Friday, May 15, 2015

BLACK MAGIC


#frifreebits


To follow last week's excerpt from RED MAGIC, here's something from the sequel, BLACK MAGIC, a shape-shifter adventure, in the MAGIC COLOURS series.

Goran, a newborn at the end of RED MAGIC, is now a man grown, confronting a dangerous adversary, an sinister, predatory neighbor.






 

            Goran rode to the Raptor’s Nest like a mad man. Bem struggled to keep up. About a half mile from the place, in the hollow below the rise from which he and Thomas had surveyed the house just two weeks past, he drew up.

            “My Lord?” Bem, when he arrived, shouted over the blowing of his horse and the restless stamping of Turk.

            “I want you to take Turk and then ride like a wind out of hell back to Heldenberg House.”

            “What?”

            “Yes. You don’t need to be here. It’s going to be dangerous—more than you know.”

            “I’m your man, sir! I belong at your side.”

            “If I can’t deal with this by myself—you won’t be able to do much besides accompany me to death’s door. I want you safe and at the house, because someone will have to account for all this to my sister and to Lord Thomas. If I don’t return—everyone must clear out of there at once.”

            “I won’t be able to account for anything if I’m not present.”

            Scowling, Goran swung down. He handed Turk’s reins up to Bem.

            “Damn you! Do as I say! If the Count’s as powerful as I fear, he already knows we’re here.”
            “I swore to your sister I’d stick with you.”

            “Bem! Obey me!”

            Bem could only stare, for as he spoke, Goran’s long proud face started to flow. Horns white as bone, emerged from his high forehead. As the change began, both horses snorted, reared, and then plunged away from the fearsome chimera now taking shape.

 

***

 

            Bem was gone, clinging to his horse’s mane for dear life, now gone out of sight over the ridge. Turk had high-tailed away it even faster. Goran had stood and watched them go, sending feathers of terror to chase after them. He wanted to be certain that all were well away from The Raptor’s Nest before he entered. 

 

            No reason for any more deaths, except, perhaps, for mine, which is, the last ten years considered--probably overdue.

 

            For some reason, the thought calmed him. He could feel the horns retracting, his jaw and teeth returning to normal size. He had swollen inside his clothes and burst a button here and there, but after a few minutes, he was simply a man again, a gentleman in an old riding coat.

 

            It was as Goran von Hagen that he would enter the Count’s home.

 

            The Count probably realized that his new neighbor was more than he seemed, but there was no need to show it immediately. The Count liked games, liked to play with his victims before he killed!

 

            Well, Goran thought, two monsters can play at this game...




~~Juliet Waldron
 
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