★★•*´´*•★★ RELEASE BLITZ ★★•*´´*•★★
A paranormal/fantasy novella
by E. H. James
Unaware of the powers lurking within her, Caitlin opens a door between worlds, allowing a fallen angel to pass through the veil of darkness into the light.
Attaching himself to Caitlin, he feeds off her fear to build his strength, intending to kill her, in order to prevent the door through which he can be forced back into the darkness from opening.
Aware of Malfeil’s return, Ezriel, the angel who cast him down by divine order, must be the one to send him back into the darkness. He appears to Caitlin, calling upon her to ask her to help him. But between his visits—causing her to have missing time—and Malfeil doing whatever he can to frighten her, Caitlin begins to question her sanity.
Realizing what she must do, there’s just one problem. An emergency room doctor, with a penchant for house calls, believes her unstable and is seeking to have her institutionalized.
Now she must evade the doctor while seeking out Ezriel…and all before Malfeil kills her.
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*Warning: This excerpt contains strong language.
“Stop laughing. You’ll get us both killed.”
The car straddled the center line, and Nicole swerved into her own lane. “Relax will ya. Jeez, you’re worse than my grandma.”
“At least she is a grandma. I’m surprised she’s still alive, driving with you.” Caitlin shifted in her seat. “Let me drive.”
“I only had two glasses of wine, and that was hours ago.” Nicole grinned. “Why, you worried you won’t find someone to pay the other half of the rent?”
“Oh, I know I won’t have any trouble finding a new roommate.”
“Good luck renting that second room, what with you being such a slob.” Caitlin scowled and Nicole laughed. “Hey, what’s a best friend for, if not to put up with each other?”
A deer stepped into the road and Caitlin gasped. Pushing back, she braced her feet against the floorboard.
Nicole gripped the steering wheel. The deer didn’t move, and she slammed on the brakes—the tires screeching as they dragged over pavement. She turned, the car veering off the road and down an embankment.
Water rushed up over the hood and onto the windshield. The car bobbed up, but then its nose dipped. Water gushed in under the dash.
“Oh, Jeez. Oh, Jeez…oh, Jeez.”
Caitlin unbuckled her seatbelt. “Unfasten your belt.”
Nicole gaped at the black liquid, as it slid up the glass.
Caitlin pressed the button on the passenger door. The power window started to lower and then stopped. “Shit!” Reaching into the darkness at her feet, she flinched. A cold numbness ran up her arm.
“What are you doing?”
Caitlin ran her fingers along the floorboard. “I keep a hammer under the seat.”
“Get your seatbelt off!”
Nicole pressed her thumb on the release button. Her fingernail bent back and snapped. “I can’t. It’s jammed.”
“I was going to put a knife or pair of scissors in the car, in case this happened.” Caitlin’s fingertips brushed up against the hammer’s handle. Gripping it, she lifted it out.
“You expected this?”
“No, I prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Nicole, we don’t have time to talk.” Caitlin swung the hammer at the window. The glass shattered, and the water rushed in.
“What are you doing?”
“We have to get out.” Caitlin pushed against the gushing onslaught.
“Don’t leave me.”
“I’m not. How tight is your seatbelt? Can you loosen it?”
Nicole slid her hand under the belt. “It’s not tight, but it won’t loosen. There’s not enough slack for me to get out.”
“Do you have a compact in your purse? Something with a mirror in it?”
Nicole frowned. “Why?”
“We can use the glass to cut the belt.”
“Yes!” Nicole fumbled for her purse and retrieved the compact.
“Take this hammer, and break the mirror on the dash.” Caitlin climbed out the window. Her feet touched the lake bottom, and she stood next to the car. “It’s not deep. Nicole, it’s not deep, here.” Climbing on the roof, she scrambled to the driver’s side.
“It’s working.” Nicole smiled, her lips trembling.
Caitlin leaned close to the glass. “Hurry, Nicole.”
Nicole turned her face to Caitlin, tears streaming down her cheeks.
“I can’t get the door open, until there is equal pressure. And even if I could, that would let the water in faster.” She punched the door. “Nicole, break the window so I can help you.”
