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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

From "Shadow House" by Stuart Land

Shadow HousePJ McAvoy was downright evil. It ran in his blood and grew stronger with every hacking chain-smoking breath. I’d bet if you could see inside his veins, those corpulent white blood cells would be attacking each other out of pure spite. But throughout his long life, no ailment hampered him. Fit and tough, he looked like a carpenter long before he became one; tall, lean to the point of gaunt, with gnarled fingers and calloused hands. He must have been born that way, because no one recalled ever having seen him work for a living. His hollowed cheeks and protruding brow over eyes as black as nightmare shadows caused people to glance away. Anyone he chose would be touched in some way by this malevolence; a good mood turned spontaneously foul, or a confident soul doubted their will to live. If provoked, this dark purpose could work its way deep inside, gnawing at all the decent fiber of their being until it assimilated, turned putrid and they coughed up black blood, choking on rancid thoughts of disease and carnage heretofore alien to their pure and simple minds. He did these things for fun.

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