Blood of the Sixth
By K. R. Rowe
In the quaint Southern town of Port Bella Rosa, something sinister lurks beneath the cobblestones. When hunger stirs a centuries-old evil, a demon awakens, releasing its hunters in search of prey. Jackals swarm from the mist, seeking out their quarry and sating their master with offerings of human flesh.
Allie Kent catches a glimpse of the first victim: a corpse with its organs, muscle and bone all consumed, leaving nothing more than skin behind. While police work to solve the unexplained murder, more bodies are found mutilated. Finally convinced the killer isn’t human, Detective Phillip Chambers is desperate to shield Allie from harm.
But something haunts Allie: shadows spill through her window at night; nightmares invade her sleep while visions confuse her waking thoughts. Struggling to keep her independence in check, she finds herself treading a thin line between reality and insanity, with Phillip her only protection. But is the evil dwelling beneath the stones their only true threat—or will the demons in Allie’s head have the strength to destroy them both?
Year 1925—Port Bella Rosa, Louisiana. A wavering glow crawled between his eyelids, forcing them open. Above him, a soot blackened lantern swung in slow circles. Weak veins of light pulsed across the ceiling, doing little to scatter the room’s encroaching darkness. The shadows terrified him; those menacing black specters lurking just beyond the light. A blurred but familiar face swam in Noah’s peripheral vision. The old lady came into focus, but hatred contorted her features into someone he barely recognized. He yanked at the ropes securing him to the table but only managed to dig the twisted knots deeper into his bloodied wrists.
“I warned you,” she hissed.
Memories began to surface in his groggy, scattered thoughts. “Mrs. Hoffius, please, I never meant any harm.”
Turning her back, the old woman ignored him. She stoked the fire in the wood stove and flipped a slab of meat sizzling in a hot cast iron skillet. Noah slid his tongue over a split in his lip, gagging on the sharp bloody taste oozing from the bloated gash.
“I love her, she loves me. I can take care of her.” He lifted his head from the table, trying to reason with her, but a scorching pain ripped through his skull and tore down his neck, settling in his abdomen. “Oh God.”
The old woman sneered. “There is no God.”
“Why are you doing this?”
“You ignored my warning, boy. You’re not fit for my Isabella.”
Smouldering meat thickened the air, its scent almost too dense to breathe, but Noah sucked in deep gulps and stared at the flesh carved away from his chest. His stomach churned, but he wasn’t sure if it was the sight of his mutilated torso or the large section of his intestines protruding from a jagged hole in his abdomen; their bloody mass piled on his pelvis, spilling in thick glistening ropes over the table’s edge. His body spasmed, vomit and blood spewing in a burning stream from his mouth. Acrid smoke curled into his nose but he choked from the stench of his own suffocating terror.
“Christ! You’re eating me!” Unconsciousness threatened to take him. Cold sweat beaded on his pale bloodless skin. Struggling to stay alert, each lung-filling breath twisted his body with waves of pain.
The old woman laughed.
“No, boy. This is my dinner.” She crammed a slimy pork skin between her gums and nodded over her shoulder. He followed her gaze to a line of rat-filled cages pushed against the far wall. “You belong to them.”
K. R. Rowe is a multi-genred author who spent her childhood in the scenic city of Chattanooga, TN and still resides there today. Her father was born and raised near Tellico Plains, in the heart of Tennessee's tract of the Appalachian Mountains. With her mother's South Carolina heritage, her southern roots run deep. From a very young age, her overpowering love of the mountains continues to draw her to them. When not tied to her desk, her free time with her family is often spent enjoying any activity that can take her far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and into the peace of the mountains.
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