Nicole swung the hammer and smashed the driver’s side window.
Caitlin reached in and retrieved a piece of mirror from the compact. She cut the other side of the belt from where Nicole was cutting. “It’s coming, Nicole. This is going to work.” The car sunk, its roof submerging. She put the shard between her teeth and unlocked Nicole’s door. Placing her foot on the car, she gripped the door handle. She pulled, the door giving way.
Nicole clawed at her arms, tearing into her flesh and dragging her down. Caitlin clenched her jaw and reached in the blackness for Nicole’s belt. She positioned the piece of glass into the notch she’d already cut, the shard slicing her fingers. Lifting her head above the surface, she gasped. “Nicole, help me. Keep cutting.”
Again, Caitlin slipped beneath the surface. Drawing her hand along the belt, she once more located the notch she’d cut.
The belt was almost cut through. Nicole grabbed her, and the shard fell from Caitlin’s grasp. Once more, she raised her head out of the water. “Nicole, help me. Pull on the belt as hard as you can.”
Nicole’s grip tightened on her arm, and Caitlin filled her lungs. She dipped under and drew her face close to Nicole’s, intent on giving her air, but Nicole yanked her down.
Caitlin grasped the belt. Bracing her foot on the car, she pulled, but Nicole continued to hold her. She struggled free. Nicole gripped her hand. Her own body convulsed, as Nicole struggled. She closed her eyes. Nicole’s grasp relaxed within hers. A floating sensation came over her, as if she were drifting upward.
It lasted no more than a few seconds. Something hit her, washing over her like a wave of intense joy, as if every cell in her being had exploded in rapture. It enveloped her, flowing through her. It was an emotion. A physical sensation on a level never before experienced.
She was still holding Nicole’s hand, when she opened her eyes. The sensation lingered, the headlights oddly mesmerizing as they shone out into the murky depths.
“You all right? Are you hurt?” A man jumped in and swam to her. “Oh my God. Daren, there’s someone still in the car.” He dove in and popped up a moment later. “The seatbelt’s jammed. There’s a knife in my glove compartment.”
Daren ran up the bank and reappeared a moment later. He took off his coat and dropped it on the shore. Running into the lake, he worked his way to them, shining the flashlight in the direction of the car.
“Give me the knife. Hold the flashlight so I can see.” The first man disappeared beneath the surface. Returning a moment later, he had Nicole in his arms. “I’ve got this. You take her.”
Daren wrapped his arm around Caitlin’s waist and drew her to the shore.
She sat shivering, as the first man carried Nicole up onto the grass.
He laid Nicole on the ground, her eyes directed up at the full moon. Pressing his fingertips to Nicole’s neck, he then raised his head and shook it.
Daren tilted her head back. Pinching her nose, he blew into her mouth.
“What are you doing?”
“The water’s cold. It slows down the metabolism so it requires less oxygen. You’d be surprised how long people can last and be brought back. Now help me, Josh.”
Daren continued to provide air, while Josh performed compressions.
“Is everyone all right?” Three more people climbed down the embankment.
Josh glanced up. “Call nine-one-one.”
“What about her?” One of them pointed at Caitlin.
“Do you have a blanket in your car?”
A moment later, someone draped a blanket around Caitlin’s shoulders. “Thank you,” she whispered.
“Weren’t you just at the party?”
Caitlin tipped her head back, a heaviness coming over her. Squinting up at the voice, she collapsed.
“Are you all right?” someone asked.
She lay on the wet grass, as they worked on Nicole. Somewhere in the distance, a siren cut through the night.
Voices melded one into the other.
Nicole slowly turned her head toward Caitlin. Her lips moved, as if she were speaking.
Everything went black.
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E. H. James has always been fascinated by the unexplained. Wanting to delve deeper into the unknown, James has read and researched in the areas of parapsychology and metaphysics, for the past forty years.
Taking those first hand experiences, involving the unexplained, James has woven the real and imaginary together into stories of the strange and bizarre.
James’ stories range from the paranormal to horror, to fantasy and science fiction, from short stories and novellas, to 100K+ novels.