Friday, February 17, 2017

The New Age Bank Robbers excerpt

The New Age Bank Robbers excerpt
Wicked Witches, Devils & Dragons
© Paul DeThroe 2016
Tony felt a strange, supernatural-type magnetism towards an old leather bound book that was water damaged on the outside and had ripped pages sticking out crudely. The antiquated tome seemed out of place that it appeared ready to jump off the shelf to get away from the newer, better kempt books that surrounded it.

Tony’s attraction to the book was immediate and intense. When he pulled the old book from its place he could feel a bizarre feeling enter him. He’d have to take this book with him even if he had to steal it. He glanced at the front cover and he almost dropped the book. The book was entitled, ‘Book of the Law’, by Aleister Crowley.

Tony had heard of Crowley before, from listening to that famous metal song that bears reference to him talking to the dead, but he’d never been properly educated about him. Despite the attraction between him and the book, he was a little fearful of it. His curiosity got the best of him though, and he slowly opened it.

Upon reading the first page, which was blank except for a hand written message, Tony’s jaw dropped. The message read, “To Tony, from Aleister. Best.” How could this be? His mind raced and he flipped the pages to until he found that the book had been printed in 1904, which had to be well after Crowley had passed away. He quickly closed the book and took it to the clerk, who’d finally left him alone and gone back to the register.

“This is an exceedingly rare work, young man. Despite its flaws, it could still fetch thousands or more at the right auction. For you, it will be ten dollars,” the crabby old lady glowered.

“I only have one dollar, ma’am,” Tony replied dejectedly, as he pulled a wrinkled Washington from his pocket.

“Then I’ll give it to you on discount,” the lady tried to smile but couldn’t. “That book is bad luck; I just want it out of here. I bought it at an auction last week and ever since I put it on the shelf I haven’t had a single customer until you walked in here today. You look like an evil bastard anyways, all dressed in black wearing women’s lipstick, black fingernails and all those piercings. Take that book and get out of here, quickly!”

“Thank you ma’am,” Tony replied politely, even though he wanted to flip her off being rude. But he was glad that she’d given him the discount, so he bit his tongue and walked out with this peculiar book.

He walked to his girlfriend’s home at a quickened pace, and it seemed that everyone was staring at him as if he were the devil himself. The buildings seemed to shake as he passed them, as if trying to scare him into not stopping in front of them with his wicked book.

Tunnel vision took over. With every step he trod, his destination seemed to move farther away. He became terror stricken by the hallucinations and panic set in. His fast walk turned to a jog and then a sprint. Even though he travelled at a much faster pace than usual it still seemed like it took ten times longer to make it back to Violet’s apartment.

 $6.66 @ Amazon
$6.66 @ Amazon

 Paul DeThroe
Paul DeThroe

A Cold Day in Hell (The Day that Jack Frost Died) excerpt

A Cold Day in Hell excerpt
Wicked Witches, Devils & Dragons
© Paul DeThroe 2016
Image result for ice devil

Deep within the bowels of Hell, rumors had been swirling for weeks about Jack Frost being seriously ill. Everlasting fires started slowly died out, brimstone stopped falling, and instead of the gnawing of flesh, cold shivers overtook the masses of eternally damned sinners and demons.

Not that this was unexpected. Jack Frost was a notorious malefactor, and it was well known in certain dark circles that if he ever died, he’d become a top Chieftain of Hell. He’d been the death of millions of humans, countless animals, had laid waste to entire armies and had generally been a global nuisance for tens of thousands of years.

However, what the powers that be in Hell failed to realize was that serving as a mere chieftain was far below Jack’s boundless ambitions.

The tortured, waiting in purgatory to be transformed into full-fledged demons, were delighted for the short reprieve from the flames that incessantly licked their flesh. Of course, their demonic tormentors were none too happy about the icy turn of events. Their jobs and very existence were in jeopardy because of the dramatic drop in temperature. If they could no longer torture cursed souls with the prodigious heat that poured in from the lake of fire, they’d have no purpose. So the demons formed a lobbying committee and took their complaints to the King of Hell himself, Satan Lucifer.

