Please welcome back Author Scott Harper for another great Teaser Tuesday!
Enjoy & Comment
Con artists Wendy Markland and Jacob Iverson
have spent the past several years making a living by pretending to be vampire
hunters. They fleece people with tall tales, folkloric trivia and low-budget
props. Neither believe that the undead, demon-possessed corpses they pretend to
hunt are truly real. But now, while working their latest job, they learn the
staggering truth – vampires are real. They find their worldview turned
upside-down and their lives forever shattered as they go on the run, fighting
for survival against the unspeakable evil that pursues them.
cursed loudly. In her terror at seeing the vampire that had first revealed
itself to them, she had completely forgotten about the dark, swift shape she
had seen duck behind the gravestone. They had never been facing a single
vampire, but a pack of them.
The five creatures came forward. One ripped the crossbow from Jacob’s hands
before he had a chance to reload it. Another tore the belt, with its stakes and
mallet, from his waist. Others did the same to Wendy, relieving her of her own
Unarmed, each was grabbed from behind by a vampire and led away. The remaining
three formed a guard, one in the lead and two following behind.
Wendy and Jacob were marched through the graveyard until they came to the
wrought iron perimeter fence at the rear of the cemetery. On the other side of
the fence was what looked to be an old cow pasture, long since abandoned and
gone to seed. The tall grasses and weeds stirred in the soft breeze and pale
illumination of the moon. In the distance, nearly invisible, was a ramshackle
farmhouse. Judging by its silhouette, it looked ready to collapse under its own
Wendy shrieked as the creature holding her from behind pitched her over the
fence. She landed in a heap, most of the wind knocked from her lungs. Jacob
landed hard beside her. In the same instant, their captors landed beside them,
quiet and nimble. Wendy realized with a start that they had simply leapt over
the five-foot-tall fence.
She was hauled back to her feet. Her legs were weak. If not for the vampire
once more holding her arms from behind, she would have fallen. Again, she and
Jacob were marched forward, toward the old farmhouse.
Abruptly, Jacob twisted hard, cursing the creature that held him. Its grip was
too strong; he was unable to free himself. Still, the vampire cuffed him hard
on the back of the head, knocking him to the ground. It instantly yanked him
back to his feet. The vampire acting as point spun around, backhanding Jacob,
whipping his head to the side, splitting his lips. Blood flew through the air.
Wendy shuddered upon hearing the five creatures’ combined hiss of desire. The
creature holding Jacob grabbed his short, dark brown hair, drawing back his
head offering his throat to the vampire on point.
“The leader of our cultus wants you both alive,” it said, “lucky
for you.” It turned and began walking once more.
The others followed, forcing Wendy and Jacob along with them.
“Are you okay?” Wendy asked.
The vampire holding her tightened its grip painfully on her arms, causing her
to wince. “No talking.”
In answer to her question, Jacob nodded, glaring at the back of the lead
vampire. Blood dripped from his split lips.
The dilapidated farmhouse grew steadily closer. Even in the pale light, Wendy
saw that it was leaning badly, ready to cave in on itself. She wondered how it
managed to stay upright at all. She and Jacob were taken up the creaking,
wooden front steps and forced over the warped, broken planks of the porch. The
front doorframe was crooked, the door wide open. She and Jacob were marched
through the portal and into the rotting structure.
Gagging at the stench of decomposition and putrefaction, Wendy tried to hold
her breath. The smell of the vampires was bad out in the open. In the confines
of the house, coupled with the musty odor of the building itself, the combined
reek nearly made her pass out. Bad as it was just inside the front door, the
oppressive stink grew exponentially the further in they were taken. Unable to
take any more, her legs buckled. The vampire holding her arms released her.
Wendy collapsed to the floor, the planks squalling beneath her, and was sick.
Before her stomach had even been emptied, she was grabbed and dragged along,
leaving a trail of vomit on the already filthy floor. When she was reduced to
nothing more than painful dry heaves, she was pulled fully back to her feet,
forced to walk again.
Upon entering the kitchen area, Wendy saw another door set into the back wall,
half-rotten, hanging slackly on its hinges. Wan moonlight filtered through
panes of cracked, dirty glass to partially illuminate the upper portion of a
rickety set of stairs that led down into darkness. The odor which rose from the
crepuscular depths was so abominable, so rancid, that it forced Wendy back to
her knees. Her stomach clenched painfully, spasms wracking her body, as it
tried to empty itself again. She went cold, as if her blood had turned to
freshly melted ice in her veins. She began to sob.
Beside her, Jacob collapsed. He vomited, the dinner he had eaten at the
Holdridge house splattered down the front of his bodysuit, as the vampire
holding him shoved him toward the waiting darkness.
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
Buy Links:Amazon.com (print): http://www.amazon.com/Predators-Prey-Scott-Harper/dp/0984626751/ref=la_B004MAHXNG_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350937913&sr=1-1
Fictionwise (e-book): http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b70310/Predators-or-Prey/Scott-Harper/?si=0
All Romance e-Books (e-book): https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-predatorsorprey-9783-140.html
Barnes & Noble (e-book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/predators-or-prey-scott-harper/1112400989?ean=9781921347603
Barnes & Noble (print): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/predators-or-prey-scott-harper/1017477303?ean=9780984626755
Official website: www.scottharper.net