Athena Lee

Athena Lee
Brand new Books

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Try some Darkness with your Holiday.

Gratitude and appreciation find expression in the giving of thanks. It can be associated with a specific day or just part of our lives. The stories in this anthology have been contributed by the Phoenix Prime authors to illustrate how that expression, and the expectations that come with it, are different depending on whether you are the giver or the receiver of those thanks.

Do you like a little horror mixed in with your Holiday? Try my story in here. 

Get it on Amazon!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

New Book. Unicorns are Short

Snarky, indestructible, immune to magick.


Fergus the Unicorn is a mainstay of the Federal Witch World of TS Paul, and companion to Agatha Blackmore, the FBI witch. His story is revealed piece by tantalizing piece in the main books but also hidden in the many short stories that this talented author places in anthologies and cookbooks. 

Pulled from those sources, Fergus' tale is highlighted in this collection of those short stories. 

All that we can say is, "Could we have some more?!"

Get this one HERE on Amazon.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Snippet Time! Here is snippet #06 From Invisible Elder


“You can come willingly, or we will drag you.” The taller of the two stared down at me. A malicious smile on his face.

“I can walk.” I replied.

“Can you? Will you?”

The shorter man appeared behind me as I stood. He kicked me just as I started to stand. A sharp pain in my right knee caused me to stumble and fall. He kicked me again. This time in my side, making me grab my ribs and roll over into a ball. The punishing blows continued. Both men pummelled and kicked me until I could barely breathe.

“How about now? Can you walk now?” Both me circled me as I clutched myself tighter and tighter.

One grabbed me by my hair and gave a sharp pull. I screamed as my body was twisted and choked as dust from the ground was sucked into my mouth.

“”Get up! Stand now or we will drag you up those stairs.” The leader’s voice was harsh and cruel sounding.

I brought my knee up under me. Carefully I pulled myself up on one knee only to be pushed over by the other man.

“Get up!” Both men yelled at me now.

Closing my eyes I said a prayer to the Gods of my father. I would not be weak. Remembering my promise to father, I tried to not be the rabbit. My ribs chose that moment to remind me of their pain. I groaned as I raised one knee and then another. Staggering I stood up. Both arms clutched around me as injuries to my ribs and belly made me cry out in pain.

“It can stand. Excellent. What sport.” The shorter man smiled and licked his lips.

“Come along.” The taller leader pushed me forward toward the stairs.

Stumbling I fell across the first couple of flights. My hands caught my weight as i tried to brace myself. I could feel the smoothness of the rock. Smoothness brought on by the tread of thousands of feet.

“Get up. Or we will drag you up!” Hands grabbed me from behind pushing my body forward.

I pulled myself up and stumbled forward again. Bracing myself, I balanced when the push came again. This dance was repeated numerous times. Each impact with the stairs ripping and shredding the palms and fingers on my hands.

By the time we reached the final steps, I was crawling on the ground like an animal. All the while, the two men laughed. Kicking me with their feet they nudged me into the dark portal.

Blackness. Unlike outside there wasn’t any light at all. As my eyes adjusted to the dark I could see the faint outline of the entrance behind me but both men were standing in the middle of it.

“What have you brought us?” The words were just a whisper, but they echoed inside my mind.

The men behind me spoke. “A new slave, Majesty. Payment for services rendered.”

“We don’t normally deal in slaves. Explain yourself.” These words were out loud and close.

Both men hit the floor and were on their knees. “Master Alukah, she is payment from the Roman Demetrius. He said you knew and gave approval!”

“Never assume anything. Is he here to make payment?” The voice came from beside me. I craned my head looking around, but didn’t see anyone.

“No. We… We let him go.”

“Interesting. And yet you bring this to me. Who is the girl?” Master Alukah’s voice once again echoed inside my head.

I tried to answer. “My name is ....” Suddenly I was unable to speak a single word. All that came out was grunts.

“Answer my question. Who is the girl?”

One of the men completely prostrated himself before the mysterious Alukah. “We weren’t told, Majesty. Demetrius just told us she was payment for his debt and that the deal was already made. We didn’t know. We didn’t know!”

“You didn’t know and you didn’t care did you. The rules are there for a reason.”

