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.
Jack tries to convince Jill to switch sides in the game, but she is determined to play it out the way she started, despite now having conflicting emotions about it all. They have tea anyway, all cozy and domestic, which unnerves Snuff.
Snuff takes a walk and makes a trip to the burned out ruin of the Good Doctor’s place to check if there is any trace of the man. He finds no burned bodies but, in the barn, finds the smell of the Big Man, and also discovers a sleeping bat, Cheeter, the Count’s familiar. It is intimated that the Count may not be as dead as first thought, and that they are still in the game. The bat and Snuff share information, but are disturbed by the arrival of the mad Vicar with a crossbow.
Snuff is in serious trouble, and despite the fluttering help of the bat it seems like the Vicar has him dead in his sights… until ‘Linda Enderby’ arrives, Snuff does his ‘I’m just a big daft dog’ act, and the Vicar is persuaded to leave.
‘Linda Enderby’ isn’t so easily fooled though. Revealing ‘herself’ as the Great Detective, Holmes makes it known he knows approximately what Snuff is, knows about the game, and is determined to try to save the Vicar’s niece from being sacrificed on the big night.
Snuff tries to tell him about Larry Talbot’s similar plan, but Holmes doesn’t trust the beast in Talbot, believing it will be too strong to allow Talbot to be rational on the night. Holmes asks Snuff to show him where the ritual will take place.
So another alliance has been made. Holmes ‘feels’ like he should be a closer but there’s a streak of rebellion in the character that might yet show through. The pieces have almost finished being moved about now, and we’re approaching the endgame fast, with still no clue as to who might win, and still with more than a few wild cards determined to disrupt things.
Hang on to your hats, it’s almost showtime.
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.