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Tuesday, 31 December 2013


Season’s greetings, first and foremost. I hope the yuletide brought good tidings to your household. More, I hope you gave someone good tidings this Christmas. Remember, Christmas is about Giving.
Speaking of Giving, here I am to do a little of my own. I’m here to give appreciation to each and every one of those who made Twenty-thirteen a memorable year for me, to those who fashioned, left memorable events to reflect on and cheer about in the course of the year, in divers of diverse ways
I’ll start this off by lavishing the majority of my worship to my family, notably my parents, my backbone, my support, my foundation. The plot of my life would’ve been different this year negatively if they hadn’t been there for me every time I needed them. I finished and graduated from college this year, precisely in November but THEY were the ones who made it happen, springing financial miracles upon miracles to ensure a convenient and satisfying completion. Their sponsorship and legacy will dwell with me for life. Then there’re my siblings too, my beloved brother and sister, my two most fantastic companions. They’ve both been a well of inspiration to me, sister dear especially, an embodiment of beauty and brains, a maker, a fashioner; and my brother who came up with bizarre storylines and even more bizarre titles, whose interest in my writings gave me priceless esteem through the year. I won't forget my best friend, Jidenma Ofurum. We had quite an adventure in Twenty-thirteen and by God, I'm looking forward to more in Twenty-fourteen. You're the best, my brother!
Ah, I will NEVER forget my fellow college graduates with whom I toiled, educationally, for four longish years, a group of brilliant folks who taught me more of the things I know pertaining to my course than all my lecturers in the same time frame. Indeed, four years seems so long ago, so far away now and reminiscing brings me only snatches of smile-worthy memories. ‘Twas a pity I couldn’t be with them in the final valedictorian hours, but to us are served deserved congratulations and felicitations. Surely our steps shall continue on the rightest path as we walk on. Special thanks go to my buddies who, in this way and that, I’ve been so close to that we’ve practically shared the same toothbrush <<eeoowww!!>>: Obiorah Benjamin, Banjoko (Biggy) Oladipo, Obisesan (Popeye) Segun, Ishola John (Just John, nothing else), Osewa Tobi (I haven’t forgotten our handshake, man), Orachiri (GB/Imake) Chidi, Okereke (Prof) Kingsley, Nkonu Kalu, and Adewumi(Akogun) Oluwaseun.
QQ: Will I ever forget you guys?
A: Big NO!
Twenty-thirteen has been a year of mixed fortunes in the literary community, many will agree. There have been deaths, oh, there have been. Sad and mournful demises of literary icons, people I’d considered living gods of modern writing, whose writing rules and styles I tried to carve on my heart like Moses’s tableted commandments. It started with popular horror writer James Herbert (69) in March. Same March claimed Chinua Achebe (82), my fellow citizen, my grandfather, my father, a legend of African literature. Then May took Jack Vance (Ellery Queen). Perhaps the one that hurt me most was Richard Matheson (87). He went in June and he really was legend. Tom Clancy (66) followed in October. And the one that hurt the world, the one whose death left resounding tremors even through the beds of the Pacific, was Nelson Madiba Mandela (95) in the first week of this December. Their marks, their touches, what they left behind will no doubt be timeless, ageless. Words can’t truly express how grateful I am for all these folks gave me. A big THANK YOU might not be sufficient enough but it is all I have right now. If the opportunity for a better way to honor their memory presents itself in the nearest future, I will seize it with all of my limbs.
To every other author whose storytelling cuddled me every day, never making me feel alone, nourishing me with education and entertainment, thrill and terror, nirvana, I say Thank You! More power to your fingers; More ink in your pen; More enlightenment and inspiration to your imaginative minds. Doubtless, you’ll receive my continual support in the next year, and the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that…
[My exceptional praises to Lori R. Lopez (and her family) and Marie Fostino for the awesome gifts showered upon me (quite undeservedly). You darlings spoilt me silly this year. You’re my distant mums for sure. Your gifts are, and will continue to be, the most valuable of their kind in my collection. I’ve even reserved for them special homes in my perpetually unkempt room where I can summon them without turning what is already upside down right way up, without bringing any imbalance to my untidiness. Ha, ha, ha. Oh, I very nearly forgot Melissa Stevens for her prize earlier this year, a cover design of The Mystic Meg, a WIP. Thank you very much. It was splendid, but then, I expected nothing less. You're a fantastic designer.]
To every reader who left me reviews and ratings on one or more of my eBooks, I am indebted to you. Those brief moment of attention rendered has meant the world to my burgeoning career in the literary business. Without your support, without your corrections and remarks, glowing and otherwise, not forgetting your encouragements, I don’t think I would’ve had the confidence to persevere in this debatable profitable business of self-publishing.
[I’ll not forget all of your assistance, Robert Friedrich, in your invitations to several Facebook events. You, above all, went a long way in making me aware of as many publishing opportunities as you could. You were almost like my manager. You too, Yorley Garcia, surprising me on a fair afternoon with a message of appreciation for my shorts. Then there’s the delightful Vix Kirkpatrick. I’ll not forget your rigorous, thorough and eventually sublime beta reading of Confessions of a Graverobber.]
Double thumbs up to all publishing companies for giant strides in making quality books accessible and affordable to several impoverished third-world countries. Twenty Fourteen will be an even better year for us all and may the biggest achievement of our immediate past be incomparable to the smallest achievement of our nearest future.
Remember: Love one another; Be the change you wish to see in the world.
God bless you all. Looking forward to a bright Twenty Fourteen.
Happy New Year.

