This week sees the release of April Moon Books freshman anthology, The Dark Rites of Cthulhu. Ably edited by Brian M. Sammons, and including authors such as William Meikle, Peter Rawlik, Dark Rites is a fantastic selection of stories of depravity, sorcery and madness. My contribution, “Dead Man’s Tongue”, includes all three!
From the blurb:
For centuries, students of the forbidden arts have probed the inky recesses of the spaces inbetween. Hapless mortals have invoked monstrous entities from beyond through foul magicks, incantations and rituals. When will they learn that there can be no profit nor joy to be gained through relations with the insidious old ones?
Featuring terrifying new stories by Glynn Owen Barrass, Edward M. Erdelac, John Goodrich, Scott T. Goudsward, T. E. Grau, C.J. Henderson, Tom Lynch, William Meikle, Christine Morgan, Robert M. Price, Pete Rawlik, Josh Reynolds, Brian M. Sammons, Sam Stone, Jeffrey Thomas and Don Webb and edited by Brian M. Sammons, The Dark Rites of Cthulhu shares cautionary tales set in a multiverse of jealousy, greed, desperation and naivety and is guaranteed to delight students of the Dark Arts and followers of the Great Old Ones alike.
My story, “Dead Man’s Tongue”, sees the sinister Carolina mystic Harley Warren and the unfortunate dream-quester Randolph Carter investigating a locked room murder mystery centering around two corpses and an ancient Tibetan ritual. I’ve included an excerpt below, to whet your appetite for the horrors to come…
“Does he look like he’s been throttled to you?”
“Which—ah—which one are you referring to?” Carter asked. He plucked a handkerchief from his coat pocket and pressed it to his mouth and nose as he leaned over Warren and into the room. There were, as Warren had said, two bodies occupying the small square of space, one on the bed, and the other on the floor. The one on the floor was bad enough. He’d seen similar looking examples of mortality in the trenches of France; the dead man’s face was twisted in an expression of horror, his eyes bulging and his tongue sticking out of his mouth.
But it was the body on the bed that drew most of Carter’s disgust, and not a little worry. It was a shrivelled thing, it’s dried and cracked flesh was shrunken tight to its bones and its body was curled into a loose ball. It was nude, so far as Carter could see, and he could tell that it stunk strongly of strange spices and exotic unguents, even from a distance. There were rags and shreds of what looked like brown, decaying linens scattered over the bed and the floor, as well as on the body of the dead man.
For a moment, he fancied that it had moved, ever so slightly, when he leaned in. He heard nothing, saw nothing, but even so, he felt it. And he froze, the way a mouse might freeze, when it feels a snake watching it.
“The one that don’t look like jerky,” Warren said…
The anthology is available via Amazon and its international subsidiaries in both print and electronic format. Grab your copy today!