Monday, June 1, 2015

The Revenant of Wrecker's Dock (Hallowind Cove, Book 1) by Cora Buhlert

Release date: May 26, 2015
Subgenre: Horror, ghost stories

About The Revenant of Wrecker's Dock:

Strange things keep happening in the permanently fog-shrouded seaside town of Hallowind Cove, earning it the nickname "Harbour of the Weird".

When Paul comes Hallowind Cove, after inheriting an old house from an uncle he barely knew, he doesn't put much stock in those stories. But then he finds himself hunted by an angry zombie, who is looking to avenge a century-old crime…



Paul pulled up the collar of his coat against the ever-present fog that enveloped the town of Hallowind Cove. His hair was damp, his skin clammy, every bone in his body ached and the cough he’d developed shortly after coming to Hallowind Cove was back, worse than ever.
One day, this town was gonna be the death of him.
He turned onto Wrecker’s Dock in Hallowind Cove harbour or what passed for it, cause these days, the docks were mostly deserted with only the occasional fishing boat moored at the quay.
The fog was even thicker here, rolling in from the sea in waves of white. Walking along the seafront probably wasn’t the best of ideas, considering that the fog was making him sick. But Paul did not care. He was headed for The Croaking Foghorn, a harbourside pub that offered beer and stronger drinks as well as some of the best and freshest seafood dishes Paul had ever seen.
A raven set perched on one of the tar-covered bollards along the quay, fixing Paul with unnerving eyes.
“Wa-atch out,” the raven croaked, “Wa-atch out!”
Or at least that’s what it sounded like. For of course birds couldn’t talk, even though this one gave a pretty good impression of it. Paul had seen the raven before, hanging around town and emitting croaks that sounded uncannily like words.
He’d once asked Ian, landlord of the Croaking Foghorn and the closest thing Paul had to a friend here in Hallowind Cove, about the raven.
“Oh, that’s just Hugo,” Ian had said, “Never mind him. He likes to pretend he’s a harbinger of doom, but he’s really quite harmless.”
“Wa-atch out,” Hugo croaked again, “Wa-atch out.”
“Shut up, Hugo,” Paul said good-naturedly, “I’m no longer a newbie. I won’t fall into the harbour basin.”
“Wa-arned you,” the raven croaked.
Paul shook his head. “I’m really going crazy,” he thought, “Hell, I’m talking to a bird.”
He held on steady towards the lights of the Croaking Foghorn, blurred by the dense fog. A dark figure stumbled towards him, emerging from the mist and gradually coalescing into a solid form. The figure was clad in a seaman’s oilskin jacket and sou’wester.
Probably a fisherman headed out to sea, Paul thought. He shouted a friendly greeting as he passed the stranger, but then his words caught in his throat, as he got a closer look at the dark figure.
For the dark figure’s oilskin jacket and sou’wester were encrusted with molluscs and draped with seaweed. Its skin had a pallid and faintly greenish cast, the sort of look that only the long dead should have. And where its eyes should be, there were only two black holes.
“Murrrderrr,” the figure moaned, its voice sounding as if it came straight from the bottom of the sea, “Deathhh. Deceit.”
The creature reached out for Paul and where its hand should be, there was only a hook, a rusty iron hook.
“The Mary Durban, lost with all hands on board,” the creature said and lurched towards Paul, hook raised. “Vengeance,” it moaned.
Paul screamed and ran along the dock, towards the lights of the Croaking Foghorn and the salvation they promised, the shambling, lurching figure hot in pursuit.
Panicked and panting, he reached the pub and crashed through the door, startling both Ian, the landlord, and Old Hank, a drunk who seemed to be a permanent fixture on the second barstool from the left.
“I… I…” Paul bent over, gasping for air. “I think I just saw a zombie.”
He turned the key in the lock and looked for something, anything, to bar the front door. Finally, he grabbed an old oar from the wall and placed it across the door. Only that it wouldn’t hold the door, not for long and certainly not without some nails for reinforcement.
Already, he could hear the zombie scratching on the door, looking for a way in.
“A hammer,” Paul blurted out, “I need a hammer. And nails.”
“Sit down and relax,” Ian said, entirely unperturbed. He drew a beer from the tap and put it down on the counter. “And would you kindly refrain from blocking the door. There’s few enough punters about in this weather as it is, so I really don’t need you locking out the few that might stumble in.”

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About Cora Buhlert:

Cora Buhlert was born and bred in North Germany, where she still lives today – after time spent in London, Singapore, Rotterdam and Mississippi. Cora holds an MA degree in English from the University of Bremen and is currently working towards her PhD. Cora has been writing since she was a teenager, and has published stories, articles and poetry in various international magazines. When she is not writing, she works as a translator and teacher.

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