Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sample Sunday: Excerpt: By The Light Of The Moon


Before there was my short story collection, Mind Slices, there was Carpathian Shadows Volume 2. The anthology, published several years ago by, contains a number of stories, including mine.


The gist of the setting is that deep in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains, in Transylvania, lies a castle. This castle was once home to a nobleman who, it is claimed, warred with the church, bound his servants with a curse of silence, and ruled his lands with a grip of iron. Fortunately for modern-day visitors, Lord John Erdely has been dead for centuries and his castle now a haven for tourists. Or so, at least, is the claim.



Each visitor to a local hotel receives a fancy invitation--they're invited on a free tour and paranormal investigation. When a freak storm hits, forcing the visitors to overnight in Lord Erdely's castle, the tourists learn that Erdely's power is not limited merely to ancient fairy tales.


My story, By The Light Of The Moon, explains what happens to those who learn too much of the Carpathian castle's secrets. If you are intrigued by the sample below ordering is easy. Available in print and e-book forms at the publisher, Amazon, and elsewhere. 


By The Light Of The Moon


"Is he here?"


"Yes, Commander."


"How is he?"


What he was asking was whether or not the suspect had made it alive into his station. He should have but sometimes accidents happened in the field. The young officer stepped a little ways into the room. New to his job, he was working hard to impress, which is why the Commander had chosen him. Things had to be contained, and he knew he could keep the man, more like a boy at twenty, in line.


"Typical American." The young officer couldn't keep the scorn out of his voice, "Very emotional. Fits of screaming and crying when we placed the cuffs on him. He's sitting quietly in Interrogation 4 now."


"Good. That will be all."


The young man saluted, swiveled in his black spit-polished boots, and strode confidently out of the office. The Commander sat back and smiled to himself while he listened to the pleasurable sound of the boots striking the floor fade away down the long hall. To be young again and so sure of righteousness, of purpose. Not that it really mattered, as fate ordained everything.  His die was cast long ago, as was my own, he thought, and the idea depressed him as it had the last few months.


He stood and stretched, feeling his spine pop before he walked down the same hall. Unlike the young man before him who had turned right so that he could pass the front desk and go back out on patrol, the Commander turned left and, with a few steps, began to feel like the walls were closing in on him. The truth was, they were as he journeyed deeper into the old section of the garrison. This part had been built into the mountain long ago, and the Commander secretly suspected that there had to be a tunnel from here up to the castle far above. He suspected it but had never tried to find out because he knew that in such matters, a lack of knowledge was safer than knowing the truth…. 



Kevin R. Tipple ©2008, 2024

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