Today I'm pleased to host Emerian Rich, author and editor extraordinaire, as well as the hostess of the Horroraddicts.net podcast. Her book, Dusk's Warriors, is now out.
Zack is just a street kid who has lived past his expiration date. He figures if he has no life left, he might as well follow a stranger into a magic puddle. What he doesn’t know is that things are going to get a lot worse…
Excerpt from Dusk’s Warriors
Two yards away from the thugs, the man jumped into a puddle and sank into the earth.
“What the Hell?” Zack hid behind a pile of pallets, watching the hoods curse and scatter.
After the gang cleared off, Zack crept up to the puddle. It was a regular puddle, nothing unusual about it. Seeing his reflection, he frowned. He looked dead already, with his chapped lips, white complexion, and dark circles under his eyes. Stepping back, Zack walked away, chalking it all up to his active imagination.
Just a vision, that’s all. People don’t disappear into puddles.
Gazing out at the dark water, the bay seemed bottomless. Maybe drowning would be an easier death? To be forever part of the Earth and drift around from stream to river to ocean seemed pleasant to him. He could go places he’d never dreamed of before.
Places I’ve never dreamed of.
Looking back at the puddle, he rubbed his neck. A kink had been there longer than he could remember. Had the man really disappeared into the puddle?
He closed his eyes, as a gust of chilly wind blew through him.
I’m gonna die anyway. What do I have to lose?
Walking toward the puddle, he picked up speed as his resolution grew. When he got to the puddle, he closed his eyes and jumped in.
I want a second chance to live. I don’t care what I have to do. Please, just give me that chance!
Jumping into a mud puddle like he was seven, part of him thought he would hit solid ground. The other part of him—the part that still believed in fairytales—knew what he’d seen was real.
Zack’s feet sank into thick sticky sludge and soon his entire body became submerged. Mud filled his ears, nose, and had he not shut his eyes before the jump, they would have clouded with the murky slop, too. Hoping the huge gulp of air he took before jumping would last until he got wherever he was going, he allowed his body to be digested by the Earth.
A wave of helplessness washed over him, the likes that would drive him to commit suicide had he any way to do it, but he could no more move than scream. His ears hurt, head throbbed, and even the stiff neck he suffered paled in comparison to the pain filtering through his limbs. As he sank, he realized what caused him pain. Noise. So much noise, he couldn’t comprehend one single voice. Cries, moans, and screams echoed through every vein in his body.
Com-ere my pretty.
I ache so.
Take me with you!
I’m so hungry.
Eyes closed, Zack couldn’t bring himself to open them to find out what horrible creatures made such noise. Pressure pushed at his limbs. His body felt squeezed through a too small hole. Like release from the birth canal, Zack sloshed out, landing on a slippery pile of sludge. Grasping for something to steady himself, he reached out to touch wet rocks or an animal or... Flesh moved beneath him. Sticky fingers grasped his arm. Toes pressed to his cheek and as he opened his eyes, he saw bodies undulating in a sea of brown, murky mud, tinged with blood. The whites of human eyes, bloodshot and red, pleaded with him to help as they gasped, teeth thick with sewage.
How did I get here?
I am in misery.
Let me taste you.
I’m not like them, I don’t belong here.
Zack screamed, but the place swallowed his noise into its walls, turning it back to him in pieces. The realization of where Zack landed brought him close to insanity. He was in a place every little kid is threatened with, a place absent from God, a place where your soul is forfeit.
“Hell!” Zack screamed and laughter echoed back.
Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich
Heaven has opened up and welcomed the vampires of Night’s Knights into a new reality. As they struggle to find their place in their new world, trouble brews on Earth.
Demon servant, Ridge, is causing havoc by gathering up all the souls on Earth that have been touched by immortality. When he injures one of the Night’s Knights crew, he launches a war between the vampires of Heaven, the Big Bad in Hell, and a mortal street gang of vigilante misfits.
Will Julien, Markham, and Reidar be able to defeat the evil that’s returned, or will they once again need Jespa’s help?
Praise for Dusk’s Warriors:
“All hail, the queen of Night's Knights has returned! Emerian Rich's unique take on vampires delights my black little heart.” ~Dan Shaurette, Lilith's Love
“A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won't be able to put down.”
~David Watson, The All Night Library
Praise for Night’s Knights:
“Fresh, original, and thoroughly entertaining.” ~Mark Eller, Traitor
“Emerian brought the Vampire Novel back from the dead.” ~C. E. Dorsett, Shine Like Thunder
Emerian Rich is an artist, horror host, and author of the vampire series, Night’s Knights. She is the hostess of the internationally acclaimed podcast, HorrorAddicts.net. Under the name Emmy Z. Madrigal, she writes the musical romance series, Sweet Dreams and she’s the Editorial Director for the Bay Area magazine, SEARCH. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.