Monday, 26 October 2020

The Kindred - opening scene

 Fancy a look at the opening scene to my new book The Kindred? Of course you do. Hit the link after the excerpt for the book in paperback and Kindle.


Lazarus kicked through a scummy puddle, and the water soaked into the frayed hem of his trousers. The freezing splash barely registered; he ducked back for an instant to avoid the swing of his brother’s axe as Dumah attacked the flimsy wood placed over the broken window. A second later, Lazarus smashed his cleaver into the lower section of the doors and split the bottom of an office chair that had been wedged against it on the other side. He tugged the blade free and heard the brittle tinkle of breaking glass above as Candace struck a pane and the remains fell inwards. The volley of their thuds and the metal squealing on decaying wood and already damaged glass rang through the pre-dawn gloom. Hot saliva squirted over his tongue and teeth and he doubled his efforts on the lower section of the entrance to the police station, eagerly breaking pieces of the frame loose and throwing them to the steps and road at their back where the night still held firm. Dumah lowered his axe and smashed his shoulder into the weakest spot of the entrance. More wood snapped; the doors swung inwards before jamming against a jumble of office furniture. In the clatter of collapsing chairs and shelving units long since made rotten by their exposure to the outside air, Candace loosed her raging screams, and the sound spurred Lazarus on. He used his build, slighter than Dumah’s, to shoulder the entrance.

The doors broke in two, the upper section tilting over to come free and join the debris coating the floor of the station’s reception. Ears ringing, Lazarus still heard a distinct slam from somewhere inside.

Grunting, he pushed at the opening they’d created, and a large hand clamped down on his shoulder.

It was Priest.

“Slow,” he whispered, and Lazarus nodded, embarrassed to be taken over by his hunger.

Dumah clambered through the opening and Candace followed immediately with her usual smooth movement despite carrying the cleaver in her sole hand. Lazarus followed his older sister, rapidly shifting to the side so Priest, then little Martha could enter. Inside, each spread across the floor. The echo of the brief crash from a few seconds before remained in Lazarus’s ears. He peered to all sides, attempting to locate the source of the sound that had, without question, been a slamming door. While the last of the night offered little moonlight and there would doubtless be no sun breaking through the damaged sky shortly, a few glimmering beams falling through holes in the ceiling meant he could make out the basics of the room.

Mess across the floor; rusting pipes and thin cables in the ceiling, and a long, flat surface stretching from wall to wall. There were a few doorways on his right, but no actual doors. Lazarus followed Priest who led them to an open section of the flat surface, walking as if he knew the police station inside out.

There was little space for them to spread apart on the other side of the desk or table or whatever it had been used before now. Lazarus was pressed close to Candace and he brushed his fingers on her narrow hip that jutted through her heavy coat. She shifted to welcome the pressure for a moment. In front of her, Dumah a step behind Priest; behind Lazarus, Martha with her butcher knife and her breath hot and quick on his forearm where the tattered sleeves of his coat had ridden high.

“Door,” Priest whispered and pulled on a handle.

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