I’ve known Quenby Olson for about four years now and still I am in awe of her talent. I have a serious girl crush on her, so I am extra pleased to be able to introduce her to y’all.
Like me, Quenby writes across multiple genres. I met her in a group for romance writers and since then she has branched out in to the dark and the scary and is just taking the world by fire. Her book The Half Killed, is one of my favorite indie reads ever. And I am beyond glad to know that she has been working on a sequel to it.
Before I give you a taste of the new story, which she is being gracious enough to share with us, let me give you her bio real quick, so you can know her a little better.
Quenby Olson lives in Central Pennsylvania where she writes, homeschools, glares at baskets of unfolded laundry, and chases the cat off the kitchen counters. After training to be a ballet dancer, she turned towards her love of fiction, penning everything from romance to fantasy, historical to mystery. She spends her days with her husband and children, who do nothing to dampen her love of the outdoors, immersing herself in historical minutiae, and staying up late to watch old episodes of Doctor Who.
And now that you know her a bit better, let’s dive into The Devil Within–
“I am the devil.”
He shouts it, and yet it falls from his mouth with the unnerving air of a statement delivered across a desk or a dining table, where a glass of brandy and the smoke from a cigar might lend a cloud of respectability to the declaration.
“I am the devil.”
A drunkard. That is what I wish it to be. A man who imbibed too much over his meal and has taken to wandering about the neighborhood until a family member or acquaintance takes the trouble to find him and drag him home before it can rise into the sphere of scandal. But it is not as mundane as that. He staggers across the street, traffic flowing again behind him as though he possesses the power to part the very Thames and reach the opposite shore without soaking his shoes.
Only a half dozen paces separate us when I realize he is walking towards me. He stumbles as he steps up on to the pavement, his foot catching in the gutter, one knee landing on the ground as he grabs at my skirt, at any part of myself that will keep him from falling prostrate before me. I reach down to help him up, though he seems incapable of returning to his full height, knees buckled as his hands seek purchase on my shoulders, the weight of him nearly sending me down to my own knees.
Unspeakable, the fear that rises inside of me. The man’s face is an inch from my own. His breath, instead of being laced with the smell of gin or wine, reeks of something putrid, decaying.
“I am the devil.” A whisper now, the blast of the words on my cheek enough to bring up another wave of sick from my stomach. His face stretches into a grin, his teeth white against the blood-red of his gums. The same blood pools at the corner of his mouth, running down his chin and into his beard. “And I have found you.”