I am finally done with the first draft of the sixth book of the Shadow Enforcer series. It is a little longer than the previous books, which is not surprising considering everything that is going on in the story.
The self-editing phase is over, and now the manuscript is in the hands of my amazing professional editor. I probably mentioned before, but I always work on a few things at the same time. Multitasking comes easily for me, and I use this ability to its full potential. I can switch from task to task within seconds without losing focus or forgetting anything. So, while I am working with my editor, I started to do the research for my next story.
While many people think that since Urban Fantasy is still fantasy, not a lot of research is needed, but it can’t be further from the truth. Even though I am writing in Urban Fantasy genre, research is extremely important. I don't start writing my books until I am done with research, and even then, it happens quite often that in the middle of writing I have to stop what I am doing to do some extra research. Every book of the Fire Salamander Chronicles (including the novella) and The Shadow Enforcer Series, starts with either a legend or a true historical event. Just to write the Prologue of each book, I have to spend quite a bit of time in libraries and on the internet, doing research.
In the meantime, let’s talk about gods and monsters of the Salamanderverse. Meet One-eyed Likho (Likho Odnoglazoe)... or maybe not... not a very good idea... To be honest, you want to stay away from One-eyed Likho as far as possible.
Why? Because in Slavic mythology, this is an embodiment of evil fate and misfortune. The actual word “Likho” in modern Russian means “bad luck”. In the Belarusian language, “Likhi” means bad or evil, and in Ukrainian, it is also a type of bad luck.
So, who is One-eyed Likho?
Usually, Likho is described as an old woman, dressed in black, disheveled clothes. Likho is quite tall and skinny, and she is not hard to recognize, since she has only one eye in the middle of her forehead.
The problem is that if you’re close enough to recognize her, it’s too late for you.
Once Likho finds a victim, it’s practically impossible to get rid of her. She will feed on this person’s emotions, devouring any sparks of joy and all happy memories the victim might have had in their life, leaving them empty and depressed. The more emotional the person is, the more powerful Likho becomes, attacking not only the person she is attached to, but anyone who comes in contact with them.
Some legends have it that Likho doesn’t feed on positive emotions and memories, but collects them and locks them into an amulet, which she guards with her life.
What can you do if Likho gets a hold of you?
Whoa… I hope it didn’t happen to you, but if it did… (sigh…)
As I mentioned before, it’s practically impossible to get rid of Likho, but there is always hope.
1. Stay Strong. Stay Positive. A person with a strong personality can fight the deadly influence of One-Eyed Likho by holding on to the happy memories and resisting negativity. As far as I am concerned, Likho or not, staying positive and looking on the bright side of things is always a good idea. So, stay strong and positive, and you’ll be all right.
2. Find the amulet! If the person is not strong enough to fight Likho, then they can try to find the amulet where she locked all their good memories. Break the amulet and you’re free… Mostly…Likho might get a little upset, though. If that is the case, make sure you have good stamina because you need to RUN!
3. Be smart. Be cunning. If it happened to you, and you met One-eyed Likho on your way, don’t panic. Be smart and cunning. Get as close as possible to the monster and blind her. It’s not going to kill her, but it will give you a chance to run for your life.
Some Slavic legends say that another evil spirit—Baennik—can help you get rid of Likho. It could be the “two negatives” situation… not sure. But in this case, beggars can't be choosers. Whatever works, right?
Remember, even though Likho is powerful and has many zlidzens (evil house spirits) serving it, a person has two eyes and a lot smarter. There is always a way to fight bad luck and misfortune if you stay positive and believe in yourself.
Read The Burns Code, book four of the Fire Salamander series, to see if Zane Burns and his friends will survive the meeting with One-eyed Likho. The complete series is available on Amazon, FREE with Kindle Unlimited.