The Soul Eater: African Elementals
An ancient evil is drawn to the shores of America where good has forgotten history, power, and strength. Will chaos rule America?
An Ancient West African Evil Wants her Daughter
When Shania Moore’s dreams of a serial killer draining the souls of African American girls in a bizarre ritual turns out to be real, she hears the voice of an ancient African goddess who directs her to protect her little daughter who has an unusual ability. Shania packs up everything and flees from Detroit to Atlanta. Shania doesn’t know that strength will be found in the arms of the white man whom she lied to and left at the altar ten years earlier.
Deacon Kilgore doesn’t know he’s descendant from a Norse god or that he’s a guardian for an ancient African goddess. When his beautiful ex-girlfriend shows up, he almost walks away. She broke his heart and lied to him about aborting their baby. But when he sees the sweet spirited girl who has his deceased mother’s eyes, he can’t help but defend them. Can he forgive the woman who ripped his heart out?
There’s more than their daughter’s life at stake. If Shania and Deacon fail to thwart the ancient evil, then chaos will rule this universe and the entire galaxy forever.
Here's an updated version of Chapter One and Two. They are unedited and may change but I feel sets the mood and tone of the upcoming novel:
Deadly Swahili words assaulted Shania's deep sleep. Matone ya damu. Drops of Blood. She tossed and turned, sweating. Hofu. Terror. Her heartbeat sped to fanatical drumming. Kifo. Death. The Swahili words quieted into a ghostly hushed tone. Shania’s spirit rose from her body and she could see her sleeping form in the motel bed. What’s going on? She tried to return but was unable to reconnect. Is this nightmare going to end? Her essence floated, unsure.
Then, shrill police sirens commanded her full attention, leading her toward the oppressive flickering lights. She shrank, resisting until a muffled voice fractured her being as if she were the debris from the aftermath of a terrible explosion. The insane drumming grew louder as her unwilling soul was ripped away to the crime scene as a voiceless witness to a horrible injustice:
"Little black girls generally are not taken by serial killers. Just because you found a note and a flower doesn’t mean that she was abducted. Are you sure Nia isn't off with her friends?” The policeman's pupils dilated when his lips sneered briefly. “Everyone says she's wild and uncontrollable. Could be a joke."
His demeanor changed as the flickering of the red and blue lights from his vehicle caused fleeting shadows to form on the abandoned boulevard houses in Detroit. He lifted upward on his toes, looked around and dug into his bottomless pocket, spilling white powder down his pants leg. It was unusual for a police officer to be in this long-lost neighborhood at night, anyway. He could get away with whatever he wanted. A dreamlike image of his brown-skinned wrist, tattooed with a red and black crossroad, blazed in Shania's memory as the dangerous white powder blew into the faces of the grieving parents. The policeman's wheedling laugh became a fractured whisper as Shania’s spirit was forced down a hellish tunnel that led to Nia's ritualistic murder.
The soul-to-soul connection from Shania to Nia was unsettling. Shania could see through Nia’s eyes and feel the child’s pain. Shania flinched as the needle pierced the girl’s lips. She took a sudden breath as her nose burned with the stench of rotten eggs. The white-man killer plopped a red hibiscus flower in the center of her mouth as if it were floating atop a pitcher of sickly sweetened lemonade. Hibiscus flourished in West Africa and survived slavery's middle passage to America. The simple beauty was intended for healing, not for this heinous ritual. Nia gagged.
Shania's essence shifted from the child's tortured mind and into the murderer's. An uneasy sensation gave her a queasy feeling as if she'd been turned downside up. Thick dark magic clawed through her body, forcing Shania to connect with his disgusting giddiness. The killer's thoughts buzzed like thousands of carnivorous horse flies. He wanted the young girl to touch him, willingly. He wished to relieve the hard mass growing between his thighs but he waited for a taste more delicious. He held off for pure ecstasy. His pale hands trembled in excitement as he ripped her panties.
Shania's spirit fought its way out of his diseased thinking and back into the young girl's. She tried to comfort her. Give her warmth but the tiny child shivered. She was cold, naked and exposed. Nia had thought it was safe to ride with the priest who was at her after-school program to talk about making good choices but she'd been wrong. Shania studied him. The priest's brown hair with scattered gray should have provided relief. His deep-set sorrowful eyes at a different time offered peace but now bulged as the maniac raised a dagger with jagged edges.
