Category Archives: Excerpts
Settle in for a splash of biopunk on this fine fall Friday! Brie McGill shares an excerpt of The Alien Bride with us today…and at the end, you’ll find a link to a dramatic reading by the author herself! Don’t forget to comment afterward or sign up here for an entry into our Month O’Screams drawing.
THE LEGEND OF BILLY BEAD
Love was lost and one heart grew sour,
Due to one groom’s roving eye.
He should’ve been wise, swallowed his pride,
And apologized to his bride.
Because she lost her mind, then he lost his life,
There was no second dance.
His bride waved her hand and said the words;
He never stood a chance.
Now when the moon is full and the ocean mourns
And the owl flies in the sky,
Pain and grief fill the lonely church
Where Billy Bead does lie.
“I love her, Vihtori.”
“You don’t get to love her, Veli. Put her out of your mind. We don’t have time for this bullshit. We have a mission.”
The brothers trudged their way to the house they were staying in while Veli’s mind dreamed of the woman he knew he could no longer live without. Dawn.
The Gambit: The Dread Wolf’s Bane
I’m driving faster than I should, and in Portland in a crap economy that’s just asking to get pulled over. But I’m in need of a cop, anyway, so maybe that would take care of two birds. “So, this is going to work, right?” I ask into my cell.
“The literature is spottier than I’d like. But it will stop him.”
“Okay. But by stop, we don’t mean kill, right? Because if he dies, I’m going to prison, probably forever.”
The Man had already cheated Death once this morning, so when he turned away from the radiant face of his wife and stepped off the porch and into the busy-bright flow of the September day, the crisp, loud clack of the hard rubber soles of his shoes on the sidewalk sounded to him like an affirmation of life and living and all things that are vibrant. The breathless air was crisp and clear. He held his gaze determinedly forward, in front of himself. A sort of a smile touched the corners of his face. Today will be different, he assured himself, even though he knew it wouldn’t be. Before he had even reached the front sidewalk, his footsteps sounded to him like the ceaseless ticking of a clock.
“I’m afraid your time is about up, m’dear.” She’d left him prone in preparation for his death, and now she examined every inch of his skin, looking for any sign of disease or rot. Not that it mattered too much – he would be laid to rest in the bottom of their huge compost pile to return to the earth like those who had come before, but if there was no obvious sign of disease, she’d chip up his limbs for the flower bed first.
It wasn’t Reggie’s idea to break into Gameland, not initially, though of course he took all the credit. He liked being the go-to guy whenever it was something the five of us could all get behind. He was funny that way—a big brute of a kid with all kinds of brains and good looks and a huge gaping insecurity complex that needed constant attention. But whenever something turned out to be not so good after all, he was usually the first to distance himself from it, claiming he always knew it was a bad idea, right from the beginning. That’s just the way he was.
As I stood in the woods, the hair on my arms and neck stood up and I knew that I was being watched. Here it was—the moment of truth. It was of little comfort to know that at least I wasn’t going to get mauled to death.
I listened for a heartbeat to reveal the location of my predator. I was surprised that I didn’t hear anything big enough to be any kind of a threat. There was no heartbeat louder than a rodent or a small bird.
The boy was born in a room of unsettled means. The dirt on the floor rivaled the amount on the bedclothes, with the dust fwap, fwap, fwappin’ in the air, settlin’ into tired eyes, on tired shoulders, makin’ tired noses sneeze day in and day out. Those present stood in silence as the cord was cut, severin’ the babe from his human ties forever. A cloth soaked with blood was wrapped around the wee child moments before steely arms pulled him from his mother’s last embrace.