Soul Siphon (Book 1 of the Vengeance Doctrine), Sample Chapter

Soul Siphon

Book One of the Vengeance Doctrine

A Novel by James Harrington

 

ISBN: 978-0692608449

First Printing: April 2016

Cover Art:

Jabari Weathers

Editing:

Meghan Harrington

Eric Klingenberg

Copyright © 2016, James Harrington

Illustration © 2016, Jabari Weathers

Printed and Bound in the USA

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner.

I

 

“Nurse, what happened?”

“I don’t know, Doctor. He just started convulsing. We were monitoring him after his skin became discolored, and then he flat-lined.”

Corban McConnell felt his body slipping away and was powerless to stop it. He tried to scream, but Adramelech would not allow him enough control over his own muscles to do it. He was trapped in a cage in his own mind, one that he could not escape from. All he could do was sit and watch helplessly as the demon destroyed his world.

Corban could feel a burning sensation in his chest where the crucifix that his mother gave him used to reside. It had been removed when he had been committed, but the scar from where it had been remained. When Adramelech possessed him, it felt as though someone had cast the crucifix into a fireplace and allowed it to get red hot before placing it around his neck.

The blessed artifact had kept Adramelech at bay, but it eventually began to cause him pain. The doctors had long since removed it, fearing that he could use the chain to harm himself. It was the final nail in his proverbial coffin.

Corban had been cursed with the demon for almost a year and it had been slowly and painfully gnawing away at him. His stomach was so tight that he had not been able to eat much in months. He was emaciated and covered in scars from head to toe, his face bearing the worst of it. The demon had forced him to abuse himself and those around him in every way physically possible. He had been forced to alienate the ones he cared for the most for their own safety and allow himself to be locked away in a safe room at Mclean Hospital. He spent the last few weeks restrained to a hospital bed while doctors wired him with monitors and probes. His dark brown hair had been shaved down to little more than stubble to prevent him from ripping it out.

He was aware that his mental state was continuing to deteriorate. It would only be a matter of time until Adramelech gained full control and was able to cause his organs to rupture. He was soon transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital to deal with his injuries. He didn’t really have the consciousness to care about the difference of scenery. He was too busy fighting the entity within to even acknowledge the new doctors that were looking after him.

Corban wasn’t angry at them for his suffering, they were doing their best, but what he was dealing with, no medical science could save him from. There was nothing any mortal could do to stop Adramelech.

“Get me a defibrillator, STAT!”

Corban watched one of the nurses quickly pull a small cart over with a pair of pads resting on top of them. Another nurse began chest compressions while a third pumped oxygen into him with an ambu bag. The group ignored the sounds of the machines around them as they went to work in a futile attempt to save their patient’s life.

Doctor Morgan grabbed the pads and applied them to Corban’s chest, “Device charging now…”

The doctor waited a moment for the defibrillator to charge. Corban braced himself as he listened to the high-pitched sound of the electricity power up as the device came to life. When the indicator on the defibrillator turned red, the doctor returned his attention to Corban, “Everybody, clear!”

The surgical team backed away as the doctor began defibrillation, “200J…”

Corban’s lifeless body convulsed as the electricity flowed through it. Once the system turned off, the group began CPR again. Every alarm was still sounding off, indicating that he was still flat lined. The monitoring nurse shook her head as she checked Corban for any response, “No pulse.”

“What’s going on in there?”

Doctor Morgan had been with Corban since he was transferred. He knew that Doctor Morgan had read the report on the events surrounding Corban’s transfer and was sure that the whole case had him perplexed. The failed medical treatments which had both therapists and doctors alike baffled were bad enough, but then his psychological report also mentioned an exorcism that had somehow made his condition worse. He didn’t know if the doctor was a believer or not, but he somehow doubted it.

Adramelech had allowed him to live through each of these experiences while keeping him in a comatose state. He couldn’t react, speak, or move, but he could see and feel as that was all that the demon would allow. It was as close to Hell as he’d ever been.

Doctor Morgan’s voice appeared again as Corban tried to shut everything out, “Again, 200J.”

“Everybody, clear!”

It was the same as the previous attempt. Corban’s body convulsed, but did not respond. He was not coming out of it.

Finally, Doctor Morgan made the call to move him, “No good, get him to OR 2! Page the on call surgeon.”

The lead surgeon, Doctor Teach met Doctor Morgan in the surgical prep room as his team rushed to get Corban ready. He could hear them talking from the next room. Doctor Teach’s voice had a detectable level of concern, “Status?”

“We’ve been administering CPR since he flat lined.”

“How long?”

“Two minutes.”

“All right, once we’re in, let’s get him on the table.”

“Immediately, doctor.”

As Corban’s bed was wheeled into OR 2, the surgeon immediately went to work, prepping him for surgery. His body began to tremble as even more alarms went off. Doctor Teach knew that he was running out of time, “There’s blood coming out of his mouth. He’s most likely suffering from internal hemorrhaging. We need to get in there now or we’re going to lose him.”

Corban fought to regain some control and closed his eyes as he heard the machines nearby begin to beep in alarm. His head turned to the side and his world went completely blank. At that moment, all doubt was banished from his mind. Death was inevitable. Father… into your hands, I commend my spirit.

Adramelech cackled in the back of his mind, “He can’t save you now, no one can! You are mine and you always will be!”

You can’t have my soul, Adramelech. You’ve destroyed my body, but that’s all you’ll ever take. You… will lose!

“Small words… even the priest who tried to exorcise me failed and he is a man of faith. You have always been a man of doubt. What do you possibly think you can do now?”

In a desperate attempt to shut the demon out, Corban thought back to his last day with his girlfriend, Janine. He remembered how her long blonde hair blew in the breeze as she stepped out of his jeep. It was a very bittersweet memory.

The last few months of their relationship had been rocky. They both went to college in different places which put considerable strain on their relationship. In hindsight, that was probably a good thing for them both. Corban would not need to worry about her as much as she would have an easier time moving on. In his heart, he’d known that their relationship would not have survived more than a few months anyway.

A beep on the wall caused Corban to snap back into reality. He was back on the operating table in Mass General’s Division of Trauma. Though not conscious, he was fully aware of what was happening. Adramelech would not allow him to miss a minute of the pain. Even the medications that were being pumped through his body could not keep the demon at bay.

I’m sorry Janine, Corban thought to himself. I have to break my promise. I can’t be there anymore. I hope you have a wonderful life…

Adramelech cackled in his mind, “That’s it, let her go. There is no escape for you now. Let go of all you hold dear and submit.”

That’s what you think I’m doing? You’ve spent this much time in my head and you still have no clue.

“What other choice is there? It’ll only hurt more by holding onto them.”

But it keeps you from winning. Giving up what makes me who I am would be to submit to you.

You already have.

Not yet, just you watch.

