Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Preview of "Darkest Hour"

This is a preview of a book I've been writing for a long time.  It's a very dark Stephen King-ish type story.  This is the first part of Chapter 1.  I'm not sure if I'll share more or not.  It's not finished although I do hope to finish it someday and have it published.  Hope you like. 

Darkest Hour
Chapter 1
By Travis Bigham 

     The night had grown calm over the seemingly deserted city, the air foul with decay. The rough wind barely blowing was hot and uncomfortable on the skin; only the damage of a dying world could produce such a stench. Rubble and debris lay strewn across every street of the massive city, merely a glimpse of the chaos which had reigned down ever harder with each passing day. Only the bravest of souls ventured out into its corrupt passageways passed nightfall, and not one was anything more than a petty criminal. No birds chirped, children laughed, or dogs barked within the crippled city, the only noise came from underground bars and nightclubs scattered across the web of streets. Young, old, poor, or rich, it didn’t matter, nearly everyone would be consumed by the drugs they love so much by midnight, leaving little hope that half the remaining population would still be left alive when the sun rose. It had become a dark time for our eccentric species; just another blink in our once great history.
     Through the haze and smoke of the streets, a menacing figure slowly appeared. A long dark cloak tickled the ground at the man’s feet, hood pulled low to cover his face. He was a being of un-stabling presence, the air around him very nearly crackling with electricity. Moving with a purpose that few would dare to confront, he walked slowly towards the entrance of one of the few upper class clubs still around. The bar was beneath a dilapidated hotel, once a dime in the cities’ pocket, the basement a perfect haven for the worst of acts. Above the entrance, swinging from side to side in the suffocating air, the sign read “Alpha”; yet even with its’ higher class name, it never ceased to bring in the lowliest of characters.
     As the man moved closer, a troop of five guards stepped out of the shadows to meet him. It was not uncommon for people to hide who they were when entering the bar, politicians and bureaucrats did so on many such nights, but something about this particular visitor seemed to put the doormen on edge. Towering over the guards, the man stopped as he reached them, watching with a smile as their hands moved slowly to the pistols on their belts.
     “I’m sorry sir,” the obvious leader of the five held out a hand, “but tonight is a private party.”
     “But of course,” the man answered, his voice deep and calm, but menacing never the less, “Mr. Laveyor invited me himself.”
     “Well then sir you just need your invitation to get..”
     “Ahh yes,” a slight chuckle rose up into his voice as he cut the guard off, “the invitation, forgive me. Now where did I put it?”
     The guards tightened their grips on their pistols as the man searched within his cloak; the muscular arms that were now apparent did not look as if they belonged to a man who should be fooled with. But as he seemed to finally find what he was looking for the guards relaxed slightly, perhaps he was just another guest who was running late.
     “Here it is,” the visitor exclaimed, the smile on his face growing ever larger.
     Holding out his hand as if he was holding something very thin between his fingers, the head guard frowned as he watched. Surprisingly though, he reached out to take the non-existent invitation, holding it in front of his face to read it. While all of his surrounding co-workers looked over his shoulder to see, none of them seemed to notice anything unusual either.
     “Alright then,” the guard made to hand it back, “my apologies sir.”
     “Not at all, merely doing your job as we all must,” the man answered, swooping past them towards the doorway.
     “Sir, your invitation?” the guard held his hand up in the air, still oblivious to the fact that nothing was there.
     “Keep it,” his laugh filled the stairway as he descended, sending a chill down the men’s spine.
     Low music and subtle lights filled the large room, smoke from all kinds of burning paraphernalia billowing through the crowd like water. Here and there woman danced on solitary poles and cages, men ogling up at them lustfully. Moving towards a booth in the darkest corner, the man’s piercing eyes scanned the line of faces for his prey. As he sat down, he locked on to whom he was looking, a smile reappearing on his face. With excessive care he pulled a small leather pouch from within his cloak, laying it out onto the table in front of him. As he unfolded it, a small container and a sheaf of small rectangular papers appeared. Sitting back, the man relaxed as he worked quietly, calmly waiting for his friend to notice his arrival.
     At a table close by, the most powerful man in the room sat enjoying himself immensely; with a multitude of women around him, and a host of drugs and cash scattered before him. On all four sides of the table stood bodyguards, powerful automatic weapons obvious beneath their suit jackets. The man whom they were protecting, the women seducing, and the drugs enlightening was one of the most feared in the world; known as Tom Laveyor. As one of the lead Commanders of the American Republic, here was a man who could quite literally do anything and get away with it without a second thought. Although someone in such a position would normally have an untouched reputation for the public, he was more commonly known as a worldwide mass murderer.
     Leaning back as one of his personal assistants approached, Laveyor listened intently to the man’s report.
     “Sir, we have a guest, I tried to get a good look at him, but he is masking his appearance.”
     “Great,” Laveyor sighed in complete annoyance, “where is he?”
     “In the back corner,” the assistant nodded towards it. “But he is nearly invisible in the darkness my lord.”
     Indeed the man was barely visible within his dark cloak, as if the very shadows themselves covered and wrapped him lovingly. Squinting into the corner, Laveyor watched as a match was lit in between the ominious man’s lips. As he watched, the light produced struck Laveyor cold, the eyes visible for only a few seconds making his heart skip a beat. It was obvious that the man in the corner had been staring straight at him, only furthering his fear as Laveyor recognized him.
     “How did he get in?” Laveyors’ voice nearly cracked as he spoke, the pitch higher than normal.
     “He had an invitation, my lord, the guards said he was very polite but had made them feel uneasy,” the assistant answered quietly, holding out his hand just as the visitor had done with the guards, “here it is.”
     Laveyors’ eyes lit up in frantic confusion and insanity as he looked at the man’s empty hand, cringing away from the invisible object as if he was causing him unbearable pain.  “There’s nothing there you idiot! Can’t you see it’s a trick?!” Laveyors’ voice now broke wildly, his guards growing alarmed, “Get it away from me!”
     The messenger fled quickly, not wishing for an unpleasant result to the reaction he had received from his news. Knocking his chair backwards as he stood, Laveyor grabbed his head bodyguard to whisper into his ear fiercely.
     “That man in the corner, I want you to take him out back and put a bullet in his head,” he rattled out, obviously on the brink of utter loss of himself.
     “Yes sir, I’ll take care of it myself,” the massive man answered.
     “No Liles, take Miller and Sampson with you, you’re going to need help,” he whispered back crazily.
     “I doubt it, but I will do as you ask.” .......


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