Fangs and Feathers. A Few Updates. Originally posted at Frogenyozurt.com
Sometimes it seems like everything that can happen, happens all at once. Or in my case, a story pops in my head, followed by two or three others, all screaming “Look at me!” I am in the process of working on quite a few stories. One of which is the sequel to a YA title that I wrote called The Road To Was. I posted a preview ofThe Land of Not, a few weeks ago. It’s beginning to take shape. Or rather, it was. I got about five chapters into it before another story clawed its way to the forefront of my imagination.
The story that I’m focusing on now is titledFractured Souls. I guess it’s appropriate that that particular story gets a little attention because it’s the sequel to my upcoming Copperhill Media release, UnBound: Battle of the Half-Angels. Fractured Souls picks up a few months after the events of UnBound, and will find one of the characters dealing with the ramifications of their actions in Unbound.
This character will set off a chain of events that will have my nephillim scrambling to contain the war between heaven and hell, and keeping humans from finding out about it. If the nephillim fail the outcome will result in a literal, hell on earth.
While UnBound introduces readers to the characters and sees them thrown into the middle of the endless-unseen battle between heaven and hell, for the souls of man, Fractured Souls, willbegin to give readers more insight into the teenage characters. It will show their struggles to accept the fact that they are half-angels and I hope, will be more of a character driven story, than action one. Mind you, there will still be plenty of action. It will also explore the buddingromance between a son of heaven and a daughter of hell. And you thought your hadrelationship issues.
UnBound: Battle of the Half-Angels, is slated for an April release, from Copperhill Media. As a little bonus, I have included a preview of Chapter One, at the bottom of this post. That covered the feathers part of the title, now for the fangs.
I am pleased to tell you guys that the sequel to Crimson Dawn, Black Moon Rising, will be making its way to the masses in the next few months. The next chapter in Valeria and Irulan’s story is on its way and will find my vampire and faerie in fight for not only their lives, but the lives of the entire Trumaine family.
Unbeknown to her, Val made quite a few enemies in the Faelands as she and Irulan hunted for Tristan, Val’s ex-fiance turned psychotic rouge vampire. And now the chickens are coming home to roost. Something is hunting the members of Val’s family and no amount of power can help her, if she’s unable to control it. Val might be faced with making the ultimate sacrifice if she wants to defeat the big nasty that’s gunning for her.
If you’re a regular visitor to Frogenyozurt.com, then you may have already read the first two chapters that I posted here. If not, then be sure to go back and read them. And if on the off chance that you have not read Crimson Dawn, the first book in my Darklife Saga…What are you waiting for?
Crimson Dawn is an awesome mix of paranormal romance and urban fantasy; equal partsvampy action and romance. But you don’t have to take my word for it. You can mosey on over to Feedbooks.com and download the first chapter. Check it out for yourself. http://www.feedbooks.com/userbook/24801/crimson-dawn-darklife-saga. You can also download the first chapter of UnBound, there also, if you’d rather take your time and read it on an e-reader.
As an added treat for my loyal and uber supportive fans from Wattpad.com, an online readingcommunity, I will be publishing my 2010 Watty Awards entry(and finalist story), Freak Among Freaks, and making it a free read for the first month of publication. Freak Among Freaks, is a YA title that follows David Trumaine, the teenage adopted son of Valeria and Irulan. Its storyline runs parallel with the events in Black Moon Rising.
These next few months are going to be really busy, but very rewarding for not only myself, but I hope my readers as well. If you’re interested in any of the titles that I have mentioned, you can check them out via my post here at http://frogenyozurt.com/, or by heading over to my website, http://www.ronniemassey.com/ .
Now here’s the first chapter of UnBound: Battle of the Half-Angels
UnBound: Battle of the Half-Angels
Nephillim Chronicles - Book I
By Ronnie Massey
It’s just a dream, it’s just a dream, it’s just a dream…Justin Deaton repeated this mantra inside his head over and over, but it was proving to be useless. Yeah, he knew it was only a dream, but it didn’t stop the horrors he saw every night, from giving him chills and waking him in a cold sweat.
