Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Pistol Full of Silver

This is but a sample of this story.  The complete version is available in my print collection Man Against the Future.  From there, you can order signed copies, or buy it for the Kindle or the Nook.

Predictably, the moon was full and set high in the crisp autumn sky the night I found my family murdered, mutilated, torn to pieces. Something had crashed through the front picture window and began to tear them apart one by one. The gas lamps were out, snuffed by the drafty gale rushing in through the shattered window. I entered my home hurriedly, kicking the door open with my boot, illuminating the front room with my lantern. Shadows grew long and flickered in the lamp’s firelight. It was the remains of my wife I saw first. I was grateful that the light was so poor because the carnage was too great for me to bear, even in the dim light.

A low creak in the wood up the stairs snapped my attention in that direction. I felt a cold rush as the blood drained away from my skin, I must have been a pale white from fear, but with that fear, my resolve grew. I raised my pistol up to my hip, leveling it toward the noise. I hoped and prayed that it wasn't necessary to have smelted the six silver bullets that occupied each chamber of my revolver, but if they were indeed required to rid the world of this monster, then, by God, I would be prepared. Aiming the light as best I could toward the stairs. I took slow, careful steps in that direction. Another SNAP and a KLUNK stopped me in my tracks. I wished so badly to stop, to turn around to leave this problem to someone else, someone much braver than I, but I knew that wasn't possible. Choking down my fear, I gulped hard and took another step forward.

And another.

And another.

One foot in front the other, each one in front of the next. Each step closer to the stairs got my heart racing faster. Each step I took up the staircase raised my pulse to match my ascent. I'd worried so much about getting to the stairs and up them that I almost didn't notice the remains of my daughter intermingled with what was left of my wife's body. I didn't realize that hot, salty tears had been streaming from my eyes. It was a completely automatic response; I had to put my grief out of my conscious mind until I'd dispatched this grievous creature.

Finally, I'd reached the top of the stairs, either by overcoming my fear or being overcome by it. I couldn't tell which. Keeping the lantern raised in my left hand and the pistol aimed ahead in my right, I swiveled back and forth, looking for a sign of which hallway to direct my search.

I scanned the floor for any clue or indication, a bloody paw print, a scrap of flesh, anything that could give me an edge. I'd need any and every advantage I could obtain in order to get the drop on the monster. Unfortunately, no sign presented itself, so I stopped, trying my hardest to listen carefully for any audible giveaway. Sadly, I was winded so severely in fright, all I could hear was the wheeze of my own labored breathing and a rattle deep in my chest. It was obvious I was just going to have to simply pick a direction in hopes that my instincts proved accurate. My mind raced though worst case scenarios and my mind flashed instantly to my young boy, aged eight years old. IT would make a grim sort of sense that the beast would come up the stairs hoping for an easy snack to go with the main course he made of the rest of my family downstairs. With that in my mind, I turned to the left, down the corridor my son's room resided.

The lantern light swung back and forth down the hallway as I used that arm to wipe the sweat and tears from my cheek and brow.

The complete version is available in my print collection Man Against the Future.  From there, you can order signed copies, or buy it for the Kindle or the Nook.