Satan was in no mood to deal with petty grievances from a whining contingent of demons. He was already stressed out from being forced to deal with the coming of Ol’ Jack, who was far from your ordinary new arrival in Hell. Jack was very powerful spirit and Satan knew he’d demand much power. Satan wasn’t a very generous devil to begin with, but who was he to deny the terrible and infamous Jack Frost?

He knew that Jack would be arriving in his Hellish lair soon, so he sent the demons scurrying away to fend for themselves and find their own ways to stay warm. He simply didn’t have time or patience to solve their petty problems. His more pressing problem was finding a way to coexist with one of the most evil souls to have ever existed.

Right on cue, Jack rode into Satan’s lair on the stinging fingers of some of the last arctic winds known to exist on Earth. The plummeting temperatures that accompanied Jack caused Satan to see his breath as frozen mist, instead of sulfurous smoke, for the first time. The old devil instinctively wrapped his arms around himself but still shook uncontrollably. “W-w-welcome t-to H-Hell, J-J-Jack,” the devil stammered with an unconcealed disdain.

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 Paul DeThroe
Paul DeThroe

Bonzai, the Dragon Slayer excerpt

Bonzai, the Dragon Slayer excerpt
Wicked Witches, Devils & Dragons
© Paul DeThroe 2016

Image result for boy dragon slayer 

As his thoughts wandered, Bonzai was jolted back to reality by the ghastliest sound he’d ever heard, and one he’d never forget. It sounded like an onrushing train and was so loud that it drowned out the relentlessly pounding thunder that was still shaking the ground like a mad timpanist in a deranged opera.

He turned around and saw a massive funnel cloud bearing down on him. Without thinking twice, he dove into the hole of the splintered tree. The fit was tight and he had to wiggle his way through the mouth of the hole, but once he got his hips past the ingress, he fell straight down. He tried to slow his fall by frantically grabbing against the walls, but his efforts were futile because he was falling too quickly. As panic overtook him, he barely noticed that the sounds of the powerful tempest were growing quieter. For a split second he couldn’t hear a thing. Then he hit bottom.

The landing had been what he’d dreaded the most during his long fall, but when it happened it wasn’t nearly as bad as he thought it’d be. It felt like he’d landed on a huge pile of downy feathers. When he gathered himself, he saw that there was a dim light illuminating the bottom of the hole and realized that what he landed on was a massive growth of moss. How it grew underground was a mystery to him.

He stood up and looked around, attempting to make sense of his surroundings. He reached for his sword stick but then felt sickened when it wasn’t in his makeshift scabbard. It must’ve fallen away when he leapt into the hole. Feeling confused and defenseless, he could sense that he was in the lair of one of the evil leprechauns. If discovered, they’d most likely torture and kill him. He wasted no time finding a hiding spot.

He ran down a dark hallway and into the first door he saw, which turned out to be a large chamber full of treasures. There were literally thousands of pieces of precious gems, and gold and silver coins, scattered in piles all about the room. Bonzai was so awestruck that he very nearly forgot about his perilous situation. He was just about to dive head first into one of the piles when he heard a sound so frightful that his instincts kicked in, freezing him dead in his tracks. As the floor shook beneath him, he realized he was hearing the snoring of a giant reptile.

At first Bonzai was unsure of what kind of reptilian creature he was dealing with, but when he saw smoke pouring from the nose of the sleeping beast, he had no doubt it was a fire breathing dragon. Bonzai knew that if he woke the monster, he’d be served up as a tasty treat. His level of dread grew as he fought to keep from succumbing to all-out panic. Instead of losing his nerve though, he slowly mastered his runaway emotions. Once calm, he began silently surveying the huge amount of treasure that was horded there.

The way Bonzai figured it, there had to be at least a billion dollars’ worth of gold, silver and gemstones in the room. It’d be more than enough to set him and his family up for life. It might even be enough to get his parents to stop working so much and spend more time with him, which to Bonzai, was worth more than all the money, gold and jewels in the world. The problem was, figuring out how he could get all this treasure out without forcing a personal cataclysm.

