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 Category:  Supernatural Fiction
  Posted: February 22, 2020      Views: 26
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A big thanks to everyone for taking the time to read my Breedline adventures. I've enjoyed sharing my series with you. I've had wonderful and helpful feedback. FanStory has been, and continues to be, an amazing learning tool for me. I continu - more...

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Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.
This work has reached the exceptional level

Chapter 1 of the book THE CURSE
THE CURSE/A Novel of the Breedline series
"A Darkness Within" by scongrove

I'm excited to start book six of my Novels of the Breedline series. I appreciate all your advice and feedback. Of course, it's still in the works, so if you catch mistakes, please let me know. Enjoy!

While he sipped on his brandy, he looked around the bar, taking in all the half-naked bodies gyrating on the dance floor to Marilyn Manson. The Cat Club was packed tonight, full of freaks and wannabes, dressed in a ghastly fashion between gothic black leather, tight mini-skirts and ripped jeans. To him, they all appeared as rejects or outcasts who did not fit in with normal society.

But then, he wondered, what was considered normal? If indeed, there were a checklist, he definitely would not fit into those categories. No, he was something else. Something dark, sinister . . . cruel. Going by the diagnosis of his childhood psychologist, he suffered from a chronic mental disorder with violent tendencies, an inability to love, and a lack of remorse or guilt. At age thirteen, he showed all the traits of a psychopath. Dismembering stray cats was the beginning of his vile and sadistic behavior.

Although, it wasn’t like he had the best upbringing. His father was an abusive drunk, and his mother felt trapped, fearing if she left him, he would track her down and kill her. He’d witnessed firsthand all the threats and abuse his mother endured. As he dredged up those painful memories, his body responded to the remembered horror of his mother’s battered and bruised body. His heart ached just thinking about it. He brought his hand up and touched the center of his chest. He would never forget that one horrific day. The worst day of his life. It was a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon. He was only five years old at the time, but he remembered that tragic incident like it was yesterday. His mother was late coming home after a run to the liquor store to appease his father’s addiction. By the time she arrived, he was already in a drunken stupor. In a fit of rage, he repeatedly kicked and beat her. No matter how much he pleaded and begged his father to stop, the bastard continued his brutality. Before his father beat his mother unconscious, she dragged herself over to him and reached out. She could barely open her swollen eyes. She said one last thing before he watched the light in her eyes dim and then go out.

“Don’t ever forget . . . Mommy will always love you.”

He could still hear himself calling out to her over and over again.  

That was the day his life changed forever, and when he shot his father. As he thought back on that day, he was surprised at that young age he was capable of firing his father’s 9mm semi-automatic pistol. Although it didn’t kill him, he had meant for it to.

When the neighbors heard the blast from the gun, they called the police. As they arrived, he still had it in his hand and aimed at his father. He would never forget the female officer that arrived at the scene. She had dark skin, braided hair, and big brown, caring eyes. He kept her face and the sound of her voice embedded in his memory.

“Put the gun down, honey.” Her voice had been soft and comforting like his mother’s. “I know you didn’t mean to hurt anyone. We’re here to help you.”

“He hurt my mommy,” I remember hearing myself tell the officer. “I won’t let him hurt her no more.”

“I know,” the officer soothed, her expression softening with understanding. “What’s your name, honey?”

“Joseph,” I answered, looking at the officer with troubled blue eyes that seemed to carry a lifetime of violence and pain behind them.

“Okay, listen to me, Joseph. My name is Officer Katie, and I’m here to help you. Do you understand?”

When I nodded an understanding, she continued to say, “I promise I won’t let anyone hurt your mother, but I need you to do something for me.” She knelt down and held out her hand. “Please, Joseph. Please give me the gun.”  

“I can’t,” I told her. “He’ll kill her.”

Back then, he wasn’t the cold and calculating person he was today. He was just a scared little boy trying to protect his mother. It took almost thirty minutes, but finally, Officer Katie coaxed him into giving her the gun. Then, he remembered watching as the paramedics loaded his mother into the ambulance and drove away.  

The next day, she suffered from an aneurysm, caused by all the blunt force and died in the hospital. Immediately following her death, the police arrested his father. Charged with aggravated assault in the first degree, the judge sentenced him to twenty years in prison. During his father’s trial and with no other living relatives, he’d been placed in foster care. Spending most of his childhood in the system wasn’t exactly any better than what he had at home. He’d went through ten foster families before he was carted off in a straitjacket—due to his psychopathic behavior—and put into a mental institution where he spent most of his adolescent years.    
Twenty-one years later, here he was, rehabilitated and back in the real world. During the years he’d spent in the mental hospital, he quickly mastered the skills of manipulation. He said all the right words and all the things his therapists wanted to hear. For good behavior and therapeutic reasons, they allowed him to take online college courses of which were funded by the government. The day the institute finally discharged him, believing he’d been cured, it wasn’t long before he landed a job as a freelance journalist at the San Francisco Chronicle. For the first year, despite the fact that he’d been released, it was mandatory to check in with his therapist on a weekly basis.