“We didn’t know!”

Hearing one of the men wail set my teeth on edge. Having one of them hurt pleased me after they beating they gave me, but I worried for myself and my fate.

“Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.”

There was a murmuring not unlike some of the sounds from the hippodrome that father took me to. It was the sounds that people in large numbers made. How many others were here in the darkness with us?

“What is the verdict of the court?” The voice was but a whisper in my mind. I opened my mouth to speak and still nothing came out.

“Death.” The word seemed to not just echo, but reverberate through the very air. Death was all around me. It was inside of me and part of me.

I could feel tendrils like wisps of hair drift over my body. Both men started screaming and writhing on the ground behind me. As I turned I could see another shadow in the doorway. This one snakelike and covered in long hair. The men convulsed on the ground and then lay still. The snake swayed back and forth catching the eye as it moved over the men's bodies on the ground. Its head slipped forward and loud crunching sounds could be heard. They were sickly and moist as the creature began to eat the men in the doorway.

No stranger to death, still I felt sick to my stomach and turned away. Suddenly there were fingers on my head. They held my face level. Looking forward I saw nothingness until a man’s face slowly, ever so slowly came into view.

“What shall we do with you now?” The face spoke as it gazed into my eyes.

Concentrating I tried to speak. Almost willing my vocal cords to say a single word. “Who.”

The face smiled at me. “Interesting.”

I could hear the word inside my head. This person was the source of the whispers.

“What is your name?” The voice asked.

Suddenly my voice worked again. “Aeliana. Daughter of Apollodorus of Damascus. Architect of the Emperor.”

“So daughter of the architect. What brings you to our domain?” The voice asked.

Stuttering I answered, “My tutor Demetrius sold me to you.”

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Brand new Holiday book! Night of the living turkeys

While Agatha is away the WereCat's will play.

It's Thanksgiving and Agatha Blackmoore is going home for the holiday. She's leaving her best two teammates in charge of the Magical Division: Agent Catherine "Cat" Moore and Chuck, the team's forensic technician. Usually holiday's are very quiet but not this year. Something is stirring in the South and the turkeys are gobbling. Join Cat and Chuck as they find themselves wondering why the turkey crossed the road. 

This is a short holiday tale that's part of the Federal Witch Universe. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

My Mentee's are whipping them out! Check out this one from Ryland Thorn
I recently met with Ryland when I was in Las Vegas last week. He's part of the Phoenix Prime writing group I belong to and lives in New Zealand. One of the things he found totally fascinating about America was all the TV commercials for drugs and all the strange food we eat.

Demon by blood. Hero by choice.

Jackson Kade is an immortal with demon blood in his veins and hate in his heart. Lennox Valdis is wild and fiery, and her demon heritage gives her a talent for magic. Together, they are the bane of every loathsome creature that crawls up from Hell. Raining down bullets and sorcery with malice and glee, they strive to keep the streets of New Sanctum free from the corruption of Hell.

Now there is a Hell-beast on the loose that is a greater threat than anything seen in decades. Whether it is just an anomaly or if there is something more sinister behind the attack is unknown. To prevail against such a monster, Jack and Lennox must call upon all of their strength and courage.

Can they survive its onslaught?

The Daemonicon Chapters is an episodic serial, with a new, action-packed book (25k-35k words in length) published every 3-5 weeks.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Book of the Week! Check out this new series from Nicole Zoltack

At twenty-seven, detective Clarissa Tempest is one of the best at sniffing out goons, but these particular goons seem to be the bloodsucking kind.

Vamps aren’t real, right? Of course not. But Clarissa knows what she’s seen. Unfortunately, she’s a little distracted, and her actions earn her a suspension. Great. Life is really looking up. Maybe her therapist is right. Maybe she’s under too much stress and is seeing things.

But then a vamp seeks her out, telling her to knock it off and leave them alone or else he’ll knock her off.

Clarissa isn’t the kind to back down, though, and she’ll do whatever it takes to keep Bethlehem safe. She’s just hoping that won’t require her to lose a lot of blood… or her head.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

How about a Snippet? Check out the latest from Invisible Elder


The moon was full the night we flew in. J Edgar was anything if not accommodating. He needed my help but tried his damndest to protect me at the same time. Too bad I didn’t trust him enough to tell him the sun wasn’t an issue for me.

