QSFer Ravon Silvius has a new queer paranormal book out: “Thrall.”
The old Empire has fallen, and humanity is losing the war against powerful vampires. Kaiden, once the pathetic town drunk, is now a thrall, a mindless servant driven only by bloodlust and his master’s orders.
But when his master orders Kaiden to kill a vampire hunter, Kaiden disobeys.
Hunter Johann has spent years studying old lore and killing thralls, but he’s never seen one like Kaiden, intelligent and capable of free will. If he can convince Kaiden to help him, he might reclaim something thought lost forever: a chance for humankind. But he isn’t sure if Kaiden can be trusted, much less become a tool to kill the vampire who created him.
Kaiden doesn’t know who he is or what he truly wants beyond blood. Most of his memories are shadows, and nothing will bring back the life he lost.
Not a vampire, not a mindless thrall, capable of using the old magics, Kaiden is something completely different.
And being different means being alone.
THE MAN my master had commanded us to kill stood on the other side of the river. His wagon creaked as the wooden wheels rolled over the bridge. The man was a mere shadow, even to my enhanced eyesight, silhouetted against the rising moon.
To my left, another of us chattered her teeth, her fangs emerging from her lips. My own stomach growled at the thought of the warm blood that would gush from the man’s veins and feed us. Until now, Master had forbidden us human blood. This would be the ultimate prize. So much better than the deer and other forest creatures I’d been feeding from.
The wagon moved slowly, the horses straining to pull it across the arched bridge. There were two, both with dark-colored coats. One wore a frayed blanket across its back, and the other limped as though its shoes fitted improperly. This man was clearly no wealthy merchant.
One of us hissed, a sibilant, high-pitched sound that only those like us could hear. An answering hiss came from the bushes near the river. Our master had given us the plan, and we would follow it.
The lead horse flicked an ear. The man in the wagon seat shifted his weight.
As soon as the first horse set hoof on the grassy bank, the one to my left attacked. Four others joined her, dark shapes against the light of the moon, swarming toward the animals and their pumping, flowing blood.
I cursed in my mind. I had been turned too recently, and compared to them I was slow. I swallowed saliva, my fangs pricking my lower lip, and leaped forward, dashing through the forest.
Then light flooded the trees.
The four who’d run ahead screamed, their hissing drowned out by the sizzling of bodies exposed to solar light. I ducked behind a tree, screwing my eyes shut. Heat from the light prickled on my skin.
This was no weak man the master had sent us to eat, a gift to us. This was a vampire hunter.
And I was just a thrall.
The light died, fading to a dull orange glow over the horizon. A solar flare would work only once. I knew that from… somewhere. My life before, I supposed.
My muscles tensed when the man spoke—a word to his horses, or perhaps just a comment to himself. The man was mine. The other servants were dead. I would kill the hunter, take all his blood for myself. Me, the newest, weakest servant, able to take human blood. The command tightened my muscles further and pounded in my head. My master’s order—Kill.
I peered out from the edge of the trees, my vision sharpening with bloodlust. The man’s heart beat in a slow, steady rhythm. The light from the wagon made my eyes water, even used up as it was, but it couldn’t hurt me. Not any longer.
The hunter sat in the wagon seat, a weapon of some sort across his lap. He wore tight leather trousers, and my gaze lingered over his muscular thighs. For a moment I imagined taking more than just blood.
The thought died quickly. Since my master had turned me, any lust but that for blood never lasted.
The man had light brown hair, though it appeared red in the fading light of the solar flare. Dark eyes scanned the forest and then settled on me.
I froze, my own thoughts tangled, my body screaming for me to take his blood. His scent—human and sweat mixed with woodsmoke and the bouquet from the village over the river—filled my nostrils.
He raised the weapon. I now saw it was a crossbow outfitted with a wooden stake. His heartbeat was steady. In that moment, I knew I would die.
My master’s orders still screamed in my brain, in my very being—Kill. I was a servant. I obeyed. I was a weak vampire servant, nothing more. But I knew I would die if I attacked.
I didn’t want to die.
Ravon Silvius lives in a tiny apartment with two tiny cats in a tiny town in the United States. Despite the cramped living quarters, Ravon enjoys coming up with big ideas for novels, with some plots coming from Ravon’s current profession as a neuroscience researcher and others coming purely from Ravon’s imagination.
Ravon’s most recent book received an honorable mention from the Rainbow Awards and there are plenty of stories yet to come!
A huge fan of anime, video games, and science fiction and fantasy, Ravon appreciates a good story that is well-distanced from our current reality, whether it be in the far future, the distant past, or on a completely different world altogether.
RAVON SILVIUS’S BLOG: http://ravonsilvius.blogspot.com