“Grim Quatrain: Four Tales of Terror”
(Can be found in Kindle and paperback here.)
Three excerpts from “From Beneath”
“From Beneath” #1:
We stopped by a farm. The animals in the barnyard had been utterly slaughtered. It wasn’t like when you go to a grocery store and see cuts of meat at the meat counter. You look at those, and sometimes you think you could eat them raw, they look so delicious. But what we saw were unidentifiable chunks of meat, hide, guts, and bone. Pools of blood too.
We found half a dead steer. It was completely intact from its front to its midsection, but there was nothing below. It looked as though it had been cut clean through with a razor. The carnage inflicted upon it had happened recently. There was no stench coming from the corpse, except for the blood, bile, and other bodily fluids running out of its severed organs. You could see them in there easily. They were starting to get compressed under the weight of the animal, but they weren’t being squeezed too much yet.
Deep, wide, star-shaped footprints that were waist deep and wide enough for me to stand in had bashed the previously flat yard into a kind of miniature mountain range.
“Benson,” I said, dejectedly, as we stood there looking at them, “we’ve gone over ninety miles from our starting point and there haven’t been any blockades or barricades. What’s happened to all of the people?”
“From Beneath” #2:
“Why?” I asked him. “Why aren’t there people here? We checked out a lot of houses before we came here, and the creatures ate people out of them as though they were sucking the centers out of bon bons. Why weren’t they warned? Why weren’t they evacuated?”
“From Beneath” #3:
Benson and I have an agreement: Each person carries his own weight, and if it looks like one is going to hold the other back, we separate. It sounds callous, but we’ve made it a point not to get too familiar with one another so that separation would be an easy thing to do. How our consciences would deal with it further down the road is another matter.