Just as he was starting to daydream about what he was going to do with all the treasure he was planning to steal, he heard a groaning sound coming from outside the room. It was just a matter of seconds before the groaning turned to full-fledged shouting. Someone else was in the underground fortress and that someone was very angry.

“My God,” the voice exclaimed, “our fortress has been destroyed! That annoying boy that lives on the surface must be responsible. When I get my hands on him, I’m going to make him pay with his miserable, worthless life!”

When Bonzai heard the footsteps of the angry man coming closer, he knew he was trapped. Unable to come up with a better plan, he dove behind the largest of the many treasure piles in the room. It turned out that he hid just in the nick of time, because the angry rant had stirred the dragon awake. Coins and jewels rattled as the dragon began to move sluggishly about. Bonzai gasped in awe as the dragon stretched to full length. The beast sniffed, turned his head towards Bonzai, and glowered at him hungrily.  

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 Paul DeThroe
Paul DeThroe

Knocking on Satan’s Door excerpt 2

Knocking on Satan’s Door excerpt 2
Wicked Witches, Devils & Dragons
© Paul DeThroe 2016

When his mom left for work, Preston decided it was safe to perform a spell using his new stolen skull as a magical tool. But first he did an internet search on the name Agramon, and discovered it was the ancient name of the demon of fear. Freaked out, he reached for the backpack and slowly removed the skull. What he saw next blew him away.

The light of day brought out details in the skull that Preston had overlooked the previous night, despite the fact that he’d used a flashlight. The skull had two small, protruding horns and vampire-like fangs, giving it the appearance of something that’d came straight from Hell. He was absolutely sure this skull would be his unholy grail. He’d use it, and the strange supernatural powers it surely possessed to make all his evil desires come to pass.

Thrilled with his discovery, Preston looked in his candle box and found one last black candle. He lit the wick and held it over the demon skull as the melted wax dripped. Electrified by the occult imagery dancing around in his head, he placed the candle firmly into the melted wax and held it there until it was secure.

Unlike any of his other rituals, this one gave him a false sense of entitlement, like he could rule the world if he wanted to. As the power in him began to rise, so too did the temperature of the room. He opened his eyes, and to his amazement the skull was gone, replaced by a real life fiery devil. Preston became filled with fear, cowering down in front of the demon, as if that would somehow protect him.

“Why have you interrupted my eternal rest, boy?” Agramon bellowed.

Remembering from his studies that humans have power over demons, and not the other way around, his fear subsided and Preston began to feel vital confidence start to build again. Ultimate magical power lay within his grasp, if he could figure out how to use it to his advantage.

“I want you to fulfill my every desire,” Preston whispered fearfully. “Make me the greatest black wizard in the world.”

“He shall, if you’re willing to make a small bargain with me,” crackled another flaming monster that appeared from out of nowhere.

“Who are you, demon?” Preston asked, again frozen in fear.

“My name is Lucifer,” growled the demon. “I am Agramon’s master. I’ll lend his services to you for a certain amount of time, for a small price, of course.”

“Name your price,” Preston replied.

“Your eternal soul,” Lucifer pointed a long, crooked finger right at Preston.

“What good is my soul?” Preston laughed. “You have yourself a deal!”

“Show me your hand,” demanded the devil. When Preston did so, Lucifer grabbed his index finger, sliced it with a razor sharp claw and then produced a contract. Preston sealed the deal by signing the contract in his own blood.

Both Lucifer and Agramon disappeared. Only the demon skull remained, a black candle still burning but with a strange, green glowing smoke billowing from its orifices. Evil laughter filled the room and then dissipated, as did the eerie smoke. “Your wishes are my command, Master Preston,” Agramon’s voice called from within the wizened skull.

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 Paul DeThroe
Paul DeThroe

Knocking on Satan's Door excerpt 1

Knocking on Satan’s Door excerpt 1
Wicked Witches, Devils & Dragons
© Paul DeThroe 2016

“I’m going to show you the real reason I come here,” Brandon walked behind the casket, bent over, pulled out a brass candelabra and a plastic storage bag full of half burnt black candles. He meticulously placed one candle into each of the candle holders, set it down atop the casket, and then started lighting them.

