Fighting for the PJV - Sherry Soule's Shiloh
Book Series: Young Adult Spellbound Series by Sherry Soule
Job: High School student by day / Heritage Witch and Demon Slayer by night
Weight: 120, slim yet curvy
Hair Color: black as a Raven’s wing, thick, and straight
Eye Color: sable
From: Whispering Pines, California
Significant Other: the smoking hot, Trent Donovan?
Signature Move: Heritage Witch battle skills: the power of telekinesis. (Telekinesis is the ability to move objects with the mind or the flick of a wrist. It can be channeled through the eyes or hands, the latter being the most common way to use this witchy power. Telekinesis is one of the most common powers used by magical beings both good and evil.)
Enemies: Creatures of the Underworld: vampires, zombies, werewolves, fairies, demons, wraiths…
Favorite Pastime: Shiloh loves to shop, enjoys gossiping with her friends, and reading romance novels.
Other Interesting Facts: Shiloh has demon blood within her and a jagged scar gracing her forearm. Shiloh lives in a world where paranormals run amok secretly among us. She hates that she’s chosen to defend Whispering Pines against the creatures of darkness, but as a Heritage Witch, it’s her scared duty. But she thinks it’s more like a freaking curse.
Supernatural Smackdown: Born as a Heritage Witch. Thirteenth Daughter born into a family of witches. Most powerful witch since the Charmed Ones.
Battle Skills: Moderate kickboxing skills, launch energy balls of fire, cast spells, and the power of telekinesis. There’s the gift of Sight (Yes, she can see dead people), the magical abilities—oh!—and the demonic guardians. They’re only about three feet tall but dangerous. Like supernatural pit bulls, they loved a good fight!
Why I joined the Supernatural Smackdown:
I’d just lived through the most grueling ordeal of my life and survived. My first real test as a Heritage Witch. Fought an ancient demon. A Soul Eater with great power. Maybe the biggest test was still up ahead. Like this battle.
My uber cool mentor Evans said that by joining this showdown that it would help with my supernatural training.
Yeah, right. Might get me killed. Or worse, I’ll be grounded for exposing my powers.
But Evans could be right. I needed more combat training in the field if I wanted to be strong enough to face the other evils finding refuge within Whispering Pines. A town crammed with old coastal houses, dewy forests, and silver skies. I’d tried to deny that my life didn’t have a destiny. That I wasn’t born to defend my hometown against supernatural threats. Or that my life was doomed. Sucky. Being a witch with badass skills helped the sucky part. But not much.
So, here I am a witch-in-training about to face a great warrior who has clocked my field time than I have and exterminated more evil than I could possibly imagine. Am I hopeful? Nah, but the experience should be interesting. Or painful. Not sure which yet.
My recent battle? (Excerpt taken from Beautifully Haunted)
Yeah, well, believe it or not it was with a zombie.
I’d parked my black jeep, grabbed a flashlight from the glove compartment, and walked down the sidewalk past a rickety old Victorian and through the arched entrance of the Silent Hollows Cemetery. I was doing a spell for my frenemy and needed some graveyard dirt. The place was nearly suffocated by trees. There was always fog hovering over the ground, especially at night. From the streetlights around the edge of the graveyard, deep pockets of darkness fell across the path.
Shadows moved. They raced ahead of me. Scampering like puppies on a walk. Silly hounds. The shadows separated. Darkness morphed into small combat bodies. Bakaz, Azeri, Kasha, and Zrekam. Shades squatted before me, scaly armor the color of moss, little barbs poking from their spines like dragons. They tilted their heads, eager as dogs, their claws clasped, with impatient faces and wide crimson eyes.
Kasha’s head cocked to the side. Little demons froze. Listened to the night. I stopped too.
A myriad of horrendous noises flooded the woods. Screams. Cries of agony. And underlying them all, a deep growl, not unlike that of a dog defending his recent kill.
