The third installment in the Seasons Change Vampire Series
Derek A. Schneider store @amazon
From the creator of Avenging Autumn and the Wintermen comes; Moonlight Springs Eternal. When the great black werewolf, Glass and the red witch, Tristessa find a way to plunge the country into eternal darkness, it's up to Jack Writeman, Harold Robinson and the witch Medellia to find the source of the power and destroy it before the werewolves overrun humanity. Meanwhile, Frank and Gloria are busy defending downtown Indianapolis, Officer Ed is caught in a chaotic battle to save New York City, and James is trapped in a basement with new witch; Leslie Burton as a werewolf assassin lurks on the grounds above. All of this leads to a pulse pounding climax beneath a full moon, and a startling revelation that may create a rift in the group forever.
The Lost Grimoire
Soma awoke to the sound of whinnying horses and a strong smell that was a mixture of hay and manure. Her head was aching and what had led to her being there, flat on her ass with her hands bound to a stable post above her, was still a little fuzzy. A solitary kerosene lamp hung above the door, casting shadows in every corner of the barn. In one of these corners, Soma caught movement in her peripheral vision. Yellow eyes peered out of the darkness at her and she suddenly began to remember the situation she was caught in.
The door to the barn slowly creaked open and through it walked the red nightmare that was Tristessa. A strong night breeze followed the witch inside, whipping her crimson robes and bright, red hair around her with dramatic effect. She closed the door and stared down at Soma with a clear expression of hatred on her face.
“Hello, Soma,” Tristessa hissed. Though she didn’t move from her spot by the door, Soma could feel the witches power radiate across the barn. “I’ve already had a very tiring day so I’m going to make this brief. There will be no second chances and I will not ask you twice. Where is my book?”
Soma tried her best to stare back at Tristessa with defiance but felt her strength falter against the terrifying determination in the witches perfect, smooth features. She looked away and stared blankly at the barn door.
“I find your silence to be most disappointing,” Tristessa stated. She placed a pale white hand on the barn door and pushed it open a crack. Leaning out the door, she whispered something inaudible.
Now, Soma’s breathing came in short, quick burst with the anticipation of what would soon be coming in the door. She knew the old witch was twisted beyond all imagination, she had seen her exhibit her sick sense of punishment before, though this would be the first time it was directed at her.
The young witch tried to quiet her own breathing and listen for any sound from outside. She heard nothing but the soft, cool wind blowing through the trees. Still, the crimson witch stood, holding the heavy barn door open with no sign of strain on her face.
Then she saw it. A small garden spider, no more than an inch long, came crawling clumsily through the open door. Soma was not afraid of spiders. As a matter of fact she was rather fond of them, as was any respectable witch.
Suddenly, another spider (this one slightly larger) tumbled around the corner and followed the first toward her. Then cane another and another and soon there were hundreds of them scuttling through the dirt floor of the barn.
Tristessa spared a malicious smile at the young witch. Then, with her right hand still holding the door ajar, she held up her left hand as if reaching for something beyond her arms length. Soma felt pressure on her knees, just before some unseen force spread them wide open and pulled her dress up. It wasn’t until then that she noticed her panties were missing. They must have removed them while she was unconscious.
Now, Soma knew what was coming and was sure if she let it get to her she would break and give away the secret she was so closely guarding. Being fully aware of Tristessa’s fondness for mind games, she kept reassuring herself that the spiders weren’t real. They were nothing more than a nasty trick pulled by a sick individual.
The first of the spiders reached her and she was vaguely aware of its searching legs touching the soft mound between her thighs.
Again, she told herself it wasn’t really there.
Now the second one was exploring the area greedily and Soma was sure she could feel their busy legs tugging at the place were few men had known.
No, it’s all an illusion, she was sure of it.
The rest of the spiders were now reaching their destination, and Soma could feel them beginning to crawl up inside her. She let out a strangled cry at the probing legs that were now exploring the most private area of her body.
There not real! There not real!
But they were real, and that realization had suddenly hit her like an iron skillet to the face. There were real life spiders crawling inside her vagina. With nothing else to do to distract her from the horror of it all she began to count them. There were four of them in there now. Why? Why was she counting them? There was number seven. Wouldn’t it be easier to just tell them what they want to hear? Fifteen. Just tell them, a voice shouted in her head and now she could feel hundreds of legs moving, exploring inside of her. Tell them! Tell them! Tell them!
“ENOUGH!” Soma shouted. “I GAVE THE BOOK TO MY SISTER. MEDELLIA HAS THE BOOK, ALONG WITH THE NEW GIRL. THEY LEFT THE COMPOUND HOURS AGO, YOU’LL NEVER FIND THEM.”
