Reckoning: The Firefly Trilogy Book 1

Free sample from my new book, Reckoning:

After they clawed out of the fires below, the Tavishaw family stood in a circle in front of our group. It was a family reunion for the Tavishaws, Kaylee, Borlock, Maxine, and their parents. The moment I saw Miss Maxine, I cowered behind Jacob. Sarah stood by her brothers and Via. My concern went to Sarah, who feared Maxine more than any person in this realm. The look on Steven’s face told me he was about to faint from fear. He rounded his spine, and slithered behind William and Henry. Their guns drawn, as well as their men, but all of us were too dumbfounded to do anything. We helplessly watched as Kaylee’s father congratulated his son.
“You have made your family proud, son,” said Kaylee’s father.
“Thank you, father,” Kaylee said as he bowed his head.
“Tonight, we shall have a ceremony to crown the new King.”
“I have resurrected!” Maxine screamed into the sky and spun around with her arms extended to their fullest. “I’m free!”
Borlock was merely feet away from Charles Slider. An evil sneer settled on his face. While Kaylee spoke to his father, Borlock grabbed Charles by the throat. Borlock looked deep into the old mans’ eyes and waved his hand in front of Charles’s face. A purple mist emanated from Borlock’s hand and saturated Charles’ body. When the mist evaporated, it left behind a young Charles Slider. The old judge had been replaced by a new, vivacious young man. Borlock salivated as he brought Charles closer him. He practically spit in his face as he hissed, “I won’t kill you…today. We rule the world, again, and we need slaves. Guess who I chose?”
With a wave of his hand, a metal choker suddenly appeared around Charles’ neck. A chain was attached to it and at the other end of the chain was Borlock. He struck Charles’s shoulder like a snake and bit into his newly renewed flesh. Charles screamed with agony while Borlock ripped off a piece of his shoulder and ate it. A satisfied smile sat on Borlocks’ lips while he watched the pain he caused Charles and sat back to enjoy his snack. Blood ran from his mouth as Borlock laughed like a madman. On the ground, Charles writhed with pain, keeping his hand on covering the bite wound. Without realizing it, I emerged from behind Jacob but he held me back, refusing to let me interfere. We watched helplessly as Borlock sat on top of Charles to lick the blood from his fingertips as if he wanted to savor every morsel of a wonderful meal.
“Do save some of him for later, Borlock. Remember, if you eat too much of him, even magic cannot repair him,” Kaylee said as if the situation bored him.
Maxine giggled gleefully. “Oh, I want one, too! I pick her,” she screamed and pointed at Sarah. Instantly, a metal collar magically appeared around my cousins’ neck.
“No!” I shouted.
“You’re not taking my sister anywhere, bitch,” William said as he aimed his gun at Maxine. The rest of his friends followed his lead and focused their weapons at Maxine. Jacob puffed out his chest and stepped up to show Maxine he was there defend Sarah at all costs. Maxine laughed at them and waved her hand. A powerful, unseen hand twisted the barrels of their guns upwards, making them worthless. The men stared at the guns with shock. Jacob, and the rest of them, were surrounded by a large ball of purple mist. It hugged their bodies and kept them from moving.
She turned to me with a wide, wicked smile on her face. “And who’s going to stop me? You? Your army?” She laughed at us as if she knew something we didn’t. “I am Maxine Tavishaw, bitch. I am more powerful than anyone in this world! You will not disobey me or I will roast your souls in the fires of Hell!”
I looked to Kaylee, hoping he would intervene, but appeared as if he were bored with our protests. If he refused to interfere, then it was up to me. I pulled away from Jacobs’ grasp and shouted, “Maxine, you cannot have Sarah.”
“Oh, yes I can. Right, Kaylee?” she asked my newfound father with a smile on her face.
He shrugged his shoulders. “Sure. My daughter is safe and we have repatriated. I don’t need her anymore.”
Maxine smiled at me with a smug face and yanked on Sarah’s chain to show her dominance over me. “I don’t care what Kaylee says, it’s what I say that matters,” I stressed the word I. “And I say Sarah stays with me.”
