Today’s Teaser Tuesday is with Author Scott Harper!
Enjoy & Comment
It has been two years since Wendy Markland
learned the horrible truth that vampires and other supernatural predators are
indeed real. She has spent that time alone, hunting, desperate to avenge the
loss of her brother. Now, a news report draws her to the small town of
Pinewick, New Jersey, located in the small state’s infamous pine barrens. Upon
arrival, the local Sheriff tries to end Wendy’s investigation before it can
even begin. When she ignores him, Wendy finds out that what’s going on isn’t
what she thought, though the dead are walking in Pinewick. Wendy’s
investigation leads her to new friends, new love and new terrors in the pine
barrens as she deals with not only a human necromancer, but an ancient death
demon and hordes of zombies.
A figure shambled in front of the car and Wendy’s words gave way to an
inarticulate scream as she slammed on the brakes and tried to swerve at the
same time. The car fishtailed but it was too late. She felt a sickening crunch
as her front bumper impacted with the person. The car bucked as one of the
front tires rolled over something.
Scarcely taking time to slam the car into the parking gear, she threw open the
door and leapt out. She saw nothing at first, then she spotted the arm
protruding from beneath her car. The limb wasn’t moving. Her stomach clenched
as cold fear wormed around in her belly. Something new caught her attention,
bringing her focus to it. The sight of the severed leg, lying a few feet away,
made her stomach churn with nausea. She turned away and vomited. As it had been
awhile since she’d last eaten, she was quickly wracked with painful dry heaves
as tears flowed down her cheeks.
After a couple of minutes she turned, wiping her mouth with the back of her
hand. Wincing at the feel of the sticky fluid now on her hand, she brushed it
off on her sweatshirt. To her amazement, the arm beneath the car was now
moving. She watched in awe as the fingers twitched, the hand clawing at the
asphalt in slow motion, as if trying to gain a grip on it.
She turned back to the open car door and practically dove inside, snatching up
her cell phone. Part of her thought that she should speak to the person who was
lying broken beneath her car. But she had no words for them; nothing she could
say would comfort them or make their pain lessen. As she fumbled with the
phone, a niggling little thought tugged at her mind. She flipped the phone open
and tried to dial. Her hands were shaking so badly that it was all she could do
just to hold onto the phone. She pressed the 9 button then managed to press the
1. As she was trying to press it a second time the niggling little thought
forced itself to the fore of her mind.
She felt her eyes widen. Slowly, she turned to look again. The leg still rested
a short distance away. The arm still reached out from beneath the car,
scrabbling weakly at the pavement. She could hear faint scratching sounds a the
fingernails scrapped over the rough surface. She looked again at the leg. It
was clad in what appeared to be the tattered remains of the leg of a pair of
dress pants. The foot was clothed in a dark sock and brown leather shoe, caked
with clods of dirt. The leg had been severed just above the knee. A shard of
bone, almost washed out by the glare of the headlights, stuck out of a mangled
mess of ragged, pale flesh. But there was no blood anywhere in sight.
Then the smell hit her, the sick, putrid stench of rot and decay. Her stomach
tightened and she thought she would be sick again. The shock she felt at the
thought of having accidentally killed somebody was replaced in an instant by a
new fear. It was a dread so deep that she felt tears begin to roll down her
cheeks the moment it settled on her. She mouth went dry and her throat was
tight. Only half aware of what she was doing, she folded her cell phone closed
and held it tightly as she stared at the pallid shreds of flesh visible among
the torn fiber of the suit leg.
The soft scraping sound drew her eyes back to the hand as it slowly clawed at
the asphalt. More of the arm could be seen now. She saw the cuff of a black
sleeve and the white cuff of the shirt beneath it. She watched as more of the
arm came into view until, finally, she could see the shoulder and a thatch of
dirty, unkempt hair falling forward to hide the face. The body stopped moving.
A small popping sound made her realize that she was gripping her cell phone
tightly enough to have cracked the plastic casing. Still, she kept her hand
tightened on it.
The mangy head lifted, the neck it was attached to bending at an unnatural
angle. Upon seeing the face, Wendy nearly choked and had to put both hands over
her mouth to keep from screaming. It was broken and pale, an ashen, bloodless
color. Tangles of dirty hair hung over eyes that were blind with rheumy cataracts.
The mouth was opening and closing slowly, the pallid lips gummed with a thick,
sticky substance that Wendy refused to even think about. She watched in horror
as the corpse pulled itself the rest of the way out from beneath her car. The
right leg was missing and the left was crushed and mangled, bone shards clearly
visible. The thing twisted its head once more, turning its hideous face toward
Wendy. The death-white features pinched into an expression of gleeful malice
and a grotesque smile pulled at its mouth, the lips sticking to each other for
moment before parting fully. A large, shining black beetle scuttled from the
corpse’s mouth, tumbled to the ground and scurried away. The corpse began to
crawl toward her, pulling itself along with its arms, ruined legs dragging
Not vampires! Keely was right when he’d called them zombies!
Bio: Scott Harper is the author of more than 30 published short stories and several
novels. There has been talk, from several fronts, about turning his fourth novel,
“Predators or Prey?”, the first book in his Wendy Markland series,
into a live-action project.
Harper graduated from Marysville High School in 1993 and began screenwriting in
2007, after the publication of several short stories and novels, and has worked
on projects for James Tucker Productions and 11th Dimension Films. He is
currently involved with several projects, covering literature, film and comic
Fictionwise (e-book): http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b94089/Necromancer/Scott-Harper/?si=0
All Romance e-Books (e-book): https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-necromancer-78955-139.html
Barnes & Noble (e-book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/necromancer-scott-harper/1104968853?ean=9780982361054
Official website: www.scottharper.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Scott_HarperFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/ScottHarperAuthor