~Artie Margrave

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Flash Fiction and Book Excerpt Day: The Order Of The Four Sons, Book I by Lauren Scharhag

Flash Fiction and Book Excerpt Day: The Order Of The Four Sons, Book I by Lauren Scharhag
While not immersed in deep, dark horror, on my otherwise bright days, I dabble in the rich luminance of dark fantasy, the dark sides of fantastical worlds. As a matter of fact, the only other genre I regard with honest interest other than horror is dark fantasy.

I was (I should be polite and say privileged) gifted to read a short story during the week, La Tutayuega by Lauren Scharhag and I enjoyed it. You can find that particular short story on Smashwords. Here’s an excerpt of her dark fantasy novel, also on Smashwords.

Book Excerpt: The Order of the Four Sons, Book I
(Type of Work: Novel)
Lauren Scharhag

They could make out the end of the hallway. There was a very narrow door, perhaps three feet wide, set into a cinderblock wall.
The Colonel paused, shining a flashlight into the doorway. It led into a corridor even more narrow than the one they’d just been in, a hairpin turn taking them off to the right.
They all passed into the corridor.
“Everybody still with me?” the Colonel called over his shoulder. “Murphy-Kate-Doc-Cecil?”
There was a chorus of affirmations.
“Just checkin’,” the Colonel grunted. “Tighter’n a bull’s ass in fly season in here.Can’t turn around to look for ya. Everybody stay right behind me.”
The flashlights revealed wooden walls here—some of that ‘70’s style paneling they’d seen in the scrap heaps behind them. There were also–
“Colonel, we’ve got doors,” Murphy said.
“Well, shit.”
“After you, sir.”
“Looks clear.”
“All right, then,” the Colonel drew himself up and then opened the first door. It led to another corridor full of doors.
“Well, shit again,” he muttered.
“No go?” Murphy asked.
Shaking his head, JD shut the door.
“Well, then, Colonel, if I may . . .?” Murphy pulled a small plastic doorstop from one of his jacket pockets.
“You’re carrying doorstops?” Kate asked, incredulous.
“Standard SWAT issue,” he dropped it onto the floor and kicked it firmly under the door.
She looked dumbfounded. “I mean . . . really?”
“Really.” He jiggled the door handle to demonstrate. It wouldn’t budge. “Simple physics. Nobody’s coming through that door.” For the second time, Kate looked impressed. “Don’t applaud,” he said dryly. “Just throw money.” They continued on.
The ceiling here was wooden beams, just skeletons in some places, with gaps leaving squares of darkness over their heads.
“Anybody else smell that?” Kate asked, wrinkling up her nose. “Smells like—”
“Burnt hair,” Cecil finished.
“And burning flesh,” Doug added. “You realize what that means.”
“Eretics,” grunted JD. “Looks like we’re in the right place.”
“What the hell is wrong with our lifestyle, that the smell of roasted undead means that we’re in the right place—and, oh look. Blood,” Murphy shined his flashlight down.
There were dots of it on the floor—not a lot. But enough.
Murphy knelt down and touched one of the dots. “Still sticky.”
He shined his flashlight along the floor. There were more splashes of blood further ahead—larger splashes.
No one said anything as they continued to creep along the hallway. They tried two more doors—one led to a room barely bigger than a closet, stacked with a few wooden crates. The second led to yet another hallway. Murphy used another doorstop to block it.
At last, their flashlights landed on an old black telephone mounted on the wall.
The whole section of the wall around it was awash in blood. Beneath it, there was more blood, and drag marks going down the hall away from them.
“Movement, down the hall,” Cecil said quickly. He immediately raised his gun…