Tristessa’s eyes grew large with rage. “We shall see just how well they can outrun a werewolf.”
Soma watched in agony and horror as Glass, possibly the most feared werewolf in the world, stepped from the shadowy corner. His black fur bristled as if electrified and he awaited the command of his mistress.
“Find them,” Tristessa ordered, “and bring back my book.” She looked back at Soma. “You can do what you want with her, as long as you’re quick about it.”
With that the red witch walked out of the barn. Glass walked slowly over to Soma. He sniffed her hair briefly and listened to the delicious pleas and cries for mercy. He had always been rather fond of Soma, so her mercy was granted and the last thing the witch saw in her life was the massive teeth of the great, black werewolf.
The air in the Canadian wilderness still has quite the nip to it, even with the coming of spring. As Medellia burst through a rough patch of undergrowth with Leslie Burton following closely behind, she made note of how sickly cold the sweat on her brow made her feel. Moving through the woods was made even more difficult by the large, heavy book that she had stuffed under her arm, the lost grimoire that was the key to all of Tristessa’s plans.
“Can we please stop and catch our breath?” Leslie asked.
Medellia looked around nervously and said; “Just for a moment, we need to stay on the move.”
It was obvious the new girl was scared and she had only learned she was a witch three months ago so she wouldn’t be much help if trouble came, but without her they would not have gotten away with the book. She only hoped Soma was alright.
Both witches took a seat on a nearby tree that had been uprooted and turned over who knows how many years ago. Medellia pulled the heavy book from beneath her robes and ran her hand over the ancient surface. The fact that the grimoire had survived for so long was a true testament of the magic that had bound it. The thick cover that surrounded the dog eared pages was made from the hide of some long dead reptile and the emblem on the cover was unfamiliar but evoked warm feelings within Medellia that she was unable to describe.
“How old is it?” Leslie inquired.
“I don’t know exactly,” Medellia replied. “Well over two thousand years though.”
“And it’s been lost nearly all that time?”
“Yes. How Tristessa came to find it, I’ll never know.” Medellia stood and shoved the book back under her robes. “Come on, let’s get moving again.”
The girls took only three steps before they were stopped in their tracks. From very close behind them came a low, deep sound that resembled the agonizing moans of a long, lost spirit more than the howl of a werewolf. Medellia knew better.
“What the fuck was that?” Leslie asked.
“It’s Glass,” Medellia replied in a panicked voice. “Run!”
Medellia took off down the hill, leaving Leslie behind. While she was fond of the girl, she wasn’t about to give Glass any more time than he needed to catch up. Besides, the book was the most important thing, and if she could prevent it from falling back into the hands of Tristessa and her twisted horde of followers, then she would do what it takes.
The further down the hill she got, the thicker the underbrush seemed to grow and with the blooming branches of the trees above, moonlight was scarce to nonexistent over the forest ground. Finally, she held her free hand out in front of her (her other was still busy trying to keep hold of the heavy book under her robes) and an invisible force rushed forward, ripping through the greenery on the ground creating a narrow path for the two witches to follow. It was a spell that had once taken great preparation and focus to achieve when she was young, now it was nothing more than a wave of a hand and a quick thought, as easy as opening a door or pushing a button.
They were moving at a much faster pace now and Medellia could hear the younger witch’s heavy breathing right behind her. She was relieved to know Leslie was keeping up.
From behind them came the low, eerie sound of the howl only the werewolf known as Glass could emit. He was much closer now and Medellia knew they couldn’t out run him. She began to rack her brain frantically for another option.
Again she forced the plant life in front of her aside, making the path a little longer. From close behind she could have sworn she heard the huge, black werewolf moving fast through the trees. Their time was growing short and running didn’t appear to be the answer.
Meddellia stopped and glanced around the area, desperate for any other escape route. When she looked back at the path she had created through the shrubbery, her heart stopped at the sight of Glass barreling down the path at full speed. Leslie screamed and took off down the hill while Medellia stood her ground and stared the werewolf down.
At ten yards away, Glass leapt through the air at Medellia with claws out and ready to rip into the witch’s flesh. Medellia quickly waved her hand and the plants around the werewolf came to life, reaching out and wrapping around the arms and legs of the beast and pulling him to the ground.
Medellia turned and continued down the hill, knowing full well the werewolf was too powerful to be held down for long. Leslie Burton was nowhere in sight and Medellia didn’t blame her for running off the way she did, any werewolf was frightening to behold but Glass was off the charts scary.
