woensdag 7 mei 2014
I'm hosting an excerpt from fantasy horror novel "the Key to Everything" today.
Their black-and-orange tabby cat, Taffy, brushed against her leg and turned down the step, ready to follow to her food bowl the way she did every morning. There was movement in the shadows below. What was down there? The doors and windows all looked closed from up here. She must have imagined it. She lowered her foot to the first step and the cat abruptly froze in place. Her fur was not raised in warning, however, and she did not hiss. Her front paw simply held still in its position a few inches above the burgundy carpet.
The air in the great room was still. No sound of the wind outside came through the walls. Branches ceased their constant scratching on the roof. It was as if someone or something had pressed a pause button.
A light at the bottom of the stairs radiated from an unknown source. White outlines in the shape of people softly formed in the air glowing brighter. Indistinct faces remained still at first. A man, yes, definitely a man’s shape mounted the first two steps. Behind him a slender woman with long flowing hair followed. Below them on the ground floor, more shapes came into focus. Two small children stood next to each other holding hands. By their postures they both looked like little boys.
The four moved like shadows in reverse. White cloudy outlined images, hazily sliding over the edges of framed photographs hanging on the wall. Melting over the angles of the stairs up toward her. The bright un-shadows burned her eyes. Dedra’s eyelids seemed glued open. Her muscles strained unsuccessfully to raise her arms and protect her from the searing pain.
Dedra stifled the scream in her throat, keeping herself from falling by leaning on the wall. The inverted shadow mouths were stretched inhumanly wide. Gaping holes with no teeth or tongues were instead filled with white and grey hissing static screeching up at her. Each of the four heads slammed to the right in perfect sync, snapping their necks at an absurd angle.
Then Dedra did scream. Eyes slammed closed, entire body tensed and bracing for the inevitable pain she anticipated. She almost tumbled down the stairs when Abram touched her shoulder. Of course there was nothing there when she opened her eyes. Of course there wasn’t. This was the real world. Order was Queen. She was only dreaming.
She allowed Abram to lead her down the stairs after he checked the house. Discovering nothing out of the Queen’s order, he made her a cup of hot chamomile tea with two spoonfuls of honey. He sat with her in silence for a time. He was a good man, really. She told him everything was okay, that he should go back to bed and kissed him on the lips gently.
Two hours later Dedra was still sitting at the table absentmindedly stirring her cold cup of tea as the sky turned from black into purple, then into a momentary flash of dark blood red. In that short span of seconds a squirrel hopped onto the fence top. The animal stood on its hind legs and appeared to stare directly into her wide-open eyes. The sun coming up behind it made it difficult to see its face.
Dedra walked to the edge of the sink and leaned closer to the window. The squirrel pointed straight at her with an outstretched hand, snapped its head violently to the right and leaped into the air. Instinctively she ducked and heard a loud crack from the glass. She opened the silverware drawer with shaking hands and drew out a spatula. Fumbling with the oversized wooden utensil in her clumsy fingers, she dropped it and reached back into the drawer, struggling to grab hold of a knife.
The lights came on and her chest lurched in shock. Maria, her youngest girl stood with one hand on the light switch. With the other she rubbed her eyes and pointed curiously to the book and key sitting in the center of the kitchen table.
Title: The Key to Everything
Author: Alex M. Kimmell
Genre: Fantasy Horror
Cracked and weathered binding, hiding mysteries on pages tied closed by a bloodstained string. A happy young family enchanted by dreams and possibilities. A barren, empty room. A boy with no friends obsessively drawing angles, edges and diagrams. In his debut novel, Alex Kimmell captures a vivid and startling tale of fear. Auden's journey begins when he discovers a curious leather-bound book whose contents will soon endanger his entire family. The pages of this book draw him into a prison that cannot be breached, a place that can only be unlocked with a very special key. In The Key to Everything, fear is explored and heightened through jarring imagery and a terrifying, unique menace, ratcheting up the tension until the novel's gripping climax.
Alex kimmell (the squirrel whisperer/twodoggarage/daddy not-so-much-bucks) is an accidental novelist, anti-rhyme-ologist, oxygen inhaler, carbon dioxide exhaler who often generates harmonious sounds with various instruments of different historical importance. his work has appeared on cool places around the 1’s and 0’s like Black Lantern Press, Front Row Lit, Dumb White Husband and The Wordcount Podcast. His novel “the Key to everything” and collection of short, horrific tales “A Chorus of Wolves” were released by Booktrope Publishing. come and join the neurosis at alexkimmell.com.