WORMWOOD: D.H. NEVINS
Oh, really? You think what you just said to me is a nice greeting? Well, screw you, too!!! At least now we’re even! Yeah, yeah, I know!!! You’re a little grumpy and just getting in from crawling around on all fours last night!!! How’d the ceremonial burying of bones go for you, Lizard? Sorry to hear about the neighborhood dogs giving you such a hard time, but you were intruding on their territory … not that you care!!! And you shouldn’t!!! The bites will heal … eventually … with a few stitches … and, most importantly, it’s time for our Daily Book Giveaway!
So it’s October 24th and what could be better than an “angels sent to destroy the human race” war? NOTHING!!! Bring it on!!!! And D.H. Nevins has done just that! She’s written an exciting, apocalyptic tale that’ll have you offering your can of beer upon the altar of goodness in hopes of you being spared … and the beer just might work!!! It’s called WORMWOOD and we’ve got ONE PRINT and FIVE ECOPIES TO GIVEAWAY!!!
I had to be on my best behavior to get D.H. to agree! By “best behavior” I mean parachuting over her compound out in the woods where she hides out to pen her stories!!! It was supposed to be a
attack … I mean, “surprise visit,” but goddamn if D.H. didn’t quickly
calculate wind velocity, gravity, and a whole bunch of other variables and
light a fire in the exact spot I landed!!! Talk about a hot foot!!! She did
douse me with a fire extinguisher so no hard feelings. Especially when she
added in a short story to the deal!!! It’s called MIDNIGHT and it’ll give you some pre-Halloween
We’re returning to our standard rules for winning!!! Just click on the Halloweenpalooza pic below!!! You’ll be transported to the FB Official Event page. Comment “I Want to Win Print” or “I Want to Win an Ecopy” or “I Want to Win Both” in today’s October 24th Daily Giveaway post. If you choose “Both,” you’ll be entered in both the Print and Ecopy drawings!!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
D.H. NEVINS D.H. Nevins was born in Toronto and currently lives in a quiet area of Ontario, surrounded by forests and lakes. By day, she is a personable, friendly school teacher. By night, she silently chuckles as she writes about destroying the world. When she isn't writing, she enjoys hiking, camping, flying around on her motorcycle or dabbling in live theatre..
“It is hard to stop reading the last 150 pages of the book.”
– The Frontenac News
– The Frontenac News
“Wow. I actually thought I was out of breath.”
– R.W. Goodship, author of The Camera Guy
– R.W. Goodship, author of The Camera Guy
Tiamat and his brothers, a legion of one hundred half-angels, have orders to send all humans on to their final judgment. Yet in a moment of weakness, Tiamat risks his life to rescue a hiker named Kali from the very destruction that he initiated.
Kali, thrust from the surety of her world into the boundless hell of Tiamat’s, must try to find a way to survive in the Earth’s vast, devastated landscape. Plagued by a legion of Nephilim bent on sending her on, she is forced to trust the one being that could prove to be her greatest enemy.
CONTEST CLOSED -- WINNERS POSTED ON FB EVENT PAGE!!!
CONTEST CLOSED -- WINNERS POSTED ON FB EVENT PAGE!!!
1. Simply click on link below (HALLOWEENPALOOZA PIC)
2. Comment "I Want to Win" on the October 24th Daily Giveaway post
3. That's it! All names will be put into Random.org at 8 PM this evening. Winners will be posted on FB!
by D.H. NEVINS ©
Lucian picked angrily at the scab on his knuckle, remembering how Jeremy’s broken tooth had ripped into the flesh there. He could picture him clearly; stupid, ugly Jeremy, with his meaty smile and crooked nose. His round moon of a face always seemed to beg for punching, and Lucian could never resist. And it wasn’t like Jeremy could keep from tormenting Lucian in turn, almost as if he wanted the broken nose and teeth—or perhaps he couldn’t deny that, for these two boys, being arch nemeses was an integral part of their twin existences.
The scab ripped free, and Lucian sucked in his breath, watching the fresh blood bead up on his skin. The slow trickle of red served as another reminder of the day’s ordeals. Each memory twisted in the boy’s gut, sitting as heavily as his Aunt Martha’s meatloaf had the week before.
“Don’t worry,” he cooed to the lanky stretch of fur on his lap. “I won’t let them take you. I won’t let them touch you.” Lucian sucked the blood off his knuckle as he looked down at the cat. That animal was everything to the boy. He would sit on Lucian’s lap as long as he wanted it to, remain still while he jostled him, hugged him or ruffled his fur, and was—in every way that counted to Lucian—the perfect pet.
Every day, Lucian would sit with his cat, Midnight, in his fort by the eddies of Sawmill Creek , petting him and telling him his secrets. His twisted whispers slid along the rough planks of wood, their rotted boards barely staying together at the joints. The fort’s crude roof and walls were entirely obscured by the surrounding foliage, creating a perfect safe haven for the two of them. Lucian knew he could tell Midnight anything there, and no one would ever know.
But today wasn’t a day for secrets—it wasn’t the time to tell Midnight that he had pulled the feathers from that injured bird, one by one while the bird writhed in pain, or even that he hid Mrs. Nacka’s glasses, which he curiously found to be far more humorous than the flailing bird—no, it was not the time for that. Today he needed to comfort his furry friend. It had been a horrendous day for the two of them and Lucian knew he would never be able to forgive Jeremy for his role in it.
He stroked the cat’s inky fur, admiring how the white of his hand contrasted with Midnight’s black coat. And as he pet his friend, he remembered. That day, it had been Lucian’s turn for show-and-tell, and he had decided to bring Midnight in to school for the event. Surely the other students would appreciate the quiet, loving nature of his pet, Lucian had thought. How could they not love Midnight as Lucian did? Even Jeremy, idiot that he was, would have to be jealous.
