Wednesday, August 8, 2012

FADING LIGHT Teaser 2

FADING LIGHT: An Anthology of the Monstrous comes out first of September. Edited by Tim Marquitz. Cover art by the very talented Jessy Lucero. Published by the great folk at Angelic Knight Press. This antho is going to ROCK, folks! 

My short story FINAL RIGHTS short story is part of the FADING LIGHT COMPANION TALES that you can get access to when you buy the print version of the book, and also if you buy the electronic version you get the whole sha-bang...that's 25 tales in the main book, and 5 additional as part of the companion piece. 30 great stories by some stellar writers.

To let you in a bit of my tale in the book, here is a small snippet from the actual story including a teaser section of a larger black & white sketch the talented Mr Tim Holtrop did for me after reading and enjoying FINAL RIGHTS.

Enjoy.

* * * * *

After the Great Middle East War of 2025, the night almost consumed Mankind all around the globe. Though decimated, he stayed resilient to survive even as the leaden skies kept him under its dismal canopy. Darker things had come to pass from the post-radioactive rains and dreariness of constant dusk. Though he hid in the brilliance of the last vestiges of once large cities and towns, chances appeared bleak when those terrible overlords of the dark thirsted for Mankind in the very shadow he cast?”

Excerpt from Sebastian Wells THE LAST HISTORIES
Siste-Dager Publications copyright 2113



They had just passed the dilapidated Hudsonville depot, the halfway point between Grand Rapids and New Holland, when the attacks came. Though it was just passed noon, the land appeared on the edge of night. The wolves came up out of the darkness like fanged fish from some deep ocean trough. Clint’s earbud throbbed with the shout of Brecktel in the two-way: “Steady, lads. We got a whole pack of them.”

The gunner’s in the boxcar side cupolas and men on the rooftops picked their targets and opened fire. The big furry masses of muscle and teeth met a bombardment of biting and tearing lead.

A wolf as black as midnight came charging towards the front of the train, loping with enormous strides towards the engine. Clint scoped him, swiveling the big gun along the rail of his gunner’s nest as the animal ran headlong into the rumbling engine. Short steel planks with machine-serrated edges had been welded along the skirt of the big steam locomotive. They were lovingly referred to as “cow eviscerators” versus cow catchers, and they did their job quite efficiently on man or beast getting too close to the speeding loco.

The snarling and snapping creature leapt. Its upper body cleared the serrated skirting only to be run through as its abdomen slammed into the blades. It emitted a pained bark, retching up a wave of blood and bile against the hot boiler. A guardsman who had been standing behind the engineer bellowed his surprise and outrage as he was doused with the steaming juices.

Over the roar of the wind, the train and the attacking wolves, Brecktel broke in over through Clint’s earbud issuing commands and asking for updates from each sector of the train. “Keep firing! Mow this group down and it will make the others think twice in getting this close,” the Captain said.

Clint scoped a white and black-pepper furred beast running along the third box car down, looking up at the gunner’s basket as the soldier within tried to fire at it. His gun couldn’t angle down as far as he’d needed and Clint could see the worried expression on the guardsman’s face.

The wolf’s head disappeared in an explosion of blood, bone and brains.

Clint watched the mouth of his rifle smoke and received an approving nod from the relieved gunner.

“Something big coming up behind us,” came the voice of a man named Langeley manning the last car. In the background could be heard the anxious conversation of the other men trying to talk over the wind and continuing gun fire.

Snippet of FINAL RIGHTS sketch by Tim Holtrop