Created by Shannon Shaw
Seventeen year old Ethan awakes to find himself strapped to a medical gurney after being rescued from an attack from creatures that should not exist. Exhausted, and in disbelief, he soon learns that he has unwillingly been selected to take part in a government program that will transform him into a creature from his nightmares.
Guided by another of the Created, Ethan must deal with the rules of his new world, a burgeoning romance with a girl no longer of his kind and fight to stay alive.
Damaged, book 2, will be released soon, but here’s the cover!!
The interior of the back room of the Tortured Rabbit was filled with two rows of empty metal hospital operating tables which bisected the room. Along the outer walls were doors, five each side. Across the back wall were plush chairs and couches upon which sat the rest of the members of my team. Each of which were looking very relaxed. In the shadows to the right stood an armed guard dressed in black and toting a Robinson XCR assault rifle, to the left the same. Both were on edge as evidenced from their profuse sweating and rapid heartbeats. A lesser concerned pair of gentlemen sat at a table a few feet in front of Veronica and me.
Veronica led me to the table. She presented her right forearm. “Veronica Stace and Ethan Castel are here to check in.”
The eldest of the two soldiers at the table removed a needle containing a vividly yellow substance from a small metal case. The needle was inserted into Veronica’s arm injecting her with the liquid.
Discarding the needle to his partner, who placed it into a heavy looking yellow box at his feet; he reached into the case and presented another as he motioned for my arm.
Instinctively, I withdrew my arm. The room got tense as the two soldiers on guard both charged their rifles alerting me to my mistake.
Delivering my arm to the soldier, the man hurriedly finished his duty. He passed off the empty syringe to his colleague then produced a small silver box covered with three buttons: red, yellow, and green.
The shot was painless, but the concern was overwhelming. “What the hell did you just do to me?”
There was no response as he continued about his duties. We were dismissed with a wave of his hand. He pressed the green, button on the metal panel as we walked away. The button triggered the unlocking of the doors to either side of us with a chorus of clicks. I joined hands with Veronica as we walked to the back of the room. “What just happened?”
She spoke softly, “There is now a tracking node inside of you that allows them to detonate the nanites in your blood if things were to get out of hand. It is a precaution. Consider it the final and ultimate failsafe.”
I looked at my forearm as a tiny light blinked momentarily then dissolved beneath the skin. “Shit.”
Veronica unclenched my hand as we got closer to the others. “Don’t worry that is normal. The diode is active for the next four hours as we feed. After that time period, the transmitter dies then at hour six your body will absorb the remaining organics.”
The group looked hungry, but was in great spirits. Logan and Darby were already in character with fangs and eyes transformed.
Chloe was sitting on a couch removed from the group with a pouty expression upon her face. Any injuries she may have incurred from our tussle in the afternoon were healed as were mine.
Liam greeted Veronica and me with a big hug for each. “So glad you came. Man do we have a special treat for you Ethan. Come on.”
He pulled me from Veronica toward a door marked with the number four. “This is going to be epic. Be sure to drink plenty because you will need it all tomorrow night.”
Why did you have to remind me about that, I wanted to ask? He shoved me through the door into the small room followed closely by the metallic sound of a bolt being reset within the door.
The room was sparse of decorative details and smelled of honeysuckle. There was a lone purple leather recliner, bare grey walls and a single, occupied metal table. On the wall behind me was an intercom that worked by pushing a talk button. In the center of the room was another table, but this one was covered in a stark white sheet. Under the sheet was to be my first taste of something live, my first human. I walked to the opposite end of the table to the covered head of the victim. A box was embedded into the table top to monitor the vitals of the individual lying on the bed. I scanned the body continuously for several minutes as I waited to see if there was movement. My time and effort was greeted with the steady rise and fall of regular breathing, but no other signs of life. The form underneath was obviously female from the contours of the body.
My mouth was becoming dry and my pulse quickening as I became acclimated to the task before me. A soft classical song began to play through a speaker in the ceiling. I was unsure of the next step.
So I began. The visual stimulation of watching the repetitive nature of the breathing gave way to the sounds of her heart beating in dull resonance. The sound was distant then would drown out all other in the room then fade. I knew it was my mind and the situation playing tricks with me.
It was the simplest of things that were bothering me as I delayed. It was the solitude of the cell which was what I thought of it though it had only been minutes. Had it been only minutes?
I thought the closing of the door had been recent until a robotic voice rattled through the intercom, “Two hours remained.”
The beating was loud again. It was rhythmic and patient as if playing a song to me. The sound was the perfect accompaniment to the sounds of piano streaming into the room. The music was soothing at one with the beat of the blood coursing through the body. Then the beat and rushing of her blood was maddening as the tempo would change.
My mind was warping from the stress, I told myself. This did nothing to relieve my state of nervousness as I methodically turned down the sheet to shoulder level. My methodical approach turned to desperation as I came face to face with my intended meal.
The face was all too familiar. The girl I had saved today was to become my nourishment tonight.
Now I knew what Liam was so jovial about. He had managed to get Sunnie to the base for the feeding. I knew he meant well, but I had been apprehensive before I knew who would be quenching my thirst.
I looked away then back. I had hoped when my eyes fell upon her again that it was a case of mistaken identity. Maybe I had identified with Sunnie so strongly today that I was projecting her face onto the poor soul before me. Studying her intently, I came to the one conclusion I didn’t want to acknowledge. It was definitely her.
