It’s here! the Cloaked Press anthology Fall Into Fantasy 2019 featuring my short story “The Demon in the Mask” is now available for purchase. Here’s a small excerpt from my tale to drive some interest:
But he had found a key of his own, and it was suspended above the Obsidian Throne of the Princess, or witch if you’d prefer.
“Forgive me my God and my Master, but great is my need and only yon sword Ariel gives me scant hope of slaying the evil one and freeing both your servant and your nation.” With that Andre stood and approached the throne. He had to mount the dais and stand upon the hewn black stone to reach the sword. He could hear it moan and wail like a thing alive, as if the angel encased within longed for the freedom that the man now gripping it enjoyed.
Andre had regained the floor as she entered. He had supposed she would have retired to her bedchambers in mourning. What was she doing here now?
“Think you that anything could disturb the angel and I would not be aware? We had shared a bed for many nights and if you had breathed your last, I would have known that, too.”
As the sword in Andre’s good right hand began to glow more brightly, so too did the mask of Katia, a mask forged in ancient and unnatural fires by celestial beings.
“I am no longer your prisoner Katia, and with Ariel in my hands, neither is the angel.”
“Angels are immortal, but not so men, my dearest Andre. Renounce this madness, place the sword at my feet, and I may be merciful.”
“A quick death rather than a slow and tortured one, beloved?”
“You should be honored that I’m granting you a choice. Consider it a gift from the woman who once would have given you the world.”
“Woman? Don’t make me laugh. A back alley harlot in the gutters of Fainstedt is more of a woman than you, and no doubt far more virtuous.”
She screamed hideous obscenities meant to curse him body and soul, and then she cried out a command, and a hundred heavily armed guards entered the room to slay him.
Oh, and they tried.