Every night for the past two weeks, instead of the heated dreams of his girlfriend, Jess Hardin, he usually had when he slept; he’d been visited by visions of death and destruction. Sometimes, in these dreams, he had huge black wings, like some type of avenging angel and he fought alongside other angels. He didn’t know why they fought; only that it was important that they win. He felt with the whole of his being, that something detrimental to mankind hung in the balance. Loosing was not an option.
At other times, he saw huge inferno’s engulfing the world’s great cities. Monuments falling in ruin, and churches destroyed. There were always churches. He saw children dead in the streets, victims of pestilence and plague. Plague! In the twenty first century.
Justin looked over at his alarm clock and sighed. It was six twenty three am, which ordinarily wouldn’t be such a bad time to get up. But when you’d tossed and turned all night, six twenty three could just have easily been three am.
“Might as well get up,” he muttered, as he reached over and hit the off button before the alarm had a chance to go off, and sat up, “No reason to lay here like I’m actually going back to sleep.”
Justin stood, stretched his toned six foot four frame and headed for his bathroom. He reached out in the darkness, flipped a light switch and immediately regretted it. He slapped his hand tightly to his face to shield his sensitive eyes from the blaring lights.
“Bright move Justin, “he muttered, as he lowered his head toward the ground. He stood there for a few moments then slowly removed his hand, giving his eyes time to adjust. Justin hated the stinging sensation that always accompanied ‘light blindness’, as he called it. But in truth, he should be used to it by now, it seemed like he did the same thing every morning, no matter how many times he reminded himself not to.
With his head still slightly bowed, Justin turned the cold water on, and ducked his head under the chilling flow of water. If the cold water didn’t wake him, then nothing would. As it turned out, it wasn’t the water that proved to shock his senses into full awareness. The moment he lifted his head and looked in the mirror, Justin froze.
Staring him in the eyes was a tall golden haired man. A man that was even taller than he was, and he was looking at Justin with a curious expression on his face. Justin swept the water away from his face and spun around in one quick movement. “What the hell.” Justin scanned the tiled room, only to find it empty. “I could have sworn…” He rushed into the bedroom to search for the supposed intruder.
Justin checked all the obvious places, the closet, under the bed, behind the door. He even threw open the window and looked outside, thinking maybe the intruder had used it as a means of escape. He didn’t find a thing.
When Justin was satisfied that he was alone, he shook his head to clear his thoughts. He ran a trembling hand through his hair. “This is so not cool,” he said to the empty room. “First the nightmares, now I’m seeing things. Keep this up and I’m going to end up in therapy.”
Justin showered and dressed in record time. Even though his eyes told him that no one was there, he couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching him. He was downright freaked out and eager for the company his family would offer.
Michael smiled, in spite of himself as he watched his son. Even without his full powers, he senses my presence, thought Michael. He never imagined that he’d get the opportunity to be a father to his son. A son that should never had been. His existence was the reason Michael had spent 15 years confined in the desolate darkness of purgatory. But now standing there, looking at Justin, he knew that he’d made the right decision.
With the coming of Metatron’s decree, Michael realized a singular truth. It was as his fellow Arch, Uriel, the angel of prophecy, had said so many years ago. ‘It is through the angel’s shame, can mankind be saved.’ That day, the two remaining Arch’s agreed to break the law, in order to save humanity’s future.
Direct interaction with humans is forbidden to angels. To father a child with a human woman is grounds for exile, to fall from grace. The only reason Michael and his fellow Arch’s weren’t cast out was because their motives were true, and the fact that Jehovah had a forgiving heart. He couldn’t bear to be parted from his last two remaining archangels for the rest of eternity.
Yes, Michael was fortunate not to be Grigori, but even if exile had been his fate, Justin would have been worth it.
Uriel appeared beside Michael, and together they watched Justin as he joined his family for breakfast. “He looks just like you Michael,” said Uriel, as he studied Justin’s features. Michael’s broad smile lit up his entire face. “Yes, he does, doesn’t he?”
“Have you located your boy yet?” He asked Uriel, never taking his eyes off Justin.
