Here’s my 2nd ever Saturday Sample Chapter! This one is for my horror/dark fantasy novelette Transparent Sabbath. You’ll be getting a prologue and the first chapter proper.
WARNING: Contains violent scenes.
Five years ago in this alternate twenty-first century, dimensional rifts have opened up across America.
Multitudes of demons have wreaked havoc across this town from said portals and some vigilantes registered under the Mortiganto Vanguard across the country to slay these infernal creatures. The worst attacks were sustained in the small town of Ela City, Illinois. Thousands were slain there and in some of the neighboring towns. However, these attacks have been getting fewer and farther due to the MV members being effective at their jobs, but also because of a safe haven known as the House of Cherubim that was built six months prior to when this tale begins. This immense place was a sanctuary that could house an entire suburban population and demons were repelled by this building. People flocked over to this new house and took shelter in it’s community.
Despite the demonic forces being less frequent, they still terrorized the citizens non-stop until more registered slayers patrolled these areas. These devils came in various shapes that resembled predatory creatures instead of something red and cloven hoofed as people imagined what the stereotype would be. They mimicked yet mutated the beasts they saw which allowed them to thrive as tall and powerful creatures that were stronger then humanity itself lest they became armed with the right tools. No one knew who opened the portals here. Some say the demons escaped on their own, or that someone opened it up for them.
Present day Ela City…
Streetlights flickered amongst the dense fog as people lifelessly passed by. One person remained stationary under the awning of some dimmed cafe with a table below it. This soul in particular wore a dress as gray as the cloudy night itself and had jet black frizzled hair. She stared into this abyssal world around her rarely blinking with her garnet eyes. This pair of blood moons remained unfazed. It would only be so much before this monotonous cycle would dare to be undone. All it took was one figure in a pearly outfit amidst the sea of grays, blacks, and browns walking about. This person was a tall fellow with this ivory coat and light brown hair. He walked over to her and sat in the other chair of this small cafe table.
“Why are you sitting here in this downpour?” The man asked her. He had a calm and gentle baritone to his voice.
“It’s one of the few places where I can be unnoticed in times like these.” She answered him in a quiet monotone. “In my eighteen years on this earth, it feels somewhat relieving to be left alone.”
“I’m quite sorry to hear that.” He replied. He pulled out some crackers and couple of cheese sticks out of his pocket before putting them on the table. With one swipe of his finger, he turned those measly snacks into a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich with some tomato slices inside and some oregano seasoning on top. It was steaming on the table and he handed it to her. “It’s my treat. I’d hate for you to be famished.”
Those crimson eyes stared at the miraculous sandwich in front of her and she raised an eyebrow after witnessing the transmutation of what was once some stale crackers and processed cheese. “Why are you doing this for me?” She asked him before being interrupted by the rumbling in her stomach.
“I enjoy helping people in need. I sense a bit of forlorn dispositions underneath that stoic exterior.” He casually mentioned. “You and I have some things in common. I can feed the needy and I sense that you have some similar…How to put it? Yes, divine talents.”
She looked away from him. Almost on a suspicious cue, she heard the whimpering of a cat in the rain. It was a calico crying in the damp night as it’s right front leg was bent out of place. The girl ran over to it and held the defenseless creature in her arms. Her hands glowed into a light amethyst hue as she touched the cat’s leg. It was reset in place in a matter of seconds. The man in ivory watched with careful attention to this sudden encounter. The feline was placed on the ground and it was able to walk again, but it gravitated towards it’s Damocles.
“My assumptions were correct.” He said to her. “It’s great that there are people in this world who help all creatures great and small. There are people who could use your help.” He then moved the sandwich towards her. “You could be a part of something great to heal others. By the way, my name’s Graziano. What’s yours, miss?”
The girl answered as she held the cat in her arms. “Jozefa.” She plainly stated.
“That’s a beautiful name. I believe it’s of Hungarian origin, if I’m correct.” Graziano noted.
“Yeah. My parents came from there, but they died five years ago.” She gloomily said to him. “What plans were you thinking of with all this talk about healing and helping others?”
“It’s simple. I have an organization called the House of Cherubim.” Graziano explained. “It’s a safe haven where people can be healed, find community, be loved, and it’s shelter from that epidemic that’s been going on.”
“From those demons?” Jozefa asked.
