A cat appeared at the threshold of the doorway.
A cat? A black cat? Are you fucking kidding me? How cliché.
Roger moved to swing his legs over the side of the bed, only he didn’t.
Body won’t obey. What the fuck?
You’re dreaming. Simple. Sleep paralysis. Told you.
This is no fucking sleep paralysis. This is happening.
The cat arched its back and rubbed itself against the doorjamb in a way that sent a shiver of dread through Roger.
Sexual. Can feel the lust pouring off the thing…
The cat stretched, yawned lazily, the yellow slits of its eyes glaring in the dim light coming through the gauzy curtains covering the bedroom windows.
The cat seemed to grin at him as if sensing his discomfort.
It walked lazily over to the side of the bed, coiled itself, then leapt up. It sat for a moment, staring at him, tail twitching, unblinking eyes staring into his, lips turned up to reveal its sharp little teeth.
Those eyes…reaching deep into me, reading my secrets, measuring the weight of my soul…
The cat stood and put a paw on Roger’s leg.
Cold shot through him and he would have gasped if his body had allowed him.
The cat grinned up at him, yellow eyes glittering, lips curled back, and took another step.
It walked up Roger’s legs, the weight of the thing tremendous, out of proportion, the cold shock of its presence icy, penetrating to the soul.
Thing weighs as much as a grown woman…
How can that be?
Dreaming. That’s how. Sleep paralysis.
No, this is real. The goddamn cat a familiar or whatever the fuck they call them.
Don’t be an idiot. Wake up!
The cat seemed to relish the confusion and pain Roger was suffering, lingering with its paws on each of his thighs.
Then it lowered its head and butted his breastbone.
Pain shot through his chest and for a moment he was certain his heart had stopped.
The cat headbutted his sternum again and he found himself staring at the ceiling, unable to move, shadows from the streetlamp outside making ghostly shapes as the curtains swayed from the breeze coming through the cracked open window.
The shadows began to take shape: a ring of figures, dancing, flickering as if they were shadows cast by firelight. Trees in the background.
Smoke? Wood smoke and something else…flesh and hair and…
The scene suddenly so real Roger felt he’d been transported in place and time.
Nonsense. Wake up!
The cat walked up his belly to sit on his chest.
Weight tremendous. Can’t. Breathe.
The cat stretched.
And kept stretching, growing impossibly tall, changing, morphing into…
An old woman, breasts stretched out tubes of flabby flesh hanging down to her soft, sagging stomach, swinging as she straddled Roger.
Those yellow eyes stared into his, and the creature’s mouth opened, teeth a cross between a cat’s and human, blackened, rotten, with sharp fangs intact.
A foul odor issued from her mouth and added to the sense of suffocation. Roger’s mind began to fray under the onslaught, claustrophobia claiming him, panic rising.
The thing on top of him cackled again, sending a gout of foul breath into his face.
Roger tried to buck her off. To gag. To cry for help. To breathe.
Going to suffocate. Going to die any moment now.
The deep spot in his inner self was alive with panic, yammering at him:
Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!
The thing on top of him stiffened.
At first, Roger thought it was nearing an orgasm of some sort, but no…
Another presence had arrived…
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Ghosts of a Coven Past by Peter J. White Virtual Book Tour
Peter J. White
Date of Publication: 12/12/2022
Number of pages: 249
Word Count: 62,000
Cover Artist: Martina Sutter-Dalton
Tagline: A powerful witch with a mission to bring the child of Satan into the world lies dead and buried under an 1885 rowhouse. When Roger Nimanator moves in, the old witch discerns in him an open door to the spirit world.
A powerful witch with a mission to bring the child of Satan into the world lies dead and buried under an 1885 rowhouse in Allentown, Pennsylvania, held in place by a combination of hex and the spirit of the young woman she had impregnated. But when Roger Nimanator and his family take possession of the house, the old witch discerns in him an open door to the spirit world.
The old witch gets a grip on Roger and begins to move in the world again, her spirit hungry for vengeance and for the coming of the Dark Lord. But Roger has awakened to his abilities and has gained a powerful ally in a modern-day witch and healer. Together they are determined to put the old witch to rest for eternity.
But the witch is wily and she has found allies of her own—a legion of them. Including one of Roger’s twin boys.
A master of manipulation and deceit, with Satanic powers growing, the old witch is on the verge of bringing her vision to reality. All she has to do is feed Roger’s doubt and the world—and his soul—are hers and the Dark Lord’s for the taking.
Peter J. White was born in Colorado and raised in SE Alaska. He has degrees in Education, French, and an MFA in Creative Writing. He taught ELL in Bangkok, Thailand for six years, and currently teaches high school English in Washington State. Hobbies, past and present, include writing, bicycling, mountain climbing, kickboxing, MMA, and yoga.
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