Teaser Tuesday: in which our hero is having a bad day

Two-Part HorrorsIt's Teaser Tuesday, and I have another snippet for you from my WIP. This piece comes a little after the piece I posted the other day. No pigs, just the hero having a bad day. Progress: 29.5k and inching closer to the end of Act 1.

All around them the townsfolk went about their business as though this was an ordinary day at the market, as sunny and carefree as the blue sky above them, totally oblivious to the darkness headed their way. And Liam wasn’t going to say a word. He couldn't. He knew too well the consequences of that.

“Just run,” he urged the boy. “Run home with your family. Lock the doors and windows.”

The boy cracked half a smile. “You’re mad,” he said. “I knew it. You’re a right, proper looney. Now give me back my ball.”

Liam looked down at his hand, the handmade toy wrapped tight in his fist. Some of the stitching had popped, the result of accidentally squeezing it too hard when he heard the voices. There really wasn’t time for this, but if this was what it would take to send the boy home . . .

“Take it,” Liam said, thrusting it at him. “Be off! Run home!”

A few heads of passersby turned in their direction, but Liam ignored them. They would find out soon enough.

Shades were coming. Hungry, angry and worked up into a frenzy. The townsfolk were in danger.

Liam headed for his market stall and Genny. It was time to get out of town.

“Hey, mister—“ Tommy’s voice called behind him. Liam turned, but never got to find out what the boy was going to say. Screams rang out across the town square. A crash sounded in a nearby building. One bellowing roar echoed down the alley, and was repeated around the town.

Angel’s mercy. They were surrounded.

People everywhere began running in all directions. The boy stood frozen as a fat man barrelled toward them. Liam grabbed the boy’s arm and yanked him to his chest. They huddled behind the well pump, waiting for the crowd to thin.

Hard thumps shook the ground. People cried out, but their screams were drowned by the demonic roars of the creatures. The air took on a warm, damp feeling with the scent of old earth and fresh rot cresting over them in waves. Keeping his left arm tight around the boy, Liam reached his right hand behind his shoulder and lifted his axe out of the holster strapped to his back. Though his insides had gone cold and trembling with fear, he knew what he must do. He could hear their plans.

“Run home,” Liam ordered the boy. He adjusted his grip on his axe’s handle.