An Interview with a Demon
Taking a seat across the demoness, she wasn’t what I expected. Rumors of the empusae demon spoke of a tall, Amazonian woman with wild red hair and a glare that could turn your soul to dust. The female was anything but. Empusa wasn’t much taller than my own five foot two frame. Her golden blonde hair framed an almost angelic face, but her hallow cheekbones looked as if you could sharpen a blade on them. I wouldn’t call her pretty, though. In truth, I’m not sure there is a word that could describe her. Only thing that came to mind, goddess.
She glared at me when I didn’t start talking right away. Ok, so that part of the legend was correct, her glare could make your soul feel like it was turning to dust.
I cleared my throat. “We’ll just get right to it then. Tell us a little about yourself.”
“Oh pet, I don’t believe you have that much time. I’ll give you the basics, though if you want to know more, and you should want to know more about me, do yourself a favor and read Endless Nightmare. It happens to be my origin story. So, a little about me… I’m the one and only empusae demon in existence. I currently reside in the demon hell realm, Gehenna. Not for long, of course, I’m working on a way out.”
“Living in Gehenna, I assume you see a lot of conflict. Would you say you embrace it or run from it?”
“I run from nothing. Fear isn’t a feeling I’m familiar with. I embrace the darkness, embrace the chaos. I thrive on the conflict. It’s what pushes me.”
“I would imagine you would have to build up a wall living in such a place, create a tough exterior. How do you think the people you surround yourself with would describe you?”
Empusa laughed, and not the cheery kind. “I’m the one thing they all want to possess, to control. They don’t know if they want to fuck me or kill me, but they all want me. They fear me and worship me, just as they should. But none of them will ever have me.”
“You sound pretty sure of yourself. You can’t be all badass, though. You must have some weaknesses.”
“Having weaknesses will get you killed. My mothers taught me one important lesson, and they taught me the hard way. Trust no one. Let no one close to you. Take what you want but never give part of yourself in return. I don’t have weaknesses, I have strengths. My strength is knowing no one will ever come before me and my needs.”
“My mom always told me never to say never. Don’t you think one day you might want love and happiness?”
“Love is an illusion, a human emotion used to manipulate and control. Happiness is subjective. Who says I’m not happy? Who says the life I created for myself isn’t exactly what I want?”
“You must want more than being imprisoned within the confinds of Gehenna. What are your goals?”
“I want to escape the prison my mother banished me to. I want to show her what a mistake she made. I want to bathe in her blood.”
“But, come on, you must want a Happily Ever After, too?”
“The only thing HEA stands for is Happily Empy After. Because what I want is what I get.”
“Other than planning your escape and the demise of your mother, what else do you do? Is there a place you feel safe? Free? Is that even possible for you?”
Empusa pauses and I wonder if she’ll actually answer. “The Dream Realm,” she finally says.
“It’s where I go to find a way to escape Gehenna, but it’s also a place I can pretend to be someone else, somewhere else. A place I can pretend to be free.”
“Is there someone there you go to see? Someone you’ve met through dreams?”
Something flashes in her eyes and her face softens. It happens so fast I was sure it was just a trick of the light.
“No comment. I think I’ll keep that part to myself.”
“Oh, I have a feeling we’ll be find out all about your dreams soon. One more question, though, what are you going to do next?”
“What will Empusa do?” she asks with a smirk. “Well, pet, that’s easy. Whatever the fuck I want.”
Dreams in the Dark
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: August 4, 2016
Number of pages: 197 (paperback)
Word Count: 81063
Cover Artist: Ariel LeAnn
Whispers abound in Gehenna, Zeus knows the empusae is alive and he wants her dead. A war is coming, and a war is exactly what Empusa’s been training her pets for.
Deep down, Empusa only wants one thing—the demise of those who banished her to Hell, and she will stop at nothing to escape and exact her revenge. Traveling the Dream Realm, she spends countless hours searching for her ticket out, and she’s finally found him.
Krael Connolly, the Crown Prince of Gehenna, spends his days researching demons, particularly the elusive empusae, and his nights being visited by his Emmy in his dreams. As the Demon of Vengeance, he fights a battle with his inner demon every day, but his humanity continues to win out…although, the demon of his dreams is testing that control.
