Tag Archive: terror

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who took part in my “Hobbit Birthday Party Weekend”.  Whether you picked up a copy of the book or helped promote it, thank you so much.  We all know getting the word out about a brand new book is more than half the battle for Indie Authors.  So this was a real shot in the arm.  I’m pleased to say that 39 people took advantage and snapped up a free copy through Smashwords over the last 3 days.  I felt somewhat vindicated for not going the KDP route, where I would have had to given them the exclusive e-book distribution and sales for up to 90 days.  I know Amazon is bigger and has a wider reach, but I never felt right about cutting off Nook, Apple and other e-reader customers.  So thanks for letting me know I did the right thing.


Now, I’ve never done a free e-book promotion before, so any of your more experienced authors please let me know if 39 was a good number or not.  I’m still learning as I go along this path.  As a result of the promotion I already got one 5 Star review that is now up on Smashwords.  I’m hoping for many more reviews, since it helps promote more sales or so I’ve read.


Today I’ll be working on my e-press release kit and then a physical one as well.  I also have to do research to find out who/where to send press releases to.  This is seeming to be the next big hurdle for me so if anyone has advice please leave it here, it would be greatly appreciated.


Finally, book number 2 “THE SHIP” is coming along nicely.  The first draft is about 1/3-1/2 done at this point.  I’ll be doing more drafts of course to clean things up and make sure the pacing is going well.  But even more importantly, to make sure I’m keeping the readers’ interest.  The new book has a similar fun feel to the first, but it’s also feeling quite different to me.  Mostly because I’m dealing with different leading characters, who were prominent in the first book.  But now the focus is on these two women developing their new romantic relationship as well as dealing with new and old enemies.  I’m trying to keep a balance between the nervous romance of two people getting to know each other more deeply, while also developing the secrets they haven’t shared.  It’s an interesting experience for me as a writer.  I know that in the end their relationship will have gone much further, but to make it happen gradually while not losing the fun ‘banter’ that a lot of people enjoyed in the first novel is quite a balancing act.  But, this is still the first draft.  Creating just the right balance is what 2nd and 3rd drafts (along with edits) are for.


Take care and have a great week everyone.



My latest Vlog entry.  This time the subject is “CREATING TENSION IN YOUR STORY”  and covers a very important scene in my current novel “THE SHIP”  I hope you enjoy.


     It all started with a surfing class.  Cassandra simply wanted to give her girlfriend/lover Julie a treat while they visited Santa Cruz.  She herself has taken the class three times already and has never managed to stand up once.  Managing to sit on a board without tipping over is an accomplishment for her.

But this time the class will end differently.  She will get her first encounter with a strange nightmarish vessel straight out of history.  A thing her early seagoing ancestors had fought and believed destroyed.

And to make matters worse, THE SHIP has sensed her and the psychic powers she possesses.  THE SHIP is alive  and now wants to make her a part of it.  After all…. EVERY SHIP NEEDS A NAVIGATOR!

*This is an experimental blurb I’m considering using for the back/inside book cover for my novel THE SHIP*  I’d love some feedback on it so please leave comments below*

The novel is more than halfway done (as far as 1st drafts go) and I hope to capture the audience’s imagination and interest.

This is a shot of the tide pools here in Santa Cruz. Make sure you click on the photo to get the FULL view of the image. These cliffs are quite high and are almost vertical. And that Reversed-C shaped area of raised rock are where you would find the Tide Pools. Those small puddles you see are the pools, and can house a small world of tiny sea creatures.  Anemones, crabs, small fish, sea urchins, it is truly fascinating to walk on those rocky stretches and look inside those small pools.

It is while doing just that my heroine Cassandra Elliott hears the panicked cry of a sea lion pup in trouble. Rushing across the raised rock area, she comes to this reverse-C shaped area of beach.  Keep in mind those raised areas with the tide pools are 7-8 feet tall, so while a human could climb up to safety, a marine mammal would find it near impossible.

Here’s a sample of the scene:

             Cassandra had just reached the edge of the rocky outcrop and immediately spotted the trouble and gasped.

