Samples and trailers

From Hill Magick:

Like faceted stars, the embers flickered in the dim room, and he wondered how they had survived for so long without more wood to feed them. Were they an omen, or perhaps a message from his great-grandfather? Did they signify a blessing or a warning? He held his breath, the better to observe the bits of glowing light.

“True, what’s up?” came Rachel’s voice from behind him. “It’s cold.”

“The fire’s gone out. I was fixing to start it again.”

He picked up a piece of kindling, but for some reason he could not bring himself to reach forward and lay it on the dead fire. His hand hovered over the ashes.

The embers blinked.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

From Eve of Darkness:

Barely perceptible through the noise of the storm came a faint scratching at the kitchen door. It could be a raccoon or other creature, or a lost pet seeking shelter from the storm. The thought of an abandoned rain-soaked kitten tore at Stephanie’s heart. Without hesitation, she went to the door and opened it to the night. The thunder and lightning had gone but the rain was streaming down, sheeting off the roof and funneling through the downspouts, drenching the green grass, soaking the already waterlogged earth. Gobbets of rain dripped off the leaves of the trees like tears.

“Stephanie.”

A sopping wet soaked mass lay prone on the concrete steps. Her mouth opened but no words came out; she gulped air.

An arm detached itself from the mass, a hand reached out to her. Fingers scrabbled at her feet. Horrified, she shrank back. The man’s head turned, the blistered lips writhed.

“Stephanie…help me.”

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

From Unearthly:

“Here! Over here.”

Frieda stepped around the bicycle and moved into the trees.

“Lost! Hungry!” the voice continued, guiding her deeper inside.

So she would rescue two lost souls today. How great and mysterious was the Universal Plan!

“Hurry!” The voice was changing, becoming more garbled and indistinct, as if the shouter’s mouth were full.

“I hear you, I’m coming! Keep talking so I can find you.”

Through the trees Frieda could see the white stony hills of the quarry. She paused for breath, her hand on the rough bark of an old maple.

“You’re hungry? Have you been lost a long time?” she asked, not expecting the answer to be so very close.

“For years and years,” replied the ground at her feet as it rose up to choke off her screams.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

From The Retrievers: Strange Tales of the Supernatural, “Doctor Anita”:

“Mister Dunhill? This is Anita at Metropolitan. How are you doing?”

“Not…very well…thanks.” He sounded raspy, hoarse.

“I couldn’t reach your psychiatrist, but I can give you a drug sample, one pill. Can you send someone to the clinic to pick it up?”

“No one…here…” the voice panted.

There was something funny about the way Mr. Dunhill was pronouncing his words, almost as if his tongue was having trouble bending in the right ways. A chill went down Anita’s spine. He must be very sick. “Come to the clinic right away, Mister Dunhill. Are you able to do that?”

“I…can…come…” grated Mr. Dunhill. The line went dead.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