Monday, March 15, 2010

Nine Tenths: A Horror Novel

So my intention for the better part of two years now has been to finish the horror novel I have been writing. I am not a writer by education or talent, but I love the horror genre and I do feel as though I have a story that I want to tell. Those elements have proven to be enough to get me to occasionally sit down and push out a few paragraphs when the mood takes me. Aside then from our regular blogs on the paranormal, movies, or whatever strikes our fancy I will be uploading a few pages here and there from my unfinished novel I have titled Nine Tenths. Hopefully this will incite me to finish what I started and maybe I can get enough feedback to help me in the process. Thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoy my freshman effort.


Nine Tenths

Chapter 1

The farm had yielded a comfortable return less than just 3 years ago, but now the brittle husks rasped in the night like ghosts. It was ravaged, dead, and the sickly brown corpses that inhabited the field barely swayed mourning the golden kernels of corn that had once shone over the 5 acre plot. Four silhouettes were making their way through the field, more quietly than could be expected for their speed; only their labored breathing marked their haste, and even that was trained and executed within reason.

“Fuck.” The curse, an intrusion in the silence, was spat out as a stick, pointed enough at one end just to be dangerous dug itself into the lead silhouettes’ calf. The man, more of a robot in his calculated movements, shifted his weight and brought his left arm down to his side in one movement, grabbing the lance and yanking it out. A crimson arc, lit by the crescent of the moon sprayed into the air as the splinter was flung from the wound. Another man fell as the first regained his momentum. The point man, tossing the blood glazed broken stick turned to witness a pair of leathery wings shoot into the sky, the downed man in tow, half held, half impaled by the creature, now aloft against the stars, racing towards his death.

The hole in his calf almost now a memory, new threats had caste their shadows against the glow of the horizon and the man known as Garrett swung his arms backward like sickles slicing through the air. The sheen of steal danced along the barrels as bullets popped from the twin chrome Glock 9’s. The bullets tore through the wings like paper and man and devil flipped through the air, an absurd parody of aerial ballet. A third man, positioned between the ragtag troop’s leader and the spot where his best friend had been seconds before, wheeled around and focused his eyes on the black night over his head. A shadow displaced the stars and the man reached out to catch the body, only to be thrust backward by a loud pop and a searing pain racing up from his elbow. The body of his friend lay at his feet, one foot nestled against his left cheek in a gruesome knot.

“Frankie’s dead. Get on your feet.” The voice was not callous or uncaring, but the urgency could be mistaken for indifference. Garret grabbed the man under his left arm and started to drag him forward, trying desperately to break into a run, even with the dead weight pushing gravity mercilessly against him. The younger man, his face pale with shock, was also struggling to get to his feet. His right arm dangled lifelessly at his side. Garret, the older of the two by over twenty years, brought the man to his feet and almost simultaneously brandished a serrated blade from his belt. Without looking he delivered a short chop to the air above his head. A foot to his right a taloned finger over six inches long fell against the browned grass of the knoll overlooking the edge of the field. A screech fell against the men so shrill their hearing stuttered in their own heads like a radio station struggling to retain reception. In front of them the small slender figure that had been pacing the group raced ahead.

“My arm…I can’t feel it” the younger man mused, the shock draining the inflection from his voice.

“That’s because you almost broke it off.” Garret could only half concentrate on the query of the man behind him. A small structure, a square with an arch pointed to the heavens, lay in the distance beyond the knoll. There were no lights accompanying it, but he could tell there were bodies there, huddled somewhere within its interior. That was secondary, however.

Primary was the form crisscrossing the sky, causing the moonlight to strobe at their feet as it circled the stray member of their party that had pulled ahead of them. Garret swung the Glocks into their holsters with the ease and grace of a seasoned magician and reached toward the small of his back bringing a small lariat with a hooked head to arms length. He swung the hook and let the slack of the cord lengthen. Flicking his wrist, Garret let loose the hook, aiming above the creature’s prey.

The shadow swooped towards the smaller silhouette, slowing slightly as it dipped with a confident zeal, arrogantly displaying its triumph. As it neared the ten year old boy, the corded hook penetrated its back, square between its wings, burying itself in the sinewy flesh. Garret, feeling a tug as the cord threatened to pull loose, jerked backwards quickly. A wet snap sounded above the boy’s head and an object whirred behind and away from him. Still cradling his arm, Joe Barnes took Garret’s lead and ducked as the glistening spine, tugged free of its host, sailed over their heads.

The boy turned and half jogged backwards waiting for the others to catch up. He knew better than to distance himself from the group, and he was much older than his ten years, old enough to know which words of advice were meant to keep him alive. The church had looked closer and with Joe falling behind, he had put more space between he and the group than he had intended. He scanned the sky, waiting for another assault, but none came. He quickly closed the gap to the edge of the church’s property and started to fumble with the gate when a strong hand gripped his shoulder, making him cover his own mouth for fear of screaming.

“We need to hurry. Here.” As he said this, Garret grabbed the boy under his arms, scooping him up and breaking into a dead sprint towards the church that lay ahead. At ten, the boy was too thin for his age and Garrett could barely feel the weight of the child in his arm. He had carried bulkier weapons with ease and the broadsword sheathed to his back was at least 8 pounds heavier than the boy. The blade had another burden all its own, however.

“No need to knock,” he grunted as he placed a kick below the brass handle of the door splintering the frame. The door swung open a few feet before hitting a tower of chairs that had no doubt served as a makeshift barrier. An ineffective one, however. The interior of the church showed a space that betrayed its humble exterior. Pews lined a long central room and its breadth was wide, almost commanding awe, were it not for the humility within its modest design. It had seen trauma though and several pews lay overturned ripped free from the floor, some still with pieces of hardwood clinging to the bolts that once held them fast in their place. The pulpit had been defaced and the stench of urine made the very air seem heavy and hot.

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