“Ana are you OK?”

“I’m fine Director. Just getting a feel for a new place. I haven’t been to this coast before.” I sniffed the air again casting my Vampire senses outward. I wasn’t just smelling the ocean. I was looking for others like myself and any nearby threats. Not sensing any gave me ideas that I left percolating in my brain.

“Good. I know the flight is a hardship for you but we desperately need new agents. The war weakened our country. Many foreign governments have already begun sending their agents against us.” Hoover answered.

“We aren’t you using those psychics we picked up in Virginia. They can do the same thing I’m doing. More actually.” I asked.

Edgar shook his head. “Psychics. I’ve instructed that they only be used for local non-sensitive cases. We just can’t trust them completely, Anastasia. They show a loyalty to that leader of theirs first. There are too many secrets in my head and yours to trust them with. Better to stick with what works.”

I nodded that I agreed. Edgar might not be able to block them out but I could. The day a Vampire Elder couldn’t block out a human was the day the Vampire race ended. I did understand his reasoning. He had way more to lose than I did. “I don’t think Cayce demands that much loyalty from his people, Sir. He has serious health problems.”

“That may be true but we still can’t trust him. There are too many questions about his loyalty. Most of it relates to his membership in the Theosophical Society.” J Edgar opened and closed several files and documents as we spoke.

“Blavatsky’s group? Weren’t they wiped out in the war?” I asked.

“There were. Some of the members of the Thule Society were followers of Blavatsky. Since they were the ones we suspect that brought that beast into being in Berlin, any connection to them is bad. It shows the intelligence of those beings we call Demons.”

I looked at Edgar. His head was cocked to one side and he was gazing upward. “Why do you say that?”

“Many have said they were ravening beasts or entities without purpose. Those people would be wrong. The Demons had a purpose, a method to their madness, that is only now starting to come to light. The reason they invaded so many countries at once was to eliminate those that could stop them. Blavatsky and her society were in Russia. Many of the quasi-secret Magical societies were the first to fall in the war. Masons, Rosicrucians, and members of the Golden Dawn are few and far between in Europe today. They were eaten to prevent returning the prince to his domain. Why else persecute the Jews so virulently? Practitioners of the Kabbalah could have prevented the destruction too.” Edgar remarked.

“Maybe. But why go after the public groups rather than the private ones then? If the Volkhvy hadn’t had acted, we all might not be here today. If they were organized in any group we haven’t discovered it yet. As it was, they were practically wiped out in the process of stopping the incursion.” I answered. Demon studies was a hobby of mine. I was still a bit pissed they outed me and destroyed my home.

Edgar gave me a long look. He shook his head. “Did you realize we’re sitting here arguing about creatures we many never see again? Let’s get back to work. Night is wasting.” Edgar, it seemed, had secrets too.

He may have had trust issues, but he was a good man. He truly wanted to protect the county from harm. Working for him gave me more insights into humans and their society than all my years before I became a Vampire.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

What I'm reading this week! (When I have time)

I found this author a couple of years ago. He's very prolific and nobody knows who he is! 

Most of his stuff is really short, around 150 pages each. but the main series has 100 books in it! He's been putting out the "origin books" in groups of 4.  A good read but it does get complicated really fast so jumping around is not recommended.  He's in Kindle Unlimited too!  Check it out!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Try a new cookbook and a new story! Take it on the road with Chef Canard.

Travel and cooking - a perfect mix!

This book introduces you to Peter Canard, a disgraced TV chef that is offered a second chance at stardom. His story is the backbone of the series from Taki Drake and TS Paul. 

This initial cookbook introduces you to some of the players in the amusing world of culinary confusion and artistry. Join us for the first episode at the Road Kill Cafe in Alligator Alley. 

Sit down with an Eat and Read cookbook and munch your way through a couple of amusing short stories and a selection of interesting recipes. 

Hungry anyone?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Snippet Time! Time for another snippet from Book 6 of the Federal Witch series - Invisible Elder. Enjoy.


