Storm Prerelease Excerpt

Chapter Two:

Seattle, Tuesday One Month Later, Midnight.

Abraham King sat at his desk far below the Seattle FBI field office, lit only by the flickering screen of his laptop.  He wasn’t sure what time it was, he’d stopped thinking of things like clocks and sunlight as anything more than weapons years ago.  But he’d been sitting alone for hours. He reached out with one gnarled hand and nudged his computer’s mouse back to the ‘play’ position and clicked the button.  He hated computers; infernal things just this side of unholy.  They distracted the living and aided the undead in their march towards the apocalypse, but like many tools he’d used over the decades, it was a necessary evil.  The screen flickered and the video began playing.  On the screen was the deck of the cruise ship

He reached out with one gnarled hand and nudged his computer’s mouse back to the ‘play’ position and clicked the button.  He hated computers; infernal things just this side of unholy.  They distracted the living and aided the undead in their march towards the apocalypse, but like many tools he’d used over the decades, it was a necessary evil.  The screen flickered and the video began playing.  On the screen was the deck of the cruise ship Crescent Star.  The wooden floor looked slick with blood, which it likely was.  Two of his men had been ripped apart by something that hadn’t appeared on screen.  Their flayed bodies, still partially clad in black tactical uniforms, were displayed on the screen for a moment as Special Agent McNally examined them.

“There isn’t much left, sir,”  he said.  “Whatever it was, it tore them in half.  We think the other parts went overboard.  Proceeding forward to the bridge.”King fast-forwarded past further scenes of blood and death, all decades old, and resumed play when the team reached the forward deck.  They rounded the sundeck pool and started up the stairs to the bridge.  The ship shuddered beneath them and McNally grabbed the rail to keep from falling to the deck below.  The shuddering ceased and he and what was left of his team resumed their climb to the bridge.  At the top of the stairs they spread into a skirmish line, weapons ready.  King heard his own voice say, “Use extreme caution, Agent McNally, we don’t know what’s inside.”

King fast-forwarded past further scenes of blood and death, all decades old, and resumed play when the team reached the forward deck.  They rounded the sundeck pool and started up the stairs to the bridge.  The ship shuddered beneath them and McNally grabbed the rail to keep from falling to the deck below.  The shuddering ceased and he and what was left of his team resumed their climb to the bridge.  At the top of the stairs they spread into a skirmish line, weapons ready.  King heard his own voice say, “Use extreme caution, Agent McNally, we don’t know what’s inside.”

“Confirmed, sir,”  McNally replied.  “Lila, get the door.”

Agent Lila Norman, a tall woman with black hair and doll-like eyes, stepped forward and pulled the door open, allowing the rest of the team to enter.  The bridge was a scene out of a B-grade horror film.  Blood and offal, somehow still wet, hung from the ceiling and coated the controls in thick, scabrous globs.  A skull, devoid of flesh but still wearing a sailor’s cap, was pinned to the wheel with a dagger and the floor was two inches deep in water thick with seaweed, blood and entrails that sloshed with the ship’s movement.  Unlike modern ships that looked like something out of a sci-fi movie, this ship was old and the controls reflected it, with rotary dial shipboard phones and a massive radar-screen that looked like it belonged on the Missouri.  Three bodies sat in the command chairs, their uniforms perfectly intact, their skin gone and the meat beneath still slick with blood.  McNally stepped forward, his gun camera panning back and forth.  “Sir, are you seeing this?”

Copyright 2016 Skye Knizley.  DO NOT SHARE.

Release Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/236842639980914/

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