Author Guest Post: Danielle Devon

Today’s Author shares a beautifully worded, dark short story, plus my review.

The Longest Night
a Night Bound short story
by Danielle Devon

 

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Review:

We pick up the story of Isabella after the beginning of her tale in A Good Night. Isabella murders her father and didn’t get caught. Her next step in life is to get married, due to her mother’s urging. It’s not something she wanted, especially to Lord Merrick. As time passes she doesn’t see her guardian Lucien anymore, and scarcely thinks of him. Her life is boring and her husband not a kind man; in fact he is abusive, at least mentally.

Through the years, Lucien cannot let go of his interest in Isabella. He often shadows her and is saddened by her daily life. The spark that used to imbue her is no more. One fateful day Lucien seeks to intercede when Lord Merrick kills one of Isabella’s dogs. All her anger and pain come welling up and she draws on an inner strength she thought was dead.

I won’t give away the ending of this chapter of her story, but Lucien’s fate was sad to me. I hope we get to see him again in a future story. Beautifully worded, dark tale.

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Excerpt:

 

Lucien had watched them from the west gate of the graveyard. In the distance the horses twitched restlessly, their reins slapping against the funeral carriage with every flick of their head. A crow cawed from the tree above then took to the sky in a flutter of black wings.

He heard the frozen grass crunching against one set of paws, and then the other. As they found their master and sat obediently at his side, the squirrels in the trees and the birds above fled in a fluster of limbs and leaves. The mourners did not hear the stirring. Had they bothered to glance his way, they would not have seen him for the shadow he cast.

Oh course, he had no interest in the throng of mourners, only one in attendance mattered to him now. Clothed in black, her face downturned and hidden by the shadow of her bonnet, he knew her just the same. Knew her face as well as he knew her voice, for each night she called to him. He could picture her with such clarity, as though she were standing before him. The details so painful they sent a foreign stabbing in his heart. Merely days since he’d seen her, days in her time, forever in his.

Every night that passed was a fresh wound in his heart. He had crossed the veil for her once already. Had tempted the Fates once for her already. Though he ached to go to her, he dared not tempt them once more.

Standing beside the gate, so close he could smell her, was a danger of its own. As she turned and escorted her mother back into the manor, the ridiculous urge to follow consumed him. He kept to his shadow, in the veil, between the worlds, his ever-faithful companions beside him. Lucien found himself following her, pulled toward her as if she were a puppet-master tugging at his strings.

He lurked in the window, a prowler stalking his prey. Madness, this hold she had on him. He could not bear to tear himself away. What was it about this girl? Her power over him nearly stronger than the Fates.

Inside the banquet room, a feast was on display. Even from beyond the window he could smell the salted lamb, the roasted potatoes. Merely scents, of no distinction or significance to him.

The mourners spoke at a respectful and dignified volume, yet every so often a bubble of laughter would penetrate the monotone drone. Her voice rose above all others, so tuned in to her cadence, he could have picked her out in a sea of voices. She spoke with a man she called Merrick, a man so plain and unmemorable; Lucien would have forgotten him if not for the way Isabella laughed breathlessly at his poor jokes.

Lucien’s fist clenched at his sides, his teeth grinding at every bubble of her laughter, his heart pounding every time she brushed Merrick’s arm. He knew he should turn away, this was not his world, but he couldn’t. Something about this man did not sit well with him. There was a hint of malice beneath Merrick’s plain smile, a faint shroud of misery, a darkness Lucien knew well. He fought the inexplicable urge to rush to save her, yet what exactly did she need saving from? She did not call him now, did not think of him as she had done so many times in the past. Perhaps it was best, they were fated to walk different worlds. Hers on this earthly plain, his in the darkness beyond the veil. Never were the two destined to converge.

 

 

About the Author:

Danielle Devon is a multi-published author who has settled comfortably into her unique realm of sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal fiction. Her writing has been hailed by reviewers as “darkly poetic,” her stories as “vividly painted with a colorful canvas which comes to life before your eyes.” She lives in the beautiful Northwest with her husband and children.

Visit Danielle at DanielleDevon.com