After ten years of working on my writing craft, while keeping the day job, I have finally published my first anthology of short stories. If you’ve been reading ‘Logical Progression of Madness,’ then you know precisely what to expect. This book is Volume I in a series I will write, all containing short stories that I myself would like to read but have never been able to find. I hope you enjoy the work as much I as did writing it.
Below is an excerpt from the book, to whet your whistle. If you enjoy stories of mythos, supernatural frights, giants, angels and demons, this book is for you.
THE RED PLANET STOPS BY
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
“…again, a comet struck the planet Mars head on just hours ago, knocking the planet out of orbit. Mars is now dropping into a lower orbit, closer to the sun. This will cause the red planet to appear to plummet past our Earth in very close proximity and with a high rate of speed. Prince William has declared a global emergency. First responders are gathering world-wide, as I speak, while the red planet falls toward us, in the hopes that we may meet the crisis together.
“Scientists speculate that we will be able to see the planet very clearly within a matter of hours. The Pope has urged a state of calm, reminding us to believe in ourselves and hope, knowing that we will find a way to survive. Channel Five News does need to remind you, however, that Mars passing so close to our planet will have disastrous effects. Take emergency preparations. If you are near coastlines, we urge you to calmly head inland. Abide by all traffic laws and drive safely, please. State officials, Police Departments, the Army, and National and Air Guard will be out there trying to help everyone they can.
“We’ll be back in minutes with more on this breaking story as we know more.”
Within hours of the broadcast, the largest volcano on Mars erupted into a display of fire and terror, bellowing first white hot flame, then black ash and smoke. The whole of humanity watched as the planet of war fell past them, a ball of flame and ash, magma beginning to cover the whole of its surface. And then the world panicked as they realized that the ash was being pulled to Earth. Many standing nearly fell as the red, burning planet made its way toward their horizon, pulling the Earth itself, speeding up its rotation. The planet loomed; a ball of orange fire in the dark sky like some great god, intent on raining judgment upon the earth.
Hundreds died in the ash and black soot, then thousands.
As if Revelation had manifested, mankind soon realized that the worst had not yet passed. First Tokyo, then all across Europe, across the ocean onto America: debris and rocks, many large enough to fill an entire superdome football stadium, drove itself through the atmosphere, burning and spinning, and then pulverizing city after city, killing hundreds of millions of people. There was nowhere to go. Nowhere to run or hide.
Earth’s days shortened to sixteen hours. The night was no less dangerous, but it saved much of humanity having to watch the horror unfold.
And yet still, humanity had not seen the worst. In the midst of the black soot, fire, rocks and destruction, Death had crossed. From deep below the surface of the war planet, old gods had arisen, not having been in slumber but imprisoned. The master of all, a great dragon, howled loud into the Earth night as these old gods fell once again to the surface of mankind’s world, loosed again, set free to rule it for however long it lasted.
3 Days Later
Rex Cole had been sick for two days. While the world panicked and died, he’d been unable to leave his bathroom. When he finally emerged on the third day, alive, he couldn’t believe it to be true. He asked himself if he were perhaps dead and somehow dreaming it all.
There was no signal. No electricity. Rex walked to his front window and pulled back the curtains. The window was cracked. Rex looked up and his eyes became wide. A boulder the size of a bus sat in the middle of a brand new crater not two hundred yards from his front door. He chuckled without really knowing why. He walked to the front door and opened it, stepped outside. Though it was early in the day, the sky was dark with ash and soot. Rex felt his own lungs burning with every breath. Where the meteor had landed, the impact had created the crater and blown hundreds of his pine trees down, all in a circular pattern. The trees that had not been knocked down were bent with the wind.
Rex began to back into his house as he saw the three tornadoes. They were all converging in his direction. He ran toward the back of his house, grabbed the wall and took a sharp left, down a hallway. He stopped in front of the door to the basement and opened it as he began to hear the familiar rumble of Mother Nature’s spinning agent of absolute destruction. Down the stairs he ran and ducked back into a small alcove just below the stairs. The whole house could come down now and he might just survive it.
The ceiling of the basement, the living room floor, began to creak. Rex heard the wind howling, even down below with no windows. Then he noticed he could feel the vibration of the rumbling in his hands and feet. There were screams and tearing sounds, many of them sounding very much human to Rex, though he knew it was just a trick of his hearing. Glass shattered and then there were ripping sounds so loud that Rex shoved his hands over his ears. He heard it all as his home was shredded into kindling right above his head. Everything in the basement shook, a wall of shelving fell and hit the old cement floor. Rex felt himself scream but couldn’t hear a thing.
The rumbling began to die down, and slowly, so too did the wind. It all began to subside. As Rex took his hands off his ears, he noticed that the only sound he could hear was a loud ringing. All other sound was blunted and dull; like back row seats in an empty auditorium.
After a while, when he’d gotten some of his hearing back and his equilibrium improved, Rex took the stairs and at the top opened the door. There was no longer a house standing around the door.