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A Red Dark Night
by A.P. Fuchs

Category: Horror/Suspense/Thriller
Description: "Fuchs is an exceptionally fluid writer with a keen inventiveness and proficiency sadly lacking in the works of many writers of today." - Nicholas Grabowsky, author of Halloween IV and The Everborn

Many summers ago, an evil presence known as a Bloodan visited Camp Silverway, a peaceful summer camp for teenage girls, and nearly killed a young girl named Shelly. Mary Thompson, a girl on a bunk bed near Shelly, watched as the creature made from blood and darkness, began to sink into Shelly and begin to feed.

Through tears and cloudy vision, she also saw her friend rescued by a stranger in a black cape, with blue fire blasting from his hand.

Never forgetting that night, Mary was tormented for years by the memory of what she saw, and now, twenty-two years later, she has returned to Camp Silverway as a camp counselor, trying to face her fear.

However, what starts out as a fun summer soon comes to an end when not one, but several Bloodans return to the camp and begin killing again. As before, the man in the black cape, Tarek, reappears, yet he hasn't aged a day since he rescued Shelly long ago.

Shock upon shock ensues as Mary learns not only where the creatures and her hero come from, but also when. The Bloodans enclose the camp in a liquid red dome made of blood, and as everyone around her gets killed and the monsters multiply, Mary, her friend Sarah, and Tarek are left with no place to go.

Except for maybe one.

About the Author:

A.P. Fuchs is the author of many novels and short stories, most of which have been published. His most recent series, Blood of my World, has just been released. The first three books in that series are Discovery of Death, Memories of Death, and Life of Death.

He also writes zombie fiction. His most recent in that genre are: Possession of the Dead and Zombie Fight Night: Battles of the Dead, in which zombies fight such classic monsters as werewolves, vampires, Bigfoot, and even go up against awesome foes like pirates, ninjas, and . . . Bruce Lee.

His first horror short story collection, Magic Man Plus 15 Tales of Terror, is available as well.

A.P. Fuchs is also known for his superhero series, The Axiom-man Saga, and the author of the shoot 'em up zombie trilogy, Undead World. He also edited the zombie anthologies Dead Science and Vicious Verses and Reanimated Rhymes: Zany Zombie Poetry for the Undead Head.

Fuchs lives and writes in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Visit his corner of the Web at www.canisterx.com

Check out the Undead World Trilogy at www.undeadworldtrilogy.com

And follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ap_fuchs
eBook Publisher: Coscom Entertainment, 2011 2004
eBookwise Release Date: August 2011

eBookeBook

Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [225 KB]
Words: 42550
Reading time: 121-170 min.


Prologue

In 1982
-

The sheets on the bed stirred as something slithered beneath them.

Shelly couldn't move. Her prone body ached with apprehension--a dull pulse of fear. She wasn't sure what was beneath the cotton fabric, but she was certain it was thin, flat and incredibly long; wet like a warm sponge and smooth like ivory. The very feel of it against her skin between her legs made her lower back tense with unease.

She briefly glanced around at the other girls on the bunk beds in the small cabin. They all appeared to be asleep in perfect slumber. No one moved.

The long wet thing between the sheets snaked along the inside of her thighs. Her nightgown was bunched up around her hips from tossing and turning earlier as she tried to fall asleep. Her hands trembling, she wanted so badly to push her nightgown down, to cover her legs, but she dare not; if she did, she would touch that wet mess of whatever it was between her legs with her fingers. A mental flash of the wet thing jumping out of the sheets and latching onto her made her stomach do a flip.

She briefly considered it might be her period coming on early. Yet, she wasn't due for another few days, and there was far too much wetness to count as normal menstrual leakage. She knew she hadn't wet herself either. If she had, it would have pooled in a large circle between her legs and wouldn't be trickling horizontally along her thighs. Vertically, maybe, but not lengthwise. Liquid didn't move by itself and it especially wouldn't move toward her instead of away.

Pale moonlight came in from the window on the far side of the wood-paneled room. The door was behind her and she felt the cool night breeze blowing in from the crack underneath where the door met the wooden floorboards.

What was between her legs?

It slithered again, brushing against the inside of her right thigh near her groin, and then moved swiftly over to the left, licking her other leg. Fingers trembling, Shelly gripped the starched, white fabric of the bedsheet; the sweat off her palms quickly soaked into the material. Her mouth was dry and when she swallowed, the back of her throat pinched with discomfort.

Get it together. Squeeze and pull. You can't lie here all night. Her thoughts lingered in her head like a sad memory. She closed her eyes and breathed slowly, centering herself. She gripped the bedsheet and . . . lifted. At least, she thought she did. When she opened her eyes, she saw instead the sheet remained flat, completely covering her. She hadn't lifted the blanket after all and the moisture brushing the inside of her legs grew even wetter, drew even closer.

