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Elements–An Excerpt From Carrie Vaccaro Nelkin

Elements: Tales From the Substratum–An Excerpt

  • May 21, 2018
  • Blog

This summer, the anthology Elements: Tales From the Substratum will be released on Amazon.

Five diverse writers cover the same theme with wildly different takes on it.

I drew “air” as the element for my story. And what could be more nerve-wracking than our two favorite demons, Jonas and Valerie, needing to take a plane ride? (You can catch their earlier adventures in the anthologies Hunger and Smoke.)

Of course nothing is normal when they’re involved. Here’s an excerpt from my story “Airborne.”



J. M. Levinton


The PA system came on with its customary chimes. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Captain Cirocco. We seem to be moving into an unexpected cold front and turbulence is to be expected. Please make sure your seats are in an upright position and keep your seatbelts on. Thank you.”

The flight attendant gave them a practiced and professional smile and pushed her cart to the next few rows.

“Great, just great.” Valerie opened her bottle of water. “This is not what I need.” Her hands shook.

The young woman across the aisle leaned over. “Don’t worry, we’ll be fine. I don’t have any children yet.”

Valerie cocked her head to one side. “Excuse me?”

“My family’s under a curse,” said the woman. “I can’t die, because the curse needs me to have children—and I don’t have any yet, so we’re safe.” She took a gulp of her obviously alcoholic drink.

“You could be the sole survivor here,” Jonas pointed out.

The woman straightened and brushed cornflower yellow hair out of her eyes. “Damn. Didn’t think of that. But still, keep the faith. Those around me tend to live—unless you’re my sibling. You’re not, right?”

Tipsy and harmless, thought Jonas. “No, I’m pretty sure we’re not related in any way.”

“There!” The woman gave them a bright, cheery grin. “You’re safe.”

The plane lurched again, this time more sharply, and Jonas and Valerie felt the rise of tension in the atmosphere. The trays rattled harder and the woman’s drink slopped onto her tray.

Next week, Carrie Vaccaro Nelkin will be sharing an excerpt from her tale of horror, “An Opening Black and Infinite.” See you there!



  • Pat • May 21, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Sounds very intriguing. This will definitely be on my summer reading list.

    • J. M. Levinton • May 22, 2018 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you!

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