“I have,” replied Uriel, with a touch of sadness. Noting the change in Uriel’s voice, Michael turned and gave him his full attention. “What’s wrong brother?”
Uriel shook his dreadlocked head and frowned. “I wish I could have found my own son, in such desirable conditions.” Uriel phased through the two story house and sat down on the roof. Michael followed his lead and sat down beside him.
Uriel smiled weakly, and lifted his head to let the first rays of dawn warm his face. “I have never questioned Jehovah’s decision to create mankind; even when they constantly turn away from him, or when I’m reminded of the depths of cruelty that they are capable of.”
Uriel rocked back and forth as he spoke. “I was created for a purpose. My presence is required in the heavens. I have to believe that. Right now it’s the only thing that’s keeping me from drowning in regret Michael.”
“My love of Jehovah is the only thing that’s keeping me from going to the Archai and begging them to let me go back and turn Grigori, so that I may be there for my son,” Uriel admitted painfully. “To save him from the humans, that are held in such high regards.”
Michael balked at the weight of Uriel’s statement. “Was his adoptive family not kind to him?”
“Not kind, is putting it mildly,” said Uriel. “I cannot repeat the things I’ve learned, as they are not my trials to tell. But I will say this Michael, my son has suffered.” Uriel looked at Michael with a determined expression. “I’m eager to get him away from his old life. He needs a fresh start, and the comfort of knowing he has a father who would risk everything for him.”
Tears gathered in Uriel’s eyes as he spoke. “And a father who loves him.” Michael clasped Uriel on the shoulder and gave him a reassuring shake.
“Go to him brother,” he said. “Go to him and set him free. Justin and I will join you soon.” Uriel nodded and unfurled his wings. His wings were the purest white, and had a wingspan over twelve feet. In one powerful thrust, the mighty wings had carried him up, and miles away in the blink of an eye.
Michael remained invisible as he followed Justin on his way to school. As he watched him, he took in every detail and seared it to his memory. Justin’s hair was the same shade of golden blond that his was. It was a little long for Michael’s taste, hanging almost to his shoulders, but he could deal with that.
Michael noted the shape Justin’s was body was in and the letterman jacket he wore and felt a pang of regret. ‘If allowed, I would have never missed a single game son’, he thought. He watched Justin from the opposite side of the street and whispered to the wind, “See me now.”
Justin pulled his backpack tighter to his body as he waited for the light to change, so that he could cross. Just as the signal gave him permission to move forward, Justin looked up and saw the very same man he’d seen earlier, watching him from across the street. Justin froze and clamped his eyes shut, unsure if he could trust them or not.
“It’s not real, it’s not real, it’s not real,” he repeated to himself before slowly opening his eyes. There was nothing. The sidewalk across the street was completely empty.
“It’s official,” he said, as he crossed the street and continued on towards school. “Other people get a car when they turn sixteen. Me, I find out I’m adopted and start to lose my mind.”
Justin walked the remainder of the way, with his head down, afraid of what he’d see if he dared look up. He reached Roosevelt High and breathed a sigh of relief as he climbed the familiar front stairs. His home life was good, but since he’d found out he was adopted, things between him and his parents were strained. He didn’t want it to be that way, but a part of him changed that day.
Where he had always been sure of his place in his families heart, now he was doubtful and constantly wondering what was wrong with him to make his real family give him away.
At school, all his doubts disappeared. Here he was co-captain of the varsity football team, a member of the honor society, and president of the junior class. At school, he was someone his peers looked up to and admired. With class work and football practice later, he wouldn’t have time to go crazy. At least he hoped that would be the case.
Justin walked down a hall, nodding and waving hello, until he spotted a friend. He made a beeline for Derrick and flopped against a locker. “Hey Derrick, have you seen Jess today? I really need to talk to her.”
Derrick wagged his eyebrows in a cartoon like gesture and slapped Justin on the shoulder. “It’s about time Big J. Me and the boys were beginning to think you the two of you were just going to keep playing house, without any of the benefits.”
Justin punched Derrick light-heartedly in the stomach. “It’s not even like that Derrick. I told you, I’m not like the rest of you hound dogs. I’m fine with holding onto my virginity for a little while longer.”
