I’ve been blogging about Archon: The Books of Raziel quite a bit lately so I’m happy to welcome the author, Sabrina Benulis, to Rabid Reads today! This being her debut book, she’s not quite set-up online so Sabrina can be a bit tricky to find but rest assured, it’s well worth it!
Sabrina Benulis loves Christmas and snow, and both have often inspired many of her stories. She lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania where the woods fall quiet under blankets of white, and the cold leaves your fingertips tingling. She loves angels and birds, and finds both to be an adequate source of dreams.
Sabrina wanted to be many things when she was little, including a paleontologist, a marine biologist, and a professional singer. Instead she is off in her own little corner, writing poetry, stories, and random scribbles about imaginary worlds. She strives to have an otherwordly element to her writing, and enjoys plots that weave complexities and surprises together.
| ARCHON is a gothic fantasy, and the official introduction to the characters and mythology of THE BOOKS OF RAZIEL trilogy.
When Sabrina isn’t writing, you can often find her wishing on stars. Nestled cozily in a little house with a lot of yard, she lives with her husband and a scruffy cockatiel named Caesar.
By Sabrina Benulis
One of them–a seraph with feathery bronze hair and eyes the color of sapphires–seems to be singing, but this is the equivalent of a silent recording, and like so many times before, all I can do is watch as his pink lips mouth word after word. Always and ever, he seems to be out of my reach. So close and yet so far.
And then something changes.
His immense wings flap and fold in on themselves, hiding his slender beauty.
A flurry of bronze feathers blusters past me, and I cry out, grasping for at least one. A memento. A promise.
Instead my fingers pass through air, and I plummet into black nothingness.
My eyelids snap open. The ceiling of my bedroom comes abruptly into view.
The sigh leaves me with a tinge of frost at its edges.
My name is Angela, but I consider that holy namesake so much of a tease. Downstairs in the drafty mansion my parents call home, I hear people laughing, singing, the clink of glasses and the tumult of holiday happiness. But what are those fleeting moments to me? Instead I continue to stare wide-eyed at my surroundings, wishing for Christmas angels to finally come and grant me a single, impossibly wonderful wish. I can express these visions of mine in paintings, but it isn’t enough. If I’m blessed enough to see celestial beauty, than I also want to touch it myself.
A gentle cooing echoes from outside.
I slip out of bed, setting my feet on the wood floor.
Like the rest of the mansion, my bedroom is so cold and drafty that emerging from my blanket is Advent penance. The next sigh leaves me as I grab the candle at my bedside, its warm flame wavering in front of my face. I cup my fingers around the cheerful lick of fire and walk to the window, pressing my other hand against the chill pane.
Outside, there is a dove sitting on the eaves, feathers fluffed against the cold.
Angels are the birds of God. If this is as close as I can get to them, I’ll take it.
Perhaps that is why without another thought, I unhook the latch and allow a sharp wind to enter into my room. My blood red hair flies back away from my face. The flame of my candle threatens to snuff out, yet miraculously stays lit. I place my hand on the window’s edge, and the dove cocks its head at me, questioning my odd bravery. Smiling, I lean out the window and beckon for the bird to perch on my hand.
That isn’t enough, so I lean out farther. I’m a little desperate, a little too eager.
The next gust of wind makes me realize my foolishness.
My eyes smart against the slap of my own hair, and with a sharp cry of terror–I lose my footing completely.
Hot fear rushes through me as I fall.
Above me the dove is soaring, glancing down in what must be confusion. We both know that a human would need wings to fly, and instead I continue to plummet, an Angela who is utterly un-angelic.
Suddenly, I shudder and gasp for breath, shocked as a firm grip wraps around my waist.
The air stops screaming around me, the cold ceases to buffet my face.
For a few seconds I stare in wonder at a sweeping panorama of snow and golden-lit buildings, safe as I am in a pair of warm strong arms. When I look up I can only stare more. He is handsome and ravishing, his hair and eyes a perfect match for mine. Blood red wings flap above me in a maelstrom of power. There is a smile on his gentle face and jewels like stars sweeping up into his hair.
An angel, but more likely a dream.
“Will I get my wish?” I whisper, hopeful. He is not the bronze-haired angel of my visions, yet he is so familiar, I feel like I am looking back at myself. “I want to go with you. I want to fly.”
“Some wishes take more time than others,” he says in return.
Maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked as the darkness returns, and I open my eyes to my bedroom ceiling, and the winter’s cold, and the golden candlelight. Only this time a blood red feather rests on my pillow and I grasp its softness impulsively, falling back to sleep with a real smile on my lips, content to see my visions and wait that little bit longer for their reality. I hear the dove cooing from my windowsill, watchful but at peace.
Some wishes take more time than others to come true, but this Christmas is different. Even if it was all just a dream, I do have it:
My memento. My promise.
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada