There Be Demons
by M. K. Theodoratus
YA Paranormal Suspense
Released on September 26th, 2017
Heroes come in all shapes.
The war for Andor has lasted a century. Humans and their allies, the Angeli, fight demons from another plane who need a warmer planet to hatch and raise their young. Trebridge becomes Ground zero when Abraxas, a minion of the demon Prince Vetis, opens a secret portal into the city. The demons’ goal is to build an army to subjugate the city before the humans realize they are under attack.
Standing in the demons’ way are two disparate groups: the humans of Andor and their Angeli allies who command gargoyle warriors.
Leading the four gargoyles guarding Trebridge is Gillen, a proven war hero who uses magic to fight demons. But Gillen is an outcast, mocked for his tuft of hair that normal gargoyles lack. It’s up to him to prove once and for all that he’s worthy of his command, in spite of dissention in his ranks. When Gillen asks the Angeli Commanders for reinforcements to fight the growing demon menace in Trebridge, headquarters send four human teens from the projects.
The leader of the humans is Britt, a 14-year-old half-Hispanic girl who is one of the four magic-possessing Chosen. But Britt was never trained in the art of magic, and like most girls her age, spends her days preoccupied with school and romance. Like Gillen, she must rise above her station in life–if she is to save the ones she loves.
But Gillen and Britt are facing formidable demon foes, Abraxas: a chicken-headed demon who possesses several humans as part of his plan to build the demons’ base in Trebridge and power-hungry Prince Vetis who is his commander. Neither will let the deaths of expendable humans get in their way of the conquest.
In There Be Demons, author M.K. Theodoratus spins a brilliant tale of good versus evil. In this thrilling Young Adult fantasy novel, unlikely heroes rise to challenge a relentless enemy. Join them as they risk everything to save their city.
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- Barnes & Noble
Under an aura of invisibility, Gillen, loadstar of Gargoyle Guardians protecting Trebridge, landed on a park table near the river on the western edge of the city. His claws dug into the wood. He stretched his wings as he breathed deeply. Free of the garbage stink of the docklands, the air felt crisp and cool. Gillen folded his wings and wrapped his tail around his paws. A sub-vocal rumble of contentment vibrated through him as he stole a few minutes from his duties to think.
Orvil watches the seep back at St. Edmund’s. No demons will enter Trebridge on his watch.
His second in command might complain constantly but never shirked his duty. The scion of a prominent gargoyle clan displayed an earnest sense of commitment to their mission, especially when the Angeli Commanders might be looking.
Gillen sighed. If only he didn’t despise me so much.
The rolling tree-studded place was a favorite spot, one he visited less and less as the imp infestation became a full-fledged invasion. In all his years, Gillen had never dreamed demons could lay so many eggs. Grown demon activity in Trebridge was increasing at an alarming rate, even though headquarters considered Andor’s Demon War a stalemate.
We need to control the imps. Find out where the demons hide their breeding grounds.
Gillen scanned the park. Few humans visited the dimly lit grounds at night unless they wanted to fool around, something they did with great frequency. Sure enough, several couples, lying on blankets, were scattered around the park.
Why don’t humans handle such things efficiently like gargoyles and go into heat at proper times?
A scrabbling in the bushes disturbed his thoughts. Gillen extended his hearing toward the rustling. Dark shapes moved under the shrubs. A pack of seven spidery things with six hairy legs, each as big as the paper plates the humans often left on the park grounds, crept out from the shrubbery to line up near one of the cavorting couples. Wrapped around each other, the couple didn’t even notice the growing chill near them.
While the demons-kind pets crouched, Gillen searched for imps or demons but didn’t sense any. Do the pests use their venom to paralyze the humans, and then signal the imps to come feed?
Gillen huffed at the sight of the long-legged things. Spinlers often appeared when demons were near. When he sensed none nearby, he grinned. Saliva gathered in his mouth, and he swallowed. The mindless vermin tasted delicious, the perfect treat before engaging with the enemy.
Drawing his invisibility tighter over himself and the bugs, he rose from the table to swoop down upon the pests without the human couple being aware of him. He flew, grabbing two of the Spinlers in his first fly-by. The remaining spider-things scurried into the shrubs. On the wing, Gillen bit off the heads of each pest and spit them out into the shrubbery. The venom from the head sacs sizzled through the leaves until the heads hit the ground. Gillen returned to the table to enjoy his snack.
Content, Gillen began sucking out the innards with relish. Soon his rough tongue was lifting the soft tissue and savoring the sweet flesh. He closed his eyes with enjoyment.
Life can be good, even in such a dismal place as Andor.
The years since his last major battle seemed an endless loop of shoveling the same shit over and over again. When he had been promoted to Lodestar, many of the gargoyles had been envious, thinking the Angeli crazy for giving a deformed misfit with a tuft of hair a minor command. But he had persevered and had kept demon-kind at bay in Trebridge … until now. Gillen shook his head, not wanting to think of his problems while he ate.
The night descended around him. The breeze ruffled the leaves just loud enough to hear and played along his leathery skin like a caress. Above, a few bright stars pierced the polluted Trebridge air, giving the trees and bedraggled garden an illusion of home, tranquil Beatifica, which the gargoyle clans shared with the Angeli. The gargoyles were one of the Angeli’s most powerful weapons against the demons. Gillen doubted if the humans could survive without the gargoyles’ protection. Humans, even the best of them, had poor control of Grace.
Gillen thanked the Powers for the moment of peace. The imps were running him ragged. He took a moment to doze before his night patrol.
Stench brought the first hint that demon-kind stalked him. Gillen’s eyes popped open to find he was caught between two small greenish demons with cocks’ combs on top of their heads. As soon as they knew they were discovered, they pounced with clawed hands extended. Rows of bloody scratches trailed down Gillen’s body as he rose to the sky, hovering just above them to check how many demon-kind were attacking.
The two young demons jumped high but didn’t have the strength to pull him down. One managed to gather a faint ball of reddish power. Gillen quickly called a stream of Grace from the lines crossing the land and didn’t bother to weave it into a proper lariat. But it served its purpose. Though they struggled, the two young demons were immobile, their arms bound close to their bodies. With a snort, he shrunk them until they popped. Only a foul hint of their existence hung on the air. He regretted the lack of the See nearby for only a moment.
Gillen sank back on his haunches to lick his wounds clean. I must talk to Uzzeel. I need reinforcements now. The four of us can no longer keep the vermin under control. We need our promised Chosen now.
And here she is. . .
Fantasy has always been part of M. K. Theodoratus’ life, starting when she starting playing with an imaginary friend when she was three. Comics, books, TV, and movies followed throughout her life. A northern California girl, many of her Andor alternative-world stories are firmly rooted there. Today, she lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and two lap-cats, and writes when she’s not wasting time on social media.
You can find and contact M. K. Theodoratus here:
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