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The Woman in White Marble

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After Dark

by Liz Butcher

ISBN-10: 1986679322
ISBN-13: 978-1986679329
ASIN: B07CCFQ8CD

After Dark is available in paperback and eBook for Kindle (also Kindle for Android and iPad - click Kindle for Android). The book can be purchased at the following:

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes & Noble


What's waiting for you in the shadows?
Ghosts, curses and creatures of the dark, these stories take you on a journey from the secret whisperings of the trees, to the torments of the subconscious mind.

 

 

 

 

 

Liz Butcher resides in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, daughter, and two cats, Pandora and Zeus. While writing is her passion, her numerous interests include history, astronomy, the paranormal, mythology, reading, art, knitting and music – all which help fuel her imagination. She also loves being out in nature, especially amongst the trees or near the water. Liz has published a number of short stories in anthologies and After Dark is her first solo project.

 

 

 

An Excerpt

The Tree

 

The tree, old as time itself, stood tall and majestic in the middle of the field. Its branches hung low but spread out like reaching arms. Its roots ran deep into the earth, visible to those privileged with the ability to see them. A source of both power and magic, it stored many a secret within its rings. As day turned to night, the tree hummed. It vibrated as the full moon rose high above it. The roots illuminated, revealing the extent of their depth. The base of the tree split open, and She stepped into the moonlight.

 

Dormir

 

Old Man Time sat on a small platform the sturdy branches had formed over the centuries, up high in his ancient tree. He stroked a branch with a tender touch of reverent love. It was, after all, even older than he was—not an easy feat.

He raised his pipe, which was longer than his arm and made from the same tree. Fortunately, he didn’t need to light the pipe himself; that would not have been possible. Instead, he gave a little wink, and a flash of crimson flame sparked like fireworks before subsiding to a smoky smolder.

He inhaled long and deep; there was no other way to smoke a pipe of such length. He had more than enough time. He listened intently as the tree rustled its rainbow-coloured leaves. The rustling turned to chiming, which formed music, and Old Man Time smiled.

It was his favourite tune.

As the sound of bones jangling together came from somewhere beneath him, he leaned back against the tree and waited. It didn’t matter if he waited minutes, days, or decades; it all felt the same to him. With a delicate clatter, a skeleton hand reached over the edge, shortly followed by a second. Old Man Time watched with age-old patience as a grinning skull popped up. Next came shoulder bones and a ribcage, followed by the rest of the skeleton that made up his friend, Death. 

Old Man Time gave a nod in welcome as Death pulled himself up onto the ledge beside him, chattering his teeth in reply. Old Man Time had always found his old friend’s need to mask himself for the mortal realm amusing. He didn’t understand his friend’s decision to cloak himself in black, skull hidden within the shadows of a hood. Still, he had to admit it made for a more ominous figure than the primordial skeleton seated beside him.

“Chatter-chatter-chatter?”

Old Man Time nodded.

“Chatter-chat-chat?”

Old Man Time passed Death his pipe. He raised his head to peer out from beneath his enormous, wide-brimmed, high-peaked hat. Before him spread the expansive night sky in all its glory, moving slowly … or was it quickly? He squinted and scanned the stars for the right cluster, then raised his hand skyward, aligning his finger with the eastern star of the constellation. He held it there until the star grew brighter and brighter so his fingertip seemed to glow.