Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tormented Slumber by Paul Deaver

Release date: April 8, 2015
Subgenre: Military science fiction, short story

About Tormented Slumber

A veteran discovers that demons followed him home from the battlefield and threaten to destroy his life. The soldier regains hope when he finds unexpected allies to confront his worst nightmares.

3,000 word short story.



For my friends who didn’t make it home.

The nightmares always start the same way. I have a door seat in the back of a UH-60 with the desert wind scorching my face. We're flying low and fast, and I catch a glimpse of the lead bird as we cross a ridge line. We're a minute out from the landing zone. I check my rifle then look at the rest of my squad. Something is wrong. Their faces are all blurred. My stomach sinks in anticipation of what I know is about to happen.
We're on short final, and the lead bird catches a rocket propelled grenade in the belly. Our pilot barely avoids the fireball that used to be a helicopter when another rocket takes out our tail rotor. We're spinning out of control and hit the ground hard. The helicopter rolls to the side and the main rotor blades disintegrate as they dig into the sand. The engines scream as they overspeed and then shutdown. I'm dangling by my seatbelt. I rotate the release and fall to the floor. No one else is moving.
I'm choking on dust and smoke, and the sky looks like blood. The ground rumbles, and through the haze I see a horde of black demons filling the horizon. They're almost humanoid but have a frenzied gait, using their arms and legs to run. Their flesh is flowing like molten tar and the foul stench of raw sewage is overwhelming as they get closer.
I slap a magazine in my rifle and unload on the closest monster. The beast doesn't even flinch as the bullets pass through him. I throw the rifle down and get on the door gun. The machine gun sings with expended brass dropping to the ground, but the horde only picks up speed. The gun falls silent, and the ammo can is empty. The demons crash into me like a wave. Their claws pin me down and tear into my flesh. Saliva drips on me from oozing faces with needle-like teeth. They hesitate for a moment then rip me apart.


I woke up in a pool of cold sweat. At first I thought I was in my hooch in Afghanistan, then realized I was at home once I heard my wife chewing me out. "Damn it Jimmy, you woke up the kids again with your screaming."


About Paul Deaver:

As a child I read to seek new adventures. When I got older, I read to escape the confines of reality. Books can show you unexplored places and unlock the door to distant worlds. They shape the way we perceive everything around us.

Please allow me to take you on an adventure. If my stories provide even a few moments of insight, amazement, or happiness, then it makes the journey to share them worthwhile. Thank you for reading my books.


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