I know I’ve been quiet, but it’s for a really good reason. I’ve been busy. Well, Selah and I have. We’ve been scrambling to put together this super-secret collection of short stuff to share with the world. It’s an experiment and an adventure. We’re self-publishing this puppy, so it has been a lot of work. We’ve argued over cover art and finagled formatting and as of last night, sent it on its merry way to CreateSpace. When it’s available for purchase, you guys will be the first to know.
So, without further ado, here’s our precioussssssssss new cover:
Ain’t it gorgeous? I think so anyway. It’s 300 pages of speculative goodness for your reading pleasure in paperback and eBook! Come on, Creeps…you know you want a copy.
And while we’re here, how about a Teaser? I’ll share one of my more interesting pieces with the world. This one is included in the book
My love is my vengeance.
I only hope he knew that when he looked at me that last time. I never expected my love to go quite so asunder, and when he came home covered in blood, the skin on his neck flayed open like the wings of a bloody vulture, I knew there was no going back.
Having spent the last ten years as a zombie hunter, when I left my home, I always tried to warn him that he could not follow. He had no right, and he knew it. Still, my beloved Charles did not understand my reluctant profession, as incidental as it may be, nor could he trust that which he feared. He had to see for himself the very thing that would ultimately bring an end to our union. Had I known he had crept along to watch, I would not have been out so long. I would not have been forced to face my ultimate fear.
It was late when I opened the door that led into the darkened, silent kitchen. The house was empty again. With a sigh I removed my boots, poured a glass of tea, and returned to the porch, hoping Charles would avoid trouble and come home safely.
Hours passed in silence, ticking slowly away while the anticipation at the back of my mind grew. I needed to go find him. He was never gone so long without calling. With each second that ticked past, the rapid beat of my heart increased.
When something in the bushes next to me moved, the nervous energy inside me exploded and I found myself on alert, crouched close to the warped floorboards with weapons in hand.
I anticipated my nemesis, but prayed for a small animal. What greeted me was not either lost scavenger, but my Charles, his mouth unhinged, wrenched open in a perpetual, silent scream, his throat reduced to ragged meat-on-bone at the hands of some unknown undead.
His skin had already begun to pale and wither. The humanity was gone from his eyes, following the life that had been pushed out by the infectious bite. This thing was no longer a man, no longer my lover. He had become a demon.
Charles finally understood my burden, too late though it may have been. Dead hands reached for me, his eyes avoiding mine. Aslow, bloody slobber started at the corner of his mouth, leaving a pink stain on his blue-hued skin and turning to a puddle on his torn t-shirt.
When the thing did look at me, it paused and a glimmer of Charles came back to its eyes. It hesitated as I backed away. My machete was still clutched in my right hand, drawn of its own accord; a natural reaction to the sight before me.
I knew not to hesitate even as I did it. It would have meant my ruin as well, had this not been a familiar monster. His focus was quivering, death struggling to overcome the last shreds of humanity, and soon he would strike. Charles was leaving forever.
“Forgive me, my love,” I begged tearfully and raised the weapon. The sharpened blade severed bone and nerve easily, and the body collapsed, the brain separated from the nervous system. The limbs twitched as if they were attached to electrodes, and those beautiful, haunted, dead eyes stared up at me while I struggled to reconcile the destruction with the murder of my husband.
I would never again hear his laugh, or feel his hands along my spine. I would have to live with the memories of his warmth next to me in our bed, and the gentle patience he exuded when listening to my constant complaints about my thankless job. And I would always remember that it was I who stole his life, who ended his existence.
His blood still stains my hands, and his head lies at my feet. I fall to my knees, tears streaming from my eyes with the grief of my own loss.
“I love you,” I whisper, my voice a disembodied sound as I lift the head from its place in the dirt and press my lips to his. The skin is cold and stiff, and the smell of death rises from the stilled, black blood dripping from its neck. The body twitches one last time and is still. I can feel my heart breaking in two as I lay the decapitated head in the dirt and with my fingertips close the eyes I love so much. My lover is dead.
Enough, I tell myself as I rise and walk away. There is no room for sorrow in my life. The time for mourning will come with the rise of the sun, and only then will I be allowed to begin the healing process. My life is not over. My job is unfinished. Right now, I still have work to do, and I need to find a shovel before dawn.