EXCERPT from "Dreamkiller" from "The Lovers War & Other Stories"
The nightmare, a wolf-headed angel with screaming children nailed to its bleeding back unfolded itself from the air in a display of impossible geometry that made the warrior's mind reel to behold. “Unholy! Unholy!” the creature cackled. “The center will not hold! Unholy! I will fall apart!” Its hooked claws streaked towards Simeon’s face.
His piercings writhed where they lay in his skin , spilling protective magic around his body; the nightmare’s claws slowed, shuddered, and hesitated long enough for the Dreamkiller to roll safely away. The beast roared in frustration and the children dying on its back wailed in response.
Simeon was on his feet and charging the living nightmare before the echo of its rage had faded. The nightmare roared again and, again, the lightning strike of its talons was retarded by the Dreamkillers magic.
- A warrior priest tracks living nightmares through a post apocalyptic world.
- The setting is on earth but in a far flung future where magic and science co-exist, and a strange, militant version of Christianity has dominated the civilized world. The Engine is the great evil in this world and it represents untamed science, sentient machines, and a powerful AI construct that exists in the far west.
- The Abbott is the holy ruler of the known world and he controls it from his gilded throne in the Holy City, which can be imagined as a post apocalyptic Vatican.
- Strangely enough, this entire story grew out of a single idea - wanting to create magical body piercings for Dungeons & Dragons characters. Once I had a picture of the piercings in my head, I started to think about what kind of person would wear them and how they would be used. Everything else developed from that initial musing.
- I wrote this short story while I was playing a lot of RIFTS, which is a wild role-playing game set in a post apocalyptic world where science, magic, cybernetics, demons, and a host of other craziness is all mixed up together.
- I was raised Christian but I left the religion over 20 years ago and have never looked back. Still, I appreciate the mythology and archetypes that are found in Christianity and so the development of the World God and the Engine (Devil) was fun. The corruption that is obviously inherent in the Abbott and his order is an unapologetic reflection of my feelings about Christian theology.