“Exactly. No wretched and ugly demon has no dominion in the House of Cherubim. I don’t know if you have a place to stay, but you can stay there and help others. It holds thirty-thousand people, and we certainly have enough room for a talented soul like you.” Graziano explained. “Go ahead and eat up. I’d hate to see that miracle go to waste.”
Jozefa hesitated, but she then grabbed that sandwich and took a bite out of it. Her eyes widened from all the intricate flavors that would put any high class bistro to shame. All for one grilled cheese sandwich that was immune from the elements. She ate it very quickly. “It’s the best food I’ve tasted in years.” She quietly thanked the man despite no smile emerging from her face.
“Thank you. I’m surprised I didn’t have a job as a chef.” Graziano laughed a bit and smiled. His teeth were whiter than the clouds on a fair day. “What do you say? There’s certainly more than enough room for you and that cat there. You can make miracles happen.” Jozefa nodded while looking down. “Very good then. You’ll be doing the right thing by helping us out at the House of Cherubim. I promise.” Both of them went away from the closed cafe and Graziano shielded his newest acquaintances with his silvery umbrella as they made their way to this sanctuary outside of town.
The rain kept on battering the town, but not as hard as this fray that went on. A tall figure in a black trench coat was in the midst of battle against three paranormal forces. These spectral entities were three dark green leathery-skinned creatures with the heads of Komodo dragons on top of some humanoid muscular bodies. They spat some acid at the man with the heavy coat which he dodged. According to the MV’s guide to demons, they were known as Varanators. The man in the coat had a jet black outfit, but he also wore a peculiar mask that was a dark gray and only the darkest of green eyes could be seen through this facade. He also wielded a contraption that was a fusion of a shotgun and an axe which had the words “Morphogenesis” inscribed on the barrel. He was Wentworth, a demon slayer who came to this area five years ago. There was a rod that switched between a normal shotgun fixture, but it bent to something resembling a small double-barreled halberd which he used to make a thick laceration on one of these reptilian monsters. It hissed loudly when it was struck and another one tried to defend it by using it’s claws to avenge it’s scaly comrade. It struck the man in the dark coat and it was brushed red in this world of black, white, and gray. He was silent after being attacked and another Varanator was about to strike, but he was staved off by this bizarre axe-gun hybrid while it was in this halberd mode. The blades began to become crimson as it tasted these chain-mail scales. The shrieking and hissing commenced, yet the one that was first hit spat some acid that was flew towards Wentworth’s face. He dodged it, but part of it grazed the mask which melted off some fringed on the far right side of it. The trench coat slayer pulled the handle from Morphogenesis and it converted itself into a shotgun. He pulled the trigger on one of these denizens and a great spark of blue light sprayed out of the barrels and onto it’s target. The scaled quarry was filled with these parapsychological bullet holes that went through it’s body and the blood from the exit wounds were vaporized as if someone wiped them off into nothingness.
Another shot was fired and it sprayed all over the Varanator that was just shot. It immediately kneeled and started to slump face first on the rain soaked ground. Wentworth cocked the handle back for another round of projectiles. He then proceeded to fire another shot at one of the surviving creatures, but it evaded that blast and it began to thrust a sphere of dark energy out of it’s left hand. The projectile accelerated onto the man’s shoulder and he slumped a bit.
While that was going on, the other Varanator retreated when it saw a young boy running from something and the monster went straight for him. The boy screamed when he saw the creature about to open it’s mouth while approaching the child. Wentworth saw what happened and fired a shot right at the Komodo’s leg which made it tumble away from it’s prey. Then, he escaped the battle he was facing and went straight after the monster who tried to attack that child. The boy was screaming when he witnessed all of this going on. The trench coat man was about to strike first, but the Varanator leaped up to punch him in the face. That punch made the mask fly in front of the panicking child and the face was revealed. Beneath that mask was a terrifying sight. Those malachite eyes were a part of a very pale face with high cheekbones of a man in his late twenties or early thirties, but the horror started in his face. The left side of his face had two vertical scars over his eye and the right side had a giant gaping red patch where some skin used to be. He also had short black hair that was slicked back. The monster who revealed the face of his attacker twitched a bit and stepped back as the pale scarred face stared at him while pointing his signature hybrid weapon at him.
