I have been working on a paranormal mystery/romance novel that is almost finished. Here is the prologue.
Crimson Widow Lesley Kluchin
Elizabeth Kain abruptly awakened from a hauntingly real nightmare. Her face beaded with perspiration, her hair drenched in sweat as a cool palm wiped away the moisture dripping from her brow. She lay motionless, reliving the lingering memories of a recurring vision that had plagued her for decades. Images flashed before her of a dashingly handsome gentleman whose face remained hidden in the shadows. His silken hair blew savagely around an angular profile, permitting a hint of his strong muscular physique to peek through a tightly pressed shirt. Crisp white linen lay beneath a lengthy midnight blue duster that whipped about violently from the force of the evening wind.
Tonight the dream had gone further, allowing her to observe more; unveiling just a hint beyond the mystery that she couldn’t quite grasp, plummeting her down into yet another layer of the black hole that was her subconscious.
On other nights when she had the dream, she could glimpse a portion of the cliff where the man stood. This evening, she saw that the grass beneath his worn leather boots had turned brown and was growing sparse in patches.
Slowly, Liz inched her way up onto her elbows to keep the room from spinning while flashes of the dream continued to invade her consciousness. It occurred to her that while asleep, she had observed the mystery man almost as an outsider, looking down at him from above and studying every single detail below; every blade of grass, every crumpled leaf on the ground, the muted colors and smooth texture of the fabric he wore on clothing that appeared to be from another time. In her reverie, the region was visibly familiar, and yet she still couldn’t place the location. It gnawed and tugged at her brain but was just an echo of a memory that had vanished. Some nights, the images were clearer, but this night, she noticed the foliage around her was in full bloom, glistening as it swayed in the breeze; revealing that it must have been early fall. The cool crisp weather, the leaves on the nearby trees had started to change yet most were still intact. And HE was staring at her with a gaze somewhere between anger and anguish.
Her breathing began to intensify and she closed her eyes tightly wishing she could descend back into the dream again, if only to catch another glimpse of him. But, even with the hopes of going back, there was also the fear that if she did fall asleep again, the painful agony and hurt upon leaving him would engulf her completely, and this time she would be too far-gone to recover. Somehow, she knew that this man, the beautiful creature on the hill, was saying goodbye to her, and was never returning, and that notion was utterly unbearable. She forced back a stifled cry of despair remembering her last glimpse at the perplexing specimen on the hill.
An eerie sensation deep within her suddenly made her vividly cognizant of all her newly awakened senses, and they sang from every pore of her being. She sensed that in the dream the lovers had been intimate for the very last time, and her body ached to run to him and cling tightly so that he might hold her in his arms once more. Yet, she also knew that in the vision she was walking further and further away from the cliff and away from the man. Tonight she saw herself turn back and take one last glimpse at his image and she felt her heart crumble.
Her response was always the same, her chest tightened to where she couldn’t breathe, her heart pounded so rapidly that the beating sound blasted up into her ears like a thousands drums, and right before she yelled a gut-wrenching scream, she would fully awaken. Always startled, always knowing, yet not understanding. Still feeling his touch, still hurting from their separation, and filled with a vapid empty void that bored at the very core of her soul.
Elizabeth Kain sat up in bed, ran a shaking hand through drenched hair and let out a sob.
In the distance…. on the rooftop across the canal, stood the shaded figure of a man, He intently scrutinized Liz’s feminine form, which he clearly observed through the darkness and distance. As he surveyed every inch of her body, drinking in the delicate movements of the woman he had secretly watched over for the last 25 years, his stone-like features softened. She moved with the ethereal ease he had come to know so well. His face was fixed in a tormented grimace that came exceedingly close to exposing his suffering. Would he ever be able to stop loving her? Would this agony never end? He let out a sardonic laugh and realized at once that nothing ever ended for him, especially not the pain of losing her.
And so it was, on this night, like so many other nights over the last two and half decades, that Marco Trubiano looked up to the sky and let out a moaning howl before turning abruptly, and effortlessly gliding down the rooftop, landing with perfect proficiency onto the gravel below. Disappearing instantly out of sight as the dawn approached.