My aunt smiled at me and grabbed a handful of my hair, bringing my face to hers. I struggled to free myself from her grasp, but she held on to me as if she had an iron fist. “Charles banished me back to Hell after what I did to you and your little cousin at the Academy. I don’t know how he found out, but he did. All because of you. I’ve waited for this moment…to see the look on your face when I take your beloved cousin from you. I thought about taking Jacob, but I knew it would sting if I took the beautiful blonde. Say goodbye to Sarah.”
Finally, my instincts kicked in, as well as the training supplied by Via. I didn’t care if she held onto my hair, I ignored the pain when I ripped my head away, allowing a good chunk of my hair to be pulled out in the process. I spun around quickly to back kick Maxine in her stomach. Thank goodness Via had me kicking a tree for weeks. My leg was strong and delivered a powerful kick. Maxine stumbled backwards, but her chest fell forward. Her shouts of obscenities were so loud, they could be heard from the other side of the world. Before she could retaliate, I leapt forward, and punched her in the face with my right hand, but she anticipated my move, and blocked my arm. However, Via taught me to punch with my left and right hand. While Maxine was busy holding onto my right arm, I used my left to deliver a hard punch to the right side of her face.
She stumbled backwards, but managed to keep herself steady on her feet. The left side of her mouth curled up in the form a sneer, the way a dog curled its lip when it’s ready to strike. I knew she was going to come at me with everything she had, so I used this moment to punch her right in the nose. It was a sweet moment to return to Maxine what she did to me at the Academy.
Something else happened at that moment. Blood fell from Maxine’s nose. In fact, it erupted the way lava erupts from a volcano. Everyone, including my family, stood in shock while they watched Maxine discover the blood.
“I’m…I’m…bleeding,” Maxine stammered and backed away from me as if she were actually frightened of me.
Then it hit me; Maxine was now living in a body that can be killed.
I reached back, grabbed the handle of my Magnum handgun. The handle fit perfectly in my hand as I wrapped my fingers over it. I never took my eyes off Maxine as I took out the gun, pulled back the hammer in the process, and pointed it straight at her head. The fear in her eyes told me she was afraid and desperate. Her magic may have been able to disfigure the guns of Henry, William, and the rest of the men, but not mine. I was a Tavishaw and just as powerful as she. Her powers did not work well on her own blood. It was time to deliver some redemption.
Before I pulled the trigger, Maxine yanked on the chain and pulled Sarah to her chest. In an instant, a purple mist erupted from the ground below them and covered them from head to toe. Via lunged for Sarah in a final attempt to save her. The purple mist swallowed Via whole as she dived into it. When it dissipated, Maxine, Sarah, and Via were gone.
“Sarah! Via!” I screamed into the air.
“Anna!” Kaylee shouted at me. “Come.”
I shook my head. “No.”
“Come with your family, where you belong.”
“I…I belong with my husband.”
“You’re my daughter. Your allegiance belongs to me.”
“I’m not going with you, Kaylee. I’d rather die than stand by your side,” I spat.
He chuckled. “Perhaps you misunderstood me, this is not a choice, my darling.”
In an instant, I pointed my gun right at him and his body burst into a cloud of purple smoke and floated away. The remaining Tavishaw family followed suite and evaporated into smoke. We watched the wind carry them away from us, making it impossible to follow them.
I had made a huge mistake. Rei said I would let evil out of its cage and I did. How could I have been so stupid? I had to fix my mistake. I had to make things right with the Universe. To do that, I had to put my family back in Hell. It wouldn’t be an easy task. My family was not a bunch of knick-knacks that could be easily placed on a shelf. As I thought about Sarah forced to be Maxine’s slave, anger flooded my body. I allowed it to seep into my blood and fill my every thought with genuine revenge. I was going to save all of them, even Charles Slider. I owed it to him after what I did. He was the peacekeeper of our lands and my view had been skewed to portray him as my enemy. I vowed to hunt down every member of my family and send them right back to Hell where they belonged.

