There Be Demons
by M.K. Theodoratus
Genre: Urban Fantasy
After her father remarries, Britt Kelly’s life becomes a cesspit. She lives in her sister’s two-bedroom tenement apartment with her mother, two brothers, and two young nephews. She starts a new high school where she knows no one. And, even when Britt thinks she’s making friends, the church where she studies in is torn down.
Then, the field commanders of The Demon Wars draft her and her friends to aid the four Gargoyle Guardians who fight the demons invading the city of Trebridge. The fate of the city hangs on Britt’s ability to lead and learn enough self-control to manipulate the natural magic of Grace. Meanwhile, she also needs to decide what to do about Cahal, her chemistry lab partner who is as strong as her and may have interests more than just protecting Trebridge.
“There Be Demons” is a continuation of M. K. Theodoratus’ urban fantasy, "Night for the Gargoyles". It tells the tale of Gillen and his team of Gargoyle Guardians as they defend Trebridge while teaching Britt and her friends – the untrained “reinforcements. Along the way, Gillen and Britt learn things about each other to make them stronger both together and alone.
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Get the Short Story – Night for the Gargoyles FREE! It was the first story set in Andor and formed the inspiration for There Be Demons.
Night For the Gargoyles
by M.K. Theodoratus
Night for the Gargoyles -- A Story Combining Magic with Reality!
Gillen's dilemma. Who to fight? The Demons overrunning the city or Orvil, the rival lusting for his position.
The four gargoyles guarding Trebridge are outnumbered by a growing number of demons. Gillen, their leader, is caught between fighting Demons and the schemes of Orvil to replace him. He tries patience with the plotting Orvil and asks the Angeli for reinforcements. Will help come in time?
A free short story set in a world where reality plays with magic. Read the short story that inspired There Be Demons!
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I'm one of those weird people who have always played with fantasy. Had a pretend friend by the time I was three, play acted elaborate fantasies even after I learned not to talk about them, read comic books, and discovered Oz, A. L. Merritt, Andre Norton, and Fritz Leiber before my teens.
The gears changed to include writing fantasy after the sixth grade. Until then, mysteries ala Nancy Drew were my favorites. Most of my fiction writing has been lost through the years. Must admit, though, I still have the Clue of the Clay Cats, written in the sixth and seventh grade, sitting in some file drawer.
Many fantasy worlds have entertained me since then...but I've only written in two since I started writing again, aka consistently. My main two worlds are Andor where demons prey upon humans and other supernatural events occur and the Marches of the Far Isles. My favorites, though, are my Far Isles Half-Elven, Renna, Mariah, and Kerry, where I explore the political ramifications of genetic drift on a hybrid elf/human population. Unfortunately, my Half-Elven had become a cliche by the time I completed the 600,000+ words moldering in my computer. [Which is okay. I mainly write to amuse myself.]
Currently, live with my old man and two lap-cats in Colorado. The kids have long flown the coop. Some of my favorite authors remain Alexander, Briggs, Belcher, Cooper, Croogon, Pierce, Butcher, Elkins, McCrumb, Gaiman, O'Connell, etc. etc. etc.
Oh, yes, my pubs. I've published shorter fantasy for my Half-Elven, including Troublesome Neighbors and Vengeance. Andor short stories include Night for the Gargoyles [which inspired Andor], Showdown at Crossings [prequel to There Be Demons], Doom Comes for a Sold Soul, and The Ghost in the Closet. The short stories are both free and 99c.
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Why Does a Normal, Practical Person Become a Writer?
M. K. Theodoratus
To be truthful, I don't know the answer to that question. Who knows what lights the spark in a person? It's an individual thing. Writers write and edit and edit and edit some more. It's an itch that needs to scratched by playing with words. Even pragmatic people like me succumb and never recover.
My reason for being a writer centers on my fascination with make-believe. As a three-year-old, my adventures with my imaginary playmate were so vivid, my mother named my new brother, Jerome. [He still hasn't forgiven me.]
Comic books kept my interest in make-believe alive. But I "couldn't read" in primary school. The frisky letters kept moving around in strange ways, especially when I wrote things. But I devoured comic books from Donald Duck to the Classics series. Tales from the Crypt were my favorites even though I had to hide them from my mother. I didn't tame letters enough to be comfortable with them until I was in the fifth grade.
My sixth grade teacher turned me into a writer when she gave the class an assignment to write a story. Everyone else wrote two or three pages--beginning, middle, and end. Me? I wrote an incomplete 28 page Nancy Drew pastiche called the Clue of the Clay Cats and got a "C".
