11-11-11 is the date of the release my first collection of short stories, The Dark is Light Enough for Me. Let’s get some samples out there, teasers, stuff to pique your interest. Well, I certainly hope they pique your interest. And, if nothing else, if I am just doing this for the fun of it, well, it gives me an excuse to use the word “pique,” something that doesn’t come around every day.
A taste of “Black Wings,” a story about guilt and crows; about getting your just rewards, or simply just going mad. Running from his conscience, Dave, our weary narrator, finds out he really has nowhere to run. Hence, this lovely sequence:
I saw it first as a black cloud that paced me as I sped; a black cloud somehow darker, yet more distinct than the darkness that surrounded it, imbued with a sentience I could not imagine. It was disturbing, but in my haste I ignored it as best as possible, until something disengaged from its ululating abyssal girth, something of substantial mass itself, something falling, like a hammer on a nail.
It landed with a loud cracking sound in front of me, a meaty and moist splat just beyond the Rabbit’s straining beams. I had to stomp on the brakes and swerve to the shoulder, skidding past, trying to avoid whatever it was. I screamed--a cawing trill wrenched from my throat, worthy of anything emitted by the crows; it more than equaled the bizarre circumstances that preceded as well as the harsh, groaning complaint of the wheels as they struggled to halt my impetus. The car belched and coughed in protest as it came to an abrupt stop. My heart was pounding; I could hear it in my head, a bouncing rubber ball throb that pummeled until it ached.
I unlocked the door and stepped out, a little woozy from the skidding stop, shaken and nervous. Slipping...
I didn’t want to confirm what I thought I had seen drop from the black sky. I didn’t want to know what had landed on the freeway not fifty feet behind me, as I regained some sort of grasp on reality. Well, not reality, more like holding on out of desperation, options limited, tapping into the adrenaline rush and forcing my body to simmer, though my mind was well beyond my control.
Reality was severely in question.
Fun, eh?! Poor Dave, he’s only just begun his tumble. Where he ends up, ohhhh, you can only imagine.
I think of this story as a good icebreaker. It sets the reader up properly with a couple of good kicks—surprises, y’know--and a satisfying finale. Bleak, sure, but this is horror (or any range of dark fiction) we’re dealing with in the collection. I’ve opened the door to let you in; join me.
Of course, it's a door that gets slammed open and torn off the hinges with the next story…
|Crows. They're watching you...|