Corban knew exactly what he had to do. He dreaded it, but knew that Adramelech would never let him be at peace as long as the demon lurked in his mind. As long as the demon was there, he would forever be a slave. He pulled together what little mental fortitude he had left and blocked out Adramelech one last time. He had regained control of his body just long enough to release himself. He had to act quickly as this was the only chance he’d get. Just one last push.

Corban appreciated everything that the doctors were doing, but he knew that his body was broken. Even if he wanted to remain, he knew that it was no longer an option. If he didn’t vacate, Adramelech would have a chance to regain control.

As Corban braced himself, he could feel the sense of nervousness in his mind. Adramelech reached out to him, “Wait… wait, if you try to cast me out, you’ll die too. We’ve become too intertwined for you to survive.”

I know that. I’m not trying to cast you out. I’m denying you your prize.

“You’ll lose everything.”

No other choice.

“There is always another choice.”

Not interested.

“Janine and your mother will be hurt.”

I know that…

“Wait, listen to me!”

No, I’m done with having you in my head! The game is over!

Adramelech cried out in panic, “No!”

Go back to Hell!

Corban braced himself for the coming shock to his system. No doubt it was going to be painful, but it couldn’t possibly be worse than what he had already experienced. He was spent and nothing that happened now was going to faze him.

At that moment, as the doctor worked, Corban’s eyes shot open and a look of distress appeared on his face, startling Doctor Morgan, “Is he sedated?”

The anesthesiologist eyed her panels and turned back to the surgeon, “Yes, he’s under general anesthesia and everything looks stable on my end. I don’t understand, what’s happening should not be possible!”

“Increase his dosage.”

“I can’t, it’s at the maximum. If I increase the dosage it could do irreparable damage!”

“Doctor…”

Before the surgeon could continue, Corban smiled at the lights above him. He was unable to speak with the tube down his throat, but he still managed to smile widely. The game is over, Adramelech! You’ve lost, now go back to Hell!

At that moment, Corban’s eyes closed forever. His body went pale. As his world blurred out, he could hear the screams of the scanners hooked up to his body, trying to find any sign of life. It sounded as though they were in a panic.

The surgical team went frantic as they went to work in an attempt to save his life. Yet even amidst the chaos, Corban was able to take solace in the fact that he had won. He had denied Adramelech his prize, but would now face the consequences for doing so.

An hour later, it was all over. The surgical team had done everything that they could, but his body was not responding. Doctor Teach lowered his eyes as he was finally forced to admit defeat, “He’s gone.”

As the group backed away from Corban’s body, Doctor Teach checked the clock on the wall, “Note the time of death, 8:53 PM.”

Doctor Morgan looked over the mess of equipment and blood, “All right, let’s get cleaned up here… I’ve got some bad news to deliver.”

The surgical team had lost patients before. It was something that came with the job, but it never got easier. There was nothing more they could do. As the nurses went to work clearing out the equipment, the surgeon braced himself to give Corban’s loved ones the bad news. As a high risk surgeon, he’d had to deliver this news before, and it was always the part of the job that he hated the most.

As they cleaned up, the anesthesiologist had a perplexed look on her face, “How could he have come out of that?”

Doctor Teach didn’t have an answer for her. He’d never seen anything like that before, “I have no idea. I can’t explain it, but he almost looked like he’d just won a fight.”

“Whatever it was… he actually seemed happy about it.”

Doctor Morgan left the OR, got cleaned up and headed out to the waiting room where Corban’s mother had been sitting with Janine for hours, waiting for news. It was late and the lights in the waiting room were dim. The lighting mixed with the plain colors of the walls provided anyone in the room a rather calm feeling. The dim light also provided the perfect vale for a pair of dark figures that stood in the corner, one male, and one female. Both were paying close attention to the scene that was about to unfold with Corban’s family. The male figure studied the facial expressions of Corban’s mother and Janine while the female one appeared to be completely disinterested. She preferred to hang back, leaning on the wall.

The quiet was quickly interrupted when doors to the OR slowly parted and the two doctors appeared at the entrance. The figures watched intently as Corban’s mother stood up with Janine holding her by the arm, “Well Doctor, did everything go okay? How is he? When can we see him?”

An apologetic look appeared on Doctor Morgan’s face as he shook his head, “I’m sorry…”

Corban’s mother went completely pale, “What? What are… no…”

Doctor Teach hesitantly took over, “I’m afraid he didn’t survive the procedure.”

The older woman looked away as tears streamed down her cheek, “Oh God… please not him. No… my baby…”

Janine’s eyes filled with tears, “No it can’t be true! He’s stronger than that… don’t you dare tell me he’s gone.”

Doctor Morgan opened his mouth to speak, knowing that nothing he could say would make this easier, but Janine cut him off, “Don’t you dare… he can’t be gone! It’s not true!”

Janine buried her head in her hands and sobbed as Corban’s mother looked up at Doctor Teach, tears continuing to flow from her eyes, “What happened?”

“I’m afraid we don’t really know, we were working to repair the hemorrhage and he was responding really well, but then he suddenly regained consciousness. He looked up with a big smile on his face, and then became lifeless. We have no idea how it happened. Our instruments were finely tuned before the procedure and our anesthesiologist double checked just to make sure. All attempts to resuscitate him failed. It’s like he didn’t want to be brought back.”

The female figure stepped forward and studied Corban’s mother. Though she still looked pale and was about to get sick, a small feeling of relief comforted her as she realized what had happened. She was barely able to speak and her words were little more than a whisper, but everyone was able to hear her, “He beat it… it cost him his life, but he freed himself of that… thing inside of him.”

Doctor Teach rubbed his hands together gently as spoke to Corban’s mother, “I’m really sorry that everything turned out this way. We do have on-sight counselors that are trained to help your loss… I could arrange for one to come by if you’d like to speak with them?”

Grief counselors. The female figure thought to herself. As if they’d do any good here.

“Mary, watch the younger woman.” The male figure said quietly to the female. “She’d known Corban since childhood and loved him for almost that long. Their relationship may have been on the rocks, but she still cared deeply for him.”

Mary moved closer, while careful to remain in the shadows, “Why all this interest in her, Mike?”

“I’ll explain later, for now she’s our best bet to learn more about Corban.”

From her vantage point, Mary could see Janine’s face. Though in pain herself, Janine was doing the best she could to comfort Corban’s mother and remain strong. She hugged the older woman and rubbed her arms, knowing that as bad as she felt, his mother had lost the last of her family.

Mary watched as Janine turned to the doctor. She was about to say something when Corban’s mother finally fought through her own pain and spoke up, “Did he suffer?”

It looked like Doctor Morgan was doing the best he could to sound certain, but the quiver in his voice made his words harder to believe, “No, I don’t believe so. He was heavily sedated, so it’s unlikely that he felt anything. As for the rest… well his suffering is over now.”

“He doesn’t know that.” Mary scoffed. “How could he?”

“Shh!” Mike scolded, trying to listen in.