The itch had bitten me. I did finish the story during the next summer and managed to type it on my mother's typewriter. The kid's librarian even said it was good, and I continued writing. Wrote other stories, some of which I even go endings on. A couple even got published in the kid's stories section of newspapers of the times. [We won't say how long ago that was.]
Don't know what I did with the results. Know I wrote bits and pieces when my kids were young. Some was fiction. But, mostly the stuff that sold was non-fiction. While working as a bookkeeper at a local newspaper, I became a serious freelancer of short non-fiction. Even wrote a weekly column that teased Reagan's policies.
This was back in the day before computers. Print ruled. I remember pounding my typewriter on the dining room table in the evenings after the kids went to bed. I wrote some bits and pieces of fiction, but mostly sold short filler articles of about 500-750 words. At the time there were lots of small special interest publications. A writer could sell first rights to one publication and reprint rights to noncompeting ones. I supplied how-tos, self-help, and humorous historical pieces. My "best-seller" was a modest proposal for getting rid of grasshoppers without pesticides but with recipes.
Around the turn of the century, I stopped writing. I was too busy working to feel the itch.
After I retired and was recovering from a serious illness, I began writing again to amuse myself. When I looked up from my computer, I had 600,000 words about how genetic drift influenced the politics of a hybrid human/elf population. The tale centered on a orphan elf with no back story before she was found in her swaddlings in a snow-covered forest. I self-published a couple Half-Elven novellas which got decent reviews, but the book I cut out of the verbiage never sold or caught an agent's interest. My son says: "There's not enough action in the book. It's all politics."
But I had been studying my craft. And wrote another series about magic and invading demons, set in an alternative universe. I published a couple of novellas set in Andor. The first book I wrote in it, There Be Demons, caught a small publisher's interest, but the venture imploded before the manuscript could be edited. While it was waiting in line, I wrote another book, On the Run, with a different protagonist.
But I thought I would give Britt and Gillen another chance. So here's There Be Demons. On the Run should come out towards the end of 2018.
In the meantime, I have about 28,000 words of outline and scribbling which may become a third book in the series, where Britt and Pillar meet to fight a demon biker gang who want to cut out a demon territory in northwest Andor.
The itch hasn't gone away with publishing one book.
Demon lord Prince Vetis surged from the soft dirt of the portal. His magnificence blazed brighter than Andor’s setting sun. Dim though it was, the greenish sky made his three lidless, reddish eyes blink and water. He stepped under a tree for protection. The narrow portal, stretched by his power to accommodate the wide horns sprouting from the sides of his head, closed with a soft hiss behind him. He rubbed his aching neck muscles. He’d only been able to relax his tilted head once during the long journey between the cold Gehenathh and the city of Trebridge.
Alert for Angeli attacks, Vetis stayed in the copse of trees and bushes that hid him from the low building up the hill. The new operating base was supposed to be a counter-attack behind enemy lines, but he had his doubts. The minion had promised a new, secure entry into the human world, unknown to the humans’ Angeli defenders. Vetis snorted through wide nostrils. The scene did not impress, except for the number of imps cavorting on the field leading down to the river.
Broken trees grew in clumps across the crumbling expanse of asphalt around a dilapidated warehouse. The scene was deserted except for the splendid pack of imps. His minion, Abraxas, had boasted about his first hatching. The size of the clutch surprised Vetis. Most of these were twice the size of a Gehenathh brood, if a nest managed to hatch in the increasing cold. Even the nobility had problems raising a clutch.
Still, one sneeze would blow that building down. The braggart plans to hide a legion of demons in it? Vetis snorted again. I should have come sooner. Abraxas, the simpering idiot, has accomplished next to nothing except to hatch a batch of eggs. I need this base operational now.
Tufts of sickly grass traced thin, yellowish lines through the asphalt of the abandoned lot. Cans, boxes, shingles, bottles, and paper of all descriptions littered the cracked paving all the way down to the riverbank. The stench from the passing garbage barges on the river wafted on the shifting breeze. Somewhere upwind, a packinghouse discharged the scent of rotting flesh into the twilight, making the demon commander smile wide enough to reveal long fangs.
What a lovely place! If only the air had a sharper bite. Extending his senses to scan the area, Prince Vetis relaxed. Ahh, not a hint of Angeli taint. Perhaps Abraxas is right. Only four gargoyles defend the city. Can my gamble pay off?
The chicken-headed, humanoid demon Abraxas rushed from the warehouse to greet him, arms flapping. The underling paused on a raised platform at the door of the graffiti-covered building. His glance darted everywhere, from the river barges visible down the slope, to the dock at his feet, to the imps cavorting at the marshy end of the lot. Abraxas looked anywhere but at his lord and master.
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