Eclipses on Friday the 13th are rare, as Time magazine points out about this week’s partial solar eclipse.
“The July 13 eclipse is particularly rare because it will occur on Friday the 13th, a date that has long been considered a harbinger of bad luck by popular culture. There has not been a solar eclipse on Friday the 13th since December 13, 1974, according to NASA. And the next partial eclipse to occur on Friday the 13th will be on September 13, 2080.”
But that’s nothing compared to the dual FULL lunar eclipse that happens in Destiny on the night of the Chaos. The full lunar moon and the full Paramortal moon, Cache, converge in what the supernaturals call the Coincidence and yes, it’s a harbinger of things to come. (Ever heard of a shmoo?)
As a weakened Tempe says in Eve of Chaos, “Bad guys with power, good guys without… can’t be good.” No one knows what will happen or how bad it will be when the Paramortals’ supernatural abilities go away but the Para-Moon, which last occurred four hundred years ago, gives Jack a frame of reference for how long they must survive. Twenty-four hours.
In Blame it on the Moon, the Paramortals have lost their power and Jack, their human sheriff must defend the town against God knows what? Each chaos is different. Can Jack find a way to help Destiny hang on for that crucial 24 hrs? The series is the continued story of Jack and Tempe on the Paramortal journey along with the rest of supernaturals in Destiny. They are not standalones.
It’s the height of the Para-moon and Sheriff Jack Lang is up to his ‘six’ in alligators. Defending those weaker than himself is in his DNA which is what drove him to become a Navy pilot. Who is he kidding? Alligators he could handle! But supernatural bad guys…
Ragtag doesn’t begin to describe his band of temporary ’heroes’. If he has to go to war with the group that showed up at dawn, he might as well start cutting up white sheets and attaching them to garden stakes.
With Tempe and the other Paramortals ill or incapacitated and the sudden appearance of beings he’s never heard of, will Jack be able to keep Destiny out of the hands of their enemies for the rest of the power down and—very important—keep the humans in the dark?
It’s only twenty-four hours. If worse comes to worse, he has a dragon on his side and a few surprises up his sleeve. “Yippe, ki, yi…” But a lot can happen in twenty-four hours and things don’t always go as planned.
Don’t stand in front of a fire-breathing dragon. This is NOT rocket science.
The gravel surface crunched under the cruiser’s tires as I pulled up next to Ryan’s vehicle. At first, I didn’t see my friend and deputy. Then silhouetted against the moon a rifle barrel, dark and steady, stuck out from behind the roof of the deputy’s car.
I followed the direction of the rifle. I hadn’t noticed because the lake had been eerily silent, as if it was just another calm winter night, the quiet not preparing me for the sight in front of me.
Surrounded by water five hundred yards from the bank was a bass boat, one of those fancy high-end models the pros outfitted themselves with. And circling above him like buzzards waiting for their prey to die, were hundreds of… well, the fisherman had told Ryan they looked like pterodactyls and I had to agree. He’d lowered himself into the boat as one by one the gangly looking things dove down to snap at him, as if toying with him before going in for the kill. The man was flattened onto the raised platform of the boat in an effort to minimize what they could snatch.
When Ryan spoke, low and serious, I knew his days of escape or denial were over. “What the hell are those things? Is it too late to pretend I’m not in Kansas?”
Ryan’s words may have been light but his body language told he wasn’t fooled. He expected the whole truth. It was hard to tell how big the things were but there was no trouble grasping their deadliness.
“I’m sorry, Ryan. What you’re seeing is real. I estimated there were over two hundred ‘birds’ in the sky, silently circling the bass fisherman like carrion sniffing impending death. But they so obviously weren’t birds, and they didn’t squawk or make any other bird sounds which would alert their prey.
Their heads sported long pointed snouts, jaws which when opened showed dozens of sharp yellow teeth. From neck to tail they were thin except for a pooched stomach where it seemed their wings were attached, with each thinly membraned section ending in a sharp point.
The flap of wings overhead preceded one of the creatures landing on the ground between us. It wasn’t moving. When it hit the ground I realized how much the distance distorted the size and weight of the things. This one was well over three hundred pounds and probably could have eaten me and Ryan both. Ryan jumped back and shot it several times, though the bullets didn’t seem to penetrate far into the tough hide.
I said, “Just don’t shoot the biggest one. He’s on our side.”
One of the flock dove toward the man in the boat and was within striking distance when light on the water dimmed like a cloud obscuring the moon. The great body of the black dragon, wings expanded, glided into the center of the flock, releasing short bursts of fire, immediately charring the bogies into clunky carcasses with gravity doing the rest.
They fell out of the sky making loud splashes around the boat as they cannonballed into the water. Like an F18 doing a fly-by of the control tower, Conor’s giant wings tucked. Performing two perfect barrel rolls he hurtled toward us. The sight of his brilliant blazing eyes and flared nostrils, not to mention the wide mouth filled with a thousand sharp teeth produced a strangled warble from Ryan and he hit the gravel. Overkill, Conor. I thought Ryan had fainted until I heard him yell, “Duck.”
“No, that’s a dragon, my man.” A chuckle rose from my chest as I stood my ground. I couldn’t explain why I wasn’t scared but every time I observed Conor’s dragon form I felt…envious. Besides Flambe´ was a knight and he seemed to be testing me. Conor recognized a fellow warrior with a love of flying and understood my appreciation of his abilities.
“Jack! What the hell was that?” Ryan scrambled to his feet and stared as Conor soared back into the sky and aimed for the rest of the flock. “It…nah,” Ryan put the back of his hand to his forehead. “I must be hallucinating. Damned if that…” A laugh burst out before I could contain it. Ryan might as well experience a bit of the giant reality slope I’d had to climb if he was going to adjust quickly.
“Ah, shit. You’re just standing there like we didn’t just see a big ass fire-breathing dragon swoop down out of the sky and…”
“Well, what did you think you were aiming at, Big Black Bird?”
His shoulders dropped as he stared beseechingly at me, eyes wide. “Jack, there’s no such thing as dragons.” This was met by a roar from the sky and a belch of flame so large it reflected on the water below as Conor took out twenty of the demons at once.
“A month ago, I would have said the same, Ryan. And that went for faeries, and Dinnshenchas, and vampires, not to mention genies and weather witches.”
Ryan’s mouth was open as he absorbed my meaning. Clamping it shut he rammed his hand into his hair. He was completely missing the show in the sky above him. I watched and then Ryan said, “What are… you telling me there’s… I mean, did you say…vampires?”
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Livia Quinn is a DC native living who was dragged to the wilds of Louisiana where she fell in love with the rich culture and well... okay, not the weather but both have inspired her settings and characters. She's logged many stories from her jobs as mail lady, plant manager, professional singer, business owner and salesperson and loves to share them with her readers. She's written thirteen books in her contemporary romance and paranormal series with several more to come in 2018.
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