This excerpt follows Ernest Frankenstein as he attempts to search for answers regarding his brother Victor’s mysterious past.
The moon rode into the heavens, veiled and terrible that night. Those hallowed, lonely hours would never know the brilliance of that traveling candle, as fast moving mountains of smoking darkness denied all but the faintest trace of light from the sky. Winds made unwelcome demands upon empty branches, which in turn excited the air with their chattering. Lurking specters of the mind gave life to shadow and sound. A swirling shroud of mist fought the winds for control of the graveyard. It hung, low and thick among the stones and monuments, adding an unearthly veil between the living and the dead.
For over an hour now, he’d cast about looking at headstones and entering mausoleums, rich with the scent of decay and niter, heavy in the stale air. Here the inequalities of life were cast aside, as all were devoured by time and the elements, as they returned to the dusts of nature’s imagination.
It was upon exiting the third charnel house that two things happened: the winds subsided and the first torch appeared. It hovered up on the ridge, where the road bordered the cemetery. Ernest cursed. The last thing he wanted was a caretaker asking questions or to be brought up on charges of grave robbing or some other such nonsense. Still there was no reason to assume that the torch bearer knew he was here. The mists persisted and he carried no light to betray his location. With any luck this visitor would disappear shortly, and he could complete his task unencumbered. He waited among the dead for the living to remove themselves. But it was not to be.
A second torch ignited, in the cemetery proper, much closer to him than the first. A cold shock began to course through his veins. Was someone searching for him down here? Had Jack been caught? A lone visitor he could handle, but two might be difficult. A third torch sprang to life in the dark, obscuring mist; followed shortly by a fourth, then a fifth, then sixth. There was no more time to think; every second brought a newly awakened, point of ominous light. They were all around him and closing in.
Ernest reached for his gun but quickly realized the futility of doing so. He was surrounded, and even a wild shot through the fog no longer guaranteed him an escape route, for the torches were too numerous and close together. Someone had known he was here; someone knew exactly how to ambush him. Figures now appeared, some with torches, others without, faces, obscured by shadow and flame. He spun, searching desperately for any means of escape; finally taking refuge behind a large headstone. The lights continued their steady march. Ernest clutched the pistol in his hand. If he could surprise them, he still might be able to escape. A great shadow, backlit by the oncoming torches, suddenly loomed above him, and swatted the gun away as he turned to fire. Ernest was still concentrating on the towering shadow when the blow came from behind, and the world tumbled out of existence.
Author's page on Enceladus Literary: http://www.enceladusliterary.com/?page_id=123
YouTube book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPvmP6Lephs
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