Penemuae (The Watchers of Enoch Series)
by Lea Barrymire
Genre: Sci-Fi, Mythology Romance
Therefore shall they never find peace…
The temptations of love and lust brought the two hundred Watchers together. When they decided earthly possessions were more important than divine instruction, they were bound to each other, and the Earth, forever as punishment.
The Watchers can feel change coming…
After three thousand years, and more heartache than Watcher General Penemuae can remember, all he wants is an end. Exhausted in heart and soul, he lives to fight the Nephilim and atone for his disgrace, his only objective to rid the Earth of evil. Until the day he meets her. Evelyn, the human woman who shouldn’t have survived, who can see things she shouldn’t, who makes him want things he’s sworn not to desire again.
Face to face with evil, Evelyn finally has to accept there is more on earth than mere humans when she becomes the target of an immortal malevolence. Saved by an avenging angel with eyes dark as night and remorse to match, she finds herself in the middle of a fight she may not survive.
Before, on a visceral level, she’d known she wasn’t a target. Before she’d just felt something there in the darkness and it’d been preying on others. But it hadn’t been focused on her. The response her body had to the proximity of the entity had been as one would have watching a crash happen.
Whatever hellspawn now had her in its sights hadn’t ever looked her way before. Now that it was focused on her the darkness, blackness of its evil, was so much more potent. It wound around her soul, tugging and peeking to find a chink in her armor. Heavy energy circled her, sliding maliciously across her skin. She shuddered as she picked up the pace toward the parking garage and her car.
“Leave me alone,” she whispered, her voice harsh and raspy with fear. “Leave me alone. I’m not what you hunt for.”
Why she’d spoken at all was a mystery, but the fact that she acknowledged the thing seemed to bring its interest more into focus on her. Her flesh rippled again with goose bumps at the frigid touch of its thoughts.
By the time she’d reached the end of the first block her skin was coated in a fine sheen of clammy sweat. Disbelief still plagued her, but Evelyn had seen enough in her life to know that even if no one else could see or feel these things, they were definitely real.
She’d fought the urge to look over her shoulder, knowing she’d see nothing at all or, worse, see the evil stalking her. As she made it across a side street, she took a single moment to peek. Was it to satisfy a part of her that hoped she was hallucinating? Was it a piece of her that wanted to see the creature that might end up killing her before she was in its jaws?
Nearly falling as she stumbled up onto the next section of sidewalk helped rip her eyes from the greedy, glowing gaze hovering behind her. No form at all kept the eyes from falling through the gray, oozing smoke, but they never wavered. Their intent was squarely on her, boring into her skull from the moment she’d turned and caught her first glimpse.
A shriek seized in her throat as the beast—creature--thing surged forward, wrapping her in a sickly, gauze-like haze. It dragged her, silent and struggling, into the alley. Her strength was sucked from her by the icy touch of liquid evil oozing from its formless body. Her mind was frozen along with her limbs. It wasn’t real. Couldn’t be. But it was, and whatever had her was dragging her deeper into the darkness between the two buildings.
Fight, damn it. How, though? She struggled more within its grasp, but nothing worked. It didn’t have a body or even arms to battle against. The thing was smoke and illusion. How did you break free from something that didn’t have shape? Maybe fighting wasn’t the solution.
Evelyn’s lungs ached with the swallowed scream, her muscles shook with adrenaline and the need to flee, but she fought herself and her body’s response to the danger. Instead of trying to break free she relaxed into its grasp, letting her breath out in a single, even exhale. She closed her eyes and willed her body to go limp, to sag within whatever bound her to the wispy monster.
Nothing happened at first but, after a moment, she felt the slightest decrease in pressure around her arms. Another slow breath found her falling through the smoky body. Elation was followed quickly by pain as her ass slammed onto the concrete below her. Before she could triumph in at least a reprieve from the creature’s grip, another shot of chilly dread worked across her nerves.
She groaned and looked up. Another one. And this one had a solid form, although she couldn’t decide if having no form or one of a monster from some horror film was better. At least if the creature with form wanted to touch her she could try to fight back.
At first Evelyn wasn’t sure the thing spoke real words but, after it made the same noises twice more, she figured out it was speaking to her.
“You see us.”
It seemed to be waiting for her to respond and, as it wasn’t actively trying to kill her, she decided to answer. “Yes.”
“How? No one but the Watchers see us.”
She didn’t know what a Watcher was, nor how she was seeing the thing standing over her. But again, talking with it meant she wasn’t being eaten, so she answered. “I don’t know.”
“What are you?”
What was she? Really? “Human.”
“No. Humans cannot see our kind. Only Watchers see us.”
Again the term ‘Watcher.’ She was at a loss with how to continue. She was fairly sure she was human but didn’t know how to explain why or how she could see the creature. “I don’t know. What are you?”
Anger, strong and choking, oozed off the smoking creature who’d positioned itself in the shadows behind Evelyn. It made a sort of hissing cackle. Its voice made her skin crawl.
“What am I? What am I? I am Nephilim.”
Nephilim. A spark of something in her brain said she’d at least read the word before. An image of a cherub came to mind, but this creature was no small, adorable angel. She shook her head. “I don’t know what that means.”
“Nephilim are of the fallen. We are the offspring they all fear.”
“I still… I still don’t understand.”
“Humans are so stupid. How the heavenly ones thought to give this world to you instead of us is beyond my comprehension. You will understand. I will turn you Nephilim. You will see what arrogant pigs infest the Earth. You will see.”
The smoke behind her thickened. “Thirssst.”
“You won’t be feeding from this one. It sees us. I’ll turn her so she may see more, understand what we are.”
The smoke creature made another grating vocalization and Eve barely kept from clapping her hands over her ears. This sound had been angry and alarmed.