My name is Haatim Arison. I’m a recent college graduate with a degree in Theology, and I’ve studied basically every major religion during my tenure at Arizona State University. I love learning about new things, and I write a blog in my spare time. A few months ago, my sister passed away, and it’s been rough on me, but since that happened I’ve found out a lot of things about the world I never imagined possible. Basically, everything that happened leading up to Raven’s Peak changed my life. I don’t think I’m supposed to talk about that, however…
What is your current state of mind?
A little hectic and frantic, to be honest. I’ve had a little bit of time to process this new reality that I never expected, but it’s still been entirely overwhelming. Frieda has been good to me and brought me in slowly, but I still feel like I have a lot to learn.
On what occasion do you lie?
If you asked me this a few months ago, I would have said never. But, now, I find myself lying more often than I would like. To my family, mostly, but especially my mother. I hated my father for keeping this reality from me, but now I think I’m beginning to understand why he did it.
When and where were you happiest?
When I was young with my sister and just being silly and carefree. I miss her so much, and it has really had a huge impact on me losing her the way I did. Losing her like we did was the hardest thing in my life.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Sword Fighting. I’m always impressed by people who can hold their own in a brawl. It’s never really been my thing, which is why I think I like it so much. We rarely acknowledge the talents we actually have.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Again, I’m not allowed to talk about what happened in Raven’s Peak…
Where would you most like to live?
I love traveling, and especially in these last few months. Frieda is a true globe trotter, and now I think I want to experience a little bit of everything.
What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty. I love people who are open and honest about everything.
Title: Raven’s Peak (Book I, World on Fire)/ Raven’s Fall (Book II, World on Fire)
Author: Lincoln Cole
Genre: Horror/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Kindle Press
A quiet little mountain town is hiding a big problem. When the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak start acting crazy, Abigail Dressler is called upon to discover the root of the evil affecting people. She uncovers a demonic threat unlike any she’s ever faced and finds herself in a fight just to stay alive.
Abigail rescues Haatim Arison from a terrifying fate and discovers that he has a family legacy in the supernatural that he knows nothing about. Now she’s forced to protect him, which is easy, but also to trust him if she wants to save the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak. Trust, however, is something hard to have for someone who grew up living on the knife’s edge of danger.
Can they discover the cause of the town’s insanity and put a stop to it before it is too late?
Abigail was arrested by the Council, and now she’s awaiting trial for the decisions she made leading up to and culminating in the events of Raven’s Peak. She is restless while she waits for answers and knows that there is a real threat outside their walls plotting to bring them down.
Meanwhile, Haatim is getting a crash course in this world he knew nothing about and finding out that nothing is as it seems. He’s being taught how to survive, but will it be enough?
There are dark clouds on the horizon and it is coming whether they are prepared or not. Will they be able to weather this storm?
“Reverend, you have a visitor.”
He couldn’t remember when he fell in love with the pain. When agony first turned to pleasure, and then to joy. Of course, it hadn’t always been like this. He remembered screaming all those years ago when first they put him in this cell; those memories were vague, though, like reflections in a dusty mirror.
A buzz as the door slid open, inconsequential. The aching need was what drove him in this moment, and nothing else mattered. It was a primal desire: a longing for the tingly rush of adrenaline each time the lash licked his flesh. The blood dripping down his parched skin fulfilled him like biting into a juicy strawberry on a warm summer’s day.
“Some woman. Says she needs to speak with you immediately. She says her name is Frieda.”
A pause, the lash hovering in the air like a poised snake. The Reverend remembered that name, found it dancing in the recesses of his mind. He tried to pull himself back from the ritual, back to reality, but it was an uphill slog through knee-deep mud to reclaim those memories.
It was always difficult to focus when he was in the midst of his cleansing. All he managed to cling to was the name. Frieda. It was the name of an angel, he knew. . . or perhaps a devil.
One and the same when all was said and done.
She belonged to a past life, only the whispers of which he could recall. The ritual reclaimed him, embraced him with its fiery need. His memories were nothing compared to the whip in his hand, its nine tails gracing his flesh.
The lash struck down on his left shoulder blade, scattering droplets of blood against the wall behind him. Those droplets would stain the granite for months, he knew, before finally fading away. He clenched his teeth in a feral grin as the whip landed with a sickening, wet slapping sound.
“Jesus,” a new voice whispered from the doorway. “Does he always do that?”
“You’ll cuff him?”
“Why? Are you scared?”
The Reverend raised the lash into the air, poised for another strike.
“Just…man, you said he was crazy…but this…”
The lash came down, lapping at his back and the tender muscles hidden there. He let out a groan of mixed agony and pleasure.
These men were meaningless, their voices only echoes amid the rest, an endless drone. He wanted them to leave him alone with his ritual. They weren’t worth his time.
“I think we can spare the handcuffs this time; the last guy who tried spent a month in the hospital.”
“Regulation says we have to.”
“Then you do it.”
The guards fell silent. The cat-o’-nine-tails, his friend, his love, became the only sound in the roughhewn cell, echoing off the granite walls. He took a rasping breath, blew it out, and cracked the lash again. More blood. More agony. More pleasure.
“I don’t think we need to cuff him,” the second guard decided.
“Good idea. Besides, the Reverend isn’t going to cause us any trouble. He only hurts himself. Right, Reverend?”
The air tasted of copper, sickly sweet. He wished he could see his back and the scars, but there were no mirrors in his cell. They removed the only one he had when he broke shards off to slice into his arms and legs. They were afraid he would kill himself.
How ironic was that?
Mirrors were dangerous things, he remembered from that past life. They called the other side, the darker side. An imperfect reflection stared back, threatening to steal pieces of the soul away forever.
Raven’s Peak: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FVEZ6G2
The Ninth Circle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KKOBKRC
Lincoln Cole is a Columbus-based author who enjoys traveling and has visited many different parts of the world, including Australia and Cambodia, but always returns home to his pugamonster and wife. His love for writing was kindled at an early age through the works of Isaac Asimov and Stephen King and he enjoys telling stories to anyone who will listen.
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