The day is finally here. Swamp Monster Massacre lives! To kick things off, I invite you to visit the first stop of the blog tour (as seen in the previous post) and take a gander at the following preview of chapter one. This isn’t your grandfather’s bigfoot story – that’s if you had a strange grandfather obsessed with the big ape. To check out all the stops on the first severed leg of the tour, click here. Dates will be added weekly because this bad boy is running until the end of the year.
And to make things extra special, I’m going to pick a random person who responds to this post to win a $5 Samhain gift card, which shockingly is more than enough to pick up your own copy of SMM with change to get a second novella.
Remember, keep your hands in the ride at all times and no flash photography. Skunk Apes hate that.
SWAMP MONSTER MASSACRE
Rooster Murphy pried his knuckle out of Cheech’s shattered eye socket with a grunt of frustration. Goddamn guy’s skull must have been made of honeycombs to break apart like that. Cheech’s right eye, in all its smooshed, gelatinous glory, quivered on the knuckle of his middle finger. He flicked his wrist in disgust and watched the eye splatter against the floor, leaving a slick streak.
“I told you to cut it out, didn’t I?” he screamed at the Cuban man’s cooling corpse. “Did you think I was fucking playing with you? Huh? Jesus, Cheech! You know, you really put me in a tight spot. You really did. You fucked me good, man. You fucked me good.”
He hocked a wad of phlegm on Cheech’s chest for good measure.
All Cheech had to do was hand over the guns, and all he had to do was give that entitled Cuban the money. Simple. A friggin’ retard could have handled that.
But Cheech, man, he always had to ride him. Always had something to say. Always quick with a joke at his expense. He was Luis Cortez’s son after all, so he thought that gave him a free ride to say and do anything he felt like.
And Rooster, he’d really been trying to hold it together. Five court-ordered stints at anger management, meds that made his head fuzzy and his dick soft, meditation CDs made by California fruits, and all that other shit out the window in under a minute.
So now he had the guns and the money and Cheech’s stiff with the surprisingly fragile skull. It was only a couple of punches. Must have been all that blow Cheech did, eating away at his stupid face.
Fuck it. Either way, he was a dead man. Rough Cheech up a little, you could expect Papa Luis to come down on you so hard you own mother would feel the loss in her old, empty womb.
Rooster took a moment to think about his options. The guy’s apartment was straight out of that Cribs show, full of all kinds of marble and hi-tech electronic shit. The air conditioning was on full blast and, as he discovered walking into the kitchen, there was plenty of Presidente beer in the fridge. He usually preferred the cheap stuff like Busch or Schaefer, but beggars can’t be choosers.
He twisted off the non-twist-off cap of a Presidente and sat back on the big leather couch. Rooster shoved Cheech’s legs away with the heel of his sneaker. The cold beer felt like heaven as it sluiced down his chest and into his gut.
This was bad. He’d been down shit creek more than his share of times, but this one took the cake, ate it, crapped it out, clogged the toilet and spilled out onto the floor. Cortez had guys all over Naples. Hell, his arm stretched down to Miami and up north to Jacksonville. Getting out of Florida was going to be like that Clint Eastwood flick, The Gauntlet. That was pretty badass when Clint fortified a bus to take on an assault from more guns than the French had surrender parties.
For the first time since entering Cheech’s apartment, Rooster smiled. He remembered seeing that movie with his dad at the old Big Star Drive-In. He must have been ten at the time. His dad would park a couple of ratty old lawn chairs in front of their Chevelle and they’d eat popcorn one of his succession of ‘aunts’ had made at home. And on special nights, like the night they saw The Gauntlet, his dad would share a few sips of his suds with him.
It wasn’t until Rooster had finished the beer that he remembered he wasn’t supposed to drink alcohol with his meds. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to drive, operate heavy machinery, walk, talk or screw when under the influence of alcohol, because no matter what you are in the middle of doing, you are about to take a world-class face-plant.
The room spun and he thought he saw Cheech move. The bottle slipped from his hand and his mind slipped from this world.
I think it goes without saying that Halloween is my favorite holiday. I mean, what’s not to like? Thanks to the Walking Dead, I expect to see a lot of zombies, big and small, shambling through the streets tonight. Since many of you will be prowling around in the dark, I thought it would be nice to give you a little excerpt from my novel, Forest of Shadows, to help send you on your way. Remember, be wary of the shadows! ———–
A strong breeze gusted outside and whistled through a partially open window in one of the upstairs rooms. Judas suddenly realized he was alone in the inky blackness of a house that, despite their little test, had something very wrong with it. He sprinted into action and clambered down the steps. He cast a backwards glance, sure that something was just behind him, an inch away from grazing the back of his neck. Tiny needles of terror started a parade that originated at his lower back and danced up his spine. His breath was knocked out of him for the second time in the house when he walked smack into Teddy’s immobile figure in the front doorway.
“What the hell, man?” he said when he regained his footing.
Teddy motioned for him to come closer with one hand without turning his head or body. Something was happening outside that had him spellbound. Judas’s heart sank as a vision of the sheriff’s car parked next to his flashed across his brain.
All of the saliva in his mouth dried up as he reluctantly edged around Teddy to face his fate. He could almost feel the harsh pinch of the handcuffs, hear the monotone of his rights being read to him.
Except there was no sheriff’s car.
Judas’s old Ford was right where they had left it, alone in the night.
“What’s the deal?” he asked.
“Look at the truck.”
“I did. Was there a bear near it or something?”
Teddy was breathing in quick, syrupy gulps. Judas moved his gaze back to the truck and squinted hard.
And then he saw them.
Moving shadows, some flitting across the hood, others oozing up from the ground and undulating around it. They swirled, formed a single mass, then broke apart into dozens of pulsating black globs, a sentient dance of darkness.
Judas gasped and the shadows froze.