“What are you doing?” Preston whispered, as if afraid for his very life.

“I can only tell you if you promise never to tell anyone,” Brandon spoke in a hushed tone.

“I promise,” Preston swore, now the subservient one.

“Good,” Brandon smiled, his face becoming long and fearsome from the light of the flickering candles. “I have a confession to make; I am a wizard.”

“A wizard?” Preston asked, unconvinced.          
“Yes; and a black one at that!”

“A black wizard; I’m not sure what that means?”

“Have you ever heard of Aleister Crowley?”


“Alright, let me rephrase that. Have you ever heard the song, ‘Mr. Crowley’ by Ozzy Osbourne?”

“Oh yea, I’ve heard it at a party here or there.”

“Well, it’s about this famous black wizard. I subscribe to his theory.”

“What’s his theory?”

“Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law.”

“Ah, what does that mean?”

“In witchcraft there is a law of three.”

“Like on the series about three sexy witches that fight demon lords?”

“Kind of, but not really; Let me explain. Whatever type of spell a witch performs comes back to them in terms of karma, threefold, or in layman terms, three times. So, if a witch does a good spell to help someone, then it comes back on the witch threefold.”

“And if the witch does an evil spell, it also comes back on the witch three times.”

“Correct, but Crowley came up with a new idea. If you use magic to will a thought, an action, or a desired outcome into existence, the law of three doesn’t exist. This allows wizards like me to perform spells without any repercussions.”

“That’s pretty amazing, Brandon! Show me how it works.”

Brandon did as requested. He took a stick and drew a magickal circle around the edges of the tomb, then went back to the casket and started chanting some archaic ritual, in words Preston didn’t understand. When it was over, nothing spectacular had happened, but Preston was hooked. He wanted to become a black wizard.

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 Paul DeThroe
Paul DeThroe

Sedusa’s Island excerpt

Sedusa’s Island excerpt
Wicked Witches, Devils & Dragons
© Paul DeThroe 2016
Image result for medusa sexy evil

I banged on the door several times, waited a few seconds and then pounded some more for good measure. “Hold on, hold on,” I could hear the witch cackle from inside. “Who could it be, banging on my door? Who’d call at a poor old woman’s home at this early hour? Lordy be, hold on!”

“I am Captain Deathblade,” I announced haughtily.

“What is your desire?” she asked, as she opened the squeaky, half-rotted door. I couldn’t answer her at first. The sight of her ghastly ugliness had taken my breath away. She was truly a hag. Her long, unkempt, gray hair went every which way, her wrinkled face was covered with dark sunspots and warts, all of which had wild hairs protruding from them, and all her teeth were missing except two on top, one on the bottom. Her eyes were covered with hazy cataracts. She was the most hideous looking woman I’d ever laid eyes upon. I quickly gathered myself, took a deep breath and started the unenviable task of charming her.

“My dear lady,” I said softly, “I’m but a poor sailor, drawn far away from my normal travels in search of something which is said to be held in your possession. I’ve come to humble myself before you and appeal to your renowned charity, so that you may share this great treasure with your fellow man.”
She laughed at me long and hard. Finally she spoke. “The villagers down below have filled you with lies. I’m but a poor, lonely crone. I have no treasure to speak of. My possessions are few and of those, they’re all needed for sustenance. What value could I possibly offer you that would in any way assist your voyages?”

“I seek an ancient map,” her eyes squinted to show deep concern as I spoke. “I’ve heard that you possess many such maps, but only one that interests me.”

“Yes, I have acquired and held onto certain hides that have been marked with drawings of our world,” she whispered wearily, before stopping to hack up a blood-streaked chunk of phlegm that she spat onto the dirt floor. “But why would I share them with you? What would you offer me in persuasion to even show them to you?”

“My lady I’ve amassed a vast amount of treasure of my own, through my many and varied adventures,” I attempted to persuade her. “What would interest you, gold, silver, coins, or antique artifacts? If I don’t have your pleasure, I could most assuredly acquire it.”

