The elegant pale man wiped his mouth with a napkin and calmly pushed his chair back.
Sitting opposite him, the girl wondered where he was going. They’d just started their meal.
“Is everything O.K?” she asked.
Lindy hoped it was. Up until now, it had been like a dream. The way he picked her out of the crowd at the nightclub, with his intense eyes. How he’d flattered and wooed her. But respected her. They hadn’t even made love yet. A romance novel hero, with her the leading lady. A chance meeting she knew would change everything about her life. Give her a future. And erase her terrible past.
The way he listened to her, and looked at her without the obvious lust that all other men couldn’t conceal. He saw beyond the pretty face that had been more of a burden than a blessing.
But he wasn’t listening now. He was distracted. Perhaps a business matter. Lindy had no idea what he did, but money was not in short supply. She fingered the gold chain around her neck, one of several expensive gifts he’d given her. The dress she was wearing had cost more than the last car she owned. It was the beautiful salmon pink gown of a princess. The look on the waiter’s face told her it was something special.
“I need to take care of something” he said simply as he stood. “I’ll be gone for a couple of days.”
Lindy tried not to look worried, but she had no idea what she would do while he was gone. She had put herself totally in his hands. She had no money of her own and nowhere to stay in Paris. But her guardian angel put his hand in his pocket and extracted some reassurance.
On the table he placed a room key to the hotel they were dining at, and a thick roll of money.
“Stay out of trouble” he smiled, kissing her gently on her hand. Lindy was aching for his return before he had even left the table. She had the nice feeling, the warm feeling. They were going to have so much sex when he got back.
She placed the key and the money inside the designer hand bag he had also brought for her. A quick flick of the roll made her gasp. He had left her with over a hundred thousand Euros.
Lindy returned to her entrée. She would take her time over dinner, even though he was gone. The other people in the restaurant would look at her in her beautiful dress, with her beautiful things. They would admire her. Envy her. She would go up to her room-their room, and bathe in a rose petal strewn bath. And she would drink champagne looking at the lights of the city of love. Princess Lindy.
She sneaked a peek around. They were already looking at her. Staring.
But they didn’t look with envy. Their faces had strange expressions.
She suddenly felt itchy all over. She looked down and saw something surreal. Impossible.
She wasn’t wearing the beautiful pink dress.
Her outfit was brown sack cloth.
She couldn’t feel the gold chain against her skin.
Her hand reached for her sequinned purse.
Her fingers crinkled the brown paper bag that had replaced it.
She tore it open, fighting her rising hysteria.
It contained no key. No money.
It contained cockroaches.
from the novel “Last Goddess”
He loves the smell of burning meat. It fills his lungs alongside the choking smoke. The fire races through the building, climbing and consuming. As it reaches the top floor the screaming intensifies.
A little girl, no more than five or six, appears at a window. She yells down to him to help. He sips from his wine goblet. One by one the other voices fall silent beneath the crackling flames. The girl pleads. Then she begs.
Then she burns. She is the last one.
She jumps from the window in desperation, breaking a leg and an ankle on the cobblestones. Her nightdress is aflame. Her hair is quickly gone. Her skin bubbles and blisters as she screams in an agony beyond comprehension.
He finishes his wine. It is a nice accompaniment to the meat.
The wonderful burning meat.
He is considering eating some of the girl when he notices he is not the only onlooker. A tall, incredibly attractive woman is looking at the burnt girl from beneath a stair. Her hair is a similar colour to his. Her face is serene. She had enjoyed it as well.
Smoke among smoke he appeared at her side. She did not respond. Which he feared and liked. She had some power to her, but not like his. A demi-god. Offspring of one who is mortal and one who is not. There were many of them, the sexual appetites of some of his family were formidable.
She stared until the blackened girl smouldered.
Then she turned to him. Her beauty is such that any mortal would be putty in her hands.
“Who are you, who would do such a thing to a village?”
“I am Chaos” he replied with a smile. “And who are you that watches with such interest, and does nothing to save any of them?”
“I am Hell” she says in a honeyed whisper.
“I like that name”
She flashes a grin, revealing her yellowed teeth. They are filed to points.
Chaos and Hell.
A match made in heaven.
