‘He Heard the Buttons on Jim Clay’s Funeral Shirt Clicking Across the Floor…’

The first issue of Black Treacle is now available! It includes my story, “Rattlesnake Eyes”, which sees cantankerous ghost-breaker John Bass in the Appalachians once again, this time to tangle with a stubborn corpse and unquiet spirits. I talk a bit more about the story HERE and the character of Bass HERE

Here’s a brief excerpt:

At the windows, the curtains twitched and Bass was reminded of the undulation of a rattlesnake as it shook its tail-tip.

He hadn’t known Jim Clay, but the stories spread far. He had been an old fashioned sumbitch, hog-mean and quick on the fly. He’d worked for the Baldwin-Felts for a bit and some change, and some folks said his momma had seen the Eden serpent in a dream the day he was born.

Bass turned as Harold dropped the bucket of water on the steps and backed away quickly. Iron, in the form of a bag of nails, and a sack of salt, were next. Their deliverers backed off just as quickly as Harold had. Clay watched from the yard.

“God bless, John Bass,” he said.

Bass didn’t reply. Instead, he scooped up the bucket, stuffed the nails into his pocket, grabbed the sack of salt and sidled towards the door. It opened at only the slightest touch. A stink like spoiled meat and rotting eggs swept out, curling around him like fingers. Holding a handkerchief pressed to his mouth and nose, he stepped inside, kicking the door closed behind him…

The issue is available to read on the BT site or to download for free via Smashwords.

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