Welcome back to another Teaser Tuesday featuring the authors of An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
Please welcome to the stage Tom Olbert, fellow MMP veteran and author of The Arendall Horror.
THE IMPROBABLE AUTHORS: TOM OLBERT
1. What drew you to submit to this particular anthology?
The atmosphere, mainly. The dark, chilling feel of a foggy London night in Victorian times. The clatter of hooves down a cobblestone street. I’ve long been intrigued by the idea of combining that with the most horrific forms of science fiction. I’d delved into the idea before, and I couldn’t resist the urge to do so again, especially when the one and only Sherlock Holmes was the topic. Who could ask for more?
2. Tell us a little about your story.
Basically, it’s Arthur Conan Doyle meets John Carpenter. Holmes vs. the Thing from Outer Space. The set-up is pretty typical Holmes fare. A distraught young woman comes to 221B Baker Street with a perplexing problem that only Holmes can solve. Everyone else blames the devil for the inexplicable and horrific events occurring on a country estate, but Holmes follows the path of science, straight to a hideous extraterrestrial life form that absorbs every living thing it touches. Forbidden clandestine relationships, otherworldly science and horror combine in a dark tale of mystery and alien evil.
3. Who’s your favorite Sherlock?
Jeremy Brett, definitely. He tempered the cold, intellectual Sherlock with a hint of almost child-like innocence that was endearing.
4. What else (if anything) have you written?
Quite a bit, actually, including “Black Goddess” a dark science fiction/horror novelette about a troubled young man who travels back in time to the beginning of the universe, obsessed with finding the ultimate truth, no matter how terrible. Now available from Mocha, along with “Hellshift” a sci-fi horror short and “Along Came a Spider,” a steamy romantic science fantasy short.
5. Where can we find you online?
Check out my blog at http://tomolbert.blogspot.com. Search on my name at Amazon.com, or just Google me, and you should be able to find titles and reviews.
THE IMPROBABLE TRUTH: THE CANARIES OF CLEE HILLS MINE
Sandborn led us through the tunnel, into the caves. As we all entered, torches lit, I sensed something cold and horribly forbidding in the dank interior of those murky caverns. There was a slimy, rancid stench as if we were walking into a slaughterhouse. “What is that horrid smell?” I asked.
“Rats, I expect, sir,” Sandborn answered. “I saw a few of them down here that night, picking at other scraps of itself that thing had left behind. Then, I heard the poor vermin squealing in the dark as they died.”
Then, I saw it. The torchlight fell on a shadowed corner of the cave. Dripping milky-white fibers formed a grotesque nest of sorts, containing three large, ovoid, leathery objects. They resembled egg pods in a spider’s web, though magnified to scale many thousands of times. I gasped as the horrid things began to split open, bursting from the inside out. Sickly, milky-white fluid coated the abominable things that emerged, squealing as they clawed their way out. To this day, I cannot accurately describe them. The creatures had long, jointed limbs like that of a giant spider, yet they were webbed, like the wings of a huge bat. Their heads were rodent-like and snarling with six-inch fangs dripping . Their eyes glowed green in the torchlight. Scarcely out of their ungodly crèche, they were shrieking and swarming at us with inconceivable speed, slithering on multiple tentacles…