Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Harvesting Nightblooms (Excerpt)


by Various Authors
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

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Tour stop on my blog of Fateful Turns: A #StrangeLit Anthology, featuring Will J. Sarm, enjoy! I love the cover of this story, sadly don't have a sample. :(

Harvesting Nightblooms
 Will J. Sarm

Prom is supposedly the most memorable night of a teenage girl’s life. But when Alexis Briar wakes up in a coffin, in an entirely different world, her prom experience is about to go on a whole other level of unforgettable. Summoned to the plague-ridden world of Endor by Ash, a mysterious boy with powers over the dead, he tells her that her only way back is if she helps him save his world from a rabid disease. Not exactly the easiest thing to do. Can Alexis do the impossible and make it back home, or will she end up marooned in Endor with the necromancer with whom she has never felt more alive?


With the pyre ablaze, the crowd’s bravado is restored to a level even higher than before. They raise their pitchforks in celebration. Their demonic sneers are back, and they point at me, reveling in my imminent death.

“You’ll be sorry! You’ll be sorry!” I curse at them, but they all ignore me. They’re too enraptured by my roasting.

“Oh Mom, I’m so sorry,” I say, dropping my head in defeat. I feel the flames getting closer. The heat licks my skin, leaving behind beads of sweat. I look up at the heavens in all its cloudiness. “Please save me!”

The shrill whinny of a horse suddenly cuts through all the diabolical cheering. I don’t know if someone up there heard me but in the next second, a mare of smoke and darkness appears behind the mob with blazing embers for eyes. A trail of fire blazes on the ground in its wake. It leaps over the heads of the crowd as they all gasp in fear. The rider is a hooded figure in all black. I watch breathlessly as he bounds towards me. It looks like Death himself has come to deliver me.

“Draw your swords!” cries the Priest-Commander.

As soon as he says those words, the soil fractures and human hands shoot up from the ground like geysers. Shrieks of terror pierce through the night air and I join them in horrified chorus.

“Oh my gosh!” I yell in disbelief.

My eyes widen as I watch zombies–literally, zombies–rise from beneath the ground. An army of embalmed people with blank stares and bloodless complexion slogs its way towards the soldiers. The soldiers hack at them, limbs falling out of sockets, but they continue plodding along, undeterred.

With the soldiers momentarily occupied by the outbreak, the horse reaches me without resistance. It kicks aside the burning wood, which startles me. Of course, stupid me forgot that despite all the commotion, I’m still tied to a wooden pole completely surrounded by kindling. Its rider then jumps down beside me, pulls back his hood, and takes my breath away.

It’s a bronze-skinned boy, a little older than me, with a buzz cut and a chiseled jaw partially hidden by light stubble. With his gray eyes, he gives me a stare that I swear could melt butter. Maybe it’s the heat or maybe I’m just being melodramatic, but I think that if I weren’t actually fastened to this pole, my knees would’ve buckled a little. In a couple of strides, he slips behind me and I hear a knife slice through the ropes.

“Follow me,” he whispers, his voice full of danger that it almost sends a shiver down my spine.

The horse kneels for him and he mounts it in one motion. Then he extends his hand out, fully expecting me to take it. I gawk at him for a daft moment.

“Well?” he asks, frowning at my dawdling.

Let’s see, do I stay and wait to get sentenced to death again, or do I get on a smoky, black horse with a stranger who, let’s face it, is pretty smoking hot? Like that was something to think about. I take his hand and he pulls me up to his steed.

About the Author

Will J. Sarm is an introvert who pretends to be an extrovert. He has been writing ever since he was strong enough to lift a pencil. He primarily writes YA novels, usually with fantasy elements, and he occasionally dabbles in spoken word poetry. Make sure to show him some love and follow him over at twitter.com/wilj. If he finally decides to reopen the can of worms that is blogging, you’ll hear about it there.

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