Derrick threw up his hands in mock defeat and laughed. “Hey man, if you like it, I love it. Besides, maybe all that untapped energy is what makes you so good at football.” Derrick jumped back before Justin could take another swing at him.
As the two friends continued to laugh and talk, Justin was drawn back into the world of touchdown’s and tackles, and reminded that he was capable of being normal. When the conversation was done, he almost felt like himself again. That was, until he looked up and found the figment of his imagination walking down the hall, headed right for him.
Justin frowned, closed his eyes and slapped himself in the head. “This is not happening here,” he muttered and opened his eyes, fully expecting to see nothing but lockers, students, and teachers. What he didn’t expect to see, was the blonde haired man, still coming at him.
“Dude, you have got to be kidding me,” he said, as he looked the oncoming man square in the eyes. The wide hallway suddenly felt cramped and confining as the blue walls began to close in on him.
Derrick looked at the horrified expression on Justin‘s face and turned to see what he was staring at. All he saw was a hallway full of students and yellow lockers. He looked back to Justin, with a frown. “Are you ok J?” He waved his hand in front of Justin’s face trying to get him to focus. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost or something man.”
Justin heard Derrick, but the words just didn’t register in his mind. The only thing that he could think about doing at the moment was running, putting as much space between him and the oncoming stranger as he could. He shoved away from his perch against the locker and began pushing his way through the sea of bodies that filled the hall.
Cries of ‘watch it’, and ‘look out’, trailed behind him, as he plowed through the student body looking for an escape. He only dared to look back once. Justin spared a single glance over his shoulder and saw the man was still coming. For once, Justin cursed his height. Maybe if he was the same height as everyone else, he could have blended into the crowd better.
The first bell rang and the hall began to clear. Frustrated that what little cover he had, was beginning to thin out, Justin ducked into the first bathroom he came upon. “Please don’t follow me inside, please don’t follow me inside,” he whispered to himself. Justin slipped inside a stall, stepped up onto the toilet, and pulled his long body into the fetal position in an effort to hide. And there he sat hugging his knees for over an hour, listening for the door to open, but it never did. When he was sure his mysterious stalker was gone for good, Justin eased his stiff legs down and stretched. “Coach is going to flip, if I get a detention for missing class,” he was saying to himself as he exited the stall.
“Don’t worry about your coach,” said a voice. Justin jerked his head up to find himself face to face with the mystery man that had been haunting him all morning. He was perched on a counter, dressed in all white, right down to a white leather duster that hung around him and swept across the floor below.
Justin didn’t know what to say. He knew that door never opened, yet there he was doing an impressive imitation of a gargoyle. He could play it two ways he figured. He could run and scream for help and possibly be branded a punk for the remainder of his academic career. Or buck up and face the guy head on.
Justin clenched his fist and took a hesitant step towards the stranger. “Exactly who the hell are you and why have you been following me?” he asked, hoping that he sounded more threatening than he felt. “As a matter of fact, how did you get in and out of my house so quickly this morning?”
The stranger smiled and looked at Justin like he was no more harmless than a pet turtle. “You’re scared to death, but you’ve managed to put that fear aside and bolster your courage,” said Michael. “Good show Justin.”
Justin stared at the stranger and couldn’t believe his eyes. He was looking into a face that was almost identical to his own. They had the same blue eyes with a touch of gold around the rim of their irises, and the same full lips. They shared the same high cheekbones and firm chins. Before he even realized it, Justin was running a hand down the side of his own face.
Michael smiled at his sons actions. “I know,” he said. “The resemblance is uncanny. But then, that’s to be expected, as you are my son.”
Justin blinked and shook his head, unsure of what he’d just heard. “I’m sorry, come again.” Michael frowned and jumped down off the counter in a movement so fast, that Justin didn’t even see him move. He took a tentative step towards Justin.
“You’re not crazy,” he said, “And you’re not deaf either. You heard me just fine Justin. I’m your father.”
