I was a little worried over the last few days that switching back to the Jim Ashwood character set was going to throw a bit of a spanner into the proverbial works. There are certain differences in writing style between the Order of Britain and High Moon Rising stories that gave me a bit of a pause for though, but two thousand words back into the story, I’m actually settled and enjoying it. I’ve got a feeling I’m going to hit my 20k word minimum pretty easily on this one, and it’ll probably end up going past that.
I’m feeling a bit lazy when it comes to blog writing this evening, so I thought I’d drop in a sample of the story for you. it’s going to be a few months before the full book comes out, but hey – you saw it here first!
The inside of the bar reeked of blood, a hot, metallic tang that hung in the air and permeated the senses. The creatures that infested the dingy speak-easy skulked around the corners of the room, preferring the shadows to the small glimpses of light that crept through the windows.
The barman watched dispassionately as they swarmed around the girl on the table, their fangs sliding out from their emaciated mouths.
The girl was tied down, her writs and ankles bound with leather thongs, and a leather belt muffled her screams. Her screams, however, had long since faded. Her eyes were unseeing, the events of the day having killed her psyche long before her body had died.
As the barman watched, one of the vampires nipped forward, sinking his fangs into the girls leg. A line of similar bite marks marked her flesh, some fresh, some scabbed over. She wouldn’t last much longer, and then the barman would fulfil his side of the contract with the bloodsuckers.
His gaze snapped round in surprise as the door banged open, and a tall man in a long coat stepped into the bar. The barman heard a hiss from the nearest vampire as it stared at the interloper. The stranger ignored the vampires as they watched him owlishly, and strode to the bar. In the darkness, his face was hidden beneath the wide brim of his hat, but the barman felt cold eyes upon him.
The barman stared at him for a moment.
“You got a hearin’ problem, friend?”
The barman paused, then reached over and brushed the dust off the bottles. He selected one, and turned back to the man at the bar. He poured a shot of whiskey into a glass in front of the stranger, who picked it up and downed it in one. He threw the glass over his shoulder, and the barman flinched as it shattered on the floor.
“Friend, I don’t think you should be here.” The barman said quietly.
“I ain’t askin’ for your opinion. Whiskey.”
Hesitantly, the barman complied. The stranger downed the second shot. An raised the glass to inspect it in the grainy light filtering in through the filthy windows.
“That’s some good whiskey. Some of the best. I might have to buy the bottle off you.”
The barman looked around. At the edge of the darkness, the vampires were beginning to close in, Their eyes hungry.
“Look buddy, I’ll give you the bottle if you just get the hell out of here.”
The hat nodded forward as the stranger nodded his appreciation.
“Much obliged friend. And you’re probably right, I should be goin’. I’ve got work to do.”
He picked up the bottle, and slipped it into the pocket of his coat.
“Well, time to get to work.”
The stranger’s hands dipped downward, and came up holding twin revolvers.