Excerpt from “Penumbra”

Here is an excerpt from my soon-to-be-released novella Penumbra.  Hopefully the ebook version will be out by the end of this week!

Outside the pizza joint, there are men.  Men in suits that reek of power.  Their eyes glint red, and their teeth shine bright and sharp in the streetlights.  The largest of them steps toward her.  “Hello, I am Kristoph.  And you… you are in major trouble.”  He leans in close to her.  “You broke my brother’s nose.  You really shouldn’t have done that.”  The men surround her menacingly as her giddiness fades.  She feels the danger again from the previous night, the source now standing around her.  The streetlights flicker one after another down the block as the men move in slowly, deliberate in their attack.  They shift their faces as they close in, monstrous shadows taking hold of their features.  As one reaches out a hand to grab her, there is a low growl from the shadows.  A blurred movement knocks over one of the men who screams in terror.  There is a whirlwind of motion.  The other men turn and join the fray.  Howls and shrieks fill the air.  The girl steps back.  The men in suits run away, the leader giving her a backwards glance of hatred.  And lying on the bloody sidewalk is Rags.

            “Rags?  What were you doing?  Are you hurt?”  She helps him stand up, and as he rises, she realizes that he towers over her by several feet.  “What’s going on?”

            Rags reaches up and exposes his face to the streetlight.  He is not human, but a strange creature.  Hairy face, bulbous nose, large black liquid eyes.  He is injured, but not badly. 

            “Beauty, you must come.” 

            “What?”

            “You must come.  It is time.”  He holds out his huge, fuzzy hand and after a moment’s hesitation, she takes it.  While they stand still, the world moves around them, and she finds herself looking at a completely different city.

 

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