Pen Name: Lauren Scharhag

Bio: Lauren Scharhag is the author of Imperial-13, The Ice Dragon, The Winter Prince and (with Coyote Kispaugh) The Order of the Four Sons series.  Her work has appeared most recently in The SNReview, The Daily Novel, Infectus, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry.  She is the recipient of the Gerard Manley Hopkins Award for poetry and a fellowship from Rockhurst University for fiction.  She lives in Kansas City, MO with her husband and three cats.

Twitter: @laurenscharhag

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Flash Fiction And Book Excerpt Day: The Darkness Within by Robert Friedrich

Good day. It's been a while since I've blogged due to severe occupation with important stuff off the cyber, and I've only just snuck away for a brief while. I'll be sharing a book excerpt of a writer-friend I recently met on facebook. His writing and his works, I've found out, are very visual and impressive.

Book Excerpt: The Darkness Within, a novella By Robert Friedrich

Space - the vast and cold emptiness that surrounds everything. Space is the silent witness to all events past and present. To all atrocities and pain that occur on each and every world. But sometimes, in both blood and pain there may appear a sign of hope and freedom. A freedom born from misery.
It is in space where everything unfolds and all becomes clear as day. In the year 2073 both the beginning and the end come together to shed blood. It is in space where the “Lightark” class 2 salvage ship roams, both in rust and shame. It is an older ship and less advanced than the new class 3 ships. But still it roams around space, searching. Awaiting it’s next mission.
It is in space where many accidents happen and mostly end in horrible ways. But someone has to clean up the mess and pick up the broken pieces. This is where the “Lightark” roams. With just 6 members as Crew, but when needed, it listens to every call and plea. This story situates around the Captain of this ship, a broken man with horrible nightmares and alcohol problems. A man who lost his entire past due to an unfortunate series of events that brought him here.
A window in the “Lightarks” hull reveals the Captain’s cabin, where he sits alone. Two fluorescent lamps just light the cabin, but one is flickering at times. The Captain sits at his desk, starring endlessly at the wall. A half empty bottle of whiskey at his side, with two glasses, one half full and other tipped over beside an ashtray full of cigarette buds. Above his desk, the wall is filled with newspaper and magazine covers. Each one revealing a different heading. Headings such as “Tragedy in space, lone survivor hospitalized”, “Victim or Criminal”, “Children psychiatrist burned alive, his dark secrets come to light” and many others.
The Captain is sitting motionless in his chair, wearing a long black leader coat since the ship’s heating system isn’t working anymore as it should. Under his coat by his waist is an empty weapon holster. The Captain finally moves his hand and picks up the half empty glass of whiskey and drinks it before reaching into a drawer in his desk. In this drawer a metal box rests. Engraved on it is “Special edition Colt 2021 with a self-recharging case less pulse round magazine.” He opens the box and takes the Colt all covered in black matte with engraved “110 Year Anniversary Edition”.
He looks at it for a few seconds, before pointing it at his forehead. He exhales and closes his eyes, ready to pull the trigger. It seems as if the time slows down as he slowly starts to pull the trigger. His face thou shows distress, as if this is his last hope to remember everything. People till today say, “when you are close to death or dying, your entire life flashes before your eyes.” But the distress symbolizes that nothing flashes before his eyes. There is nothing left but pitch black darkness.
The sound of the comm. speaker interrupts the Captain. A female voice comes on: “Captain Roberts, your presence is requested on the Bridge.“ The Captain takes his finger off the trigger, holsters his gun and stands up from his desk. He goes towards the comm. speaker. He simply says: “I’m on my way.”
He just takes a blister of medication from the drawer in which his gun laid not so long ago and slides it inside his inside coat pocket. He exits his cabin through the sliding door and starts walking through the corridor towards the Bridge. The distress from the earlier suicide attempt is wiped off his face as he makes a stop at the ship’s kitchen. Inside the kitchen already the ship’s medical officer Anderson is making tea for himself as the Captain enters.
You can get the full copy here:
Don't forget to leave a rating and review to encourage the author.
Author Bio 

