“Sidney?” the upper-class Dublin accent broke into Sidney’s thoughts, causing him to mentally kick himself at the fact that somebody had managed to walk up behind him in spite of the mirror that ran behind the bar. The man who addressed him from his left was taller and thinner than himself, with slicked-back blonde hair. Pinned to the man’s left lapel was a yellow badge with the insignia of the Royal Army Medical Corps.
“Robbie Hickie! Fancy meeting you here.”
The other man grinned, exposing a missing canine tooth underneath the blonde moustache that had been waxed to points. “My favourite watering hole, actually. Haven’t seen you since New Year! I take it you’re on leave?”
“Indeed, I am.” Sidney turned back to accept his glass of whiskey, automatically thanking the barman as he paid, before looking back at Hickie. “What are you having?”
Aidan slowly reached for the cup and saucer that lay about a foot away from him on his left, well within the field of vision provided by his remaining eye. He wasn’t sure of the exact distance any more, not since the last month.
Just as his left hand was about to close around the teacup’s handle, or at least looked like it was,he felt it again. Not the cold, wet sensation of water dripping, nor the tap of somebody trying to get his attention in a most unwise manner, but…
I hate the night. Nothing good comes out of it. Brigands, wolves, bears, you name it. There’s a reason nobody back in the foothills of my homeland goes out at night unless they need to. And it’s not the local vampires; they’ll extract a price for it, but they’ll at least guide a farmer home safely.
Down here in the Sydfjords, worse things come out of it.
Above is the cover for my next collection, focussing on the containment efforts around the Connacht Disaster Zone and other countries’ efforts to exploit it. I haven’t settled on the release date yet, but as usual, it will be available from BuyMeACoffee (pay what you want).
Diarmuid morosely looked up from the lukewarm sink that held two stained metal plates, and narrowed his eyes as he beheld the stocky younger boy with the fangs and green patches of skin next to the draining board. “What is it, Grady?”
“Me name’s Tomás. Nurse said you could use a hand.”
“I could. And mine’s Diarmuid. Not Red, or Red-Eyes, or freak…” he trailed off with an irritable sigh. Grady briefly exposed more of his fangs as his mouth silently worked, before he picked up a tea-towel and began to wipe the plate that lay on the draining board. For a few minutes, neither spoke as Diarmuid focussed on scrubbing the plates and tried to ignore the sidelong glances the other boy gave him. Eventually, he couldn’t take it any more.
“Go on…you want to say something, just get it out.”
I have about 30 stories in the Connacht Disaster Zone series, and a lot of them share common themes or an overarching narrative. So, I’ve decided that I might as well combine them with some appropriate artwork. All of these will be available via a new page, and here’s the first one.
She couldn’t move.
Her heart pounded in time with the squeak of the trolley wheels as she struggled futilely against the straps that dug into her limbs and chest. The sharp smell of antiseptic assaulted her nostrils, growing ever stronger, and stronger, and-
“Feisty bitch, ain’t she?” somebody remarked. Her head twisted upwards and to the right, eyes locking onto the dwarf who leered at her, exposing teeth that were stained from smoking tea. Emblazoned on his right chest was that logo – that rounded vertical rectangle around those three letters.