Curse of Prometheus:
A Tale of Medea
by Morgan St. Knight
Genre: Paranormal/urban fantasy
Number of pages: 276
Word count: 107,000
The ancient world's most notorious sorceress has just become the modern world's only hope for survival.
How do you fight a god of light who has been seduced by darkness? That’s the challenge Medea Keres must meet. Posing as a wealthy young heiress in modern day Atlanta, no one knows she is the original Medea, the sorceress from ancient Greek legends.
As priestess of the witch goddess Hecate, Medea is charged with hunting demons that would otherwise overrun the world. Now she must face a far greater adversary. One of the twelve shining Olympian gods has turned rogue, violating the edict against human sacrifice. As the body count quickly rises, Medea knows her enemy is getting stronger.
With the help of the underworld nymph Orphne and the hero-god Heracles, she must find a way to unmask the evil so that the other Olympians will take action.
But as she probes deeper into a blood-soaked labyrinth of suspense and intrigue, Medea finds a net of deceit and treachery that will require all of her cunning to escape.
Available at Amazon
He reached out a tentative hand to touch one of the wings. “God,” he whispered. “God, God, God, I’m sorry. What have you done to me?”
“Get off it!” I snapped. “Don’t even pretend that this is a surprise. Who or what are you? And don’t bother telling me you’re some kind of angel. No angel has moves like the ones you just made with me!”
“I don’t want to interrupt, but we have something else to deal with,” Heracles said, putting a hand on my arm. “I’m sure this can wait. He won’t be going anywhere.” He gently tugged me towards the steps.
“Stay with him,” I told Orphne, hoping she knew the harshness in my tone wasn’t directed at her. “Don’t take your eyes off of him.”
She half-smiled at that. “That’ll be an easy promise to keep.”
Heracles bounded up the basement steps but I took them one at a time, a little reluctantly at that. I’d had enough aggravation for the night. I didn’t need something else on my plate.
“You’ll want to put something on, unless the neighbors are very liberal.” He was heading for the front door.
“Not by a long shot,” I muttered. I pulled my London Fog out of the closet and belted it around me. We stepped outside into a steady fall of rain. There were still muted flashes and thunder rolls overhead, but nothing like there’d been a short time ago.
I threw my hands up. “This is what you wanted to show me? I know they don’t have anything but wonderful weather on Olympus, but surely you haven’t forgotten what rain is.”
He walked towards the street. “It’s not quite the way I remember it. Come along. You’ll see what I mean.”
I quashed the sound of annoyance rising in my throat and trotted to catch up with him. The rain seemed to be easing.
He strode across the street. “Over here. You’ll get the picture.”
The invective I’d chosen stopped at the tip of my tongue as I stepped out into the street.
And out of the rain.
I’d known rain to stop abruptly before, but this was different. Mostly, because I could still hear the rain behind me.
I think I knew what I was going to see before I completed my slow turn. Something at the back of my mind said not to look, but I had to. Heracles was standing there with his arms folded.
“Any ideas?” Damn him anyway, if he wasn’t smirking when he said it.
I didn’t find anything at all funny about the fact that the storm was centered over my house—and only my house. The clouds, with their soft flashes of lightning and gentle peals of low thunder, were directly overhead. The sky over the rest of the street was clear, faint stars sparkling overhead.
“Shit,” I said with real passion. “Shit, shit, SHIT!” Stamping my bare foot repeatedly on the asphalt to punctuate the curses hurt like hell, but I didn’t care at that point.
“Shall I hazard a guess that this has something to do with what you were up to with our winged friend?”
The anger and shock were fading, but they weren’t gone. I began pacing.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what happened with him. But the storm came up just as we were...” I let the rest hang, but he’d gotten the message.
“Remember Pompeii,” he said with a teasing note in his voice.
“Accident! It was just… an… accident!”
“An accident that conveniently happened as you were getting…acquainted… with a very unusual young man down on a nearby beach. An unusual young man who, it turned out—”
“Was the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman,” I finished weakly as I sat down on the curb. Not a soul was stirring, not even a light as far down the street as I could see.
I leaned back a bit and jumped as I got splashed by the rain that was still falling resolutely on my yard. It felt better to lean forward and put my head in my hands anyway.
“I don’t need this. I don’t need something else. Tonight of all nights, I don’t need this.”
Heracles crossed the street and sat down next to me. “Cheer up. It could be worse. It could have been another Vesuvius. Or maybe some other horrendous disaster. At least we weren’t buried like Pompeii.”
“It’s disaster enough, isn’t it?” Still, I shivered a bit at what could have happened. We were nowhere near a volcano, but the New Madrid fault was close enough to Atlanta that it might have decided to give way during my little escapade. Just because the Earth moved for me, didn’t mean it had to move for millions of other people. I decided to count my blessings.
“Mixed bloods, Medea. Mixed bloods can call up very unusual phenomena when they mate. Perhaps it’s best we never were more than friends. Even when I was mortal, I was still half-god.”
The rain was tapering off behind us. If there was any luck to be had, I hoped it would be enough to ensure that no one had bothered looking out their window to see a storm drenching only my house that night.
“I suppose we’d best figure out who and what our friend is, and whether he’s any threat.” Heracles rose, holding out a hand without prompting this time. I took it and let him pull me up.
“Just what I needed. Another mystery.”
