By Kelsey Ketch
Release Date: April 30th, 2021
New Adult Dark Fantasy Short Story
Summary from Goodreads:
Long before Charissa began her murderous rampage through history, she was a young woman living in ancient Alexandria.
Oppressed by society and cursed by the color of her hair, Charissa had hardly seen the world beyond the four walls of her home. So, when her husband leaves for extended military duty, she takes the opportunity to tour the city her brother once loved. Little does she know the Fates have other plans in store for her when she runs into an exotic woman in the Rhakotis District. The encounter will change her life forever.
Read an excerpt:
A soft heat mixed with a sweet metallic scent made my mouth water. My empty gut squirmed and rumbled. My eyes fluttered open only to find the room around me blurred. From what I could tell, I was lying on a piece of furniture covered in pillows, much like the seven couches of my husband’s andron. An image moved above me, and something soft and sticky pressed against my lips. A honey-like fluid rushed into my mouth. I swallowed greedily, letting it nourish my dry throat. As my stomach filled, my senses sharpened. The rhythmic drums vibrated in my ears. The heat and metallic scent interweaved with myrrh, cinnamon, and frankincense, becoming intoxicating.
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To begin, I want to state that my characters, though fictional, become real in my imagination. They have their own thoughts, their own emotions, and their own secrets even I am not privy too. In my mind, they are their own person.
As the antagonist of Dark Reflections, Charissa has not been an easy character to get along with. If the topic is not about one of her bloody victories or conquests throughout history, she remains closed lipped about her past. I always felt this was because she didn’t want to seem vulnerable. Not in anyone’s eyes. And the details of her life in ancient Egypt and with Sekhmet appeared to be her Achilles’s heel. Still, I’ve been wanting to write Charissa’s backstory since Dark Reflections. And when readers’ reviews revealed they wished they could see things through Charissa’s eyes, I figured I could try again with a short story.
It was Sekhmet, who actually started sharing small bits and pieces of the events from her point of view and told stories Charissa shared with her. I wrote these down, but it was still like only having a few random puzzle pieces scattered on a table. They didn’t explain Charissa’s thought line or what her life was like. So, I started my research into Alexandra during the Hellenistic era: how the city was designed, how the Greek rulers blended religions, and what daily life could have been like for normal citizens. I became particularly interested in the social structure, woman’s lives, and the several districts that separated the people and their cultures. Eventually, as I conducted my research and attempted to apply the information, Charissa finally decided to open up. Not about everything from her past, but enough to write about the day she met Sekhmet, a little about brother and father, and of course, the night she was thrown out of Egypt. I could tell she was uncomfortable sharing even that small amount of information. But I think she also felt if I’m really going to write about her, she wanted me to write the story right.
I still don’t know a lot about Charissa’s story. I’m not sure I ever will or if she will reveal a few hints as I continue to work on the other short stories for the Dark Reflections Short Story Collection. But I knew from day one she was a complicated character. At least, now, I understand her a little better than when I was writing Dark Reflections.
5 Winners will receive an e-copy of Dark Reflections by Kelsey Ketch!
About the Author:
Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist in the state of North Carolina. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.
For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.
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