The end times. The truth hides in plain sight. And the first Possession. Golem Excerpts Week Three
Welcome to week 3 of the Golem Excerpt Blog series. This week we have three excerpts for your reading eyes to devour, one from each of our main characters; Detective John Ashton, Annette Flemming, and Alena Francon.
For this week’s round up Annette Flemming ponders the end times, Detective John Ashton receives some good advice, and Alena Francon finds herself possessed.
Excerpts that are perfect for the Halloween mood.
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Enjoy the excerpts.
~ PD Alleva
Excerpt 1: Annette Flemming and the End Times
Why didn’t I tell him about the eyes?
Annette Flemming kicked herself for leaving this point out. The detective had asked very specifically about the eyes as if he knew and was anticipating her reaction, observing how she responded. How could he know? It was impossible for him to know. It’s just a dream. A figment of imagination brought on by stress and…Lovecraft. Too many scary stories warp the mind. Noel had warned her against indulging in fantasy and horror, the supernatural, and paranormal.
“Those stories turn good hearts dark,” Noel had said. She could hear his voice repeating the same over and over again as she sat in the backseat of a car service taking her back home. She despised driving in the city; it turned her anxiety on high alert. Of course, she had refused to take the train, too many people, too close for comfort.The city’s being handed over to criminals and junkies. She feared for her safety if she were to take a train. All too ripe for the picking for any manipulative degenerate to snatch her purse off her shoulder. Or even worse. The thought of those disgusting vagabonds creeping their dirty little fingers across her skin drove her to the brink of insanity. No, it was better to take a car service. Safety was always the first line of defense.
"But those eyes," she thought. "Those eyes were in your house."
What did they do?
Another lie to the young detective, although she could not be one hundred percent certain that she did let those kids in. There was no concrete recollection that she had, only scattered fragments that could be and more than likely are the result of a programmed mind, filling in the gaps in her memory with…Lovecraft and Poe.
She cursed herself for those indulgences. No one should read such tales. It brings the devil to your doorstep. They should be banned. No child should have the opportunity to read them.
Annette’s stomach churned. Her jaw trembled with the taste of acid in the back of her throat. Elbow on the window, jaw in her right hand, and she caught the driver’s eyes in the rearview, he immediately looked away. Annette clenched her purse closer to her stomach.
"People," she thought. "Like wild animals. Heathens really. Little children not knowing a damn thing about how to live appropriately. With dignity. Stay in your lane. Know your role."
In times like this Annette breathed a sigh of relief that Noel refused her children. Not that she wished to carry a bundle of weight around for nine months either. Some man’s seed, even if it were her husband's, turned her stomach, brought her to the brink of vomiting. The world’s gone to hell in a hand basket. She couldn’t fathom raising a child now, not in this age. All decency has gone out the window. People have no clue how to live or where they stand, reaching to crime to get what they want. Could anyone imagine what the world would be like should these heathens climb the ranks? They wouldn’t know what to do with it. It would be the beginning of the end times.
She could see the city landscape in the side mirror, calmly drifting out of sight. Bright lights smeared by an overcast and dark sky.
Maybe we are in the end times!
Excerpt 2: Detective John Ashton Receives Some Damn Good Advice
“Sixty-two bedrooms,” said the cabbie. He was explaining to Ashton the Francon Mansion’s history. “Every brick was imported from all over Europe. Right down to the marble tile.” He added, “From Italy.” Ashton surmised the cabbie was Italian by the prideful way he expressed “Italy”.
They were driving down a barren road lined with red cedar trees. Every so often they passed a gate and driveway leading to a house or mansion tucked back off the main road.
“It’s the biggest house on the block,” said the cabbie as he eyed Ashton in the rearview mirror. “We’re almost there.”
“You seem to know a lot about the house.”
“Lived here most of my life. One tends to pick up history as the years go by.”
“Have you ever been inside?”
He shook his head. “Not at all. A guy like me has trouble getting invites.” He laughed. Then a moment later, “Here we go.”
Ashton perked up. The gate was old steel and wide open attached to two stone pillars on either side. The cab stopped outside the gate and Ashton looked up the long winding drive to the house that stood in darkness. Colossal, was Ashton’s first thought, his eyes wide taking in the sheer volume and size. A single light flickered in the mansion as if a candle had been lit in the foyer.
