It is almost time again for another short story to be set loose upon my amazing Patrons. For those of you who need a taste of next month’s bite of horror, here is a little sample of my April 2019 patron story, ‘Colossus Rising’. This story is for a speculative fiction anthology some friends and I are working on built around the theme ‘under the sea’. I will let you all know here once that anthology is finished.
So, without further delay, here is the beginning of ‘Colossus Rising’:
The city of Old Bellingham lies beneath the waters of the expanded bay. The fetid waves, polluted by the past industries of man, lick the boat ramps near the top of Alabama Hill as the sun sets behind Lummi Island and the diminished San Juans beyond. New Bellingham, a wilderness outpost, lies behind the sheriff’s station and wraps around the north end of Lake Whatcom in what used to be the old Silver Beach neighborhood. The rusting hulls of fuel-starved cars rot alongside the remnants of roads which remain above the risen sea level. They’ve become part of landscape, slowly absorbed, becoming part of nature.
The rattle of horse-drawn wagons gathers with the sound of brothels, bars, and the clang of smithing hammers to form a miasma of unnatural sound among the trees and mountains surrounding Bellingham Bay. The symphony of toil seeps over from the east side of the hill to Sheriff Russ who sits on the front stoop of the sheriff’s station. Russ is on the verge of falling asleep in the old wooden rocker while staring at a photo of his wife when, in his periphery, he notices the Bellingham Bay colossus move.
The seven colossi, each with marble bodies of men standing over 500 feet tall and with obsidian cubes for heads proportionately too large for their bodies, have sat silently along coasts throughout the world since 1995. Russ was only ten when they arrived and, for the first time since their arrival over 40 years ago he’d seen one move.
Russ waits for it to move again when he’s interrupted by the crunch of dirt and gravel under running feet.
“Sheriff! They’ve murdered them!” yells Larry Bindleburt as he stops in front of the low porch railing, blocking the view of the setting sun and the colossus. Larry, one of the many occultists who escaped west running from New America’s Neo-Inquisition, is dressed in a kaleidoscope of rags. Oranges, purples, reds, blues, all tattered and unraveling, but somehow holding together and forming a bulky cloak. The New V Party has followers even out in the annexed lands, and they wanted to hang Larry when he came to town; a good old “burn the witch” pitchfork extravaganza. Russ’s father ordered Russ and the other deputies of the time to shelter Larry while he calmed the mob. Eventually, the excitement settled and Larry moved into a small hut near Whatcom Falls.
“Dammit Russ! Did you hear me?”
Russ folds and pockets his photo and rouses from the chair, back cracking as he arches his spine reaching for the porch rafters. He then snaps up the black flat brim stetson his father wore before him and presses it over the remnants of his thinning hair.
“I hear you, Larry. Murdered who?” Russ knew exactly who. The younger New Vs have been getting bold lately, causing more and more serious trouble for Larry and his burgeoning congregation.
“You know, my human fungal flock. Six of them,” he sighs, exhausted from running.
Russ does not respond, but turns and pushes open the station door. “Wake up Carl! Someone killed some tree-lickers!”
My amazing $3+ patrons will get the rest of the story on April 12th. If you are not yet a Patron of mine and like what you see here please consider becoming a patron. It’s only $3 a month and you will get a brand new short story or chapter every month sent directly to your inbox. Be sure to become a patron by the end of March if you would like to read what happens next!
Also, if you happen to be in the Bellingham, WA area, I plan on reading the next scene at the Fairhaven Village Books open mic night on March 25th at 7pm. Come on out and say hi.
Until next time, be awesome and read weird sh*t.
-Your friendly neighborhood Joe.