            Cornered up against the rock of the cliff a sea lion pup cried out to its mother who was under attack.  Strange iridescent tentacles, like that of a jellyfish had enveloped her lower half.  Frantically the poor animal struggled to free herself but already her strength was fading.   

            As she watched in horror a familiar network of pulsing veins started popping up all over the mother’s entangled frame.  Before her very eyes the blubber-rich body began to shrink visibly.  

            The sea lion let out a cry that no human had ever heard such an animal make before. 

            The sound had been so terrifying that Cassandra found her body turning to run away from the scene before even she realized it.  If it hadn’t been for pup’s sudden scream she probably would’ve bolted.  But the anguish in the tiny animal’s voice sounded almost childlike in a way.  She quickly realized the little creature knew its mother was dying and was calling out to her.

            Unable to look away, Cassandra watched in growing horror as certain areas of the mother’s body were collapsing in on itself as if the blubber and insides had been siphoned out of her.   

            Dear God, it was just like what she’d seen in the dream.

Movement off to the side caught her attention and she looked to see what it was.  More of the strange tendrils had slithered out of the ocean and were snaking their way towards the pup whose back was literally against the wall.

             Grabbing the handle of her walking stick Cassandra gave it a savage twist as she pulled out a silver-white blade.  Then without thinking, she jumped down onto the sand and rushed towards the cornered mammal, slashing savagely at the offending appendages as she went.

Hope you enjoy this entry.  Have a great week.  I’m still sharing my laptop with my wife so I’ll try to post at least once a week.  Take care and leave comments below please.  I love feedback, it helps let me know what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong here on the blog.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I took these photos at the Long Marine Lab located on the campus of the University of Santa Cruz.  All of them are of a young Gray Whale skeleton that is 25 feet long and is obviously outdoors. Please make sure to click on each one to get a bigger and better view of each image.   The creature has been put up on metal pipes to keep it off the ground and give it that more caught in the moment feel.  As you can see in photo #3 it has been placed next to a path and a mere 20-30 feet from a fence that allows visitors to look over a cliff and out at the ocean.  The view there is breathtaking and can really inspire a person’s imagination.

In my case it inspired a terrifying scene for my second novel where a young female reporter has been snooping into matters regarding  Cassandra Elliott (billionaire heiress) and her lover Julie DeLuca-Cloudfoot (shamaness and internet erotic lesbian wrestler) my two leading characters for this novel.   They have been stalked by a strange figure wearing clothing straight out of the late 18th century.  He appeared in my first book “THE BRIDGE”, where he nearly captured Cassandra at one point.  The mystery man failed and managed to survive being shot several times (including int he face), and was later at the center in a fiery explosion that took out an entire structure.  Cassie and Julie thought he had been killed and are completely unaware he is still around.

He  has plans for Cassandra and has followed her here to Santa Cruz, while she is on vacation.  He cares nothing about Julie, she is just a nuisance who may need to be eliminated if she tries to interfere and protect her lover.  His plans involve only the heiress, but the moment has not come and he must keep her safe in the meantime.   But, a new threat has arisen and he must keep Cassandra safe without her knowledge.

Unfortunately, a female paparazzi has been making a nuisance of herself while pursuing Cassandra and Julie to get photos and juicy details about the couple.  Her goal is to out the heiress unless offered a good sum of money to let her stay in the closet.  But now the reporter has just run across the mysterious figure and plans on making him part of the story.  It is a fatal mistake.  For although the he appears to be alone, he has an inhuman ally with him.  His compatriot proceeds to animate the giant skeleton as if it were alive once more.  The young would-be paparazzi will be grabbed by the bony jaws tossed about and eventually flung over the railing you see in photo #3.

How this idea came to me was interesting.  I had visited the Long Marine Lab before and had simply wanted to look at the view from the fenced area.  I heard a creaking behind me for a panicked moment my imagination went wild.  I pictured in my mind the great skeleton just behind me had moved and the pipes holding it up were being bent in the process.  Looking around I quickly saw that this was not the case.  You see right nearby is a large Desalinization Plant and the metal noises were coming from there.  But still the image stuck in my mind and I filed it away for later use.  It was too good a scene to let go.  Now I’ve finally gotten the chance to use it.

