Author: Larry Rodness
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Supernatural/Vampires/Paranormal
Publisher: Itoh Press
Release Date: Dec 2012
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Defiant, Emylene continued down the street under the assumption that it was her anger that was driving her, unaware that she was subconsciously being pulled toward Other-Town by another force entirely. Soon she found herself caught up in the hustle of the street, people wide-eyed with excitement, as if they were on their way to a Beatles reunion or a motocross death race. The closer she came to Other-Town the more she felt a palpable buzz in the air, short-circuiting her thoughts and reaching deep into her loins until all she could feel was an over-riding erotic urge that threatened to take over her entire being. A feeling Laszlo knew all to well. Just a few more steps and she’d be there.
"Emylene, one more step and you'll never see your parents again! I guarantee it because you will have become one of them!"
Laszlo's croaking plea must have taken hold somewhere in her because she stopped dead in her tracks right at the edge of the demarcation line. Gazing through half-stoned eyes, she peered across the street at what earlier today was a ghost town. Now the area was alive in strange and wonderful ways! Buildings were lit with a seductive liquid neon, and music filled the air with fat, juicy beats. Even the pavement was alive with thousands of sparkling, crimson tendrils, an illuminated pathway welcoming everyone to a Mecca of sensual mayhem.
"They named it 'Other-Town', you know, to make it sound bland, almost harmless. But that's not what you're feeling now, is it? Look…" said Laszlo.
He pressed his toe hard on the ground, and the tendrils oozed playfully under his boot like a school of dancing minnows.
"Pretty, aren't they? Do you know what that is? That is the blood of the victims who crossed over and never came back."
Just then, four brash youths pushed their way past Laszlo and Emylene, acting like they were on their way to Spring Break.
"Let me go! I don't need your help!" argued Emylene.
"Of course you don't. Maybe those boys will help you."
Emylene watched the youths enter the first bar they saw, lured by the music.
"They are acting on the same impulses you feel now. It will seduce them and then it will feed on them. Some will return, some won't. Those who make it back will find themselves a little weaker the next day, like that waitress back at the restaurant. They'll laugh it off, call it a hangover. Except this hangover will never be over. After the first encounter they'll be compelled to return again and again until they have been used up and their lifeblood becomes part of the flow you see beneath your feet. Then those tendrils will stretch a little further to take more of the city until, inch by inch…. Emylene, I told you about the Vrykolakas back in the old country. What you see before you is different, worse. This is not one demon, but a town full of demons, built to ensnare its victims and grow with each conquest. You and I are the only ones who can stop it."
Emylene pressed her toe onto the glittering tendrils. Like everyone else who touched them, she felt a slight tickle, and became giddy.
"I'll make you a deal, Emylene," he continued. "I will do everything I can to help you find your parents. In turn you will do everything to help me find my wife. And I promise, if I can't cure her, I'll kill her. Emylene?"
No reply. Laszlo was not getting through to her. The tendrils were becoming so magnificently overpowering now that if Emylene’s life had slipped away then and there, it would have been all right with her. But, something pulled her back. It might have been Laszlo's promise or the chanting from a group of Cowled Men in a distant land or a chilling breeze coming off the snow drifts on a cold, Croat farm. Whatever it was, it imbued Emylene with enough resolve to pull herself back from the edge. The light that had gone out in her eyes briefly had returned.
"Good girl," said Laszlo.
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Larry Rodness began his entertainment career as a professional singer at the age of 19 and has been performing in Toronto for over 35 years with his wife and singing partner, Jodi, at venues such as The Old Mill, Royal York Hotel, Skyline and Bristol Place Hotel as well as countless corporate and private functions.
In the 80's Larry studied musical theatre writing with PRO under Broadway conductor Layman Engel, which led him to write for dinner theater. He then moved into the screenplay arena where he has written over a dozen screenplays and has had 3 scripts optioned to date. In the past 2 years he has also become a published novelist.