“Farewell, demon.” The man spoke in a gravely voice before blowing the unearthly reptile’s brains out. Fortunately for the child, the man’s tall and slender build was able to block his sight from the carnage within proximity to him. He then saw the other monster coming straight for the kid. “Cover your eyes.” The trench coat man warned the boy. The boy quickly complied by covering his face right before the Varanator got a chock full of spectral buckshot. Despite all the plasma bullet holes over those scales, it leaped right towards the two humans with it’s mouth agape. The trench coat man switched the weapons’ mode from shotgun to axe. With one swift motion that would make an executioner jealous, he beheaded the terror with the blade. He breathed heavily a bit and he turned to face the child. “They aren’t going to hurt you anymore. You can open your eyes now.” The kid opened his eyes to see the tall disfigured man and he covered his eyes again while crying. He was about to say something, but he heard screaming in the distance.
“Tommy! There you are!” It was a woman in her mid-thirties who came running in this damp environment. “I was worried sick over you and…” She saw the man who was next to the child.
“Get away from my son, you ugly creep!” She shouted at him before slapping him straight across the face. He didn’t even retaliate from that slap. “You’re one of those demons who’s been terrorizing us.” He shook his head and pointed to the mutilated corpses of the real demons. She put her hand over her mouth and vomited a bit in her throat when she saw the aftermath of this battle. “Forget it. Tommy doesn’t deserve to be saved by a hideous man like you.” She then ran away with her young son away from him.
The trench coated man walked the other way as his body became wet with the sweat and the rain. “Wentworth, you should be used to this by now.” He muttered to himself. “No matter how hard to try to defend the rest of the town, they’ll never accept you.” Wentworth grabbed the dropped mask and headed out on his way. He looked at his bloodstained weapon as he treaded across the rainy landscape. There were some houses nearby. Some figures appeared in the window and when they saw his face, they immediately closed those windows. He shook his head as they all closed their windows and doors. He reminisced on how his face became that way half a decade ago as the first infestation began.
Back then he remembered buildings being set ablaze and the sounds of shrieking and moaning filled the streets. Wentworth was firing shots and quelling these demons like they were chaff from wheat. His pigment was a couple of shades darker and he donned a light brown coat back then even though it was changing color by the blood of the oppressors in this quaint town afire with these infernal infantries. Wentworth had been defending the citizens to the best of his ability despite getting bloodied and bruised as he progressed in this battle. There were demons of all shapes and sizes, but they all were varying degrees of grotesque. The first ones to be obliterated were the red ones with horns and cloven hooves as they were slaughtered by Wentworth and other impromptu demon slayers were around. Nobody broke a sweat in dealing with those, but these sinister squads multiplied and became more powerful. There were demons with bulky physiques and large fangs that would make ogres look like Mr. Universe contestants. Some more of them wore tiger-skinned loin cloths, had dark green skin, and resembled the oni of Japanese myth. There were some that looked like wyverns with arms and legs and they exhaled dark purple flames that incinerated the streets. People evacuated en masse as this onslaught occurred.
Wentworth fired into the crowd of demons with his trusty axe-gun. “Meet Morphogenesis, you hellions!” He shot some energy blasts from that gun while speaking with such a valiant bravado while facing these demons. He made some direct hits which severely injured this army. “What? You want some more?” He taunted them before firing multiple times. “Come on, you have to try harder than that to stop us humans.”
While he was busy bringing those demons away, what he didn’t realize was that there was an apparition behind him. It was taller than Wentworth and much more fit than his lean frame. It grabbed the demon slayer by the shoulder, turned him around and blew fire into his face before scratching his face on the other side. He couldn’t see who his attacker was, but all he got was a deep voice that said. “Try saving your face.” Before chuckling and escaping. Wentworth was on the ground trying to stop the burning and bleeding on his face, but he was at the mercy of that faceless demon’s attack that he couldn’t do anything about it.
“So much for being heroic back then.” Wentworth said to himself in the present before sighing. He walked on over to a tiny shack in a nearby forest. Once upon a time, it was a high quality tiny house that many a person bought in this area when the recession hit. However, it was blackened, had a broken window, and some graffiti on the bottom corner which said “villain in hiding” on it. He went inside to his minuscule domicile and hung up his coat. The interior of his home was a sharp contrast to his outfit and the exterior because it was eggshell white. Plain Jane would be an understatement in describing how empty and austere it was to anyone who bothered to venture inside this solitary confinement. He fixed himself up some green tea as he brewed it in an old kettle. Once it was done, he poured it in a slightly chipped cup and drank it. “Another day, another soul becomes afraid of me.” Wentworth contemplated.
Don’t forget to pre-order Transparent Sabbath!
Transparent Sabbath is property of C. M. B. Bell