Thursday, February 7, 2019

{BOOK SPOTLIGHT} MERIDAN CHRONICLES: BLACK WIDOW CURSE & THE COVEN by M.D. Fryson @madelyn_fryson @pumpupyourbook


MERIDIAN CHRONICLES: BLACK WIDOW CURSE & THE COVEN by M.D. Fryson, Paranormal Romance, 408 pp., $12.63(paperback) $2.99 (Kindle)

Title: MERIDIAN CHRONICLES BLACK WIDOW CURSE & THE COVEN
Author: M.D. Fryson
Publisher: AMF Publishing
Pages: 408
Genre: Paranormal Romance

MERIDIAN’S curse has left her in a state all her own of amnesia. She is on Earth lost and afraid with only fragments to piece together her mysterious circumstance. The curse has taken the unimaginable from her, but that is just scratching the surface. The Black Widow curse will reveal itself through the demon’s riddle, the Coven and the Fairy Nymphs.

A trip back to Salem is just what the psychic ordered, but treachery lurks with an ex coven member who calls on demons. The demon realm offers more riddles than answers, but a stroke of luck from the high demon court, brings in a sophisticated demon, Lahash who has grown tired of the games.
The curse hides Meridian’s identity and her memory will unlock the Universal secret of her twin soul to find her way home. As Meridian finds Aiden so do the impacts of her curse and what it could do to their budding relationship.

Meridian’s soul and fate are in the cross hairs, while the odds rise between the demons, witches and the fairies.

Finally having found Aiden, the Fairy Queen comes through to send aid to Meridian, but she still doubts herself and contemplates running away from it all. Who is Meridian’s twin soul? Will she go back to Etheria or will the curse reign down on Meridian?

Find out in this dark and twisted paranormal romance.

ORDER YOUR COPY:









First Chapter

The air was crisp and cool as it danced around her face and through her messy raven hair. With a quick stop to investigate the window of the restaurant, she paused at the reflection staring back at her; Meridian did not recognize who she was.  Her disheveled look was unflattering, and her dark and ominous wardrobe gave her the appearance of someone heading for a funeral, a fan of Johnny Cash, or on the other end, a lover of all things gothic.  Wincing, she turned away from the stranger in the reflection and continued to walk down the street that she had once known in another life. Meridian had no idea where or who she was, or how she had arrived in such a state.  With overwhelming emotions raging inside, the flush on her face gave color to her pale face, and her eyes appeared even more piercing with the compliment of the blush in her cheeks.
As she walked down the street from Aiden’s old school, her mind scrambled with thoughts. Her face devoid of movement, like a statue, it would not have been hard for any onlooker passing by her to see how lonely she felt.   All Meridian could remember was Aiden and a distant memory of a name, Talon, but she was not sure why these names came to her and what the importance of these names was.  The more her mind obsessively ran over thoughts of things she didn’t understand, the quicker her pace became as though she was running from something.  Maybe she was running her way back to, in the very least, a clue that would brim with familiarity.
Meridian passed a few shops and a small bar that were out of place amongst the administrative offices and city hall. Meridian was unaware though; she wouldn’t have known what was out of place in this world.   She stopped outside the bar, looked in the windows, and did not see anyone there. Moments later, she heard voices from inside as the door came open.  A woman dressed very strangely was saying goodbye to the owner of the bar. “I will see you later, Stephanie!” she yelled out to the bar owner.
There Tallulah stood, looking at Meridian, adorned with jewelry of Celtic and Wiccan symbols.  Her light brown hair was long, but strategically swept up in a messy bun atop her head and looked as though it had not seen a wash in a couple of days.  Her clothes hung loosely on her large curvy body giving it a boxy appearance, her feet were hidden by the overture of her long dress, and she smelled of patchouli. Although Meridian was not quite sure what the scent was, as she had not encountered it before, it somehow gave her a sense of knowing and comfort.  Meridian stared at the woman as she was trying to put together this feeling of familiarity.  Tallulah waved her arms in sync with her exchange with the woman inside the bar, her large and gaudy bracelet chiming with every move of her hand.   Meridian could not help but stare at the eccentric lady as she spoke to the other woman.
“Sure thing. Come by for a chat soon,” Stephanie answered back as Tallulah closed the door and took notice of Meridian’s stare.   Tallulah’s smiling face quickly changed, and the twinkle in her eye disappeared as she looked at Meridian.   Meridian’s expression struck Tallulah; as a psychic, she was too sensitive of a person to just walk on by.
“Hi, how are you?” Tallulah asked with concern.
Meridian stood with her arms crossed barely making eye contact.  She kept her head down, kicking a small pebble on the ground as though that it was more important than Tallulah engaging in conversation with her.  After a very long pause, she allowed her deep and mesmerizing green eyes to look up and quietly answer, “I am okay.”
“You sure you are okay?  Are you looking for someone?” Tallulah asked.
“I really don’t know. I mean I do not know if I am okay or not, and I am looking for someone, but I do not know how to find him.  His name is Aiden,” Meridian quietly explained, keeping her voice down as passersby continued to stare.
“Aiden?  Hmm, I do not know anyone by that name.  Are you from around here?”  Tallulah inquired further.
“No, I am from out of town, and I do not know anyone here.”  Meridian realized how she must sound to the stranger she was speaking to.  She worried that this somehow familiar woman would see right through her, and in Meridian’s mind, there was no telling what that would entail for her.
“How did you get here?  Do you have any parents or family?  I see many people in my line of work, but I get the feeling I know you.  Have we ever met before?”  Tallulah was a little taller than Meridian, and she was bent at the waist just low enough to try to peer into Meridian’s eyes that were still locked on the ground.    Her questions though innocent felt invasive to the lost and castaway spirit guide. 
 “What is your name, sweetie?”  Tallulah pressed on after receiving no reply, “I am sorry I am asking you so many questions.  Where are my manners?  In a small town, we all try to help one another; we are all like family.  I didn’t stop to think about how that may come across to a stranger.”  Tallulah looked away from Meridian.
Meridian stopped kicking the pebble and looked up to the woman who had now stopped trying to make eye contact. “Meridian, I think.  I am not sure.  I can’t really remember things.” Meridian looked around seeking any clue to remind her of who she may be, but nothing was ringing any bells.  As she heard herself speak, it left her feeling even more vulnerable and embarrassed.