Trees rustled. Leaves fell. Something moved in the darkness.
Shiloh, you need to get the hell out of here! And fast!
I swung the beam of the flashlight and it shone on the iron-gate separating the graveyard from the woods. Tombstones bathed in the eerie moonlight. Stone angels stared out of the darkness. On the aged headstones from centuries before, moss grew thickly. The names almost diminished by time and weather. Headstones lined up in precarious positions, some knocked over. Many of the mausoleums had ivy curling their way around the ruins. Winds whisking through the grass, sent a clammy chill straight into my bones.
A greyish figure moved behind one of the headstones. Fuzzy edges. Same color as the slab. Ghosts didn’t bother me much anymore. I could handle them. Demons and other paranormals were a different story.
My guardian demons darted closer, whispering. They shrouded the grass like spattered ink.
Still kinda weird that a witch fighting for good has demons as protectors, but heck, I’ll take all the help I can get.
Grayish bodies flickered. Spectral faces stared with hollow eyes.
Stupid, stupid, stupid! Forgot to keep my telepathic shield up. Again.
Magick in hues of silver, violet, and aqua, swirled around my body like a mini-tornado. I pointed my scarred arm at them. “Ghosts be gone. Leave my sight. Before you’re swallowed by my might.”
Ghosts zoomed off in various directions.
Distracted, I tripped over something and stumbled forward. That was when the ground disappeared and I fell for several seconds. My hands were flailing out in front of me as I tumbled head first into a freshly dug grave. The flashlight, slipped from my fingers. I hit the ground. Not the ground. But a coffin. The jolt knocked the breath out of me. I sat up dazed, moist dirt caked to my face and hands. Worms clung to my hoodie.
“Ewww!” I brushed them from my top. On my hands and knees, I felt around for the flashlight. My fingers curled around the base, but it won’t turn on. Damn.
Glancing up, I guessed I’d fallen six feet. I grasped at jutting roots and tried to get a foothold with my hot-pink Doc Martens boots, which sank into the soft earth.
Heads peeked over the top of the grave. Red eyes blinked in the darkness. Bakaz, Kasha, and Zrekam. Kasha extended a claw to grasp my hand. Their strong claws grasped my wrists. Bakaz tugged. Kasha pulled on my other arm. Struggling and grunting, they pulled me free. Pungent odor from the musty, moldering autumn leaves that stuck to my jeans made my stomach turn.
“Thanks guys,” I said, dusting myself off.
I banged the flashlight against my open palm trying to get it to turn on. The cemetery was dank and still. My gaze rested on a mahogany coffin inside the open grave. On closer inspection, I realized it had been broken and splintered from within. Something had obviously clawed its way out.
The mark gracing my forearm tingled. It started to thrum. Yes, thrumming with energy. Kinda painful, too. Not good. Shades stiffened. Crimson eyes flashing.
“Something comes,” Kasha said. The other three little demons stood in front of me. My demonic guardians. My friends.
The breeze carried with it the rancid smell of decaying flesh and dirty hair. The odor suggested the thing hadn’t ventured too far from its bed.
Pinching my nose, I spun around. My eyes searched the darkness. My heart fluttered in my chest like the wings of a bat. The whiff of smoke billowing from the chimneys of the nearby homes gave me little comfort. Especially, when the thick aroma of embalming fluid hit my nostrils.
I listened attentively. Silence. My witchy senses sharpened. It wasn’t a ghost, but something else creeping in the graveyard. The pang in my gut told me I was right. The mark gracing my forearm burned like a lava kiss, a slow bath of liquid fire. Shades stood on all sides of me. Kasha clutched my trembling hand.
Movement again. Laboring footsteps shuffling through the high grass. The footfalls grew closer. Louder. Terrified, I clamped a hand over my mouth to keep from screaming. My supernatural radar like high-frequency waves told me to be cautious. Had something followed me into the cemetery? Was it another demon?
Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap.
With sluggish, jerking movements, a pale teenage girl appeared through the fog. The white trim on her ragged dress was yellowed and grimy. She licked her dry, cracked lips. A sickly sweet stench rose from the blond-haired corpse. Her supernatural aura flickered slightly like a dying fire.
Damn. Zombies. Really? Not bad enough I have to hunt demons, but now zombies?
Felt air shift my hair, and turned just in time to see a dark blur slam into me. I hit the ground. Dizziness assaulted my senses. I got to my feet. Staggered backward. She jumped on my back and bit my shoulder. I screamed and bucked zombie girl off my back. When I turned to face my assailant, I was punched in the nose. Pain shot up my temple. I went reeling back against a tombstone. Blood trickled off my chin. My hands covered the throbbing wound. Tears sprang to my eyes.
Shades materialized to join the fight. I expected the demons to flank her, but they watched instead. Motionless. Crimson eyes wide. Frightened. Staring at…me.
Freaking great. Could use some help here, guys!
Through blurry eyes, the greyish figure lumbered forward with outstretched arms. Full Thriller style.
Darkness pulsated beneath my ribs. Demon blood. Preternatural. A blistering sensation. Hot as hellfire. Hot as a desert sun burning the sand. Hot as Trent’s passionate kisses. Blackness, rousing. Awakening inside me. Blood pumping. But it wasn’t white magic running through my veins. No, it tasted like snake venom. Strange metallic liquid on my tongue. Uncontained dark magick pleading for freedom. Twitching in my veins. Thrumming. Demon blood mixing with my Heritage Witch lineage. Couldn’t lose control now.
I closed my eyes and repressed the dark power. An awful yawning hunger that rose and stretched. Seeping from my pores. Writhing. Moving. Deadly. I pushed it under my ribcage. Sealed it away in my heart.
I opened my eyes and feinted forward, then dropped into a crouch and swept one outstretched leg around behind zombie girl. My foot caught the attacker’s ankles and yanked her feet from beneath her. She stood up faster than I would’ve thought possible. I lifted a fist and threw a quick, clumsy punch to her jaw. The zombie took two staggering steps backward. Then lunged again. I leaned forward and headbutted her. Hard. Even I saw stars for a few seconds.
But she recovered quickly and swung a punch that I ducked. I hit her with an unexpected right hook. She wobbled on her feet. I faked her out with a high backhand that she blocked, and then I brought my fist down to punch her in the stomach, making her hunch over in pain.
Backing up, I chanted under my breath a protection spell. “Pure white light, pure white light, pure white…”
Guess that summer I took kickboxing classes has finally paid off!
Between my hands, I created a mystical ball of energy. The sapphire orb pulsated with power and white light. It gave off an electrical discharge. I lifted my arms to throw the luminous fireball, and then froze.
That’s when I recognized her. One of the Trendies from school. A walking undead cheerleader.
I launched the energy ball at her, vanquishing the undead creature before me…
Ugh. Now Evans would make us go into total research mode. And I had an exam next week.
I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and dialed Evans. He answered on the second ring. We spoke briefly and hung up. I dredged back through the cemetery toward my jeep. Dreading the research I’d be doing over the next week, I hopped into the driver’s seat and sighed.
For as long as I could remember, I’d seen demons: first in my haunting dreams, then the otherworldly creatures that preyed on the innocent—including my friends. Whether ghost or demon, I knew it was my destiny to slay those who lurk in the shadows…
About the Author:
Sherry Soule has won numerous awards for her short stories and now writes full-time. She lives in San Francisco, California and writes both adult and young adult paranormal fiction. Sherry has a morbid fascination with haunted houses. She adores cats. Loves scary movies. And she's a bookaholic.
Where you can find Sherry Soule online:
Official website: http://sherrysoule.com/
Book Trailer/YouTube: http://youtu.be/5uqVXKygvUs