You couldn’t describe a rath. You couldn’t even look at one for more than a few seconds before you started getting a migraine aura. Rovers were just blots of shadow. The breeder was massive, armored, and had no recognizable features, save for its hideous, drooling, ragged edged maw. Irizarry didn’t know if it had eyes, or even needed them…
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Izrael Irizarry stepped through a bright-scarred airlock onto Kadath Station, lurching a little as he adjusted to station gravity. On his shoulder, Mongoose extended her neck, her barbels flaring, flicked her tongue out to taste the air, and colored a question. Another few steps, and he smelled what Mongoose smelled, the sharp stink of toves, ammoniac and bitter…
“Yaakov, why don’t you ever cry?” I asked him the day we buried my uncle’s family.
He shrugged. “Maybe you carry all the tears for both of us, Anna.”
I thought he might be right. In the past month I had cried again and again. I had wept through the night of hiding in the root cellar among the onions and potatoes and jars of pickled vegetables, my face buried in our mother’s skirt. We emerged in the morning to discover the Cossacks had burned down the barn with all of our animals trapped inside. I cried again for the goats. We didn’t even know yet that our cousins down the road had suffered the same fate. Our two older siblings took their turns calming me, but I took the most comfort from Yaakov’s stoic face.
10. _Influenza siderius_ begins as a general malaise. That is always the first symptom. Perhaps you wish to doze on the sofa, but your husband suggests a little fresh air instead. You do feel better after the walk, but by the next morning the listlessness has returned tenfold. Your husband complains when you order takeout instead of making the pot roast, but you feel too tired to care.
It looks like a quantity of strawberry jam squeezed into a cheap polythene shower cap. Even down to the darkened pips and the intimation someone’s attempted to pick it up and squished it in the middle. Clint adjusts the telescopic sight and tilts his head, upping the magnification, but knocking the thermal readout to the off position. He can feel the heat from here, so it’s safe to say that the temperature is outside the usual parameters.
Before Heidi came along, Michael did everything he could to keep the damn faeries out of his apartment. Every night he washed and dried his dishes, never left one dripping in the drying rack. Always fished the food particles from the drain, took the trash out, sealed his cereal in glass jars.
Bob and I attracted a pack of zombies when we stopped to fuel up at the Texaco in Buffalo Springs. I hoped we’d lost them, but hope was all I had. Bob said they were the fresh remains of a high school football team who’d been drowned and de-souled by water daemons at a lakeside party.
Young, strong corpses have the speed and stamina to run down a deer. Until the sun and wind finally turned their flesh to stinky jerky, they’d be dangerous enough to make a vampire shit bats. And fresh zombies are persistent as porn site pop-up ads. If they take a shine to the smell of your blood, they might track you for days, stopping only if live meat falls right in their laps.