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.
It is the time of the new moon, and Snuff is feeling reflective. The openers and closers will soon reveal themselves and cooperation between the players will not be so forthcoming. But there is time for one last act together. Snuff and Jack visit a lonely isolated graveyard for some dry ‘materials’. They find that many of the other players have had the same idea, and there is some wonderful comic banter back and forth as they toss body parts around between them dependent on their needs. Snuff meets the graveyard dog, who is not happy at the mess that will be left but seems resigned to it in the way old dogs can put up with almost anything.
Snuff catches a known scent. An old wizened caretaker leaning on a spade is neither old nor wizened but is the Great Detective, keeping an eye on proceedings. Snuff and Jack slip past him in the shadows and make their way home.
Before resting Snuff has to return to the dead policeman’s body and drag it a bit closer towards the river.
The new moon appears to be like a starting pistol, galvanizing the players. As the Great Detective has been making himself involved more and more I’m looking forward to seeing if he can put a spanner in the works of the Monster Squad’s plans and machinations.
I realized I haven’t mentioned the illustrations. I’m reading this in the hardcover edition with Gahan Wilson illustrations, and they illuminate the text with his wonderful droll characterizations. The one today of a moon with body parts passing across the surface as they are thrown from player to player is delightfully macabre and a particularly fine example.
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.