“What happened? Were you in some sort of accident?  I can call someone for you or take you somewhere if it would help you out,” Tallulah explained as she fumbled through her big purse digging for her cell phone. After several minutes of digging through a seemingly endless purse, Meridian put her hand out to Tallulah.
“No, no, it is fine, really.  I don’t need you to call anyone for me. I don’t know what happened to me exactly.  I just know I woke up in the high school parking lot, and I went into the school. The Principal called the authorities, but while I was waiting I asked if he knew where Aiden lived, and he said that he lived in a farmhouse off a county road outside of town. That was where I was headed when I stopped here,” Meridian said.
“Well, there aren’t but a few county roads around here in this small town.  How come you didn’t wait for the authorities?”  Tallulah asked further as she looked back at Meridian.
“I don’t know. I don’t think I have done anything wrong, I just had this name in my mind, and I wanted to find him.” Meridian paused.  “I don’t even know him... I don’t think I do. I just…” Meridian stopped herself.  She did not want to say anymore or mention Talon’s name.
“So, you do not remember anything but this Aiden’s name, and you do not know him, and you don’t know what happened?”   Tallulah’s eyes were dark and soulful, like deep pools of water that were still and quiet.  “I do not want to push, so I am going to get back over to my shop.  If you change your mind, I would be happy to call someone for you.  I do hope you are okay. Here is my card.”  Tallulah had managed to pull an old bent up business card with her information on it and handed it over to Meridian.  Tallulah began walking away across the street and back to her place.
Meridian took a glance at the card, and then she looked around at the street at all the people walking around.  She looked back at Tallulah who had just made it to her door, and she was again digging through her big purse looking for her keys.
Meridian dashed across the street. “Right, but the strange thing is you seem familiar to me too, but I don’t know how,” she said.
Tallulah smiled as she pointed at a sign on the door that read ‘Psychic readings by Tallulah’.  Meridian glanced up at the sign while Tallulah unlocked the door and walked in, leaving the door open for Meridian to follow.  Tallulah went through her living area straight to the kitchen and set her things down.   “I am the town psychic, and perhaps you came to me for a reading?  I know that you seem familiar to me as well, but I have done so many readings that I cannot always remember each person.”
“Maybe I did.  That could have happened.” Meridian walked in and took a look around.  Tallulah had an old light brown carpet on the floor that looked as though it had been well maintained.  Her walls were an old wood paneling job that were decorated with paintings of country fields and purple coneflowers.  Scents of lavender were heavy as Meridian continued toward the kitchen.  Tallulah’s table was small and decorated with a cheap linen cloth with red stripes and a centerpiece of large crystal quartz, set on a mirror with a crack in the center.
“Would you let me take you to the hospital to be checked to make sure that you are okay, at least?  I can try to help you find your friend, and maybe he can help you find your parents and family.  I am sorry I am not more help; I am uncertain what else I can do for you.”  Tallulah filled her teapot from the sink and moved over to heat it up on the stove.
“Hmm, I do not want to go to the hospital right now.  Is there something else I could do?  Do you have any more suggestions?”  Meridian dropped onto Tallulah’s large couch.  Sitting down, she scooted all the way to the back of the couch where her feet dangled off the ground.
“Sure, I could give you a reading on the house?  I may not be good at many things, but I am good at a reading - or so I am told.”  Tallulah’s eye’s twinkled in the light coming in from her large picture window.
Tallulah led the way into her favorite room - the reading room.  There were crystals placed throughout, and smudge sticks sitting on a shelf for customers to purchase.   A red curtain separated the living-waiting room from her small and private area for clients.    The charm hanging from the ceiling fan switch was two half-moons on either side of a moon with a Witch’s pentagram in the center, and Meridian walked over to the fan to reach up to touch the charm.
“That is my wind chime. I bought it while I went on a trip to Salem, Massachusetts… you know, for Halloween weekend. I always did enjoy going to Salem.  I have plans to go back this year.”  Tallulah attempted to hand Meridian a cup of tea, however, Meridian had not pulled her eyes away from the charm, barely taking notice of what Tallulah was sharing.    Her thoughts were interrupted by a divine scent that immersed through the air as Tallulah stood next to Meridian holding her tea.
“What is that wonderful smell?” Meridian looked into the cup and inhaled the steam floating away from the cup.
