Friday, November 25, 2016

Neon Gods Synopsis

Just after midnight on the streets of New Los Angeles, rock star Jesus Christ is murdered. One of the Descended, no one knows just how many gods and goddesses woke up in mortal bodies two years ago. But detective Hank Dolan knows the murder isn't an isolated occurrence. Deep in the bowels of NLA, a serial killer is on the loose and the Descended are the target. 

Meanwhile, twenty three year old Sadie Fuller - mortal witness to the murder, now finds herself hunted by the killer. Setting into motion a devastating series of events where mortal and Descended must work to uncover the killer's identity before he strikes again. 

A story of power and belief and the enduring spirit of catharsis, Neon Gods will put you in the mind of deities after grace is lost. And will ask you: Who mourns for the Gods? 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Chapter Excerpt NEON GODS

Chapter excerpt NEON GODS

At half past ten, Eli and Veronica began the half mile trek into City Walk Park where they were set to meet up with Dionysus. The moon was bright and silvery threads of lights dripped down between tree branches. Although a warm night, Eli had still worn a long sleeve shirt and pants. Veronica seemed more appropriately attired. She had on a white spaghetti strapped sun dress and flip flops. Although she claimed it was comfort, Eli suspected it had more to do with her bare shoulders and catching the eye of the god that was meeting them at the groves.
He had insisted that a group meeting was best due to Dio’s anxiety with more intimate settings. Plus it had made him popular with the Society of Descendent Interactions to have been able to set up a meet and greet with a deity.
As the second and then third car parked next to his Sedan, he wondered whether eight people would be too big a turnout. After all, Dionysus hadn’t seemed exactly eager at the prospect of cajoling with some random person. Who knows how he’d react to being accosted by a group of gawking fans. Is that what they were? The entire business was starting to feel like celebrity stalking. He cringed at the thought of somebody asking the deity for an autograph. But that’s what they were. Stardom coupled with the mystery of grace lost made the Descendents a popular social commodity. And popular they were. The shooting at the Basement only made their status more appealing to those on the outside.
Eli knew horribly better. And he knew Sadie would concur. He wondered if she would have come had he asked her. Probably not. She’d already met Dio and had her fill, he suspected, of the Descendents in general. Besides, she had been joined to Freya at the hip since the attack at her apartment and their relationship was likely more than platonic. Not that that was saying much. The goddess appeared ready to drop panties with anybody at any time. Still the thought clung him to him. If he was gonna lose to anybody he’d thought it would at least be to another man.
He gritted his teeth and watched Veronica skip to other members of the group. Her excitement was shared by all. He heard in their voices the nervous tension. No one knew quite what to expect but all knew ‘something’ was gonna happen. It was in the air. He remembered his first experience with a Descendent and couldn’t blame them. They were right. Something was gonna happen. It could be something great or a goddamn debacle.
He began walking the sidewalk path that led deeper into the park and smiled as the others fell into step behind him. He was officially a tour guide to this weird sideshow. He glanced at Veronica directly behind him. In the approaching dusk, she held up a kerosene lantern she’d brought for the occasion. He caught the fumes and frowned then realized that most had some sort of artificial light source. Some held lanterns, others had flashlights and even candles that had to be relit after every few steps.
Eli began to think this was a stupid idea. Even more than insulting the god, embarrassing him would be worse. The last thing he wanted was to make himself look foolish in front of his friend. Dio had trusted him and now there was a real chance that his trust would be spit back in his face by idle chatter and folly. Even if they meant well, this group seemed on the verge of doing or saying something ridiculous.
He silently wished he hadn’t mentioned anything to Veronica. But lust is a powerful motivator. He’d known she would sleep with him if he produced a god. And so he had. And so they did. Now, he was stuck and had to wait to see this play out.
They came to a clearing and Eli marveled at how well lit the space was by moonlight. It was as if a giant round spotlight was aimed at the ground. The grass was bathed in a luminescent silver glow. It almost had the texture of fog although Eli could see clearly. It reminded him of bioluminescent algae that he’d studied in school. As he took a few steps into the circle, he heard Veronica gasp behind him. Soon, the others were jabbering about the supernatural ‘god light’. He heard flashlights being clicked off and kerosene lanterns being deposited on the ground. From out of the shadows, a figure stepped into the light and Eli knew who it was immediately.
