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The Dying Earth

Sometime in the Late 2010's

Created by

Once there lived a girl who made a friend of duplicitous boy. The problem was that he was not actually a boy, and yet the two found a strange tenderness and a quiet pain that seemingly bound their souls together. When she grew up, the girl learned that everything she dreamed of between them was a lie. She ran away in exile as punishment for allowing one of Its kind into their home, and the girl lived for much of the rest of her very long life sure that she would never again return.     Netta Oleander became an adult while in exile from most members of her family—her Coven—and after decades of slow-killing lethargy, has found her dreams eroded to almost nothing. She is ill, suffering from a terminal disease that afflicts all of her kind. Her almost-century long life is endangered in the dead of this premature winter. And yet she doesn't care. After all, the only hope she had ever had has already long since been snuffed out.     The least talented Witch to be a part of the Coven she grew up in, Netta believes that she has long since forgotten whatever it is that made her wish to be vulnerable—as well as what it was that made her long for the sharp pleasure of magic as it ran across her flesh. Or the power of the Thing that managed to both horrify Netta to the core of her most vivid nightmares as well as compel her deepest hungers.     Her calm life is interrupted with a demand from the very family who once tossed her away—     —as well as a promise given to her by a Thing who admits that It will not be satisfied until It does more to her than sear her to the bone with Its pleasures. Ashwood wants Netta's body for Its own, and Netta could be in danger of becoming possessed by the very creature who once promised to give Netta an immortal life of adventure and companionship beyond her wildest dreams. And yet, the only path Netta may find, whether she wishes to go down it or not, can only be traveled with one of Its kind. A Monster, made into her Familiar.     It becomes apparent that the only way to forgo her death is with the transformation of Ashwood, a creature whose only true power is temptation, into the role of her Familiar. The only problem is the fear that Netta carries always—that her own secret uninhibited desire and need, taboo as it is, could be the end of not only her, but to many innocent lives as well.     As Netta will learn, possession may be the least of her fears.

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