Tears streamed down her face because he held a knife over her and she was paralyzed. Slowly, he dragged the dagger down her naked form, scraping her skin until he found her intimate space, gouging, carving, and cutting like he was wrenching open a precious oyster. Pain flooded between her legs and she screamed, choking on the flower stem meant for relaxation not death.
In an unreal moment, she heard him yell in glee, "I got it! I got it!"
Shania's consciousness pulled back and hovered over the scene as she watched three bewitched African women dressed in red and black tribal cloth. They moved in an enthralled tandem finishing the bloody clitorodectomy by tightly sewing up the child's vaginal opening. Shania couldn’t tell behind their haunted eyes if they truly understood the insanity of their actions. The killer's voice sounded harsh, foreign, but the ritualistic words were West African, similar to words that her Nanabaa used but the way he said them sounded blasphemous.
Shania's empathy poured into the girl and she was once again attached soul-to-soul.
Hot urine and blood gushed. The killer priest cursed in broken English. Was his original language Irish or Scandinavian? "You von't be a nasty l'ttle 'hore, I save you."
He shoved the women out of the way and finished the ritual by sewing a second hibiscus flower into the folds of her vaginal lips. Then, he took his iron dagger and sliced her throat as if she were a small animal to be sacrificed to his evil Gods. The drums wildly rumbled.
Shania seemed trapped between her connection to the girl's essence and her own existence. Nia wasn't much older than her own daughter, Lydia. Her heart burst over her inability to save this child.
The faint voice of the police officer talking to Nia's parents returned. "She had to be on drugs. You lost her to the streets at only twelve years old... You know black girls. It's just a part of growing up in the hood. Go back inside and forget you ever had a daughter. She was worthless anyway."
Nia's life drained through the wound on her neck. As if the torture wasn't enough, the killer branded her sewn vagina with his mark of ancient chaos, an eight pointed star with horns nestled atop a crossroad, symbolizing Loki intertwined with the African god, Eshu. She was too far gone to scream. The pale-faced man moved closer to her mouth waiting for the final breath.
Shania saw him through Nia's eyes, up close, smiling. “You l'ttle Black American 'hore can go back to Africa but your magic stay wit’ me."
Nia died but that was only the beginning of her agony. Her spirit lifted from its decimated shell and as she tried to escape to God's grace in heaven, the priest's mouth formed a swirling crimson light that sucked her essence back from Jesus' promise and into his gaped-open hell. The priest climaxed several times as he devoured the child's magical force. The soul-to-soul connection snapped as Shania drifted aimlessly within the magical energy of souls that had been eaten before. Where am I?
The staccato rhythms of the West African lullaby lulled Shania into an eternal slumber that threatened to steal her energy in the frozen darkness.
Nkwihoreze ibyandongo ayiwe, ayiweibyandongo. I will comfort you, my baby.
Nia along with the spirits of other black girls was trapped inside an empty corpse. The lullaby continued to try to hypnotize the lost souls but too much was at stake.
Nkwihoreze ikobondo humm, hum, ayiwe ayiwe. Take away your sorrow, my little one, my little chick. The nights are calm with you at my side, my baby.
They wailed and huddled together, cut off from God's mercy and love. Their stunted souls were forced to feed magical energy to an evil master/mistress. Trapped inside this corpse, they could do nothing more than keep the body from rotting. The soothing voice turned into a grating demand, pressuring them to keep the dead girl's body viable until a little priestess could resurrect her.
Shania quivered. Did the voice want her Lydia? She would never allow them to take her baby girl.
The buckshot slammed into Deacon's chest. The force knocked him off his feet, sending him crashing into the wall of ATL's famous Perimeter Mall. Thank God he had a premonition that told him to wear a vest today. Deacon allowed the pain from the impact to wash through him as he low-crawled, taking cover behind a Juicy Geuce stand. He heard the click-click-chunk as another round entered the shotgun chamber. The assailant's desert boots crunched the broken glass. Apparently, this guy had a screw loose and kept needlessly reloading his weapon. Good, maybe I can take him out in between.
"D, you ok?" his partner, Rashad, yelled.
