A military convoy moved slowly in a narrow canyon, like a huge, well-fed snake. Military jeeps, guns, armoured troop-carriers, captives—mostly men, but a few women as well. These guys had tried to get rid of the whole squad of kainomorphs a few days ago.
Miri sat in one of jeeps with a couple of other human officers. Their car was third in line; there was a heavy armoured troop-carrier with kainomorphs soldiers and another jeep in front of the column.
The heat was unbearable. The wind blew sizzling hot sand which stuck in the hair, eyes, even clogged under collars. The humans were exhausted and silent; the kainomorphs looked focused, determined, and indifferent to their own safety. The heat, the wind, the lack of water and food didn’t bother them at all. They could survive in much worse conditions. They didn’t complain, they never did, they were not allowed to, and they didn’t even know what it meant.
The wind turned into a furious sandstorm. The visibility was close to zero, and it became almost impossible to move farther.
The howl of the storm drowned in the thundering blast, and Miri saw the troop-carrier in front of the column start to flip upside down. In the same second, machine guns rumbled from all directions. Miri and her fellows-in-arms jumped out of the jeep just in time, because the next moment it was smashed into pieces. A blast wave threw her a few meters away, but she managed to crawl and hide behind a rock, preparing her gun.
The gunfire didn’t stop for a second. Miri witnessed a group of men running to the carrier with the captives as their peers covered them from the rocks around the canyon. The assailants were in a much better position, whereas Miri’s detachment had become trapped at the bottom of the canyon.
She saw two kainomorphs running to the carrier, shooting without a break, and trying to stop the attackers. They managed to kill a couple of them, but the man who ran first broke into the carrier, trying to free the captives. Miri fired and the man fell down, but it was too late. She pointed her gun to the next target, but a sudden punch made her lose her balance, drop the weapon, and fall to the ground.
A female figure dressed in all black, with a black scarf around her head which covered part of the woman’s face, jumped from the rock and picked up Miri’s gun.
‘That’s it.’ The only one thought ran through Miri’s mind. ‘This bitch won’t hesitate.’ She couldn’t see her face, hair or hands, but those eyes… like two massive black holes full of fury stared at her.
‘Protect your officer!’ The loud voice of her commander sounded from afar as he tried to shout down the gunfire and the storm.
One of the kainomorphs jumped on her, pressing her to the ground. Like in a slow-motion video, Miri heard her attacker empty a full magazine at them. The kainomorph’s body jerked in convulsions but continued to squeeze Miri. She screamed, but she didn’t hear herself.
The gunfire stopped, and Miri heard something heavy fall down next to her. She closed her eyes; she didn’t want to know what could happened next. She felt the weight move as somebody pulled the dead body from her, and she finally opened her eyes.
‘Please, Gveret.’ Another kainomorph gave her his hand, helping her to get up and handing her back her gun. In his other hand, he held a piece of a metal bar, covered in blood.
The woman’s head lay next to Miri. Two massive black holes still stared at her…
Miri’s heart sank, she felt out of breath, she tried to scream, but vomited instead…
‘Miri, Miri. Wake up, wake up! It’s only a bad dream.’
She finally broke through the heavy, sticky cover of her nightmare. It was dark in the bedroom. The snowstorm came down from the mountains and had been raging behind the huge chalet’s windows for several hours. Isaac looked at her anxiously. ‘A nightmare again?’
‘Yes. The canyon.’ She got out of bed, putting on her dressing gown.
She stood in front of the window. The peaks had disappeared in the storm; there were no mountains, no ski slopes, no pine trees. The white, snowy haze had swallowed everything.
‘Forget this bitch.’ Isaac waved his hand. ‘She got what she deserved. It was a good lesson for her peers as well.’
‘I don’t bother about the woman. You know my concerns.’
Isaac sighed and leaned back on pillows. ‘They were created to protect us and the country,’ he started, staring at the ceiling. ‘No questions, no hesitations, no mercy. They will never turn against their creators.’
‘Why do you work on this new project?’
‘Miri.’ He got up as well and came to her. ‘You know I can’t discuss it with you, with anybody.’ His explanation was interrupted by a phone call.
‘Who’s that?’ Miri frowned.
‘Maybe it’s somebody from the lab.’
