No Grave: Meet Cyrus.

As (all of you?) know, No Grave is coming out in just a few short weeks!  To tickle your curiosity, I’ll be posting a few small segments introducing some of the new cast and helping you remember some of the lovely people you met in No Reflection.  This first little teaser will introduce you to one of our narrators, Cyrus LeSage: Brooklynite, bar manager, and semi-retired witch.

(Remember to pre-order your digital copy today!  Available on Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, Kobo, etc…)

Without further ado, Cyrus LeSage:

 

Cyrus ate food cart breakfast on a sidewalk bench outside of Gilbert Ramirez Park.  He always thought calling the place a ‘park’ was a stretch.  It was a collection of white concrete streets winding around moldy bird fountains and scrappy patches of dying shrubbery.  Pale, splintering benches lined coiled walkways, framed in rusted black metal.  The park sat across from a desolate, walled-in lot of unoccupied land where tall, blue boards cried out ‘POST NO BILLS’ in faded orange stencil.  Despite the fervent demand, nearly every board was covered in vivid graffiti, wild hues of purple and yellow scrambled together in arcs of text and almost-murals.  One of the spray-paintings, a nearly three-dimensional spiral, reminded him of something from his nightmares.  He did his best to avoid looking at it.

The park was a good place to eat.  It was lightly populated.  Small children ran between scrawny trees laughing and playing tag, while older kids threw a tennis ball against a high wall and caught it as it rebounded.  An elderly couple perched on a nearby bench looked on, narrow smiles tickling their faces.  Cyrus had long ago found it was calming to be in the midst of a crowd.  No matter what happened, someone would see it.  It was a pleasant thought, even if it wasn’t true.

Cyrus dropped the Styrofoam serving box in a curbside garbage bin and watched a pair of children chase each other around a birdbath.  He turned to walk down the street when he heard a voice pick up on the autumn wind.

“Cyrus,” it tickled the back of his ears, soft and musical.

He spun around.

Bushwick, he reminded himself, his eyes searching for an unnoticed shadow somewhere between attenuated tree branches.  He took a step toward one of the twisting white walkways and peered down to where it vanished in on itself behind a thicket of bushes.  He listened for another sound.  A high-pitched giggle arced up from around a small hill.

Static crackled between the hairs on his arm.  The air hummed.  A coil of smoke lifted in the back of his mind, a West Virginian campfire window to Darkplace.  An ash-scented memory of the Last Ceremony.

His heart wardrummed in his skull.  It was coming.

A child turned a sharp corner over the crest of the hill and bumped into him.  She was a small girl wearing a floral dress, her hair a black tangle on her head.  She stared at him wide-eyed until a boyish laugh sounded behind her.  She squealed and ran off, leaving him alone with the drums in his head.

Cyrus swallowed.  The only other sounds he heard were clipped exchanges of Spanish and muted voices in the distance.  He looked the park over once more, and started walking away.  He kept close to the park’s wrought iron fence as he moved, hands tense at his sides, glancing over his shoulder every few steps to see if he was being followed.  He’d spent years of his life learning to check if people were following him.

That was before everything else, though.

That was before Kenya Kitteredge and the Coven, before magic was real and Hell was a place he had seen.

Now he had different things to worry about.

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thesrhughes

I'm a writer of horror, dark sci-fi, and dark fantasy.