Soon after, he discovered his father’s whereabouts. A year prior, after doing his time, dear ol’ dad was now living as a civilian. His father should have killed him when he had the chance, or better yet, made his mother abort him before he was ever born. No amount of therapy, drugs, or shock treatment could cure what he was. If you were unlucky enough to be one of his victims, the monsters in your worst nightmares would be nothing compared to what his father had created. At least in a dream, you always woke up. 

Growing up in an abusive household was just something he learned to cope with. No matter how hard he wished it, he couldn’t change the hand that had been dealt. He couldn’t stop himself from wishing things were different, though. That maybe he could have been born into a normal family.

His mind took him back to that day, to the memories of when his father took his last gurgling breath. He’d sliced his throat so deep, it nearly severed his head. There was so much blood. He was gratified to watch his father’s life drain in a pool of crimson red. He had been planning to kill him the day a social worker delivered the dreadful news of his mother’s death. At that moment, it was as if something evil—a dark, soulless entity—clawed its way inside of him and inhabited his body. It was the day he heard the voice whisper in his head. It introduced itself as the Shadow and spoke to him in a way that was both soothing and malicious. Although he was just a child, the Shadow gave him courage, taught him things, helped him survive, and kept his mind focused for all those years. Focused on one thing. To kill

While he reminisced of the past, and before his imagination got the best of him, someone caught his eye. Across the crowded dance floor, a young girl with long blonde hair, dressed in a pink strapless top and a pair of tight jeans, stood by the bar observing all the social misfits.

He leaned back in his chair and simply watched her. The short distance that separated them, he studied every detail, every curve. Regardless of the high-heeled boots she wore, she couldn’t have been any taller than five-foot-two, and no older than twenty-five. The smoothness and flawless lines on her sun-kissed skin gave her a youthful glow. She had that girl next door look to her. Pretty, but not overly attractive. She looked out of place like she didn’t belong here. He noticed the way she chewed at her bottom lip and the swell of her breasts as she took each breath. And she appeared to be alone.

“She’s perrrrfect,” the Shadow whispered to him in a soft purr. “We need her.” Its voice remained calm and collective, but also insistent. “Pick her, Joseph.” 

Joseph briefly closed his eyes and drew in a wavering breath. The Shadow was his driving force to take lives, always in his head, always picking out their next victim. It was like having an evil twin inside your head twenty-four-seven. Sometimes it was exhausting. God, he thought, how in the hell have I made it all these years without going mad.

“Well, you are clinically insane,” the Shadow answered. “Admit it, Joseph. You need me. You’re weak without me.”

In a flash, he recalled the day the Shadow gave him the courage to go back to his parent’s home one last time, to avenge his mother. God, he could still remember how his father begged for his pathetic life. But mostly, he looked back on the memory of watching the house go up in flames with his father’s body burning inside. As he savored that moment, he felt reborn.  
Yes, Joseph silently agreed. I need you, Shadow. He would kill if the Shadow asked it of him. Slaughter anyone without a thought or hesitation. Besides, everyone eventually dies. He just sped the process up a little. And then, he smiled, his eyes growing hooded as his gaze lingered on the girl’s lips. But to his surprise, she wandered off, probably heading for the ladies' room. His smile disappeared.

“Don’t let her get away,” the Shadow urged. “Follow her, Joseph!”

Joseph tossed back the rest of his drink, swallowing it whole. The minute he rose from his chair, a waitress wearing a bustier made of leather and lace, a studded choker that resembled a dog collar, skin-tight leopard pants, and four-inch heels came up to his table, working her hips as if they were double-jointed.  
She swirled her tongue over her black-coated lips and said, “How ‘bout another round, sweetheart?”

For a brief, lapsing moment, the Shadow’s voice came back to him. “Hurry, Joseph! The girl is leaving the bar!”

Joseph quickly reached into the front pocket of his jeans and dug out a twenty-dollar bill. “No thanks,” he said, placing the money on the table. “I was just leaving.”
To be continued . . .


Book of the Month contest entry

The book continues with Something in the Fog. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
NOTE: This is not part of the chapter. A reference for terms and cast of characters, especially for new readers:

BREEDLINE - A species of humans that have the ability to change from human form into wolf form if they are born an identical twin. They are not like the old legend of the Lycanthropy myth. The Breedline species can shift into their wolf at will. The moon has no power over them. They do not pass their ability to other humans. Although they live among humans, their species is secret. In wolf form, they have super-strength, speed, and heightened senses. Compared to humans, Breedlines have tremendous advantages when it comes to health. Their bodies heal fast and are not subject to illness or diseases. The only thing that slows their healing process is silver. It is their kryptonite. Besides old age, a silver bullet to the brain is the only way to kill a Breedline.
All male Breedlines change into their first wolf at the age of eighteen. Female Breedlines do not go through the change until they make love to their Breedline bonded mate.