So now you have an example of how just simply roaming around and checking out places, can lead to some interesting ideas for writing.  I hope you enjoyed this little view into my world.  Please leave a comment and let me know if you’d like to read more about how I get other ideas and inspirations.  Until next time, take care and thanks for reading.

Limited Laptop Access…

Hello everyone, I’m afraid that i have limited access to my computer for the moment.  My wife’s laptop got damaged and is currently still in the shop being repaired.  Now, in case you didn’t know we’re both currently taking college classes and she needs internet access to do a lot of on-line homework.  So I’m sharing my computer with her.  Ergo, I haven’t been online a lot lately.

I can report that I’m over 1/2 way through the first draft of my 2nd novel “The Ship”.  However I’m considering changing the name to “The Deathship” but I’m not sure yet.  The book is part of my horror/mystery/sci-fi series and is a sequel to my first book “The Bridge”.  Any thoughts on the title choice would be greatly appreciated.  To help you decide I’m going to give you all a brief rundown on the story.

Billionaire shipping heiress and psychic Cassandra Elliott and her new love Julie DeLuca-Cloudfoot have come to Santa Cruz California to unwind and recover from a battle with a creature from  a parallel version of Earth back in book one.  While staying at a beach house they encounter a living ship from the past.  This vessel is known as the DEATHSHIP and has crossed paths with Cassandra’s family before.  After a brief encounter the ship during a surfing less, Cassandra is briefly touched by the nightmare vessel and it has  learned of her psychic powers.  Now it is hunting her not for revenge, but because it wants her to be its new navigator.  At the same time, two enemies who survived from the first book have followed her to Santa Cruz and are trying to keep her alive for their own sinister purposes.  Only two things are keeping Cassie safe.  One is her Seneca Shamaness girlfriend Julie.  The other is the ghost of Brandon Elliott, a 19th century ancestor who, for reasons unknown, has watched over her since the day she was born.

I’m featuring an actual places found here in Santa Cruz where I live.  Plus I’m using a historical landmark known as the Concrete Boat as one of the key components in the novel’s final battle scene.  I’m hoping to have a completed 1st draft by the end of this month… provided I get full access to my laptop back soon and college doesn’t overload me with homework.

That’s all for now.  Hope to post more soon.  Have a great weekend everyone and please leave some comments, I could really use some feedback on this blog.  Thanks.

Short and sweet entry here folks.  Gotta get to class and study for a mid-term tomorrow, then another big exam for Thursday.  Didn’t want to leave you with nothing.  So here’s a small sampling from what should be my 2nd novel “The Ship”.  It involves Cassandra and Julie, two of the main women from my first novel “The Bridge”.  Cassie is still recovering from wounds suffered during the final battle of that book and has gone to Santa Cruz with her new girlfriend Julie.  This scene takes place on the sands near Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  Enjoy…

“Are you sure you’re up to this Cassie?” asked Julie.

The smaller girl nodded.

“What about your wound?  Are you sure its going to be all right with this salt water?”

Cassandra nodded, “It’s healing pretty well and with the wetsuit covering it, I’ll be all right.”

Smiling the tall muscular brunette shifted the surfboard under her arm.  “Thanks again for all this, I always wanted to try surfing.”

“Well, I hope you have better luck than I’ve had,” Cassie laughed. “I’ve never been able to stand up on the board for more than two seconds.  And this is my fourth time taking the class.”

Their instructor, a well-toned blonde in a black wetsuit blew a whistle.  “Okay gang, remember what you were told and stay close enough so you can hear my instructions.  We’re going to paddle out a ways and get used to sitting on the board.  Pay attention to how it moves in the water and how it responds to your movements.  Let’s go.”

The group of twelve slowly waded out into the water and lay down on their boards and began to paddle as instructed.

