30 Sep Overburden
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"Overburden"Written by David Feuling
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Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
A stone quarry is an awful place to be at night if you’ve got a nervous disposition, like I do. The silhouettes created by the hewn rocks look like stalking figures, and the whole place is haunted by twisted shadows. Even worse, tonight it’s raining. The heavy plinking of water droplets all around me sounds like white noise that’s been turned up too loud. I feel like I could easily be attacked, because running footsteps or even a scuffle would be drowned out by the sound of the rain. At a time like this, these are the kind of paranoid fantasies I don’t need.
I’ve got this tick. I can’t stop smacking my lips when I’m anxious. In fact, I’m doing it so loudly right now, that I wonder for a second if anyone could hear me over the rain. I even convince myself I can hear it echoing off the geometric walls of this place. I know that’s silly, and so I laugh to prove to myself that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Still, I wish Mike would hurry. There’s nothing more eerie than watching the trenches at the bottom of a quarry fill up with rainwater in the moonlight.
I become aware of the crunching of shoes against gravel only moments before I feel a hand on my shoulder. I jump, and the hand tightens its grip. Spinning around, I see it’s only Mike. He’s got a big, goofy grin on his face, and I know he’s pleased by how badly he’s scared me. What a jerk.
Mike helps me move aside the large boulder by which I’m standing. The thing rests inconspicuously against the quarry wall, but if two strong guys really heave on it from the outside, it rolls right out of the way. Behind the boulder is a natural hollow in the rock wall. Inside this hollow is the scared, haggard little man we’ve been keeping prisoner. We abducted him a month ago, on his way home from work. Somberly, I smash his head in with a nearby bit of stone. Mike wanted to leave him here to die of thirst after his family couldn’t come up with the ransom. I told Mike we couldn’t be so cruel.
Mike offers to give me a ride back to my place. I smile, and thank him. On a night like this, I think I’d die of a heart attack if I had to walk home alone. All this skulking around in the dark plays havoc with my poor ticker. And, hell, a stone quarry is an awful place to be at night if you’ve got a nervous disposition.
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Check out David Feuling’s critically-acclaimed trilogy of novellas, The American Demon Waltz, now available on Amazon.com.
All three novellas in the trilogy described below are included in the compilation:
“Bravo Juliet” is a survival horror military thriller, and the first novella by acclaimed fiction author, David Feuling. It tells the story of an elite soldier serving under US Army Special Project: Acrylic Geist, before she is betrayed and left to die in the wilderness of war-torn Vietnam. Brutal injuries, debilitating sickness, and the growing Lovecraftian threat of “The Maw” test not only Bobby’s will to survive, but her grasp on sanity itself.
“Witness to Those Waiting” is the second book in the “Bravo Juliet” series. Master Specialist Barbara Balk returns to investigate the subterranean mazes carved out beneath Kosovo’s towns and streets. From her entry through the Ngordhje churchyard, she must face undead horrors and ancient evils alike in her quest to return to the surface with answers.
“Vechnaya L’Vitsa” pits Corporal Barbara Balk against new foes in the depths of U.S. Covert Command Outpost (USCCO) #241. Leading a team of six soldiers and tasked with defending the experimental LISEMEC superweapon until it is ready to fire, can Bobby hold out long enough while under siege? Her resolve will be tested by supernatural forces, enemy sabotage, and the expansive Antarctic wasteland itself.
🔔 More stories from author: David Feuling
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