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by James Patrick Riser
Description: Fred Peters, a crime scene photographer who loves his job, snaps photos of the latest Lake Park murder victim. He doesn't know that the mutilated corpse tied to the chair in front of him was the victim of a creature from another world.... Cid Spencer wants to escape from the inner city and rents a small studio apartment on the outskirts of town. He sits at the door, staring out into the empty streets and unforgiving darkness, unaware that he is about to be pulled into a world where the sun dawns black....
eBook Publisher: Wild Child Publishing/Wild Child Publishing, 2008 2008
eBookwise Release Date: July 2009
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [102 KB]
Reading time: 55-78 min.
Blood beads worked their way through the cuts in my leg and formed vague red lines. The lines evolved into a bold tic-tac-toe pattern.
I used razorblades for precision cuts. With practice, drawing on flesh resembles writing on paper, and you can always learn to ignore the pain.
Muffled screams from the living room sounded from the other side of the bathroom door. I ignored my girlfriend and mother-in-law's argument and concentrated on my game of tic-tac-toe.
X, O, X, O. Cat's game.
The blood drew out of my body, and I was drawn out of my mind. I lost focus on the world around me, and the crimson lines grew bolder, intensifying my attention. The pattern elongated in each direction, and the blood streamed down the bend of my leg and dripped on the dirty, tiled floor. I pondered on the deepness of the cuts this time, but already knew the light, almost-scars would be beautiful.
I got up from the toilet, turned, and dropped to my knees. I bent over and lapped up the blood greedily.
Something glass broke in the living room, and the volume of the argument turned up several notches. Any louder and the landlord would come up here again. It was never pleasant when he did; he always left uncomfortable silence and tension in his wake. The landlord had a voice that could be heard several yards away at a normal volume and a mile when he yelled. His thin, muscular frame, long greasy hair, and slack-jawed features reminded me of a character from a hee-haw skit.
Once, I asked him a question about parking permits, and he scratched his five o'clock shadow characteristically.
"Hummm." He made the sound through his nicotine-scarred throat without even opening his mouth. "Naw, don't worry 'bout it," he concluded and took a gulp from his tall boy can of Budweiser.
Most encounters with him followed this format: a quick question, a quick answer then back out of the door, back to our modest one-bedroom apartment in the ghetto, in a complex that people called The Yellows. The apartments, located almost strategically on the back streets, sat under a veil of darkness and eternal unease.
Five buildings made up the whole complex, all painted vomit-yellow with identical door and window placements. It took two times of me walking into the wrong building, up the wrong stairs, knocking at the wrong door, and having it answered by the wrong person for me to finally realize that I wasn't at the right place.
A door slammed, and silence ensued.