Beneath Rain and Stars
Book Three in The Hidden World of Wysteria Series
by Stella Brians
(Concept Art for Beneath Rain and Stars)
The Wanderings of Colin and Hazel
(Official Cover Art)
My debut novel about two people who do not fit in with their world.
If you like Harold and Maude, The Catcher in The Rye, or are just enjoy love stories you will love my upcoming novel.
Sample from First Chapter
Copyright 2017, by Stella Brians
The front desk clerk was a lump of a woman with frizzy hair and spectacles, and when I asked her in my mousy voice if she had seen my sister she shouted at me.
“Dear, please speak up. You must simply learn to SPEAK UP. Don’t they teach you that in school nowadays? Now, how can I help you?” Her voice boomed across the lobby, and several people stared and laughed behind their hands.
“This girl.” I said, taking Meredith’s photograph from my wallet. “Have you seen this girl?”
With a fat hand, the woman swiped the photograph from me and peered at it closely.
“No, can’t say I have. Feel free to look around, there isn’t a charge for the museum today.” She waved me away. My hand shaking with anger, I withdrew the photograph and put it in my pocket.
I walked out of the lobby and up the stairs, my sneakers echoing through the silent mausoleum for lesser understood art. As I passed other people, and abstract paintings nailed on walls with endless plaques describing to the human brain what the eyes were seeing, a cold fear wrapped itself around me. I even felt cold on the outside, and my stomach clenched up when I saw what was in the next exhibit that I had to pass through.
I caught sight of a metal leg, being strangled by a snake as hands grasped around its neck. Human and snake were intent on killing the other; the snake for food, and the human for survival. This exhibit seemed to be a mixed media of sculptures; some bronze, metal, marble, and stone.
“Horrors of The Far Beyond.” The sign stated, in unapologetic lettering that looked vicious.
Cautiously, I dipped my toe into the cold eerie room and as I did, all of the sculptures turned to look at me. Heart thundering in my chest, I pushed forward and stared at them with the angriest stare I could muster.
“Meredith?” I called.
An unsettling still silence filled the room, and no one answered because it was empty of living people. Something pink and white caught my eye, but it wasn’t human and so I did not take my gaze away from the sculptures. Charred pieces of flesh lay together like yesterday’s fruit in a smooth bronze basket, red nail polish on one of the hands.
I backed away into a tall African man juggling different phases of the moon. I heard his laughter. He mocked me, and said that I would never find my sister. Hair rose up on the back of my neck, and I clutched at him fruitlessly, knocking him over. A loud clamour filled the room, and I imagined demons crawling out of the wall, from the eye sockets of the lifeless creatures.
My own eyes darted around the room, finally acknowledging the pink and white tiled flooring, the enormous yet out of reach windows that let in the rain. The high ceiling, as vast and limitless as the Universe itself expanded beyond my wildest dreams and I felt like I was being sucked in. Panic rose from my bowels and up through my heart at once, and soon I was rushing through the agglomeration of demons. Now I knew what they were, I knew how fast I had to run from them. Hightops slid across the old tiles, hands grasped full force at nothing as a dark winged creature with a thick tail ran me down like an animal. Endlessly, the exhibit carried on.
Bent corridors were filled with the horrors that lay dormant in the very back of my mind, and facing them now was like walking on a lake of ice that I knew would collapse. In each hallway, the cold pricked me more intensely, and my heart and lungs felt as though they would collapse. Anxiety was what drove my legs, but terror neared me towards a heart attack. All of the hallways lead me around in a circle and to the same place, an unused staff room with a table and a window overlooking the major city green.
Throughout this nightmare, distorted music played from somewhere, and slowly it became louder and more frightening. It sounded as though elevator music and a man’s voice had been mashed together in a blender. I felt the demon’s thin fingertips claw for me, could hear its wings and hideous breathing.
There came a time when I slipped on something red and sticky in the hallway. It was blood, and when I fell there a shattering pain in my elbow and knee. I saw the black thing scuttle up to the ceiling like a giant bat, and it gave me a good look at his gnarled, toothy face.
“Your sister no longer exists.” It hissed, and as it flew from the crown molding towards my face, I lost consciousness.
While I struggled to open my eyes, a young woman was wrapping ripped cloth around my elbow. One of her eyes were gray, and the other blue. Light brown hair fell into her eyes, and as she looked at me, she smiled sadly.
“There now, I hope you feel better.” She had a sweet face, and she wore an army jacket and jeans. There was something about her that I liked immediately, even in those moments of little consciousness. What is it about her? I wondered. I felt her lips on my head, and heard the words she spoke next.
“I have to go, I promised that I would call my brother. Please take care of yourself, and get a taxi home. I will check in on you.” The girl then disappeared down the steps and into traffic.
As always, my books will be available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.