I'm Robert Friedrich, and I am the author of The Darkness Within Novella and the Anthology Enlightened by Darkness. The Darkness Within is one of the first Fiction Novella's specially dedicated to Metal & Metalheads around this world. And my Anthology will take you to the fabrics of reality.

I am originally born in Slovakia, but reside abroad before returning to Europe. I am a freelance writer and this is my biggest undertaking and it is not my last one. Besides this project I also write on my own blog, and I did freelance work on the American comedy website I always had a vivid imagination and it took some pain, guts and a ton of misfortunes to bring me to this point where I harnessed all my energy and stepped out to do the things I really want to do.

If you are a fan of Horror/Sci-fi you will enjoy these books, and even if you are not it may still change your perspectives. So be Enlightened by Darkness or face The Darkness Within!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

About Writing: Penning A Flash Fiction

Flash Fictions are very short stories that command words of at least 300 and up to 1000, maybe with an allowance of about a hundred more.

Psh! You say. What's in a 1000 words that I can't drum up in... just give me one hour?

And I'll say, Go ahead. If you can prepare something sumptuous to feed my eyes and mind and understanding in that short a time and using accurately that much number of words, kudos! Now close this web page or switch to something else more worth your time.

Truth is, writing an actual short story (2000 - 5000 words) is easier than a flash, I find. I've tried. I'd failed countless times and it was until recently that I started to get the hang of it.

What makes writing Flash pieces difficult? Economy, summation and summarization. You don't have the freedom you get in writing short stories and novelettes in development and expatiation. So how to go about it.

Of course, to begin on any writing (both fiction and non-fiction), you must have an idea. But an idea is too big for a flash, that I first found out. Because in an idea are many facets of events that any creative mind can spring up. Luckily, you don't need to utilize the whole idea to write a flash, no. Those clamoring facets your mind gathered, just one will do.

For example, early last month, I tried to write a zombie flash. What terrible choice. When I picked it, a lot of serious, crazy, stupid and funny ideas were kicking around. I couldn't focus on any one without having a stream of subplots engulfing my thoughts. So what to do...

I picked my pen and started a tree. At the top was apocalypse in bold, then subplots events, subsubplots group survivors and I kept going till I had a character, in a family, in a group, escaping together, through an overrun city, where government had promised protection... I concentrated on the character and on one happening, simple but complex, tuned down to its very basicness. Now with that achieved, I had my character, his placement, a beginning, a middle and eventually an ending that left me hanging.

Once you've picked your outline, then it's time to start. How? Easy. The first few lines (or more appropriately, the first three paragraphs) must contain details about the character and his situation. You could say the back story should be defined within these paragraphs. The reader should, by the end of these paragraphs know what's happening and who's involved with or in what's happening. With that achieved, we can move to our main body.

