A Night in the Lonesome October —
All is not what it seems…
In the murky London gloom, a knife-wielding gentleman named Jack prowls the midnight streets with his faithful watchdog Snuff – gathering together the grisly ingredients they will need for an upcoming ancient and unearthly rite. For soon after the death of the moon, black magic will summon the Elder Gods back into the world. And all manner of Players, both human and undead, are preparing to participate.
Some have come to open the gates. Some have come to slam them shut.
And now the dread night approaches – so let the Game begin.
A rainy day means that Snuff’s exterior rounds are delayed, but that proves to be a blessing in disguise as a leak threatens to break the seals that hold the ‘thing’ in the basement. Snuff saves the day by the simple expedient of rolling in the leaking water to soak it up, much to the disgust of the ‘thing’.
It is night before the rain stops and Snuff is able to be about his rounds. He visits Owen, the druid, who has been busy making many wicker baskets, and the Good Doctor who is busy creating lightning in a laboratory where something big twitches under a sheet. Larry Talbot is tending, most intently, to strange plants in a hothouse and at the same place Snuff finds another strange paw print. The last visit of the night is to check on the Count, where Snuff is discovered as a great bat returns from its own nightly forays…and turns into a caped, aristocratic, man with a heavy foreign accent. Snuff gives him his best lost puppy act then flees, disconcerted by the Count’s shapeshifting abilities.
So the players all seem to be busy in one way or another, busy preparing in their own ways. There’s a pattern, of sorts, here. We’re just not seeing the whole picture yet as Zelazny skillfully moves the pieces around and around a slowly forming center.
William Meikle is a Scottish writer, now living in Canada, with more than thirty novels published in the genre press and over 300 short story credits in thirteen countries.
He has books available from a variety of publishers including Dark Regions Press, Crossroad Press and Severed Press, and his work has appeared in a number of professional anthologies and magazines.
He lives in Newfoundland with whales, bald eagles and icebergs for company.
When he’s not writing he drinks beer, plays guitar, and dreams of fortune and glory.
The Green & the Black —
A small group of industrial archaeologists head into the center of Newfoundland, investigating a rumor of a lost prospecting team of Irish miners in the late Nineteenth century.
They find the remains of a mining operation, and a journal and papers detailing the extent of the miners’ activities. But there is something else on the site, something older than the miners, as old as the rock itself.
Soon the archaeologists are coming under assault, from a strange infection that spreads like wildfire through mind and body, one that doctors seem powerless to define let alone control.
The survivors only have one option. They must return to the mine, and face what waits for them, down in the deep dark places, where the green meets the black.