I tried again as I ran my hand across her face. Her eyes were closed so I couldn’t determine eye color, but her smile was fresh in my mind still. The smoky eye makeup was gone and there was no lipstick, but it was her. The pumped up hair was not as meticulously placed and the textured tresses not as sharp, but it was her. Damn, it was her.
The piano refrain tinkled in the air as I traced my fingertips across her lips. Closing my eyes, I found myself stroking her cheek. At least thirty more minutes had passed.
Sunnie was so peaceful and beautiful lying on the table.
My thirst was building the more I touched her. Soon I was shaking. My fangs started growing without me having to think them into place. The animal in me was in control. I wanted her more than I needed her blood.
I seemed removed from my actions as I cradled her head in my hands. Sweeping her hair away, slowly I lowered my mouth to her shoulder touching the delicate white skin with my mouth. Opening partially, the flesh parted as the fangs pressed into her. She never acknowledged any pain nor did she wake. There was a moderate change in the subtle sounds coming from the monitor. It eventually stabilized as her heart rate leveled back into a resting rate.
Blood started filling my mouth in drops then a flowing stream rolled across my tongue into my throat. Deliciously, the rate of flow increased bathing my mouth and face in warm, wet blood. A little escaped, falling onto the table. The taste was stirringly salty and coppery with a hint of metallic aftertaste, but it was the smell that was exhilarating.
Sunnie’s was a mix of aromatic scents backed with the smell of pomegranate. Inhaling deeply as I drank, it hit me. The smell in the room wasn’t cleaner or piped in atmosphere. The Inhibitor was no longer working which was fueling my desire for her.
Through the speakers another time reminder from the robotic chimed, “One hour
I was no longer thirsty though I continued to consume her as I stroked the skin of her
neck and shoulder. The touching had become automatic as I drank. The added sensation was exquisite.
I had to stop. Sunnie’s vitals were fine, but I wasn’t sure how much more I could take from her without injuring her.
Disconnection wasn’t as easy as I expected. My mind moved back and forth between the rational thought that I was bleeding her dry and the need for survival. The thought that I needed to stay was possessive. The blood was calling to me. She was calling to me. Further into her I fell, I realized I was unable to stop.
A heavy thud at the door saved her life.
Liam slurred, “Dude, come on now. We are almost out of time. Shit, I need some more. Give me some more.”
Another voice I wasn’t sure of responded, “I think you have had enough. You have to leave some for us.”
I heard him and others giggling as I disengaged. Rising partially from her shoulder, I admired her slumbering. Intuitively, I lapped at a single rolling drop of blood as it fell down her shoulder, catching it before it slipped onto the table. The blood was starting to cool, but still the faint scent of honeysuckle was present. It took all of my self-control to not drink from her again.
My hands were covered in blood and there was a surety my face was as well. Looking around I noticed a basin of water and stack of hand towels on the second level. Taking a towel, I used the water to cleanse my face and hands.
When I had finished, I turned to Sunnie. The wounds I had inflicted on her shoulder were already closed. Blood was dried to her skin which I gently scrubbed away. Tenderly, I repositioned the hair and began to recover her face when a new feeling took hold of my heart. There was a new bond between us that was unexplainable. There was another lighter knock on the door. The taste of her blood still upon my lips, I contemplated a possible new future, but as I smoothed the skin of her face one last time I knew the truth. Knowing the monster I had become, I knew that might never get the opportunity again to be with her. I bent to feel her lips against mine. I tried to step away, but I stumbled. The blood had made me drunk though not as bad as when I had drunk from Darby. Regaining my composure, I recovered her face before turning to the door.
Staring at her, I realized the weekend was going to be incredibly long.
Adjusting my clothing and checking to see if I had missed any blood during the cleanup, I mumbled, “Liam was right. This night has been epic, though I hope he is wrong about tomorrow night.”
My review of book 1:
What an interesting concept. Hmm, think mad scientists meets technology and gets their hands on a fairy tale book! LOL well, the title is called Created because that’s exactly what happens, Monsters are Created… For sport and entertainment. And they are held in a place called “the farm” where rich people can hunt them. Ya know, that’s pretty damn scary!
I very much liked the concept. Take a human, make him your “experiment”, and thus, myths are born into reality. Vampires and werewolves are real life, and they have names like GV3, meaning generation vampire 3. It’s interesting, if not scary. And when Ethan, a young man awakes after a seriously tragic accident of hunting, he isn’t a human anymore, or not fully human. I like Ethan’s voice. He kept me interested in the story. He’s got a likable personality and he’s in a real tight spot.
Being the debut of the series, I found a few little holes BUT that didn’t take away from the story for me. I still enjoyed it. The writing has a style all it’s own. I liked that you were seeing what Ethan was seeing so it made for a more real appearance. Things were described as Ethan encountered them and that saved on big information dumps or long winded descriptions. I also like that it’s an urban fantasy type story but mixes some horror in there. And it’s young adult so it can easily fit into a lot of different reader’s genres. It even has a little romance 🙂
Overall, I enjoyed the story and I look forward to picking up book 2, which I very much like the cover for LOL. I’m thinking with that crazy themed plot and that twist at the end, something big may come for book 2! 🙂 it’ll be a fun ride 🙂 3.5 PAWS from me!!
I hope you guys enjoyed today and I wish you all happy reading!! I know this little note is personal, but I’d like to wish a HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY DAD!! He did gimme half my genetics lol 🙂 later gators!!