This so reminds me of something that happened when I was a girl. Maybe If the circumstances were a little better, my life might have been different.

My childhood family estate was on a hill overlooking the city of Sirmium in the province of Pannonia. It’s almost impossible to find now. The civil war that is engulfing the region has destroyed so much. I have kept up my research of the area during my time with the FBI. After computers were invented, it became a lot easier than staring at old books and satellite imagery.

“Father, why are they racing?” We were staring at several teams of chariots chasing each other around the hippodrome.

“It’s for sport. The Emperor has proclaimed a month of games to celebrate a great military victory. This is but one of the many exhibitions that will take place here.” My father pointed to royal box near ours. “That is one of Emperor Trajan's nephews.”

As I watched two of the teams cornered a third and forced him into the wall. I could hear the screams of the horses and the roar of the crowd. I felt a tear roll down my cheek. Horses were some of my favorite animals on the estate. “Why?”

My father looked at me and scowled. “Wipe your tears. This is necessary. The commoners must be appeased with blood. They yearn for it. Better those of gladiators and charioteers than ours. This is a function of government and society. You may not like it, but you will appear to enjoy it or taste my whip at home! Showing weakness to anyone outside of the family is totally unacceptable. Now pay attention to the match.”

I had already reason enough to know, father did not make empty threats. Drying my tears I watched. The crowd was more interesting than the racers. Women and men cheered and jeered the contestants as they shed blood and gave their lives for the them.

“Why do they even care?” I pointed to a group of women congratulating the winning team by throwing themselves at them.

Father looked over at me and smiled. “The ways of men and women are something you will learn about later. Your mother’s brother, your uncle Anthony, will aid you in choosing a husband worthy of our family when the time is right. He will join us in the coming year. As to them.” He pointed. “They wish to encourage the Gods to give them children by the next moon. Seeds of a victory might add to the family line. Do not be surprised when a noblewoman is among them.”

I stared down at the men and women cavorting on the field. Being raised among slaves I knew where babies came from. It was the slave's job to breed both themselves and the estate’s animal population. I just wasn’t ready to see it so blatantly exposed in such a public way.

“Another tournament begins. Pay attention.” Father pointed toward the chariot gate.

Down of the field three groups of chariots were readied. One strange looking one was out in front. “Why is he different?”

“Good eye. He is the ‘rabbit.’ The others are ‘hounds.’ The goal is to catch the rabbit. This rabbit has teeth, and he knows how to use them.”

Father watched me watch the chariots. “This is a military maneuver. Strategy. Much of life is ruled by tactics and geometry. Demetrius says you are a good student in math. You understand the angles of things?”

I nodded.

“Watch and learn then.” Father nodded toward the field.

The rabbit was given a small head start. Four other chariots began to chase him. Ignoring the directional laps the rabbit crossed over the middle more than once to confuse his pursuers. Unlike the chasing chariots, the rabbit’s had six horses instead of four. In addition to more horses he was not alone in the cart. A man armed with a bow stood beside him. Blades and sharp looking spears stuck out in all directions from the vehicle. As I watched, the rabbit eluded his pursuers with ease. Horses can only run for so long though. The teams were forced to slow or lose their advantage of speed.

“Here’s where we see the skill of the driver's.” Father pointed to the hounds.

All three teams slowed to a crawl. The rabbit team allowed one of the hounds to get almost close enough to touch the horses when the archer popped up shooting and killing the lead horse.

Having already heard more than one horse scream today I was prepared for, it but not the sight of an entire team of horses tumbling over the dead body of another. More screams and loud crunching sounds practically echoed off the walls of the hippodrome. The crowd roared and pounded their feet in response. Ignoring my father’s orders I looked away.

“Eyes front, girl. Eyes front. The rabbit has the will of the crowd now. The hounds will stop at nothing to catch him. Glory is at stake now. You must watch to understand the strategy.” Father admonished.

Strategy? I watched the rabbit when I should have been watching the hounds. They herded him. The archer was a pest, but the hounds were careful to not come too close to him. Keeping their armored horses on his flanks, they forced the rabbit away from the center where he could elude them.

