Today, I'm excited to bring you a thrilling excerpt from author Scott Bury's newest jewel in The Dark Age trilogy, Book 2, The Children of the Seventh Son. Never one to limit himself, Scott is an incredible author, having published several books in several genres. From satire to mystery, from thriller to fantasy, his creative talents know no bounds. Moreover, he's also my editor and a great friend. Read on, and you'll soon discover why Scott is an author worth checking out.
From The Children of the Seventh Son, by Scott Bury:
As Javor stepped forward, he felt his amulet tremble. He paused, amazed to see the paving stones on the road crack and crumble. They sank into the ground as a hole opened up, stretching from one side of the road to the other, wider than he was tall. A woman coming with a group from the other direction screamed as she stopped, swaying on the far edge.
A man beside Javor cursed. “Damn sinkhole.”
People began walking around the hole. Men led horses pulling wagons slowly, careful not to let the wheels get close to the edge of the sinkhole.
Javor followed. With the obstruction of the sinkhole, the road was even more crowded with foot traffic.
As soon as Javor’s foot touched the intersection, Preyatel trembled again and the sky became dark. The other people vanished in a thick, misty gloom, the horses and donkeys and oxen, too. Nighttime chill replaced the afternoon heat. Javor’s skin tingled.
An arch stretched over the crossroads now, which had not been there a second before. Javor turned around to try to see beyond the mist. When he faced the city again, he saw her.
He had no doubt. Hekate, as a slender young girl with long, dark hair. She held a large keyring in her left hand. At her feet, again, the immense black dog sat, its eyes fixed on Javor.
YOU HAVE NOT HEEDED OUR WARNINGS, she said without moving her mouth.
“I have heeded you,” he answered. “I have not raised a hand against anything that has not attacked me or my family, first.”
YOUR MISSIONS ARE HARMFUL TO BOTH SIDES OF THE BALANCE. THEY WILL ALSO BE FUTILE IN THEMSELVES.
“The balance again. You mean Earth and Sky.”
YOU CONTINUE TO FOLLOW MASTERS WHO LEAD YOU AWAY FROM YOUR DESTINED PATH. THEY SEEK TO USE YOU FOR THEIR GODS’ PURPOSES. THEY SEEK TO USE THEIR GODS, CELESTIAL ARCHONS, FOR THEIR OWN MATERIAL WEALTH. FOR TEMPORAL LUXURY AND POWER OVER OTHER HUMANS. THEY ARE WILLFUL FOOLS. THEY BLIND THEMSELVES WITH FANTASIES OF HEAVENLY GLORY. THEY ABANDON THE MOTHER WHO BIRTHED THEM.
“Do you mean Moist Mother Earth?”
As she had in Javor’s homeland, Hekate changed from a young girl to a mature, beautiful woman, hair curled in Roman style.
ONE OF YOUR WORDS FOR IT, YES. HUMANITY’S MOTHER. ONE SOURCE OF ALL LIFE.
“The Christians talk about their heavenly father. But you are on the side of the earthly mother.”
BOTH ARE NEEDED FOR LIFE.
Hekate changed again, becoming the crone. Her hair hung limp. Lines creased her face, but she was still beautiful.
YOU HAVE TWO MISSIONS. THE FIRST IS TO DESTROY A HARMLESS CREATURE. AN EMANATION OF THE BONES OF THE EARTH, YES, BUT HUNDREDS OF GENERATIONS AWAY. A DUMB, HARMLESS BEAST.
“It has eaten children.”
DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING THE SKY-WORSHIPPERS TELL YOU. ON THIS MISSION, YOU WILL SEE AN OPENING. A CLUE TO THE DIRECTION OF DEEPER TRUTH.
“What does that mean?”
IT MEANS YOU MUST BE AWAKE AND AWARE OF EVERY DETAIL.
“You said two missions. As far as I know, I only have one: to destroy the beast that plagues Antioch.”
YOU KNOW YOU WILL RECEIVE MORE INSTRUCTION FROM THE PRIEST OF THE CITY. THAT MISSION IS ONLY SPITEFUL. TO THE BALANCE, IT WILL MEAN NOTHING. TO HUMANITY, IT COULD BRING GREAT HARM.
She changed again, features flowing, hair becoming wavy. The lines on her face faded. Her back straightened, and Hekate was the maiden again.
The dog raised its head and howled. The light grew stronger as Hekate and her hound faded.
“Wait!” Javor stepped forward to keep the vision real, and collided with a bearded man pushing a cart across the intersection.
“Watch where you are going, you twit,” the man snarled, bending to pick up vegetables that Javor had knocked from the cart.
The mist was gone, the sun high and bright in the blue sky. No dog, no maiden, no beauty, no crone. Ahead, a bridge over the Orontes River leading to a gate in a high, thick stone wall. Javor joined the crowd of people, horses and carts shuffling across.
His first stop was at an inn near the gate, where he paid too much for a jug of ale and a loaf of tasteless, dry bread. I need to clear my head after a vision of a goddess, he told himself.
The Children of the Seventh Son publishes on Friday, November 13. You can pre-order at a special price now on Amazon.
About Scott Bury
Scott can’t stay in one genre. After a 20-year career in journalism, he turned to writing fiction. “Sam, the Strawb Part,” a children’s story, came out in 2011, with all the proceeds going to an autism charity. Next was a paranormal short story for grown-ups, “Dark Clouds.”
The Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, came out in 2012. It was followed in 2013 with One Shade of Red, an erotic romance.
Scott’s articles have been published in newspapers and magazines in Canada, the US, UK and Australia.
He has two mighty sons, two pesky cats and a loving wife who puts up with a lot. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.