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.
Snuff is making a final attempt to get the body to the river and it’s not going well. He is disturbed by a newcomer, another dog he thinks, then realises it is a great grey wolf. He is astounded when the wolf identifies itself as Larry Talbot. Talbot is a werewolf, but he can change volutarily, with the help pf botanics, at any time, except at the full moon, when he is berserker. Talbot helps Snuff finally dispose of the body in the river, then takes Snuff tothe local church. The vicar and parishioners are in residence…performing a satanic ritual. This changes things for Snuff…if the vicar is a player, he needs to be incorporated into the mental map to determine the center. And if Talbot is a player, so too does he. Then there’s the complication if it’s only one or the other of them.
Talbot and Snuff come to an agreement about mutual aid. Talbot is unsure as to his own place in the game, as he will be berserker on the full moon of Halloween, a wild card in proceedings.
Snuff seeks out Greymalk but the cat confesses to be as confused about the calculations as Snuff is himself.
Snuff takes himself off for a think in a spot that might, or might not, be the center depending on who is or isn’t a player and, after some ruminations, and peeing on old stones, realises he’s got it figured, or at least might have, if Talbot and the Vicar are both players. There’s an old manse that needs investigation on the morrow.
Today was another one where we were given a lot of info through conversations. Zelazny never overdoes it. He slips in jokes and witticisms to sugar coat things, and never gives us everything, just enough to keep us interested
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.