He endlessly fights against the dark, while she fights against the light. She calls to his demon as he struggles to bring out her humanity. She lives for chaos, blood and destruction, but he makes her experience something she'd never experienced before—emotions.
But ultimately, what will Empusa do?
Whatever hell she wants.
Screams of torture and cries of agony surrounded Empusa. From her vantage point high atop a rock formation, inside her property line in the middle of Gehenna, the demoness looked out over the vast wasteland and liked what she saw. As far as the eye could see, numerous battles were taking place. Battles for food and power, and all of them to the death. The dark sky above shifted between varying shades of black, with a slight tint of red creating an eerie sight. The red grew thicker and darker by the minute, signaling the death of the demons below. As each one fell, the ground sought nourishment, inhaling the fallen’s essence and leaving behind a red mist. The sight comforted Empusa like a baby’s blanket would. She was raised on death and mayhem, became its lover until nothing was left of her soul but a darkened void that sought only one thing: the demise of those who banished her to the depths of Hell in the first place.
Another anguished cry split the air, causing a slow, devious smile to spread across the demoness’s blood red lips. By the gods, she loved the sound. The agonizing, helpless pleas of those of the damned who wouldn’t last another hour. Usually, Empusa forced such sounds from her fellow imprisoned demons, but she could be satisfied with someone else playing her a lullaby tonight.
Lowering herself against the hard, cold stone, Empusa stretched out on her back, one hand dangling over the edge into nothingness. She closed her eyes and allowed sleep to pull her into the Dream Realm.
Well over a century ago, Empusa had seduced the nightmare demon, Epiales, and stolen his powers, allowing her free reign over the realm. She could control it, manipulate it, and use it toward her advantage. For countless hours, she used it to search for the one who could free her from her prison. A prison her bitch of a mother tossed her into millennium ago when she was no more than a child.
Gehenna, the Demon Hell Realm, had been her home for so long, her childhood on Mt. Olympus became all but a distant memory. The sweet, loving child of her past got buried so deep, she no longer admitted to ever being such a creature. Living and surviving among the worst of the worst of the demon species, Empusa learned to become more than a survivor. She’d become the one demon all others feared, a force to be reckoned with. Not only did every being within the confines of Gehenna fear her, but they all wanted her. She’d become a legend amongst their kind. Living in a realm where once imprisoned you stayed for eternity, Empusa set her sights on the one thing no one before her ever accomplished. Escape.
The cries echoing through the night vanished the deeper into sleep she went. Soon she found herself standing in the center of a long, white hallway. Doors of the same nondescript color lined up on either side of her as far as the eye could see. She stood there for a moment, deciding on which direction she wanted to go. Epiales must seriously miss the power to control such a place. How lonely it must be to not be able to escape the prison he currently resided in. Not that Empusa cared of the hell she placed upon him. He’d possessed a power she needed, so she stole it. Out of all her weapons, it was possibly her favorite in the endless battle she fought.
The toe of her thigh-high black boot tapped with impatience against the white marble floor. The one man she wanted to be available to her wasn’t. Empusa didn’t know what time it was on the realm he resided in, but she didn’t care. She specifically came for him. The need to see him, to touch him, to taste him left her off kilter most of the day. Empusa did not appreciate the feeling. She didn’t like not having control over every aspect of her life. This particular male caused her to do the unexpected, like seek him out. The audacity of him not to be where she wanted him to be, when she wanted him to be there, grated on her nerves.
Her heart kicked in her chest as, one by one, each door around her vanished until only one remained. For a moment she thought she miscalculated and Krael would be available. Her body betrayed her with the mere thought, causing her heart to slam in her chest, but she knew right away it wasn’t Krael. The feeling in her chest changed, making it feel as if her heart plummeted to her feet signaling a disappointment she didn’t want or need. A snarl passed her lips and the urge to kill something invaded her thoughts. How dare he make her feel things? It was a good thing no one was around to witness her behavior. If there had been, she would have killed them. No way would she allow anyone to think of her as weak.
About the Author:
K. Margaret is a paranormal romance author living in Georgia. Her love for words, storytelling, and mythology started as a teenager and continues to grow. When she isn’t sucking down pots of coffee and writing, or hanging out with her teenage daughter, she can usually be found in front of her TV watching football, her other obsession.