Available Darkness: Chapter 26
(Serial and Milk: Available Darkness is a serialized horror thriller co-written by David Wright and Sean Platt. A new chapter appears here each Friday. If you missed previous chapters, you can read them here.)
You asked – we listened. Since so many of you have commented, emailed and tweeted demanding more than one chapter per week, we figured what better time than Halloween to serve up a double dose of Available Darkness? Come back on Saturday for the bonus chapter, which is practically as long as two chapters, so it’s almost like we’re doing three chapters this week!
And all we ask in return is that you help us promote Available Darkness – especially for Halloween weekend, when people might be looking for a good scary read. Please tweet, email, or just tell a friend. And for all you new readers, or shy ones, we’d love to hear what you think. Please leave a comment or email us and let us know what you think.
And lastly, a sneak peek at the book cover below.
John filled the empty room with his hoarse voice but the only thing that returned was the sound of his own dull echo. Where the hell are they?
Pain hammered against his skull as a ravenous feeling of need burned through his entire body. The deep yearning felt somewhere close to hunger, but more insatiable and far less reasonable; clouding the edges of every thought. He HAD to get out now. Had to … feed.
For the second time in as many days, he woke up confined. This time by a jacket rather than a grave. John would have gladly taken the tomb instead.
He writhed and squirmed, trying to free his arms from the goddamned prison of fabric and buckles, but the constant motion only seemed to tangle him further. Panic and rage flooded his senses like a shot of adrenaline as he shook his entire body in a vain attempt at escape.
“Damnit!” he screamed, spittle raining from his mouth.
“What did you do to me?!” he bellowed to the empty rooms, hoping that bastard Larry was within earshot.
He began breathing faster and more shallow as panic needled his brain, whispering that he would die right here in this spot if he did not break free RIGHT NOW.
He shook again, this time kicking his feet into the floor and sending his chair flying back into the wall. His head bounced against the drywall with a dull thud.
“Fuck!” he screamed.
Where were Abigail and Larry? With a flare of anger, John vowed to tear Larry to shreds if he’d done anything to harm the girl. Then, he had an idea – he could try to connect to Abigail. Perhaps if he could concentrate long enough he would be able to sense her, to at least know if she was okay. His mind, however, was a tumultuous mix of panic, pain, and hunger, flashing through each phase with equal intensity, making slow, deliberate thought all but impossible.
He glared up at the monitors, showing the news – still – of him. Isn’t there anything else happening in the fucking world?
Two of the monitors weren’t displaying news. They were closed circuit monitors, one which showed the parking lot of the motel and the other which showed what John presumed to be the rear of the building. From his viewpoint, he could see the entire parking lot. Larry’s van was missing.
It’s okay, they’ll be back … no, they fucking left and you know it … you’re going to die right here. They left you to die. He and Abigail left you alone. To die.
John closed his eyes, trying to shake the anger from his thoughts. It worked, even if only temporarily. He found himself thinking of Hope and the dream, and suddenly, he was awash in the emotions that he woke to, sadness and misery. John could feel tears wanting to burst from his eyes, but his face seemed frozen, taut, like it was going to crack from the pressure building within.
Suddenly, a beeping sound.
John glanced up and the two closed circuit monitors had red bars along the bottom which read “ALERT.”
That’s when John saw four black vans pull into the parking lot. Panic returned to seize control of his senses. He began to writhe again in his jacket in another attempt to squirm free.
The newspapers were full of people who needed to die; corrupt politicians whose actions indirectly led to the deaths to their constituents, unscrupulous businessmen who took ungodly sums of money while robbing the pensions of their employees, to the hundreds of people who beat, robbed and raped those weaker than themselves.
A world of wolves fat with prey.
Though there was no shortage of people who would enhance the world in their absence, people who deserved a verdict harsher than that which the dubious legal system would impose, there were none which were both local and within easy reach. A shame really, because Larry, now that he had given it some thought, rather liked the idea of vigilantism by vampire. But justice, it seemed, would have to wait. This morning, they might have to be the very wolves who preyed on the weak and innocent.
“I wish I were a vampire,” Abigail said, tossing the paper to the floor, “I would just roam the night, helping people and killing bad guys.”
“That would be cool,” Larry said. “Though I don’t think you’d enjoy the loneliness of such an existence.”
A chorus of beeping abruptly rang through the cabin. The alarm he’d set up at the motel began its cry on his cell phone.
“Shit,” he said, awkwardly scrambling toward the back of the van.
On the monitor, he could see the four vans which had breached the motel’s parking lot.
Abigail was behind him. “What’s happening?”
“John has company,” he said as he bolted back to the front seat and gunned the engine. “We need to get back there now.”
Staring at the monitors, Abigail stumbled forward to the floorboard and rolled into the back of the passenger bucket seat as Larry kicked the van into motion. She sat up, holding tight to the back of the seat.
“Who are they?”
“It’s either the good guys or the bad guys,” Larry said, “my money’s on the bad guys.”
“What do you mean?”
There are two different groups of people who want something John has, Larry explained. Something he doesn’t even know he has.
“What is it?”
“A memory both sides want,” Larry said.
“So why doesn’t he give it to the good guys?”
“Because,” Larry explained in as simple as terms as he could, “the good guys aren’t necessarily the ‘good guys.’ They’re just a little better than the bad guys.” Larry shrugged. “And maybe worse. The bad guys only want the information, but the good guys want to prevent the bad guys from getting it. And the only way to really do that is to kill John.”
Abigail turned back to the monitors and watched as the van doors opened and a small army of men spilled from the aperture with weapons drawn. She cried out.
“They’ve got an army,” she cried out.
“How many are there?”
Abigail counted, “I see 12.”
“Fuck,” Larry cursed as he raced down the highway, hoping he could reach the motel in time.
TO BE CONTINUED… TOMORROW
Be sure to check out our new feature, Author’s Notes in the comments section following each chapter. Also, please tweet this post and help spread the word about Available Darkness and nurture online fiction.