We’re hosting an excerpt from “The Goddess and The Great Beast”. We hope you enjoy the excerpt!
I turned left off the Finchley Road into West End Lane. Not far to go now, I thought. I realised I’d been staring at the pavement for the last half mile, so I looked up. As I did so it occurred to me that I could hear footsteps behind me. They were just slightly out of sync with mine and utterly conspicuous in the otherwise silent night. I stopped. So did they. I looked straight ahead and saw another unexpected sight for this time of night. There was a man on the street corner ahead watching me. It was difficult to see clearly, but he seemed to have Arabic features. He was standing in the murky glow of a street lamp and I suddenly felt as if I was in a Hollywood gangster movie.
I glanced behind to see who was following me but, of course, there was no-one there, and when I turned back the man under the street light had gone as well. I shook my head, blew out my cheeks with a deep breath and lifted my face to the damp night sky. The cold drizzle felt cleansing on my face, flushed with the whiskey and the brisk walk. I looked around again, but I was completely alone on the streets of north London at three on a Saturday morning, tired, paranoid and slightly drunk.
I hurried on now, keen to be in my bed, and was home in a couple of minutes. By the time I stumbled in through the door my brain was on the point of total capitulation to the overwhelming forces of sleep. I didn’t bother switching the light on, I just discarded my clothes in an unruly heap on the floor and collapsed into bed. I could still see a dim glow, however, and it was much too early for the dawn.
Of course! Not turning on the light meant I hadn’t noticed the curtains were still open, which allowed the sickly streetlamp pallor of the north London night to seep into my room. Sighing, I dragged myself out of bed and went over to close them. I didn’t even look out. Except just at the last moment, as I flung the two pieces of cloth together, when I noticed a petite female shape standing in front of a ghastly Victorian mausoleum in the cemetery. It was Ishtar and she was staring directly at me. Well, what else did I expect? I went back to bed.
The Goddess and The Great Beast
Author: Adrian Gross
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
1942: a bored British soldier in Baghdad; a beautiful Babylonian Goddess; a sacred marriage unconsummated.
Five years later, in a dreary post-war London, the Goddess must be satisfied.
Can anyone save her demobbed consort from eternal torment?
Or eternal bliss?
Can he save himself?
Does he even want to be saved?
And what’s it got to do with the ‘wickedest man in the world’?
Adrian Gross is a British writer. Some bits of him used to be Irish and some others were once Hungarian. He lives close to Glastonbury and likes to bang his little heavy metal head whilst drinking chewy real ale!
He has endured many terrible jobs, including adrenaline-junkie motorcycle courier, record shop dude-with-bad-attitude, and air traffic control disaster limitation assistant.
When his aching bones and throbbing hangover allow, he plays football (soccer) and rides bicycles up and down the Mendip Hills.