Lackey, Sherri: The Darkness Below
The Darkness Below
by Sherri Lackey
Twenty years have passed since Keeva killed her grandfather, Delius. She drank in his powers and became the Queen of the Vrykolakes, known by the ancient Greeks as the bloodless vampires.
She and Severin have settled into some semblance of a normal life, living in rural North America with their two kids, Connor and Kaie. Their neighbors would never suspect that they are anything more than a typical family.
Aside from keeping their true identity a secret, everything seems to be going well for the small family.
Until their twelve year old daughter, Kaie, goes missing.
Are monsters ever afraid of the dark?
When Kaie awakens from a prolonged sleep, she is no longer a child, and she is no longer in familiar surroundings. In a realm where no sunlight penetrates the dark cloud layers, a place called The Forbidding awaits. Echoes of madness surround her. Something lurking in the Belows warn of her doom. Legend holds that whatever is born or brought into the Belows must remain there.
Kaie vows to find a way to return to her family, but first she must learn to face her darkest fear, if she is ever to escape from the darkness below.
“Kaie, don’t be stupid. Come back!” called Sedge.
The closer she got to the Forbidding a chill set in. It startled her. It is always hot on Subtenna despite the cloud cover. Yet, she felt an arctic blast of air as she stood before it. It wasn’t as if a wind was blowing there. It was like when you open a freezer door on a hot day and feel the cold air hit your face. The temperature changed suddenly like that.
She tentatively put her hand up, slowly moving it toward the dark swirling mass. She heard Sedge screaming something at her. She ignored him. The next thing she remembered was looking up into Sedge’s face. Ziv was standing over her too. They both looked worried.
“Can you hear me?” Sedge said. His voice sounded like he was calling to her from a long distance away, like her ears were stuffed full of marshmallows. “Kaie, can you hear me?”
She moved her head to one side and felt a sharp pain course through her back.
“Don’t move. I think you broke…something,” said Sedge.
“What happened?” Kaie said.
“You touched it. I told you to get away from it. Why did you do that? What’s wrong with you, Kaie?”
“I remember touching it. It was…tingly. What happened after that?”
“There was this bright flash of light and you were thrown up into the air and backwards. That was so stupid, Kaie. I can’t believe you touched it.” He had a sour look on his face.
“You died. Your glow disappeared for a couple of minutes, but now it’s back,” said Ziv. Her voice quivered; her face was paler than usual. There were tracks of dried tears on her cheeks.
“She’s right. You weren’t breathing when we came over to you. We thought that was the end of you, but then a minute or two later you started breathing again.”
She sat up and felt a sharp pain course through her body. Despite that, she could feel her body healing – quickly. She seemed to be healing faster than she ever had before. Curious, she stood to her feet.
“I think you should lie still for a while,” cautioned Sedge.
She ignored him and walked toward the Forbidding.
“Kaie, come back!” called Ziv.
“Kaie, what are you doing? You’re spinning my head! Don’t! No!” said Sedge.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Sherri Lackey lives in Montana where the cold northern climate inspires her to write foreboding tales. She writes the way she cooks, and that is by using dashes of speculative fiction, a pinch of steampunk here, and a touch of urban fantasy there. She lives with her husband, Paul, in a house on a hill that she prefers to think of as an island. She has a faithful dog named Raymond, who likes to sit by her side while she writes, and a vampire cat named Penny who likes to sit on her shoulder purring or trying to nip at her neck.
How did you become interested in writing fantasy?
The fantasy genre has been a part of my life since childhood. My parents never took me to see movies at the theater, but I watched any and all science fiction and fantasy TV shows that I could find. Except for Bewitched. I wasn’t allowed to watch that for some reason. I could watch I Dream of Jeannie though. I can’t recall reading any fantasy novels until I was a teen and young adult. My imagination thrived on those television and written stories.
Despite my love for reading fantasy, I never wrote anything in that genre until much later in life. My first foray into writing fantasy began when I wrote The Winds of the Molornu which was a blend of science fiction and fantasy. Basically, I wanted to write a vampire novel – minus the vampires. Why? Mainly I wanted the story to capture the whole somber mood of a vampire tale. I followed up that novel with two sequels. After I finished that series, I hit a few bumps in the road in my life which sidetracked my writing endeavors. Eventually, I realized I needed to write; it’s engrained in me, a part of who I am. So, I began again.
That’s when I came up with the idea for The Vrykolakas Deviation, the first book in my Narcissus Legacy series. This time I decided to include vampires; only I didn’t want the classic vampires. I found an obscure vampire legend from Greece – the Vrykolakas. This particular vampire was so obscure that the legends I found didn’t seem to know exactly how they killed their victims. They got the nickname of the bloodless vampire because they did not drink blood. I took that legend and put my own spin on it, explaining that the Vrykolakes drain their victims’ lifeforce by skin on skin contact. My first novel in The Narcissus Legacy series was born out of that. Each book in the series relates to the others but they can also be read as a separate standalone novel as each story highlights a different main character. The Darkness Below, which is book two, highlights the story of Kaie, the daughter of the two main characters in book one.
Now that I’m writing fantasy, I am not sure if I’ll ever write in another genre. I think I have enough story ideas to last me the rest of my life, and all of them are either science fiction or fantasy or a little of both. The third book of the Narcissus Legacy Series, The Darkness Within, will be available late summer or early fall of this year. The fourth novel, tentatively titled Into the Abyss, is being written and revised and will hopefully be available by next summer or fall.
Sherri will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
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