Excerpt from A Modern Myth: Drew's Destiny
It was dark…dark and dank. He looked around the cramped space, his
gaze scanning the earthen walls. He had fallen asleep by his campfire, so he
didn’t know how he’d gotten inside the cave. His ears suddenly became
aware of a distant sound. Its eeriness caused the hairs on the back of his
neck to stand on end. He involuntarily shivered but resisted rubbing his hands
down his arms.
He sensed a presence and suddenly spun around to seize the intruder by
the throat, just as her hand touched him. Through the darkness, his eyes
focused on the familiar face.
“What are you doing here?” She asked.
He blinked a few times. “I’ve been looking for you.”
She nodded and then looked beyond his shoulder. Ignoring the hand on her neck, she gestured in the direction of her
“You’re not the only one.”
His brow furrowed as he followed her gaze, his hand falling away from
his sister’s throat. “What’s back there?”
When no response came, he looked back at her and gasped to see her
gone. He opened his mouth to call her name, but a growl distracted him. He
spun toward the sound and saw the shadows flicker in the distance. He bit his lower lip as he contemplated moving closer. He closed his eyes for a moment and concentrated. Very little of late
actually scared him, so the surge of fear was surprising. He had seen and
experienced too much in his short life to fear too many things, but he
definitely feared whatever lurked at the end of that tunnel.
His eyes slowly opened, and he took a step forward and then another.
The growling grew louder with each step, and he took a deep breath to settle
his nerves. He tried to prepare himself, but nothing could prepare him for
what he saw when he emerged from the tunnel. The thing flew at him from the
darkness. In his surprise he fell backward with a choked gasp. He pushed
himself up to his elbows and stared at the winged beast hovering over him. He
tried to speak but nothing came out, his lips moving soundlessly in horror. As
the thing moved closer, its malicious grimace looked like an insane smile. It
opened its mouth, as if to speak…or attack. He fell to his back as he threw
his arms across his face. Finally, a scream broke through and shook the stone
Drew Berch awoke with a scream that scared every bird within a mile. It
took several minutes before they quieted enough for Drew to hear his own
ragged breathing. He sat up in his sleeping bag and looked around the
clearing. The fire had been out for hours, but he could see everything in the
blackness beyond. He kicked aside the top of the bag, ripping the material
from the zipper in his haste to stand. He turned full circle several times
before slowly dropping into a predatory crouch, his eyes continuing to search
the area. The tips of his fingers dug into the ground, as his breathing became
more regular. Drew slowly licked
his lips as his gaze moved to the lake on his left and then the mountains in
the distance. He should have known that visiting the area where his mother had
been violated might be unsettling, but he hadn’t expected the nightmare.
Remaining in the crouch, Drew scrambled toward the lake. When he
reached the edge, he cupped his hands together and dipped them beneath the
surface. He lifted his hands to
his face and let the water cool his flushed cheeks. He, his sister, Dawn, and
his mother, Nada Berch Duncan, weren’t like other families. It had been less
than eight years since Nada had been in Germany, at the very place where he
now crouched. She and her fiancé, Derek, had been backpacking across Europe.
A shape shifting panther named Kyros attacked them and had killed Derek. It
had then altered Nada forever. Three years later, Kyros found and then mated
with her. Drew and Dawn were a result of that union; however, neither twin
looked only four years old. Both were full grown, and Drew stood just over 6
½ feet in height. They had both inherited much from their father. While Drew fought against
the evil inside him, Dawn had succumbed to
it. Like both their parents, they could morph into whatever was in their
blood. Dawn had morphed into Nada and seduced Grady Duncan, a man who
discovered her shocking secret. She had infected and then mated with him.
After Dawn tried to kill Nada and her friends, Drew had to fight his sister.
Dawn had then fled to Europe where their creator awaited her. Knowing she was his responsibility, Drew had followed her from Los
Since Dawn was in Greece, Drew wondered again why he went to Germany
first. It couldn’t be to visit the campsite where Nada had been infected
after she watched her lover die. Drew stared at his reflection in the lake. He
knew he resembled Derek, the man his father had mimicked while he raped Nada.
Derek had been his mother’s first love. As he continued to stare at his
reflection, Drew realized he knew his purpose for being there. Although Nada
loved Grady, it still upset her that there had been no closure with Derek. His
body had never been found after Kyros killed him.
took in a ragged breath and shook his head. His father had been a monster but nothing like that creature in his
nightmare. Drew had the horrible feeling he would actually come face to face
with that nightmare, and that it would be much sooner than later. The
un-pleasant thought made him shudder. He hadn’t liked the mind numbing fear.
His brain wouldn’t even let him get a clear picture of what it looked like,
though it made his tall frame seem small by comparison. Drew concentrated on
the wings instead. Both he and Nada could bring on the wings, though he knew
that Dawn couldn’t. He absently wondered why.
Dawn had been in his dream, and he wondered if she dreamt of the winged
beast as well. She told him that it also searched for her, which told him that
it hadn’t found her or that she hadn’t found it. She went to Greece to
find something. Was that beast what she searched for? Was that why Drew couldn’t sense his sister anymore?
Were they together? Had it
“Oh hell,” he muttered as he swept his hand across the water’s
surface, fragmenting his reflection. He shook his head and turned away from
the lake. No, he would sense her death, even if he couldn’t sense her
location. She was alive and well. “Where are you, Dawn?”
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Cover model: Jason Aaron Baca