First, in further reparation for my having forgotten to post Cedric’s interview on Halloween, I’m posting an excerpt from Denise Verrico’s book about him AND his interview, instead of one or the other. The interview will run tomorrow.
Second, I have an excerpt from “Evergreen Gaze”, the winter holiday story in Alliteration Ink’s SPEC THE HALLS anthology.
Cedric first, which I’m sure pleases him.
A boy becomes a vampire and fights to become a man.
Excerpt from MY FEARFUL SYMMETRY by Denise Verrico
I reached for the golden door to the ashram, only to crumple to my knees again swooning and dizzy. With the last of my strength, I inched my way on my belly across the open courtyard to my room. The sky above turned from black to purple to lavender. In another thirty minutes, the rays of the sun would cook my tattered flesh into Bolognese. It seemed like a good idea. I collapsed against the paving stones. Deep inside of me a voice called my name—only it wasn’t my name.
I lifted my aching head. The sacred spring lay between my room and me. The Goddess stood sentinel above the pool. Hers arms beckoned. The waters hastened healing. I pulled myself over and eased in, letting the water bathe my broken skin. It stung and burned, but at least I knew that I was still alive.
Kali’s black face looked down. Her long tongue stuck out as if to taunt me.
I clung with what strength remained to the pool’s stone edge. “Is this what you mean about the tyranny of the flesh?” But she didn’t answer. She remained silent and oblivious as death. “Bitch…” I lost my grasp on the lip of the pool and slipped below the surface, still gazing into her unseeing eyes.
I thrashed, but couldn’t pull myself to the surface. My body sank like a stone. Water filled my throat and nostrils. Consciousness dissipated into an explosion of dots, like colored pixels. My Mum’s voice floated in my head.
Hush a bye, don’t you cry
Go to sleep my little baby
When you wake, you shall have
All the pretty little horses…
The wavering image above me dissolved into golden skin and waves of dark hair. The Mother reached out two arms and pulled me from the water. The avatar’s supple, golden form suggested Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva. An aura of pulsating color surrounded her. I sputtered and coughed the liquid out of my lungs, collapsing into my benefactor’s arms. My head rested against a bosom soft and rounded, not hard and bony.
She lifted me as if I were a child, bearing me away to my room, and rolled me belly-down onto my bed. My head lay on its side. The hand stroking the wet hair away from my face felt warm. Lips full and red with blood kissed mine. Was this real, or was I hallucinating?
The Goddess anointed and bandaged my wounds. She pressed her own wrist to my lips restore me. Blood never tasted so sweet. Warm tears bathed my face as she kissed my mouth again, a sweep of silken hair brushing over my arm. As she drew back, my eyes focused and her image became clear.
A pained hiss passed my cracked lips. “Sandhya?”
Format: Print and multi format ebook
Links to buy:
B&N Paperback: http://bit.ly/qdm73e
The excerpt from “Evergreen Gaze” is temporarily parked on this page. When SPEC THE HALLS is no longer available, neither will the excerpt be, until it appears in another anthology or collection.
See you tomorrow, with an interview with the delicious Cedric!
WRITING PROMPT: Would you accept vampirism as the price of life? Why or why not?