Mary noticed a smile appear on his face as Corban’s mother collapsed back into Janine’s arms, “There was a lot of fight in that one. A lot of fight… this is very interesting.”

“It’s not every mortal human that can stand up to a demon as fierce as Adramelech.” Mary agreed. “Still, I think this is a really bad idea. He’s a possession victim. You remember what’s happened every other time, yeah?”

“This time will be different, I can feel it. Yes, I think he’ll do nicely.”

“You really came out of nowhere after four months of hiding to show me this? Did I really have to be here?”

“Yes. You’ve been with me the longest. I want your opinion.”

“Is that really what you want, or do you just want to hear me agree with you?”

“When has that ever happened?”

“Rarely.”

“So?”

Mary sighed, she knew that he was going to do whatever he wanted regardless of what she said, but at least she could voice her concerns, “He’s defiant, yeah? Short-sighted, and extremely jovial with the people around him. Those aren’t the qualities we need. Not to mention his powers could be dangerous! We have no idea what he’ll become!”

“I seem to recall thinking the same thing about you when I first pieced you back together, but you assured me that you wouldn’t disappoint, and in over a hundred years, you never have.”

“That’s different.”

“Is it really?”

Mary did not respond. She lowered her eyes and returned to her corner, defeated. Nothing she said was going to change Mike’s mind.

Mike’s smile widened as he turned his attention back to Corban’s family, “Yes… Yes I think he’ll do perfectly.”


Hope you enjoyed the first chapter. The rest of the book can be purchased here.

  • Series: The Vengeance Doctrine
  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: James Harrington (April 7, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692608443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692608449


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Advertisements

Why Do We Abuse Elves?

… … …

What, were you expecting me to answer my own question?

No I’m honestly trying to figure out an answer to this question. In most stories, Elves, Elfs, Alves, Fae, Fey, Fairfolk, etc. always seem to be the target of most of the abuse.

I know I’ve touched on this before, but I really wanted to explore it in more detail.

In the Lord of the Rings movies, the elves that are sent to Helm’s Deep are completely slaughtered… literally none survive. My problem with this is that the elves were not even at Helm’s Deep in the book! They were busy defending their own lands from Orc attack.

In another segment, Arwen who is arguably one of the main Elven characters gives up her immortality, gets cast aside, nearly dies, and in the end does wind up with this guy, knowing full well that she will suffer horrible sorrow and eventual death.

In Skyrim, elves are considered the bad guys… at least the High Elves are. The other races of elves are abused by the locals (see Gray Quarter in Windhelm).

In Harry Potter, elves are treated like vermin and the only one who’s anything resembling a main cast member, dies after being stabbed.

In one of the earliest legends dealing with Elves, the Danish king, Hrolf Kraki rapes an elf who bears him a child that eventually becomes the main villain.

In the Ryria stories, we see again how poorly elves are thought of and in some cases, treated.

In Dragon Age, elves are referred to as ‘Knife-ears’ and the ones that aren’t slaves are treated as second class citizens in the cities.

The Witcher has a similar problem with elves.

In Merlin, the main elf character loses the one he loves and then is betrayed by Queen Mab.

Heck, I’m guilty of this too! Before I even noticed this trend, in Magnifica elves are facing their own extinction with only 900 of their people living, they deal with racial bigotry on a daily basis, and my main heroine who happens to be an elf, (SPOILER ALERT) is beaten, nearly raped, infected with a rare disease and eventually dies.

So with all that in mind, why do we do this? What is it about elves that make us want to drag them down? In most stories, elves are mystical creatures, in others they’re demigods, and in even more, they’re just another sentient species that exist side by side with dwarves and humans. Is there something about that we see the need to destroy? Or is it a desire to make them seem more like humans, capable of dealing with the same follies?

I honestly don’t know…

Well why did YOU do it?

… … well in my case, it made for a good story. The main heroine was going to be an elf and I wanted to give my main character something to fight for. Weakening her and putting her in harms way was the motivation for him. I could have done that with dwarves or even pulled a role reversal and had humans dying off.

So… yeah I don’t know. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Magnifica: The Last Enchanted: Revised Edition!!!

Hello all,

I come bearing some news… Due to some extreme writer’s block with the next Vengeance Doctrine book, I’ve taken some time off of it.

During that time, after responding to a few questions and comments on here, I decided that it was time to make some corrections to and essentially overhaul my first publications, my initial claim to fame, Magnifica: The Last Enchanter.

What did I change?

A few plot points, the overall dialogue structure, and a few other tedious things that had been gnawing at me for a while.

It should be available on Amazon, and where ever books are sold within the next 24 hours!

If it’s not, go yell at the people running the store!

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: James Harrington; 1 edition (June 13, 2013), Revised (February 28th, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615827683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615827681
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches

Sample Chapter:

Chapter I

“Toby, get up! You’re going to be late for class!”

Toby’s eyes shot open and he sat up quickly without thinking. A loud thud and blunt pain almost instantly flowed through his head as it impacted on the top bunk, “Ow, f…!”

He slammed his fist against the bed frame before glaring at the person who had roused him. His roommate stood at the door pointing a stubby finger at the clock on his wall, “Come on man, it’s 8:45! You know how Professor Arias reacts to tardiness.”

Toby shook his head as he fixed his dark brown hair, “Gishan you’re a dwarf, don’t you have a stone somewhere to bang?”

The stubby teen crossed his arms, “Oh funny! Because all dwarves are miners, right? At least we live more than a measly hundred years.”

“All right, all right, I’m up. Happy?”

“What would you do if you didn’t have me around?”

“Find a less annoying roommate!”

Once the pain went away, Toby stood up and looked around. His dorm room was a mess. Clothes and empty beer bottles littered the floor, the posters were falling off the wall, and the beds looked like they hadn’t been made in months.

Toby could have cleaned things, but he was used to it being this way.  It’s not a mess, it’s controlled chaos.

At least that’s what he told himself as he quickly grabbed a shirt off the floor, threw it on over the wrinkled jeans he had been sleeping in. Nearly dressed, he grabbed a pair of sandals and slid them on his feet.

“Really,” Gishan scoffed, “sandals in February?”

Toby looked up at his roommate as he strapped them around his ankles, “How warm has it been out recently, 60 degrees?”

“Still too cold for me…”

Once Toby was ready, he grabbed his books and joined Gishan at the door. He easily towered over the dwarf by at least 2 feet, “Okay I’m ready, let’s go.”

“I think it might be time for a laundry run.” Gishan sighed as he scratched his chin stubble.

“Too much trouble besides, weren’t we just at your parent’s house?”

“Yeah,” Gishan chuckled as he turned to the door, “well… we could always do it ourselves?”

Looking at the piles of laundry that were almost completely covering their floor, Toby had a sudden change of heart. He hated having his roommate’s mother help him with laundry, but the pile had grown to the point where their small washers wouldn’t do the job. Plus he knew his uncle would never help him out with it. “Fine… Why don’t you give your mother a call and see if they would like a visit this weekend.”

