Each month, the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Spotlights one of its most supportive authors. The Spotlight Author spot for January is occupied by Vashti Quiroz-Vega.
Please show your support by purchasing her book, The Fall of Lilith, reading and reviewing it.
In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels.
If you think you know their story, think again.
Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.
Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.
Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.
“[A] compelling narrative that . . . strays far from traditional biblical text . . . A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”—Kirkus Reviews
THE FALL OF LILITH
Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of fantasy, horror, and suspense/thriller. When she isn’t creating extraordinary worlds or fleshing out powerful characters, she enjoys reading, traveling, kayaking, photography, and seeking adventures. She lives in Florida with her husband and fur baby, a Pomeranian named Scribbles (who’s also her writing buddy).
Facebook – http://on.fb.me/1g0da7d
Website – http://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com
“I once wrote a story that killed a town.”
A Town’s Perception
by Vashti Quiroz-Vega
It began with the blood moon.
One evening I lifted my eyes to the firmament, and the moon appeared to have doubled in size. It was crimson in color and its reflection painted the skies cerise. Afterward, all manner of curious phenomena began to occur and nothing would ever be the same in my small town.
Strange swirls of iridescent colors began to form in the night skies. During the day the sun shone purplish-blue and colored the skies indigo. It was like something had transported us to a different planet overnight.
When I saw the ships in the sky, I knew it wouldn’t be long before they came for us, and I was right.
In the middle of the day, they came. I watched them disembark their ships, small groups at a time. They resembled men of diminutive stature with large heads. They appeared to waddle rather than walk. They wore weird metallic suits with respirators attached to their faces. They walked down the street and entered my neighbors’ homes. Screams and wails disrupted our normally quiet town.
I rushed to my daughter’s side. She sat on the bed in her room, stared ahead at nothingness and wailed, as she had done for days.
My poor child. Her mind was not equipped to handle this invasion. I held her tight. I would not allow her capture. Who knew what these small creatures were capable of doing to her––to us.
I pushed the barrel of the gun up against her temple to keep my hand from trembling. The feel of the cold metal against her flesh did not stop her wails. Poor thing, her voice was so hoarse. I would extinguish the fire in her gullet.
I pulled the trigger. She fell on her side, her eyes still open wide as if she still saw this nightmare. I shut her eyelids and finally gave her peace.
It was my turn. I’d convinced myself, like so many others in this town, that this was the only way out. I was the last to take action since I was taught to always have hope, but even those of us who always have hope had given up.
The priest took most of the townsfolk. After his last sermon, the priest instructed the congregation to get on their knees and pray. While they were praying, the priest left the church and locked them in. Then he set it ablaze.
Pitiful man of the cloth, his mind also handled the crisis in a bad way. He burned those people alive: men and women, young and old. He had invited my daughter and I to attend his last sermon, and I agreed to go, but my daughter was sick, so we stayed home and were saved from a horrific death.
I live a few blocks from the church, and I heard the screams and howls of the burning souls. I ran down the street and noticed there was no one sitting on their front porches, no children playing hopscotch, no dogs being walked. As I neared the church the screams grew louder. I met with a fiery inferno. The stench of burning flesh and hair made me retch. I released the contents of my stomach right there on the street. What did it matter? There was no one around to watch me. I saw the priest stagger from the back of the burning building. My stomach was tied in knots.
“Demons! The demons are upon us,” he shouted. “If you remain they will take your soul!”
“What are you talking about?” I backed away from him. “There are people burning alive in there!” I ran toward the church’s double doors. The heat of the blaze stopped me. I sobbed helplessly. Those were my neighbors. My friends.
“You have to burn! Otherwise, the demons will take your soul. I burned them because the fire will purify their spirits.” He wore a demented expression.
I froze and stared at him with wide eyes and raised brow. Then my hands flew to cover my mouth upon recognition of what he had done. My legs faltered and I fell to my knees. I trembled uncontrollably as the priest took steps toward me.
I held up my shaky hands before me. “Stop! Don’t come any closer!” I made an attempt to get to my feet, but my knees buckled.
