Just this week, I celebrated finishing my first full novel by starting another one. The new one is a paranormal tale with some twists. Here’s an un-edited teaser:
Finally! It was closing time and he could lock up. After pulling the blinds, making sure the security cameras were working and moving the cash drawer to the safe, Doug headed downstairs.
Like most basements in these older buildings, it was dingy and crowded with overflow from his business. With an ease born of familiarity, he wound his way between rickety shelving and piles of boxes until he stood in front of an huge, antique sideboard. Eight foot long, more than six foot high with a series of beveled glass mirrors set between the top shelves, it obviously weighed hundreds of pounds. He looked at himself in one of the mirrors and carefully spoke a phrase in Mandarin.
The dragons carved into the end posts seemed to smile and nod and the whole sideboard slid silently forward. He walked behind it and ducked into a low, brick-lined passage. A moment later, the sideboard slid back, against the wall.
Only a dozen paces away, the dark passage ended at a heavy wooden door. Working by feel, Doug unlocked the modern padlock and stepped into a room lit only with a single incandescent bulb.
“Hello… Is anybody there?” The voice sounded weak, scared, trembling. “Please… Somebody help me… Please get me out of here.” He ignored it.
The room had a stone floor, brick walls and rough timber framing. On one end of the room, a heavy English dining table supported a brass-framed casket with a beveled glass top. Golden dragon oil lamps stood at the head and foot. On the other end of the room, a coat rack held a single silken robe and it stood guard over a six-foot hole in the floor; an old cistern.
He lit the two dragon lamps and the air was immediately filled with the smell of sandalwood and something else… something acrid and sour. He glanced down at the shriveled mummy for a moment, smiled, took two steps backwards and bowed deeply. “It is time, Mistress.”
Once more the desperate voice from the cistern… “Oh my god! No! Please! No! Don’t let her… Not again. I’ll do anything. Anything! Please… please.”
He stood, saw a dim green glow coming from the casket and smiled. Then, he turned and looked down, into the cistern.
The weak light from the single bulb barely made it down to the bottom of the ten foot deep well. The blond was naked, wild-eyed and her hair was unkempt. Obviously terrified, she stood with her back pressed against the side of the cistern and pleaded with him.
“Please! You’ve got to let me out. You don’t know what it’s like when she… “ Her eyes grew wider and her mouth made an ‘O’ shape as a soft keening of despair passed her lips. “No… Nooo… Please…”
The air around him grew very cold as a glowing green fog swept around his ankles and flowed down, into the cistern. She wailed in terror once more, then the fog enveloped her and the cries faded.
Doug lifted the end of a wooden ladder and slid it down the side of the well. A moment later, it shook as the young woman, climbed out.
“Good evening, Mistress.” He handed her the silken robe.
“Good evening, Mister Paulson.” He voice and mannerisms were that of a bygone era. No longer the whimpering young victim, she now had a regal demeanor.
“As usual, your bath is ready and I’ve acquired several new dresses that you may find pleasing.”
“Thank you, Mister Paulson. If you will lead the way?”
A few moments later, they were in his suite on the second floor. She opened the bathroom door and smiled at the tub full of steaming bubble bath.
“Excuse me, Mistress. But will that be all you require this evening?”
She smiled at him. “Yes. Thank you and don’t worry… I’ve not forgotten your reward.” She clapped her hands twice, sharply. “Girls? Attend our customer… Now!”
The lights dimmed for a moment and the walls seemed to shimmer as a pair of beautiful young women stepped forward. They appeared very scared of her.
“You are to make sure our host is kept very happy this evening. You are to accommodate him in any way he wishes, understood?”
She was answered with a soft chorus of “Yes, Mistress”.
When she left the bath a little while later, she was dressed in a beautiful Chinese silk mini dress with embossed dragons. She paused for a moment and listened to the sounds of orgasmic bliss coming from his bedroom. She sneered in contempt and headed downstairs and out to mingle with the evening crowds. “Perhaps a good steak tonight?” She thought to herself.