There are a lot of spooky creatures that take the spotlight on Halloween. Werewolves and vampires have always been in the limelight, even before a certain popular story. Ghosts and spirits come in next, followed by demons. Even zombies have gotten a big boost. What about the others? It seems that a lot of mythological beings are just begging for more attention.
Devil's Night anthology, I was interested but wasn't sure what I was going to write about. I've been dinking around with vampire fic for ever, and I'm getting bored of it. Werewolves don't really do anything for me. Neither do zombies. I wanted something hot, something different, that would bring me back to my thriller writing days as a teen.
It's awesome when inspiration comes from out of the blue and smacks you head on. Just as I was picking my brain, my partner was watching Lost Tapes on Animal Planet. Have you seen that show? They cover a lot of myths, uncover truths, have top 10 scary moments, and it's all perfect for a good scare. Strangely, my partner had left his computer with a page about hellhounds up. Bingo!
With dirty, rough black hair, glowing red eyes, and a trail of brimstone and fire in their wake, it'd be quite hard to mistake them for your typical "man's best friend". Hellhounds, aka devil dogs, have their own myths and legends that have been told for centuries. A common legend is that if you come across one and look into its eyes, or if you see the same one three times, you will die. Also, they guard the gates to Hell—which I thought would most likely be in a graveyard—or hunt lost souls and assist in their return to the underworld.
This is a great time to introduce our main character in "When Hounds Come Out to Play": Ryu. He's super hot! But not in that "oh lala" sexy guy sort of hot, since he's a devil dog. After centuries of watching humans come and go from his graveyard and, in more modern times, party and get a little wild, he's got a thing for wanting to be a human at least for one night. Every year on Halloween night, good hounds are sent to the human world to search for lost souls. Thus, Ryu gets the chance he'd been dreaming of, but he's paired with another hound, Keir.
Now that he's got his chance, Ryu has to find a way to sneak off from his duties to go have fun. Even though Keir is against it, Ryu ends up running off into the city and shifts into human form. Problem is, now he's a tall, naked, dark-skinned human. He's gotta find some clothes to fit in, right?
After finding something that works to cover those private places, he runs into Grant. Dressed as a vampire, Ryu's excited to see that there's another creature on the prowl. And a sexy one at that? Ryu's in for a wild and crazy night, full of fun, sexy times, and suspense that he was definitely not prepared for.
Less than a block away, Ryu spotted people dressed in varieties of costumes, moving in and out of a building. Music got louder the closer he approached, rattling the windows of the stores next door. "Hey." Tires screeched next to him. "Where have you been? I've been looking everywhere for you."
"Huh?" Ryu stopped to see a man with a fabric cape around his neck and long fangs stretching below his bottom lip hop out of the car. He'd never seen the guy before; of course, everyone was new to him. But with the fangs, he looked like he was from the underworld. Finally, another demon on the prowl.
The man threw his arm around Ryu's neck, pulling him closer. "Baby, whatcha doing out here in that?"
Ryu reveled in the musky cologne of the human's scent. There was no way he could be a human with fangs like that, though. "Uh..."
The man took the fangs out of his mouth. Of course, another Halloween dress up. "Is that your costume? You said it would be shocking," the man laughed.
"I'm lost..." the sound of his own human voice, low and scratchy, shocked Ryu.
"Well, yeah, I suppose you would be. You were supposed to wait for me to pick you up." He pulled Ryu towards the parked car. "Anyway, I have the perfect skirt for that top."
"Wait. Wh-who are you?" Ryu asked.
"What's your deal? I'm Grant." The man set his hands on his hips; the cape stretched apart to show his tanned skin, sculpted abs, and a tuft of brown hair that traveled from his waistband to his chest. Ryu had to stop himself from leaning in and tracing the line with his fingers.
Azalea Moone first published with Storm Moon Press as part of their bro-cest anthology, Fraternal Devotion. Her short story, "When the Hounds Come Out to Play" is now available in the Devil's Night anthology! She can be found on her blog or on Twitter @AzMoone.