The Pythoness

The second installment of the The Gevaudan Chronicles is now available. Sign Up now to download The Pythoness free! Excerpt is available below.

Underneath all civilization, ancient or modern, moved and still moves a sea of magic, superstition, and sorcery. Perhaps they will remain when the works of our reason have passed away.

                                                        Will Durant

June 15, 2007

United Kingdom

She had no perception of time in the trance, but it always lasted exactly four hours. She had only managed two in the beginning, and it had taken a year to double the number.

This time, it was an endless plain of flowing grass, such as she had seen in pictures of North America. There were neither trees nor hills, only the face of an impossibly large, sunless horizon. She could have walked off the edge into oblivion.

A pinpoint of light emerged out of the twilight sky and grew. Shifting. Flashing. A spectrum of color unfolded before her eyes in an instant – blue, red, violet, white, each lingering just long enough for her to acknowledge its presence. A rush of emotion – love, grief, hate, joy. Breath caught in her throat, and she forced her heartbeat to its normal tempo. Ka-thump. Ka-thump. Ka-thump.

The light transformed. Three red cardinals emerged in flight. The birds flew as one, their song reverberating through the air, soaring upwards into the sky. They reached a height and descended. No longer cardinals, but owls, gliding downwards in a soundless, predatory hunt. They too transformed – three glowing orbs, one white, one blue, one red. They spun in a concentric harmony, quickening, growing, then merged into a single, massive sphere of pure violet.

Celine suddenly heard her own voice. Her lips moved without volition – flowing, incomprehensible words with the music of verse. She lost herself within them. The sphere became the sun, rising, setting, rising, setting. Day and night flashed before her in an alternating dance, growing faster, urgent – days, weeks, months, years passing in a moment. The words poured out of her throat, quicker, louder, desperate, her body on fire.

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