Title: Wanderlust Love & Hate
Author: Madasin Mayfair
Publisher: Westland Park Press
Genre: Speculative- Paranormal and Suspense Elements
On a muggy summer’s evening in rural Osnaburg Township, Ohio, Autumn Marseille meets the mysteriously beautiful and angelic David Huntsman, and her life takes a terrifying and thrilling turn. Plagued with a ghastly omen of her impending death and battling the impediments of an abusive and volatile relationship and the dark secret that binds her to it, Autumn struggles to understand her reality which has transformed into a tantalizing nightmare. As the visceral obsession with David consumes her life, she finds herself entwined in a vicious cycle of love and hate.
Determined to uncover the hidden intentions of The Reign, a powerful and vindictive clan that stalks her even in her sleep, Autumn seeks out the nature of David’s involvement with them…before it’s too late. One fateful decision will change the course of her life forever and ignite an in-depth investigation, headed by the vigilant, young Detective Spenser Gabriel, who will stop at nothing to unveil the mystery and discover the truth.
Will the dreadful prophesy be fulfilled…or will David and Autumn be lost in Wanderlust forever?
I was alone in the dark. David had instructed me to sit on a hard chair of sorts and had left. I had heard the tap of his shoes grow fainter and fainter until I heard them no more. “David! David…David…David,” I call out, my frightened words echo off the walls and bounce back to me. Running my fingers along the base of the chair, I find it to be porous, splintered, and uneven. The arm rests feel the same except for the very ends which are rounded, broad, and smooth. A thumping noise causes me to jump and grasp hold of the chair. Louder the thumping drones, growing more pronounced in my head. “Stop it!” I scream. It is hell within my hell.
“Give me the necklace,” a voice whispers. It is a familiar voice, the same voice that I hear every night in my sleep.
“David!” I belt out panicking.
“The necklace. Give it to me.” It crawls on top of me in the darkness, I can feel it- the prickly, itching sensation that molests my legs, arms, and chest- settling over me and crushing my ribs. “He will abandon you once he’s used you up. Once his need is met. You are nothing. Soon you will see your own insignificance. My masters have you now- at this very moment. Thanks to me. They will get inside you. They will weaken you. You won’t last long. Then it will be over. And the necklace. It is not yours to have. The Reign fears that things are different this time. The Dark Prince has never parted with it before. It is his statement to my masters’ and the others as well. You are his. You are not to be harmed. How it enrages them. He commands you. He commands us all.”
The silver necklace is ripped from my neck and the monster is gone. I wheeze heavily, trying to clear my airways, triggering a couching fit. I bend over, like any good track coach will advise against, and struggle to catch my breath. The sounds of approaching footsteps and muddled conversation quiet me as I strain to hear.
“I rule The Reign. I command and you all do as you are told.”
A creak of a door and shuffling feet mark his arrival. As he enters, the room is illuminated from the sparks of fire that glow beneath each of his angelic footsteps. The fire climbs the walls, which I can now discern are constructed entirely of glass, and billow and crackle above my head. David had brought me to an enclosure with limited egress, a vault, and I am trapped in it. My sweaty palms clamp the arms of the chair, and looking down I screamed at the sight of the dried human bones that had been fitted together and the skulls that were fashioned as the base and the hand rests.
“Don’t fret my love,” David said calmly. “It is merely my throne- perhaps one of suffrage- but is mine none-the-less.
I gasp at the change in his face, a face I had seen before, scarred and weathered and pitted with the slivering vessels- purple and engorged with blood, and the empty eye sockets that leaked, the scaly skin that chaffed and peeled around his hair line- the death and destruction that owned him. I tried to run.
“Stay awhile,” he smirks. “There really is no place for you to go, not in this place- not yet. Raising his arms, he sets fire to all that surrounds us, serpents of fire that coil and slither on every surface of ground, wall, and ceiling.
At first I had been ignorant to the breadth of space- infinity- that we hovered, suspended in guarded air- an all seeing cage, high above the pit of fire. I am cemented in place. I am a helpless observer.
“Now,” David said pacing around the perimeter of the glass dungeon. “Madam Therriot, dear oracle, I want to know what you see. What has changed? Something must have changed.”
“Yes my Prince,” the old gypsy said stepping forward. “I see your little girl is here. I’m amazed that she has made it this far. When I first met her at the festival, I underestimated her strength and mental stamina. It is not my place to judge, dear Prince, only to tell what is and what will be.”
“So you maintain your assertion then Madam? She will die…too soon?”
“Before her time, my Prince.”
“And to what end?”
“One that can’t be altered.”
“You dare to toy with me?” David said slamming his fist against the glass wall. “Speak it.”
The old women’s head sags and she drops to her knees. “My abilities only reach so far, my Prince, far inferior to what your eminence deserves. Forgive me.”