"I seen better days," Deacon responded as he peered out to watch his attacker. He pulled back just as the blast missed his face. Definitely better days.
A tiny whimper caught his attention. Deacon moved toward the other side where he heard the sound. His gut clenched when he saw a mother pointing at her child tucked away inside the stand. One more click-click-clunk and the assailant would blast a hole clean through the girl’s hiding place, critically wounding her. He had to get the girl out of there. Have to save her.
"Noah, you don't want to hurt anybody. Stop shooting so we can talk." Deacon tried his best to calm the redneck vet down.
"Hell wit' you. Insurance investigators are all the same. Tryin' to take my money. Can't you see I'm ailing and need my money?" Noah's southern twang hollered back. Deacon could hear him reloading.
Deacon silently cursed. His heart sped up. Noah would be on top of him soon and the little girl would get seriously hurt. Deacon realized one of the mall cops was signaling him from atop his riding machine. The guy looked like robo man ready for battle with his wand taser in one hand and helmet on his head. This wasn’t a damn video game! Didn’t he realize that he worked at the mall? The dude was going to try roll up on Noah to take him down. Idiot, stay back!
Deacon had that sinking feeling. Before he could tell the mall cop to slow down, he'd already sped up. Noah lifted his rifle, blowing the man clean off his riding machine. People clutched their bags as they screamed and gasped from their hiding places.
"Nobody is taking my money. Ya' hear? That man ran me down after I came back from 'fghanistan!"
Deacon hated being a PI for insurance companies sometimes. If a person received a big payout, they were always trying to prove fraud. This case shouldn't have ended this way. Deacon and Rashad were just supposed to follow Noah and take pictures of him to make sure his condition was real. Something had gone horribly wrong.
Deacon peered out again and noticed that Noah was acting the part of a soldier by making sure that Mall Cop was out of commission. Noah kicked away his taser and rolled him over so he could tie him up. Now was Deacon’s chance. He signaled for the little girl to come out of hiding. She moved quickly and wrapped her little brown arms around Deacon's neck. Her pigtails and barrettes hit his jaw and he sprinted to take the girl to her mother. He just made it when Noah opened fire on the juice stand.
He hated cases with PTSD war veterans. He’d told his supervisor to leave this case alone. Deacon heard sirens in the background but he had to contain this mess. He made eye contact with Rashad. Neither one of them wanted to hurt the war hero. They wanted to take him down without using weapons. The next time Noah reloaded they would hit him from both sides like they did when they were kids on the Cass High football team in Detroit.
Rashad was like Deacon's brother. They could read each other's mind. Noah took another shot and went to reload. Deacon and Rashad rushed him from both sides, tackling him across a set of tables in the food court. Noah fought back but they wrestled, pinning him down.
Deacon took a deep breath and scanned the area. Was all of this worth it? He enjoyed his job but his heart was elsewhere. One of those weird premonitions took him over. As he held Noah down, the man's eyes glowed. Had he met this man before? Deacon saw a younger version of himself holding a machete-like sword in one hand and a Viking sword in the other. He was in a heated battle against men with eyes that glowed like Noah's. Then, it was gone. Hate when that happens.
Noah sneered at Deacon. "Your royal blood stinks."
"Excuse me." Deacon added more pressure with his elbow to Noah's chest.
"You heard me, Descendant of Tyr. The Children of Loki will make your kind extinct one way or the other." Noah spit in Deacon's face.
Deacon almost lost it until another vision showed Noah cradling the torso of a fellow fallen soldier who had been blown up by a suicide bomber. Deacon released his grip but Rashad punched the man in the nose.
"Asshole. Watch who you spittin' on."
Officers swarmed in from behind. They took over the scene. It all moved eerily slow. The Officers pressured Deacon and Rashad with intense questions.
Where are your PI licenses? How'd this happen? Did you know this man was unstable?
Endless questions that Deacon answered while deep inside he knew his mission in life had to do with the premonition he just had. He glanced over at Noah. The man seemed subdued as if he didn't even know what he'd said or done. His eyes no longer glowed. Then, Deacon turned to see the little girl that he'd saved. Her eyes drew him into another premonition of a little girl with eyes like his mother's. Deacon had a strong feeling that she needed to be protected. The eyes belonged to the little girl from his first love's MyFace page.
