**Blog exclusive excerpt**
Here's a little taste of my villian for y'all...
He felt the earth around him, cold and unforgiving through his blood-soaked tunic; his cheek came to know every grain of dirt, every pebble and piece of debris. He could smell the musty dung of animal scat mixed into the loam, even over the bitter scent of his own blood. He felt his heart beating, the interval between each heartbeat growing longer until his pulse all but stopped and Daysen knew he would live no more.
The assassin prepared himself for the gods’ final justice. But instead of blackness and eternal punishment, Daysen felt the edges of his belly wound begin to burn. His heart picked up an erratic beat. He unearthed himself, and pulled up his shirt; an apparition of one of Lord Nemenon’s demons rode the ragged edges of his raw cut. Needing contact with flesh to solidify, the creature dug its claws into Daysen’s skin, pulling the edges of his wound together.
The instant it touched Daysen’s flesh, the creature transformed from spirit to being. The demon’s black eyes pierced Daysen with its gaze.
“Your job is not finished,” it hissed, its forked tongue fluttering. “You will live only as long as I permit. If I leave your body, I will once again become a spirit and will take yours with me. Should you fail to do my bidding, you will face my punishment…”
The demon’s sentence trailed off. It began to fade again, like a shadow dissipating in sunlight, filtering through the assassin’s flesh until only it glittering black claws remained solid, cinching Daysen’s wound closed like crude stitches.
Daysen lay still in shock, his chest heaving with new life even as the crimson welt left in the demon’s wake wept dark blood and pus, as though infected. He was infected, he realized―with evil. He felt the demon inside his body. Even Daysen’s heartbeat was quick and shallow, echoing that of the creature. The solider even felt the demon in his mind, its talons digging into his brain and its snarling lips whispering over his lobes evil things beyond imagining.
The demon arrested his death, and now Daysen was in its clutches, forced forever to do its bidding. Such was the price of continued existence. He was a puppet suspended on strings of death. As the demon invaded the assassin’s soul, Daysen’s human form changed―he began to resemble his internal tormentor. Daysen was now little more than a vessel, filled with something malevolent. As a glass bottle displays its contents, so, too, did Daysen. His lips curled in a nasty sneer; his eyes sunken, piercing and black. Whatever remnant of humanity remained within Daysen lay buried deep in his heart, a place the demon considered useless to invade.