“No party tonight,” said the cabbie. “Your luck must have run out.”
Ashton caught the cabbie’s smile.
“You’re not gonna drive up?”
He clucked his tongue and shook his head. “No,” he said. “This is as close as I get.”
“You might say that. I don’t invite devils into my life, detective. That’s your job.”
“Indeed,” Ashton breathed staring at the long walk to the house.
The cabbie added, “I feel like I’m dropping off Rhenfield to meet his doom. Be careful in there, detective. Evil spirits are everywhere around this place.”
The cabbie eyed him in the rearview. “You don’t read, do you?”
Ashton shook his head. “No time.”
“You should. Great books are like a blueprint…a survival manual disguised as fiction. As folklore. Because the truth hides in plain sight and those that see have to hide and those that can’t see…well, they’re just a part of the plan.”
Excerpt 3: Alena Francon's First Possession
Whimpers held back, cries and fearful scurries came from those cages, all bathed in darkness despite the red tint overhead. Golem closed and locked the door behind them, his movements smooth and calculated. He leaned against the door. Alena arched her head back, seeing him.
“They wait for you, Baphomet,” he said. “Please, choose your desire.”
Alena turned to the cages, walked to them, felt her hand run across the steel. Inside each cage was a child. Some no more than four, but none more than ten years old.
Alena felt herself grin. “Delightful,” she said. “How did you retrieve so many so quickly?”
“The orphanage,” Golem breathed. “They came willingly, of course. So, so easy it was; they came like hungry dogs to a steak dinner.”
Alena pursed her lips, tightened her jaw.
“Please, my lady, can you help us?” A voice in a cage, soft spoken, strong.
Alena turned to the seven-year-old girl who pressed her forehead to the steel fence. Soft blue eyes gazing at Alena. The girl’s face covered in soot, matted blonde hair. Alena bent down eye to eye with her.
“Of course,” Alena said. “That is why I am here.”
The girl paused, staring at Alena, sizing her up.
“Why are your eyes like that?” The girl was trembling, Alena could see.
“Don’t be afraid, my dear. Not of me, not ever. I only wish to help you…can you believe me? That I am here to help you?”
The girl pursed her lips then swallowed. She gave a quick nod. The other children softly and quietly stood, watching, their eyes sad, confused, defeated. Listening and observing. Alena could hear their shallow breathing and the restricted beat of little hearts.
“Good,” Alena said, shaking her head and smiling. “I only need for you to do something for me. Is that ok? Can you help me too? We all need help in this world, do we not? Will you help me—?”
“Sophia,” said the girl. “My name is Sophia.”
Alena felt the grin on her lips. “Such a beautiful name. Tell me, Sophia, what are your dreams?”
Sophia hesitated. “Dreams are not real,” she said. “Not for us, not ever for us.”
“Oh, my darling, so, so not true. Dreams are for everyone.”
She heard Golem snicker over her shoulder. Sophia looked at him but Alena’s hand covered the view, returning Sophia’s eyes to her.
“Tell me, Sophia, do you wish for riches? Fame? Power? Do you wish to come away from this cage and be free?”
Sophia nodded, those blue eyes sad and downtrodden.
“Oh, wonderful. Absolutely wonderful, Sophia.” Alena felt hunger turn her stomach and wrench into her throat. She licked her lips with a slight movement of the tongue. “I can do that for you, Sophia. I can make all your dreams come true.”
“Are you a fairy godmother?”
“Oh, yes, Sophia. That I am and I have all your dreams and wishes right here…” Alena held out her hand, palm up, for Sophia to see. “In the palm of my hand.” Light emitted from her palm, sparkling red and blue light as if she held a crystal that reflected the rainbow.
Sophia’s eyes glowed. “You are a fairy godmother.”
“Of course, Sophia. I wouldn’t lie to you. Not to a child. Not ever. But can you please do something for me first? Before I give you such beautiful presents. Do I have your permission? Can you give that to me, your agreement? Like a sacred pact between two people. You do for me, and I do for you. Will you allow this, Sophia?”
Sophia looked left then right, seeing the other kids with unknowing stares. She turned those blue eyes to Alena and nodded. “Yes,” she said. “Yes, I will.”