Flight of the Tarantula Hawk is the next in the Lance Underphal mystery series. As mystery stories go, it is a dark atmospheric tale of paranormal twists. Flavored with intense images, it is presented in a style I’ve dubbed Noir Nouveau. The following excerpts are a just taste.
Pieces of Nightmares –
Beware, the following excerpts are not for the faint of heart.
Under the Bitch’s Control –
“I lay on my back, useless legs pointing up at a threatening sky, trapped in a hairy husk more dead than alive, unable to move. Powerless to cry out at the fiery storm gripping my core, I’m reduced to a mindless gibbering mass. The black witch with the orange wings has enslaved me for her own devices . . . The tarantula hawk bitch is nothing if not industrious, and I fear for my upcoming role in this Danse Macabre.”
Contacting the Dead –
Victim 1 – Carla Simon:
“A dim outline. At first, no more than a shadow in the half-light. I barely sense her—a strange sensation as if I know her, but can’t quite place who she is. Yet I know this is her world, vague, empty—the only light, a diffused haze, gunmetal grey, frozen and lifeless. Suspended in the void, she’s alone in this universe.
She turns and I see her blank face in the cold grey light, eyes shining like mercury, full of tears that will never fall. I feel her deep longing, as though she’s been searching, looking for a long, long time. She holds her hands to her heart and an immense wave of sorrow washes over me—her sorrow . . . She’s lost. And she’s looking for her husband . . . for her son. I know her. It’s Carla Simon.
Victim 2 – Pete Hernandez:
“No more than a vague sense of existence, a wisp of a soul out here all alone. I extend myself tentatively, hoping to know more. And I’m drawn in.
Very different from the cold dead world of Carla Simon, hungry flames crackle a fiery red—a hellish exile from the land of the living. I peer through curtains of fire, looking for their creator.
A thick shadow undulates at the center of it all, immune to the inferno. The dark entity spins in fits and starts, spitting sparks, spewing jets of flame, like some unholy god of destruction with its hair on fire. I sense there’s more I need to know about this person. I hold my position and pray for rain.
As the fire dies down, there’s something about him—something in common with Carla although they’re nothing alike. There’s a dead space, a black hole, behind them, underneath them, sucking them into its empty maw. He knows Carla . . . no . . . he knows Carla’s killer. It’s his killer . . . and he’s the fresh kill.”
The Bitch is Back –
“I almost feel her yank one of my rear legs, sharp claws digging in, blue-black abdomen pulsing, glassy orange wings flicking impatiently. The sky whirls as the black witch pulls me toward the nest’s dark maw. I sense this is the end, but she has other plans. All my legs fold in as they scrape against the tunnel’s rough walls. The entrance, a faint light growing smaller. She persists, tugging at my legs, bit by bit, jerking me down the tight tunnel into the burrow’s bowels. I reel, scrambling for purchase without effect—my legs, long dead to me now. She stops dragging and crawls on top of me, poking and prodding my soft belly with dagger-point feet. Flailing wildly, I fail to move my paralyzed carcass—not the slightest twitch. She squats, quivering, working her pointed abdomen’s tip to excrete a sticky mass, anchoring it to my flesh. I can do nothing but writhe inside. The tarantula hawk bitch, queen of all wasps, crawls off to disappear up the hole. The world goes dark as I hear her scratching at the crumbling earth, burying me alive.”
I hope you enjoyed this little run through the shadows.
The tentative release date for Flight of the Tarantula Hawk is Halloween.
In the meantime, the book trailer for Dark Side of Sunset Pointe is up on YouTube. Take a look, let me know what you think.
As always, my blatant self-promotion as a mystery writer follows:
For more on Michael Allan Scott and my work, go to michaelallanscott.com
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