I am speaking at an upcoming Local Authors Night at the Albert Campbell public Library in Toronto Ontario coming up on October 19, 2017. As a lead up I’ve been posting snippets from my books and thought they might be of interest to you folk. So here’s the first snippet.
For more on the Authors night visit: www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMEVT259125&R=EVT259125
Given that this event is supposed to be for Halloween I thought I’d share an excerpt from my Paranormal Romance, Action Adventure that I personally find quite frightening. This is frightening to me because it is a true modernization of the witch trials of the middle ages. In it the fanatical cultists have captured Alcina, a Wiccan priestess, and are torturing her. All faiths have good and bad people that follow them; here we see what happens when a faith of peace is used as an excuse for intolerance and hate.
Worlds Apart is available in Kindle or Paperback from: www.amazon.com/author/stephenpearl
or Stephen will have copies for sale at the Local Authors Night at the Albert Campbell Public library.
“Do we kill the sinner now?” spoke an unfamiliar male voice.
Alcina tried to roll over so she could see the speaker, but as soon as she moved a boot struck savagely against her ribs.
“Brother Edward, we are a court of the Lord. We must do this properly! If she can be saved by the love of Jesus we must make every effort. If she cannot, the purification of fire will cleanse her from this world.” Jones knelt in front of Alcina gripped the duct-tape over her mouth and tore it away.
Alcina yelped with pain.
Jones unfolded a piece of paper he had carried in his back pocket. “Answer truthfully and this will be easier on you.” He read the first of the traditional questions from the paper. “How long have you been a witch?”
The pain helped to clear Alcina’s head, and she looked at Jones. “Let me go!”
“Answer the question, witch! How long have you been a witch?” Jones looked at her with wild eyes.
“I was born a child of the Lord and Lady, but I was initiated eight years ago.” Alcina tried to concentrate, to touch the energy in the language amulet, and reach Markus.
The butt of the birding-rifle slammed into the side of Alcina’s mouth. “Liar! No confession is valid without torture!”
Alcina felt fear well up inside her. She’d read enough about the burning times to know what was coming. “Torture has always been illegal in England.”
“We draw our authority from a higher power. We are the court of the Lord, the children of Jesus.”
“Hallelujah,” echoed out around her.
“Brother Jones, we didn’t have the right equipment, but I brought this from my toolbox.”
“Thank you, Brother Lancre. They will do. Take the rifle and cover her. Be careful, this bride of Satan is possessed of a powerful demon.”
All Alcina could see was a man’s dress slacks and the end of the rifle barrel at Jones’ side. She closed her eyes and concentrated with all her might. A moment later she felt her arms pulled forward.
“Now witch, do you renounce Satan and his evil ways and embrace the one, true, only and right Lord.” Jones stinking breath blasted into her face.
Alcina trembled as she felt something cold and metallic touch her thumb. She opened her eyes and looked down. Jones was tightening a vice grip.
“Help, help!” Alcina screamed.
“Shut up, witch, or I’ll shoot! I won’t let you bespell us,” snapped a stocky man with greasy, brown hair and a fat face. He held the rifle in trembling hands.
Alcina could hear the fear behind his threat. The idiocy of it would have been funny in another situation.
“Good, Brother Lancre. She must not speak unless spoken to.” Jones took the vice grip away and set it tighter then returned it and clamped it down.
Alcina screamed as the bones in her thumb were crushed and the tool’s teeth tore her skin.
Whendon knelt beside Jones and jammed a rag into Alcina’s mouth. “Someone might hear!”
Jones nodded. “Why did you become a witch?”
Whendon pulled the rag out of Alcina’s mouth.
She whimpered as her thumb throbbed.
“Why did you become a witch?” demanded Jones. “Answer and I promise I won’t crush your other thumb.”
Through the pain Alcina knew she had to stall, to give her friends time to find her. “I felt the call of nature and the seasons, the need to accept responsibility for my own actions and to love the earth. I—”
Jones nodded at Whendon who jammed the rag into Alcina’s mouth while he used the vice grip to shatter her other thumb