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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Excerpt from Blood of the Dark Moon

Here is an excerpt from my up and coming novel--unedited--to be released by Aphrodite's Apples in '07:

Some time after they had left the Greek diner, Amanda could only guess that they were venturing further into Queens and would soon, perhaps, be in Long Island. She kept watching the roads and the signs, looking for places she recognized. Unfortunately she hadn’t traveled very much out of Manhattan during her stay at NYU and so nothing looked familiar to her. She settled for chatting with Jesse and watching the view from her window.

It was almost midnight when Jesse finally pulled off a major road and stopped at a nearby park. He parked the car off to the side, and gestured towards the sky.

“You can’t see this in Manhattan. Damn, it’s beautiful.”

She stared up at the sky, and saw all of the individual stars that had been obscured by the pollution from the city. Leaning back against the car, Amanda found herself awed by the majesty of the sky combined with the gentle, clean breezes that swept through her hair. Away from the highway and the noises of the city to distract her, she could experience the outdoors at its fullest. She felt as if she were spinning away in the galaxy towards the stars.

With a flourish, Jesse opened up the back door of the car.

“Here, sit down with me.” He sat on the seat and pulled her into his lap. Wrapping his arms around her, they gazed up together at the night sky.

“Gods, it’s beautiful,” she breathed.

Brushing her hair away from her face, he merely commented, “And so are you.”

She turned to smile at him before leaning back into his chest. They stayed that way for a few moments until Amanda began to feel that something was odd. She racked her brain to figure it out, still bedazzled by the night sky and the feeling of being in his arms, but couldn’t think of it.

Then at last she realized what it was: she was leaning up against his chest, but could not feel nor hear a heartbeat.

Puzzled, Amanda wondered if it was just because she was leaning up against him and he was still wearing his leather jacket, but that couldn’t have been it. At their close proximity, she should still be able to hear or feel something.

Figuring that the late hour and the fatigue were doing strange things to her mind, she dismissed it as her imagination. But in the silence between them, away from the city and the noise, the only breathing she could hear was her own.

‘I must be losing it,’ she figured. But as she stared up into the sky, too many things fell into her mind, gently yet persistently. Amanda had never seen Jesse during the daylight, never seen him eat, didn’t know precisely what he did for a living other than “freelance computer work”, and now she couldn’t hear a heartbeat nor him breathing.

“Jesse?” she queried hesitantly.

Feeling him freeze behind her, she wondered if he knew what was on her mind, and thought to phrase her next words very carefully.

“You’re not a normal guy, are you? I mean,” she continued, trying not to rush through her words, let alone sound nervous, “not that I’m…all that normal myself, and all, but….” Her voice trailed off, not knowing precisely what to say, or how to say

Many moments went by without a response. She could feel him slowly running his hands through her hair, and delighted in the feel of his fingertips as they coursed through the strands, brushing gently against her neck.

Suddenly she remembered their first dinner outing, when Jesse had brought her the Latin magical text which referred to strange allegories, symbols and various arcana. She recalled that the text kept referencing “blood” in some mystical context.

“Jesse?” Her voice was quieter than it had been before, no longer so certain that she was crazy.

"Your time has come.”


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