Justin went from being scared of the guy, to thinking he was dealing with a total nut job. “Ok yeah, if that works for you, let’s run with it.” Justin pointed to himself, as all his frustrations over the past two weeks had finally taken a toll. This was the perfect opportunity to let off some steam. “If you’re my father, then when’s my birthday, huh?” What’s my favorite color, my favorite food?” Justin rushed forward and shoved Michael in the chest. “If you’re my father, then how old was I when I learned to walk? Tell me that.”
“I don’t know who put you up to this,” Justin cried, “But as soon as I find out who’s putting it out that I’m adopted, I’m going straight to their ass.” Justin shook his head as his anger waned, and backed away from Michael. “I’ve got a father,” he said bitterly, “And it sure aint you.” He looked Michael up and down and laughed. “My father, yeah right. You don’t look a day over twenty five. I’m…”
“Sixteen, two weeks ago,” said Michael with a tone of defeat in his voice. Michael’s heart grew heavier with every word out of Justin’s mouth, until it felt like a lead weight in his chest. His son was right. As a father, he should have been there, but his role was bigger than that of a father. The entire world was his concern. He just hoped that one day Justin would come to understand that. And with that understanding, hopefully forgiveness would accompany it.
But for the time being, Michael couldn’t afford to give him a lengthy drawn out explanation. Justin’s ranting had drawn the attention of the school’s superiors. They were about to have company.
Michael closed the distance between him and Justin in one long stride, and grabbed Justin by the front of his jacket. “I’m sorry I don’t have the time to explain everything Justin, but I really need to get you unbound so that we can get out of here.”
Justin tried to knock Michael’s hand away from him, but he couldn’t budge it no matter how much he tried. “I don’t care who you think you are; you need to get your hands off of me. I’m not going anywhere with you.”
Michael sighed and stretched his palm out on Justin’s chest. His hand immediately began to radiate an intense light. “I’m sorry,” said Michael, just before his wings exploded from his back. “Flesh of my flesh,” cried Michael, in a voice that resonated throughout the restroom, causing Justin‘s ears to ring. “Camael! I call thee forth and unbind thee!”
For a brief moment, time came to a halt, so that the universe could adjust accordingly to the surge of power that surrounded Justin. Every molecule in his body felt like it was on fire. Justin didn’t know pain like that existed.
He fell to his knees, his mouth forced open in a cry of pain that robbed him of the very breath he needed to formulate sound. Justin struggled to breathe as flashes of the nightmare’s he’d been having, replayed before his eyes.
He was vaguely aware of the schools fire alarm going off in the background because his ears were filled with the rush of blood as it raced through his body. One final wave of pain slammed into him, and then, just as quickly as it came, it began to recede.
As the pain lessened, Justin realized the roar he was hearing, was a collection of voices, all calling out for help. Justin clamped his hands over his ears in an effort to drown out the noise, but it didn’t do any good.
“It’s no use son,” said Michael, as he watched Justin. “What you’re hearing are the prayers of the faithful. One of my roles is to carry them to heaven. As my son, you‘ve inherited my ability to hear them.”
He walked over to Justin and tried to lay a reassuring hand on his shoulder, but Justin knock it away. “Keep your hands off of me,” he said. “Who are you? What have you done to me? “
Michael frowned as he heard approaching footsteps. “My name is Michael. As for what I’ve done to you, I’ll explain, as soon as we get out of here. “He looked towards the door anxiously. “I can fade to nothing, but you’re half human, you can become intangible but not invisible. You can’t hide from them. Therefore we need to go. Now!”
Justin tried to stand, but for some reason his center of gravity was all off kilter. Every time he tried to push off the floor he swayed to one side.
“It’s the wings,” said Michael. “They take a little getting used to, but don’t worry; the pro’s far outweigh the cons as far as having wings are concerned.” He grabbed Justin by the back of his ruined jacket and hoisted him to his feet. “Now how’s that?”
Justin’s didn’t have words to describe the state of shock and awe he was in as he finally noticed the shadows around him. He had wings, huge black wings, just like from his nightmares. “Oh my god,” he whispered softly, “I’m a monster.”
