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red rose on snow

Photo by Jenna Hamra on Pexels.com

I’m not sure why I did it, but I wrote a song for the NOCTURNAL CREATURES trilogy—the kind of cautionary tale people hand down in oral form to remember a lesson. It’s the night after Winter Solstice now, but since LONGEST NIGHT didn’t get published in time, consider this my apology.

Every year on Longest Night
Flee from the streets and lock up tight,
For if the king comes to your door
He’ll steal you away forevermore.

Beware the woods, where wild wolves prowl.
Beware their teeth, their demon howl.
But above all, Crimson daughters here,
It is the king whom you should fear.

So daughters, wed and show submission.
Bind virtue to God and to his men.
For when devil offers a winter rose,
If rose turns red, he’ll bleed your soul.

Fathers, keep your daughters well,
Else after the twelfth clear church’s bell,
If daughter is found unmarried, unmarred,
The devil king will eat her heart.

NOCTURNAL CREATURES was my first long attempt at hard fantasy (albeit gothic romance with a touch of horror), with all kinds of world-building. It was incredibly entertaining. I’d done a little of it before with CALLING THE DRAGONS HOME, but that was a short story and literally my first work published through Totally Bound in 2012. I’ve since gotten the rights back to rework it into something longer. I’d like to think it’s in the same universe as NOCTURNAL CREATURES.

Hope this song gives you a glimpse into the Crimson Kingdom before LONGEST NIGHT arrives. Season’s Greetings!