Cara Mia - Book One of the Immortyl Revolution

Cara Mia - Book One of the Immortyl Revolution
by Denise Verrico
Dark Fantasy

Copyright © 2010 by Denise Verrico

First published in Spring, Texas, 2010

NOTICE: This ebook is copyrighted. It is licensed only for use by the original purchaser. Duplication of this ebook by beaming, email, network, disk, paper, or any other method is a violation of international copyright law and subjects the violator to severe fines and/or imprisonment.

Cara Mia — Book One of the Immortyl Revolution

By Denise Verrico

Published by L&L Dreamspell

Spring, Texas

Visit us on the web at www.lldreamspell.com

Copyright 2010 by Denise Verrico

All Rights Reserved

Cover and Interior Design by L & L Dreamspell

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the copyright holder, except for brief quotations used in a review.

This is a work of fiction, and is produced from the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to real people is a coincidence. Places and things mentioned in this novel are used in a fictional manner.

ISBN- 978-1-60318-159-4

* * * *
Published by L & L Dreamspell
Produced in the United States of America
Visit us on the web at www.lldreamspell.com
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

A very special thanks to Lisa, Linda and Cindy for their expertise and guidance. To my colleagues with the North Columbus Sci Fi and Fantasy Writers for their insight as I develop this series. To my son Donovan IV who listened to me read this book aloud, over and over, until I got it to sound right. To my lovely nieces, Maria and Jazz who are my biggest cheerleaders, and Daniel, the best pal a girl could have, who always makes me laugh when I’m discouraged. Lastly, to all my supportive extended family, especially my parents, who always told me to go for it, whatever it was. Dad, caro mio, I wish you were here to see this!

DEDICATION
* * * *
For my wonderful husband of twenty years, Donovan Johnson, who always urges me to reach for the stars.
PROLOGUE
* * * *

Manhattan 1986

Pain. My head and ribs ache. I taste blood. My lip is cracked and bleeding.
God, it hurts
.
Where am I? It’s the alley behind Ethan’s house. How the hell did I
end up out here?

Now I remember. He finally did it. He brought home another woman, Leisha. When I expressed my displeasure, he beat me and threw me out with the other trash.

The bare light bulb above my head bathes drifts of dirty snow in sulfur. Icicles gleam like bones of ancient creatures. Electrical wires form a network of blackened veins over a brownstone wall. Rats squeal and squabble over scraps of food from the garbage cans. Desolation
.

This time he nearly finished me. What stopped him?

Come on let’s go! Get up! Stamp the feet and wiggle the toes to get the blood flowing. Blood… My head is throbbing. There’s only one way to stop it now. I need blood. Get moving girl.

Maybe this new woman will be smarter and get out quick. Where did it all go wrong? Or was it doomed from the beginning? Once it had been different. Once it was enchantment. It quickly became a nightmare. The bruises will fade fast enough
.
This body heals rapidly, but the soul? That’s a longer and far more excruciating process. The demons refuse to rest
.

The wind is really starting to kick up.
My head won’t stop pounding. I have to move on.

Brush the hair out of your eyes and fix your sights ahead, Mia.

How he hated the short haircut. This little act of rebellion riled him pretty good, but that was nothing compared to the words I hissed at him tonight.

“Does she know what you are?”

Gee thanks for the encouragement, now here I am, dumped along with the other refuse. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore… Where have I heard that before? Oh, it’s that poem by Emma Lazarus about the Statue of Liberty. Liberty. Freedom. Freedom!

My future is uncertain. Barren. Bleak. But freedom beckons. Still, the pulse in my head echoes my fear. Go. Go on. NO. YES! Pain! We’ve known pain before. Fight it! Move on.

Where? I have no friends here, no family anymore, no cash, no plastic, not even a lousy subway token. I must find shelter soon. That’s vital. I’ll go back and pound on the door! Demand to be let in. I’ll beg him if I have to.

Don’t you dare! To hell with him! Find a way. Freedom!

Look at the icicles everywhere. They could kill someone if they fell. Stake them right through the heart maybe. Ice? It’s a girl’s best friend, so they say. But I can’t pawn his first gift to me, this beautiful butterfly, with the dazzling blue and white stones set in its wings. Screw him, he bought you with trinkets and sweet, southern palaver. More reason to hock the damned thing!

I’ll head downtown. The Upper East Side never really was my neighborhood anyway, much more Ethan’s milieu. Why didn’t I dress warmer tonight? Leather has a certain rakish charm, but isn’t very warm. I’ll sell my necklace to get some cash, and check into a hotel. A hot bath and a warm bed, that’s something to look forward to. But what kind of place could I possibly afford? Certainly not the Plaza, those days are gone. Surreal.

My head throbs much worse. I’m starving and colder by the minute. Just keep going girl, the movement will warm you. My ribs at least feel much better now. What’s that smell? Charcoal? Nice and warm, roasted chestnuts like Papa used to make when I was little. That pawnshop where Ethan used to sell our takings, where was it? Near Times Square, I think, Forty-Second Street or maybe Eighth Avenue?

What time is it? I really should have worn my watch. I probably could have sold that, too. So much ice everywhere tonight. It’s too slippery to walk really fast. The shops are all dark. It must be past ten. Snow softly falls and coats the grime. The city that never sleeps at least rests quiet for once. So still. It’s weird to see New York streets nearly empty, but it’s kind of peaceful and pretty.