“Fool, forgiveness is not within my abilities!” David said looking out at the swells of fire beneath and the multitudes of tortured bodies that wallowed in it. “As for The Reign,” he said turning and facing me, “I believe you’ve met them all before.”
I swallow nervously as he approaches me. Again, I try to bolt. He snickers, showing me his mouth which is laden with thick black tar which coats his teeth and snake-like tongue. He strokes the back of my hair and slowly circles around me eyeing me deviously. “Why am I here?” I cry out in defeat.
“This is where you belong princess, seated right there on my throne, with me always.”
“Please David you are scaring me,” I sob as the reality of the matter settles in. I’m forever trapped.
He laughs, feeding my fear, “and now the introductions.” A wave of his mighty hand sends flames shooting into the scalding air. “Princess, may I present The Reign- my oldest and most trusted companions who work for me and restore the order above and manage the tyranny below. Stolas you know, or perhaps not in his human form, my keen night stalker- my fierce raven of death. “Tell me Stolas, how are you and your Legion managing to mold and influence the masses?”
“It is a simple task, eminence, as you always say. The jinn are weak minded and easily swayed.”
“Feeble and mindless,” David said squeezing the sleeves of Stolas’s leather jacket. “It is your duty to instruct the Legion to draw them to me, for you must be the one to look over my flock. You…all of you… have been preoccupied with that pretty thorn sitting over there- and why? You have lost sight of the goal. She is already a part of me. Forget her! Be fishers of men- the jinn- I want them all Stolas, every last one of them. I won’t be satisfied! Murmur, what have you to say?” he asks shooting the Captain a glare that cripples him and causes him to fall onto the glass floor.
“As always. Dark Prince, I strive to do your will.”
“And your three slaves, the Erinyes?” David asks walking behind the Captain and placing his foot forcefully on his back.
“The Kindly Ones ask no questions, eminence, they do as I instruct. They obediently collect the souls of the fallen jinn, or what’s left of their souls I should say. Neverending…she is a good soldier…dragging down all the habitual deceivers; Voice of Revenge…my sweet little school girl…captures those who never can let go; and my favorite warrior… Envious Anger…she is diligent in having those who lack contentment surrender. My innocent wretches, together they will bring in more debtors and transgressors than you could ever hope for.”
David drove his foot further into the back of the vulnerable Captain, “I’m relying on it Murmur.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
“I need you down here, all of my Reign, there is work to be done. Murmur, the Kindly Ones must handle the outside while you focus on the core. The time has come for the Eninyes to take control. Ensure that is being done- that they don’t disappoint me.”
“Yes, Great One.”
“Where is Mara and Lamia? Where is my Royal Pair?”
“When they are not preoccupied with themselves you can be assured that they are with someone else,” the oracle said with a toothless grin.
“They have no self-control,” David spat angrily. “Disobedient, gluttonous, slaves! Cerberus, seek them out,” he demanded. The loyal bas rouge, which I had not seen lurking behind the massive throne, emerged and stopping to flash his pointed teeth at The Reign trotted to the doorway and awaited his chance to follow the Master’s orders. “He is the only one that is truly loyal to me. The rest of you have turned against me,” David said lovingly stroking the regal canine.
“No Great One,” Stolas stammers. “What you fail to see is that we are trying to protect you…but your will is always what we strive to achieve.”
“Silence slave,” David hissed. “You have no opinions. You have no thoughts. You have no abilities to make decisions. That goes for all of you. All this time you have turned a deaf ear to my will. I’ve told you to follow the plan, to wander along beside me, but every last one of you has taken it upon yourself to meddle in affairs far above you. I told you to leave the princess to me, but you won’t and you will damn it, damn us all. We are already in it,” he screamed, fire shooting from his mouth. The Reign quivered in fear as David’s thunderous voice cracked the glass walls and quaked the floor beneath us. “Do what I command. I reign above all!” Madame Therriot shook and kept her eyes to the ground; Murmur and Stolas, on their knees, reached to kiss their Master’s hand as he passed. “Besides Cerberus, she is the only one that I can depend on and you all seek to destroy it- to take it away from me.”
He posed his last statement in an awkward sort of rhetorical question and no one dared speak another word. “Don’t you fear my princess,” he said kissing my cheek. “You have nothing to fear when I’m with you…and that is always.”
Madasin Mayfair is a published poet and essayist, debuting her first novel- Wanderlust: Love & Hate- from the highly anticipated Wanderlust series. A 2008 English graduate from Malone University, she is currently a graduate student at Northwestern State University pursuing a Language and Literature Master's degree. Madasin grew up in Osnaburg Township, and currently resides in Massillon, Ohio with her husband, daughter, and German Shepherd Dog.
Links to follow her career:
Publisher Website: www.westlandparkpress.com
Author Blog madasinmayfair.wordpress.com
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