Authors: Lee Hayes
Lee Hayes is nothing short of amazing. In his prior books, he has mastered the art of storytelling through strong, suspenseful storylines and unforgettable characters. Now he has widened his prolific range and has stepped over into the supernatural arena with
The First Male
The main character, Simon, is changing into “something” that he does not recognize. He is plagued by dreams of things unknown and his world will never be the same. Before he was even born, his destiny was predetermined. He was to be special, to be a leader, to potentially be a destroyer of worlds. That is a heavy load to carry but an exciting one as well. Hayes once again astounds readers by showing that he is a talent to be reckoned with. I am confident that you will enjoy
The First Male
as much as I did.
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In the immutable black of night, something ungodly stirred; something unholy devoured the light.
Deep in a swamp far from the mainland, angry winds hissed through the giant pine trees, covering the dense marsh with the unnerving sound of agitated serpents. Sharp pines needles, ripped violently from the trees, shot through the air like deadly daggers. Frequently, brilliant lightning flashes tore open the sky in a dazzling display of power; thunder shook the earth.
Sheets of blinding rain crashed against the dilapidated shack, its rotting wood punished severely by the unnatural tempest. The ramshackle structure quaked and quivered and its roof viciously shook; but, it held its ground. The shack bent and buckled, but did not break.
She would not let it succumb to the storm.
Inside the house, a woman howled in pain. Her child was coming, even in the midst of such profane turmoil. The woman did not fully appreciate all that was taking place inside or outside the shack, but she knew something otherworldly was afoot and she was a focal point; this knowledge only exacerbated her pain. She knewâshe had always knownâthat the child in her womb was special. At the very moment of conception she felt a jarring that rattled her body, sending a wave of nausea that almost toppled her. She knew in that moment, as sure as she knew her name was
Rebecca Saint, that her child was conscious, aware. Now this very special child was coming and she felt as if she was being ripped apart. Her pain was excruciating. She screamed in agony, wishing she was in a hospital in Baton Rouge so that she wouldn't have to endure such aching; she longed for an epidural. She focused on her acute pain and the life bursting brutally from her womb. She had never experienced childbirth before, but she knew there was nothing natural about what she was feeling. The pain she felt radiated in her bone marrow; it ignited every cell in her body. She felt as if her entire body was wrapped in flames, burning from the inside out.
In her periphery, she could see the woman's gnarled fingers pulling particles of colorful light out of thin air in highly choreographed movements. She thought pain had altered her perception of reality, but she continued watching the woman conjure waves of dancing, glittery light out of nothing at all. Each strand of light flashed brilliantly for a few seconds and then dissipated shortly after its appearance, only to be followed by more iridescent hues.
“IÂ .Â .Â .Â IÂ .Â .Â .Â needÂ .Â .Â .Â hospital. WhoÂ .Â .Â .Â areÂ .Â .Â .Â you? What are you doing?” she managed to utter with breath broken by pain. She wanted to scream out, but she could not; she was lucky to speak at all.
The woman paid her little attention. She continued her hurried ritual.
The baby in her belly pounded as a voice echoed in her head.
The pregnant woman looked around the room, half-expecting to see a child huddled in a corner talking to her, but there was no child. She was going mad. The voice in her head was not hers.
The voice rang again and the woman shut her eyes tightly in
an ill-conceived effort to blot out the sound. She tried to shake the voice out of her head, hoping that her pain would mute the sound. Pain she could understand. The voice clawed at her core.
The voice sounded low, like a cry somewhere in the dark, but it frightened her enough to momentarily forget her pain. She'd gladly endure the pain if it blocked the voice.
“Stop it!” she screamed in a clear, strong voice. She didn't know her own strength.
The voice was now forceful, threatening. A force snatched her eyelids up and held them open so that she could see.
She screamed again.
“AreÂ .Â .Â .Â y-y-ou doing this toÂ .Â .Â .Â me?” she asked the woman in a quivering voice. The woman stopped and eyed her curiously, but she did not reply.
Push. Push. Push
The command jangled inside her skull as tears streamed down her face.
PushÂ .Â .Â .Â Mother
The voice was now gentle.
“Get out of my head!”
The voice terrified her. It belonged to the child on the verge of being born. She pushed with all her might. She wanted this child out of her stomach as much as he desired freedom. She was not prepared for this. No childbirth should be like this. Who was this child? Had the whole world gone mad?
She inhaled and exhaled rapidly, as she was taught in Lamaze class, but the pain did not relent, nor did the voice of the child, or the scalding voice of the woman in the corner. Rebecca turned
her head and looked directly at the woman. Sounds escaped from the woman's lips, but they were indecipherable; spoken in a language unknown to her that struck her ears as foul. It was unlike any language she had ever heard. The clamor she made filled the room; she spoke feverishly.
“Help meÂ .Â .Â .Â please,” Rebecca pleaded. Her cries fell on deaf ears. She could feel her body shutting down; the proverbial white light was sure to claim her.
“I am helping you, child. I am protecting you. I am protecting us fromÂ .Â .Â .
,” the woman finally said, as she nodded in the direction of the woman's full belly.
As Rebecca pleaded with the woman, the face of a child flashed in her head. The child's face was gentle and loving, like a cherub. His marvelous beauty left a permanent imprint in her head; yet, her heart was filled with so much dread. Her heart beat furiously against the bones in her chest. She had seen the face of her child, even before he escaped from her womb and before he had taken his first breath.
Outside, the undead things bellowed in celebration; the sounds of their dark jubilation echoed as vitriolic laughter in the hissing wind. It would only be a matter of time. Although the witchy woman inside, Adelaide Thibodeauxâwho had stolen Rebeccaâwas of great power, they knew she would not be able to last forever against their unrelenting force. Already she had expelled a great deal of powerâtraveling a great distance, shattering their cloak that surrounded Rebecca, and erecting her own magical barrier around the shack. Yet, they remained gleeful of her imminent demise. From the way the house rattled, they sensed her weakness as a shark smelled blood in the water. For victory, they only had to continue their assault.
He was being born, bursting from his mother's womb during
the storm of the centuryâa storm his birth had invoked, as told by prophecy.
Beneath a cold, blood moon, of the shortest day, He shall come forth, in flame; in storm