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)
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.
“After you, sir.”
“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.
Smashwords Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/5424