Thank you for visiting my stop on the Rave Reviews Book Club’s BOOK, BLOG & TRAILER BLOCK PARTY!
Here’s what I’m giving away today:
$10 Amazon gift card
1 ebook – Zombie Dawn
1 ebook – Megamax
Number of winners for this stop – 3
Please Like my post and leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway. Good luck!
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Since this party has a Halloween theme, I thought I would share an excerpt from my short story, Zombie Dawn.
Catherine’s house, including the treacherous back steps and the spooky alley, was my house for seventeen years, and Silme was my sweet baby boy for sixteen of those years.
The neighborhood in the story is the one I live in now, and I get a little exercise by walking those streets at least four nights a week, always between ten p. m. and midnight.
Many of the houses are dark by the time I waddle by, and working pole lamps are few and far between.
I have to admit that the little road where the character Bobby dies (not in this excerpt) between my street and the block behind us, is a bit unsettling. There is only one light, and it is often out. My poor vision prevents me from seeing into the alley after dark, so walking that road always gives me a bit of a chill.
One of the side roads on the street behind mine leads to Blueberry Park, the site of a homeless camp and not a safe place to be near after dark.
Sometimes, I see other people on the road, and I wonder what brings them out so late at night.
These figures, shrouded in shadows and mist, add to the overall creep factor of my walks and send my writer’s mind to some pretty ghoulish places.
It was during one of these walks that Zombie Dawn was born.
I hope you enjoy the following excerpt.
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“Toby!” Catherine Peterson’s voice reached the shrill note necessary to be heard through both the bedroom door and the raucous din that currently passed for music. “Why are you still up? Turn that music off and go to bed! Did you take the garbage out?”
The music stopped, and she heard Toby’s door creak open.
“No,” was the shouted reply. “I forgot.”
Catherine rolled her eyes, knowing that it was foolish to expect a ten-year-old boy to do anything that even remotely resembled a chore.
“It has to go out tonight,” she shouted back. “They come early.”
“I’ll set my alarm for six and take it out then.” It was clear from Toby’s voice that he had no intention of doing either of those things.
“Never mind.” Catherine was too tired to argue. “I’ll take it out this time, but you owe me!”
“Thanks mom!” The door closed, and the music began to pound almost immediately.
Catherine rolled her eyes again as she headed for the kitchen to grab the trash bag.
Silme, the family cat, appeared from nowhere and escorted her, somehow managing to be exactly where she planned to put each foot as she walked.
“Silme, you’re not helping.”
The cat meowed his response, letting her know that he didn’t care if he wasn’t being particularly helpful.
He followed her to the back door, hoping to slide beneath the bag that she held and escape into the backyard as soon as the screen door opened. It was Silme’s standard routine, and Catherine was ready for him.
“That’s not happening, dude.” Once the inner door was open, Catherine turned her back to the screen and lowered the bag so that it was between her feet and the cat.
“Stay back,” she instructed automatically. But, as usual, Silme wasn’t listening.
Eyes wide, he gazed past her into the unlit yard. Growling softly, he flattened his ears.
“Don’t look at the possum,” Catherine told him with a smile. It had become another automatic statement when a possum had taken up residence in the plastic tub that had been outfitted as a refuge for stray cats.
Silme growled again, then turned and ran when Catherine opened the latch and backed through the doorway.
She had just a second or two to wonder what the heck was wrong with her cat before a pair of hands closed over her shoulders with fingers that gripped like talons.
Screaming, she dropped the garbage bag and tried to pull away. But the outer step that she stood on was small, and the quickness of her movements caused her to lose her balance.
She tried to recover but fell into the arms of the man who held her.
She had just enough time to recognize Mr. Duncan, who lived across the street, before his teeth sank into the flesh at the side of her throat and tore a mouthful away.
Blood spurted, spattering Catherine’s jaw like drops of rain. Mr. Duncan’s lips pressed against the wound, his teeth chewing at the flesh around it.
He’s eating me! The thought was almost too insane for Catherine’s mind to process. Dear Lord, he’s eating me!
She shrieked, the sound a keening cry born from a combination of pain and gut-wrenching terror.
She managed to put her palms against Mr. Duncan’s bony chest, pushing as hard as she could in an attempt to break free.
Mr. Duncan took two stumbling steps backward, and Catherine grabbed at the door handle with the hand that wasn’t pressed against the wound.
But two steps weren’t enough. Mr. Duncan’s hands grabbed the back of her shirt and pulled her into his vicious embrace.
Catherine voiced a scream that barely seemed human, while Mr. Duncan’s jaws closed on the nape of her neck.
The curtain opened at the window to her left, and she saw Toby’s terrified face watching through the glass.
The window slid open, and she screamed hysterically for him to close it. “Shut it! Shut it tight!”
He hesitated, and she felt a fresh surge of panic. What if he came out to try to help her?
“Call the cops! Now! ”
The window slammed shut, and though she couldn’t hear the latch sliding into place, she knew it had been done.
She felt herself weakening and realized that, as crazy as it seemed, she was being killed by a sweet old man who had every intention of devouring her.
Stay in the house! Her last thought was for the safety of her son. Please, baby, stay in the house…
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In the late hours of a warm summer night, the residents of a quiet little street discover that things aren’t so quiet, after all.
You can get your copy here: Zombie Dawn
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Thanks again for stopping by today. If you would like to visit the other stops along the tour, you can do that by clicking here:
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A different kind of vampire story.
“HAVE A NICE DAY”
A short story with a bite.
Love makes Danny do crazy things.
Let the blood flow!