Friday, December 05, 2014

Exclusive Preview from Book 3 of the SAGA OF THE DEAD SILENCER: Oyster Crackers, Part IV

A Winter’s Tale, with Zombies, in Five Parts
This story, a flashback within a flashback, occupied most of October and November for me, as I had to establish Elyssa’s and Agnes’ backstory. I might not even use most, if any of this material, especially if it gets in the way of the narrative. Still, as Hemingway said in his parable of the iceberg, it’s good for the author to know much more than is stated explicitly to the reader.

It’s a hell of a story, though, and a shame to waste it, so onto the blog it goes. A tale of Bad Friday, the Dark Resurrection, as told over bowls of hot clam chowder on a dark and snowy afternoon. Pull up a chair and hang onto your lunch. Derek Grace’s post-apocalypse marriage to Dark Agnes isn’t the only thing getting messy. Here’s Part I if you missed it. Click here for Part II. Click here for Part III.

Part IV:

The door was yanked open with much force. Dylan slapped a pale hand on the door jamb and steadied himself. Elyssa realized he’d been on his back for at least 48 hours, so his muscles couldn’t have been very coordinated. He made weird, hissing, slobbery noises in lieu of breathing. It was as if he was relearning that, too.

The thing that had once been a little boy moved its head up and down and side to side, testing the muscles and taking in where he was. He didn’t seem to actually see anything. 

But when he faced down the short hall, across the living room to the breakfast nook, he charged forward. The look on his face indicated he wanted more than a hug from Mommy, who crouched before him, arms open.

But Agnes reached up and grabbed his arms before they could lock around her. “Holy shit, Elyssa! Help me!”

Dylan’s little baby teeth seemed to be trying to stretch past his tiny lips to get at his mother’s flesh. Elyssa could think of nothing to do but whimper, but the sound caused Dylan to turn its head and hiss at Elyssa. Agnes leveraged herself to her feet, still holding on her little boy’s arms. Elyssa whimpered louder as Agnes raised her left foot, planted her heel into her child’s chest—and, letting go of his arms, kicked out as hard as she could.

He made a pathetic, whining noise as he tumbled backwards across the floor. Whatever emotions this evoked were cut short as he pulled up to all fours, making a sound like something no child, human or otherwise, should make. 

“Dylan!” Agnes called out one last time.

The thing on the floor wearing Dylan’s underwear and a monster’s face gurgled promises of murder in the back of its throat. The eyes were focused on nothing and no one. “Oh, dammit, who am I kidding?” Elyssa remembers Agnes saying. “Dylan, I’m sorry I didn’t do this 15 minutes ago.”

She slid the .45 from her waistband as the child-thing rose slowly from its knees.

“Mom?” A.J. called out from behind the master bedroom door. 

The little boy hissed triumphantly and turned towards the sound.

“Oh hell no!” cried Agnes. “You look right here, you little shit!”

But the thing didn’t look over until Agnes came down the hall after him, half-crouched in shooter’s stance, the barrel of her pistol straight up, and ready to drop.

“It started coming towards her as she got close. She made sure to lead it away from the bedroom door. Almost all the way out of the hall. And then that horrible explosion, and that little boy’s head …disappeared.”

At that precise moment, through every side of the house, an unearthly moan filled the room. Elyssa was trying to imitate it for me. She didn’t have to. Everyone knows how the dead react to the sound of gunfire.

NEXT: Part V: “One of them was already pounding at the door.”

I’m still working on Book 3, but Books 1 and 2 of THE SAGA OF THE DEAD SILENCER are available NOW from Severed Press!

Check out Book 1, Bleeding Kansas, in Kindle and paperback. When you’re done with that, go straight to Grace Among the Dead, also in Kindle and paperback. These are brutal tales, brutally written, and both picked up by Luzifer-Verlag for German translation. Check out what the Germans like so much better than your fellow Americans!

Book 1 has ONE exploding head
on its cover.
Book 2 has TWO exploding heads.
See the pattern here?

They’re also available in Canada and the UK.