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Authors: annie nadine

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Soul Snatcher

BOOK: Soul Snatcher
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Soul Snatcher

By Annie Nadine

This book was self-published
by the author Annie Nadine Davis.

Copyright © Annie Nadine
2012

All rights
reserved.

The right for Annie Nadine
Davis to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted
by her under the
Copyright Amendment
(Moral Rights) Act 2000
.

The moral right of the
author has been asserted.

This work is copyright.
Apart from any use as permitted under the
Copyright Act 1968
, no part may be
reproduced, copied, scanned, stored in a retrieval system, recorded
or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior written
permission of the publisher.

Davis, Annie.

Soul Snatcher / Annie
Nadine.

Cover artwork done by
Timothy Ayres.

Cover images © Timothy Ayres
2012.

Copyleft © 2008-2012
BCD/MFA for heading font metal macabre, free to download and use
from:
http://www.boltcutterdesign.com
.

To Heather and
Jeff

Thank you

PROLOGUE

ITALY

1803

On a cold and lonely night
in a rundown inn, two seemingly normal men sat at the bar on stools
stained with blood and liquor. The rickety, old establishment fell
by the wayside and well off the beaten path. It was run down but
well-liked by the local drunks. The place was surrounded by trees
because this part of town hadn’t been developed yet and it was well
hidden, allowing the patrons a certain amount of privacy. The
customers were particularly rowdy and most of the rooms in the
brothel upstairs were full.

Badenoch sat at the bar
with a drink in his hand. The glass was dirty, just like the place
itself and the people in it. He preferred to go by his nickname,
Baden and he had worked very hard so no one knew his actual name.
He hated his given name, it just reminded him of his past back in
England.

His hair appeared coal
black but if you looked closer it shimmered midnight blue. He kept
it shorter than most men because he didn’t want to resemble the
people around him in any way. His eyes were the clearest azure, a
striking contrast compared to his dark hair. His skin was flawless
and pale, his face rough but perfect and his body was strong and
sturdy. He was dressed in simple black trousers, a ragged grey coat
and a white peasant shirt, not tucked of course because he didn’t
care what anyone thought of him. He wanted to be nothing but a
lingering nightmare that haunted anyone who came across him. His
towering height made him all the more imposing and helped to
accomplish his tormenting wake.

Baden didn’t like to draw
attention to himself more than he had to, he preferred his solitude
above all things. Which is why he felt uncomfortable as he sat
silently next to his companion, Oliver.

Oliver was someone who
loved attention and would do almost anything to get it. He scoped
the room full of outcasts and the unwanted, looking for an easy
target. He was indolent that way, he was strong enough to choose
anyone but he would always pick the weakling. But anyone was lucky
if they caught his attention opposed to Baden’s. Baden was not
someone you wanted noticing you, no matter how tempting he
was.

Anyone who saw them
together would think the two men were bothers because of the
similarities in hair colour and mannerisms, Baden hated that. But
they were far from it, the only thing they had in common was
what
they
were.

A young, drunken woman,
who worked at the brothel, had just finished with her last client
and stumbled up to Baden in hopes that he would be her next. Her
dress had a plunging neckline that accentuated her abundant assets,
helping to assist in her particular occupation. She fell against
him suggestively as he sipped his drink but he ignored her efforts.
He could smell her soul and it was nothing but decay and desire
wrapped in self-loathing and it made him feel sick. He hated the
stench of people’s souls and being able to sense them only
strengthened his resolve to dispose of the ones he despised the
most.

You see, Baden and Oliver
were different to many around them. But Baden, he was special even
among his own kind. He was renowned by others like him and all they
wanted to know was, why was he so different? But no one had the
answer, not even Baden. He was an outcast from every other and he
didn’t even know who to blame for it. So the blame fell on everyone
just as his hatred did, fuelling his degraded opinion of the human
race further.

“Get away from me,” he
said quietly without looking at the lady of the night.

“But Sir…” She said trying
to sound appealing as her accent rolled around the words. But all
he could smell was her soul and it was almost smothering him. She
walked her two fingers up his arm towards his collar but he grabbed
her hand before it made it to its destination. He calmly turned his
head and looked at her with those cold, blue eyes. Eyes that had
not shown any emotion other than hate in two years.

“Do…not…touch…me,” he
growled, enunciating each word.

The bar was loud around
him and no one noticed his treatment of her, not that anyone would
care if they had. He started to grip her hand tighter and she
couldn’t keep the pain from playing across her face. Her eyes
brimmed with tears but she knew better than to make a sound, if she
was caught up in any trouble she would be fired. When he could
sense the fear in her he shoved her hand back towards her and she
took a few steps back as she cradled her hand to her chest. He had
broken one of her fingers but he didn’t care, in fact he was almost
glad. He stared at her until she went running back upstairs to her
room.

“Baden,” his friend
scolded. Oliver placed a hand on Baden’s shoulder but he shoved it
off, walking out into the night without saying a word. Oliver
rolled his eyes, he was used to his brooding friend’s moods and
wasn’t concerned in the slightest.