“Thought you’d see it my way. Come on, we’re going to be late.”

Toby followed his roommate out the door and down the hallway. Unlike their room, the hall was almost sterile with beautiful carvings of heroic figures on the walls and newly polished hard wood floors.

The building was quite old as was evidenced by the musty smell and the old style steam heaters that lined the hallway. Most of the residents had lost count of how many times the clanking and hissing of those heaters had kept them awake.

Toby had been known to spend hours inspecting the carvings on the walls trying to determine who they were of, but there was no time for that now. The two friends raced down the hall, flew down the front staircase, and found themselves in the main courtyard.

It was another unusually warm day at Arcanus College in North Boston. The sun shined down over last remaining piles of snow from a pre-Christmas storm. It had been the only snow they’d seen that year.

Various students, both dwarven and human made their way to various engagements and classes across campus. Everyone was dressed as though it were spring weather. Most had on jeans and t-shirts, but still kept jackets with them just in case.

The main building was almost a quarter of a mile across campus, though it seemed longer than that to Toby. By the time they reached their classroom, the door was already closed. They were late.

Gishan shrugged, “Well we could just chalk this up as a sick day?”

“No way,” Toby replied, “today we’re learning about the second war of the Alliance. It’s the big one, and I don’t want to miss it.”

“Fine,” Gishan replied, knowing that there was no point in arguing, “but I never got what you loved so much about these fairy tales. They happened thousands of years ago. Hell, we don’t even know how much of these stories really happened and how much is mythology. Why did we even take this class? What does a ‘Survey of Pre-Western Civ.’ have to do with either of our majors?”

“It’s one of the last core requirements I need to graduate. You can go back if you want, but I’m going in.”

“Whatever dude, right behind you…”

The two of them slowly opened the heavy wooden door in an attempt to sneak in unnoticed. They proceeded into a lecture hall with over a hundred students in attendance and tried to find open chairs in the back of the auditorium. Their plan failed however, when a gruff voice from behind made them jump, “Ah Gishan Nemog and Tobias Arrigan, so glad you could make it.”

Shit…

Shit!

The two friends turned to see that Professor Arias had been watching them the entire time. The man towered over the two boys with his arms crossed under his black robes. His white hair was indicative of dealing with students like Gishan and Toby a little too long, “That’s what now? Three times you’ve been late to class? We haven’t even been in session two weeks!”

“Sorry Prof,” Gishan replied, “we um…”

“Were up drinking rock salt vodka all night.” Arias interrupted, finishing his sentence. “That’s pretty much all I’ve heard you talk about. If you lay off that dwarven swill, you might actually make it to class on time.”

Soft chuckling could be heard around the room as the professor turned back to the board, “That’ll be a five page paper, typed, single-space, due on Friday for the two of you. I want you to examine the significance of the Second Alliance War with emphasis on the Ulium Plague.”

“The Elven plague.” Toby whispered to Gishan as they sat down.

“I know!” The dwarf spat back. “Believe it or not, I do pay attention.”

The professor glared at them both, “Glad to hear it. Now if you two don’t mind, I have a class to teach.”

Toby nodded, “Sorry professor, it won’t happen again.”

Professor Arias rolled his eyes as he turned to his board, not believing a word of anything they said, “All right open you books to…”

“Excuse me…” A faint voice chimed in from the back of the room. “I’m very sorry I’m late.”

The whole class turned to see who had spoken this time. The professor’s eyes followed the voice to the back of the room. Standing at the door was a young woman with fair skin, bright hazel eyes, and long blonde hair. Her bangs were partially braided and tied around the back of her head to keep her them out of her eyes.

Toby’s eyes widened as he saw her standing behind him. Her slender body and beautiful face made it difficult for him to turn away. She was fairly tall, somewhere around 5’7 or 5’8, he guessed. Then he noticed something extremely irregular. As she brushed her hair back, revealing her ear, he noticed that it was slanted slightly back and was ended in a sharp point at the top. This was no human female.

He quickly turned back to face forward. No way…

An air of disgust came over the room as Professor Arias looked at her with scornful eyes, “Ah this does seem to be the day for tardiness… Well, who are you?”

The girl spoke with a light accent that wouldn’t have been recognizable to most, but Toby picked up on it right away, “My name is Lia’na of the White Water Clan. I just transferred to Arcanus this spring and signed up on the last day of open registration.”

She walked down the aisle to the professor and handed him a piece of paper. He took the sheet and only half-glanced at it, “Oh very well… Looks like I’m going to have to have a few words with the people at registration… take a seat Leena.”

“Lia’na, sir… it’s pronounced…”

“Very well.” The professor interrupted. “Take a seat so we can get started.”

“Lien ni, Professor.”

She turned to look for an open seat and spotted one near the back of the room. The moment she sat down, the students around her moved away or turned their desks so that she couldn’t see their faces. She looked down at her books and looked like she was trying to pretend she didn’t notice.

Toby couldn’t believe his eyes, “Are you seeing this, Gishan, an elf, here at Arcanus.”

Gishan snorted, “Not many of those sharpys left. Wonder what brought her out of the woods?”

“No idea.”

“Something wrong?” Toby asked, seeing the disgusted look on Gishan’s face.

“Elves and dwarves have never gotten along. Let’s just leave it at that.”

“Whatever. I thought elves had their own colleges.”

“Well she’s here now. Just keep her eyes off me. I’ve heard they can bewitch you.”

“Oh relax Gishan, I don’t think she’s going to come anywhere near you. Where do you get this stuff?”

Gishan didn’t reply, opting to eye Lia’na for a few moments before turning back to Professor Arias as the lecture began. Toby was mystified by Lia’na’s appearance. Even though she dressed like any normal girl in their early twenties, her fashion sense was quite elegant and what most people had come to expect from an elf-girl. She wore a white blouse that had short sleeves, a square neck, and seemed to drape down over her stomach like a dress. Her black jeans had odd, stiched-on, designs going up the legs that seemed to shimmer in the sunlight.

After a few moments, Lia’na looked up at Toby and returned his gaze. He quickly turned his attention back to the front of the room, hoping Lia’na hadn’t seen him staring at her. Shit.

She smiled and went back to straightening out her books as class continued, looking up every so often to see if she could catch him staring again.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Soul Siphon (Book 1 of the Vengeance Doctrine), Sample Chapter

Soul Siphon

Book One of the Vengeance Doctrine

A Novel by James Harrington

 

ISBN: 978-0692608449
First Printing: April 2016
Cover Art:
Jabari Weathers
Editing:
Meghan Harrington
Eric Klingenberg
Copyright © 2016, James Harrington
Illustration © 2016, Jabari Weathers
Printed and Bound in the USA

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner.

I

 

“Nurse, what happened?”