“Oh, that is chamomile tea.  I thought you would want a cup to warm you up.  Fall is certainly in the air.   I love to have my teas,” Tallulah said as she sat down at her table putting away her tarot cards. “Now, what can you remember about yourself?”
“I truly do not have a clue about my whereabouts or even where I come from. Judging by the way I am dressed, I look like I am going to a funeral, I guess?” Meridian looked down at herself and opened up her arms as she explained herself.  “Well, maybe not a funeral. I am sure I would wear a sweater over a shirt like this.”  Meridian pulled the end of her sheer black shirt that showed through to the black bra she was wearing underneath.  The only thing she had on over her tawdry shirt was a black leather waistcoat that barely zipped up over her large breasts.
“Well, you look like maybe you like gothic style, and there is nothing wrong with that.  It’s all right to be proud of your body. I mean, as long as you are comfortable with that kind of attention.   I see a lot of that with my clientele.  This little town is a wonderful place away from the bigger cities.  It is small enough that most people who have lived here a long time know each other. However, it is growing, so we do see new faces more frequently.  If you like the beach, we are just about an hour away, and there is plenty to do down at the boardwalk.
Meridian looked right at Tallulah. The psychic had jumped from her comment on Meridian’s wardrobe right into her sharing information on the area, but Meridian got hung up on Tallulah’s remark about her outfit. “Attention?  I don’t understand.”  Meridian took the seat across Tallulah’s reading table.
“Oh, now you have to know what kind of attention that you get.  I am sure all the guys must look at you.  I mean you definitely have the body to pull off your look well.  Don’t be ashamed.”    Tallulah didn’t give the raven beauty any time to respond, and she moved right on to what she knew she did best.  “So, let us do a reading and see what I can help you out with.”
Tallulah closed her eyes.  Soon she began to see images flash through her mind of Meridian and what she looked like as a guide.  She had platinum blonde hair and a glowing tattoo on her wrist that represented Infiniti.  She caught a glimpse of her own self and the woman she was reading back when Meridian, Relic and Caius came in to talk with her.  She remembered that day and how odd it was to have spirits talking to her in the way they were with their strange requests.  Tallulah could not get any more on Meridian, but she did see a glimpse of Aiden driving down his grandparent’s long dirt road to their home.  With his window rolled down and his rock music blaring, his long blond hair blew around with the wind and his bright smile spread across his face.  Tallulah opened her eyes, and she looked at Meridian with some confusion. She remembered the names of the guides, and it startled her that one of the spirits she had spoken to had the same name.
“What is it, Tallulah? Can you tell me anything?”  Meridian’s excitement did not give Tallulah another moment to collect thoughts any further.  She was leaning in and studying Tallulah’s face.
“Well, I got a flash of you, but you looked different. Can I see your wrist?”  As Tallulah examined Meridian’s wrist, the tattoo was there, but it was not glowing white like she saw in her mind, it was just a simple black tattoo of the infinity symbol.  Tallulah’s face showed her confusion, and Meridian was becoming just as confused.  “Meridian, did you dye your hair?  Or was it another color before?”
“What?  I don’t think so.” Meridian walked over to the mirror on the wall as she looked at herself.  “I would think that I have always had black hair and green eyes.”
“Well, in my vision I see you, but your hair is platinum blonde, and you still have green eyes, but they are a very light translucent green and they are very, well… deep would be a good word to describe them.  They do not look like any green eyes I have seen before, and the tattoo was glowing and a silvery color, not black like it is now.  The mark on your wrist seemed like a hologram that floated above your wrist, casting a dark silver or grey shadow, but it isn’t a shadow.  This is all very different, compelling, and strange.   I also saw a vision of a boy and wonder if this is your Aiden. He had blond hair, about shoulder length, and he was driving a black truck down a dirt drive to a farmhouse. That house looks like the one I pass on the way out of town, and I think this must be him.  This is very strange,” Tallulah repeated as she questioned herself.
Meridian continued to study her reflection.  Long, flowing jet-black hair and piercing green eyes. Her eyes were the only thing that made sense to her, but she still remained puzzled with her fuzzy memory, in contrast with what Tallulah said.  Meridian’s delight left, and her statue-like expression returned - accompanied by the slump she had carried when she and Tallulah had met on the street.  She plopped back down onto her seat at the table and put her head in her hands as she stared at Tallulah.
“Meridian, I was doing a reading last year for a client of mine, and I had to ask her to leave because I was getting some spirits making strange requests.  They spoke to me, and I could hear them, and their names were Caius, Relic and…Meridian.” Tallulah stopped as she saw Meridian’s face light up.  “They were Spirit Guides that watch over humankind.”