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Scribble

Scribble

Written and Created By: Mary Ann Moody

A knock came at the front door of Jane’s apartment.

“Peter?” she asked.

“Yeah, it’s me,” he replied.

She unlocked the door and opened it for him. “Thanks for coming.”

“Did it record?”

“I checked my laptop this morning. There’s over eight hours of footage.”

“And the writing on the wall?”

She nodded her head. “It was there, too.”

“Did you wash it away?” Peter pushed himself into the apartment.

“No. I left it just as you instructed,” she said and turned to follow.

In the only bedroom, she found Peter staring at the far wall where the bed resided, rubbing his fashionable black beard. His small mouth and black eyes were wide open with intrigue. His hands trembled like an earthquake when he reached for his cell phone and voice recorder. Goosebumps on his neck and face were visible to Jane from a distance.

“Tell me again when this happens to you.” He pressed record on the recorder and took pictures.

Above Janes’ headboard, black marker streaks were scribbled on the wall. The laptops’ camera focused on that portion of the room. The bedroom was small but it had a window. There was enough space for a bed, nightstand, and vanity table. There was a closet to the right of Jane’s bed, but it was the size of a school locker and too tiny to be useable so it was kept it empty. He sat down on the matching vanity chair while Jane literally sat on the edge of her bed.

“Um, well, like I said before, when I woke up yesterday…I…saw this on my wall. Um, I washed it off…but it was here this morning,” she shuddered as she recalled her story.

“Interesting. Go on.”

“There’s nothing else to say except it scared the hell out of me, so I called you. I did as you suggested. Last night, I programmed my laptop to record me while I slept, but I haven’t watched it yet. Um, you don’t think I brought something back with me? Do you?”

“No, no one else from the group is experiencing phenomena,” Peter smiled as he scoffed. “Let’s watch the video and see what’s happening at night.”

“We’re not sitting here and watching this for eight hours? Are we?” she asked.

“Of course not. I’ll fast forward to the good part,” he said as he took out a pen and laptop. “Why don’t you upload the images I took of the scribble and image reverse them on the web?”

She took his laptop and phone and set up a workplace right beside him. They stayed silent while they worked. An hour later, Peter grasped her shoulder.

“Jane,” he gasped.

“Did you get to the good part?” she joked.

“It’s you,” he whispered.

“What?”

“It’s you. You’re the one writing on the wall.”

She practically pushed Peter aside to look at the screen. “What are you talking about?”

“Just watch,” he instructed and pressed play.

The video recorded in high definition but with a special night vision lens. Everything in the video was either black or green, however, Jane distinctly recognized herself. In the video, her eyes gleamed fiercely, without blinking, as she staggered to the wall. A long football jersey hung from her shoulders and swayed gently when she walked. A black marker was in her hand.

“Oh, my Goddess. That is me,” she said as she watched herself scribble on the walls furiously. Jane heard herself grunt periodically with frustration when the marker fell from her fingertips. Peter’s computer dinged, indicating a new message. “Peter? I just got a hit on the image reversal in a chat room. According to this poster, the words are Vedic Sanskrit. The words…they mean ‘I’m in the closet’.”

Just then, a noise came from the other side of the room. Jane screamed and grabbed onto Peter’s arm.

“Ah! What was that?”

“It came from the closet,” Peter replied, his voice squeaked like boy going through puberty.

“There’s nothing in there,” she whispered.

“Well, something is.”

She motioned for Peter to open the door. At first, he hesitated. Jane silently mouthed for him to be a man and open the door. At that point, poor Peter felt like he had no other option. He grabbed the doorknob tightly, yanked it open, and looked inside.

“There’s no one in here, but there’s more scribbling.” He turned to look at Jane, but she pushed him into the closet and shut the door behind him. The sound of a lock snapping into place made goosebumps explode over every inch of his body. His head hit the wall with a hard smack, but he didn’t fall to the floor. The closet was too small to do anything but stand upright, like a coffin.

“Jane?” he called.

“Jane’s not here anymore,” her voice hissed with an eerie calmness through the crack in the door. “She left the day you and your ghost hunting team came to investigate my mansion. Her body is now mine.”

“Who are you? Why are you doing this to us?” he asked.

“Just a woman longing to be reunited with her husband. My husband. John Lee Davasgol.”

“The Butcher of Wilpasco?”

“We need bodies if we are to live again. The so-called scribble in there is a spell to bind your body with Johns’ spirit.”

“Wh…wh…what?” Peter took out his cell phone and activated the screen light. The tiny closet lit up, revealing the red scribble. Something shifted to his left. He spun to confront the darkness, but there was no one there. At least, no one he could see.