“I don’t know, Doctor. He just started convulsing. We were monitoring him after his skin became discolored, and then he flat-lined.”

Corban McConnell felt his body slipping away and was powerless to stop it. He tried to scream, but Adramelech would not allow him enough control over his own muscles to do it. He was trapped in a cage in his own mind, one that he could not escape from. All he could do was sit and watch helplessly as the demon destroyed his world.

Corban could feel a burning sensation in his chest where the crucifix that his mother gave him used to reside. It had been removed when he had been committed, but the scar from where it had been remained. When Adramelech possessed him, it felt as though someone had cast the crucifix into a fireplace and allowed it to get red hot before placing it around his neck.

The blessed artifact had kept Adramelech at bay, but it eventually began to cause him pain. The doctors had long since removed it, fearing that he could use the chain to harm himself. It was the final nail in his proverbial coffin.

Corban had been cursed with the demon for almost a year and it had been slowly and painfully gnawing away at him. His stomach was so tight that he had not been able to eat much in months. He was emaciated and covered in scars from head to toe, his face bearing the worst of it. The demon had forced him to abuse himself and those around him in every way physically possible. He had been forced to alienate the ones he cared for the most for their own safety and allow himself to be locked away in a safe room at Mclean Hospital. He spent the last few weeks restrained to a hospital bed while doctors wired him with monitors and probes. His dark brown hair had been shaved down to little more than stubble to prevent him from ripping it out.

He was aware that his mental state was continuing to deteriorate. It would only be a matter of time until Adramelech gained full control and was able to cause his organs to rupture. He was soon transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital to deal with his injuries. He didn’t really have the consciousness to care about the difference of scenery. He was too busy fighting the entity within to even acknowledge the new doctors that were looking after him.

Corban wasn’t angry at them for his suffering, they were doing their best, but what he was dealing with, no medical science could save him from. There was nothing any mortal could do to stop Adramelech.

“Get me a defibrillator, STAT!”

Corban watched one of the nurses quickly pull a small cart over with a pair of pads resting on top of them. Another nurse began chest compressions while a third pumped oxygen into him with an ambu bag. The group ignored the sounds of the machines around them as they went to work in a futile attempt to save their patient’s life.

Doctor Morgan grabbed the pads and applied them to Corban’s chest, “Device charging now…”

The doctor waited a moment for the defibrillator to charge. Corban braced himself as he listened to the high-pitched sound of the electricity power up as the device came to life. When the indicator on the defibrillator turned red, the doctor returned his attention to Corban, “Everybody, clear!”

The surgical team backed away as the doctor began defibrillation, “200J…”

Corban’s lifeless body convulsed as the electricity flowed through it. Once the system turned off, the group began CPR again. Every alarm was still sounding off, indicating that he was still flat lined. The monitoring nurse shook her head as she checked Corban for any response, “No pulse.”

“What’s going on in there?”

Doctor Morgan had been with Corban since he was transferred. He knew that Doctor Morgan had read the report on the events surrounding Corban’s transfer and was sure that the whole case had him perplexed. The failed medical treatments which had both therapists and doctors alike baffled were bad enough, but then his psychological report also mentioned an exorcism that had somehow made his condition worse. He didn’t know if the doctor was a believer or not, but he somehow doubted it.

Adramelech had allowed him to live through each of these experiences while keeping him in a comatose state. He couldn’t react, speak, or move, but he could see and feel as that was all that the demon would allow. It was as close to Hell as he’d ever been.

Doctor Morgan’s voice appeared again as Corban tried to shut everything out, “Again, 200J.”

“Everybody, clear!”

It was the same as the previous attempt. Corban’s body convulsed, but did not respond. He was not coming out of it.

Finally, Doctor Morgan made the call to move him, “No good, get him to OR 2! Page the on call surgeon.”

The lead surgeon, Doctor Teach met Doctor Morgan in the surgical prep room as his team rushed to get Corban ready. He could hear them talking from the next room. Doctor Teach’s voice had a detectable level of concern, “Status?”

“We’ve been administering CPR since he flat lined.”

“How long?”

“Two minutes.”

“All right, once we’re in, let’s get him on the table.”

“Immediately, doctor.”

As Corban’s bed was wheeled into OR 2, the surgeon immediately went to work, prepping him for surgery. His body began to tremble as even more alarms went off. Doctor Teach knew that he was running out of time, “There’s blood coming out of his mouth. He’s most likely suffering from internal hemorrhaging. We need to get in there now or we’re going to lose him.”

Corban fought to regain some control and closed his eyes as he heard the machines nearby begin to beep in alarm. His head turned to the side and his world went completely blank. At that moment, all doubt was banished from his mind. Death was inevitable. Father… into your hands, I commend my spirit.

Adramelech cackled in the back of his mind, “He can’t save you now, no one can! You are mine and you always will be!”

You can’t have my soul, Adramelech. You’ve destroyed my body, but that’s all you’ll ever take. You… will lose!

“Small words… even the priest who tried to exorcise me failed and he is a man of faith. You have always been a man of doubt. What do you possibly think you can do now?”

In a desperate attempt to shut the demon out, Corban thought back to his last day with his girlfriend, Janine. He remembered how her long blonde hair blew in the breeze as she stepped out of his jeep. It was a very bittersweet memory.

The last few months of their relationship had been rocky. They both went to college in different places which put considerable strain on their relationship. In hindsight, that was probably a good thing for them both. Corban would not need to worry about her as much as she would have an easier time moving on. In his heart, he’d known that their relationship would not have survived more than a few months anyway.

A beep on the wall caused Corban to snap back into reality. He was back on the operating table in Mass General’s Division of Trauma. Though not conscious, he was fully aware of what was happening. Adramelech would not allow him to miss a minute of the pain. Even the medications that were being pumped through his body could not keep the demon at bay.

I’m sorry Janine, Corban thought to himself. I have to break my promise. I can’t be there anymore. I hope you have a wonderful life…

Adramelech cackled in his mind, “That’s it, let her go. There is no escape for you now. Let go of all you hold dear and submit.”

That’s what you think I’m doing? You’ve spent this much time in my head and you still have no clue.

“What other choice is there? It’ll only hurt more by holding onto them.”

But it keeps you from winning. Giving up what makes me who I am would be to submit to you.

You already have.

Not yet, just you watch.

Corban knew exactly what he had to do. He dreaded it, but knew that Adramelech would never let him be at peace as long as the demon lurked in his mind. As long as the demon was there, he would forever be a slave. He pulled together what little mental fortitude he had left and blocked out Adramelech one last time. He had regained control of his body just long enough to release himself. He had to act quickly as this was the only chance he’d get. Just one last push.

Corban appreciated everything that the doctors were doing, but he knew that his body was broken. Even if he wanted to remain, he knew that it was no longer an option. If he didn’t vacate, Adramelech would have a chance to regain control.

