Saturday, November 17, 2012

The City of the Mirage by Jerome Brooke

The City of the Mirage by Jerome Brooke is now on Amazon. The Divine Astarte is one of the last of her race. Her kind seeded many worlds with life. One of these realms was the planet of the Warrior.

The City of the Mirage in a dark fantasy.

Astarte is feared, not loved by her people - she is the Destroyer of Worlds. She is served by a legion of shield maidens. These cruel warriors are feared by all. They commit all manner of atrocities, such as impalement.

The people of her empire are also terrorized by the Beast Men. They are the offspring of members of an alien race and the daughters of men. They feed on human flesh. They use captive women to breed more of their kind.

Jerome Brooke was born in Indiana. He now lives in the Kingdom of Siam. He is married to Jira, a princess of the lost Kingdom of Nan.

Brooke seeks to write texts that are suitable as eBooks. Readers may desire to print out chapters or short stories. Texts that can be read in a single evening are often best.

Series of stories and books are a good option. The Conan stories are a good example. They can be read as solo stories. Read in a series, they have some of the qualities of a novel or narrative.

Jerome lives in Chonburi, near Pattaya. He has written a number of other books and stores in the Divine Astarte series - and a number of related series and cycles. Many short stores in the series have appeared in Welcome to Wherever and other magazines.

The Astarte and related series share the same setting. The stories take place far into the future. The stars have been seeded with life by the race of Astarte. She and her kind are worshiped as gods by the people of their realm. Many of the books and stories share the same characters. Read in sequence, they often form a narrative. I think of the series as a hybrid. The chapters were published as short stories in magazines, and can be read alone. Read in sequence, they form a novella or cohesive book. The same was true of the Conan series of Robert E. Howard or the Sherlock home stories.

The muse stood at the side of the blind bard.  She whispered in his ear, telling him the history of the demigod, of the Conqueror. 
Myth of the Lady of the Myst, II, vii.           
The mirage appeared very close.  I could see the white towers of the city, as they shimmered on the horizon.  I wiped the sweat from my brow with my sleeve, and took a sip of water from my canteen.
I looked over my shoulder.  I could no longer see the enemy chase cars. They had been in pursuit since last night, when my plane went down.  I had parachuted from my wounded craft, and landed in the desert. After I landed, I fled into the empty waste, hoping that my beacon would be heard by our rescue.
I resumed walking.  Perhaps I had come all this way only to die of thirst in this wasteland.  I checked my canteen.  Almost empty.
I tried my radio once more.  Nothing – not even static.
I continued walking in the light breeze.  I soon came to a boulder field.  I walked among the rocks for a few minutes, until I came to the edge of a ravine.  I glanced over the edge, and saw a fast moving stream below.
I climbed down the steep slope to the floor of the ravine.  I filled my canteen, and pulled off my flight suit.  I plunged into the water, and rinsed off the dust.
I sat upon a rock near the edge of the stream, to rest for a time.  I soon pulled on my flightsuit, and began to follow the stream.  As I walked, a strange blue mist began to form, near the ground.  The mist persisted, even tho a breeze began to stir the air.
I came to a large bolder jutting out into the stream.  I walked around it, and saw movement out of the corner of my eye.  I turned, and saw a woman of middle years stepping out of the stream.
Hello,”   she said with a smile.  She spoke with a heavy accent.
Hello,” I replied, and smiled.  She had black hair, and dark, olive skin.  She did not seem to mind that she had nothing on, in the strong breeze.  This was all passing strange.
I am the Lady of the Myst.  Are you lost, Warrior?”
Well, yes.  I am heading west,”  I managed to collect myself and say.
She pointed down the ravine. “Follow the stream.  It leads to the plain.  If you see anyone else, they may help you.”
I nodded.
I must leave you now.  But you will see me soon, when you are ready.”  She came up to me, and wrapped her arms around me.  She kissed, and gently bit my neck.  I felt a little dizzy, and also felt a strong attraction to her.
Am I Enthralled by the Lady, the beautiful Lady Without Mercy?”  I asked myself.
November 2012

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