Not an excerpt. Simply a conversation between two characters from my Novel.

After a quiet dinner, Soloman and Shelby walked the path to the treeline and back, where they dropped into the loveseat on the porch. Only one hour past sunset, the temperature had already dropped by nearly twenty degrees.

Soloman leaned over and kissed Shelby, “Babe, what’s on your mind?”

Shelby grinned and returned the kiss with another before answering. “It seems unnaturally cold tonight, don’t you think?”

Shelby was not trying to conceal the fact that something was bothering her. Soloman looked past her eyes and connected to the emotions of the women he loved with all of himself. “Please tell me.”

Knowing there would never be a more appropriate time to open up and let go, Shelby took several breathes, “Okay, but I’m going to hurry before it gets colder.”

Soloman pulled Shelby as close to him as possible, “Here, babe, we can keep each other warm.”

“Thank you, baby. Soloman, do you remember when I tensed up? Earlier, when we were coming back from the meeting?”

“I remember. It’s happened several times. Always, when our transportation service is taking us to the office, or bringing us back to the house.”

Shelby closed her eyes and allowed the image to flash within her mind once more. The memory of the empathic connection she had made with the creature filled her consciousness. Shelby could still feel the entity’s pain and torment. She cleared her throat before speaking. “Soloman, I can still see and feel it.”

“What do you see?”

“I see what others must see. And I see what I must see.”

“Please tell me.”

“There is a tomato plant hanging from the awning. It’s one of those inverted tomato plants. Do you know the kind?”


“Okay, what I see is this. Someone has built a wooden cage and attached the cage to the awning. Instead of a Tomato Plant growing within that cage, with leaves and vines . . . ” Shelby’s words trailed, but she continued almost immediately. “I see an entity.”

Shelby could feel Soloman connecting to her emotional pain. With a warm smile, “I see a demon incarcerated within a spiritual prison. The demon’s arms are long and skinny. The hands are large with wickedly sharp, dirty claws. The creature has a terrible scowl on its face.”

“What happens when the connection is made?”

“When I see the beast, it sees me as well. Our eyes lock, and then there is a transference of energy and emotional trauma. Within one heartbeat, the empathic connection is complete.”

“And the pain?”

“I feel all of it, everything. All of the suffering and regret.”


“Yes. The creature hates itself for being tricked. Even more, than that which betrayed it, the beast hates itself. I can see the words within its mind. Screaming, how, and why.”

The couple sat in silence for nearly a minute. Soloman hugged Shelby before speaking. “The world passes by and sees a plant, but you must see both. Shelby, has this always been your life?”

“Yes, since childhood.” Shelby looked towards the treeline and then clasped Soloman’s hand within her own. “You see these things as well, is that so?”

“Yes, it’s the same for me. I’ve seen the cage. The house is white, is that correct?”


“The second to the last corner before we turn on to the street that takes us to the campus?”

Shelby looked at Soloman. Without any outside lights on, the porch was shrouded in darkness. She could feel his eyes penetrating the shadows and connecting to her green eyes, even now sparkling in the starlight.

“Yes, baby, that’s the house. Please tell me why someone would do such a thing.”

“Quite possibly, a person trapped the creature and then didn’t know what to do with it.”

“Maybe they didn’t want it moving past the porch.”

“Like, please leave all demons outside.”

Shelby giggled and planted another kiss on Soloman’s cheek. “Orrrrr . . . please check your little demon at the door.”

The lovers shared a moment of laughter. What had begun as a painful conversation had been transformed. Once again, Shelby’s pain had been released by Soloman. One of the many reasons she loved him completely and without limitations.

Soloman brushed Shelby’s hair back and reaffirmed his gentle but firm clasp of her hand. “Or . . . maybe the creature is a sentry.”

Shelby smiled, “Interesting concept. Although such a task would require an incredibly high level of skill.”

Soloman could see the wheels turning within Shelby’s mind. He knew with absolution that she possessed such skill within her craft. He chose not to move the conversation in that direction. Instead, he waited patiently to see where she would take the discussion.

Shelby perceived Soloman’s thoughts immediately. Smiling with their mutual decision, she offered, “Whatever the reason, such things cannot be healthy for the property or the residents.”

“On so many levels. Eventually, something else will show up.”

“Are you referring to another entity?”

“Yes, another demon will sniff out the prisoner.”

“Are you suggesting . . . ” Shelby’s words trailed off, but she knew where Soloman was heading with his following sentence. “

Joseph Shanklin


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.