They leave together. There is no sport left here. She has a criticism that amuses him.
“They died too quickly”
They won’t next time.
(from the novel “Last Goddess”)
The sisters faced each other, holding hands. A tremble ran between them.
“Calm down” demanded Isis. “If you cannot control yourself, you will not be able to control the outcome”
“I’m sorry” replied Nephthys humbly. It was not nerves that made her shake. It was excitement. She rarely saw her sister. Now, for the first time, she was learning projection spells with her. It was hard not to be overawed.
“Stop it!” snapped Isis. She was always so serious. Always. Nephthys wondered if she ever relaxed, ever had fun.
She wrinkled her nose in the way that even Ra could not resist.
The emerald eyes of Isis narrowed frighteningly. Nephthys felt the vicious slap of nothing but air across her face. Her cheekbones sang in pain. A rivulet of blood escaped her nose and ran to her mouth. She had never tasted it before.
The mistress of magic did not play childish games.
Nephthys felt sorry for her.
The slap came from the other side this time. Harder.
“Save your pity. And focus! There will be things you can do by touch as we all can. But not everything can be done directly. A time may well come when your life, and the lives of others, will rely on what you learn here. Will you behave like a child then? Or will you behave as the daughter of earth and sky?”
Nephthys nodded, working her jaw. Thankfully it was not broken.
Isis resumed the lesson.
“Behind me is Sandar-akh. Do you see it?”
Nephthys couldn’t help but see it. The towering pine was one of the biggest trees in the garden. Sky reaching and proud, it was the one that made her think of Osiris. Their beautiful brother. She tried to keep the thought from Isis, who looked at her suspiciously. Nephthys braced for a blow. It didn’t come.
“You know of Belleren?”
“Yes.” The unbreakable shield of Sekhmet was one of the two magical items created by Ptah for the warrior goddess. The other was the lance of Ra, Verinor. Belleren was an incredible item, able to change shape and size to defend the user. Light to carry but impenetrable, Ptah had imbued this piece of living metal with part of his own soul.
“The idea is simple. Imagine Belleren covering Sandar-akh, disguising it from view. And it is simple. It must be kept so. What is difficult to master is the transference of the energy. The maintaining of it. It is a glamour to deceive the eye, and if doubt enters it cannot work. Through my hands you will be able to feel the course I take. Ready?”
Their grip tightened momentarily before relaxing again.
Nephthys felt Isis concentrate her energy at Belleren. Into it. Her spirit swimming through the amazing shield, becoming part of it. Feeling the cool touch of the metal inside and around her. Then seeking out the mighty cypress of the sacred garden. Holding it in her spreading golden arms. Wooing it. Willing it to be still. Silent. The breath of the goddess upon it. Seeking its ills and soothing them. She felt the powerful drain on Isis. The price to be paid for casting the deception.
It was done.
She looked over her sister’s shoulder.
Sandar-akh was gone.
Isis looked at her shocked sister’s face. Her eyes were glittering green gems of challenge.
(from the novel “Last Goddess”)
The hands-free phone rang in the land cruiser as David entered the outskirts of the city.
“David? It’s Jen. What in the lord’s name happened at Hannafords? Rex called me. He doesn’t seem to know if you’re a fraud or a holy man. Did you really not examine her?”
David blew out a sigh. Here we go.
“She was in shock Jen. Something must have got into the stable. Got her into a panic. When I got there she was just getting over it. No physical damage. Mother and baby both O.K.”
He cringed at the short silent pause.
“How can you possibly know that without examining her?”
A simple and logical question, demanding a simple and logical answer.
If only he could give her one.
Another sigh. No matter how crazy, he had nothing else to tell her.
“She told me, Jen.”
“Who told you? Mrs. Hannaford?”
“The -horse told you?” Jennifer asked slowly and carefully.
Silence again, though David knew she hadn’t hung up the phone. The quiet stretched out for half a minute or more.
“Drive safe David” said Jennifer softly.
He drove on, under a maddening sky impossible to ignore, thinking of what George, with his cheeky smile had said the day before.
When rain turns to raspberry.
Evader’s deep brown eye looking up at him.
The sky. It brings bad.
(from the novel “Last Goddess”-available on Amazon)