In the main content, the situation that involves the main character, and others, plays out, where the main action takes place. This is the trickiest portion of a flash as one can become too involved to write beyond planned. Here, you must know how to tell a lot with very little words, which unfortunately falls beyond this scope. It's another topic for another week. (I have however left some pointers at the end of this post.)

If you have reductivism under your control, then brilliant! The end part is, well, the end. Here, your reader must have gained the satisfaction similar to that gained from completing novels and other large pieces of work. I like to leave cliffhangers in mine. It's a flash, yes, but why did it end there? What would've happened next if it had gone on?

How to minimize your work without affecting quality
  • Avoid over-description. In the end, you would've used up more words in describing a place than in describing what's actually happening in it which is of more interest to the reader.
  • Avoid using metaphors and similes (In short, keep a very minimal use of comparisons. In fact, it would be best if you completely do without them. They waste words. As fast as, as strong as)
  • Use contractions. He will can be shortened to He'll and Will not can be shortened to won't.
  • After writing a sentence, cross-check to see that there is a way to further shorten it.
Thank you for having my tips occupy you. Have a great day.

Quote Of The Day
Normally, I work out a general summary of what I mean to do, then start writing, and the details can be different from my anticipation. So there is considerable flow, but always within channels.
~Piers Anthony

Sunday, 16 June 2013

My Artwork Monday

Another day, another week to share my artwork, new and old. So I did some digging and came out with a couple of my drawings. The ink on the pages had already begun to misbehave so I hurried and digimmortalized it as quickly as I could.


(This was a year before high school valedictory. I drew it from a comic where X-Force fight... (forgotten the name of the rogue gro... wait, yes, it's X-Factor. Then the X-Men came into the picture at the end. That's Quicksilver)

(I drew this during the period I was expecting varsity admission letter. Can't place an actual date, things were very tense then. Here I am now, though. This is Magneto)

(One of my treasured pieces. The Batman, but who doesn't love Bruce Wayne in that cape. Can't place the date on this one too but it was during high school, I'm certain of that.)

(This was also drawn in high school from a magazine titled "Heroes Illustrated." I remember it being in 5th year, yes. A November day.)

Thank you for staying with me and rifling through my handiwork. I hope I'll be able to dig up and upload higher quality artwork next week for your viewing pleasures. Stay cool.

Have a great week ahead. ^_^

Quote Of The Day
Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.
~ Salvali Dali

Saturday, 15 June 2013

What's Going On In The Publishing Industry

Happy New Week.
 Without wasting much time, let me just dive into the past week's happenings and leave you with something to mull over, unless of course these information is no longer new to you, dear reader.

Getting cranky already.

It's just I'm looking forward to a hectic week. My final, final year exams will be starting Friday. Beyond this hurdle is a Bachelor's Degree waiting for me at the finish line. Couple that with research work for my project and a supervisor sitting snapping hungrily at my heels. Plus, I've really got to finish up Supernatural 8 (I'm 7 episodes to go so I believe that's the only realistic target I can attain this week).

Well, here's the news...

  1. First off, Stephen King's newly published novel, Joyland (published June 2013), is enjoying a brilliant, and for me expected, measure of success, especially if Goodreads reviews are something to go by.
  2. A mighty round of applause for David McFadden and Fady Joudah, winners of this year's Griffin Poetry Prize, Canada's most generous poetry award. Want to know what they wrote and how they won? Well, here you go. Oh, I'll be winner of the next 10th edition after this one btw. You bet.
  3. Back to the novel front, Quirk Books launches an opportunity for new romance writers to gain exposure through, you guess, a contest. Only, this time, you don't win an award.
  4. Recent Study suggests that Digital Magazine readership rises up to 50%
  5. And in the combined print and ebook bestselling list for fiction, Entwined With You by Sylvia Day makes an entrance
Wish me luck in my exams. I really need it.

Quote of the day (applicable to week)
Lie back and relax; but you must be prepared first!
~ Artie Margrave

Flash Fiction And Book Excerpt Day: The Curse In The Chest

It's another weekend, one I've been looking forward to after a really, tiring week. Today's plans? Lie back, watch Supernatural Season 8. (And I have final semester exams starting on Friday but hey, I just need to relax and live a little bit of life. I'm not coming out of it alive anyway). I'm where Kevin (the Asian-American prophet) has told Sam and Dean about the quests to undertake in order to permanently lock Hell's Gate. So far, Sam has killed and bathed in Crowley's Hellhound's black blood. Enjoying the season so far.

Today, I want to share the excerpt of a supernatural-ish novella I wrote and published last year's March. I was pretty new into publishing then and it was my second published work.



“It’s seen him,” Marcus announced. They looked to see the heavy mass drift forward. It corrupted the river with thick, slow moving ripples and pushed heavily soaked
clumps of weed that stayed in its path below the surface. It had changed its course from towards the boat to towards Matt.

The clergyman purposely decided not to take notice. Whatever he’d seen beyond those patches, he regarded with greater importance than what was coming for him.

“Matt! Hey, Father or…” Fisher shouted.

Matt stopped reluctantly and turned to fully analyze the extent of the situation he was caught in. The dark-brown mass stopped too. The distance between himself and it was considerably safe. He was in no immediate danger and he wasn’t ready to forgo his quest on account of the questionable strip. He was suspicious of what it was but Fisher, back on the bank, had told him otherwise. More to the point, about the same time they’d spotted the floating, irregularly shaped mass while on the boat, a glint from the patch that was now his prime target had stung his attention. He’d noticed something hidden behind the wet reeds and had made for it.

Now he forced a halt out of himself and reckoned his level of safety. As he considered the living, locomotive mass, he bore the grim feeling out of nothing extraordinary that it was trying to keep him from pushing forward, or monitoring him closely, the latter reason more than three-quarter percent proven right. He hurriedly discarded the feeling and took a wade to attend to his quest, simply to find that the thing moved too, simultaneously as he. He declared himself right and unsafe. He remembered Fisher’s rifle. Now was a good time to put it to use.

He turned his face over his shoulder to see the two of them, Fisher and Marcus, casting nervous glances at him and at the creature. Marcus kept the rifle aimed at the mass.

“Good,” he said, quite alertly, “keep it in your crosshairs. If it gets too close you know what to do, don’t you?”

Marcus nodded. Fisher still looked agitated.

Assured Marcus was very well on guard, Matt continued to the reeds, slightly ignoring the mass. It however did not ignore him. Silently, stealthily, it crept forward. It took him a few effortful lunges forward to get to the outer boundary of plants. He easily pulled the long branches far apart, almost letting their entire length drown in the water and his eyes fell on the chest.

It was as grim as its surrounding was. It was wide open too and contained emptiness. Its weight was doing a swell job at pushing it below the surface. Had it been noticed far later, it would completely have disappeared, swallowed by the dead water, probably never to be seen again or at most, for a long, long time. Its jewels, the many of them, blinked with dull grace. One of those blinks was what had caught his eyes from the boat. He was glad he hadn’t missed it. He with two hands raised it fully out of the water and inspected it. And his fingers ran over the Latin words inscribed on it:
Teloque animus praestantior omni
He read the words in his mind over again and instantly realized what it meant and what the chest was supposed to keep. A powerful sealing spell had been placed on the chest, which meant whatever had been sealed inside was on a high level of evil. The bodies of the girls flashed across his mind surreptitiously. This was what was responsible for the murders.

He glared around. Nothing was in sight that wasn’t unexpected. Now he understood why the sun was darkened, why the deadness around him was grave. The demon, because he was now entirely certain that it was, that had been released from this chest was a highly feared demon, one that called for an intervention from the forces of nature. It would’ve taken a measure of the beast’s personal nature to have unlocked and released it and then probably the recital of the spell.

Having the knowledge that it was a demon, he believed whoever had released it had been automatically possessed. That person was now the demon’s vessel. It could be anybody. It could’ve been someone he’d passed on the way to the bank. It wasn’t those two on the boat though. They looked lethargic enough.

