I have come to a decision about my blog. For the last 15 months I have focused primarily on the art of writing and how to help my fellow authors in training get published. There are plenty of blogs that already do that and frankly they do it better.While I don’t plan to do away with all content related to the craft of writing, I think it is to my advantage to present more of samples of what I do to the public. In other words, this is the first step towards making this blog more about my writing. I hope that doesn’t sound ego-centric. At some point I hope to have one of my novels published and when that happens my blog will be drawing fans who have little, or no, interest in writing related subjects.
As part of that effort, I plan to participate more often in the writing prompt they offer at The World of My Imagination and other opportunities that come up. I hope all of you will stick around and enjoy my stories.
(Warning: this first story is a little darker than what I normally write. I don't think it goes too far, but it isn't the light and fluffy stuff I normally post.)
Cult of the Fang
The old church faced north. Except that it wasn’t old and it wasn’t a church. The building permit for this architectural throwback had been filed six years ago. And who ever heard of a church as big and grandiose as this building that didn’t display any religious symbols.No, this was a sanctuary for the Cult of the Fang. Heaven only knew why they faced all of their dens of death to the north.
A gleam from the gutter caught Jim’s eye. He bent over and retrieved a necklace with a small silver cross. No doubt, cultists had stripped it from some poor soul before dragging them inside. Jim put the necklace into his pocket and then slunk towards the property.
With the sun low in the sky it wouldn’t be long before the cult’s master arose. When that happened, no place within twenty miles would be safe for Jim. He had to strike now.
Jim decided against climbing the wrought-iron fence surrounding the property and chose to pick the over-sized padlock that secured the gate. After checking the street to make sure it was clear he pulled out his lock-smithing tools and opened the lock in under a minute. The front door of the faux church proved no more of a challenge.
Slipping inside, Jim listened for activity.
As quiet as a tomb and smelled like one too.
He snuck along the walls, using what furniture and trappings there were for cover. If the cultists had followed tradition when designing the sanctuary, the next room would be a huge, fancy hall and beyond that the private sanctum of their master.
Jim slid the door back without making a sound. The reek of blood assaulted his senses. He paused for a moment, watching for movement inside, adjusting to the smell. The way appeared clear.
He had made it halfway across the central room when doors opened all around him. Cultists stepped inside, cruel smiles on their faces.
“Herald,” one of the cultists called out in an old, raspy voice. “You crossed the line. The Pact forbids you from directly interfering in our affairs. Now that you have, the clause that protected you is void. It seems that you have reached the end of your participation in our millennium old conflict.”
“It is a stalemate that has continued for far too long,” said Jim.
The cultists tightened the circle around the Herald and he feigned a break through their lines. As they wrestled him to the center of the room he retrieved the necklace and placed it in his mouth.
They positioned him over a huge mahogany bowl and spilled his blood.
Jim let the necklace fall out of his and into the bowl. With the last of his life energy he mumbled the prayer that would purify the blood and poison the cult’s master when he drank it.
The rules of the pact hadn’t changed, just their understanding of it.
To defeat evil – sacrifices had to be made.