As Corban braced himself, he could feel the sense of nervousness in his mind. Adramelech reached out to him, “Wait… wait, if you try to cast me out, you’ll die too. We’ve become too intertwined for you to survive.”

I know that. I’m not trying to cast you out. I’m denying you your prize.

“You’ll lose everything.”

No other choice.

“There is always another choice.”

Not interested.

“Janine and your mother will be hurt.”

I know that…

“Wait, listen to me!”

No, I’m done with having you in my head! The game is over!

Adramelech cried out in panic, “No!”

Go back to Hell!

Corban braced himself for the coming shock to his system. No doubt it was going to be painful, but it couldn’t possibly be worse than what he had already experienced. He was spent and nothing that happened now was going to faze him.

At that moment, as the doctor worked, Corban’s eyes shot open and a look of distress appeared on his face, startling Doctor Morgan, “Is he sedated?”

The anesthesiologist eyed her panels and turned back to the surgeon, “Yes, he’s under general anesthesia and everything looks stable on my end. I don’t understand, what’s happening should not be possible!”

“Increase his dosage.”

“I can’t, it’s at the maximum. If I increase the dosage it could do irreparable damage!”

“Doctor…”

Before the surgeon could continue, Corban smiled at the lights above him. He was unable to speak with the tube down his throat, but he still managed to smile widely. The game is over, Adramelech! You’ve lost, now go back to Hell!

At that moment, Corban’s eyes closed forever. His body went pale. As his world blurred out, he could hear the screams of the scanners hooked up to his body, trying to find any sign of life. It sounded as though they were in a panic.

The surgical team went frantic as they went to work in an attempt to save his life. Yet even amidst the chaos, Corban was able to take solace in the fact that he had won. He had denied Adramelech his prize, but would now face the consequences for doing so.

An hour later, it was all over. The surgical team had done everything that they could, but his body was not responding. Doctor Teach lowered his eyes as he was finally forced to admit defeat, “He’s gone.”

As the group backed away from Corban’s body, Doctor Teach checked the clock on the wall, “Note the time of death, 8:53 PM.”

Doctor Morgan looked over the mess of equipment and blood, “All right, let’s get cleaned up here… I’ve got some bad news to deliver.”

The surgical team had lost patients before. It was something that came with the job, but it never got easier. There was nothing more they could do. As the nurses went to work clearing out the equipment, the surgeon braced himself to give Corban’s loved ones the bad news. As a high risk surgeon, he’d had to deliver this news before, and it was always the part of the job that he hated the most.

As they cleaned up, the anesthesiologist had a perplexed look on her face, “How could he have come out of that?”

Doctor Teach didn’t have an answer for her. He’d never seen anything like that before, “I have no idea. I can’t explain it, but he almost looked like he’d just won a fight.”

“Whatever it was… he actually seemed happy about it.”

Doctor Morgan left the OR, got cleaned up and headed out to the waiting room where Corban’s mother had been sitting with Janine for hours, waiting for news. It was late and the lights in the waiting room were dim. The lighting mixed with the plain colors of the walls provided anyone in the room a rather calm feeling. The dim light also provided the perfect vale for a pair of dark figures that stood in the corner, one male, and one female. Both were paying close attention to the scene that was about to unfold with Corban’s family. The male figure studied the facial expressions of Corban’s mother and Janine while the female one appeared to be completely disinterested. She preferred to hang back, leaning on the wall.

The quiet was quickly interrupted when doors to the OR slowly parted and the two doctors appeared at the entrance. The figures watched intently as Corban’s mother stood up with Janine holding her by the arm, “Well Doctor, did everything go okay? How is he? When can we see him?”

An apologetic look appeared on Doctor Morgan’s face as he shook his head, “I’m sorry…”

Corban’s mother went completely pale, “What? What are… no…”

Doctor Teach hesitantly took over, “I’m afraid he didn’t survive the procedure.”

The older woman looked away as tears streamed down her cheek, “Oh God… please not him. No… my baby…”

Janine’s eyes filled with tears, “No it can’t be true! He’s stronger than that… don’t you dare tell me he’s gone.”

Doctor Morgan opened his mouth to speak, knowing that nothing he could say would make this easier, but Janine cut him off, “Don’t you dare… he can’t be gone! It’s not true!”

Janine buried her head in her hands and sobbed as Corban’s mother looked up at Doctor Teach, tears continuing to flow from her eyes, “What happened?”

“I’m afraid we don’t really know, we were working to repair the hemorrhage and he was responding really well, but then he suddenly regained consciousness. He looked up with a big smile on his face, and then became lifeless. We have no idea how it happened. Our instruments were finely tuned before the procedure and our anesthesiologist double checked just to make sure. All attempts to resuscitate him failed. It’s like he didn’t want to be brought back.”

The female figure stepped forward and studied Corban’s mother. Though she still looked pale and was about to get sick, a small feeling of relief comforted her as she realized what had happened. She was barely able to speak and her words were little more than a whisper, but everyone was able to hear her, “He beat it… it cost him his life, but he freed himself of that… thing inside of him.”

Doctor Teach rubbed his hands together gently as spoke to Corban’s mother, “I’m really sorry that everything turned out this way. We do have on-sight counselors that are trained to help your loss… I could arrange for one to come by if you’d like to speak with them?”

Grief counselors. The female figure thought to herself. As if they’d do any good here.

“Mary, watch the younger woman.” The male figure said quietly to the female. “She’d known Corban since childhood and loved him for almost that long. Their relationship may have been on the rocks, but she still cared deeply for him.”

Mary moved closer, while careful to remain in the shadows, “Why all this interest in her, Mike?”

“I’ll explain later, for now she’s our best bet to learn more about Corban.”

From her vantage point, Mary could see Janine’s face. Though in pain herself, Janine was doing the best she could to comfort Corban’s mother and remain strong. She hugged the older woman and rubbed her arms, knowing that as bad as she felt, his mother had lost the last of her family.

Mary watched as Janine turned to the doctor. She was about to say something when Corban’s mother finally fought through her own pain and spoke up, “Did he suffer?”

It looked like Doctor Morgan was doing the best he could to sound certain, but the quiver in his voice made his words harder to believe, “No, I don’t believe so. He was heavily sedated, so it’s unlikely that he felt anything. As for the rest… well his suffering is over now.”

“He doesn’t know that.” Mary scoffed. “How could he?”

“Shh!” Mike scolded, trying to listen in.

Mary noticed a smile appear on his face as Corban’s mother collapsed back into Janine’s arms, “There was a lot of fight in that one. A lot of fight… this is very interesting.”

“It’s not every mortal human that can stand up to a demon as fierce as Adramelech.” Mary agreed. “Still, I think this is a really bad idea. He’s a possession victim. You remember what’s happened every other time, yeah?”

“This time will be different, I can feel it. Yes, I think he’ll do nicely.”

“You really came out of nowhere after four months of hiding to show me this? Did I really have to be here?”

“Yes. You’ve been with me the longest. I want your opinion.”