They all wore black wetsuits like their instructor.  To Cassie, they looked like a bunch of small Orcas who got bored floating under their own power.  She could hear the sea lions calling to one another around the pier just a few hundred yards away.

On the other side of it was the famous Santa Cruz Boardwalk.  She must remember to go there with Julie and ride the carousel.  It was one of the oldest ones in existence that still allowed you to grab a brass ring.

A large swell interrupted her thoughts and reminded her to pay attention.  Balance had always been an issue for her.  Ballroom and Yoga were some of the few things that allowed her to compensate for this problem.  But, if she had one of her seizures and zoned, she’d be in trouble.

Luckily she had one ankle attached to the board by five feet of cord.  This was so the surfer couldn’t become separated from it by any great distance.  And of course Julie was nearby and she was a strong swimmer.  Everything should be all right.

Just then something bumped her board from underneath.

Immediately Cassie flattened herself and gripped the edges of the board with a vengeance.  Maybe this wasn’t one of her better ideas after all.

“Miss Elliott?  Is everything all right?” called the instructor some distance away.

Cassandra realized she had been lagging behind.  The rest of the group was well ahead of her, including Julie.  Something was wrong.  She started to feel uneasy and cold inside the well-insulated suit.

Once more she felt her board being bumped by something below.

She felt her panic begin to rise.

“Stay where you are I’m coming,” shouted their teacher who began paddling towards her.  Julie was following close behind.

Cassie tried to remain perfectly still, when suddenly she felt the back end of her board sink slightly.  A moment later there was a splash and a barking sound.

Twisting to look over her shoulder she saw a baby sea lion near her feet.  It had mounted her board and was sitting quite contentedly enjoying the movement of the waves.

“Showoff,” she muttered, and tried to sit up and straddle the board as she had been taught.

As soon as she started to put her legs in the water, the little mammal began to bark insistently at her.

Again the cold feeling of something not being right swept over her.

“You’re afraid of something in the water, aren’t you?” she said to her passenger.

The little creature gave a nervous look around and barked at her with mounting urgency.

Cassie got the message.  There was something in the water and they needed to get out of there.  The water was becoming rougher as if a passing boat had sent a swell their way.  But there was no vessel in sight.

Carefully she paddled the board to face the shore.  She’d try to catch the next swell and ride it while lying flat.

At that moment a voice came over the water, “Hurry child!” it said.

            She froze.  She’d heard that voice before.  Only once, but it was unmistakable.  It had belonged to the man who had blocked their retreat that night on the bridge.  Looking up she saw a figure wrapped in a black cloak on the top of the nearby cliff.  He was looking down at her.

A wet nose nudged her foot, breaking the moment.  The little sea lion loudly continued his warning.

Looking around she saw a good size wave was coming and she readied herself for it.

“Stay flat and just ride it in,” called the instructor from nearby.  “Just do as I do, I’ll be right next to you.”

Cassie nodded.

The swell came. She felt the board lift up and pressed down and forward to ride it in.  Suddenly, the board was hit from behind.  She heard the panicked cry of the sea lion and then a splash.

A moment later she found herself dumped into the surf.  She scrambled to find her board, knowing it would be nearby thanks to the tether.   With a lunge she pushed upwards and her head broke the surface of the water.

Gasping, she searched for her board only to find it drifting farther and farther away.  Reaching under the water she found her cord had somehow broken, leaving her adrift with another wave approaching.

“Swim to me!” shouted her instructor from nearby.  She had gotten off the last wave and was paddling towards her.

Cassandra did as she was told and within moments was safely on the woman’s board.  Together they rode the coming wave to shore.

They had barely climbed out of the surf, when Julie rushed over to them.  “Are you okay Baby?” she cried, grabbing the heiress into her arms.  “What happened out there?”

“I’m not sure,” Cassie replied.  “Did anyone see what happened to the sea lion pup?”

Her two rescuers shook their heads and stared back at the empty water.

