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My steampunk, occult, horror, western short story “Wolf in the Wind” will appear in the Crucifixion Press anthology “Shoot the Devil” on or about October 1, 2022.
Too often, the modern world wants us to avoid confrontation, to pretend that evil doesn’t exist, that the bad guy is always misunderstood, “the hero of his own story”. Even when people can be bothered to admit that evil exists, they just encourage us to be ‘nice’. To be ‘understanding’ and ‘compassionate’. Anything but actually facing the evil and driving it out with extreme prejudice.
-From the Foreword by Eric Postma
This book contains “Ten double-barreled tales of humanity defeating the demonic from superversive’s best.” I feel honored to be considered among “superversive’s best.” My story isn’t primarily about Christianity or a religious focus, although I’ve included those elements. Here’s an excerpt:
This time he was sure that, in spite of whatever sorcery she wielded, Emma’s tools weren’t just magical, they were mechanical, hissing out tiny puffs of steam.
As each one continued to foam and convulse, the sound of their simmering was drowned out by the wolf’s cry. It was getting closer again.
“You said you were going to call it. How?”
“Over here.” She motioned to him as she stood behind the headstone, keeping it between her and the grave.
He obediently followed her, but put his hand on the butt of his six-shooter. “Answer the question. Half of what you do is like witchery, but I’d swear some of it is that…are those things some kind of tools?”
“Sort of. They help me focus, show me places and times other than this one. I had to be sure where the wolf spirit came from before I had a prayer of sending it back.”
“To Hell? It’s a demon?”
“Not Hell, Thornton, another world, like ours, but not, and yes, it’s both magic and mechanized, harnessed in these little engines. It’s the only thing that lets the spells work in our reality.”
“But how did you…?” He didn’t finish his sentence, interrupted by the approach of their adversary. He drew his .45 from his holster at the appearance of the wolf.
“Forget it. That won’t work anymore than your rifle did. You can’t hurt it. Nothing in our world can touch it, well almost.”
“That monster killed Sarah. It deserves to die.”
“It did kill Sarah and those others, but not because it’s evil.”
Technically, this could be just the start of the Adventures of E.E. Durbin, Occult Detective, but I guess we’ll see.
The estimated publication date for this anthology is October 1st, and the publisher said it will be available for “pre-sale” soon. When it does, I’ll be glad to provide anyone who wants a free ARC copy of the book in PDF in exchange for an honest review.
If you’re interested, let me know.
“Wolf in the Wind, from the Tales of E.E. Durbin, Occult Detective” available in the anthology “Shoot the Devil” coming soon.