“What need would I have for earthly treasures?” she laughed in my face. “Keeping valuable possessions here would only invite robbers and swindlers, like you, of which I have no defense against, besides curses that I can barely remember the words to.”

That was what I feared most about this adventure. Sure, I could’ve already ran my sword through her bony torso and tore her house apart until I found the map I sought, but with her dying breath she could put a dreaded curse upon me which would cause me to indirectly take a path to misfortune and doom. That was a risk I was unwilling to take, at this point. That’s why I preferred to barter with the old bat. If I could sweet-talk her out of the map with minimal token, I’d be much better off than facing down the retribution of her ominous talents in the darkest of arts. “Surely there must be something of your liking I could give you in exchange for the map. I could send the finest wines and furs from town. I could have someone bring you some fresh, tasty meat, which from the looks of you, have been sorely lacking.”

“Stop right there, young man,” she put a finger in the air to halt my unabashed carpet bagging. “I have no need for any of those things. I drink spirits from the roots grown in my garden and sustain myself on a diet of berries, nuts, acorn bread and wild bee honey, all of which are readily available within a few minutes hike. Nothing you’ve offered me has appealed to my senses of charity regarding the map you seek.”

“Then tell me what you desire, my lady,” I begged her.

“Come inside, lad and sit at my kitchen table. I’ll share with you fresh herbal tea, brewed from my very own garden, modest as it is.”

“I’d be delighted,” I ducked my head to walk under her doorway and stepped into her quaint home. The musky old place smelled horrible. A rotting corpse in the sweltering dog days of summer couldn’t have smelled any worse. I soon found out why. In her kitchen was a wood fired stove. Upon it sat a soup pot, still boiling, that was apparently responsible for the vulgar smell which saturated the stale air inside the shack.

She poured us both a steaming cup of tea. I was apprehensive at first, fearing what could be infused in the liquid. But she noticed my hesitation and took the first sip from her cup. I traded her cups as soon as she put hers back down, and took a sip as well. She looked at me knowingly; picked up the cup she’d originally given to me and tossed its contents into the barely smoldering fireplace. It erupted into flames, sending a whistling flash up the chimney.

“You’re a very smart young man,” she hobbled back to the table.

I smiled and nodded, proud of myself for not allowing her to trick me into drinking poison. “If you try something like that again witch, my sword shall taste what little blood your feeble body may hold.”

“Come, come, young man,” she winked. “Surely, you wouldn’t blame a little old lady for wanting to protect herself from a strange outsider, would you?”

“Yes, I would,” I stared at her malevolently, to let her know that the time for playing games was over. “I want the map you have. The one that shows the island that Sedusa has been exiled on. Nothing will stand in my way, not even your curses. I’d prefer to trade something of value for the map, so that you may avoid reasons to jinx me. But I’ll not leave here without the map, even if I have to kill you and subject myself to certain damnation.”

“I understand,” the hag smiled, got up, walked to her stove and started stirring her cauldron, which released such obnoxious odors that I gagged. Oddly, it didn’t affect her in the least. “There is one thing I could use, but I doubt you’d give to me.”

“Oh, for the sake of the ancient gods of the sea,” I roared. “Tell me what you want in exchange for the map and I’ll shall it to you.”

“The remedy I’m boiling in this cauldron is something I consume every day for my health and beauty. But it’s missing one ingredient, a key ingredient, one thing which you possess.”

“Spit it out, witch!” I demanded.

“I’ll trade my map for one of your eyeballs.”

 Paul DeThroe
Paul DeThroe

Sorcerer’s Daughter excerpt 1

Sorcerer’s Daughter excerpt 1
Wicked Witches, Devils & Dragons
© Paul DeThroe 2017
King Ragnar was so happy that the dragon had been defeated, that he granted my father the hand of his queen’s sister in marriage. Soon thereafter, I became their firstborn. As fate would have it, I was to be their only living child, as my mother died eight years later during the birth of their second child, a stillborn boy. My father was never the same after that tragedy, and spent the rest of his days wasting away in deep depression.