As if mirroring my thoughts, father spoke. “Everything was planned. Possibly even the loss of the hound. See how they herd him? He is tired and his horses near faltering. His one chance to elude them by crossing over is gone. Now he must fight or die on the sand.”

True to father’s word the rabbit slowed to a halt. The archer, firing from partial cover continued to shoot at their opponent’s horses.

“He’s doomed isn’t he?” I asked.

Father nodded. “Only so much room in that sort of chariot. His arrows are becoming a precious commodity.”

The rate of fire slowed as the archer hit very few of the hounds chariots or horses. While one chariot charged the stationary rabbit, the other teams attacked on foot. A brief flurry of swordplay and it was over. The lead hound team waved the rabbit’s heads in the air splattering the sand with their blood.

“As I said. Strategy. Life is filled with situations that require that sort of tactics. Understand daughter. I brought you here to learn, not for fun. As a member of my household you will be attacked politically and socially. You must learn when to attack and when to defend. Do not, under any circumstances, become the rabbit. Understand?” My father stared at me with a stern look.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Another new Halloween story. Check out Haunted Hearts.

Love and loss will haunt you, crowding out new love and life.

The stories in this anthology from the talented writers of Phoenix Prime have contributed to this collection of the many ways that you can be shadowed by past experiences and the decisions that you have made. Ranging from the entertaining to tales that raise the hairs on the back of your neck, these stories will fill you with a frisson of fright and the comfort of love found.

Come be entertained, challenged, and immersed.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Time for Halloween. Get your Pumpkin on with Tales from the Pumpkin Patch! Now Available on Amazon.
The pumpkin patch hides many secrets.

These three stories from the accomplished authors in the Federal Witch World examine the strange and amazing things that occur in the harvest field in the dark of the moon.

Be amazed at the depth of the terror and the wonder embedded in these stories.

Be challenged and be afraid!

Monday, October 16, 2017

How about a Snippet from Coven Codex? Check this one out.


Snippet # 04
Coven Codex

It was more than she could bear to stay one minute longer in the library. The talk with the seer had been overwhelming. There was so much to think about and so much to evaluate that Zhanna could not think of anything at all.

The pressure to do something, anything at all, was driving her to MOVE. The young witch was not ready to think in such a long-term perspective or about assuming such horrendous responsibilities.
Zhanna desperately wanted to go back to being a child right now. No responsibilities, Baba telling her everything she needed to know. She had never realized what a horrible weight knowing the future could put on someone. In this very isolated case, she thought ignorance might be bliss.

<< Are you done wallowing yet? There’s only so long that you can flop around in the depths of despair and feel sorry for yourself. At some point, you have to decide to get up out of that pit and go on. >>

<< Dascha! That is not fair! What she told me was scary and horrible. What if I do the wrong thing? >>

<< Well… That’s why you have friends and a familiar. We provide additional information. We keep you company in your journey. And we also apply appropriate slashes of our claws when you feel sorry for yourself. >>

<< Ouch! That hurts! >>

<< Duh!?! >>

Limping slightly, Zhanna quickly caught up to Mikhail. If he thought anything unusual about the fact that she had acquired a limp in the last few minutes, he was smart enough not to make a comment. Zhanna kept pace with him for about half a block, before asking him, “Exactly where are we going?”
“We are headed toward the building that I told you about. The one that I scouted earlier. It appears to be a reinforced building that has very controlled access. There are strange signs at the entrances to the building, and I was hoping you could tell me what they say.”

“Whoa, why are they strange or what makes you think they are strange?”

“I guess you’re just going to have to see them and make your own decision.”


The building the Mikhail wanted to visit was about two kilometers away from the library. He and Zhanna walked in companionable silence, with Dascha ranging in front of them to act as a scout part of the time and taking off whenever something of interest caught her attention.

Occasionally, Dascha would come back and drop something in front of Zhanna for the witch’s examination. On one of her exploration loops, the item that she dropped in front of Dascha clinked as it hit the ground. Both Zhanna and Mikhail came to a dead stop, crowding together closely as they bent over to examine Dascha’s find.

The object was obviously metal, but of a substance that Zhanna could not immediately recognize. It was shaped like an open “C” with a metal band extending at right angles to it terminating in another open “C.” The second open curve was smaller than the first.

