Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WIP Wednesday – Netherworld III: Once Bitten Twice Dead

Something infernal is stalking Fulton Falls, destroying ghosts and turning the living into zombies.

            I trotted down the remains of the cobblestone road, ignoring the strange, electric sensation of roots and debris passing through my body.  A packed dirt cross street was just ahead, and I turned left off the cobblestone remains off the main drag to follow the cry I’d heard.
            It came again.  It was definitely a sound of desperate panic, and I ran faster than ever to find whoever was making it.  I had no idea if it was a result of whatever had emptied out the other thin places or was a simple case of normal crime.  All I knew was that someone was in real trouble, and they needed help.
            I raced past a row of brick and tabby building remains.  Movement to my left caught my eye, and I went towards it, darting around larger roots and trying to get a look at what hazards I was heading into.
            An opening appeared before me, allowing me a sightline into an area not overgrown.  What I saw stopped me in my tracks.
            A young woman, perhaps my own age when she’d died, was twisting and struggling.  Her pretty face, framed with pale blond hair, was wrenched with pain and terror as she fought.  Tears ran down her face.  
            As for what she fought … my eyes tried to make sense of it.  It was black with dull silver ripples running through it.  The best way I can describe it is it appeared like an oil slick come to life.  It ran in thick strands over the woman, clinging to her with hooks that appeared at its edges.  It wrapped her flailing limbs with the slow sinuous touch of a lover.  It made no sound at all.
            The young woman went to her knees, still fighting.  She shrieked.  Over her head, a round blob stretched from the black thing, and I saw the silver ripples arrange themselves into the semblance of a face.  Eyes shimmered, the suggestion of a nose, and finally a smiling mouth that stretched wide to display glittering fangs.  The pseudo-face dipped down, depending from a long rope of black tentacle.  The face disappeared as it slithered forward, burying itself against the woman’s throat.

Tentatively scheduled for September 2012 release

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