Thursday, December 21, 2017

Piercing the Veil by Guy Riesen

Release date: December 14, 2017
Subgenre. Horror 

About Piercing the Veil:


What do flesh-eating cell phones, brain-enhancing tacos, and a real live dead foot have in common?

They're all tools in the destruction of our world, and a weapons-grade team of heavily-armed Miskatonic University nerds may be humanity’s last hope.

Something is ripping holes in the Veil of energy that separates our world from that of the ancient evils writhing just beyond what we think is reality. Time is running out for Professors Derrick LeStrand, Howard Strauss and their team of researchers as they race to hunt down a mysterious Frenchman who wields Necromantic Death Magic unlike anything they’ve seen before.
Tearing open psychological wounds from Derrick’s past, the cabalistic sorcerer is gathering ancient icons of power to pierce the Veil and bring down the only thing shielding mankind from the relentless horrors beyond.
If they fail, the only questions that will remain are who will live in servitude to the Great Old Ones and who will die…and who will supply Derrick with tacos?
Set against the backdrop of a world where H.P. Lovecraft was not a fiction writer, but a Sweep, a special operative trained to protect the collective sanity of the human race with misinformative blends of fact and fiction … where the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual is little more than a slightly skewed Audubon Field Guide, and the monster movies you grew up with are more documentary than not.

It’s Lovecraftian Lethal Weapon cranked to eleven.




Why is it Breathing?
Derrick watched giant clawed, skeletal hands dig deep gouges in the wooden floor as a massive skull rose from the jagged hole in the center of the room, lifting through a rain of falling ceiling plaster and clattering splinters. Its ragged, yellow teeth looked impossibly large as they gnashed at the wet chunks of dirt slipping through the gaps between its bones, shattered teeth, and remnants of tissue to splat in dark globs of earth that writhed with beige worms and pale maggots.
Derrick could hear the thing’s wheezing breath that, even without lungs behind the massive cracked and splintered rib cage, exhaled a charnel stench of rotting viscera mingled with the copper tang of old blood. The smell was putrescent, a thick miasma that coated Derrick’s tongue, crawling to the back of his throat. As the thing heaved itself bit by bit, through the tear in reality, he turned his head and vomited the remnants of his Burger Queen lunch.
 Ah man, why is that skeleton breathing?
Derrick’s thoughts were slippery and faded almost as quick as they came. He tried to lever himself up against the wall but a pain worse than he’d ever felt exploded from his thigh and his body refused to get up. His vision split and swam, a slow spin that rotated left then snapped back. Double vision and vomiting … that’s not good.
Derrick tried to look down at his legs. There was blood, but he couldn’t focus. He shook his head and regretted it when a wicked pain lanced from the base of his skull to rip at his optic nerves.
Squinting his eyes, he tried to resolve the two giant skeletal figures into one. The creature was pushing its body up through the shattered floorboards. Grave dirt pattered a tattoo matching the wet slopping sounds of torn and pulped organs falling free from the bones, the earthen placenta of an obscenely large desecrated grave.
Derrick fought to remain coherent against the mental assault of what he was seeing. Too many organs, he thought watching thick ropes of intestine spill to the floor, loops catching and tearing on the splintered jagged edges of the hole. Then more, tumbling out with slick masses of wet earth … and more.
Where’s that dirt coming from … we’re on the second floor?
Why can I only see black beneath the floorboards? 
Seeing the rip in reality was like staring at a sheet of black carbon nanotubes … flat-black, nothing. There was no howling sound, no glinting of light, but an opening, a void, a gate … to somewhere else.
With a thick sucking sound, the colossus pulled its giant rotten emaciated feet from the hole in the floor. Chunks of gelatinous flesh sloughed from the bones, sounding like jello squeezed through fingers. The peeling flesh looked strange with skin of different colors mixed with the gray-green pallor of rot. Loose muscle stripped off like string cheese, but didn’t seem to match the bones and tendons. The thing squatted, covering the shrinking rip in reality that had birthed it, hunched in the squalid room that was much too small to contain it. Derrick gasped as the gate between its feet snapped shut.




About Guy Riessen:

Guy Riessen is an American author of contemporary dark fiction spanning the science fiction, horror, fantasy and crime genres. Born in 1967 in South Dakota, he grew up in the Southern California beach town of Huntington Beach. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1985, graduated with a degree in English from UC Berkeley, and has been living in the wild lands north of San Francisco ever since. After nearly two decades of creating artwork in the visual effects industry for feature films, he returned to his first passion: writing speculative fiction.



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