Isaac only shrugged, putting on his clothes and pressing a button on a Surface.
A 3-D hologram appeared that wasn’t very clear, and there were multiple disruptions in the connection, however, Isaac recognized one of the mentor-officers.
‘Hey, Sara, what’s up? How are you doing?’ he started with a smile which covered his worry.
‘Isaac, thank God I got in touch with you.’ Sara started quickly. ‘I’m calling to let you know that the lab has been closed, and all the activities suspended.’
‘What? When? Who’s done it? Does Dr. Levit know?’
‘It is the order of our new Minister of Defence. They did it this long weekend. Just closed all premises, took all samples, tests results, all documents, equipment—everything.’
‘What’s happened to the personnel?’
‘Most of them have been transferred to other bases, a few people have been made redundant and given huge compensation packages.’
‘How can it be possible?’ Despair covered Isaac like the huge cumulus cloud covering the mountains. ‘I’d talked to the Advisor a couple of weeks before my vacation. He promised me to talk to her; he promised me to continue the project at least for another year, maybe longer.’
‘Isaac, please.’ Sara only sighed. ‘He’s not a soldier, not a scientist, he’s a politician. Do you really believe his promises?’
Isaac bowed his head. ‘What about Dr. Levit? Does he know?’
‘The doctor is in a hospital.’
‘He was found in his house a couple of days after the lab’s closure, lying on the floor in the living room unconscious. He’s in a coma now.’
‘God! I need to go back…immediately.’
‘You can’t do it, Isaac. This call may cost me my freedom. I don’t want to go to jail for treason.’ Sara was ready to burst into tears. ‘I’ve done this because I don’t want you to be caught unawares and because I do care about the project. At least you have some time to think it over and decide what to do next.’
‘They’ve chosen the right time.’ Isaac banged the table in helpless anger. ‘I’m on my leave; there was almost nobody at the base.’
‘Stay there till the end of your holiday, don’t show you know anything.’
‘What’s happened to the א-group?’
‘When I arrived at the lab, all rooms have already been emptied. They’ve taken them away.’ Sara bowed her head.
The officer tried to explain something, but her words drowned into interferences. The image began to fade, and the sounds became lower and lower.
‘What did you say? I can’t hear you. There’s a storm here, and the signal is bad,’ Isaac shouted loudly, trying to break through.
‘I need to…need to go…I can’t talk any…long…longeeeeer,’ the sound continued to break and, finally, the call disrupted.
Miri had been witnessing the whole conversation from the sofa. She came to him and embraced his shoulders. He didn’t say a word. Miri sighed heavily. Their long-expected holiday had been ruined.
Release day: July, 8th
Paperback is live already!!
Three years have passed since Laura Danco and her friends left St. Petersburg. Isaac and Dr. Levit continue to work together on their top secret project Angels of Zion. The main purpose being to create an army of ultimate soldiers—the kainomorphs—the clones whose physical abilities and strength exceeds humans.
When the project goes out of control, one of the kainomorphs goes rogue, Dr. Levit is attacked and subsequently dies, Isaac and Miri have no choice, but to follow the clues that the scientist left them to find the rogue clone and to stop a catastrophe. The investigation brings them back to St. Petersburg, where they meet Laura and Chris.
Daniel Polanskiy disappears without a trace. The friends suspect his life can be of an interest to many parties. With their own lives at stake, they should decide whether great victories require great sacrifices.
The humming sounds of falling water had surrounded him; it sounded like a lullaby. He had found himself standing on a steep, rocky cliff, staring at the dark waters without a movement. No doubt, he was in the wood, and the falling mass of water in front of him must’ve been the waterfall.
The lullaby had stopped abruptly, the sky flashed and coloured in all shades of scarlet-red. It was a tree in front of him. The more he stared at it, the more it seemed to him the tree’s mighty, thick branches had been changing their shape and finally…
Oh, my God! It’s a…
The branches swirled slowly, creating an easily-recognizable symbol—a massive, about five metres large, swastika.
His stomach had cringed with spasm. He was out of breath; his lungs were ready to explode as if the icy waters of the waterfall had filled them up. He screamed, and the next second, the giant swastika caught fire. The thirsty flames had been licking the branches, illuminating an unknown landscape.
He wanted to run, but stood rooted to the spot. It seemed to him the flaming symbol had started to swirl, pulsating and growing bigger and bigger every second.
He had screamed again, but this time, his scream echoed all around him.
The next second, everything disappeared. He had been standing in an unknown spacious room. All colours were blurry and faded, as if he had been watching an old-fashioned video—a heavy crystal candelabra hanged from the high ceiling, wooden panels on the floor and on the walls…
Oh, what is it on the floor? It looks like…stains of fresh blood…
A tall-case clock in the far corner had chimed two o’clock, interrupting his thoughts. He had turned around, when he noticed a familiar object on the opposite wall—the mirror…his mirror.
He had taken a few steps closer. The crystal candelabra, the clock, the wide beige sofa—the mirror reflected everything, everything apart from him.
It’s a dream… Of course, it’s a weird, nightmarish vision, Philip had realised finally.
He shot a glance at the mirror again, but it had changed. The glass became dark, almost black; it didn’t reflect anything at all. And then…the familiar figure dressed in the SS-uniform had appeared. Philip wasn’t afraid, but rather curious. The man’s quiet, deep voice resounded from the walls and the high ceiling, but the figure hadn’t opened his mouth. He was speaking German, but surprisingly this time, his words sounded familiar to Philip. He didn’t know the language, and yet, he knew what the man had tried to tell him.
‘Listen to the voids in the sound of humming waters.’
These words had surrounded Philip, whispering in his ears and filling up the whole space of the room. And then, they had stopped by a thud. Something had been dropped on the wooden floor.
A ring? Philip picked up the object. When he turned back to the mirror, the man had disappeared, but the glass was left smoky black.
He had turned his attention back to the ring. Its band had been covered in some mysterious symbols which looked like ancient runes; a skull with crossed bones decorated it in the middle.
‘Listen to the voids in the sound of humming waters.’ The whispers had started again, however this time, the voice belonged to a woman.
Philip had raised his head to the mirror. A slim blonde woman smiled warmly to him. Dressed in a floral long gown, the blonde lady looked unfamiliar, but Philip could swear she wasn’t a complete stranger to him. He must’ve met her many years ago, somewhere in another reality, between two worlds, in the reflections of the mirrors, in the voids of the sound of humming waters.
He hadn’t had time to finish his thoughts, when the sound of waterfall filled up the room, growing louder and louder, making him completely deaf. And then the pain which had been busting his lungs returned with vengeance.
He struggled to inhale; he was drowning in the icy dark waters of the waterfall…
‘Phil, Phil…wake up, mate, wake up! God, what’s going on?’ David’s worried face had appeared in front of him. He was lying in his bed in the guesthouse.
‘It was just a bad dream, but it felt so real,’ he mumbled absently, taking a seat.
‘Oh man, you’ve scared me,’ David continued. ‘You’ve been screaming and mumbling, and howling like mad.’
‘I’ve seen this man again. The German officer,’ Philip had started quietly. ‘This time, he gave me a ring.’
‘A ring? What ring? What exactly have you seen?’ Swallowed by another portion of mysteries, it seemed like David had already forgotten his offence.
‘The ring with a skull and crossed bones. There was some writing in it, too.’ And Philip had told him the whole nightmare from the very beginning.
‘The ring, the woman, the voids in the sound…Hm, hm…’ His friend got up from the bed and circled around the room, trying to analyse and to connect all bits and pieces of this puzzle. ‘The voids in the sound, but the sound has no voids… It makes no sense whatsoever.’ He gave up finally.
Philip leaned back on the pillows helplessly. ‘Probably, it’s just a nightmare, inspired by today’s events. Let’s try to get some sleep. We have a long day in front of us.’
He had stretched his arm, trying to find the light switch, but his fingers touched cold metal instead. He had turned to his bedside table instinctively and, the next second, covered his mouth with his palm, trying not to scream.
‘What’s up?’ David came closer.
‘The ring…’ Philip whispered barely audible; his full lips became as white as his bed sheets. He had pointed to the metal object on his bedside table. ‘The ring from my dream.’
‘Damn!’ His friend picked up the ring carefully, as if he was afraid it might disappear. ‘Are you sure you haven’t seen it here before?’
‘I’ve never seen such a thing in my life.’ Philip jumped on his bed. ‘In fact, I’ve never been a big fan of jewellery.’
‘How on Earth does will appear here, if it doesn’t belong to us?’ Refusing to believe in poltergeist, David was close to breakdown.
‘Somebody has brought and put it here.’ Philip only shrugged.
‘Oh, please, don’t try to convince me it was the man in the mirror.’ His friend had made an impatient gesture.
‘There are only three people, besides us, who have an access to the keys for this room—our hosts,’ Philip suggested.
Then both men shot a glance at the room’s door.
‘You’ve locked the door and left the key in the keyhole,’ David had continued his friend’s reasoning, staring at the long, heavy key peeping out from the door.
‘Exactly.’ Philip nodded. ‘So the only way to get to the room is…’ His long finger pointed to a slightly opened window.
David shook his head in disagreement.
‘Ricardo is in his early eighties, for Heaven’s sake.’ He stood in front of the window, leaning his elbows on the wide wooden windowsill. ‘Can you imagine him, squeezing through this window and coming into the room soundlessly? Even I would struggle to do it, trust me.’
He turned to his friend, but Philip looked captivated by the ring. It was heavy, made from white metal, small in diameter. Its band was wreathed with oak leaves and runes.
‘It seems it was writing inside the band,’ he pronounced slowly, examining the mysterious object.
‘Maybe it was the name of its owner engraved there?’ David suggested, taking a seat next to Philip.
‘Maybe.’ He nodded. ‘We need to know what these symbols mean,’ he continued, pulling his laptop out of the suitcase and switching it on.
‘Oh, my God.’ He covered his mouth with his hand, browsing the Internet pages, then turned the laptop’s screen to his impatient friend. ‘The Totenkopfring, also known as “Death’s Head Ring”…’
‘…Was an award of Himmler’s Schutzstaffel (SS),’ David continued reading an article. His eyes widened, his jaw dropped. ‘A personal, customized gift from Himmler himself to high-ranking SS-officers?’ He frowned.
‘It looks like the one,’ Philip agreed. ‘The date of the reward and the recipient’s name should’ve been on the opposite side of the band, but they had been erased, erased on purpose. If we know the owner of the ring, we could…’
‘We could figure out why it’s given to you.’
‘To us.’ Philip frowned. The last friend’s words hit him where it hurt.
‘No, mate. This ring is connected directly to you,’ David objected. ‘I’ve volunteered to come here to help you solve this quest, but I don’t want to do anything with the Nazi’s jewellery and all this crap.’
‘Oh, so you want me to deal with this shit alone, do you?’
‘It’s your shit, not mine. The man in the mirror is talking to you, not to me.’ David only shrugged.
‘Who’s given me this mirror?’ Philip’s aggression was ready to breach the dam of his patience.
‘Of course, you’ve shit your pants and want to blame me in all your mess.’ David almost shouted it in his face. ‘You’re afraid to take any responsibility. Typical Philip—scared to death to get his hands dirty, wants to be nice and sweet to everybody. It seems like now, mate, your spotless reputation of Mr. Nice Guy is under serious threat.’
‘You’re still moody towards me for this evening, aren’t you?’ Philip snorted bitterly.
‘Oh man, whatever…’ David waved his hand, switched his bedside lamp off, and turned away from his friend.
My interview for James Quinlan Meservy’s blog. Check it out to learn more about me and inspiration behind my writing.
JQM Literary Chat Welcomes L. Salt
Tell us about yourself:
My pen name is L. Salt and I’m a multi-genre author from the United Kingdom. I write exclusivly for Crazy Ink Publishing.
I studied History of World Culture and earned my Master’s Degree in Art Expertise at the St. Petersburg University of Culture and Arts. Born in Belarus, I’ve lived for many years in Ukraine and Russia and, eventually, settled in the North of England, where I currently live with my husband. My interest in writing dates back to my teenage years. Apart from creative writing, I have a passion for traveling, arts, history, and foreign languages.
Tell us about your book:
My debut novella, His Personal Reich was released in April 2018 by Crazy Ink Publishing. It will also be featured in the boxed set Chills and Thrills in May 2019. My second work, a thriller/mystery…
View original post 403 more words
Today is a great day! Today, my first novel, a romantic suspense/urban drama of “Off The Ways” series was re-released by Crazy Ink Publishing .