The entire surface of the metal was covered in patterns that confused the eye. Staring at it left Zhanna with the impression that the carvings were moving ceaselessly and that they were repeating some form of a pattern.

“Mikhail, what do you think of this? Do you see the lines or words moving?”

“I don’t see any words. I just see squiggly lines that are not very distinct, and that appear to be crawling all over the metal.”

<< Dascha, what do you see? Can you see the moving words and the incised images? >>

<< Yes I see all that, but I also see strange-colored threads that go from many places into this piece of metal. The colors are different than uncorrupted elemental magic. I don’t know what the magic is, but I feel like it is important to find out. >>

Zhanna thought for a moment. She knew that Dascha had better instincts when it came to recognizing strange magic. The familiar’s new training in the identification of magical energy raised her skills far beyond those of her witch. If Dascha could not tell what type of magic was involved, then the witch knew that she would be lost.

Dealing with unknown magic was dangerous. It could be potentially powerful, risky, or both. Without some clue as to its nature, they would be at a major disadvantage in using, resisting or fighting the artifact. She certainly was not going to touch it with her bare skin until she knew more about it!

Deciding to do further investigation at a later time, Zhanna reached into her belt bag and brought out some of the precious silk that her Baba had given her for handling unknown magic. Carefully avoiding touching the surface of the metal with her hands, Zhanna wrapped the object up and stored in its own little drawstring bag.

When Zhanna straightened up, she saw Mikhail staring at her with wide eyes. “What is the matter?” she asked.

“I was just thinking that you have progressed an amazing distance in your training. Your abilities are increasing by leaps and bounds.”

Zhanna thought that there wasn’t much of an answer that she could give to that without sounding either like she was asking for approval or bragging, so she contented herself with a nod of acknowledgment. Tucking the drawstring bag into her larger waist pouch, the young witch set off once again in the direction that would take them to the mysterious building.


It’d taken them less than an hour to get to the destination. They could’ve moved faster, but Zhanna was busy building a personal guide to Blagogarsk. Every time that she explored more of the city, she updated a section of her map. The cartographer at the library was helping her learn how to draw and keep decent maps, something that she knew was valuable and rare. Once she got back from this trip, she would make sure to immediately update her central map, including her notes and impressions.
Thinking about how her map was shaping up, Zhanna was lost in satisfied feelings and thoughts of a job well done. She was pulled abruptly from that reverie by a rumbling snarl from Dascha.

<< What is wrong, Dascha? Why are you snarling? >>

<< The road and the sidewalks, the buildings and even the gutters are threaded with strange lines of magic. Some of them look and smell like the ones on the metal piece that I found, but others have a color that pulses an evil rotten green. >>

Quickly, Dascha told Mikhail what Dascha had said. She did not even finish the first sentence before his weapons were in his hands. Glancing around he said, “I wish I could see it. I knew before when I came this way that I felt like something was watching me the whole time. And the closer I got to the building, the more I felt like I was going to be attacked. Nothing happened, but I was uneasy the whole time.”

“Do you feel that again? Has anything changed?”

“I feel it again, but it doesn’t seem to be as strong this time. On the other hand, there are more of us together instead of just me. Perhaps that affects how I’m feeling.”

Out of the corner of her eye, Zhanna noticed that Dascha was creeping forward as if she were on the hunt. Eyes gleaming, the tip of her tail twitching, the cat was slinking smoothly toward one of the gutters. Breathlessly, Zhanna waited to see what would happen.

So suddenly that Zhanna jumped even though she had been expecting it, Dascha pounced on something in the gutter hidden in the debris. Instantly, her familiar was in full battle mode, fighting against something that was only partially materialized.

Zhanna moved to the right, knowing that Mikhail would move to the left. Their time in the Badger Hole Bar and the battles there had taught them to automatically cover each other.

With a clear area of fire, Zhanna should have been able to come to the aid of her familiar. But she couldn’t quite focus on what it was that Dascha was fighting. She could hear Mikhail yelling that he couldn’t see anything either.