“Are you saying I am her?  I am Meridian the Spirit Guide?” Meridian’s voice drifted as she pulled a strand of her hair in front of her eyes, for a closer look.   “This makes no sense; how can I be a spirit and be here talking to you?”
“I don’t know, child.  This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me, and trust me, I have had some strange experiences.  They were asking me about a Fairy Quartz stone and how to locate the family or persons who had it.  I never truly answered them; I asked them to leave.  I knew where the stone was, but I was afraid to say anything.” Tallulah took pause as she waited for Meridian’s reaction.
Meridian stood with her hand over her wide-open mouth, the shock evident in her expression. “Tallulah, I think I am her.  I remember… I remember being here and seeing you and the stone, but I have no idea why I needed it.  I am so confused, but this seems more like a dream I had. Nothing that would be realistic.”  Meridian walked over to the couch and sat down in disbelief of her own thoughts. “Maybe this is a dream, and maybe I don’t remember because I was in an accident or something?  I mean isn’t this backwards?  Shouldn’t it be a human goes on to the spirit world, not the other way around?”  Meridian looked to Tallulah for some semblance of comfort, but as she looked at the psychic, she did not find what she was looking for.  Instead, Tallulah appeared to be just as confounded as Meridian.
After much urging from Tallulah, the pair went down to the hospital for a full work up, and to make sure there wasn’t anything that they could find to piece together Meridian’s circumstance.  Tallulah had taken on quite a bit, and she questioned herself as to if this was really something she should be involved with.  After the hospital checked Meridian, and they saw no signs of trauma, Tallulah felt better knowing that at least physically, Meridian was okay.  The pair sat in the waiting room as they waited on more test results coming back from the lab.
“What else do we need to have tested?”  Meridian was impatient as she sat drumming her fingernails on the magazine that lay on her lap.
“Well, I have never had this happen to me either, but I think it makes sense that we have you checked out.  The next thing we will look at doing - if we can’t locate your family - is finding a place for you to stay.  There are shelters here for folks who have nowhere to stay.”  Tallulah sat with her large purse in her lap digging for her wallet, so she could get a drink from the vending machine.  Meridian raised an eyebrow and smiled as she watched the digging.
“Why don’t you get a smaller bag?”  Meridian elbowed Tallulah gently and laughed.
“Why should I?  I like having what I need. It just takes me a while to get it!” She popped back at her new acquaintance.  Tallulah made her way to the vending machine, and as she was putting her change in, one of the doctors who had seen Meridian for her checkup approached with a clipboard and some papers.  Meridian stood and watched the pair visiting. Tallulah appeared confused as she shook her head several times and shrugged her shoulders as she responded to the doctor’s inquiries.  After a few more moments, the doctor, alongside Tallulah, walked over to where Meridian was sitting in the waiting area.
“Meridian, I have the results of another set of labs we ran, and I am troubled by some of the results we have uncovered.  It appears that you do not have a blood type.  No matter how many times we rechecked for errors, the results are always the same.  The strangest thing is, you seem fine, and there are no indications of anything that could be wrong with you.  I have no reason to hold you here, except by you volunteering to run some more tests.  Maybe there is something else that is going on with you that we have yet to uncover.  I seriously think you should come back for some additional testing. If you don’t want to do it now, you can go to the front with an order, and they can schedule it.”  Dr. Jones walked away leaving Meridian and Tallulah with an order to take for an appointment.
“I don’t want to do this!”  Meridian shouted at Tallulah.
Tallulah paused and looked around struggling with what to do.  “Okay, okay; calm down.  You and I both know that there is more to you than we can share with just anyone.  I am happy to know for the most part you are all right.  We can hold onto the work order for now.  I have some friends that may be able to help you, but you have to promise me that if for any reason we can’t uncover what we need to in order to satisfy your mystery, that you will come here and allow the staff here to take care of you.”  Tallulah’s tone was forceful.
“Well, it doesn’t sound like you are giving me an option.  I will only do so if they do not have a clue how to help me.  It sounds to me as I am being volun-told,” Meridian acquiesced with a guarded endorsement.   They left the hospital and found a shelter that Meridian was welcomed to stay in. Tallulah left Meridian there while making a few calls to help her out. One of those calls was back to her dear friend, Stephanie.  Tallulah was hopeful she could put Meridian to work while they worked out the young woman’s perplexing circumstance.