“Is that really what you want, or do you just want to hear me agree with you?”

“When has that ever happened?”

“Rarely.”

“So?”

Mary sighed, she knew that he was going to do whatever he wanted regardless of what she said, but at least she could voice her concerns, “He’s defiant, yeah? Short-sighted, and extremely jovial with the people around him. Those aren’t the qualities we need. Not to mention his powers could be dangerous! We have no idea what he’ll become!”

“I seem to recall thinking the same thing about you when I first pieced you back together, but you assured me that you wouldn’t disappoint, and in over a hundred years, you never have.”

“That’s different.”

“Is it really?”

Mary did not respond. She lowered her eyes and returned to her corner, defeated. Nothing she said was going to change Mike’s mind.

Mike’s smile widened as he turned his attention back to Corban’s family, “Yes… Yes I think he’ll do perfectly.”


Hope you enjoyed the first chapter. The rest of the book can be purchased here.

  • Series: The Vengeance Doctrine
  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: James Harrington (April 7, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692608443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692608449


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Romance Movie Redundancy

HAPPY SAINT VALENTINES DAY EVERYONE!

As activists and those who don’t have dates say… Happy Manufactured Holiday that has nothing to do with anything (which isn’t true), except selling candy and flowers!!!

Anyway, I wanted to comment on love stories, particularly in the visual medium. Now before I get started, I’m not talking about ALL romantic movies. Ones like say… The Proposal and Just Like Heaven are funny as Hell. Heck even the end credits of the Proposal is hilarious:

“What is her favorite color?”
“Her favorite color is blue.”
“What is her favorite color when she’s not at home.”
“… I don’t know!”

That makes me laugh every time. If you haven’t seen this movie, don’t be fooled by the whole ‘Chick Flick’ concept. It is a very funny movie.

I’m talking about the phoned in ones that all seem to have the same plot line… and God damn there are a lot of them!

So what is this basic plot?
Character 1 (Guy or Girl) is engaged and seemingly happy in their life.
Character 1 meets character 2 who is usually either very unorthodox or someone character 1 knew from their youth.
Character 1 spends time with character 2… arguably a lot more time than they spend with their own fiance’ in the movie.
The fiance has something going on either illegal, amoral, or unethical.
Character 1 discovers this and leave their fiance, ending up with character 2.

We’ve seen this done over and over and over again:
Titanic
When Harry Met Sally
Made of Honor
Someone Like You
Some Kind of Wonderful
The Wedding Singer
Can’t Hardly Wait
The Wedding Planner

Just to name a few…

I know that there are other plot cliches out there that romantic movies tend to fall into, but in my opinion, this is the most glaring. Not only that, but it’s also the most unrealistic and MOST AWFUL!

For starters, this is one of those plots that would be an absolute nightmare if it ever happened in real life. Often times the climax of the movie occurs days if not weeks before the wedding. Which means all the money that was put into the Wedding, all the money spent by people coming to the Wedding, and all the effort put in has been thoroughly WASTED!

Another problem with this kind of plot line is when the writers clearly have no idea what they’re doing. You’ll see it every now and again… throughout the entire movie the fiance or significant other is a totally awesome person. They’re perfect in every way for the main character in every way until right near the end, apparently the writers forgot that this person was supposed to be the antagonist, so they instantaneously bring up a plot point that is way out of character and completely out of left field that no one was expecting in order to make the lead less of a horrible person for turning away from them.

Disney’s Frozen in a lesser way is actually guilty of this.

Not only that, but the movies almost NEVER deal with the ramifications of the main character’s actions. What about the embarrassment and/or feelings of the person who is being spurned. Are we just not supposed to care about them because of a forced plot point?

Or worse… the character is actually OKAY WITH STEPPING ASIDE! As if this would ever happen.

Personally, I usually find myself cheering for that person. It may be bitter, but I’ve always envisioned the lead character who turned around and left their original significant other getting screwed over and/or cheated on by the person they chose to be with… Because if that person is okay with sneaking around with a person who’s already spoken for… what other unethical/amoral things are they capable of?

Jim… remember what you said about Fantasy?

Yes I know. That doesn’t mean that I have to enjoy every single story cliche and it certainly doesn’t mean that I can call out whenever someone does it over and over. On top of that, I said that I was a realist and try my best to make my stories believable in some way. These are not.

Now again, not all romance movies are like this. Heck, not even all BAD romance movies are like this…

220px-the_vow_poster.jpg

Yeah I’m not even getting into these, especially not the first one. The lack of creativity on the poster should say it all.

If you REALLY want me to rant about one of these… see my review of The Vow, a movie that to this DAY remains on my top 5 worst movies of all times list for its absolutely deplorable plot. I personally can’t be bothered to get into it again.

Anyway, can anyone name off other movies like that or other movie tropes that they can stand? Let me know.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Soul Siphon (Book 1 of the Vengeance Doctrine), Sample Chapter

I

 

“What happened?”

“I don’t know, he just started convulsing. His skin is becoming discolored!”

“Get him into room 2.”

Mica could feel his body slipping away. He tried to scream, but Adramelech would not allow him enough control over his own muscles to do it. He could feel a burning sensation in his chest just under where the crucifix on his neck rested. It felt as though someone had cast the crucifix into a fireplace before placing it around his neck. It had kept Adramelech at bay, but it was now causing him pain.

He had been cursed with the demon for almost a year and it had been eating away at him. He had not been able to eat much in months. The demon had forced him to abuse himself and those around him. He had been forced to alienate the ones he care for the most, for their own safety and then spent the last few weeks restrained to a hospital bed.

The lights above him were as bright as the sun and blinded him whenever he opened his eyes. The surgeons standing over him had puzzled looks on their faces as he began to lose consciousness, “Nurse, I need another scalpel over here.”

“Immediately, doctor.”

“There’s blood coming out of his mouth. He’s most likely suffering from internal hemorrhaging. We need to get in there now!”

Mica closed his eyes as he heard the machines nearby begin to beep in alarm. His head turned to the side and his world went blank. At that moment, he was certain he was going to die. Father… into your hands, I commend my spirit.

Adramelech cackled in the back of his mind, “God can’t save you now, no one can!”

You can’t have my soul, demon. You destroy my body, but that’s all you’ll ever take.

“Small words… even the priest who tried to exorcise me failed and he is a man of faith. What do you think you can do?”

Mica knew that Adramelech’s words were true. The exorcism that had been performed in his parent’s house had failed. The therapists were at a loss and so were most of the medical doctors. Adramelech was just too strong.

Mica thought back to his last day with his girlfriend Gwen. After a spending the summer being almost completely inseparable, it was once again time for them to part ways for the fall. Mica was heading back to the University of New Hampshire while Gwen was on her way out to Georgetown.

