Monday, January 1, 2007

A Whole New World by Anna Fallon

A Whole New World by Anna Fallon
January, 2007 - ISBN: 978-1-59426-576-1
$3 eBook (five formats) - Buy Now!

Author's backlist: Anna Fallon

The searing pain burned as the talons ripped through her thigh like a hot knife through butter. Struggling to free herself, she stared into the glowing eyes and twisted face of the beast. Its body, covered with a green-gray scale, stung her hands with an acidic-like slime every time she tried to push away. She kicked at it to no avail.

Towering above her, this monster held her easily four feet off the floor. Still apart from the two arms firmly holding her, four other arms, with hands she could only describe as claws, thrashed around her. No amount of writhing would loosen the grip, but she did try.

Elisia wondered why she even contemplated coming to this abandoned building again. She promised herself she wouldn't, but the need to see how Stephen had changed proved too great. The potion was supposed to change you into your true self.

Just like Stephen to assume he would be something wonderful. She figured as bad as it could be he would still be confined in the pentagram, so she should be safe if she kept her distance. Besides, what if someone else wandered in?

No, she had to try and clean up this mess somehow. If she could get her hands on that ancient spell book she may be able to reverse the effect of the transforming spell.

She knew he would be uncontrollable, whatever form he'd taken, because she refused to free him. But, even knowing her life could be in danger, she came and found this monster of the night--this evil-spawned, ungodly creature, that used to be her husband. She hadn't counted on one of the arms suddenly darting out beyond the outline of the pentagram and capturing her. This monster before her could never have featured in her worst nightmares. Even Elisia could not believe the extent of her husband's change.

Elisia screamed at him to let her go, to remember her. Orange eyes gleamed with hunger, sticky drool expanded between its pointed fangs as it prepared to devour her throat. Elisia frantically cried out her husband's name over and over in an attempt to appeal to whatever part of him might be left inside this murderous creature. "Stephen! Stephen, please ... it's me, Elisia! Stephen!" The foul stench of its breath reached her nostrils and caused her to dry-retch as it moved her closer to its many rows of pointed teeth.

Elisia heard a distinct twang and the demonic monster screamed in pain and swung around to face its attacker. She felt herself fall as she watched the monster writhe in pain from the arrow she could now see arrow lodged in its back. Her body jarred as she hit the floor with a thud, knocking the wind from her lungs. A strange rounded area hovered above the floor to the side of her. It almost looked as if that large patch of air had thickened into a blur and spiraled. A huge silver and wooden crossbow protruded from the middle of the swirling vortex.

All she could do was watch as a warrior, clad in metal-plated leather armor, stepped through the portal and drew a silver arrow, firing it from point blank range.

The rabid creature bellowed as the second metallic arrow thumped into its chest. It buckled and, without warning, burst into flames, disintegrating into a smoldering heap of ash.

Recovered somewhat now, Elisia dragged herself across the floor, sobbing.

"Stephen, oh no!" The pain in her thigh increased and her hot tears fell freely. "You killed him!" Even though her love failed long ago, she still felt the shock of finality. Elisia could not save Stephen now.

The warrior watched her, no expression showing on his face. Elisia noted the broad cut of his shoulders and the bulge of his thighs through the leather strip skirt he wore. It had been such a long time since she'd felt the touch of a man; he sure looked good to her. Certainly not the time or the place for such thoughts.

She spoke to him again, a little more subdued this time. "Why did you have to kill him? Why? I thought I might be able to turn him back."

He gave her a blank look, and Elisia wondered if he even understood her. Perhaps he cannot speak our language .

Her leg settled into a continuous dull ache, interspersed with sharp, pains. She needed medical attention. Elisia wondered how on earth she would explain this to an emergency room staff. More to the point, how the hell could she keep the cops out of it? For sure the hospital would call them and they would come sniffing around, asking questions. Most people never even suspected these dark magic activities went on. She couldn't tell them her husband had transformed into a flesh-eating fiend. Not the average domestic violence report, and not the usual meaning for saying, my husband wanted to eat me . Her tears rolled freely again. What a mess!

"Self righteous prick!" she shouted at the pile of ashes which smoldered defiantly at her. "I fucking told you not to drink it! But no, you just had to, didn't you? Now look at the mess I'm in!" She looked up at the warrior, wanting to explain why she foolishly cried over a beast who would have killed her. "He used to be my husband, you know. Before he drank that stupid transforming potion. I didn't love him anymore but I wanted to try and save him. I mean, we never had a marriage made in heaven, but still he didn't deserve to die."

Her parents long passed and most of her blood and step-siblings moved away to explore the world. But not Elisia. No, she just stayed put, the thought of leaving her home state made her nervous. She felt a pang of guilt, a part of her felt relieved Stephen would no longer control her. Tears still streamed down her face as she allowed herself some time to grieve for what might have been and what she never had.

Finally, she wiped her tears on the back of her hand and sniffed strongly. The look in the warrior's eyes bordered somewhere on puzzlement and sympathy. He squatted at her side. Her body reacted immediately to his closeness. Stephen never really set her on fire, except when they'd both been intoxicated. Now, a complete stranger from God knows where turned her on.

"I am sorry." His deep voice reverberated through her body. The shock of the effect stopped her from speaking.