If you are waiting for The Elysian Chronicles: Book III, you need to read “The White Rider.” It takes place between Out of the Shadows and Book III, and it’s now available in the Realms of Imagination urban fantasy anthology edited by Kimberly Richardson and published by Dark Oak Press and Media!
Here’s a little preview for you:
The White Rider
I shoved a piece of bread speckled with mold into my mouth. I convulsed as I chewed and forced myself to swallow. I had not eaten in a week, and moldy bread was better than no bread. You’ve swallowed worse, I reminded myself. I shook the crumbs off my matted beard. Don’t start getting prissy again.
I crouched behind the dumpster near a restaurant door’s inviting glow. The patrons’ voices and the soft clinking of silverware comforted me. Part of me cautioned myself to keep my distance, but I yearned for human interaction that I had not enjoyed in months.
You’re safe, another part of me said. No one will venture near this dumpster, and if they do, they’ll run away from your stench. I had not bathed in weeks, and my tattered clothes—once a dress-shirt and pants—reeked of perspiration and filth.
I flexed my fingers, trying to keep circulation flowing. Though it was only late afternoon, the December air hovered near freezing. I leaned against the dumpster and listened, wishing I spoke Romanian.
Glass shattered at the end of the alley. I crouched behind a few stacked boxes and peeked out. My heart started to pound. I inhaled for five seconds, counting each beat—the quickest way I knew to calm my fear.
They lost your trail in Italy, I reminded myself.
I exhaled for five seconds, again counting each beat.
Another part of me chimed in. They might have picked your trail up again.
Inhale. One, two, three, four, five. I focused on the alley, searching the trash, scraps of metal, and shadows for movement. My fingers combed the ground for a potential weapon. I found a metal pipe and pulled it to my chest in silence. Only my breath turning to fog betrayed my existence behind the dumpster.
A shadow leapt across the walls twenty feet away.
My body tingled with adrenaline. I laced my fingers around the pipe and crouched, ready to spring once whatever it was showed itself.
A tomcat emerged from the darkness and hobbled toward me. I released the pipe. My heart rate slowed as the old thing wound around my leg.
I offered it the last of my bread. After a few sniffs, the cat took the morsel and sat next to me as it ate. I ran my hand down its fur, ignoring the fleas and dirt. It curled up next to me and purred. I had to admit it was nice to have a temporary companion—especially a warm one.
I twirled my Princeton class ring around my finger, and again contemplated pawning it. I had already sold my prized gold cuff links. Keep the ring, I told myself. I needed something to remind me of my former life. The ring would also identify my body if I died, and my brother would finally know what happened to me. Though I had not seen him for six months, thoughts of Dean still made me grin.
The street lights flickered. Night was approaching. I hid my thoughts of Dean away and grabbed the pipe. I needed all my senses alert to outsmart those who pursued me. Please understand, of all those who have been hunting me, I fear the humans the least.
The Realms of Imagination anthology is currently available on Kindle (click here) and Nook (click here), and will soon be available in trade paperback and hardcover.
Also, if you’ve read A Prophecy Forgotten, but haven’t read Out of the Shadows, be sure to get your copy now since Out of the Shadows takes place just a few years before “The White Rider.” (Click for Kindle, Nook, Trade Paperback, Hardcover.)
Be sure to join in the discussion at M. B. Weston’s Treetop Inn group on Facebook!
Fantasy, steampunk, and paranormal novelist M. B. Weston is the author of The Elysian Chronicles, a fantasy series about guardian angel warfare and treason. Weston is also the hose of The Final Cut In Movies radio show that airs on TMV Cafe Monday nights at 8:00 EST. For more information on M. B. Weston, visit www.mbweston.com. To receive notification of M. B. Weston’s book releases click here to subscribe to Dark Oak Press & Media’s e-newsletter.