Mica pulled his Jeep wrangler up in front of Gwen’s parent’s house. He got out and went around to the other side. The jeep was bright red with a grey interior. There was a sunset on the door indicating that it was an old islander model. The Jeep was older than he was, but he didn’t care. It was his father’s old car and was still in great shape.

Mica opened the passenger door and helped Gwen out. She had a worried look on her face as Mica walked her to the door. He brushed a strand of black hair out of his face as they reached her stoop.

The young couple shared a moment of levity in front of her parents’ home in Weston.

“Well… tonight was fun.”

Gwen smiled, “Yeah it really was. I’d never eaten at a hibachi restaurant before.”

“Well when Christmas break rolls around, we can go back.”

“Sounds wonderful.”

Gwen smiled and kissed him after their last date before heading for the door. Mica watched her until the door was completely closed behind her and then turned back to his jeep. He pulled open the door and looked at the dark grey interior. It somehow felt lonely now that Gwen was gone.

He was about to get in when he heard a stressed voice called to him, “Mica!”

Mica turned in time to catch Gwen as she ran into his arms, “What’s wrong?”

“I just wanted one last hug. I’m going to miss you, okay?”

Mica smiled as he wiped away the tears forming in Gwen’s hazel eyes, “Hey it’s only a few months. You’ll be home for Christmas and we’ll see each other then. You have my number as well.”

“I know.” Gwen replied as she lowered her eyes. “Just promise me you’ll take care of yourself until then…”

At that moment, reality snapped back into place. He was back on the operating table in Mass General’s Division of Trauma. Though not conscious, he was fully aware of what was happening. Adramelech would not allow him to miss a minute of it and not even the medications that were being pumped through his body could keep the demon at by.

I’m sorry Gwen, Mica thought to himself. I have to break my promise.

Mica knew what he had to do. He pulled together what little mental fortitude he had left and blocked out Adramelech one last time. He had regained control of his body just long enough to release himself.

Adramelech cried out, “No!”

Mica braced himself for the coming shock to his system. At that moment, as the doctor worked, Mica’s eyes shot open, startling one of the doctors, “Is he sedated?”

“Yes, he’s under general anesthesia and his vitals are stable. I don’t understand what’s happening!”

Mica smiled as he looked up at the lights, “You’ve lost! Go back to hell!”

At that moment, Mica’s vital signs flat-lined. As his world blurred out, Mica could hear the screams of the scanners hooked up to his body. He had denied Adramelech his prize, but would now face the consequences for doing so. The fight was over, and Mica’s soul could finally rest.

The doctors immediately stopped the surgery and went to work trying to resuscitate him, “Code blue, get me a defibrillator, stat!”

One of the nurses pulled a small cart over with a pair of pads resting on top of them. Another nurse began chest compressions while another pumped oxygen into him. The group ignored the sounds around them as they went to work attempting to save their patient’s life.

The leading surgeon grabbed the pads and applied them to Mica’s chest, “Device charging now…”

The doctor waited for a moment for the defibrillator to charge. When the indicator on the defibrillators turned read, the doctor turned back to Mica, “Everybody, clear!”

The surgical team backed away as the doctor began defibrillation, “200J…”

Mica’s lifeless body convulsed as the electricity flowed through it. Once the system turned off, the group began CPR again. The monitoring nurse shook her head as she checked Mica for response, “No pulse.”

The group tried three more times. After every defibrillation attempt and medication failed, the team ceased their resuscitation attempts. The doctor shook his head, “Note the time of death, 8:53 PM.”

The group backed away and began to clean up.

Outside in the corridor, Mica’s mother and Gwen had been waiting for news. It was late and the lights in the waiting room were dim. It provided anyone in the room a rather ominous feeling. The dim light provided a perfect vale for a pair of dark figures that stood in the corner. One male, one female, both paying close attention to the scene that was about to unfold with Mica’s family.

The quiet was quickly interrupted when Mica’s leading surgeon appeared at the door. Mica’s mother stood up with Gwen holding her by the arm, “Well doctor, how is he?”

The doctor shook his head, “I’m sorry…”

Mica’s mother buried her face in her hands as a shocked look came over Gwen’s, “What, but how?”

“I’m afraid we don’t really know, we were working to repair the hemorharge when he suddenly regained consciousness. He looked up, said that we lost, and then flat lined. All attempts to resuscitate him failed.”

Gwen lowered her eyes. She’d known Mica since childhood and loved him for almost that long. Though she would never have admitted it to Mica, she had harbored hopes that if their relationship survived their final year of college, he’d soon come to her with a ring. Now that could never be.

Though in pain herself, Gwen did the best she could to comfort Mica’s mother and remain strong. She was about to say something when his mother looked up at the doctor, “Did he suffer?”

The doctor shook his head, “His suffering is over now.”

As Mica’s mother sat down, the male figure in the corner smiled, “There was a lot of fight in that one.”

The female shadow nodded, “It’s not every mortal human that can stand up to a demon as fierce as Adramelech.”

The male stood almost motionless, “I think he’ll do.”

“You really came out of nowhere after four months of hiding to show me this? He’s defiant, yeah? Short-sighted, and extremely jovial with the people around him. Those aren’t the qualities we need.”

“I seem to recall thinking the same thing about you, but you assured me that you wouldn’t disappoint… and you never have.”

The female figure did not respond. The male’s smile widened, “Yes… Yes I think he’ll do perfectly.”


Hope you enjoyed the first chapter. The rest of the book can be purchased here.

  • Series: The Vengeance Doctrine
  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: James Harrington (April 7, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692608443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692608449


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist

So death and/or despair.

Hoo boy… um… well… I’m going to give you a few before I go back to Romance tomorrow.

I suppose I should post this one for death:

What the hell???

Before you all go scratching your heads, hear me out. I’m not referring to the entire song. Just the opening vocalist.

Still don’t get it? Listen to the opening vocalist again. Now close your eyes and picture a young maiden, maybe a character of yours walking through an open field its pretty, there are flowers, the sun is bright, everything is tranquil. Then she get’s either hit with a spell or shot and falls to the ground in fairly slow motion. Tell me it doesn’t fit.

[Spoiler Alert]

974374_534668136633277_415762542_n

That number is responsible for Lia’na’s death in Tears of the Fallen. It’s how I came up with the idea.

Second song:

This song is off of Evanescence’s little-known Origins Album, well before they became famous with ‘Wake Me Up Inside’ and then quickly faded into obscurity.

Honestly… this is a funeral dirge. This is a song for despair and loss. It’s technically not on my regular playlist, so it won’t come up automatically, but I go to this song when writing a post disaster/death/tragedy scene. It helps with the aftermath.

The first time I heard this when I started writing, I took it and placed the last 20 seconds or so (the harmonizing at the end) over Padme’ Amidala’s funeral scene in Star Wars… and it matched perfectly. Seriously, try it out. Start at about 2:38 (You can do…) and play the funeral scene with no audio:

Anyway like I said, definitely not a casual listen, but it works on many levels.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim