Title: Light a Candle For the Beast
Author: Echo Shea
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: November 26, 2014
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal, Romance
If you’ve ever been caught in a riptide, pulled down into the water, then you know me. Or, more accurately, what I’m like when I’m angry.
Delia was beautiful, smart, and kind. He wasn’t. He said he loved her, but he didn’t know what love was. He was manipulative and cruel -- more than a thief. A beast.
All she wanted was a rose…
These are the words on my sister’s grave. Her sadness, her obsession, forever a reminder I didn’t--couldn’t save her.
I’m not vindictive or cruel. I’m simply as the river--my memory is winding and my reach is long. I watched him steal her beauty, her essence. Watched him become a beast. He thought he'd get away with it, thought he'd go free.
I lay a rose upon my sister's grave.
Light a candle for the beast.
Once upon a time, he hurt my sister. Once upon a time, I made him pay.
Now, he glares through the bars at me, looming beyond them. He’s larger than I by four times over.
I smile at him, staring into the eyes of the beast.
“Bring him,” I lead the way back down the tunnel. The sound of someone screaming bounces off the walls. I shut the sound out, focusing on the clank of the gate being thrown back, of the slow and heavy footsteps following my own. I stop when I reach the river and turn back to look at him.
There’s no one thing to mark him as the kind of beast he is. His fur is broken by scales, his eyes and mouth large like a lion’s, but his regal head sits on an almost snake-like neck. He’s had a long, long life here.
I motion for the guard to lay him on the damp rock floor by the river’s edge, and tell him to hold the beast’s arms behind him to keep him still.
The stone here is elevated above the water about ten feet, and his head hangs over the ledge.
Hands reach for him from the water.
“My sister begs me to set you free. She says you’re not the same man you were, that you’ve changed.” My laugh arrives bitter, tinged with maybe a touch of insanity. “Even in death, she’s haunted by you. All her life…everything she could’ve been, everything she was…you ripped it away. You tore at her and tore at her, and you hurt her. You stole her essence, you stole her beauty, and you stole her life!”
The knife hilt feels good in my hand, like the heavy weight of release. Finally, this’ll be over. Finally, I can sleep the sleep of the righteous without turning and tossing, haunted by an un-nameable monster and the beautiful girl who waited for what never came.
Roane Publishing © 2014 Echo Shea
Echo Shea is an Urban Fantasy writer. Known for fast-paced and sometimes chilling prose, she hunkers down at her desk with characters that not only enchant, but excite her. There’s something so freeing about writing beyond what seems possible.
Who says there’s not something more hiding in these Maryland woods?