Excerpt from “Thirteen Covens” by Audrey Brice

The blackened ritual chamber loomed before him in its grandeur. The high ceilings and intricate moldings were lost to the darkness. Upon the altar the temple incense bellowed from the thurible in thick tendrils of gray smoke, twisting and twining upward into a hazy plume that hung above the altar. The gates had been open now for well over forty-eight hours and he could feel ‘them’ congregating there. The ‘Others’, the ‘Devils’. Their malevolence filled the room with a palpable energy that made all of his instincts scream run. But he didn’t. He forced himself to approach the triangle that bound them. If the barrier was broken, even for a second… Fear overwhelmed him. He didn’t want to think about the ‘what if’. Plunging the world into a black abyss was the last thing he wanted. No, he merely wanted power and was willing to do anything to get it. He was too powerful a magus for them to escape anyway. They were his minions now, bound to him and willing to work for their ultimate release back to the astral plane. In the meantime, they would do his bidding, here, now. Before him, the swirling mass of entities bulged outward in a brilliant blueish glow of energetic fervor. All that power, his.

He couldn’t help but smile. It had taken him years to figure out how to open the gates. Months spent experimenting with summoning and charging the entities with menial tasks just to see how it all worked. So far he’d gotten the new job with a much higher salary. He had the big house and the new car. He even had the beautiful girls willing to do his every bidding and satiate his every carnal desire. Power, however, real power didn’t come from making a simple six figure salary. No, it came from millions and a prestigious position. It could take a few years, but he was fairly certain the entities had gotten him this far and they could certainly get him further. Perhaps a senate seat, and later, the presidency. The chosen one, the anti-Christ of the Christians. A new world order – a single world government, and if he had anything to do with it, he would be the one standing at the helm.

A sharp pain pierced his jaw. That’s when he realized he’d been grinding his teeth. He stopped and regarded the mass of writhing etheric creatures hovering inside the triangle before him, then without further thought turned his heel and left the ritual chamber, closing and locking the heavy oak door behind him.

Coming October 2011

About Steph

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at swordarkeereon@gmail.com

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