I managed to get through my mid-term for Women Studies this week.  It wasn’t easy.  2 parter, first was multiple choice, then an 80 minute handwritten essay.  I’ve still got writer’s cramp from that part.  Plus I had 2 other exams this week and survived them.  This should all sound good right?  Wrong.  I’ve got another mid-term in 2 weeks I have to start studying for (whimper).
Needless to say, but I will anyway, the writing has been slowed down considerably.  But, this down time gave me the opportunity to go over what I’ve done with the 3rd novel “The Door”.  I got to see what was working and what wasn’t.  Had a lot of new characters and concepts introduced, too much really.  Plus I still had to fully settle on a main plot for book #2 and give it a title.  So I’m lifting certain ideas and scenes from “The Door” and placing them in book #2 which is tentatively titled “The Ship”.

Book #2 will take place in a one month span between the ending of “The Bridge” and “The Door”.  It will also focus on two of the female leads who played a crucial and supporting role in “The Bridge”.  The action will be taking place on the opposite coast in Santa Cruz California (my current home… hey they say write what you know about) and will explore Cassandra long and dark family history.  Her ghostly ancestors who watch over her are being stirred up by events taking place near her new beach house along the water.  A terrifying ghost ship of family legend will arise and cross her path leading to death and revelations about the infamous Elliott history.  This will also lay the ground work for the focus of book #3 “The Door” where the darkest secret of Cassandra’s family will be brought to light with terrifying consequences.


I hope to post more here soon.  Possibly I’ll do one or two more sections of “The Bridge” to arouse people’s interest and keep you all amused.  Until then, have a safe and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

I’m using italics here to separate the story from what I have to say.  This takes place a bit after the last section I posted.  At this point my male lead Alex has been rescued by the three female leads.  His police girlfriend Veronica, Cassandra a petite beauty and friend of his who is also a billionaire heiress, and Julie a tall muscular girl who is Veronica’s best friend.  They were all featured in the last scene I posted.  I won’t be posting too much else from “THE BRIDGE” in the future only because I don’t want to give away the main secrets of the story.  Suffice to say that the other figure who appears (the white-haired man) plays a crucial role in the sequel, which I am currently working on.  I’m tentatively calling it “The Door”.  I thought it only appropriate to introduce you to him before I start posting any sections of that book in the near future.   I also wanted to assure you that all the characters in this scene will be appearing in the 2nd book and will still be in the leading roles of that story.  In the meantime, please enjoy this section of “THE BRIDGE”.


The infant in Veronica’s arms cried out loud, breaking the spell.  Alex could sense the baby’s terror and the reason behind it.

Cassie sensed it too and cried, “Alex I think it’s coming.”

“No,” he corrected, “It’s already ‘ere.  It’s always been ‘ere.”

At that moment the stones beneath their feet slowly move up and down.  The bridge seemed to be breathing.

Julie knelt down by Alex and began assessing his condition.  They needed to get out of there, but she didn’t want to risk causing him further injury in the process.

“You all right?” he asked her quietly.

“I’m pissed if you must know,” she replied bitterly. “You and Cassandra have abilities I understand, but don’t have.   Veronica’s keeping the baby safe.  And me, I’ve been pretty much useless until now.”

“You’ve done more than you realize,” Alex interrupted. “I ‘eard everything you told Cassandra, especially the bit about the part about the stone in the water.”

“Is that significant?”

“The stone you saw in the vision was built into this bridge.”

A startled look crossed Julie’s face.  “The Shaman said it had to stay in the water otherwise that thing would eventually break out.”

“It broke out years ago, it just couldn’t leave.  It needed another to merge with,” Alex told her and glanced over at his lady.  The infant had quieted down in her arms, “It still needs ‘er.”

Julie followed his gaze, and straightened her broad shoulders. “Well, IT is going to have to learn to live with disappointment.”

Alex gave her a weak smile and then winced while clutching his leg.

That’s not good, Julie thought and reached into her bag where she always kept an ace bandage and other emergency medical items.  “Cassie I need that flashlight over here,” she called and waited.  There was no response.  Looking up spotted the heiress slowly moving towards the end of the bridge leading to Jason’s old cottage.   “Cassandra!” she yelled.