BREEDLINE TWINS - They have a strong, unbreakable bond from birth. Born with telepathic abilities, they have the power to sense their twin's emotions or injuries. In some cases, the bond between twins is so strong, they cannot live without the other.

BREEDLINE BONDING - The male Breedline spends their life searching for their bonded mate. When two Breedline species experience a bond, they instantly feel a simultaneous, desirable attraction. The bond is for life. It is possible for them to have more than one mate in their lifespan.

BELOVED - A word used by a Breedline to express the bond to their mate.

DOUBLE BONDED - In some cases, male Breedline twins bond with the same female.

BREEDLINE COVENANT - The Breedline species must live within the boundaries of their Covenant. There is one in every state. A council governs its laws and oversees the species population.

THE BREEDLINE QUEEN - A Breedline queen is born once every one hundred years. Her massive stature, black fur, and red eyes are the queen's trademarks. Her alpha wolf has twice the strength, speed, and size of any Breedline. She rules over all the Breedline Covenants. She is their absolute law.

TRUE LAW - All Breedline Covenants have a book of laws. If disobeyed, they must face the Breedline council. Punishment for taking another life out of revenge, or evil - other than protecting their life, and the life of another - they will instantly shift into a rogue wolf for life and shunned by the Breedline Covenants.

ROGUE WOLF - A Breedline wolf who has killed with the intent of evil. They can never shift back into their human form.

RED (BLOOD) MOON - During this time, all Breedline species have a strong desire to create offspring. This is a time when Breedline females are more fertile for the conception of twins.

CHIANG-SHIH DEMON (Kiang shi, a.k.a. Ramael Arminius) - An ancient demon that can inhabit the body of a Breedline fetus, or during a Breedline's death. It continues to take the soul over the natural lifespan of a child, or the deceased Breedline. When the demon possesses a fetus, it breaks the bonding and telepathic abilities with its twin. If the demon possesses a deceased Breedline's body, it must do so before the soul passes on. If the soul is not intact, the body will soon die. The demon's sole purpose is to seek world domination.

THE BEAST - It is the second-born son of the Chiang-Shih demon. When provoked into a rage, he will shift into the Beast instead of the Breedline wolf. The Beast is also known as the Great White due to his white fur and enormous, two-footed stature. One bite from the Beast has enough venom to kill the Chiang-Shih demon, leaving the soul of the person the demon possessed unharmed.

SHADOW WALKER (a.k.a. Shadow Figure, or Black Mass) - When a Breedline species dies and their soul continues to roam the earth as a shadow of themselves - a ghost - because they have unfinished business before their death.

ZADKIEL (Tzadqiel, a.k.a. (Righteousness of God) - The archangel of freedom, benevolence, and mercy, and the patron angel of all who forgives. The Breedline species considers Zadkiel the Angel of Mercy.

SUCCUBUS (a.k.a. Creepers) - A succubus feeds off the blood of a Breedline species. They are skilled with hypnotic abilities and capable of using their beautiful features to influence the thoughts of the Breedline species and humans.

HALF-BREED - A species born with the genes from both a Breedline and a succubus. They can bond with either species. Although they cannot shift into a wolf, they need blood from a Breedline to survive.

WICCA (or Wise One) - According to the Breedline species, a Wicca is the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts, and necromancy. They can do white magic (good) or dark (evil).

GUARDIANS (a.k.a. Spirits of the Forest) - They originated during the Middle Ages with the purpose of protecting the Breedline from the destruction of any creation of a dark Wicca. They can stay invisible with the power to move through any barrier and over any distance instantly.

THERIOMORPH - They are born with the genes of a Breedline, but do not shift into a wolf. They shape-shift into an enormous black panther. They possess powers of mind manipulation and random visions of the future. They must use the drug dopamine to suppress their urges. Their eye color shifts into a bright lavender when their Theriomorph nature takes over. In some cases, the Breedline see them as a threat to their species.

ADALWOLF - A species that has the power to shift from their human form into a beautiful creature, twice the size, resembling half man and half wolf. Born with super-strength, they can move from one place to another at supernatural speed. Their eyes take on the appearance of two shimmering diamonds. With the power to regenerate their own cells, an Adalwolf will stop aging at thirty. The moon has no power over them, and they are immune to silver. They can bond with any species.

LUPA (she-wolf) - The ancestors descended from the old legend of the lycanthrope, but the moon has no power over them. The species only affects female offspring. A Lupa is a dangerous creature of which shape-shifts into a therianthropic hybrid wolf-like creature.
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