The sound of Janes’ voice cracking with emotion was the last thing he heard. “My love will never die for you, John.”

Peter reached into the depths of his stomach and pulled out a terrifying scream as his body and Johns’ spirit became one.

Family

By Mary Ann Moody

   In an older country home, a thirtysomething man trembled when a sudden noise disturbed his concentration. The wife and children were out. He believed himself to be alone. They lived in a single story, four bedroom, two thousand square foot home. The décor was out of date with dark wood paneling on the walls and red carpet on the floor, but dammit, it was his home and he liked it just the way it was. He got up from a cozy sofa chair and proceeded to walk into the hallway connecting the bedrooms. He flipped on the light as he rounded the corner.

He peaked into the bedrooms. Everything appeared in order, even when he took a closer look. Once he felt satisfied with the inspection, he returned to the wonderful sofa chair. He wondered when his family would return. It was terribly dark outside and he hoped they were safe.

Just as he propped his feet up, something fell in one of the bedrooms. It hit the carpet with a hard clunk.

The man jumped from unexpected noise. Goosebumps ran over his arms and a wave of terror started at his toes and ended at his face. The home seemed to betray him by harboring sinister secrets. Slowly, he got up from the chair.

   Where did I place my gun? he wondered.

He felt a presence watching him as he picked up a small pistol from the coffee table. The unmistakable feeling of someone breathing on his neck made the hairs on his head stand up and he spun around, waving the gun in the air. He faced the kitchen and found it empty. Small beads of sweat fell from his forehead as he focused on the large space. The family room connected to a red kitchen with an island and small breakfast nook. Despite the intense feeling someone watched him, the rooms were empty.

Clunk.

He spun to the hallway and aimed at the darkness. To him, it sounded like something fell in the closet, but that was impossible. He swore he placed everything back where he found it. Outside, snow fell from the sky, covering the house and foliage with layers of ice. He hadn’t prepared a fire but gave it a second thought as he crept down the chilly hall. A bright lightbulb blazed in its socket and gave him plenty of light, the downside were the shadows it created. He mistook the bookshelf in eight-year-old Maria’s room for a monster with white fangs. At first glance, the chair beside six-year-old Garrison’s bed appeared as a head poking up. When his eyes adjusted to the light, he let out a breath of relief.

He had to know if he was truly alone and decided to check the closet inside the master bedroom. He gripped the handle of the gun firmly and took a deep breath before opening the closet. He focused on the darkness as he opened the door and kept his hearing sharp when he reached up to pull the light cord.

In front of him, the light revealed the corpse of the man who owned the house, Doug. Blood leaked from sections of the duct tape covering his mouth and nose. Doug’s eyes bulged outwards and his mouth was open despite the tape. The corpse remained tucked away underneath the hanging clothes. Once again, he determined Doug was dead, so he couldn’t be the one making all those noises.

Just then, a cluster of excited voices emanated from the somewhere outside the house. He closed the closet door. Doug’s family now belonged to him. He smiled and waited in the darkness to greet them.

 

The End

Nightmares

When I dream, I normally have nightmares. Perhaps it’s one of the drawbacks of being a horror movie junkie, but this week has been particularly brutal.

The first dream, I was running from a serial killer who only killed people who were awake in the house. My husband and children were safe because they were asleep, however, I was awake in this dream and the killer continually came after me. The dream seemed so real. I swear I could smell the grass when I ran from him. I felt pain in my leg when I landed after a fall.

The next dream, a snake bit into my stomach. Its fangs were stuck in my stomach and the rest of its body writhed as it tried to dislodge from my skin. I swear I could literally the snake’s body flailing back and forth, as well as pain in my stomach from where it bit me. It seemed so real that I sat up in bed thinking I had a snake attached to me.

I’m scared to go to sleep tonight.

Back to basics

Two weeks ago, I had surgery. In the time I spent recovering, l have been working on my 6th book. It has been nice going back to spending my every waking hour working on Reckoning and getting that wonderful rush when I pull up my manuscript after going to sleep for the night.

It’s going to be hard going back to weekly live streams, making videos, and searching for American Horror Story season 7 news. I love making videos, but I belong in the closet writing my novels.