Cassie blinked and shook her head, as if coming out of a dream.

“I need you over here.  Bring the flashlight and that walking stick you took out of the limo,” Julie instructed.

Cassie raced to over to where she’d dropped the items earlier, when she’d first spotted Veronica trying to rescue Alex.  Gathering them up quickly, she rushed over to where Julie was working on Alex.

“Shine the light down here so I can see what I’m doing,” the big girl instructed. “Good.  Now as soon as I have him bandaged up we get out of here.  It feels like we’re being watched.”

“More like sized up,” replied the heiress.

“You feel it too?” asked Ronnie joining them, “Why doesn’t attack already?”

As if in response, the bridge shifted slightly beneath them.

“Veronica, as a friend, I love you dearly.  But if you give IT any more ideas I’m going to hit you,” Julie muttered without looking up.  She was completely focused on her friend’s wound.  He had lost a fair amount of blood and…

Suddenly, the bridge gave a violent heave.

The muscular girl quickly splayed her body across Alex to keep him from being jostled, as the stones heaved and settled back down.  “Is everyone all right?” she shouted.

Clinging to the railing with one hand and hanging onto Veronica and the baby with the other, Cassie replied. “We’re okay, how’s Alex?”

“Doing jolly well down ‘ere,” came a muffled reply, from beneath Julie’s ample chest.

The big brunette rolled her eyes and sat up.  “Congratulations you’ve been where no man has gone before.”  Then she turned to Veronica, “Are we getting any back-up?  Or are we on our own?”

“Roy’s supposed to be on his way,” Ronnie replied, repositioning the infant in order to reach her shoulder radio.

The bridge gave another shudder.

Cassandra immediately grabbed the walking stick, “Do you want him to use this or lean on one of us?”

“Neither,” replied Julie reaching down and lifting Alex in her powerful arms. “This’ll be quicker,” she told them.

He stared at her in amazement, “You know you never struck me as the kind of girl who goes around picking up blokes.”

“Only if they didn’t get out of my way,” replied the muscular brunette, adjusting him carefully. “Back in school I used to stuff them in the nearest locker.”

“I thought I recognized you from somewhere in my embarrassing past,” he replied.

Julie laughed, if Alex could joke, he was hanging in there.

They turned to head back to where their cars were parked and stopped.  There was a figure standing at the end of the bridge blocking their path.  A flash of lightning gleamed off his long white hair.

“Ronnie?” murmured Julie.

“Other way, we’ll try and get to the mansion.” Veronica replied, pulling out her service revolver.

They were just about to turn and flee when they heard the cracking of stone behind them.

Cassie swung the beam of the flashlight at the source of the sound.

The ornate slab in the center of the bridge had cracked and black tendrils were emerging.

My first novel “The Bridge” is a blend of horror/paranormal/mystery/science fiction.  The manuscript is in New York waiting to be read by an agent who requested it.   I’m posting the prologue here today for those who have not had a taste of my writing style.  I hope you enjoy…


by Allan Krummenacker



Rain fell mercilessly as the young man collapsed onto the wet stonework.   His wounds were taking their toll.  Blood from his leg mingled with water from the storm, making a red stained trail down the slope of the bridge and pooled where it met the path.  He tried to look up but saw only strands of his own blond hair.  Pushing them out of the way, he looked back over his shoulder and waited.  Lightning lit up the area and then left him in darkness once more.

Brief as it was, he had seen a perfectly manicured lawn with a few lone benches near some flowering bushes… and her.  She was still some ways in the distance.  Another crack of lightning illuminated the scene with a kind of strobe-like effect.  It only lasted for 2-3 seconds, but with each flash she appeared closer and closer.  First 30 yards away, then 20…. then standing in the pool of water mixed with his blood.  Then…

She was gone.

He waited.  Nothing happened.

“I know you’re out there.” he whispered in a heavy British accent.  The relentless pain from his leg made him wince, as he struggled to keep his wits about him.   He knew his tormentor was somewhere nearby.  “Are you standing behind me right now?  I’ve seen enough telly you know.”

