‘The space between consciousness and unconsciousness is a funny place, kidda. Sometimes I’ve sworn something must have been real, but really it wasn’t.’ – John Gimmerick, Emergence
Hey, hey! I’m busying myself taking care of launch day finishing touches and wishing March away so that it can just be April already – I can’t wait till Emergence goes live! In the meantime, as promised, here’s a second excerpt for you:
As John put his hand down something spiky pierced his skin and drove straight through the meaty flesh of his palm. For a moment he couldn’t move. The sensation of metal scraping against his bone rendered him paralysed. Then adrenalin kicked in and he slowly, quickly, agonisingly prised his hand away from the protruding prong in the joist. Hotness welled in his eyes and white flashes of pain blotted out the dark. Losing his balance he fell sideways, clutching his wounded hand to his chest. Blood poured freely, coating him with sticky warmth and dripping into darkness, feeding unseen monsters. He thought he might crash through plasterboard and into the bedroom below, but thin wooden slats supported him as he landed on his side in the groove between the two joists. He sucked in air through clenched teeth and looked up.
Seren was still hunkered in the corner. She made no attempt to go to him and he watched in terror as she brought the candle up to her face and puckered her lips.
‘No, Seren. Don’t.’
The candle’s flame went out and John was surrendered again to a darkness that touched his soul with all the horror of loneliness. At almost the same time cold breath swiped his cheek in hoary swirls of rancid decay, and, as he retched at the smell, wet corpse lips brushed the outer rim of his ear. He thought he might die. Curling up tightly he willed the plasterboard beneath him to give out, wanting to see the noisy walls of the bedroom below because, even though they were wrong, he could deal with them better than he could deal with this. But the boards remained intact. He couldn’t imagine that he’d ever make it back to the hole, not without the halitosis of death breathing on him again. And he didn’t dare move in case witches’ fingers snagged his hair and clothes to pull him even further into their domain. This time, because of the noise he’d created and the excitement he’d caused, monsters had definitely stirred. He could feel the presence of evil just as surely as he could feel his own heart exerting itself, offering his blood up freely to the unknown. Clenching his eyes shut, preferring the darkness inside his own head to the darkness surrounding him, he waited and listened. Not daring to move. Not even to swallow.
When nothing had breathed on him or touched him for a long while, finally he unfurled and opened his eyes.
But she wasn’t there. He could sense that now. Perhaps she never had been. He was all alone, with the scritchy-scratchy darkness that teased him with its swelling magnitude and threatened him with new horrors. He reached out and grabbed the joist his shoulder was wedged against, planning to use it to feel his way back to the hole. He had to get out. But as his hand gripped old, dry wood a crackle like that of a Geiger counter erupted, an animalistic growl that made his body shrink back and his skin bristle painfully. The throaty sound came from everywhere and nowhere, swooping down from somewhere amongst the rafters perhaps and bringing with it a strong smell of rot and decay. John found he could no longer breathe and was beyond all comprehension when a sickly, decrepit, old-woman voice croaked into his ear: ‘She’s mine.’
I’m hoping to have some Launch Event dates and venues for you soon, so if you’re in the vicinity you can come along and see me and grab yourself a signed paperback copy (which, I must say, look pretty bloody awesome).
And in the final countdown I’ll continue to post snippets from the book, so make sure to check every Monday and Friday to catch those.