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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Coven and Coffin Blog Hop: A Ghost's Story

We come to the fourth day of the party. Is your heart pounding yet?

A Ghost's Story
by Jessica Fortunato

I remembered picking him up from the airport.  Seeing him at the gate, so proud of himself he’d made it all the way to Europe and back.  I remembered he looked confident, and much older than the kid I’d dropped off months before.

Are we destined to turn out like the generations before us? Is it foretold in some place dark and unnatural that we repeat the mistakes we’ve bore witness to?  Are the Fates the weavers of our demise?  I don’t know.  Yet in the inky, moonless night, I believe so strongly it makes me sick, that we have only ourselves to blame for our sadness and misfortune.  Perhaps life is cruel and it is a bit of both.  Still, it seems like an endless struggle, a tugging between a foolish tradition of drifting and a plaintive desire to remain intact.  I’ve seen the ashes and smelled the bitter smoke of those burned bridges.  My fingertips have blistered as I came to realize it was I who lit the match. 

What would I dare say if they were listening?  If they spoke the same ominous and brutal language, I now whisper.  Lives can be separate but still entwined.  You needn’t choose one or the other.  It is not in our natures to pursue the hidden, but we should do it nonetheless.  I would ask if we don’t bother to save one another, then why bother at all?    Stop crouching behind the rotting decay of disease, anger, seductively busy schedules.  Speak even when you have forgotten your name or your purpose.  Cling to the belief that if not for the people in our portraits we would not be who we are. 

Whether because of them or in spite of them, they are our beginning.

This is the easy part.

I saw the wreckage, and I remembered the deer.  How had I thought for a moment that preserving a deer was better than this?

In that inky, moonless night, there will be demons.  Their claws will dig into your flesh, their teeth tearing for your throat.  They will be strong, their eyes will know no pity or remorse and they will know your heartbeat from a thousand others.  Hiding will do no good. As you stumble, realize that running will only make your bones ache, the evil has already caught up with you.
Because it is you.

The bloody lining will be suffocating and intoxicating at the same time.  The taste in your mouth as sweet as it is metallic.  But you mustn’t succumb. 

Finally, I found him.  Strapped to a backboard, awake and alert and for a moment he looked right through me.

There are still those who remember who you were.  Before you ran, before you knew the names of the creatures that stalk you.  You are within their memory.  In their knowledge, you will find your salvation.
That, little brother, is the hard part.

I saw the kind officers drape the white sheet over my body like angel wings.

Bleeding and full of anguish their light will guide you to the dawn, to your home.

But first, little brother, you must ask.

Jessica Fortunato writes a rare combination of Paranormal/ Supernatural/ Religious Literary Fiction.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her family, a clumsy black cat, and year round Halloween decorations.  Rarely seen in direct sunlight, reports of Jessica’s vampirism remain unsubstantiated.

"The Sin Collector" follows the life of Liliana, a born Sin Collector. She has spent over 100 years absorbing people's sins so they may rest in peace come death. However when she meets another Collector, one who insists everything she has been taught is a lie, Liliana must make her way from Sunny L.A. all the way to the streets of Madrid. Searching for answers to a question we all share. Why are we here? The friends and enemies she makes along the way only seem to blur the line between right and wrong. Can Liliana fight the Castus, an organization bent on killing off every Sin-Eater? Should she trust her head or her heart when the two most important men in her life are fighting alongside her?

Then there is the worst question of all, who will be left when the dust settles?

This story is meant to be read following Book One in The Sin Collector Series.

Thomas has taken vows. As an immortal, he is impervious to harm on the battlefield. As a Collector, he alone can take away the sins of the fallen and allow them to move peacefully into the next life.
But valor never comes without sacrifice.

Far away from combat is his home, and her name is Lucy. Lucy is a human and frail from the explosion that nearly took her life, but Thomas’s duty pulls him from her before she can recover. His letters are his only connection to her, and to her caretaker, Thomas’s best friend Emmilina.

Thomas has gone to War for his God and for honor but there is an even more personal mission that drives him.

He will find other Collectors, and tell them the secrets he has learned.

As an immortal Sin Collector, Liliana lead a transient life of solitude for over one-hundred years.
Now with a growing family, she has found herself liking normalcy and the fa├žade of being human. However, when old friends begin to turn up dead, it is clear Collectors are not safe. The battle that Liliana thought she’d won, has only just begun.

She must save herself, her family, and her friends from the Castus, a fanatical group sworn to eradicate her kind.

As Liliana travels the globe making allies, and discovering secrets, she soon learns that the threat to her safety is closer than she ever thought possible.

Will she be able to fight her fate, or will she succumb to an ancient Castus prophecy?

Charlotte Amelia Caprice may seem like an ordinary girl. She has a job she hates, a boss she despises, and zero romantic prospects. Her friends call her Charlie, when she can keep one for more than a few weeks. Though Charlie may seem ordinary, she is anything but. Charlie doesn’t have a heart. Instead, she has a steam driven machine in her chest, always making her feel less than human. Gears and pistons have been using her own body heat to pump her blood for over a decade. There is one small problem. Her heart is beginning to break. When Charlie meets a brilliant man, one who could save her life, she must choose between being heartless and being alive. A simple choice for some, but for Charlie living on steam isn’t easy.

Return tomorrow for a new story. Be sure to visit the other blogs for some more festivities.

Peter Dawes: Stormy Night Flash Fiction
Jessica Fortunado: Halloween Treats and Recipes
Kayleigh Grian: Characters in Costume
M. R. Graham: Tributes to Those We’ve Lost
Kalya Curry: Murder Mystery Party

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