I am a wife and mom to three boys. I am an animal lover especially horses that I used to ride, train and show. Someday will do once more!

Favorite books are anything astrology, self help, motivation, romance and humor.
I love chocolate, coffee, my family (not in that order), and the beach.

I like to garden, hike, jog, swim and travel. My oldest two boys tell me I am weird as they laugh and I’ll take that as a good thing. I am told I am witty and sarcastic and I believe that comes out in my writing.

The third installment to this series comes out September, 2019 and I am nearly finished with the last book to the series that comes out in 2020.

Website Link: www.mdfryson.com

Twitter Link: @madelyn_fryson


 

Win Black Widow Curse & The Coven signed copy, coffee mug, book bling, $25 Starbucks Gift Card! 

Enter below!





http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Blog Tour: The Atlantis Deception by Mark H. Jackson


THE ATLANTIS DECEPTION by Mark H. Jackson, Adventure/Thriller, 288 pp., $18.22 (paperback) $3.99 (kindle)



Title: THE ATLANTIS DECEPTION
Author: Mark H. Jackson
Publisher: Unbound Digital
Pages: 288
Genre: Adventure/Thriller

A German property developer, Hans Hoffmann, revels in the belief he has discovered the key to unleashing the weapon responsible for sinking Atlantis. Hoffmann requests the help of Cambridge archaeologist, Dr John Hunter to validate his mysterious find. Hunter’s acceptance leads the maverick academic on a journey from the headquarters of a clandestine organisation in England, to a lost city in the heart of the Brazilian Rainforest, and climaxes inside a chamber hidden deep beneath Egyptian Heliopolis. Pioneering theory is spliced by epic battles, daring escapes, and elaborate schemes aimed at unravelling a secret history hidden from humanity for the past twelve thousand years.