“My dear, you must not remain alive. The demons will take your soul.” His voice was eerily calm. He continued to walk in my direction.
“You’re right!” I bobbed my head. “I know I must die. I must tend to my daughter’s demise also.”
“What? Your young daughter is still alive?”
“Yes, she waits for me at home.”
“No, no, no!” The man of the cloth pulled on his sleeves and shook his head like a madman. “You must go to her. It may be too late already. The demons do not waste time. A young soul like hers is a prime target. Go to her! If her soul is still intact, take her life and then take your own.”
He took a lighter out and flicked it on. He bent over and put the small flame against the hem of his cassock.
I tried to scream as I watched the little flame spread and grow on the flammable cloth of his priestly vestment, but I opened my mouth and sounds did not leave my lips. I gathered my strength and lifted myself off the ground. I wanted to run. Instead, I barely escaped the howling priest who floundered, engulfed in flames.
I staggered past him, noxious smoke attacking my nostrils. The stench was so great, I could taste it.
The very next day, the little men came.
It’s time now. My daughter is gone. The entire town is gone.
A gunshot is heard. Men in white lab coats and facemasks run into a young girl’s bedroom. On the twin bed, dressed in pink, lies a pre-teen girl and a thirty-something-year-old woman. Both females are deceased due to gunfire wounds to the head.
“We’re too late,” one of the men in lab coats said.
“Well, maybe it is for the best.” His partner nodded. “There is nothing we could have done to reverse the effects of the chemical agent.”
“It’s a shame what happened in this town.”
“Yes, but how could we know Solution K would have this effect on them?”
“No, we had no way of knowing that the solution we prepared to cause infertility in the men and women of this town would turn into a powerful, hallucinogenic, mind-altering drug when combined with their water.”
“We’ll have to look into the town’s filtering system before we try this again in the next small town.”
“I agree, but let’s not allow this small speed bump to deter our cause.”
“Doctors,” a young man interrupts, “you asked for bottled water?” Both men nodded and each took a bottle. The young assistant leaves.
“Of course it won’t deter us. Our cause to save the planet by ending overpopulation goes beyond a few casualties.”
“Well, I wouldn’t exactly call five hundred people a few casualties, but such things happen in the name of science.”
“Absolutely.” The scientist gulps down his bottled water. Suddenly, he sputters. His eyes widen. “Thi-this water was bottled right here in this town!”
The other scientist fumbles with the bottle, trying to see the manufacturer’s name.
“How could this small town have a bottled water company?” Openmouthed and hands trembling, the scientist stares at the lettering on the bottle. He reads, “‘We take pride in our fresh, clean mountain water and we use the highest quality water filtration systems.’ They bottled this water four days ago.” He drops the bottle and it crashes to the ground.
“No!” His partner clasped his hands over his head. “We put Solution K in the water supply seven days ago!”
“Maybe it won’t affect us in the same way as the townspeople.” His voice wavers as he stared at his partner while rubbing his neck. His body trembles at the thought of having ingested the solution that caused all the townspeople to go mad and kill themselves and each other.
The other scientist stared at him, unnervingly silent.
Suddenly, the first scientist recoils. “Stay away from me! Don’t come near me. You will never take me alive!”
“What is the matter with you?” The second scientist narrows his eyes and shrinks back. “Oh––no.” His face slackens as realization hits.
“You’ll never take me alive, Nazi!” His partner continues shouting, grabs a lamp and charges.
The scientist wrestles with his crazed partner and seizes the lamp from him. The madman bites him on the shoulder. The scientist beats his partner on the head and back repeatedly with the lamp until the madman finally unclenches his teeth and falls to the ground dead.
The scientist falls back against the wall and wraps his arms around himself. He slides down the wall, landing in a crumpled mess on the floor. He holds his head in his hands and stares at his partner’s limp body and cracked skull, whose blood meanders toward him. Rivers fall from his eyes. His body shakes and convulses.
His eyes do not reflect what lays before him but instead, he sees what his mind perceives.
The flames of hell surround him, while demons dance around and torment him with pain.
Moral of the story––Karma’s a bitch.
For more information about the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, visit the website.