Desperate to understand what it was that they were battling, Zhanna slipped into the semi-state that would allow her to see through Dascha’s eyes without interfering with the familiar’s actions. They had only practiced it twice, but she couldn’t think of anything else that would get her the information that she desperately needed.

The witch certainly wasn’t going to yell and ask questions of her familiar when Dascha was in the middle of a fight. And Dascha wouldn’t answer anyway. They had been trained better than that.
There was a moment of disorientation as her eyes adjusted to a different depth of field and color spectrum. Swallowing the spurt of nausea that seemed to accompany the transfer, Zhanna took a deep breath and focused through Dascha’s eyes. The cat was intent on the creature that she was fighting. The image burned itself into Zhanna’s brain with the force of a firelance.

The sight of the enemy was so startling that Zhanna involuntarily took a quick step back, catching her heel on the uneven pavement and falling backward. Mikhail dove to soften her fall, but was unable to catch her. Zhanna landed too quickly for him to succeed, falling away from him with speed accelerated by her instinctual disgust.

The slamming of her body into the ground and curb broke Zhanna’s attention and focus. Now she was only seeing through her own eyes. But the image that had seared into her brain and memory would not easily go away again.

Filled with horror, Zhanna scrambled her feet and ran toward her embattled familiar, screaming instructions to Mikhail as she ran.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Time for a Short Story. Check out Chooser of the Slain in Prime Peek #1

Something new from the World of the Federal Witch. 

Here's a small taste of things to come. 


 “Let me go! Let me go!” The man looked to be burned over half his body but the scars while still heavily inflamed were old and mostly healed. The psych ward was full and he was considered overflow.

“I’m sorry corporal, I can’t do that. Those are there for the safety of both you and the rest of the patients. Do you remember why you’re here?” I glanced down at the notes.

“No. Maybe.” He stopped trying to pull free and glared at me.

“Will you tell me?”

He paused and looked away. His room didn’t have a window but he stared at the wall like it had one. “I had a fight with Margie, my wife.”

“Do you remember what it was about?”

“Yes. She threw away my things.” He said it as almost a growl.

“Did she have a reason to do that?” I made a note on his file. According to the board he was previously non communicative.

“It was my war stuff. She didn’t have the right! That stuff is there is hell me remember those I lost.” The former corporal barked the words at me.

“I see. You do know the war has been over for a long time, right?” And it had been. What is being called the Demon War by historians was over and done for thirty years now.

“Not for me. I relieve the attack every. Single. Day. All I can see is my squad dying in fire. How I survived is the question I keep asking myself every day. Margie had no right to do what she did! I use that stuff to remember what my men looked like.” Essen hung his head, closing his eyes.

“Did you tell Dr Sirius that story? He can help you if you do.” I flipped the page of his records to check for myself.

“Doctors. They don’t know what’s really wrong. You had to be there when the Demons charged the line to truly understand what I feel. Do you understand me?”

“I don’t have that experience, sorry. I can’t undo the bonds until the doctor signs off on it.” Essen opened his mouth to shout at me and I shut him down.

“But. I will make note of what you told me here and pass it along to him. Just so you know, Doctor Sirius is a veteran like yourself. He has a picture on his office wall of his National Guard unit. According to him they got caught up in the San Joaquin evacuation and were pinned down. You and he might have had similar experiences back then.” I pointed my finger at Essen.

“Interesting.” Essen closed his mouth and returned his gaze toward the walls for just a moment. Part of me for just a moment wondered what he was really seeing.

“Now. Are you going to calm down and wait for the doctor? It’s late but he should be making his rounds early tomorrow. Someone might have mentioned that Memorial Day is coming up. I promise I’ll bring his attention to you. OK?”

Essen nodded. “I’ll be good. It’s just that… All I can see is the flames and my men’s bodies twisting in the heart of the fire. You really have no idea. But I’ll talk to the doc. Thank you.” 

“Good. Try and get some rest.” Setting the file down I filled in the progress notes about the conversation and made a recommendation that the doctor speak to Essen as soon as possible. Looked back at the former corporal I could see he had fallen asleep. Sometimes they only wanted to talk.