Lift or let this thing get you! She hated herself for not tossing the sheet back the first time.

With a new surge of strength, her heart pulsing in rapid aches, she tore the bedsheet up and over to the side, close to the wall against her bed.

On impulse, her body shot up, sitting, her bottom scooting back closer to her pillow, her arms and legs shaking. She wanted to yelp, to make any kind of noise, but no sound would come. Her voice stopped at the top of her neck, thumping against her trachea as though banging against a roof.

In the moonlight between her legs sat a long ribbon of darkness. The thick goo was like syrup, and when it rippled, the moonlight reflecting off its surface revealed its deep red color.

The goo seemed to . . . be alive, peering up at her questioningly, as if asking her why she removed the bedsheet. Shelly stared back, her spine locking up in intense apprehension for what might happen next.

It's . . . it's . . . The thoughts could not form; would not form. She couldn't believe this thick strip of goo--this long puddle that looked like blood--was truly looking up at her. It had no eyes but there was something . . . . It was looking at her. She was certain of it.

Finally, her voice plowed through the imaginary roof in her throat and her shrill scream woke the other girls in the cabin. They all sat up with a start and looked quickly to Shelly sitting upright, screeching on her bed.

Shelly briefly glanced up at the others. They all stared down at her--nine other campers and their counselor--eyes wide and mouths agape. One of the girls, Mary, had her face hidden in her hands, her brown hair coiled between her fingers.

Facing the goo between her legs, Shelly gasped when she saw it swirl, gathering itself in a glimmering, liquid mound of deep red between her legs.

She screamed when the liquid, seeming to have quadrupled in size, pounced upon her and completely covered her in a silky wave.

Beneath the blanket of the red goo and only dimly aware of what was happening around her, Shelly couldn't tell if she was still sitting up or if she had been thrown down and forced to lie there. The liquid sloshed around her, as though she was either underwater or in a bathtub. Moving was thick and slow-going like trying to wade through Jell-O. Then, as if her skin had been licked with flame, she felt her flesh begin to tear and peel as something tried to crawl under her skin. Worse, she knew what that something was. The red goo was seeping into her, contaminating her, filling her. Sinking into her.

All of a sudden, there was a low thumping, like a deep beat on wood. The thumping persisted, growing louder and louder, like a bass drum in the distance coming closer, then--it stopped. The loud tear of what sounded like a rag being ripped in two filled her ears. She shuddered.

A loud bang blew up in her insides, its sound echoing through everything that she was, through her flesh, bones and more. The red goo screeched, and then suddenly flew off like a blanket being snatched up by its middle and was tossed away.

The sounds around her were now clear and crisp: girls screaming, the counselor included, her pitch slightly lower than the others'; Mary crying; sharp, low footsteps on the cabin's wooden floor.

The red goo screeched and growled, a blob of red sloshing against the air as though in an upright tub.

All the girls' eyes were on the door. Shelly, realizing she was still sitting up, turned around swiftly on her bottom, following their gaze. And then, standing in the doorway, was a large man in a loose-fitting white shirt not of this century, his brown trousers clinging to his thighs as though tights, his leg muscles a bulge of steel through the material. His hair sat atop his head in long brown waves. A long velvet black cape hung over his shoulders, its leather strap across his chest, and its hem down to the ankles of his brown folded-over boots. His blue-eyed gaze was as cold as freezing rain and as firm as iron. He stared down his muscular arm, focusing on the gleaming silver gauntlet attached to his forearm. Smoke trailed out of the gauntlet's end, where the tip gathered in a point. The door lay in splinters at his feet.

Like lightning, the red goo dove over Shelly's bed in a brilliant arc of crimson, splashing as it hit the floorboards, and then slowly began pulling itself together again.

The girls continued their hysterical screams; all except for Mary. She just sat there on her top bunk, legs crossed, face in her hands, her long brown bangs hanging over her fingers, crying.

The red puddle coalesced into a thick blob and soon that blob began to grow taller and taller and taller. Slowly, it took on a humanlike form. It looked like a man made from hard candy, red and semi-transparent. It was male in shape and muscle structure, but that was all; there were no eyes, ears, nose, mouth or cheek, just red goo in the shape of a man.

Buzzing filled the air and Shelly realized it was coming from the man in the cape's gauntlet, as though the silver weapon were powering itself up. At least that's what it sounded like. The red-man charged toward the man in the cape and within the space of a second another bright blue fireball shot at the creature, causing it to spray in all directions.

This time, the red goo didn't reassemble.

"One for warning, two for glory," the man in the cape said.

He eyed the screaming girls one by one, his blue eyes carrying the weight of disappointment, as though these girls had just seen something they were never meant to. He turned and left the cabin, his black cape concealing him as he disappeared into the night.

It was a long while before the girls were able to silence their screeching tongues.


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