At that time I couldn’t accept the fact that I’d never see my mother again, nor know my baby brother. Knowing I needed the kind of emotional support he couldn’t deliver, my dad shipped me off to a convent for my formal education the day after their burial. It was a crushing blow to my already bewildered psyche.

I should’ve been fodder to the whims of the tyrannical nuns that ran the brainwashing factory, considering my defeated emotional state, but instead I found myself rebelling both against their morality judgments and their close-minded bigotries that branded all things differing from the Church as heretical.

I took their beatings like a badge of honor, letting each dreadful blow sear the pagan religion even deeper into my soul. What I learned to do as time went on, was to say whatever they wanted me to say, but to also keep my own beliefs and convictions alive in my heart.

I had no such luck with the monks from the nearby monastery. They discovered the delicate flesh of my tender youth quite early in my seclusion, despite my protests. When I became a whore in my teenage years to spite them and their hypocrisies, they blamed my promiscuity on the fact that I was a woman. Their entire belief system centered on the thought that women are the reason sin is the world today, thus absolving themselves for their own sins against me, and others like me, and squarely placing that guilt on the weary shoulders of the victimized.

I wasn’t having any of it. I slept with anyone who caught my fancy. As my reputation of being a whorish nun spread to neighboring villages, the Church could ignore me no longer. So they whipped me one last time, branded me a heretic and cast me away.

On my way out, I cursed them with every affliction and foul word I could think of. After I called the nun superior a colorful word for rotten female parts, she lost it, plucked a heavy gold ornamental cross from the convent wall and chucked it at me. If it would’ve landed in its intended place I wouldn’t be writing this story, but it missed by a hair, zooming right over my shoulder and landing on the ground with a thud.

Fearing that pitchforks and torches were imminent, I picked up the valuable relic and ran for my life. They gave chase, but the hags were no match for my tireless teenage legs. I found my way to my safe spot in the woods in a matter of moments. The religious fanatics who’d tortured me for the longest couple of years of my life didn’t have the courage to enter Haunted Forest, fearing it was full of witches and unnatural wolves.

I didn’t share their dread. I’d befriend the shadow-strewn beasts of the woods as if my life depended on it. In a way, I suppose it did. I loved the forest. I visited it nearly every time they allowed me to go outside. It was the only place I could escape their frequent beatings, never-ending penitents, incessant demands for free labor and the hyper-driven libido of the filthy monks.

Now I’d call it home. There was really nothing to fear. Sure, there were wild beasts to contend with, but if I didn’t bother them, they likely wouldn’t bother me. I was always good with animals. Ever since I was but a toddler I could communicate with domestic and wild animals alike. It was my greatest paranormal power, my gift. Even the fabled ghostly devil dogs of the forest couldn’t resist my charms. I used my powers of telepathy, as well as my natural animal magnetism to round them up. With a wicked glance I caused the alpha male to submit to my will and the rest of the pack followed his lead. Now, even if the villagers sent bands of hunters they’d have no chance of capturing me.

The devil dogs were nothing more than my ancestor’s hunting dogs killed long ago by invaders. They became dreaded specters of the most fearful order because of a curse laid down by a wizard that hated the invaders for killing his prize hunting dog. After that, most people unfortunate to cross path with these devil dogs died cruel and painful deaths. Occasionally a victim escaped and would invariably spread tales of the monstrous werewolves all around the local villages. This worked in my favor. The Church inspired the current mood of superstitious mania about Haunted Woods, which would, in turn, cause them to leave me to my own devices. I’d take it upon myself to study the dark arts of witchery inside the magickal confines of haunted forest.

I vowed to someday open the people’s eyes and show them that their adopted religion was keeping them poor and subservient. Oppression and heavy-handedness proved to be a highly effective means of assimilating followers from one religion into another. Of course, there would always be people like me, malcontents who live on the fringes of society and carve our own paths.

Sure, mine was an old path, primeval in fact, but the guidance of the Ancient Ones was no longer available, their wisdom a forgotten piece of the past. But the old gods and goddesses were still tugging at my heartstrings, calling upon me to summons them back to Earth. Knowing no other way, I decided to construct my own path to enlightenment, from scratch.

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 Paul DeThroe
Paul DeThroe