A Hybrid’s Tale by @WestonAndrew is a Trick or Treat Bonanza pick #paranormal #horror #giveaway
Title: A Hybrid’s Tale
Author: Andrew P. Weston
Genre: Paranormal Horror
Born a Cambion – a half-demon, half-human hybrid – and cursed by a terrible hunger he can barely control, Augustus Thorne spends his long and lonely life hunting and exterminating any Incubi and Succubae he can find. But no matter how many he destroys, he can always make room for one more. Especially if it’s the foul scum who raped his mother; Augustus’ own spawn-father, Fanon.
Guided by his mother’s diaries, Augustus pursues Fanon down through the centuries and around the world, until fate seems to point him toward his heart’s desire. Yet, things are not as they appear, and the revelations Augustus uncovers are mind boggling. For if he wishes to face his father, he must first learn more about his own unique heritage, and the awful circumstances that led to his creation.
The trouble is, doing so might just cost him his humanity.
A travelling circus had passed through the town next to the hamlet where my mother and I were staying, and on the evening of its last performance, I’d fed on a girl from the trapeze troupe who had been giving me the eye all week. By midnight, I’d left her sleeping soundly in the hayloft we had snuck into for privacy and began the long walk back home, a distance of nearly seven miles.
I’d not gone far when I detected a strange tang in the air, an odor both alien yet somehow familiar. Without understanding why, I started to run, instinctively knowing my mother was in danger.
Fortunately, my Cambion side came to the fore and I tore up the miles as if they were non-existent. Just as well. The closer I got to the village, the stronger the musk became. By the time I’d reached the tavern where we’d been lodging and cast my senses forward, it was evident a strange and distinctive quality now permeated the atmosphere about the building itself.
A chill ran down my spine and my ardor began to rise. Strangely, that eagerness revealed no inkling to feed whatsoever, but I did feel an overwhelming need to kill.
The ether seemed thicker somehow, congealed into a broth of ill-concealed malice. My finely-tuned senses skittered through that brew, quickly determining the heartbeats and cyclic rhythms given off by the inn-keeper and his family were unnatural. They were in thrall to a hypnotically induced sleep. The only one semi-awake was my mother, and she was becoming highly aroused.
Casting my sight ahead into our room, I was shocked to discover I could only visualize a hovering miasma of inky blackness within, a veil much more pronounced around my mother, who was beginning to sweat and writhe about on her bed. As I looked on, dark tendrils of desire sank down, tentacles that coiled around her, caressing her body as they shed her clothes.
It was only as the unfamiliar scent called to similar desires in me that the identity of the creature assaulting my mother finally registered.
I was young; I was strong, fit and healthy; I’d just fed and as such, was positively brimming with barely contained power.
Enraged, I initiated the skirr and skimmed silently up onto the roof.
Concentrating, I immediately interpenetrated the thatch and supporting timbers and alighted upon those beams directly above my mother.
Now in a prime position to attack, I lingered only to confirm that I remained undetected. I needn’t have worried, so intent was the predator upon its quarry, that it paid scant regard to the beast above it.
Without compunction, I swooped down from my perch like a bird of prey, my talons slicing into the coiling fog like a cache of scimitars.
The entity below me reacted with surprising strength and speed, knocking me backward and against the wall with a huge swipe of its claws. An understandable, if ill-conceived reaction, for I’d retained my grip on the gelatinous, pulsing, filthy object my hand had closed about within its chest. Triumphantly, I held that mass up to its gaze.
Shock registered in its dead eyes for just an instant before I crushed its worthless heart between my fingers. It went rigid, let out a howl of rage and agony, then crumbled to the floor, dissipating within moments.
I’ll never forget how my mother suddenly sat up, shaking her head roughly from side to side as if waking from an unpleasant dream, before breaking down in tears. Soothing her matted hair, holding her sobbing, wracking frame in my arms, I struggled to contain resentment so rabid, it threatened to drive me insane.
This could not be allowed to continue.
On that night, I decided she would never suffer like this again.
But little did I know the strength of Rosemary Thorne herself. Realizing she was still marked, my mother determined to support me in my endeavors in the only way she could, and in doing so, chose the path she would follow for the rest of her days.
And her aid was greatly received by a loving son.
As I went on to discover, Incubi and Succubae were very hard to kill unless you were like me: a Cambion. Something about a hybrid’s constitution made us much stronger and faster than our fiendish sires. Nevertheless, there were thousands of them to contend with. So, my mother went to great lengths to lure them in; distracting them; keeping them occupied for long enough for me to strike at their Achilles heel.
The irony of such an arrangement made me smile even now.
Who in their right mind would ever have suspected such callous, merciless, unfeeling animals might possess such an obvious vulnerability? The very spot I had intuitively reach for in the heat of the moment: their hearts.
And my mother was able to assist me regarding that particular aspect as well, by providing access to a very special weapon.
Following the initial attack on the night of the carnival, she went to her pathetically meager possessions and removed the felt bag I’d remembered from all those years before. Inside it was an ornate dagger, by my reckoning, fashioned to resemble an elongated Gaelic skean. Inspecting it closely, I could see inlaid silver runes had been inscribed along the length of its six-inch ivory grip on both sides. My mother told me the artisans behind the work were beings called, the Forge, Incubi and Succubae assassins of the highest craft who had worked marvels into the metal I’d never knew was possible. Tempered within the flames of Tartarus—the source from which all earthbound devils gained their power—the blade did much more than look otherworldly; it killed demons instantly if it pierced their hearts.
If you could dress up as anything or anyone this Halloween, what or who would it be and why?
Betelgeuse from Beetlejuce, because he epitomizes what Halloween is all about. Having fun and enjoying yourself, even when circumstances are supposed to be scary
Explain why your featured book is a treat to read:
Because it’s chilling; it’s creepy; and tells you all about the things that go bump in the night . . .
And who it is that hides in the shadows, protecting us.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon (US or Canada) gift card.
Open internationally. You must have an active Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to be eligible.
Runs October 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on November 1.
Author Biography: Andrew P. Weston is a bestselling author from the UK who lives with a large amount of rescue cats in a medium sized house on a small Greek island. While battling an inordinate compulsion to make things up and write them down for other peoples’ entertainment, he nevertheless excels at being nuisance . . . just ask his wife.
Among other things, Andrew has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association, the British Science Fiction Association, and the British Fantasy Society. In his spare time, he also writes review articles for Amazing Stories and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
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