Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Professor Arthur Flowers
Professor Beverly Allen
Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Creative Writing | Fiction
Penance is a fictional novel written both as an Honors Capstone project and as a work that will be further revised and eventually submitted for professional publication.
The novel is set in modern day, in the fictional southern city of Avington. Avington, like the rest of the world, is home to a group of terrifying creatures called the nephilim, a name derived from Hebrew, meaning “the fallen.” The nephilim are humans who once died and were reborn as undead creatures; because of their insatiable thirst for human life energy, they are considered demons with the faces of men. Despite the threat of the nephilim, few people even know that they exist; those who do include the Church and secret societies such as the Vigil, an organization tasked with slaying these creatures. The main problem, however, is that the nephilim cannot be destroyed. Though their bodies can be “slain,” they are always reanimated soon after.
25-year-old waitress Dahlia Ellis is an avid member of the Vigil and has harbored an immense hatred of the nephilim ever since childhood, when she witnessed a naphil kill her older sister. Everything changes for Dahlia, however, when she meets a man named Seth, to whom she is inexplicably drawn despite his enigmatic presence. As Dahlia grows dangerously close to Seth, Dahlia’s boyfriend Law, a fanatical Vigil member in his own right, is visited by an angel named Nathaniel, who claims to know how to destroy the nephilim once and for all. The more time that Law spends with Nathaniel, however, the more he suspects that the angel’s motives may not be as pure as he originally thought.
After a twisted series of events, Dahlia finds herself sucked into the underground world of the nephilim and discovers the disturbing truth of their existence. Meanwhile, Law becomes an inadvertent pawn in a supernatural plot that threatens to destroy humanity and the world as he knows it.
Weiser, Rachel Anne, "Penance: A Novel" (2012). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 124.
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