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Desert Dogma Chapter 2Chapter Two: Destination Blues
All of the advantages of a desert night melted away with the first rays of the sun. Mercy tugged her goggles back down over her eyes. The heat began as a warm sensation, easing the numbing cold from her skin, but not quite reaching her bones.
It wasn't long before her bones went ignored behind the whinging of her sweat glands.
"How do you live like this from day to day?" she asked, uncorking a hip flask.
Tansey held up a dismissive hand and waved it around for a moment before returning his attention to the steering wheel. "You'd be surprised how closely the human body resembles a rubber band, miss."
"It doesn't," Jonas interrupted, tensing his shoulders. "Mind what you say to the young, Mister Tansey."
"He won't," Spaz said, grinning. "But many a soul'd admiring your trying, Mister How. Our Tansey is incorrigible."
"Now there's the rat callin' the dog a scavenger."
"An' why not?
The Repositioners: ProloguePrologue: Jonah
"Just a sec--what is it, sweetie?"
"Would you miss me if I was gone?"
"No, she said Friday was better. I don't know why. What was that, Jonah?"
He closed the refrigerator, holding the Tupperware of sliced watermelon in one hand. He set it on the breakfast bar and peeled back the neon blue lid. Plenty left for one person.
After serving himself, he put the Tupperware container away. Humans are creatures of habit, he told himself. Food goes in the refrigerator, dishes go in the sink. He slumped in his chair, tapping his fork on the lip of the bowl.
The wet towelish texture of the watermelon filled his mouth as he continued thinking, memorising the room. No one had remembered to take the leaf out of the table, or even to take off the tablecloth. The night before, his brother had dropped a cupcake on it; the green and blue frosting marks were sti
Desert Dogma Chapter 1Chapter One: En Route
Hot wind and sand worked their way into every crevice. A dramatic change indeed. It was what she had wanted. Mercy Deering pressed her lips into a thin line, trusting her goggles to keep the sand out of her eyes at least.
It amazed her how such a wide, unending space could be so empty. Nothing but sand and brush as far as the eye could see. Her boots clanked against the back of the jeep as it bumped along the primitive excuse for a path. The steady rhythm of it might have rocked her to sleep if not for the blinding white light of the sun.
She gritted her teeth. The light was bad enough, breaking through the tinted lenses of her goggles as though she had dared to go bare-faced in this beastly environ. But it was the heat that got to her. Sweat streamed down her hairline, collecting into damp, itchy pockets in the worst locales. On the back of her neck, the
Having a RambleFunny, the things we love in people. You, especially. I could list the things about you what drive me upside crazy. All those silly tics that you don't even catch yourself indulging in.
You like scary films, even though they give you nightmares. I know it's daft. But I love the way you bite your fingers whenever one has you tipping your chair in terror. Like it's real. Only there's this little smile that hides in a corner of your mouth, the one that I can see without even turning my head. It's that little smile that reminds me that it's just a game.
I love that you hate dogs. I see you lie about the reasons, but I think I've sussed the real one. You just don't like them. It's stupid, and you know it, that's why you tell people you're allergic or that you were bitten once.
Then there's the way that you look when we walk on the pier. We never talk about anyt
Inspector Wolf The old lady was dead. I could smell it before I even got into the house. The whole place reeked of adrenaline, sweat, fear, copper and steel. He’d dropped her right in her living room. Chopped and chopped until she stopped moving. But I could tell I was getting close. This had been done in a hurry, and the killer didn’t have the time to clean up after himself like he usually did.
Across the room, the phone rang. The shrill sound set my teeth to grinding, but I ignored it. Instead I followed the killer’s bloody footprints into the back bedroom. He’d climbed out the window. If I hurried, I could catch up to him and end this disgusting spree he was on.
Then the answering machine kicked in. “Hi, Gramma! It’s Red. Sorry I’m running late. I kind of lost track of time. But don’t worry. I packed the picnic and I’m heading out the door right now. Love you.”
She’d been expec
The TrundlerThe waste land behind the fire station is always silent. No birds sing there, and even the wild rabbits and feral cats avoid it. Weedy wildflowers nod their seasonal heads in the breeze. Lying fallow in the midst of housing developments, shopping malls, the new movie theater — the vacant lot stands out like a knife wound on a woman’s placid face, shocking, brazen, ugly.
It is always empty. Except for one thing: a ragged heap of old trash, all nasty black tar paper and vicious snarls of rusted wire, car parts and broken glass and other junkyard jetsam. The embodiment of injury waiting to happen, an invitation to a tetanus shot... the city never hauled it away. No one ever wants anywhere near it; it radiates an eerie sense of calculating watchfulness.
And at night, it wanders.
When darkness falls, and the last cars heading into the hives of tract housing stop illuminating the asphalt with moving-picture shadows, it… unfolds. Bitter, broken tangles, grotesquely mov
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