Wednesday 18 July 2018

Shelter from the Storm

An anthology for readers who love stormy weather, whether it be the thunderstorms of the tropics, the tempests of the Atlantic, or the blizzards of the frozen north. Seek shelter, batten down the hatches, and lose yourself in this short anthology of suspense, mystery, and terror, designed to be read in one stormy sitting while the wind howls or thunder bellows.

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Excerpt from "The Murder at Karreg Du":

Wind shook Oscar Tremont’s black Peugeot 403 as the vintage car advanced at a prudent speed. Over the trees lining the narrow back road, dark clouds raced like celestial stallions and rain fell in waves, the volleys of unseen archers opening battle. Leaves struck the windscreen, where they remained momentarily, until a sweep of the wipers sent them hurtling into the night. Following what was little more than a sealed lane in such conditions demanded the driver’s undivided attention.
‘I’m not so sure about your shortcut, Oscar. Have you noticed you have a knack for transforming relaxing weekends away into treasure hunts, rescue missions, and historical investigations?’
‘There’s a definite trend,’ he replied, shooting her a mischievous glance.
‘The storm’s growing. I do hope we arrive soon.’
He said nothing, and they went back to listening to the baying of the wind.
‘I’ve just lost my internet connection, so I can’t navigate at all now.’
‘We shouldn’t be far from Le Gâvre. This road cuts through the forest, close to where we had a picnic with your parents years ago. Once we’re out of the woods, we’ll get back onto the departmental road.’
‘Watch out!’ Louise yelled, but he was already easing the car to a standstill.
Two yellow hazard lights were blinking at them through the darkness, and the fainter reflection of two others could be seen on the rough surface that blocked the road in front of the car.
Having come to a complete stop, the full force of the gale could be better appreciated. The Peugeot was being jostled and the branches all about them were thrashing maniacally.
‘A fallen tree,’ Louise mused. ‘I suppose I ought to be surprised.’
‘I assure you it wasn’t me, chérie. Believe it or not, I was looking forward to an uneventful weekend.’