Dark Skies

•September 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Zazzi’s just a little guy. He sees things from the ground up . . .

The desert smells of dead things. The sand is dry, no water. Our fur dries in the heat, and we must spend nights in caves that have no fires.

At night, when the others sleep, I go to the mouth of the cave and look out. The stars are different in this world. They have different shapes. I want to know the stories of these strange star shapes, but my brothers are all worried about what they have done. I have done it too. If we are found, we will all die for it.

I lay down there, at the mouth of the cave, look up at the stars of this world, and I am afraid. My brothers know many things. But there is one thing they don’t know about me.

If I have the chance to do it without dying, I will leave them.

We are running under dark skies. We are doing a bad thing. A very bad thing.

h. Raven

Raven’s Bookshelf


Stealing Time

•August 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Being Alpha Wulf is about stealing time. There isn’t an hourglass with enough grains of sand for all the time I need in one day. When I can, when Kayne’s not near me, I go to the Great Scrolls, look for what I know I won’t find. Humans and Wulfs are the same like that, keep looking for something that’s not there.

Kayne’s the first in our line to grow up like he did, by my side. My father sent me to a Protector after he chose me to be Alpha. I was a little more than a pup. Next time I saw him, he was dying.

I was on Death Watch. I’d laid by his side for days. That night it was cold in the Haunt. Winter had come. My father woke me up. He was always short with words, spent them like they were gold coins. “The choice is yours,” he told me. “But if it were mine, I would choose Kayne. Do as Zagrail once did; keep him near you. Let him always know your scent.”

I don’t know if those were the last words he spoke, but they were the last ones I heard. After his death, I heard rumors about my older brothers rising against me. I did what I was bound by my honor to do as Alpha Wulf.

Kayne’s known my scent since he was a pup. I’ve never sent him away. I keep him near me all the time. I’m his world, his God; and he’s afraid of me.

If I knew a different way, I’d do it.

So I steal time, read scrolls from the Ones Before, and be what I can be to my brother and to the Pack.

h. Raven

Raven’s Bookshelf

Amazing Adventure

•August 24, 2010 • 1 Comment

Rafe’s journals were easy to find. He uses notebooks. Scrolls can be hard on the eyes . . .

I still don’t know if this is right. I don’t know about this whole Wulf thing, and Kayne and me. He’s the most amazing guy, except he’s a Wulf. Most times, I tell myself it’s not real, and soon he’ll come to his senses, and it’ll be over.

But I only think that when we’re not together. It’s all so weird, like nothing I ever felt before. When I’m with him, even if it’s just driving down a desert road, he makes me feel like nothing in the world matters to him more than me.

This is like some amazing adventure that doesn’t feel like it’ll ever end. I’m not sure how we’re going to do this, me and Kayne. He’s becoming my world. He’s turning into the only hope I have.

If things keep going the way they are, Kayne and the Wulfs may be the only hope any of us have. All I wanted was to save my mom. I was ready to give anything.

For Kayne, I’ll give even more.

h. Raven

Raven’s Bookshelf

Death’s Rain

•August 17, 2010 • 2 Comments

Konstantine’s misunderstood. He doesn’t want to take over the whole world, just the parts with fresh meat.

Outside the rain falls. Each decade washes away carved letters on acres upon acres of countless tombstones, all over the world. And so many of the ranks of the dead need not have died, need not have suffered the agonies of mortality.

Having lived over a century, I understand the gift I offer to those whose hearts beat, a constantly ticking clock on their short lives, each breath a reminder that death’s shadow draws closer, always closer.

There are those who question my methods. I know who they are. But there is one worse than all the others. He once stood with us, and now has turned traitor. I myself gave him the gift of eternity. And now, when I am so close to my destiny, he dares to betray me.

When I lay my hands on him, he will scream in torment, beg me to take off his head, end his pain. But he will find no mercy with me.