It was winter when I first saw Ethan at the theatre, so many years ago. I nearly swooned.

He spoke in a lovely Virginia drawl. “Are you all right, Miss Disantini?”

“Just a bit tired after my performance.”

I lied. He overwhelmed me, so tall and beautiful. His ice blue eyes looked on me with strange mix of awe and contempt. His laughter still rings in my head. Head throbbing. Throat dry. Pain in the gut now. I’ve got to get out of the cold soon. How many more blocks? Walk faster.

Got to get cash. So-o-o hungry! Hang on, girl. It won’t be long. It’s odd to be walking these blocks alone. You never know what lurks in the shadows. What’s that noise? Nothing. The subway below. The wind whining through the caverns of buildings. Pigeons roosting on ledges. No ghouls for the moment in any case.

Seventh Avenue, finally, signs of life! Ah, the theatre district, my part of town, well at least it was for that brief affair. That’s ancient history now. The shows must have just let out. Lots of tourists can be found here this time of year. A cornucopia of smells assails the olfactory. Pasta, garlic and fish. Those carnations at the bodega reek like a funeral parlor to me. Papa? Banish that thought! Concentrate on the important scents musk, iron and blood. Blood…

Times Square. Anything catch the eye? Group of teenagers in sheepskin jackets, Japanese businessmen, families with kids? No, not what I’m looking for. Keep going, cross Broadway and head south. Iron scent is sharp in the air, surrounding me on every side. Blood! I can’t stand much more of this. Why tonight of all nights must I deal with this inconvenience?

Forty-fifth. I hate the Marriot Marquis. They tore down two theatres for this monstrosity? Hideous. Ethan was right. Culture is dead like Nietzsche, God and Queen Bloody Victoria. Hail to the twentieth century! Your child is back on the streets again!

Forty-second. Turn west. Out of the way moron! Jesus, what a pig, I bet he can’t even see his prick anymore. How do they get so fat? Buzz. Buzz. They all sound like bugs to me. Like what you see? Must you stand in the middle of the sidewalk? Move you idiot! These porn titles are hilarious. Innocence Lost. If they only knew. No, I don’t care to come inside and check it out.

I don’t see the pawnshop anywhere. It can’t be here. It must be on Eighth. The traffic’s heavy and it’s snowing much harder, turning the streets into rivers of brown slush. Careful not to slip. Look up the block, there it is, three golden balls on the sign above the door.

What do I smell? A teenaged girl stands huddled in the doorway across the street, probably looking to turn a trick. She’s all alone. No one would miss her but her pimp. Her eyes are like glass, no expression, dead colder than me. Someone should put her out of her misery.

Forget it, she’s not our flavor. Keep going, it’s just a few more steps. No lights burn inside of the shop and the sign says closed until nine in the morning. Shit. Plan B? I’ll go to the Port Authority, get out of the cold and access the situation. Maybe, I’ll find one there.

What’s that slinking up? Turn around and face him, he thinks he’s sizing me up.
Y
ellow crooked teeth grin. Wheels turn behind his pale eyes. He stinks like vegetable soup. Yuck. Not very appetizing, but we can’t be fussy tonight. He speaks. Buzz. Buzz. That’s a dangerous invitation you make, Loverboy. What’s going on in that devious brain? You think this is all new to me? Or have I played this game before? Oh, I’ve played with the masters. You’re getting far more than you bargain for.

He wants to know my name. Go on; use that breathy little girl voice that always gets them.

“Mia.”

Let him put his arm around you and guide you to that fleabag hotel on the corner. The wind rips down the street and stings my cheeks. Pull the jacket collar tighter and let his arm draw you closer.

Here we go. Christ, this place is a real roach motel. But what can I do? I’m hungry and cold and it’s getting later. Don’t you dare desert me now!

Don’t worry… I’m here. We’re nearly one.

He opens the door to a tiny hole of a lobby. A huge cockroach crawls across the peeling wallpaper and down to the filthy linoleum floor. Loverboy saunters up to desk and wakes the old man snoring there. He whispers dark mission into the old man’s hairy ear. Go on boys laugh. You won’t have the last one, I promise you.

Loverboy approaches me with glazed eyes. No more talk? I’m really not in the mood for conversation anyway. Hungry! Head splitting in two! This elevator will never make it. It’ll stop between floors, and we’ll be stuck. Just what I need! No, there it goes. Wait for the door to open.

Loverboy beckons to me. I follow down a dank, dimly lit hallway. His heavy shoes clomp on the sagging floorboards. My boots are silent. He unlocks the door and pushes me into the room. It closes behind and he locks it up tight. He sits on a full sized bed sporting a fraying, olive green spread and picks up a remote from the wobbly nightstand to switch on the TV.

I know that music…

He turns to me and suggests I make myself more comfortable. He’s all business. I lay my jacket over the back of the chair.
His watery blue eyes sweep over my body, collarbones to ankles.
He takes pack of cigarettes from coat pocket and tips one out, tapping it against the nightstand. He pulls out a lighter and sticks the cigarette between thin lips. Lighting up, he takes a long drag. Smoke burns my nostrils and I cough.

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