This book has made its long way to publication, so I’m extremely excited about this release.
St. Petersburg, Russia, 20XX.
Laura Danco, a young talented designer, returns to her favourite city after studying and working in the UK. She’s excited to meet her best friends, but soon her happiness turns bitter.
Friends tell Laura about a new controlling institution, the Department of Censorship. All media sources are under control, the opposition is destroyed completely, minorities are under threat. Everyone who resists is obliterated.
Laura tries to push her life back on track—friends, relationships, travels, parties… Everything changes when a reputable design company employs her as an assistant to a dangerously attractive, scandalous architect, Daniel Polanskiy, whose ambitious and outstanding projects don’t comply with the government views and its dictated taste.
The situation becomes even more complicated, when Laura meets her uni-mate from the UK, Mark Evans. Completely lost between two absolutely different characters—friendly, amiable Mark and sophisticated, bad-tempered, but ingenious Daniel—she struggles to whom to give her heart.
The future looks bleak for Laura, as the company gets into trouble, when the Tax Office conducts a detailed financial audit, the Department gives Daniel the final warning, and one of Laura’s friends is killed. Going through so many challenges, will friends find their way to follow?
KINGDOMS RISE, ONE PROPHESY AFTER ANOTHER.
For the people of the Realm of Light, this has always been the mantra; a foreboding concept of both men and beasts. As prophesies speak of new leadership that will bring the realm into a time of perpetual peace, four Denizen Clans exist in a tension-filled truce beneath the shadow of war. The Kingdom of Buz-Perr-Addock, ruled by Lord Yrimwaque, Jacob Hunter and his Queen, Svet-Lan-Addock, rules in fear of rebellion from the other three. While Lord Yrimwaque’s heirs – Arctyrus Hunter and his twin Amyrith, along with their cunning, younger brother Vulktyramous Hunter – are being groomed to inherit the Kingdom of Buz-Perr-Addock, Arctyrus becomes concerned with rumblings of an uprising from his brother Vulktyramous, whose main goal is to destroy the other Denizen Clans of the realm by recruiting other armies to his cause.
Arctyrus forsakes the throne of Buz-Perr-Addock by attempting to warn the other clans of his brother’s impending attack in hopes of unifying them against Vulktyramous. By doing so, Arctyrus hopes to restore peace and end the tyranny between the Denizen Clans of the Realm of Light once and for all. But the prideful clan leaders refuse to heed Arctyrus’ pleas and attack Vulktyramous and his followers individually, minimizing Arctyrus’ cause and making Vulktyramous all the more powerful. Amyrith remains indecisive between choosing which brother to follow while struggling to follow the will of her father. But in love and war, everyone aligns with one or the other and the fate of the Realms will hinge on that decision, forever.
Denizens Among Us is a Prequel to James Meservy’s debut hit, The United: The Realm of Light Book Series.
Available on Amazon
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mornin’! I am James Quinlan Meservy
Fantasy Author Extraordinaire,
Embellisher of Events,
Creator of Creatures,
“Stories that Kindle Imagination”
I love literature! My favorite genre to read is classic literature (Charles Dickens is my favorite author), and my favorite genre to write is fantasy. Even when I attempt to write something that is not fantasy, my WIP becomes fantasy by the end of my first draft.
I live in Southeast Idaho with my wife and children, and spent my childhood living moving all across northern Utah. I consider my home town to be Mendon, Ut, a small community near Logan, Utah in the Cache Valley.
While I love most breed of domesticated dogs, especially the Siberian Husky; absolutely adore red pandas; and greatly admire kestrels, my favorite animal is the wolf.
My family enjoys spending time together; playing with Legos, hiking, playing sports, watching movies, but we love reading together.
I have always had a fascination with falcons. I love the call of the Peregrine Falcon. As I said before, I greatly admire nearly everything about kestrels. But my favorite type of falcon of all-time is the Millennium Falcon. (Yes, I am a fan of Star Wars; specifically the films.)
When I am not spending time with my family, at work, fulfilling various religious responsibilities, eating, or sleeping, I am likely writing.
You can learn more about me and my literary works on the following Social Media Platforms:
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Amazon Author Link: