Friday, August 11, 2017

A Little Something To Sink Your Teeth Into?


Fan's of Daemon Grim will be glad to hear he returns to a nightmare near you in the near future...sometime this Fall in fact.

The story?
Hell Hounds

The setting?
The harsh and stygian multilevels of the underworld where the grizliest ghouls and most despicable demons work their worst. 

Of course, whatever hell the damned try to inflict on their enemies, it pales in comparison to the savaging Daemon Grim and his personal pack of bounty hunters - The Hell Hounds - dispense on those unfortunate enough to fall foul of their attention.

But there's no need to wait until later in the year!
WHY?

Because you can get an early look at the first three chapters of Hell Hounds in the very latest rendering from the award winning Heroes in Hell shared universe:
Pirates in Hell


Yes, this treasure chest of an anthology is packed with all sorts of gems and diabolical delights, including a short story featuring none other than Daemon Grim himself - Pieces of Hate.

And to round things off, there's a sizable excerpt from the next novel length escapade itself.

Wanna Sneak Peek?
*************
Hidden amongst the ziggurat spires adorning the northwestern corner of the Palace of Westmonster, I had a commanding view of a midnight skyline that could only belong to Olde London Town. As usual, the rainbow-haloed blush of the streetlights far below twinkled into the distance, distinguishing those parts of the city anchored in the modern day from the remnants scattered throughout the broad spectrum of other eras known to saturate this, the topsy-turviest existence in all of latter-day hell; otherwise known as the Juxtapose level.
From my vantage point, it looked as if a patchwork quilt of simple open fires, gas streetlamps, and brilliant neon beacons had been scattered in all directions. Whatever the period, it made no difference: everything remained veiled beneath the stain of original sin.
I inhaled deeply, my phantom nostrils flaring in pleasure as a pungent blend of brimstone and exhaust fumes filled my nonexistent lungs.
Home.
This was my kind of place and I loved it here. But I suppose that was understandable, as I was at the top of the food chain.
Movement down below and on the opposite bank of the River Tombs caught my attention. I phased, and in the blink of an eye materialized among the crenels of the highest buttresses on the far side of Westmonster Bridge. Safe amongst the shadows, I adjusted my perspective and zeroed in on Phosphate Magnum Square in the district of Lambsdeath, a place synonymous with hellegal weapons trafficking. Not that you could call it a square anymore, for the Victorian thoroughfare was littered with ruptured gas mains, shattered cobbles, and a veritable no man’s land of debris from semi-demolished buildings, courtesy of our Sibitti friends (the plague-god Erra’s seven personified weapons) and the latest tremors they had engendered over the past several months.
Vegetation, taking advantage of the unexpected reprieve from all-enveloping brickwork, had exploded from every available crack and fissure, adding a tangled maze of roots and foliage to the already confusing minefield that remained. Along with it came cloying swarms of insects. Freed at last from the confines of centuries-old pipe work, they wove their droning spell through the air like chitinous starlings; worrying people and animals alike under a relentless assault of gnashing mandibles and venomous stings.
If that wasn’t distracting enough, an endless drizzle of oily black rain fell from leaden clouds, making the going treacherous underfoot. But not for the assassin I’d espied.
Dressed from head to toe in a figure-hugging flaytex cat suit and soft-soled boots, she looked completely at home in this environment, every inch the unrepentant femme fatale. In fact, so congruous was her presence that she pierced the legion of hearse flies swarming about the crown of the debris without attracting the slightest curiosity.
An exceptional achievement. And part of the reason for my interest.
On Satan’s orders, I had increased my efforts to uncover the extent of the cancer eating its way through the heart of our society. A difficult task. And yet, indirectly, I had been helped a great deal by the late—and not so great—Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, whose antics had alerted me to the existence of the problem in the first place.
Now that Cream had been reassigned to the Cirque du Freak, he would be out of the way for a millennia or two, enjoying the torments lavished upon our lobotomized, mutant novelty acts. That still left Chopin and Tesla on the loose, though, along with Erra and his Sibitti ass-wipes. And, of course, we now had our very own psychopathic angel on the loose.
A devil’s cauldron of a mix if ever there was one.
Bearing in mind painful missteps endured last time out, Satan wanted me to expand my team to ensure we were never again too thin on the ground. Easier said than done, that. For while the underworld was rife with murderous cutthroats and rogues, finding that special someone with the skills that differentiated them from all the other cattle hadn’t been easy.
In fact, out of the dozen or so candidates I had considered during the past four months, only one had made a lasting impression: the young lady below me now.
Tonight would be her fifth assignment I’d tagged along on—without her knowledge, of course—and I had to admit, I was impressed by her work. Over the past several weeks she had managed to take out a Low Court judge, midsession, as he summed up a case in the primary courtroom of the Olde Bully; a high value inmate under witness protection in the isolation wing of Wormblood Scrubs maximum security prison; and her last job, involving one of the most clinical demonstrations I had ever witnessed of how to dispatch an entire coven of Dread-Locks, armed with nothing but a pair of combat knives blessed in the flames of the B├úlefire.
Not bad for someone who doesn’t appear augmented in any other way apart from a preternatural ability to move stealthily. It must be down to training and focus. I wonder what she’ll be like once she receives her enhancements?
I had already made up my mind, but wanted this final opportunity to make sure of my choice.
As I mused, she had nestled amongst the undergrowth and creepy-crawlies to wait for her target to appear, most likely from one of the derelict buildings opposite. So I seized the opportunity to scan through her hellographic-profile to help pass the time.
Okay . . .
Marie-Anne Charlotte de Corday d’Armont, known simply as Charlotte Corday, or l’ange de l’assassinat, the angel of the assassination. Born 1768 in France to a minor aristocratic family and executed by guillotine when only twenty-four years old for the murder of Jacobin leader, Jean-Paul Marat, a person whom history calls the instigator of the radicalized course undertaken by the insurgents during the initial stages of the revolution.
I flicked across to an addendum.
From what it says here, Marat was responsible for the political purge of the prisons. He believed France languished under the threat of invasion, and that those held in custody would rise up on their release and fight against the people. So he ordered them slain. I glanced at the death toll and my eyes widened in pleasure. Over fourteen hundred in Paris alone? Including a goodly number of priests? Nice work. Unfortunately, that led to a split amongst the factions, and especially those who were against such an aggressive stance. Ah, I see, Marat singled out the Girondins in particular. Although they were a minor group, they played a leading role in the legislative assembly and promoted a more tempered course through which to engender nationalism. Hmmm. Evidently, Charlotte sympathized with the Girondin movement, and became so concerned by Marat’s witch-hunt against his own people that she took it upon herself to visit his home on the pretext of providing valuable information regarding a supposed Girondin uprising. Once alone, she stabbed him whilst he was in the bath . . . I did a double take. In the bath! How embarrassing.
I glanced down at my would-be recruit.
At least it explains her preference for daggers.
Then I flipped back to the bullet points regarding her trial.
At her sentencing, she was quoted as declaring, “I have killed one man to save thousands.” Oh dear, oh dear. Yet another principled idealist, eh?
Next, I took a closer look at the more pertinent details. They made interesting reading:
After arriving in hell, Charlotte went through the inevitable period of trauma and maladjustment. Like most of the condemned, she couldn’t believe her “righteous” act had resulted in damnation and an eternity of judgment. Her outrage led to a number of ill-advised run-ins with injustice. Needless to say, she pissed off the wrong people, and the Boss ordered the Undertaker to permanently disfigure her as an incentive to shut up and switch on.
And switch on she did. For once she resigned herself to her lot, Charlotte made the nature of her infinite punishment the subject of a whole new vocation. After changing her name to reflect the character of her deformity, she set about acquiring the expertise that would put Charlotte Corday—aka Lady Gemini—on the map as one of the underworld’s most accomplished assassins.
I brought up a hellographic representation of Lady Gemini’s latest persona and took a moment to study the ravaged countenance spinning in the air before me.
The right side of her face embodied the rest of her lithe and athletic form. It was flawless, as pale as alabaster, her skin so smooth and blemish free that I thought at first she must be wearing a mask molded from liquid porcelain, an effect only heightened by the shimmering luster of raven-blue hair cascading down over her shoulders.
Separated by a livid puckered scar running down the center of her skull, her left side was marred by flaking contusions and gaping lesions, reminding me of parchment left out in the sun to crack and dry. Its two halves were attached by a series of jagged surgical staples, gothic makeup and Ombre lipstick. I could only imagine the pain she would experience every time she made any facial expression.
Fortunately, I completed my run-through just in time . . .
Across the street, a small crowd of mobsters had just exited an old-style ale house, and Lady Gemini came alert. Hunkering down in a small depression created by the collapse of a major sewer tunnel, she removed a long cylindrical pipe from one of her elongated thigh-flaps, and rummaged around in her breast pocket with her other hand.
I watched her movements with professional curiosity. She hasn’t taken her eyes off them once. Now that’s the kind of attitude I want to see.
The group comprised two ‘boss’ types (one a Gomez Adams wannabe, the other a startlingly accurate representation of what you would get if you stuffed a bulldog inside human flesh) followed by a statutory retinue of muscle-bound, knuckle-dragging, brain-dead hoods and a hulking great lawyer dripping mucus and blood with every step. His steaming name badge gleamed dully in the twilight, and identified him as Othello.
Scanning their auras, I doubted the combined IQs of the thugs would challenge the slime Othello left in his wake, so they were obviously present to look mean, grunt in single syllables, and take bullets for their masters.
Which is what they’ll probably be doing a few seconds from now . . .
I adjusted the sensitivity of my sweeps and glanced back and forth between the two parties. The Godfather wake was oblivious to the danger. Gemini merely studied them from her place of concealment, and slowly raised the tube to her lips.
So who’s the mark?

*************
If that takes your fancy, remember to pick up a copy of Daemon Grim's first adventure in Hell Bound


The links are in the sidebar.

The hunt is on...
See you in hell soon

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