One of the goals of SPFBO is to give a chance to self-published authors to get more exposure. This year I’m taking part in the competition with my own team. You can keep updated on our progress and all of our content on my SPFBO 5 page!
Tales from the Asylum is a new feature I came up with for SPFBO. I wanted to create a unique opportunity for the authors to show off their story telling skills by taking their characters and putting them in an asylum room to see how they would deal with the situation. A lot can happen in a closed space…
For almost 30 years, I’ve called the Pacific Northwest home. My writing partners include two cats that distract as much as they encourage the creative juices. One of them masquerades as a fluffy ninja demon. My husband and son put up with my frequent bouts of writing and leave me presents of chocolate to appease the writing muse. I enjoy exploring worlds beyond this one and use myths, legends, and fairy tales as my guide to new stories.
You enter the room, not knowing what to expect. It’s your first day on the job as a caretaker. They told you the occupant has been there for as long as anyone can remember. The room is empty except for what appears to be a bundle of cloth in the corner.
A soft, rasping whisper echoes in the stone room. “Bones and ash. Bones and ash. All the world will end in bones and ash.”
The cloth shifts, revealing a woman in a dingy white nightgown. She slowly sits up and pushes ragged, blond hair from her face. The dim light reveals sky-blue eyes that see through you and an itch begins to crawl beneath your skin from her gaze.
A symphony felt but not heard wraps around you, cradling you in the warm tones of oboes and violins. Light dances at the edges of your vision while shadowy fingers crawl across the stone floor toward you.
You take a step closer as the song whispers its promises and lies.
A strong hand wraps around your shoulder and pulls you back. “Careful.”
You shake off the reverie. “What was that?”
The other caretaker pulls you further out of the room. “She’s the last vessel. Touched by the Lady and the Darkness. Don’t get too close or you’ll get infected.”
The last word falls into the air like a lead weight. The Infected became demons or ghouls. They lost their humanity because the Lady cast her curse at the Darkness and the world suffered for it.
“She can still use magic?” You stare at the woman, trying to make out the rest of her features in the dim light.
“Yeah, we can’t get close enough to collar her now without getting infected.”
“Light, what’s stopping her from breaking out?” Horror crawls across your skin as the image of demons and ghouls feasting on humans fills your head.
“Nothing,” the woman replies, her voice rasping like sand paper. “I will leave when I find it.”
You share a look with the other caretaker before asking, “What are you looking for?” A smile spreads across her face, one that causes your stomach to curdle. “The Eye of the Void.”
You dread asking the next question, but you can’t help yourself. “What happens when you find it?”
The woman’s eyes begin to glow with ethereal light as she slowly lays back down, her answer slithering across the room like snakes. “Bones and ash. Bones and ash. All the world will end in bones and ash.”
If you’d like to get in touch, you can find Sonya M. Black on social media:
Sonya M. Black entered A Sea of Broken Glass, the first book of the The Lady & The Darkness series into SPFBO, which you can check out by clicking on the cover which will lead you to its Amazon page:
You can keep updated on our progress and all of our content on my SPFBO 5 page!