned bright red and from the mass of curls sprouted several two-headed flames resembling the shape of snake tongues. Her teeth sprouted razor sharp edges. Flames erupted all around her, but did not harm her or her coverings. No, she seemed to be made of fire.
Still choking, Sandro stumbled backwards, landing on his back. He scooted as quickly and frantically as he could away from her. The building shook and pieces of the ceiling fell to the stone below.
“Thisssss,” she said, her tongue forked and hissing like a serpent. “Domain issss mine now. Go from it and never return.”
Emerian Rich is an artist, horror host, and author of the vampire series, Night’s Knights. She is the hostess of the internationally acclaimed podcast, HorrorAddicts.net. Under the name Emmy Z. Madrigal, she writes the musical romance series, Sweet Dreams and she’s the Editorial Director for the Bay Area magazine, SEARCH. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.