He plucked the chest out of the water. It was almost weightless, probably as dense as Balsa. It had no handles but that didn’t give him a problem lifting it. He knew the only way to keep the monster from further rampaging was to first find its vessel, like that was easy, exorcise whoever it was and trap the demon in the place that had once held it.

As he picked it up, he momentarily flinched as a shadow ran past him over the water. A raucous squawk filled the air. He looked up and caught a brief glimpse of a black bird. It resembled a crow. The instant he saw its outline, it disappeared into the rolling clouds.

He was brought to by a similar high-pitched note, only this time human, followed solidly behind by a gunshot. He turned around sharply. And found the large mass right in front of him, only inches away. He stumbled backwards against the reeds. Now that it was close, it was definitely scary. Staring at thick lines of wet scales, he knew what it was. And the others knew too.

“It’s a crocodile!” Fisher shouted. He was right

He meant to turn at Fisher and say “Thanks. That was extremely encouraging” but he flashed a scowl instead. He shifted to the right, freeing himself of the tight corner he’d placed himself in.
The reptile was still half immersed. On its left side, blood oozed, turning the blackened water into a deep shade of red. It stayed still, so still that Matt believed it was dead. He turned and made for the boat and saw Fisher yell.

“Behind you!”

He swirled and saw the animal making for him. Glum, yellow eyes flared. It revealed more of itself. This thing was monstrous. The huge body that was hidden beneath revealed itself. Large, puffy flesh, designated by thick scales pumped out of the river. Another gunshot rang. The water spurted upwards as if in panic. The crocodile swayed backwards. Its yellow eyes disappeared beneath the surface once more. More blood flowed. This time it came from beneath the surface to clog the top.

Matt waded backwards, keeping the crocodile in his line of sight. He knew he had to be mindful now. He clung to the chest tightly like it could conciliate his fear.

“Is it dead already?” He heard Marcus ask, not sure that it was to him or to Fisher.

Fisher fired home an answer first. “Not sure.”

Matt stopped when he found himself out of close attacking range. He sighed. For the first time he noticed the goose pimples that had broken out on his skin. He looked up. The bird he’d seen previously did not reappear.

A long piece of cane (he almost thought it was a water-snake) was floating past him. He picked it up, holding the chest under his left arm, to his ribs. The cane was flexible and about a foot long. Just perfect.

He moved forward a bit, towards the near sunken beast, armed only with the cane. The water around the beast was fast becoming bloodied. He still had to be sure that it was dead. The way the thing had come for him before, that moment would go down as the hairiest moment of his life. His skin was still white with the fear, blood drained from his face.

“What the hell are you doing, Matt?” Fisher said, noticing. His voice was on edge.

Matt heard Marcus reloading cartridges into the rifle. Yes, what the hell are you doing, Matt, he wondered.

He stretched the cane in front of him till it was nearly poking the beast. It had not moved yet.

“I simply want to be…”

You can download The Curse In The Chest for free on Smashwords with this link... or on Barnes and Noble with this link... or on Kobobooks with this link...

Have a more productive than mine weekend.

Quote Of The Day
"That is exactly why our lives suck. I mean, come on, we hunt monsters! What the hell? I mean, normal people, they see a monster, and they run. But not us, no, no, no, we search out things that want to kill us. Or eat us! You know who does that? Crazy people! We are insane! You know, and then there's the bad diner food and then the skeevy motel rooms and then the truck-stop waitress with the bizarre rash. I mean, who wants this life, Sam? Seriously? Do you actually like being stuck in a car with me eight hours a day, every single day? I don't think so! I mean, I drive too fast. And I listen to the same five albums over and over and over again, and I sing along. I'm annoying, I know that. And you, you're gassy! You eat half a burrito, and you get toxic! I mean, you know what? You can forget it. Stay away from me Sam, OK? Because I am done with it. I'm done with the monsters and the hellhounds and the ghost sickness and the damn apocalypse. I'm out. I'm done. Quit."
~ Dean Winchester