Ramos had never listened to the drums before until Alisa crossed his path. Nor did he cross the path of the demon who he shared his town with. However, when Alisa came to help her sister, something about her drew him. He had to keep her safe even though the demon had first claim.

Alisa just wanted to help her sister fix up the new house she bought. With the townspeople acting weirder and her sister going a bit whacky, Alisa turns to the only man who can help her. Ramos.
Together they face the darkness in the town. When the drums start, Alisa is drawn to them to learn how she is the key to defeating the demon even if it means her soul.




Excerpt from "Shadow Beat"

Slashes of gold and orange cut across the horizon as the last vestiges of the day surrendered to the night. He licked his lips. Hunger burned deep within his stomach crawling like mobile razor blades along his veins. It had been too long since he had fed. Ramos had been too lazy to seek his sheltered sleeping place so he had fallen into bed to find the solace in rest. It hadn’t been a restful one. The darkness had slithered into his dreams and warned him once more of the consequences if he engaged with anyone inside of the house. The focal point of the land it claimed as its home. He fought it locked within the dream state of the day pressing upon him. When he did, it had fueled his hunger.
His gums tingled as his fangs descended. Saliva gathered On the back of his tongue at the anticipation of taking a body. The disturbance at Bryne’s would have to wait until he satiated his thirst. Ramos let his body destabilize until he was mist. He slipped out of the house through an open crack in the floorboards.
Once he was outside, he drifted with fog coming off the mountains. In this form the hunger was a small nag in the back of his mind. Hovering with the darkness he extended his senses to the life around him. There were a few campers a few miles away deep in the woods where they were not supposed to be. He knew because the land belonged to him. He had acquired it over many years and adjoined the nearest state park. He enjoyed hunting here as often as he could. It brought him tranquility knowing no one would find the bodies unless they looked very hard. And he had a few skeletons in his closet. No Trespassing were posted. All access to his property was gated off. If anyone was foolish enough to step onto his land, then he was not going to deny his right to feed. And it was all in the next town so the entity had no claim on the land or who he found on it.
He focused his body from mist into f a wolf and stalked the night. He was low to the ground, but his sense of smell was heightened. He moved slowly through the underbrush, not to spook the campers. They weren’t campers at all. Instead he found a group of old time mountain men who thought it would be great set up a still deep within the forest. They had breached his land. The sharp sting of alcohol stung his nose. He snarled low so they wouldn’t hear them. How dare they trespass. They will soon understand what it means to cross me. With each footfall Ramos shifted his shape to a man. He stood behind a tree. The two were in their mid-fifties. One had on a tattered ball cap. The other had a beard that reached the center of his chest. The body odor emanating from them mixed with scent of the cooking barley curled his nose. The scent of their blood pushed a rush of excitement through him. It almost felt like he had a pulse.
“Hey Bub, you really think this place is okay? It gives me the creeps.” The one with the ball cap asked.
“Hush. I told you there’s nothing to worry about. You losing your nerve? I thought you wanted to make some money.”
“I do, but…you’ve heard the same stories about these woods we all did growing up. Something dark lives within them. Can’t you feel it?” The firelight flickered off his face. The tightened features and his weary eyes showed his scared expression. He shifted back and forth on his feet.
Ramos chuckled. You have no idea what lurks in the dark. His fangs descended. This time he didn’t will them back into his mouth. The lust for blood came upon him, but he didn’t want to spook the prey yet. At least not show them his true face.
“Idiot. Those are folktales the old biddies tell us to keep us from going out in the woods at night. ‘Oh look, there’s the Mothman. He’s going to take you away with him. Over there is the Swamp Ape. He’s going to eat you. The mountain lights are the souls of dead warriors seeking revenge on those whose took their land.’ It’s all a bunch of malarkey. There is nothing to fear in the night. You got your rifle. I’ve got mine. The only thing in these woods are cougars and bears. We got them covered.”
His kicked at a pinecone a t his feet. “I guess.”
“Gentlemen, do you have a permit to be on this land?” Ramos stepped closer to the fire, but remained in the shadows so they couldn’t see his face.
Both men jumped from his presence. Bub grabbed his rifle and aimed it at him. His companion remained calmed. “Sure do.”
“Great. Can I see it?”
“Well, I’m not sure if I have it on me.”
Ramos crossed his arms over his chest. “If you don’t have a permit, you have permission from the land owner, I presume.”
“Not exactly.”
“Then I suggest you collect your still and the rest of your things and get out.”
“Look, Mister, I’m not sure what you’re doing here the middle of the night, but—”
“Time for talk is over. You had your warning.” Ramos lunged at the one talking to him. A gunshot went off. It split the silence of the night and nearly deafened him. A stab of pain pierced Ramos’ shoulder, but it didn’t stop him. He landed on top of the man who thought he had the authority to be on his land. Ramos sunk his fangs deep into his throat, tearing a couple of gouges. The blood helped revive him. The throbbing in his shoulder passed as threw the depleted corpse to the ground.





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