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ANNOUNCEMENT: The Last Child Part 2, by Sean Kerr

The Last Child 2

QSFer Sean Kerr has a new queer horror book out:

Thy will be done.

The world is crumbling. Nation is set against Nation in a war that threatens to engulf the entire world. ‘I Tredici’ can only watch in horror as Jerusalem succumbs to constant bombardment, and they know that at any time the East Gate will fall, and they are powerless to stop it.

Even in hospital, Samuel can’t escape the darkness that torments him. He thought the Universe was his friend, his one companion in his lonely existence. But now he is not so sure. It wants him…needs him… and Samuel feels the inevitable pull of his creeping destiny drawing ever closer. As Samuel’s life is threatened, he witnesses the full wrath of his dark friend, and his world is taken from him in a blood-bath of terrible violence.

Meanwhile, Christina King intends to find out what really happened to her parents, and so she visits an old friend in London. There she must confront a man she has not seen since childhood, and he tells her a story that she can hardly believe. It is only when he shows her an old photograph that she understands, and what she learns from that photograph will change her life forever.

Christina must come to terms with the terrifying knowledge that her entire existence is a lie. She was born for a purpose, a purpose that will change the world.

What is the significance of ‘The Crocus?’ Who is ‘The Rose Of Sharon?’ Can David overcome the terrible conflict that rages inside him before he commits the ultimate sin?

From the author of the Dead Camp series of books, Sean Kerr, comes the second part of this contemporary horror thriller that delves into the fascinating world of religious conspiracy theory to deliver a terrifying story of occult mystery.

‘The floating apparition sucked all the light from Samuel’s world. There was only the Universe floating above his face, it’s long spidery fingers clawing at Samuel’s mouth, peeling back his lips, forcing its fingers down his throat, deep into his stomach.’

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Excerpt

Ostia Antica, 113 AD

 

Apollo bled across Ostia like a gaping wound slashed across the sky. He made the Tiber bleed as it wound its way through Ostia, its thick arterial vein pumping around Isola Sacra and out into the Tyrrhenian Sea. The red of his heat crept across the terracotta tiles, the kiss of his warm breath caressing the villas of the wealthy, for the rich had made Ostia their home, their wealth derived from the grain that fed Rome.

How soft was the breeze that moved through cobble and stone, winding through street and lane, through the Insulae of its urban population.Yet,the dwellings of its middle-class plebs held little interest to Marcus as he led the chosen Mithraea through Region Three. The mundane existence of Ostia’s ordinary people paled into insignificance compared to the glory that would shortly be bestowedupon them all. All these years in the service of his master, Mithras, and now he would see the prophecy fulfilled. In his ownlifetime.

The worshipers of Mithras moved with a singular purpose, their white robes rustling around their sandaled feet as Marcus led them through the open-air market towards the Mithraeum. He paused next to a stall, the bright red skins of the juicy apples catching his eye. Marcus picked one up and sniffed it, savouringits sweet scent.

“Will I miss these, do you think, Quintus?” Hetossed the red apple at the man standing next to him.

Quintus took a bite out of the apple. “The question is, Marcus, will you care?”

Both men laughed. It wasa conspiratorial chuckle that only they understood as Marcus continued forward, leading them around the back of the market towards the large domed temple of Mithras.

A long colonnade of marble pillars led to the temple, and Marcus took a moment to savourthe view as Apollo illuminated the vista with warm crepuscular fingers.

It was the last time he would ever see it with his own eyes.

Lengths of sheer red silk hung between the colonnade of pillars moving to the breath of Terra Mater, Mother Earth, and his eyes filled with emotion as Marcus drowned in the billowing embrace of his God. It looked more beautiful to him atthat moment thanhe could ever have thought, a glorious sight that moved him to tears.

Marcus reached out a hand towards his friend. “Will you take my hand as we move towards our end, Quintus?”

“It would be my honour, sir.”

As Marcus took his hand and walked forward down the silk strewn path, the others took his lead, each of the Mithraea clasping hands as they neared the temple entrance.

Tradition dictated that the Mithraeum be builtinto a natural cave or cavern, but such natural formations did not exist in Ostia. As such, they built the temple to their God using opus caementiciumto create the large vaulted space required by their God for their worship. The entrance to the temple, designed to approximate the natural formation of a cave mouth, curved in concentric rings of Roman brick to pull the worshipers inside.

Layers of Roman concrete and brick dulled the intensive glare of Apollo, and Marcus felt the cool chill of the interior sooth his skin. It was then that he heard the first cries of pain.

“I do not think that I have ever felt so excited, Quintus!”

Marcus led them through the cool antechamber into the domed Spelaeum. At the far end of the huge space sat a large golden incense burner, smoke belching from the smoldering charcoal in its bowl. A cloaked figure knelt before the burner, and as Marcus watched wide-eyed, the Priest sat up and tossed a bundle of herbs into the hot coals. As the herbs burst into flame, it sent a heady aroma into the already stifling atmosphere, and Marcus found himself swaying as he inhaled the intoxicating fumes.

He was vaguely aware of the others sitting around the chamber on raised benches, and Marcus followed suit, taking his place alongside the other Mithraea to observe the moment they had all been waiting for.

The sound of pain pressed against his ears, and to Marcus, it was the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. Every groan, every shriek of agony became an affirmation of his dreams, a lifetime of devotion made manifest by pain. Even as his senses numbed to the powerful fumes, he could not tear his gaze away from the man lying in the middle of the floor.

He lay naked, his once beautiful body glistening with a thin sheen of sweat that formed rivers across his olive skin. How he thrashed against the mosaic floor, his muscular arms and legs struggling against the hands of the mighty Centurions who held him in place. With every fresh wave of agony that ripped at his hugely distended stomach, Marcus felt acutely jealous.


Author Bio

My name is Sean Kerr, and I am a 47-year-old gay man living in Cardiff, Wales with my husband of almost 30 years, Derek. We have two cats, Rita and Harry, and a host of tropical fish.

I love writing, it has been in my blood since I was a child. It’s a wonderful thing to read a book, to be transported to another world, and nothing gives me more pleasure than reading a new novel, or indeed, starting to write one! When I was eight, my Aunt bought me a copy of Dracula in a jumble sale. That summer, I read that book over and over again, and even now it is still my go to book for inspiration. It fuelled my imagination, and it became a doorway to so many possibilities. Writing is a wonderful thing, for it shows us new worlds and new characters, horror and love, sadness and joy. I love it.

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