By Kate Policani
Edited by Kathleen Firstenberg
Cover photo by Chris Barker
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Hidden within Human society is an entrancing race of beings who look just like us. They are the Akataromai.Originating on Earth, they conceal themselves, blending within the Human population. Though they appear to be Human, mature Akataromai live for centuries and feed upon negative Human emotions. Angelina Quorra is an Akataromai, a Human-looking girl who might never die. But Angelina is unique among her people, absorbing pain as well as emotion and giving anyone who feeds her overwhelming pleasure. This is her story, told by the men who adore her. Her talent is called The Lustre, bringing her great fame, and great trouble.
The Lustre weaves a new tale of Fantasy, revealing an entrancing race of people called the Akataromai. Originating on Earth, they conceal themselves, blending within Human society. Though they appear to be Human, mature Akataromai feed upon negative Human emotions. Angelina Quorra, a young woman with a rare gift among Akataromai, produces overwhelming ecstasy in those upon whom she feeds. No one who feels it can ever forget The Lustre.
Kate Policani weaves Angelina Quorra’s tale from a unique perspective, viewing her through the eyes of the men who adore her. Each provides a piece of Angelina’s life story, chronicling her trials and her salvation. From her father’s guilt-plagued love to the faithful devotion of her servants, all the men who have been touched by Angelina have their say.
Born to young and rebellious parents who selfishly flout their society’s standards, little Angelina flounders in poverty and isolation. Her savior is Luciano Quorra. He transports her into comfort and wealth in the bosom of her people, sheltering her until she can reach adulthood. Together they discover her unique gift, astonished at its power. Unfortunately, even love and marriage can’t save Angelina from the machinations of Jaques Trace. Through murder, kidnapping and treachery he will destroy her happiness just to taste her charms. Will he succeed in monopolizing that intoxicating experience and the only woman who can impart The Lustre?
Kate Policani has a wild imagination and an addiction to reading and writing. Her hobby is exploring and analyzing all kinds of stories. She uses them like a literary chemistry set to examine a variety ideas and concepts and to fuel her own writing. She prefers writing in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres because the exciting flights of fancy make a thrilling plot.
The evening sun was warm on my face when I stepped out of the chilly, musty woods. The abrupt transition was disorienting because I was climbing up a winding, hilly trail in a heavily-wooded state park one minute, and the next I was standing at the edge of an orchard—apples from the heady smell. It topped the hill I had been climbing, wading into the lush green grass that grew high and overgrown all around.
As I stood catching my breath, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye and heard a rustle. I turned just in time to see a flash of golden hair and a slender ankle disappear behind an immense tree at the edge of the woods to my left.
“Hello,” I called to the form, walking slowly in that direction. I reached the tree and peered around the other side, but no one was there. “Hello?” I called again. There was no sign of anyone around now. Then I heard a rustling above me.
On a branch above, too high for me to reach, stood a stunning girl. She was around seventeen, willowy and vibrant, with huge blue eyes and creamy skin. Her shining golden hair floated around her and her little wispy blue dress danced around her knees. I’m not sure if I imagined it, but it was almost as if she had a golden glow about her.
“Hey,” I called up to her, hungry for her attention. “Do you know where this place is?”
She stared with disapproval for a moment, and then said in a melodious but stern voice, “Didn’t you see the signs at the edge of the trail? You’re on private property. The park ended more than 500 feet that way.” She pointed a graceful finger into the woods. “Uh…” I stammered, struck by her beauty which changed from moment to moment like a rippling pool. “Sorry…”
“You should go now,” she warned.
“Oh…” I fumbled, buying time now so I could keep looking at her. “Uh…why?”
She shot me with a heartbreaking and gorgeous frown, and an exquisite flush of frustration bloomed on her cheek. “Lucci doesn’t tolerate intruders. He won’t show you any mercy.”
“Who’s Lucci?” I stalled some more.
She gave me another dazzling frown and shook her head in silence. Then she looked up with a flash of her eye and her whole face changed from distrust to anticipation, her succulent coral lips parted. “Here he comes,” she whispered. I could barely hear her, but her words sent a sudden shock of panic through me. Something was coming toward me—I could feel it. I almost dashed away right then, but I couldn’t leave without something.
“Please,” I stammered nervously, “what is your name?”
“Angelina,” she murmured, still gazing with those sapphire eyes down the grassy, tree-spotted hill toward the yet invisible Lucci. Whatever this Lucci was, it was awful enough for me to sense it in a way that was almost supernatural.
Now I ran. I had never felt any kind of instinct like it before, but terror raced in my veins and I know I ran faster than I had ever run. I didn’t stop till I got to my Jeep. I don’t even remember my flight except for the driving fear and the trees rushing past me. Once I was inside with the door locked and the engine running, I realized that I was gasping for breath so hard that I almost vomited. Tears were streaming out of my eyes—from wind or from fear? My nose had run and I had drooled all down my face and chin and I was soaked in sweat. Whatever Lucci was, he must be horrible. Still I vowed to find Angelina again. Was she a captive? She didn’t seem afraid of this Lucci, even though I was.
Yes, I must find her again.
I would find her, and I would record her story.