Baden stood outside
regarding his surroundings, seeing nothing but trees. Now that he
had finally decided to leave he just had to choose where to go. He
was especially tense on this particularly cold night. It had been
exactly two years since he had seen anyone from his past, since he
had been changed. He pulled his collar high around his neck and dug
his hands deep into his pockets, chilled by the memories that
plagued. Even though he had been changed into an eternal creature
he still felt human in ways. Most of the sensations of humanity
were still there in creatures like him. Feeling cold or hot, smell
and taste…pain. But it was all intensified in his changed form.
Others like him could still be injured, and even killed by certain
methods, but he was different to even them. His life had been
altered in one moment of stupidity and now he made others pay the
price for that.

He took in a deep breath
of the cold air to sense what was around him, nothing but forest
and the subtle odor of the city in the distance that was crawling
with humans. The wind blew eerily through the trees but it did not
make him feel uneasy because he was the one everyone should be
afraid of.

“Baden!” Oliver called out
in fun as he stumbled from the inn. Oliver draped himself over his
friend’s shoulders playfully but Baden didn’t move, he stood
looking at this fiend he had picked up along his travels with
distaste written all over his face.

“You drink yourself stupid
every night like the other miscreants here,” Baden said as he
pushed Oliver away from him.

“And you are such a rotten
sport,” Oliver slurred, not offended in the slightest. He paused
for a moment and looked around, only just realising that it was
cold outside. “Give me your coat!” He demanded in a silly, drunken
fashion. Baden stared at him with his usual hatred and Oliver knew
not to push him. “What is your problem?” He asked.

They stood for a moment in
silence, hearing nothing but the breeze. Baden didn’t want to bring
up his past, he never let himself be vulnerable to anyone. When his
story had been found out it spread like wildfire but when he
started killing anyone who spoke of it around him everyone soon got
the idea to shut their mouths, in front of him at least. But Oliver
was never one to use good sense, so after remembering the date and
putting all the pieces together he blurted out his
suspicions.

“Oh…I see…” Oliver nodded
his head in realisation as he folded his arms across his chest to
fend off the cold. “You are sulking about what happened back in
England…all those years ago.”

“I suggest you and I go
our separate ways, Oliver,” Baden said watching the trees off in
the distance. Oliver stood there completely taken aback by his
words.

“Stop being absurd,”
Oliver brushed it off as nothing, refusing to believe it. Baden
finally looked at him to show how serious he was.

“You are just like every
other person I hate.” Baden kept his voice low and controlled. He
could feel Oliver’s anger mounting but he wasn’t afraid. When the
silence grew between them Baden decided there was nothing left to
say so he turned to leave.

Oliver stood there
seething. He wasn’t just going to let him walk away, after
everything he had done for Baden. He ran after him, brutally
grabbing him from behind. He shoved him into the closest tree to
restrain him and the whole tree shuddered from the impact, causing
a sea of leaves to drift down on the icy breeze. Oliver grabbed him
around the neck with one hand and used his body to hold Baden
against the tree.

“I made you everything you
are today,” Oliver hissed. “Your name is known because of me and
you are not just walking away from everything I have made.” Baden
could feel Oliver’s desire for recognition and fame. Oliver
resented Baden because he had the power and reputation that he had
always wanted for himself.

But Oliver’s protest was
useless. Baden was faster and stronger than Oliver, he was stronger
than everyone he had come across, and he had had enough. He grabbed
Oliver’s arm and broke it in two places before Oliver even realised
what was happening. He didn’t have enough time to gather himself
together before Baden shoved his chest to push him away then kicked
his legs out from under him. He had pushed him so hard that two of
Oliver’s ribs were broken from the violent outburst.

“I am sick of being your
pet, Oliver,” Baden said as he stood over him. Oliver looked up
from where he lay on the ground and tried to move his arm, waiting
for it to heal. His ribs were stinging but they were well on their
way to being restored. “If you try to find me again you will be in
a far worse state than you are now,” Baden threatened before he
turned and started walking away.

“I know who made you like
this,” Oliver called out. He was trying to desperately bargain back
his control, knowing that Baden had been trying to find who had
changed him. “She told you her name was Mary but she has another
name…”

Even though Baden could
sense truth in Oliver’s words he still didn’t believe him. Anyone
can believe their own lies, this was just another way that he was
trying to force Baden to stay. So he walked away into the cold
night, the light from the tavern passing over him as he walked by.
The commotion of the inn quickly faded into the darkness as he
left. He heard Oliver reluctantly rejoin the crowd and Baden
couldn’t help the relief that he felt, knowing that he would never
have to see Oliver again.

Baden wandered through the
night aimlessly. He wasn’t sure where to go but as his hatred
festered he was beginning to form a plan in his mind. Before he
could come to any solid ideas a fierce wind picked up suddenly,
blowing his coat and hair out of control. Before he could take
cover, it vanished just as quickly as it had appeared. He paused
when he realised someone else was now present.

“Baden,” a woman’s voice
said harshly through the night.

He turned
around to see a woman standing amongst the trees close by. Her hair
was so blonde it was not only close to white but it looked as if it
was glowing. Her skin was pale, almost like ice and had a slight
silver shimmer to it. Her features were sharp and commanding, her
eyes so blue they looked close to ice-white. The stern set of the
stranger’s jaw was unnerving and for a moment he felt as if he was
inferior, like she was judging him. There was something he didn’t
like about her…she reminded him of his cantankerous aunt who used
to reprimand him as a child. He had never liked her and he was
already starting to feel quite the same about this
woman.

BOOK: Soul Snatcher
12.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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