This is Book Two in the Notte Oscura series. Each book in this series is a standalone story with returning characters.
Rosalie’s psychic abilities have significantly changed her life. Skin against skin contact gives her visions, which sometimes includes the untimely death of those she touches. Fortunately for her, these abilities do not work on vampires.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This is a follow up to the first book in the series, Frank and The Werewolf Tamer. Each story is standalone and I had lots of requests for Kurtis, the Dracula impersonator, to get his own book. Aside from the requests, which meant a lot to me, the world of Notte Oscura is not one I could easily forget. Writing this book was like visiting with old friends.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The first character that came to me for this series was Frank Eastwick. I have always loved the character of Frankenstein and wondered what would happen if I made him a little closer to reality. All of the other characters came to life almost as soon as I began writing. I didn't really plan them ahead of time, they simply showed up.
I splashed cold water on my face, as if that could wash away what I’d seen. Tonight’s nightmare was the same as a few nights before. It doesn’t happen every night, but for the past three months I kept dreaming of her, a young woman covered in blood. I usually woke up when she screamed, but not tonight.
Tonight I got a really good look at her eyes. Other details were not as clear, but I will never forget those eyes. Before that moment I thought I was having visions of a victim. I was seeing a murderer. The hatred in her gaze gave me a chill that I could not shake. I looked once more at my haunted reflection before pulling on a thick robe.
My hands were cold, but I refuse to wear gloves in my own home. Gloves are my usual defense against the rest of the world. Often when I touch people, I see things. Sometimes it’s a premonition of things to come, and other times it is a vision of the past. However it occurs, I typically see whatever I am going to see on contact, not later in my dreams. Things I have seen in my dreams before were about me, not someone else. But I don’t know this woman and can’t figure out a connection.
I shudder to think that I came in contact with her and accidentally touched her. Occasionally, I get visions from touching objects if someone experienced a strong emotion while holding it. That doesn’t happen often, thank goodness. Otherwise, I’d never be able to touch anything with my bare hands.
I climbed back in bed, but there was no way I could sleep now. I turned on the TV and there was an advertisement for Notte Oscura. It’s a huge macabre theme park near the beach. Notte Oscura has been open for nearly two years and I still haven’t gone.
According to all the commercials it looks like a Mardi Gras/Carnival party, only with vampires, werewolves, and other creatures of the night. My friend Liza goes there fairly often. She really enjoys the night club, Midnight Jamboree. The main reason she hasn’t been able to talk me into going with her yet is because I avoid crowds. The last time I went to a night club, a man bumped into me and his bare hand touched my arm. I saw that he was about to die. He was going to be hit by a buss as soon as he left the building. The club was crowded and when he touched me, he quickly apologized and kept moving toward the door. I tried to fight my way through the crowd to reach him. I even yelled for him to stop, but the music was too loud. I didn’t make it in time. Just as I stumbled outside onto the sidewalk, the bus ran him down. All I could do was scream.
That was two years ago and sometimes I still see his face when I close my eyes.
“Come on down and join us,” the man on the commercial said with a smile. “We are open every evening, from dusk till dawn.”
I looked at the clock. It was just after midnight and I wasn’t going to sleep any more tonight. I’m not sure why, but I suddenly felt compelled to go. Maybe I would find answers to these upsetting dreams, or maybe I would simply forget to worry for a few hours. Either way, I decided to get dressed and pay Notte Oscura a visit.
I put on my favorite jeans, knee-high boots, and a tight black sweater. It was early January and cold as shit. People think that it doesn’t get that cold in Florida. Trust me when I say that cold air and high humidity do not mix well. The temperatures may not drop as low here, but wet cold is so much worse than dry cold. At least, in my opinion. The thermostat on my porch said it was twenty degrees. For once, my gloves wouldn’t look out of place.
The good news was, this was the off season for Panama City. However, there was still traffic backed up down the street in front of Notte Oscura. I remember reading somewhere that the theme park’s name was Italian for Dark Night. After I finally found a parking place and got a better look at the park, I had to say the name was appropriate. Commercials didn’t do it justice. Even what I could see from the outside was impressive.
The sounds of laughter and screams could be heard from the parking lot and as I made my way to the ticket booth, I heard music as well. The combined scents of fresh salty air and cotton candy reached me as I drew closer. I already felt better. This was a good decision. I smiled as the cold wind whipped my long curly hair across my face. I hadn’t felt this good in months. Maybe Liza was right, maybe I did need to get out more.
The line out front was long, but it moved quickly. After I bought my ticket, I stood inside the gates, shivering for a moment, wondering where to go first. The top of a huge Ferris wheel could be seen behind a large building labeled, “Midnight Jamboree,” in neon purple letters. Music thumped loudly every time the doors opened. To my right I saw another building labeled, “Arena 1.” There was a poster nearby of a talk man in a cloak with lightening in the background. It was labeled, “Frankenstein.” Beside this was a poster of the sexiest man I’d ever seen. He was dressed all in black, with a cloak pulled back to reveal his dark hair and striking features. I stood there for a moment, as if in a trance. There was something in his eyes that seemed to capture me. And those lips!
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