Another inhuman howl pierced the air, but this one was full of hot rage. Glass would soon be on her trail again.
She came to an area where the trees grew close together and decided it would be an ideal place to hide. She climbed up three trees that were so close together that they seemed to share the same roots. Then she cast a spell that bent the branches and vines up to hide her.
Only seconds passed before she saw Glass emerge from a thick mound of bushes from the west. He began to stalk casually through the area and sniff busily at the air. Medellia suddenly realized hiding may have been a worse idea than running.
The werewolf changed to his human form. Standing at nearly seven feet tall with a bald head, dark chocolate skin and biceps as big as basketballs, he was nearly as imposing as the monster that he could become.
“I know your nearby, Medellia,” Glass said. His voice was the low rumble of thunder. “It may be comforting for you to know; your sister, Soma died quickly.”
Medellia took in a sharp breath at the shock of this news.
“Of course,” the werewolf continued, “that was after Tristessa tortured her by sending an army of spiders right up her pussy. No mind tricks this time, I saw them with my own eyes.”
Tears began to flow down Medellia’s cheeks, and she tried to hold back any sound of her crying that may give away her hiding place. She used the sleeve of her robe to wipe her eyes and that was all it took for Glass to disappear from sight.
Her breath stopped. She looked out through the tree branches for any sign of the foul creature, but saw nothing. All was silent in the forest save for the freshly grown leaves that rustled with a slight breeze.
Suddenly the small space she peered through was blocked by the human face of Glass as he looked in at her.
“Your tears are like salty footsteps on the breeze,” he said with a note of excited desire in his voice. His change back to werewolf form was instantaneous and he wasted no time chomping and ripping away at the branches that had kept Medellia hidden.
Before the witch could think of a way to escape, a loud crack echoed through the trees, reverberating off the branches, and Glass let out a painful yelp. When the beast turned toward the source of his pain, Medellia was surprised to see Leslie Burton standing there, breathing heavily and gripping a large, freshly broken tree branch in her hands.
Glass began to walk toward the girl with slow determination. He wasn’t used to people getting the drop on him like that (and Medellia had no idea how Leslie had managed it) but it was pretty clear that he was royally pissed off.
Medellia knew she had to take advantage of the situation while the creature’s back was turned. Holding her hands up in front of her, leaving about a foot of space between them, she summoned a telekinetic force ball.
“Get down!” she cried. As soon as Leslie hit the ground Medellia pushed the ball as hard as she could. The invisible energy ripped through the branches and as Glass turned to see what was coming, he was hit full force in the chest.
The werewolf was knocked through the air, flying clear over Leslie and he slammed hard against a large oak tree. The tree splintered and fell hard on top of Glass.
“Let’s go!” Medellia shouted. The two witches went sprinting through the forest, not bothering to wait and see if Glass would recover from the damage he had taken.
On an on they ran through the seemingly endless forest only coming to an abrupt stop when they reached the edge of a cliff at the bottom of a small hill.
“What now?” Leslie asked.
Medellia looked back and forth along the cliff. “Well, I suppose we’ll have to turn back and find a way down.”
“With that thing back there after us?”
“Don’t worry,” Medellia said making an effort to mask her uncertainty. “I don’t think he’ll recover from that shot very quickly. I gave him everything I had.”
As if on cue, the trees at the top of the hill exploded and the black werewolf hurled toward his prey at full steam.
“Get behind me!” Medellia shouted. Leslie did as she was told and once again the more experienced witch held her hands out and gathered a powerful telekinetic ball. She waited until Glass was only a few yards away, when he would have no possible chance at dodging the attack at the speed he was moving. Then she pushed it forward with all of her might.
Glass didn’t try to dodge the ball. Instead, he lowered his shoulder like he was going to break down a door and let his momentum do the rest.
Medellia saw the fur on the werewolf’s shoulder press inward when the force hit, she saw the ripple in the air as the ball rebounded back at her, and though she saw what was going to happen next, there was no way she could stop it.
The telekinetic ball slammed into her abdomen, knocking all of the wind out of her lungs and sending both her and Leslie Burton tumbling over the edge of the cliff.
Medellia watched in horror as Leslie fell to the wilderness below and was surprised when she felt Glass’ human hand close around her forearm. For a moment, just a split second, she thought he was saving her life. That he hadn’t meant for things to go this far. It was a foolish thought.
Glass held her there over the drop, the anger in his face almost causing the air around him to undulate like hot pavement in summer. His free hand shot forward and pulled the book from her robe.
“No.” she whined weakly. Without another word, Glass let go of her arm.