But he wasn’t. No, instead, he said the most horrible things about his poor cat. Jeremy had yelled about how his beloved pet stunk, and the other students listened to him, shrinking back as they covered their noses. And the kid hadn’t stopped there. He commented on Midnight’s appearance, pointing out flaws in his beautiful fur and even criticized how his eyes looked. He carried on with his insults in the most awful manner imaginable. Lucian—rough and brazen as he usually was—was actually stunned by the things Jeremy had said.
Yet although Jeremy’s insults were nearly impossible to bear, the final straw came when Mr. Park, the boys’ teacher, stepped in. Tall and imposing, with a thick, black mustache that covered his upper lip and made him look like some sheriff from the wild west, Mr. Park demanded that first, Lucian put poor Midnight outside immediately, and second, that he report to the principal’s office for bringing such a pet to the school. The boy could hardly believe his ears. He had almost been too shocked to feel the burn in his cheeks, or the cool sting of tears tracing paths to his chin.
Even now, hours later, Lucian cried when he thought of it. The humiliation welled up fresh, and he buried his face in his cat’s fur, seeking comfort. In his mind, he knew that stupid freak, Jeremy, got what he deserved there and then. Lucian had lunged past Mr. Park and pummelled the idiot where he stood, beating the disgusted look right off that ugly kid’s face. Jeremy, he remembered, had been in the midst of offering to throw little Midnight into the dumpster, when he got what was coming to him. Poor Midnight! How could anyone even think of doing such a thing to him?
Lucian would have given Jeremy even more of a lesson, had Mr. Park not hauled him off the other boy. Kicking and spitting, it was then, through a red haze of anger, that Lucian noticed the principal, Mrs. Simcoe, making off with his cat. She held him at arm’s length in front of her—the same way his Aunt Martha would carry a dripping bag of putrid garbage. Without another thought, Lucian all but flew from Mr. Park’s grasp, tearing the collar of his old shirt in the process.
He latched onto Mrs. Simcoe’s fat legs, unbalancing her. As she toppled to the ground—actually, Lucian thought, she rolled, like a giant, meaty rocking horse—he was sure the floor shook under her crashing weight. But he hadn’t had the leisure to ponder it at that moment. He hadn’t even the time for one of his clever little comments, which was a shame because he knew they were usually quite creative. This time his energy was for one thing only: Midnight.
As Mrs. Simcoe tipped along the floor from feet to knees to hip to belly, Lucian dashed along her berth and scooped Midnight straight out of her grasp. Like he was eyeing a touchdown, the boy ran with the cat tucked under his left arm with his right arm in front of him, and clearly meant to run down any fool who might stand in his way.
The small boy with the ripped shirt, lanky hair and furry, black cat ran exactly like a deranged football player straight out of the classroom, down the shiny, echoing hallway, out the school’s main doors and all the way past the edge of town. He didn’t stop once—not to catch his breath and not even to lower his right arm—and continued until he reached the overgrown path that meandered down to Sawmill Creek.
Luckily, no one was quick enough to follow him, and not a soul knew of his fort by the creek—his safe haven. And now, as he snuggled with Midnight on his lap, he knew no one would find him here. And better than that, no one would be able to take his dear friend away from him.
But despite their present safety, the events of the day still confused and depressed Lucian. It was such a shame he didn’t even get a chance to tell them why Midnight was the best cat in the world. He never had the opportunity to explain that what made his pet different also made him so very special. It wasn’t fair. Midnight had come such a long way and they would never understand that.
He felt his cat’s fur run between his fingers as he recalled it. There was a day, a day that seemed long ago, when Midnight would only sit with him for a few short minutes. Then the cat would twist away from his grasp, ungrateful wretch that he was. If the boy tried to make him stay, the animal would eventually growl and claw his way free, and Lucian would have no choice but to relent. This had infuriated the boy, and in an effort to show the cat who was boss, he had taken the writhing beast down to the edge of the creek and had thrust the kitty into it. With small hands like vices, Lucian had held his companion under the surface until he stilled. Then he kept him there another few minutes for good measure.
And Midnight had learned his lesson. Never again did he struggle—never did he bite, scratch or complain. He had become the perfect pet—still and silent. And yet the others had not seen his perfection; they wouldn’t hear of the incredible gains his furry friend had made. How could they have been so blind, he wondered. Or so cruel?
He knew he couldn’t go home—surely Aunt Martha had heard by now how Lucian had protected his pet at school. And how would she react? Would she be proud of him? His mouth twisted as he imagined the exchange between Mrs. Simcoe and his Aunt. The school principal seemed perpetually angry, her chins wagging as she spoke and shook her head simultaneously. She always managed to get all the other adults riled up too. No, he decided, today’s meeting likely wouldn’t have gone well.
If Aunt Martha now knew about today’s events from Mrs. Simcoe, it was likely his aunt would be against him too. He couldn’t risk her trying to take Midnight away. That would be unbearable—there were no other pets like him! So Lucian knew he had no choice but to stay away.
But the sun was sinking low, and Lucian was worn out. If he wanted to protect his friend, he would have to stay there—for the time being, at least. Miserable and exhausted, Lucian lay down on the fort’s dirty floorboards, pulling his cat against him. Midnight wasn’t great for warmth anymore, but the cat provided all the comfort Lucian could need. He was the best pet ever.
Knowing this and being thankful for their time together, Lucian buried his face in his friend’s fur and closed his eyes. It had been a long day, but at least Midnight was safe, and Lucian could be proud of his role in that. As he drifted off into darkness, Lucian smiled. He truly was a great pet owner.