He trudged back through the grass. “Maybe this one will be easier to solve.” He sounded nonchalant enough about it. I tried to let the mood infect me, but it kept its distance. I felt like one of the storm clouds hovering over my house had just floated down and taken up permanent residence over my head.
I spoke the charm that unsealed the sanctuary door. It swung open, and simultaneously candles in sconces around the walls flared to life.
But they weren’t the only things that were glowing.
Next to the altar that held a statue of Hecate, a censer and vessels for libations, there was a small side-table. The single object on it was radiating an eerie light. It was a Sybil’s mirror, my direct link to Hades. It was a convenient way to send in my reports.
It was convenient most of the time, anyway. Just not at that particular moment. It should not have been glowing before I spoke the incantation to activate it.
The smart thing to do would have been to run right out of that room, lock the door from the outside and chant an invocation to call up some of the entities I was on friendly terms with. But smart is never high on my list when I’m tired and hungry.
So I went closer to the mirror. Mistake number one. The surface rippled like water, and I knew that images would soon break through.
At first, all I could see was something ill-defined, like an object bobbing just below the surface of a cloudy pool of water. The image became more defined. I dimly saw a bejeweled hand caressing what appeared to be a crumpled mound of crimson velvet. The image sharpened even more: it was not velvet.
It was flesh. A gaping, bloody hole in a human torso. The hand was stroking it slightly, dabbling ringed fingers into the gash as someone might lazily trail their hand in a cool pond on a warm spring day. I could tell it was a man’s body, but the image wasn’t wide enough for me to see his face, or the woman who was stroking the wound.
Everything had a cloudy sheen to it and her jewelry had an off color, making the gems unidentifiable. They were an odd, bluish-green.
A soft voice filled the room, as if it was coming from every corner.
“Drink, drink…” it cajoled. A woman’s voice, light and soothing with the hint of myriad promises.
The image receded a bit, enough for me to see more of the torso as well as the body’s arms. I could see it was a man, but no more.
The vista slowly sank back into dimness. Another was surfacing. A mouth, surrounded by a lush beard. It was like black sable, sleek and oiled, arranged artfully into intricate curls and ringlets. A classic Greek style. The mouth and beard were all I could see, no other features to give me a clue about who it was.
The mouth was full and sensual, or at least it normally would be. I could tell that much even though it was twisted and pulled into a grimace. Pain? Ecstasy? A little of both, it seemed. It was not the expression which disturbed me the most.
The lush lips were streaked with blood. I could see, as the mouth opened in a silent groan, traces of blood on the teeth.
The image sharpened further, coming closer as if it was trying to come out of the mirror into my reality. My eyes widened as I realized it was no trick of light. The mouth was emerging from the mirror. Only a slight protrusion at first, then more, more…
The rim of the Sybil’s mirror was changing, becoming the same color as the blood on the lips pushing through the mirror’s surface.
As I backed away my ears started buzzing and I felt the floor wavering beneath me. I heard a sound that quickly grew louder, a throaty whisper that turned from a hoarse cry of need into distinct words.
“Join us. Join us. Join us… Medea…”
Hearing my name sent a shock through me, enough to make me want to bolt. But I couldn’t.
The hideous mouth opened wider and scarlet clouds spilled from it like steam from a seething cauldron. They swept across the floor, flowing over my feet and up my calves. My legs were rooted to the spot even though my mind wanted nothing more than to run in terror—out of the room, out of the house, out of the city if I could run that much.
The room reeked of copper and ordure. Noxious fumes poured up my torso and over my chest and face, choking me.
Without warning or intent I fell backwards. It took me a moment to realize that I hadn’t stumbled. I had been pulled.
I could see the arms reaching from under my own, curving up over my chest towards my shoulders. They ended in hands that were as white as alabaster. White, except for the black nails that curved like talons from the fingers. Talons that were coming dangerously close to my throat.
I barely noticed that the vile clouds were being sucked back into the mirror, as if some gigantic monster on the other side had drawn in a large breath. The light started to fade from the mirror.
I was spun around. As the mirror’s glow dimmed I saw a face pale as moonlight, a mouth crimson as a ripe pomegranate, and eyes the color of amethysts just inches from my face.
The most pronounced feature was the hair. It seemed to be made of cobwebs and mist, floating in a silvery-grey cloud. Some of it was moving. Alive. As I looked at it, things looked back at me. Vipers.
The intruder’s mouth opened, revealing long curving fangs.
“Medea…” The voice came from a distance, echoing as if I was in a deep cavern. The last thing I saw was the mouth opening wider, the fangs coming closer. Then the darkness took me.
Welcome to my world.
About the Author:
Morgan St. Knight live in Atlanta, and is a lifelong student of mythology, the occult, and comparative religion. With more than 25 years of experience as a journalist, Morgan enjoys the occasional foray into fantasyland to escape the grim realities of life. He is currently working on the sequel to "Curse of Prometheus" and is developing a second paranormal series which also takes place in the South.
To win, you just have to follow Morgan on Twitter @MorganStKnight and send a tweet that says "Entering giveaway for CoP". Only one tweet is necessary, but you must send that one tweet to know you're interested in entering the giveaway.
Additionally, Morgan will be giving away 2 copies of "Curse of Prometheus" each week of the tour. Everyone who enters for the Kindle giveaway on a given week is automatically entered for that week's book giveaway.