An Excerpt from Visions Before Midnight

I'm blogging about Epilogues today at Nine Naughty Novelists and happened to mention the Epilogue from Visions Before Midnight. So, for the benefit of those of you who are interested, here's the epilogue in its entirety. 

Yes, it contains some minor spoilers--Perdonarme! But nothing too blatant...I hope. Enjoy!

Three Weeks Later

Late November
The Long Snows Moon

The full moon shed its light upon the barren ground as a lone figure made his way through the silent forest; his hands stained with blood, his heart filled with laughter.

The house toward which he was headed had stood empty for many years. It had been a mansion, once, though; home to one of Oberon’s most prominent families. Until it, and the family, had fallen on hard times.

But times change. That was something you could always count on, Gregg thought, smiling slightly as he let himself in through the kitchen door. You could count on blood. You could count on death. And, you could always count on that bitch-mother time; to slap you down, to make you old, and then, when you least expected it, to pick you up by the hair and put you back on her tit.

Gregg rubbed his hand over his shaved skull and laughed softly. So, okay, maybe not by the hair, in his case. But, he was definitely back in Mama’s lap now. And that was fine by him. It beat being married to the bitch, after all. He’d grown old lying in Time’s bed, getting fucked by the old hag, year after year; locked away in a cell, waiting for his chance, thinking about all the mistakes he’d made––and figuring out how not to make them again next time around.

That was something else you could say about Time. She was a hard teacher, but a damn good one. He knew just what to do now, how to put himself back on top.

He looked around the cold, dirty kitchen. The house was going to take some work to get ready. It would take money, too, but he had plenty of that. And, soon, it would make the perfect Ashram. The perfect Church. The perfect home base for the cult he was going to start, right here in Oberon.

He couldn’t have asked for a better set up. The house was large enough to bed an army, it was secluded enough to escape detection, and it was located on one of the biggest psychic hot-spots on the face of the planet. He got hard just thinking about all the sensitives who he’d draw here; to exploit and to use.
All the seekers of truth and knowledge. All the seekers of power, too. Angels and devils. They were searching after such very different things, and yet...how very much alike they were at heart. Easy to fool. Easy to manipulate. All of them so desperate to find the answers; so willing to believe you when you told them that they had.

There was only one thing that still frustrated him. Sinead Quinn. She’d eluded him again. And, just when he thought he had her, too. For weeks he’d sworn he’d felt her responding to his call. He’d felt her mind as it struggled to resist him, he’d felt her refusal to yield, and all the pain that refusal cost her. And then...nothing. Maybe it had been too much for her. It could be he’d frightened her away again; or maybe, this time, he’d killed her.

That was a possibility, he supposed. It had always been a risk, after all. But great rewards were worth great risks. Especially in this case––where she took the risk and he’d have taken the reward.

Still, it was a disappointment. She’d fucked his record. She was the only one who’d ever gotten away from him––the only one who mattered, that is. But, if she was that easy to kill, he guessed he really didn’t need her anymore, anyway. He’d find someone else to dream for him. Someone stronger, tougher. Oberon was full of such talent.

He passed through the kitchen, through the narrow butler’s pantry with its walls of shelves, through the paneled dining room, and then up the stairs and into his bedroom. His eyes narrowed. The girl was asleep; curled up on his bed in a tight, little ball. He’d told her to stay awake, but had she listened? No.
Not really a surprise. Not really a disappointment, either, since it would give him another excuse to discipline her. That was always fun. Occasionally, of course, it went too far. Then you had a body to dispose of, which could be a problem. And, he didn’t need any problems right now.

But, maybe he had one, anyway? The fact that she was still alive was not a good sign. He really should have killed her that first night.

She was supposed to have been disposable. She had no psychic power worth speaking of, no special abilities, no talents. At least, none that were spirit based. There were some things she did very well, but that, perhaps, was not surprising, either. She was young, she was female, and he’d been locked away for a very long time. It could just be the novelty had yet to wear off.

He’d planned on making her his ritual sacrifice. A welcome home present to himself. But something had changed his mind. A couple of things, actually.

First of all, he’d already had his kill; that old nun who’d testified against him, and helped send him away. He’d returned the favor, and helped send her to the afterlife. It was just too bad she was already more than half dead when he found her. It would have been so much more fun if she’d struggled a little more. It would have been so much more satisfying if she’d died more slowly. A lot more slowly.

Which was why he took the girl. She was young. She was strong. He knew she would struggle. And, oh, yeah, he thought, fingering the newly healed scratches she’d left on his face and neck. She’d definitely struggled.

But, he hadn’t counted on her personality being what it was. He hadn’t expected to find someone whose darker side was almost as dark as his own. It intrigued him. It still intrigued him. He hadn’t planned on being intrigued.

Sometimes, the fun you didn’t plan for became the greatest fun of all.

It would still be fun to watch her die, of course. But, for now, it was more fun to watch her live. And learn. And change. To watch her soul grow darker, and darker...

After that he could kill her.

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