As I predicted, the moment I left twenty-five the other room started calling on me. The rest of my shift was filled with hand holding, medical alerts, and one very sad code blue. Too many of those that served our country with honor were dying of the effects of a war that no one could ever believe would happen. It was easy to believe that the Gods themselves had given up on humanity.

A cold hand on the back of my neck gave me shivers and caused me to blot upright in my desk chair. “I’m awake!”

Laughing, Doctor Charles Norton removed his hand and spoke to me. “That is a unique way of catching up on paperwork, Gen. I’ll have to try it.”

“Funny. We were a bit short last night. Christine pulled a no-show on us again. You are going to have to reprimand her this time, Doctor Norton. She won’t listen to me anymore.” Turning my chair I stared up at the tall doctor.

Norton ran his hand over his hair like he was grooming himself. “We’re so short handed on night shift. I’ve got a couple of applicants. Let me do a few interviews and see what I can do. The hospital just can’t afford to get rid of trained personnel right now. You know that, Gen.”

“I do but I have to try.” The paperwork still loomed in front of me. “I’ll work on this tonight and get caught up. It’s a holiday so we shouldn’t get too many new patients. At least not on the Demon wing. Is that OK with you, sir?”

“Charles. I keep telling you to call me Charles, Gen. You’re an RN not a candy striper.”The tall doctor pointed out.

I turned away from him and mumbled under my breath. “They make more money.”

“I’m sorry. Did you say something?” Doctor Norton tapped me on my shoulder.

“Just clearing my throat. Have a good shift. My Thor protect and keep you.” Pulling out a key I grabbed my purse from the desk drawer.

“Do you really believe all that? Thor and Odin? I never understood that about you.”

“Faith is something personal. There is no crime in believing in a higher power especially one that has demonstrated it’s existence. You only have to ask the men back on the fourth floor. It gives me a cushion against the darkness. Have a nice day.” The Doctor was a one of the good ones but he could be like a bulldog sometimes.

He scratched his head and stared at me for a moment. Then the doctor nodded. “I understand. Have a good rest. Before I forget, there is a special patient coming in tonight. It isn’t listed on the delivery schedule but expect the bus sometime after midnight. The new patient will be reporting to your floor and Doctor Sirius.”

Something sounded off about that. “Why the secrecy? Who’s the patient?”

Doctor Norton stepped closer to me. “Floyd Kraven.”

I nearly dropped my purse in surprise. “Kraven? Why are the bringing the Eris killer here? I thought they had him in central lockup under military guard?”

Norton ran his hand through his hair again. “You remember the case then. Turns our Kraven’s a veteran. He was in the California National guard in 1945. Just joined actually. He and his unit got trapped in Santa Barbara.”

“He should be dead, then. I’m surprised the Demons didn’t eat him.” Floyd Kraven was one of the most notorious serial killers in modern American history. His body count was over fifty, mostly young college co-eds. His military service was never mentioned during his recent trial.

“No accounting for taste. He’ll have guards with him but try to keep everyone away from him. Including the press. I’ve assigned him to the high security room. You will have to give him his evening meds but try to keep other interactions with him to a minimum. OK?”

Doctor Norton flinched away from me. “No. It’s not OK. Why is he here? Doesn’t the prison have a medical unit? Just having him here puts all of our regular patients at risk.”

 “You know how it works, Gen. I do what the hospital administrator tells me to do. Do you really think I want him here? According to legal Kraven’s lawyers are claiming he was under demonic control when he killed those girls. This hospital is the only facility that deals with that sort of ‘illness.’ It is what it is. We just have to deal with it. Night shift won’t have to do much, I promise. Go home. Get some rest.” Norton turned and walked away.

I barely acknowledged my co-workers as I left the building. By the Gods of earth and sky how could they do this to us? If. If he was telling the truth that he was under demonic control, Kraven’s very presence could set the treatment back of every man and woman on my floor if they had any interaction with him. Damn demons. As far as I could tell there hasn’t been a public sighting of one since the 1950s. The only reason I know of that one was we got a few of the patients here at the hospital. Death Valley, California used to have a small Indian population. Apparently they preserved several of the smaller demonic entities as pets after the main incursion in forty-five. It was only after the disappearance of half the tribe that they notified the government. No one has officially seen a demon since then.