THE SIX DAYS OF ILLUSION has come to an end. For those who stopped by or bought the book, thank you very much. I published the illusion exotic because I wanted my short fiction to see the light of day. Short fiction traditionally doesn't do well in terms of sales, but I couldn't see any good in the stories just sitting on my hard drive,
Its my hope readers will enjoy one or two, and perhaps leave a kind review on Amazon. Trust me, for indie authors, reviews are a big deal.
Also a big deal is readers finding their way to my other books, BLACK SEA GODS and TEARS OF THE DEAD. If you liked what you read in the illusion exotic, I am sure you'll enjoy my epic fantasy novels.
I promised a few surprises in this debut promo, and today is one of them. I'm not going to give you a sample of the last story in my new book . Instead, I'm going to let my readers see a sample of The Bastard Gods, the upcoming third volume of _The Chronicles of Fu Xi.
For those who have patiently waited for the third installment, I promise I am writing as fast as I can.
SAMPLE OF THE BASTARD GODS.
“The road to power is paved with human suffering.” - Leviathan, Son of Poseidon
- Chronicle of Fu Xi
Before the Cataclysm
As in ancient days that had come before, Leviathan would wait patiently, either serenaded by a chorus of gluttonous ecstasy, or enduring the cries of tortured flesh, depending on what bottomless lusts his father cared to indulge that particular moment.
Leviathan viewed mortal flesh as fodder for worldly power. Mankind merely served as a necessary resource for advancing his greatness. Like the pebbles scattered about the mason’s block, mortal misery was a natural, and minor, consequence of empire. For Leviathan, human flesh paved the road to power, nothing more or less.
Human suffering, however, served to feed his father’s diseased spirit. Today, pleasure, not terror, filled Poseidon’s Throne Room deep within the pyramid’s dark heart. Swollen moans and delirious cries floated between the columns, as the mad god swam in a decadent mound of handpicked slaves. Men, women and even children, plucked from freshly docked plunder ships from across the empire, were marched in chains up the steep pyramid to serve the insatiable needs of the mad god.
Laughter and muted whimpers floated amongst a hundred granite pillars before finding Leviathan alone in a dark corner. The column at his back shielded the demigod from witnessing his father’s unfettered indulgences. Stone cracked and popped under Leviathan’s red blade.
The orgy’s chorus assailed him, burrowing through unseen armor as he waited like an errant slave boy, as he had waited countless times before. Then, as now, he recited the First Lesson, wielding the chant like a protective ward. Millennia ago, here in the heart of the Alabaster Pyramid, Poseidon once delivered this lesson to his bastard son with a stinging backhand.
“Gods are patient...gods are patient...,” he whispered and slowly ground the orichalcum sword tip into the marble tiles. Each cry of ecstasy drove the red blade’s tip deeper into the marble, chipping the stone and revealing bright white pits. The stone yielded without so much as tarnishing the blade. He slowly exhaled as marble chips clattered between his feet.
No natural marble existed in the Kingdom’s home islands. These slabs were hewn centuries ago by his half-brothers in Olma Minor’s mountainous north. The precious marble once shown bright as glacial ice, polished every day by an army of temple freemen. Now, a thick layer of grime covered the once beautiful floor, and only slaves tread these dark halls.
He raised his eyes to the domed ceiling, where four rays of sunlight poked meekly into the dingy air through narrow slits cut into the pyramid’s four sides. Once, centuries ago, four gilded mirrors surrounded Poseidon’s throne, each reflecting the sunlight up to the gilded dome. The light would dance across red-metal leaf, and bathe the hall in a warm hue, giving the impression of eternal sunrise. There was once a time when no shadows fell in Poseidon’s Temple.
In the dawn of Leviathan’s eternity, Poseidon ordered the first mirror turned down in grief for the loss of his beloved mortal queen. Leviathan remembered his own mother’s death, and how Poseidon paid his mistress no such tribute. In subsequent fits of madness, Poseidon had decreed the remaining mirrors tilted down until only four feeble rays fell on the throne, condemning the rest of the Inner Temple to darkness. Where once cleansing sunlight danced through the Alabaster Pyramid’s heart, now only dull torchlight reigned.
Today, the smoke mixed with the odor of fresh sex, but neither could suppress the rancid mold and filth corrupting Poseidon’s Inner Temple.
An acolyte, and old man with a puckered face, scurried from behind a pillar and lay prostrate before Leviathan’s feet.
“This lowly slave begs the privilege of serving the Mighty Prince with food and libations, while he awaits the Glorious One.”
“Go,” Leviathan commanded and twisted the blade again. Marble flakes struck the slave, who slithered backwards, head bowed.
“As you command,” he mewed and scurried away, vanishing into the gloom.
Poseidon’s summons demanded immediate compliance, and even a demigod could not refuse. As always, the summons’ purpose remained a mystery, but Poseidon only called upon his bastard son for dark tasks, those requiring orichalcum steel.
Leviathan returned his attention to the dome, his mind drifting into antiquity, to when he first stood upon this spot, his sister beside him, when Father issued the bloody decree; the decree Leviathan obeyed, but his sister did not.
“No more bastards,” Poseidon had commanded that fateful day, as he tilted the last mirror to the floor. “The world isn’t big enough for so many gods.” On that day, the god began his slide to madness, and never set foot beyond the Alabaster Pyramid again. On that day, an acolyte brought the unnamed babe, a child that could not die by mortal blade, and thrust it into Leviathan’s arms like a piece of garbage.
Only red steel, orichalcum, could end a god’s life.
In the years to follow, there would be others. Sometimes infants, but often toddlers, and the task always fell to Leviathan. As for his sister, she chose rebellion instead.
From somewhere in the darkness, Leviathan heard a baby suddenly cry out. The sharp wail echoed among the pillars.
Again, the time had come. Soon, orichalcum steel would end the life of another bastards.
With a twist of his wrist, Leviathan flicked the sword tip. That’s all it will take, a flick, he thought, and I can return to more important matters.
Once again, thank you. I will see you all in just a few short months for the debut of The Golden Princess!