Atlantis is a very visual word. A word evoking mystery, forgotten realms, underwater palaces… the list goes on. I find this Plato inspired concept of Atlantis fascinating and read anything and everything I can lay my hands on. The theories are diverse and range from the feasible to the outlandish, but certain concepts keep reoccurring. The Atlantis Deception takes the ideas of accepted and alternative theory, weaving them together to create a believable universe where our past still dictates our future.

The novel follows the trials and tribulations of a fictional Cambridge academic, Dr John Hunter. The focus is not on Atlantis itself, but rather on what happened to its people it the wake of the loss of their homeland. The Atlantis Deception is a classic action adventure tale with heroes, villains, shadowy organisations and self-serving plots, each underpinned by progressive archaeological theory. The novel is written with the aim of both exciting and making readers think in equal measure. Although imagined, many of the conclusions the characters reach are cutting edge and described in such a way so as to blur the line between fact and fiction.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon



 

Chapter Twenty-Nine
Mato Grosso, Brazil, 1939

Himmler paused, bending to examine a black, broken piece of rock
discarded on the forest floor. He turned it in his hand, frowning as
he swept a finger over its impeccable, marble-like finish. It must have
been chipped from a statue or pillar. It was impressive workmanship
and Himmler doubted even the largest construction companies
in Germany would have done any better, even with their modern
machinery and tooling techniques. He slipped the fragment into his
pocket, a tingle of childlike excitement building in his stomach.
After years of ploughing Nazi resources into the Ahnenerbe, he was
at last on the verge of completing his quest. If the papers found in
Tibet by the short-sighted idiot, Ernst Schafer, were to be believed,
then it wouldn’t be long before he possessed the evidence he craved:
solid, indisputable proof linking Aryan Germany to prehistory’s
greatest lost empire, the kingdom of Atlantis. Armed with this knowledge,
Himmler was convinced the Aryans of Europe would rally
under the Nazi banner, joining forces with the Fuhrer to form an
unstoppable alliance tasked with reclaiming the lands and legendary
technologies of their ancestors.
Tibirica barked a command in Himmler’s direction, snapping him
out of the daydream. There were still several steps he needed to tread
along this path and he needed to focus on the present. Proving his
doubters wrong would have to wait. A month earlier, Hitler himself
had dismissed the Ahnenerbe as mere folly and the criticism still
smarted his ego. Luckily for him, his reputation ensured the majority
of Party members were still happy to indulge the quest. Himmler
wasn’t a man anyone wanted as an enemy, and the Party viewed their
support as an easy way to appease his infamous temper.
Up ahead, Tibirica swept aside a dense section of foliage and signalled
for Himmler to follow. He disappeared through the gap with
his son and the vines dropped back in place. Himmler looked down at
the diminutive translator. His hate for the man welled inside his gut.
He despised the reliance his current predicament demanded he place
on such an insignificant being. Back in occupied Europe he would
have ordered the creature’s execution without even batting an eyelid.
But out here… He shook his head. Out here this dirt-encrusted man
was irreplaceable.
‘You go first and tell me if it’s safe,’ said Himmler.
‘W-w-what if it t-t-trap?’ stuttered the petrified translator.
‘That is why you are going first.’ Himmler shoved him in the small
of his back and propelled him through the foliage, sending him crashing
into whatever lay beyond. With a bone-crunching thud the translator
hit something solid and yelped in pain. He staggered backwards
and lost his footing, returning through the greenery and landing at
the feet of his employer. He whimpered and pulled a mucky rag from
his pocket, pressing it against his broken and bloodied nose.
‘Well?’ asked Himmler, suppressing laughter. ‘How did you get
on?’
‘Wall… Wall on other side.’
Himmler frowned and slipped a hand through the thick, leafy
foliage. His hand barely cleared the flora when it met something solid,
something sharing the same smooth surface as the strange flake of
rock in his pocket. Himmler’s eyes widened in anticipation. Could he
really be touching the walls of the lost city? It was an incredible feat
of engineering. He couldn’t have been closer, and yet, if it weren’t for
Tibirica, he and his men would have walked on by, never knowing
how close he’d come to his goal. Not for the first time, he offered up
a quick word of thanks to Lady Luck. This information alone more
than made up for the loss of life inflicted on his Gruppe.
Himmler forced the rest of his body through the tight opening.
The greenery dropped in place behind him and his world plunged
into darkness. Surprised and a little disorientated, he stumbled forwards,
both hands slapping hard against the rock wall. An eerie echo
bounced back and forth through the oppressive, airless atmosphere.
Torrents of perspiration snaked his body, drenching his already moist
uniform. He battled to keep it from his eyes and cursed his decision
to wear the black SS uniform. One of his men had advised otherwise
but Himmler had refused to heed the advice, stubborn in his belief the
officer concerned was testing his authority.
Himmler took a moment and regained his composure. He groped
for the torch strapped to his belt and flicked it on. The thin beam
penetrated the gloom, casting ghostly shadows and exaggerating the
size of the obstacles littering the overgrown path ahead. With a sense
of foreboding and familiar feelings of claustrophobia creeping up on
him, Himmler waved the torch to his left, illuminating the black wall
of rock holding his weight. It seemed to stretch on forever. He stroked
its surface and moved forward a few steps. There weren’t any breaks
or cracks anywhere, the wall’s surface seamless in its construction. No
joins, no cement holding it together, in fact no discernible clues as
to its construction at all. He smiled, marvelling at the thought of his
ancestors possessing such advanced skills in engineering. The Reich
had so much to learn from this ancient people.
Himmler froze as the torch registered movement up ahead, the
beam picking out the shadow of something hidden in the undergrowth.
He cocked his handgun and held his breath, poised and ready
to react to the merest hint of hostility. A male voice split the tension.
Tibirica’s son called out to his father. The two tribesmen must have
realised he was no longer following and retraced their steps. Himmler
lowered his gun and reached for his translator, grabbing his hair and
forcing him to take point. He wanted to trust Tibirica but his instincts
advised him otherwise. Trust was a luxury a man in his position could
little often afford to give freely. He prodded the translator in the back
with his gun and shoved him towards the two tribesmen.
