So, I was very tempted to entitle this blog post “Silent But Deadly,” which is kind of an indicator about the level of humor I’m able to drum up nowadays. Things are going along pretty well, if a bit on the busy side. I thought once my grades were submitted for my Legal Aspects of Policing course that I would have a little time to relax, but that was not the case. Like most of my overscheduling habits, however, this time crunch is self-inflicted.
Currently, I’m working on editing a charity anthology (right now in the reading/selection stage), which is a new experience for me. Usually, I’m on the submitting side of things. I’ve also been invited (actually as I type) to be editing staff for another ‘zine, and if you needed further proof that I have problems with time management, have been considering starting my own litmag publication. Sometime next year, of course. Right now, I’m a little swamped.
Also, I have a full reading docket. I just finished up The Archaeology of Knowledge by Michel Foucault. Like most of his stuff, I think I understood about 90 percent of what he was writing about, but that last 10 percent is me making a mad dash for the end yelling “Give me my cookie!!” So yeah, that was fun. Right now I’ve got The Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual open and am reading that. Really, the subtitle should be “Common Sense Shit We Should Have Thought About Before Invading Countries We Didn’t Know Anything About,” but what do I know…
Anyway, it’s been a little radio silent, but I’m ramping up a couple more interviews, some guest blogs, and of course my thoughts here and there on whatever I’m thinking about at the moment. One of those things is my novel, Cold Run, which I’m currently editing in hopes of beginning the long submission process. For your reading pleasure, here is an excerpt, freshly edited, in which the main character, a werewolf by the name of Rick Keller, goes on the hunt for two child-killers…
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Sometimes I can follow a scent for days and wind up at the end of the week with a cold trail and no joy. Sometimes, I get lucky. Sometimes, other people don’t.
The sedan was parked outside a convenience store, one of a row of dusty storefronts advertising carne and vegetables in playful lettering. By now, the gray light had mostly faded from the sky, and a few stark streetlights threw a nimbus around the mist that had started to fall. Rather than cool off the streets, it caused a wave of humidity to roll along the asphalt, sending up all sorts of pungent distractions.
“Hey perrito, que haces aqui?” A middle-aged man in an apron and a Phillies baseball cap greeted me, possibly thinking me some tourist’s lost pet. I padded straight by him, deftly avoiding the broom and the sudden spate of angry Spanish he threw my way. I shouldered my way past a swinging door and followed the scent of the men past the kitchen, down some narrow steps and stopped short facing a wooden door.
I lifted my paw and scratched. The sounds from inside drifted off for a moment. I scratched again. I heard someone ask something in Spanish. There was a pause. I scratched again, and a different voice barked an order. I heard footsteps approach, and the door was unlocked.
The inch of space for a questioning look and a Spanish cuss word were all the entrée I needed. I set my shoulder into the door and pushed it all the way open.
The man’s throat was soft flesh between my teeth. I didn’t recognize his scent, but he was standing between me and the table, where the two men I hunted were sitting down. One of them pointed a gun at me, and I felt a short, sharp impact as one of the bullets found my side.
I lifted my head from the neck of the twitching corpse beneath me and growled. One man spoke in Spanish, and the only word I recognized was Dio. He screamed it again and again until my claws found his face, swiping through soft tissue and reducing his screaming to a whimper.
Turning, I snarled at his friend, who had crept closer. He pointed his gun toward me. It shook and trembled in his outstretched hand.
He fired again. The sound in the small concrete room was deafening, and my ears rang with it as I launched myself at his legs. I tangled them up and bowled him over.
He thrust his hands and arms at me uselessly, trying desperately to keep me away from his face and neck. I opened my jaw wide and crunched. The feel of my teeth on his skull was satisfying. My cuspids caught and I sawed my jaw back and forth until I could free his head from the grasp of my teeth.
I felt him screaming through the vibrations in his chest, but my ears were still ringing and no sound came through. He mouthed words, but whether they were in Spanish or English or any other coherent language other than a panicked babble, I had no idea. I ended his pathetic movements with a slash to the jugular.
The first man watched me, slumped against the wall but still alive. The fear on his face twitched something in me, and I started to feel the carousel surf of the change rock through me again.
I found myself with one foot on each side of the border, my shadow cast crazy and upright against the wall by a single, swinging bulb.
I stalked him, and it was fun to see the terror grow in his eyes. He tried to scream, but through his ruined face it came out more as a mewling sound. He put his hands up to shield his face, but with his two friends dead on the floor, I didn’t bother trying to go for the throat.
I was hungry.