Through Shade And Shadow
Reviews & media
GENRE: Fantasy (paranormal, urban)
PRINT LENGTH: 222 pages
PUBLICATION DATE: February 1st, 2017
FORMAT: Kindle, paperback
Excerpt from the book
"It is now being reported that this man, this serial killer, is in fact a Shade, Alec." Mason Jerah turned from his grandmother's bedside, lifting the television remote to increase the volume. "For those of you just joining us, we are covering the recent arrest of late night DJ, William Darchel, from Salt Lake City, Utah, for the murder of as many as 25 women over the last ten years. Darchel was found drinking the blood of his latest victim, Marisel Deboi."
Mason watched as video played of the arrest, with Darchel being led out of a house with blood on his face and painting his shirt. "Until very recently, Shades were believed to be nothing more than folklore, brought over with immigrants from places in Europe."
"I told you they'd find us."
Mason turned back to find his grandmother pushing herself up to lean back against the headboard. "They didn't find us, Nana. They caught a killer."
Her lined face clearly showed her disgust. "It's always the worst of us that they find. Mark my words, Mason, this is not going to do us any favors. Bad enough as it is."
He let her words go without protest. It wouldn't do any good to argue. She had lived a life he barely knew about, had seen things he never would. She had earned the fear that had kept them separate, hiding from a world she knew would never understand or accept them.
"I'll bring you some tea."
"No, boy, help me up. I'm tired of this bed."
He sighed, but pushed his chair back while she pulled the blankets off herself. He offered his hand as she put her feet on the floor, letting her use it to steady herself and pull herself upright. Once she was steady, he let her set the pace, taking them out of her small bedroom and into a spacious kitchen.
His father had grown up in this house, and his Nana had helped build it when she was in her teens. Mason had spent a lot of time in the house as a boy, and since the fire that had destroyed his own house and killed his father, he too had considered this place home.
"I'll make some tea." Mason said as they reached the kitchen.
"That's my good boy." She patted his arm and shuffled into the living room. He heard the television come on and sighed. The more she saw of the world outside, the more she was afraid.
Not that he could blame her.
They were the last of their line. He was a few weeks shy of eighteen and he had never met another Shade who wasn't family.
Mason set the kettle on the stove and set up the tray for his Nana's tea. He'd always thought they were the last, until they had received a letter from a Shade on the east coast, the daughter of one of his Nana's friends.
If it was true that Darchel was a Shade, things would change for any living Shade. They had always been a thing of myth and legend, stories told around campfires and written about in books with other fantastical creatures like dragons and unicorns and witches.
Darchel had been found three days before in a house in Utah with blacked out windows and bodies of missing women, all hung upside down and bled dry.
Clearly the man was deranged.
Mason filled the teapot from the kettle and set the tea steeping before putting a couple of cookies on the tray as well. He headed into the darkened living room.
"Of course, liberal media is going to say there is no such thing as Shades," a man on the television was saying as Mason set the tray down. "They will try to tell us that this man has some sort of disease, that he should be pitied. I'm here to tell you that William Darchel is the son of the devil himself. How else do you explain him?"
Mason poured tea and handed the cup to his Nana, sitting beside her on the couch. "Do you think he really is one of us, Nana?" Mason asked.
"I think he might be. Look how pale he is. Never seen a sunny afternoon, that one."
Mason watched the footage again as they replayed it, Darchel being dragged out of the house by two men, his face a mask of rage and blood. He flinched as the sun found his skin, pulling back instinctively, only to be dragged forward again.
”We are joined now by Utah senator Norman Douglas. Senator, thank you for being here." Mason didn't recognize the man in the dark suit, but one look told him the man was a politician. His thick brown hair was sprinkled with gray and styled in a typical rich man’s haircut. His gray eyes belied the serious set of the man's face. Something made him happy, probably the free publicity.
"Thank you, Alec, I'm glad I could be here. Let me tell you something. This is not something we could have predicted, but rest assured that we are prepared to do whatever it takes to keep the people safe.”
"What an ass." Mason glanced at his grandmother, smirking at her use of the pejorative. "That man…" She shook her head, never finishing the thought.
They sat in silence for a while, watching as the news cycled through to other stories and came back to Darchel. It was all of his Nana's worst fears come to life.
Her fear had kept him isolated. All he knew of his heritage as a Shade he had learned from her, and most of what she taught him had been to teach him how to hide what he was from the world.
There was a lot more to who and what they were, he knew that. He knew how to find clean water and to avoid salt and sunlight. He knew how to use the energy within him to ease aches and pains. But he also knew from the memories inside him that there was a lot he didn’t know.