My first venture into the horror genre was certainly a horrifying experience. I had the book up for a few weeks and bam! A friend pointed out that it seemed to be not quite right. When I looked at it again on Kindle, I discovered that the copy I uploaded was not the copy I had intended to put up for sale. Needless to say, I was quite upset, but there was nothing to be done. One of the pitfalls of writing and self-pubbing is that these kinds of mistakes happen occasionally and they do nothing to enhance one’s reputation as a serious author. If only I was a bit more of a perfectionist rather than a Libra…
So, I pulled it down as best I could from Amazon, which doesn’t really allow an author to actually remove a book that has been uploaded and sold. Unfortunately, several readers bought the book before it was corrected. I humbly ask anyone who did buy it, to please trade it in for the new version uploaded 1/21/2012.
The story is a simple, little horror tale about two lukewarm friends thrown together by a mutually damning chain of circumstances including a string of gruesome murders in a small Texas town. It is laced with humor and meant solely for entertainment and light reading. No hidden agendas, moral tales or subatomic messages aimed at Zombie mind control intended. Read and enjoy.
Available for $2.99 at Amazon.com for Kindle and also at Smashwords.
The Hounds of Oblivion by Brendan Carroll at: http://tinyurl.com/HoundsofOblivion
Tuesday ~ Early Afternoon
Janice Markle closed her van door and pulled her cell phone from her purse.
“Marshall Dillon,” she said and smiled at the sound of the Constable’s name as usual.
The phone automatically dialed the constable’s number for her. She sat tapping the steering wheel impatiently as his phone rang. Something caught her eye near the rear porch of the old mansion that served as the local funeral parlor and the county morgue.
“Hello?” Dillon’s voice startled her and she leaned back.
“Hey, Marshall, Miss Kitty here,” she said and stuck the key in the van’s ignition.
“Hello, Janice,” Marshall answered. “What’s up?”
“I got those DNA reports for you,” she said and laid her phone on the console face down, activating the speaker phone as she put the van in reverse.
“Great!” Dillon’s voice perked up. “What… do you want to meet me somewhere? Or do you want to just tell me about it?”
“Oh, I thought we might meet at Gill’s for a late lunch. I missed my lunch with the ladies waiting for these results,” she said and then squinted at the porch. She was sure she saw someone or something on the ground on the other side of the porch. She could see a dark shape moving around through the white lattice that skirted the porch. “Hey, Marsh, did you say you thought we had a bear around town?”
“Uhh, yeah,” he said and frowned at Clint who sat at the breakfast bar nursing a beer. “Why?”
“I think it might be out here at the Brice Home,” she said. “I think…” she paused and put the van in drive. “I think it might be trying to dig under the porch in back. Or it could just be a big dog.”
“A big dog?” Marshall repeated, his voice breaking, his heart freezing.
“Yeah. Hold on a minute,” she said and pulled forward slowly, easing the van toward the porch. The white rocks in the parking area behind the building popped and cracked as the wheels rolled forward.
“Janice!” Marshall shouted in the phone. “Wait! Don’t get out of the car!”
“What?” she asked and frowned down at the phone in surprise.
“Don’t get out of the car!” He said again. “Just get the hell out of there.”
“I’m not getting out of the car, silly! Hang on a minute. I just want to see what…”
She stomped the brake when the black dog-like creature stepped up onto the porch.
“Janice!” Marshall shouted.
“Oh my God!” She answered. “What the fuck is that?!”
“Janice! Get out of there!!” Dillon grabbed his keys from the counter, picked up his shoulder holster and headed for the door with Clint on his heels. “Janice! Answer me for God’s sake!”
He could hear her making noises and the sounds of the van’s engine. She was saying ‘oh, God!’ and ‘Jesus!’ and making other noises of panic and then he heard the phone clattering as it fell to the floor. Her voice became muffled and harder to hear.
Clint and Marshall climbed into the SUV and Marshall handed the phone to Clint as he struggled to keep his cool long enough to start the truck and back out of the drive. Clint began talking to Janice, calling her name in vain and alternately listening to her panicked exclamations and finally her screams and the sound of breaking glass and crunching metal.
“Drive!” Clint shouted and dropped the phone on the floor and grabbed the dashboard when Dillon screamed around the corner.
They reached the old Brice mansion in five minutes flat, sirens wailing and lights flashing. Janice’s van was in the back parking lot, engine running, wheels spinning as it attempted to slowly climb a big cedar tree. The driver’s door was ripped off the hinges and lying ten to twelve yards from the van.
Blood spatter decoupaged the side of the van, the driver’s seat and then twin trails of bright red led them across the lush green lawn and down into a small rocky creek bed. There in the fine silt were two sets of very large, dog-like foot prints and many scrapes between the distinct trails. Two creatures, carrying Janice between them. The two men ran upstream, screaming and shouting Janice’s name over and over until the blood trail abruptly ended at a moss-covered rock. The rock was scarred and scraped by the creatures’ claws. Then, they could find nothing more. No more footprints, no more blood. Nothing. It was as if the creatures and Janice had simply jumped from the rock into thin air.
They both slumped onto the boulder, panting for breath and trying to make sense of it all. After a few minutes of needed respite, they looked at each other in mutual despair.
Marshall got up, drew a deep breath and walked all the way around the rock, looking at it closely, kicking at its buried base with the tip of his cowboy boot. The rock was solidly embedded in the earth. Such things were rare in Southeast Texas. Bedrock was buried beneath the deep top soils, clays and sands. Outcroppings were occasionally found in road cuts and deeply eroded riverbeds. The rock was pinkish with brown, somewhat evenly spaced, vertical stripes.
“What does this look like to you?” Marshall asked his companion.
“A fucking rock,” Clint answered and shrugged. “A big one.”
Marshall blew out a long breath and shook his head. “This looks like sandstone. See these layers? Sedimentary rock and this position, vertical? Means this rock was either folded upwards and broken, maybe or just pushed upward by some force from below.”
“Well, yeah,” Clint agreed. “Isn’t that what plate tectonics do?”