Dionysus stepped forward wearing a laurel wreath and little else. Although naked, the god didn’t appear out of place or strange in his nudity. He simply was. Eli waited for others in the group to comment or smirk or god forbid laugh but none did. Dio’s usual lanky frame and stringy hair was now gorgeous in the billowing moonlight. His lithe arms and legs captured the shadows in just a way as to make it seem like his body was in constant motion. As if every muscle moved and breathed in alternate moon shadow and light. The wreath that rested on his head was a luscious green. To Eli, it shouldn’t be so green yet it was. The god stepped closer and Eli was suddenly afraid. He’d never seen his friend powerful. Dionysus seemed to be secreting the same bioluminescent glow that covered the ground. He was strong and full of vitality. His eyes soaked up the moonlight. A sudden smile and Eli heard Veronica gasp again. She stood aghast and her lip began to quiver. “Are these my groves?” The god asked. Eli narrowed his eyes. “Dio?” The god looked up into the night sky. “I’ve roamed Greece for millenia yet still this place...unrecognized.” Veronica looked from Dionysus to Eli. “Uh-Eli?” “Dio?” he asked. Eli had never seen the always articulate deity look, for lack of a better word, confused. He placed his hand on the god’s shoulder and was met with a bemused smile. “You don’t know where you are?” “Athens.” the god answered. “No, Dio you’re not in Greece.” “You’re in City Walk.” Veronica blurted. He looked at her puzzled. Then slowly, confusion dissolved into recognition. He smiled.”Bit forgetful are we?” Eli asked. “A moment only. Some of the old rites take me home so to speak. They are here then?” “Yeah, they’re excited to meet you.” The god glanced at Veronica. “Meet me or be me.” “Excuse me?” She chimed. “For your renewal of course.” the god’s eyes gleamed in the darkness. “You mean like a baptism?” She asked. “Yes, something like that.” Her mouth open and eyes watery, Veronica appeared unsure as to whether he was real. Reaching out, she ran a finger across his arm and Eli heard her breath catch.
As the god moved, the wind moved with him and was redistributed in fantastic ways. Tree branches blew in opposite directions causing their leaves to funnel as they blew to the ground. The night air was both crisp and moist as if confused of the season. Overhead, the moon wafted in and out of racing clouds. All of City Walk was now divorced from time. Eli shielded his eyes and tried to get a fix on Veronica who had disappeared when the wind picked up.
His toe snagged something and he looked down to find the wreath that had been on Dio’s head. He picked it up and realized that he was virtually alone. The small group that had followed him were now dispersed in other areas of the park. He could make them out in the darkness but a mist had settled in that eschewed his sight after only a few feet. It reminded him of Avalon but he knew that was the wrong fable. Here, an amnesiac god was conjuring a maelstrom and causing people to get naked.
As they danced in circles slowly they came together like a coven. Foggy, Eli glimpsed the first pagans dancing in just the same way. He felt like screaming and could feel their screaming. Then he caught sight of Dionysus and Veronica. The god hooked his thumbs under the spaghetti straps of her dress and pulled it off of her and onto the ground. Naked, she looked up at him in utter abandonment. Dio produced a golden cup that he held to her lips. Eli could smell the sweetness of the wine and heard her gurgling as wine rand down her chin and onto her chest. Her eyes half closed, he smiled down at her as she brought her hands to the cup taking in more and more.
Holding the cup now to Eli, the god handed a thyrsus to Veronica and led her into the open moon lit circle. Eli watched as she began to dance and scream. She appeared in trance. Her milky body bathed in light. She was an animal raving. Soon, all the women that had come were dancing in the circle and howling. Crazed, they spun around the god leaping and crawling. To anybody who might have bore witness, the scene would have been terrifying. To Eli, it was the most erotic moment of his life. His loins on fire, he watched as the women pleasured themselves and each other while dancing. He watched them touch the god and be driven mad. And he felt mad as well. He felt crazy and beautiful and powerful. Somewhere in his mind, he wondered if the exorbitant amount of wine he’d drank had been laced with ecstasy or some other drug. But dismissed the thought as absurd immediately. This was the power of the god of wine. This was Dionysus unleashed and in his glory. Then the maenads with Veronica at the center began laying down with the men that had come. Moans and grunts began to permeate the darkness as multiple couples writhed in the circle. Veronica straddled and bucked furiously on a man she would have had no interest in an hour earlier. Eli felt soft lips on his bare chest and was laid down. Amidst animal groaning and wet moans, he felt himself consumed by the moon until nothing was left but the light and the hunger.