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At a trendy Turkish tavern one Friday night, astrophysicist Gabriel Diaz meets a mysterious young woman. Captivated by her beauty as well as her views on good and evil, he spends the next several days with her. Soon, however, he begins to notice a strangeness in her—her skin’s abnormally high temperature, her obsession with milk products, her child-like and bizarre behaviour as she seems to take pleasure in toying with his conscience.
The young woman, Kamilah, invites him to Rize, Turkey, where she claims her family owns a cottage in the woods. In spite of his heavy workload and the disturbing visions and nightmares about his sister’s baby that is due to be born soon, Gabriel agrees to go with her.
But nothing, not even the stunning splendor of the Black Sea, can disguise the horror of her nature. In a place where death dwells and illusion and reality seem as one, Gabriel must now come to terms with his own demons in order to save his sister’s unborn child, and ultimately, his own soul…
“You’re blind! All those sociology books have cut up your spirit. You talk like a mummy, a programmed mummy,” Gabriel Diaz said. He took a long sip of beer. Then, almost regrettably, he put the glass down. He wished his glass were bottomless so he could relish his precious prime Belgian beer forever. At almost ten dollars a bottle, Belgian beer was his most expensive vice.
“That’s not true. You’re only mad at me because I was fifteen minutes late,” Liz said.
“Not at all. I was enjoying my beer and meditating.” A fast-paced Middle Eastern melody was playing. He drummed his fingers in time with the music.
“So your idea of a perfect society would be something along the lines of Death Wish. Charles Bronson. Taking the law into your hands.”
“I only want justice.”
“You’re an idealist.” Liz sadly shook her head. “Justice doesn’t exist. But you’re obsessed with it.”
“For Heaven’s sake, don’t you feel a sense of ease, a perfect sense of meaning, every time a serial killer is fried at the chair?”
“Yes, I do, but—”
But Gabriel went on, excited, shifting in his seat and leaning forward over the table.
“Let me ask you something. Let’s say a serial killer is—based on some trivial technicality—set free. Everybody knows he’s guilty. Everybody knows he’ll kill again. Would you—if you could, if you knew you wouldn’t be caught—eliminate him?”
“That’s beside the point, Gabriel. That would be murder. The act of premeditated killing, whatever the reason, would turn me into a being as low as him,” Liz said, lifting her glass of red wine to her lips. She was totally calm, as if she were a patient and good-willed teacher talking to a raging child—an attitude of hers that sometimes drove him to the wall.
“Then archangels are murderers.”
“Don’t get religion into this. You don’t believe in any archangels.” Liz eyed him scornfully. “Human beings have made certain laws, and these laws are to be obeyed. If there weren’t laws, the world would be a total chaos.”
“Laws, laws, laws. You and your laws. Laws were made to favor the criminals, and you know it!” he burst out, making an impatient gesture with his hands. “Think of the good of the innocent people. Think about all the future murders you would be preventing. The hell with the laws! Justice. The good of the many. The end justifying the means.”
“Oh, no, not the higher good again!”
“That’s right. The higher good.”
“That higher good of yours is dangerous. It’s totally anarchistic. Goodness is subjective. Do you think a serial killer doesn’t have his own concept of goodness? What makes you think his is wrong and ours is right? We are forever impaired by our feelings.” She almost flinched, expecting another outburst from him.
But he just shrugged.
“There is an ultimate good,” he simply said, perfectly convinced. He downed the rest of his beer and peered, maudlin, at the empty bottom of his glass.
The tavern was quite packed by now. With so many colleges and universities around, it was a popular place among students, especially as now on Friday nights. Gabriel loved the smell here. All around them cigarette smoke swirled to the ceiling, but in spite of this, different kinds of delicious smells permeated the air. Old wines, the sweet tang of anise, the strong aroma of Turkish coffee. Yet, there was something gloomy about the place. The dim illumination, maybe. The flickering candles on the tables, casting eerie shadows on the walls, making the faces appear pale and distorted, malevolent even. Old paintings of historic Ottoman battles hung from the walls, little figures killing each other with long and pointed spikes against dark and red-tinted desolate landscapes. He could clearly discern the little Christian bodies impaled by the stakes.
“I don’t know if I should have another beer,” Gabriel said. “I’ve already had two.”
“These beers will be your downfall.”
"Dark Lullaby is a page-turner. A horror story from the top shelf! You'll love it." -5 Stars from Euro-Reviews
"Dark Lullaby will capture you with its rich descriptions, its exotic location, and the need to uncover the dark secrets hidden within its pages." -Cheryl Malandrinos, The Book Connection
"Mayra Calvani¹s novel Dark Lullaby offers a new perspective on the dark fantasy genre... With the embellishment of Turkish folklore, along with some her own creative mythology, the author lures her reader into dark and dangerous territory." --Dark Realms Magazine
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 228
Paper Weight (lb): 9.6
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