Last week, I made a call out on Twitter. I said that if I sold an extra 10 copies of The Devil’s Weekend, I’d post a chapter from my next release, The Failed.
Well, thanks to all of you, I did just that.
So now I’m rewarding you as I said I would… I will be having more of these little deals here and here so be sure to follow me on Twitter @jimbronyaur.
(Please note that what you’re about to read may not be the final product in book form… and as always, this is copyrighted Jim Bronyaur 2011, used with permission of Dead Face Publishing)
Willard had his hand cupped under Margie’s soft hair, keeping it the best he could from getting sand into it. Being twenty again felt so great – the raging emotions of love and the urge to fuck Margie right there on the beach. Willard could control himself in the dream because he knew that twenty minutes after the leaving the beach he and Margie could go crazy on each other in a hotel near theJerseyshore.
But in the dream, the feeling was wild. Christ, if he were fifteen years older he may have woken up to a mess in his pants.
The dream attempted to continue but Willard heard a scratching sound instead of Margie’s voice. He was so confused that even the dream Willard looked around.
Something wasn’t right here.
The scratching soon became complemented by moaning, growling, and the sounds of something wet and squishy. It made him think of when the train ran over his hand. When he tried to hold his bloody stump of a wrist, as his body head into shock, he remembered squeezing his wrist and the blood soaked skin made a horrible squishing sound that followed him forever.
In the dream Willard looked down at Margie.
“See you soon,” she said.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
Margie’s body sank into the sand. At first the dream Willard assumed a wave must have come up to shore and pushed the sand around them. Then he realized he wasn’t in the sand and that Margie, why, she was disappearing. As if the she lay on a patch of quicksand.
He struggled to hold her but she just smiled.
The noises around Willard grew louder and louder and then finally, Margie was gone. The hole pushed itself back up, closed, and there wasn’t even so much as an impression of where his wife had just been.
Willard looked up in the dream to question everything around and only heard a horrible grunt followed by darkness.
In real life, in Graver’s Mill, Willard opened his eyes. Still on the porch, slightly rocking, he frowned. His eyes were groggy and the late day sun burned on his left cheek.
He was more than pissed that his dream ended like that. He clearly remembered that trip to the beach with Margie. The time they spent – the things they did to each other…
To his left, when he looked, Willard saw the outline of figures. People. People walking towards him.
Willard wiped his eyes with his only hand and then thought about it.
Wait a second, he thought…
The train tracks were to the left. Deep in the brush heading towards Crip’s Creek. Then they turned right, heading South, through nothing but trees and flatland for miles and miles.
And plus, this wasn’t a commuter line, never was.
Willard looked forward and caught focus of something he never thought he’d see.
The train had stopped. Right there at his house.
Then something happened.
A boxcar opened. The door slid and made a hell of a ruckus sound, old wood and metal scrapping off of old wood and metal.
And out came people.
“Goddamn the Man,” Willard said pushing himself up. He gripped the chair with his only hand and through time and practice he mastered using the stump of his let hand as an anchor to balance himself.
He looked left again, then straight ahead, then left again.
“Illegals,” he whispered. “Son’s a’ bitches.”
The groups started to close in and Willard saw that most were wounded. All worse torn up clothing and looked like death. Their skin colors were all messed up, parts were shades of grey, while other were almost whitish, and some had big red blotches of wounds, still bleeding.
“Oh Christ,” Willard said and then pointed. “You stay back, you hear? Ain’t nothing here but a shotgun.”
The group moaned. To the left Willard heard growling.
He thought about his dream.
Closer and closer they came and Willard started to realize that maybe this wasn’t a train of illegal aliens after all. Those that he could see their eyes, well, there wasn’t much too look at. No iris, no pupil. Just a white ball in a socket. They walked funny too – some as if they had a bad limp, others with no use of a leg, and some walked like their bodies were weighted on one side.
And they all seemed to be dragging along, slow, but not quiet.
A woman, an older woman at that, fell down, tripping on a rock. Willard stepped forward but caught himself. Then he watched as the rest of the group stepped on her like she wasn’t even there. The woman kept trying to pick her head up but couldn’t, too many feet. Willard found himself starting to step back slowly towards his back door. If this got worse, no shotgun would help him. Too many people, not enough bullets. He’d have to get out front and get the truck and go…
The old woman growled and picked up her head up again. Most of the group had moved past her, still coming towards Willard.
Then a large man, round with his arms around because of his side fat, stepped right on the old woman’s head. Her face planted back down with a sickening crunch.
“Jesus,” he whispered.
For a few seconds the woman remained motionless but then popped her head back up. Strings of skin and muscle pulled from her face as her cheek and eye stuck to the ground her face had been smashed into.
That did it for Willard.
He grabbed the table that he kept between he and Margie’s chair and lifted it. A dead plant, a pack of cigarettes, dust and ashes all went flying into the air.
“Keep coming and I’ll wrap your head with this,” he called out.
The walking people didn’t care, they just kept closing in. Even though they weren’t talking to each other (all eyes were fixed upon Willard) Willard got the feeling that they all knew exactly what they were doing.
They were a horde.
A horde of…
The first to reach the porch was a tall, lanky kind of man. His head tilted so far to the right it actually rested on his shoulder. Some bone poked against his skin as his neck bent. He put a hand out towards Willard and growled. Spit and a bluish foam leaked from the corners of his mouth. Red lines scaled his face, like all the blood vessels and capillaries had exploded.
“One more warning,” Willard said.
The man didn’t heed the warning and stepped again.
Willard swung the table and hit the man in the face. His neck snapped back and hung so far back, his Adam’s apple pushed up, looking like the man had swallowed a baseball. Then his head swung the other way, going full circle, and rested down, his chin touching his chest.
The man should have been dead, or at least fallen back. There was no doubt in Willard’s mind that his neck wasn’t broken.
But how does a man with a broken neck still move?
That was a question Willard feared to answer because the answer was probably something buried deep within the recessions of his mind, lost with all the nightmares he’d ever had.
There you go! Thanks again for all the support! The Failed is due to hit virtual shelves this coming Fall. Just in time for Halloween… and you don’t want to miss it.