Michael jerked Justin into his arms. “No my son, you’re nephillim. And I am an angel.” Michael flexed his wings, and the powerful appendages lifted both he and Justin up, right as the bathroom door came open with a bang. Michael phased them both through the iron and stone of the building. They moved so fast that the only traces of their passing, was the ruffling of loose papers on a teacher’s desk. They moved so fast that in a manner of seconds they were more than a mile above the school.
Justin struggled against Michaels hold, until he finally released him. Justin, having no idea how to use his wings, began plummeting towards the earth below, screaming bloody murder.
‘Just call me mama bird’, thought Michael, as he watched Justin fall. His ease with the situation failed as Justin got closer and closer to the building below. He knew that the fall wouldn’t kill him now, but that wasn’t the only problem.
“Fly,” he said softly, knowing Justin’s hearing was acute enough to hear him now, but still he fell. “Fly,” he said again. This time louder, but Justin’s wings remained still, caught up in the draft of free-fall. “FLY,” Michael yelled as Justin came within feet of slamming into the roof the schoolhouse. If he made impact, a big portion of the school would be destroyed. Michael didn’t want such a loss of life on Justin’s conscious. He was just about to go grab him, when Justin took control of his wings and whipped them forward. The thrust stopped Justin’s descent and shot him straight up, until he was face to face with Michael again.
“You,” he shouted as he pushed Michael through the air. “You were going to let me die!”
Michael frowned as he moved backwards through the air. “I’m your father; I never want to see you hurt.”
Justin yelled out and covered his ears. “Stop saying that!” In light of what happened, Justin knew it was true. There was no other way to explain what he had become. But just because it was the truth, that didn’t mean he had to like it.
Justin brought his wings backward in a powerful jerk, and he shot past Michael, in an attempt to put some distance between the two of them. Back and forth, up and down. Justin got caught up in the sheer thrill of flying and began flying in circles, taking his body through various loops, twists and turns. He quickly got a feel for his wings and found it wasn’t hard at all to control them. He mastered flying as easily as walking, and was quite exhilarated with the new experience, until Michael caught up with him.
“I told you so,” said Michael as he sailed beside him. Justin frowned, and put more power into his thrust, propelling him far ahead of Michael.
Michael matched his pace and reached out to grab him by the shoulder. “If you don’t slow down, you’ll be over Russia in a few more minutes.”
Justin came to a full halt and looked down at the ground miles below him. With a little adjusting, he could clearly see the landscape of the city below him. There were above a seaside village, with houses built virtually on top of each other, staggering up a mountainside. “Where are we?”
Michael smiled and closed his eyes for the fraction of a second. “Greece…although I’m not sure what village that is.”
Justin paled at Michael’s answer. “How long have we been up here? “
“Fifty three minutes, give or take a second or two. “ Michael pointed to Justin’s wings. “You kind of got caught up in the moment. It was so refreshing watching, I didn’t have the heart to stop you.”
Justin felt sick to the stomach. Less than an hour ago they were in Virginia, now they were thousands of miles away. “No way,” said Justin as his mind did the math. “That’s not humanly possible.”
“Of course it’s not,” said Michael. “But, we’re not human.” Michael turned his head towards the direction they just came from. He heard Uriel’s call to him drifting on the wind. Uriel had unbound his son, and they were waiting for Michael and Justin at the agreed location.
“We need to get you to safe place.” Michael took off, but stopped when he realized Justin wasn’t following him. “Listen Justin, I promised you an explanation, and you’ll have it, but you need to come with me.”
Justin looked down at the people below him, going about their everyday life as if they didn’t have a care in the world. A few weeks ago he’d been just like them; content in oblivion, until today. “Ok, I’ll go with you,” he said. Right now he didn’t have a choice. Michael was the only one who knew what he was, and he wanted answers.
CRIMSON DAWNBook One of the Darklife Saga by Ronnie Massey
Two Women Hunting A Rogue Vampire
Vampire Valeria Trumaine must confront old demons and face new possibilities as she struggles to bring a rogue vampire to justice. Her best friend and powerful Sidhe princess, Irulan, joins the hunt. Valeria will find that Irulan’s motives for keeping her safe are not what she thinks. And soon she is faced with an undeniable attraction that makes her question everything she knew about herself. [Read More...]