‘Tell them to stay where they are,’ he said. ‘If they disappear again,
we’ll never find them.’ The translator repeated the order, his speech
muffled by the cloth still pressed to his nose. A minute later, after slipping
and sliding their way down the rocky passage, Himmler arrived
alongside his two guides. They flanked him and prodded the torch,
both fascinated by the magical shaft of light it emitted. Himmler
kept them at arm’s length, making a mental note of the greed in the
younger man’s eyes.
‘Ask them where we are headed,’ he ordered, trying to distract
them.
The translator obliged, and Tibirica’s response sounded curt.
‘Well?’ said Himmler.
The translator frowned. ‘He say we walk through wall. I ask where
door. He only repeat same words and point at wall.’
‘I don’t pay you to question what he says, just do your job and
translate.’ Himmler shoved him aside and raked the torch beam across
the wall, searching for evidence of an entrance.
The proximity of the magical light source suddenly became too
much for Tibirica’s son. In a mix of lust, greed and perhaps revenge
for his broken nose, he lunged at Himmler. Catching him unawares,
he shoved Himmler’s gun arm behind his back and punched him in
the kidneys. Himmler tensed his muscles and flung the elbow of his
free arm into the Brazilian’s gut. The blow connected, but found little
purchase on the boy’s greasy stomach. A thick forearm snuck around
his neck, while the other made a grab for the torch. The attempt failed
but the force of the attack was enough to knock it from his grasp and
send it crashing to the ground. Himmler grimaced, grinding his teeth
as the bulb shattered on impact, engulfing the passage in darkness.
The sudden disappearance of the light took the young warrior by
surprise and his grip slackened. Himmler whirled on the ball of his
foot, simultaneously smashing the palm of his hand into his attacker’s
already broken nose. The Brazilian didn’t even have time to scream,
dying where he stood as numerous splinters of bone penetrated his
brain. Himmler shoved the corpse aside and smoothed the creases
from his uniform.
‘Translator, please inform Chief Tibirica to proceed. His son has
met with a little “accident” and I wouldn’t want a similar one to befall
him.’ The translator didn’t respond. Himmler clenched his fist. The
little bastard must have made a bolt for it. He stared into the darkness,
his index finger hovering above the Luger’s trigger as he searched for
a target. The silence was deafening – even the birds appeared to have
abandoned this long-forgotten piece of forest. The Nazi shuddered,
straining his ears for the merest hint of sound. His life was in danger,
and he knew it. A faint clicking sound, two or three metres to his left,
disturbed the silence. He turned to greet it, gun levelled and ready to
open fire.
‘Translator? Is that you?’ Himmler whispered. ‘Answer me or I’ll
shoot.’ A bead of blue light flickered in response, illuminating a small
clearing up ahead. Himmler tensed as a large shape loomed into view.
It was Tibirica. He stepped forward, only to see Tibirica raise an arm
and halt his progress. The chief extended a long finger and pointed at
Himmler’s feet.
Himmler crouched and scanned the ground ahead. There was
something blocking the path. His arm snaked towards it, tentative but
determined to confirm his suspicions. He scowled as his fingers met
the soft, warm flesh of his stricken translator. How would he understand
the bloody chief now? He pulled the old man onto his back and
recoiled at the brutal efficiency of the kill; the head ripped clear of the
neck. It was a sight that left Himmler in no doubt of the suppressed
rage Tibirica must be harbouring. To break a man’s neck was easy,
but to rip it clean from the spine took a strength and skill rare in a
world where the gun ruled the battlefield. He looked up at the chief.
Did this mean they were even again? An eye for an eye and all that?
The stoical Brazilian nodded and jabbed a finger at the glowing
light in the wall. The result was as immediate as it was spectacular.
A semi-circular shaft of light shot from the rock and illuminated the
clearing brighter than the midday sun. Himmler raised an arm to
shield his eyes and staggered backwards. What black magic was this?
Tibirica sniffed and wiped a smattering of blood from his face. He
turned away from Himmler and ducked his head, sliding his ample
frame through the newly formed gap in the wall. Himmler scrambled
up the slope to join him and darted through before the thing closed.
He didn’t have a choice; his life was now in the hands of the chief and
he knew it. He stepped from the makeshift doorway, buoyed to find
natural light on the other side. His elation was tempered as Tibirica’s
massive hand clamped around his shoulder, hauling him through the
gap as it closed behind him. He yelped in pain, feeling a rib crack as he
landed on something solid. He pressed his chest. No harm done, just
another bruise to add to his ever-growing collection. He pushed himself
upright. Where was he? It almost looked like a gutter of a paved
road. The corners of his mouth twisted upward into a tight smile and
he glanced at Tibirica.
‘If this place is what I think it is, Untermensch scum,’ he whispered,
‘then you have assured my place in history.’
If Tibirica understood the German language, he’d have killed
Himmler then and there. Instead he managed only a look of puzzlement.
For the sake of his son, the chief could do little more than pray
Himmler was the messiah his tribe were expecting. Himmler’s smile
widened. Luck was indeed on his side.







Mark H. Jackson is a qualified solicitor who splits his time between protecting the rights of academics, writing thriller fiction and raising five mostly lovely children. He studied Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Birmingham with a nod towards alternative theory, focusing on the relationship of Giza complex to the stars; portolan maps; and the origins of civilisation and religion. It was within this flame the plots for his future novels were born.

Mark’s writing career extends back over a decade and his diverse portfolio includes three novels, a number of short stories and even a six-part sitcom. Long listed for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, he is currently a featured author on the popular writing website, Wattpad, with over 6,000 followers from all around the world and well over one million reads of his first novel. Aside from Wattpad, Mark is an active member on a number of other writing websites, spending his spare time offering editorial and structural advice to fellow authors. Up to now Mark has considered writing as a creative outlet for the myriad of characters and ideas roaming about his head. The time has come to tease them out of hiding and breathe a little life into their lungs.

His latest book is the adventure/thriller The Atlantis Deception.

Website Link: https://markhjackson.com/
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/MarkJackson873
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/AtlantisDeception/

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com