No response.

He turned his head and body as much as he could to look.  There was no one, not even a solitary figure standing at the other end of the bridge.  He quickly turned back again to find…nothing.

//Where are you?// he called mentally.  As if in answer to his silent question, a new sound reached his ears.  Amidst the thunder and the falling rain, came the faint crying of an infant.

It took him a moment to realize it was coming from underneath the bridge.  He shook his head, “Sorry, not playing that game, Luv,” he murmured, painfully sliding away from the openings in the railing.

He had moved just in time.  A slender hand suddenly reached through the railing only to grasp empty space.  A furious hissing noise escaped the lips of the arm’s unseen owner, while the talon like hand flailed angrily, still trying to reach its prey.

Too close, thought young man, watching the hand in a mixture of horror and fascination.  He had no idea of what he could do next, or what she would try.          Suddenly the hand stopped searching and was slowly withdrawn.  Aside from the storm and his own heavy breathing, he could hear nothing.  Lying there on the damp stonework, he waited for the next flash of lighting.  He didn’t have long to wait.  As the area lit up, he saw that she was still there on the other side of the railing watching him,

her face devoid of emotion.

He reached out with his mind once more.  //Why are you doing this?//

Another stroke of lightning revealed she was no longer at the railing.

Slowly he started to ease his way over to the far end of the bridge, carefully dragging his injured leg.  He had just passed the ornate slab that marked halfway point when a new noise reached his ears.  It sounded like something scrabbling along stonework.  It was coming from the underside of the bridge again.  //You were soaking wet the night saw you//, he said mentally, //I even put my jacket around you.//

The scrabbling stopped.

He spoke aloud, “You looked so lost and alone.  I only wanted to ‘elp you.”

The falling rain and his labored breathing were the only sounds to be heard.

“I still want to…” he stopped in mid-sentence.  The scrabbling had resumed, only it was moving away from him and towards the end of the bridge he was facing.  If she got there first, he would be cut off.  Instinctively, he began to scramble forward, but his efforts were painfully slow as he tried to protect his injured limb.

He risked a glance and saw the girl emerging at the far end.  Her movements seemed jerky and awkward.  As if she was not used to actually taking steps.

That was when he heard the grinding of stone against stone and froze.

The structure beneath him began to pulse, like a beating heart.

They were not alone. He cursed himself for not sensing it sooner.  But before he could do anything, the bridge began to move.

He tried to grab the railing, but the undulations became more severe and began to toss his injured form to and fro.  A particularly violent wave smashed him against the

stone rail.  The blow knocked the breath out of him and he almost blacked out. Only terror, and an overwhelming will to survive, prevented him from giving in.  If he passed out now, he’d be thrown into the icy water and drown.

Another violent upheaval tossed him towards the opposite railing.  To his horror he saw the slits in the stone wall stretch wide like the mouth of some ancient stone giant.  Helpless, he passed through the opening and hit the dark waters below.  Soaked as he was from the wind and rain, the frigid waters of the swollen stream were even worse.  Yet somehow, he managed to struggle to the surface, gasping hungrily for air.  The strong current tried to sweep him away, but he grabbed a branch of a tree that had become lodged against one of the bridge’s supports.  From there, he looked around and then up and spotted the girl watching him from underneath the bridge.  She was clinging to the underside of the bridge like some sinister spider.

The cold of the water was seeping into his injured body.  It was becoming more and more difficult to hang onto the branch.  Yet he couldn’t tear his gaze away from the figure above.  It seemed to shrink and grow at the same time.  As if one image was superimposing itself upon the other.

“Please…” he whispered, “Why do you ‘ate so much?  All I want is to reach out to you.”

For an instant, he swore he could see a flicker of emotion cross her face.

            The man felt his limbs growing weaker.  “I CARE ABOUT YOU!” he cried.

Suddenly, something reached up out of the water beneath him.  It grabbed him by the neck and turned him around to face it.  In that instant Nothing could stop the scream that escaped his lips.  He was literally in the grip of something out of a nightmare…

%d bloggers like this: