Okay, I realize this might not be the time for horror and such (unless you’re into it and it makes you happy and relaxed, but this synopsis… and the cast of characters thrown together… I liked it.
Abby Normal (The Abby Normal Series Book 1) by Samuel Thomas Fraser released in March in the Urban Fantasy, Horror Genre.
Abby Henderson has lived her whole life under a dark cloud. When she was born, a demon called the Deacon claimed her family as his property. When she turned 13, she was traumatized by an ominous psychic vision. When she turned 14, her dad had a psychotic breakdown and tried to kill her.
She’s just turned 25, and now people are dying all around her.
This is all according to the Deacon’s plan. He believes that Abby is the key to a ritual that will unleash an ancient evil on the world, and he will stop at nothing to make sure that ritual succeeds.
Now, Abby is in the fight of her life against an enemy that defies all reason. Together with her pious girlfriend, her magic-slinging ex-teacher, and a hotheaded Amazon with a machete, Abby will have to use every trick in the book to outlast the Deacon. Because if she can’t, her next birthday is going to be Hell.
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The words came in a hoarse, whispering chorus. “Kha’al Azna’ghal ixxi. Kha’al Azna’ghal ixxi. Kha’al Azna’ghal ixxi.”
At the very point of the V, one figure was not chanting. His robes were not like the rest, either: rather than black, he wore brilliant white, with gold accents at the collar and sleeves, and a hood of deepest purple. Abby looked past the figure to his black-and-green aura and her eyes read it like a barcode. In the image centers of her brain, she saw a large serpent, the size of a city bus, with the snarling head of an alpha male lion and two gargantuan, veiny bat-like wings on its back. The aura whispered to Abby that this lion-snake creature was the white-robed figure, with all his coverings removed, and that he was in charge. And he was called the Deacon.
Abby didn’t know where these people had come from or why they were so interested in her. She didn’t know how she instinctively knew so much about them, things that she didn’t want to know. She just wanted to get out of here. She backed up, flat against the shower door, and the Deacon started to speak.
Abby decided she’d liked the Deacon better when he was just staring at her. Every sound he made pierced the air like a gunshot, even though he barely spoke above a whisper. The words he spoke made no sense to Abby, but his followers obviously understood perfectly.
“Ko kxx grav ak ra sytqa lach, Kha’ell Ag’haz lekxxo tov godaj-xu. Ek rataz haec Godaj-pael, ek-eli karnu godaju izot ynhash allac cymhael li tazhael. Paka ko sidit karnu.”
As the Deacon spoke, the hooded figures stared even more intently at Abby. Slowly, they began to chant again, but a different chant this time.
“Ka ag’haz dul kxx. Ka ag’haz dul kxx. Ka ag’haz dul kxx.”
Abby knew she had to get away from here. More than anything she wanted to run, to scream for help, but her legs were paralyzed and her mouth refused to make any sound beyond a small, terrified squeak.
The Deacon raised his hand, and the chant grew louder, faster. “Ka ag’haz dul kxx. Ka ag’haz dul kxx. Ka ag’haz dul kxx.”
The hooded figures were working themselves into a frenzy, though they remained stock-still. Their auras intensified, and Abby could see in their deepest hearts the monsters they really were. Hybrids of humanity and cetacean, baying hounds with too many eyes, goat-legged monstrosities with tentacles falling out of their mouths. Every one had a monster in its core, like the Deacon and his lion-snake, and the monsters were rabidly excited.
“Ka ag’haz dul kxx. Ka ag’haz dul kxx. Ka ag’haz dul kxx.”
Abby’s heart was pounding. The hooded figures followed the Deacon’s example and raised their hands, trying to reach for her. The chanting was still getting louder and faster.
“KA AG’HAZ DUL KXX! KA AG’HAZ DUL KXX! KA AG’HAZ DUL KXX!”
And then the impossible happened. The glass separating Abby from this terrifying spectacle dissolved, and the Deacon glided forward like a phantom. His hand reached out of the mirror.
Abby started to cry. Her heart jackhammered against her breastbone and the sweat poured off her like a waterfall. A voice inside her head was screaming, RUN! Open this door and RUN! But she knew she couldn’t. Her whole body was shaking, and she couldn’t get it under control long enough to take two steps in any direction.
“KA AG’HAZ DUL KXX! KA AG’HAZ DUL KXX! KA AG’HAZ DUL KXX! KA AG’HAZ DUL KXX!”
The voice in her head continued: If you can’t run, then scream. Cry, yell, bang on the door, just get somebody’s attention! Just do something, anything, that will help you GET! OUT! OF! HERE!
And then the Deacon spoke again. But this time, Abby understood what he was saying. “Abigail. Abigail… Henderson…”
He knew her name. Dear God, he knew her name. How did he know her name?
Suddenly, Abby found her voice again. And she screamed.
About the Author
Samuel Thomas Fraser is a writer and actor from the rainy mountains of Vancouver, BC, Canada. A lover of medieval literature and truly weird fiction, Sam holds a BA in English and a Certificate in Creative Writing from Simon Fraser University. His short fiction and poetry has appeared in outlets including The Macabre Museum and Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies Vol. 1. As a performer, he has inhabited such memorable stage roles as Algernon Moncrieff in The Importance of Being Earnest and Charlie Cowell in The Music Man. Abby Normal is his first novel.
Hi Samual, and thank you for being here with us.
What made you want to be a writer?
When I was 19, I was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. That’s a very broad term for a whole host of developmental disorders from low-functioning autism to Asperger’s syndrome (which is what I have). Day-to-day, having Asperger’s isn’t as much of a hindrance for me as it is for some people, but social interaction can be very difficult sometimes.
In conversation, I often fixate on one topic for too long, and if it’s a topic I’m passionate about, I’ll just start monologuing and I won’t stop. On the other hand, if I don’t have as much interest in a topic, I may not say anything for ages, because I’ll feel like I have nothing I can sensibly contribute. If I do try to contribute, I’ll trip over my words and ramble while my brain screams at me that I’m not making sense and the best time to shut up was about fifteen seconds ago. Sometimes I can be too blunt, and because I can’t pick up on nonverbal cues, I won’t realize it if I offend someone until they tell me they’re offended.
This is a long way of saying that writing gives me a sense of control. When I can dictate both sides of a conversation and steer it toward a conclusion of my choosing, I feel so much more relaxed than if I have to go to a job interview or (heaven forbid) on a date. As a kid, I was always making up stories and losing myself in imaginary worlds even at times when I really shouldn’t have been. I played soccer for a bit when I was about eight or nine, but when I was on the field, I always spent more time fighting imaginary pirates or secret agents than I did chasing the ball and paying attention to the game. When I reflect on that time now, I realize that I was always trying to escape into a world that was more predictable than my own. There’s a 50% shot at victory in a soccer game, but in a battle with imaginary pirates, I would always win. I write because it gives me a clear goal to work toward, and I always know how the beginning and the middle will beget the end. That’s the same reason I enjoy acting and building LEGO sets: I always know from the first page what will happen on the last page. As for real life? Yeah, not so much.
What made you want to write this book?
Abby Normal is what happens when you take a nerdy theatre kid, stick an English degree in his hands, and pump his brain full of Beowulf, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and HP Lovecraft. As a result of my education and my general geekery, I have a very wide range of literary and cultural interests that don’t always jibe with one another. The writing of Abby Normal was a process of taking all those interests and stuffing them into one box, then trying to craft a narrative that would at least make them all look like they belonged together. In this book, the astute reader may find bits and pieces of Buffy, The Dresden Files, Doctor Who, BioShock Infinite, Alice in Wonderland, Alan Wake, and much more besides. Ultimately, I wanted to write a story that would entertain me, and if that meant ripping off (or as we say in the business, “paying homage to”) other stories that have entertained me over the years, that was a price I was willing to pay.
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