His first love, Shania, still took his breath away. He dreamed of her beautiful dark chocolate skin and her delectable scent. He'd loved her, deep, with all his heart. She'd broken him in places he didn't know he had. The memory seemed like it’d happened yesterday. Deacon remembered feeling pleased to be waiting at the altar. He knew that they were young but he didn’t care. For all that seemed wrong, there was so much right with their love. He’d been ready to offer his solemn vow and become soul mates. She’d been a singular joy in his life of loss. Neither of them had parents that were alive. They both had deep wounds but together they’d healed each other’s pain.
He’d been ready to give her all of him. He waited in the minister’s chambers, nervously eyeing the door and waiting to see the love of his life dressed in white. The door cracked open slowly and a little man dressed in a suit that looked more for a funeral than a wedding walked in with a handwritten note. He stood solemnly, handing the note to Deacon. No. Deacon didn’t want it. Deacon’s hands shook. He couldn’t open it. How could he have been so happy in one second and crushed the next? Rashad stood next to him but Deacon couldn’t hear his friend’s words. Deacon crushed the note and put it in his pocket. He already had an idea of what it said. His heart broke. Deacon took a deep breath and came out of the memory. He didn't think he could ever recover.
"C'mon, let's jet. You look you want to kill somebody." Rashad smiled and slapped Deacon on the back.
"Yeah, let's go."
By the time they'd reached their offices in Marietta, the impact of the buckshot had become a bone-deep ache in the center of Deacon’s chest. He dropped his keys on the desk. Then, he peeled of his bullet proof vest and pulled back his chair. Sitting down, cupping his head in his hands and raking his hair back with his fingers, Deacon was lost. He gazed around his cubicle. It was empty. Blank. It wasn't like other people's with pictures of family, children, loved ones. There were no photos of his wife and child. Alone.
He slammed down his fists on the desk. His wife. He didn't have one. It seemed that the one girl who had broken his heart made it hard for him to move on with his life. He knew that this wasn't normal. There were women who came into his life--beautiful women whom he would have been honored to call his wife but his heart was never in it. They took the loneliness away but they never compared to the one who broke his heart. After all these years, he still loved her. He still loved his beautiful Shania.
It didn't help that periodically, he felt so close to her. It was like they were somehow spiritually connected. It drove him insane. Especially, in the quiet of the night. In his deepest sleep, it seriously felt as if he were with Shania, as if nothing blocked them from being together, as if they belonged together. The dreams were tortuous. He would be holding her, loving her, caressing her. He would imagine them making deep, spiritual love. Over the years, the experience proved to be embarrassing. He would wake up like a teenager having a sensuous nocturnal emission. He'd washed lots of sheet sets but it's hard to love another woman when you're tormented by a lost love. The one that got away.
Deacon tried his best in the real world to stay away from Shania. He'd moved back to Georgia. Tried to steer clear of any old friends that might connect them and he especially tried to stay away from friending people who were friends with her on MyFace. He'd made the mistake of thinking he could friend Shania's best friend, Maddie, but when images of Shania filled his updates, he almost broke down. Shania looked gorgeous but sad. His heart reached out to her. He wanted to touch her, caress her, and love her. He wanted to wash away all of her pain. When he saw that picture of Shania with her recent boyfriend, he un-friended Maddie, immediately.
It'd been ten long years since he'd lost the love of his life and he knew they'd both moved on, but seeing her with another man felt like betrayal. He wanted to bash something or harm someone. His rage was unjustifiable so he did the right thing and made it his business not to view pictures of his lost love with another man. But the little girl with his mother's eyes called out to him for protection. His premonitions had never failed him.
Deacon remembered when he finally read Shania’s note. Her handwriting had been perfectly damaging. She’d said that she couldn’t throw her life away by being a teenage mother and marrying him. She really didn’t love him like that. She’d took matters into her own hands and aborted their child. He must move on with his life. Deacon clenched his fists and tapped into that still part of himself where he could see. For the first time, an image of a young Shania writing and dropping tears on the note came to him. When she finished writing, she rubbed her belly and sealed the envelope. Deacon’s eyes widened as the premonition withdrew. He took a sudden intake of breath. Had Shania lied to him years ago about aborting his child? Was he a father?
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