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To Hell & Back

By Dettrick Moatz All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Fantasy


This first book follows the story of a young, orphaned witch named Staysa as she wakes up to find herself captured with no memory of why. It follows her as she goes where few have been and where none have returned unscathed, where the rule of law is nonexistent, and the price of failure can be worse than death itself. It follows this desperate but determined witch as she fights to return home.


The world of the supernatural is a dangerous and fantastic one. It has co-existed, more or less seamlessly, with the human world for thousands of years. Sure, there were inquisitions, witch trials, and so on throughout history, but the general population never really believed supernatural beings were walking amongst them.

If humans had known just how many supernatural beings there were amongst them, they would have gone utterly insane with fear and paranoia. This, we think, is the reason Vatican leadership decided to keep the war it raged against the supernatural a silent one. The Church isn’t the only enemy the supernatural have, but in the world of today, they are the only organized one.

No one is really sure when or why the war even started. Anyone that might have known the beginning period of the war has been killed and didn’t write it down, or such records were destroyed during raids on supernatural strongholds throughout history.

We do know that vampires and Christians were fighting one another as far back as the Roman Empire. Texts suggest that the Roman persecution of Christians was done at the behest of vampiric nobility. Unfortunately, vampires are as good at obfuscating things as they are at surviving, so we will likely never find out the exact truth.

The important point is that the war has raged on and on, always just under public perception.

Then came the internet, cell phones with cameras, and widespread communication in general. Both sides attempted to suppress communications technology, but neither were successful. The European Vampire Council, the self-proclaimed leaders of vampires worldwide, realized they could no longer remain hidden in this day and age, so they took the initiative.

Vampires came out into the open, hoping for a favorable audience. That wasn’t quite what they got. The Pope called for their immediate eradication, claiming them an abomination against God. Islamic leaders came out in support of this, calling on all able-bodied Muslim men to find and kill any and all vampires. If nothing else, the vampires succeeded where no one else had: they managed to unite Muslim and Christian fundamentalists. Silver linings, I guess.

Witches, the generalized term for those humans born with the ability to manipulate raw energy with their mind for various effects, or “do magic” as some put it, followed the vampires into the spotlight.

Werewolves were discovered when UN soldiers raided a vampiric compound. They found themselves face to face with wolves the size of ponies that changed into humans upon their death. The werewolves had been slaves, kept by the corrupt vampires as guard dogs. Werewolves had no large governmental body. Their largest packs numbered less than a hundred and wanted nothing to do with one another, so they did not come out in mass as the vampires and witches did. Some fought, some tried to go rogue, and the rest ran.

Faeries have yet to be officially discovered, as do many other supernatural races, but I’ve read of their existence. Presumably they saw the reaction vampires, witches, and werewolves got, and decided against the idea of coming out. Can’t much blame them. Were it not for the stupidity of a few who fancied themselves in charge, witches would still be in hiding.

Once the fighting started out in the open, werewolves and witches focused on political figures, wanting to scare world leaders into granting them asylum. Car bombs and sniper attacks became a daily occurrence. More than a few key politicians discovered what a telekinetic attack was like, anything from their car being thrown off of a bridge while they were in it, to support beams being splintered in the building they occupied.

Vampires, on the other hand, tended to be psychopathic sadists. They fed off of fear, so they created as much of it as they could. They also didn’t care if the war ended or not. They left the empty husks of their victims out in the street or in a public bathroom, anywhere the body would be seen by as many people as possible. Martial law was declared in most large cities in response to the vampires’ tactics. Anyone found out at night was presumed to be a vampire, and thus killed on sight.

The war raged for several years. Millions of lives were lost, primarily due to key infrastructure being sabotaged or weather manipulation bringing horrific storms to unprepared areas. Arson was another key tactic that claimed many lives. Famine and disease became increasingly rampant as farms and hospitals found themselves targeted.

The end of the war came when Canada stunned the world by declaring that any supernaturals that would abide by Canadian laws were welcome within its borders. The United States and Mexico, not to be outdone by their continental partner, adopted a similar stance. More countries followed suit, tired of the very bloody war.

These historical anecdotes drifted through my head as I woke to find myself still on the stone floor of a dungeon, dug deep underground to keep me from teleporting out. There wasn’t any light, just pitch black darkness. I can’t remember exactly how I got here, nor am I sure how long I have been here, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why I was here. My memories come and go, along with a great deal of pain.

I had been hoping when I first woke to this place that it was all just another nightmare. I’m used to nightmares. It didn’t take long to realize this wasn’t one, though I couldn’t concentrate enough to figure out much more than that. The longer I remained awake, the more I realized how hurt I was.

With no end in sight, I began surrendering my body, pushing my consciousness into my memories. There wasn’t anything I could do about the physical damage my body had sustained, I just had to hope I could heal, but I could try to salvage my sanity in the meantime.

My name is Staysa Fear. I am a sixteen-year-old witch, I whispered to myself inwardly as I slid from consciousness to unconsciousness. I repeated it, over and over, clinging to the words as the feeling in my body started to fade. My name… is Staysa Fear. I am a… I am… Who am I?

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