I look to the rain beyond the windows, washing the glass clean. This is what I offer to those who sleep and dream: renewal, hope, a way to remake their world.

h. Raven

Raven’s Bookshelf

Haunted by Sleep

•August 10, 2010 • 2 Comments

This is from Draven’s journals. Poor guy. He’s a zombie. He’ll never sleep again . . .

The time between dusk and dawn is when I dream of sleep.

It’s been so long since I slept, since I dreamed; even longer since I last felt my heart beat. Just after dusk, if I’m in a place where I can see the stars, I look up and curse the God that made my half-life possible. I curse the day I let Konstantine talk us into his horror-ridden fantasies of stealing the country from those who sleep.

There was a time when I told him he was mad. Yet now the fruits of his labor surround me, like misbegotten, misshapen children. Through the miracle of television, I witness the plague that will swell our undead members. I watch bodies tumble into mass graves, see mothers holding dead babes in their arms. It’s more than even my dead heart can take.

When I see how close he is to success, I ache to close my eyes against it, take refuge in darkness, in sleep. Last night, I broke away from my aimless travels around the country, took lodging in a hotel.

Even though I tried not to see it, the room was so small, that I could not keep the vision of it out of my sight. The bed mocked me with clean, crisp sheets. My fury lashed out. I ran at it, flung the mattress against the wall, bent the metal frame into a twisted mass of worthless scrap. Then I sank to the floor, my head in my hands. As with every other time, it had been for nothing; sleep eluded me, as it has for nearly a century.

Then came the banging on my door, demanding entry. I emptied my wallet of ID, left it full of cash, and jumped eight stories to the ground.

I must unburden myself of this dark knowledge. I must not let this nightmare come to pass.

h. Raven

Raven’s Bookshelf

Dark Paths and Secrets

•August 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Dark Paths, my new novel, is coming soon. I can’t give you previews because . . . well . . . I’d have some pretty mad Wulfs on my trail if I did. But here’s a little teaser . . .

Two weeks ago, Rafe’s mom got a flu shot at work. By last week she was snacking on steak right out of the freezer, and she was eyeing the neighbors’ cats and dogs like they were buffet servings on four legs. By this morning, when she was making his eggs, she wasn’t breathing anymore.

There’s a rumor of a zombie antidote, but can Rafe find it in time?

It’s a question that leads Rafe to get help from Vaughn, an assassin.

But when Vaughn agrees to help Rafe track down the antidote, a chilling truth comes to light. Vaughn is a Wulf, leader of his pack.

Rafe is steadily drawn into the dangerous Wulf world where he meets Kayne, Vaughn’s younger brother, assassin in training. Together they face the greatest danger of all: falling in love.

I managed to get hold of some journals. Your favorite characters from Dark Paths are going to tell their secrets, right here in the dark castle.

Today’s entry is from Kayne. . .

Cubs don’t like taking baths. Water makes our fur sticky, like a human getting in syrup. We need to bathe our first years, or we won’t shed, and we can overheat and die.

My brother wasn’t Alpha back then. We were what humans would call a royal family. The task of bathing me fell to Vaughn, because he was eldest and strongest. Even though I was just a cub, I had claws.

It didn’t matter how many times I clawed at him and drew blood, or how I snarled and tried to escape, he held me in the bath and rubbed water into me until the dead fur fell way.

One day, our bath in the rooms of our Alpha father the baths wouldn’t fill with water. We had to go to the public baths. Vaughn put me in the water, and I scratched and snarled, the way I always had.

Beside us, another club was doing the same to his brother. The Wulf, in his human form, was much bigger than his baby-cub brother. He clouted his brother’s head hard enough to make him bleed.

Vaughn got to his feet, lifted the elder Wulf off his feet and threw him across the bathing room. “You never hurt the ones who can’t defend themselves.”

He knelt beside my bath again, and rubbed my fur. I submitted quietly to the unpleasant feeling, even licked his hand.

My brother was already a warrior by then. It was the first time I saw his patience, and knew what I was seeing. Patience? Is that the right word? It might be love.

Whatever the word is, it wasn’t the last time I saw it.

h. Raven

Raven’s Bookshelf