No Grave: Monster in the Lamplight

Hey, guys!  Just another friendly reminder that No Grave is coming out…THIS WEEKEND!!

So are we ready for another sneak peek?

Today we’re going to take another look at Cyrus’ story, this time from a much later excerpt.  I don’t want to give away anything you’ll wind up reading, later, but I’ll say that things haven’t been going exceedingly well for him…

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

Here we go:

 

In the backseat of the cab, Cyrus touched the necklace Kenya had given him.  It still felt warm, the bones with that long sweeping symbol cut in them like dying coals.  He’d never felt the spell go off with such power, before.  It was amazing what someone could do with the proper tools.  He released the warm necklace and pulled his backpack off.  He unzipped it and found his laptop smashed inside.  The fight hadn’t been kind to it.

“Son of a bitch…”

The cab driver glanced at the rearview mirror.  “Something wrong?”

“No,” Cyrus answered, “just had a fall, broke my laptop.”

“Rough.  Those don’t come cheap.”

“Tell me about it,” he zipped the backpack shut and slipped it back on.  Even with Kenya footing the bill for the travel and lodging, it had been an expensive trip.  He was already down a hundred bucks cash, a cellphone, and a laptop.  His cheek throbbed and his body ached.

Stay focused, the words crossed his mind in Kenya’s voice, as if she were scolding him from hundreds of miles away.

He leaned his forehead against the cool window and watched the streets roll by.  The closer they got to ‘downtown,’ whatever that meant in Boston, the more people he saw.  It wasn’t the same volume of late-night business he got in New York on a Thursday, but it was enough of a crowd to give him comfort.

Until he saw the thing in the hoodie staring at him from under a streetlight.

It wasn’t human, though it looked like one.  It had the requisite fingers, toes, nose, eyes, mouth…but its skin was the color of old ashes, and its eyes were jaundiced and bloodshot.  Its nails were clawlike, too long and too sharp to belong on its hands.  Its horrible eyes met his, and Its head turned as the cab moved forward.

Cyrus tore his eyes away from the figure and sank down in his seat.  He needed a weapon.  The men in the bar were bad enough, mundane figures tracking him on foot or through his phone, but that thing looked like Darkplace.  That thing was a monster.  He felt himself shaking and wrapped his arms around his shoulders.  What the hell is going on?—it didn’t make any sense.  It was impossible that this many people were all hunting the same Chosen, wasn’t it?  How powerful is Gillian, anyway?

“This good?” the cabbie asked.

Cyrus shook his head, “Maybe another few blocks.”

“Sure, pal.  Sure.”

Cyrus cleared his throat.  “You know where a payphone is?”

The cabbie snorted.  “Can’t say I do.  Haven’t used in one about ten years.”

“Yeah.  Me neither.  Just lost my phone.”

“Laptop and a phone?  Kidding me?”

“Nope.  Been a really shitty week.”

“So up here, then?” the cabbie pointed to a crowded bar on the corner, a mass of smokers and cellphone talkers standing outside.  Cyrus shook his head.  I need open space.  I need to see it coming.  He knew he couldn’t hide from a Darkplace monster.  He’d been trying for almost a decade.

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thesrhughes

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