Herman Melville said it best when he proclaimed that every path eventually leads to the sea. For it is the sea that holds our most sacred and terrifying fears, yet it also holds a glorious mysticism over us as a race, an attraction so strong that most of us flock to beaches, river banks, creeks, and lakes at every opportunity to stare out into the vast blueness and wonder: what's out there?
Take my hand, Dear Reader, and swim with me through this journey of sixteen tales of watery terror. As we swim, if something reaches out of the darkness and gropes for your ankle, if something pulls you deeper into the depths of liquid madness, if your breath is stolen from you and you find yourself inhaling nothing but muddied water... do not fear, for it is just the ocean reclaiming what is already hers: your soul.
Brace Books & More
Double Dragon Publishing
Atrocitus Aqua contains my story "When the Lady of Byblos Calls."
The book is available now in various electronic formats and will be available as a trade paperback in March 2003.
The smell of salt water reached inland and drove him faster. Randy’s boots were very tight and hurt his feet. He knew they hurt because they, like his hands, had become much larger due to the swelling. He couldn’t stop long enough to take off the boots. He hurried on. Finally, he climbed a small hill and the black ocean stretched out before him as far as his swollen eyes could see. The tide was in, but even Randy, who had lived all his life in Nebraska, could tell something was wrong. He moved forward, and finally realized the sound of the water was muffled because the sea was full of bodies.
The corpses of those who had arrived before him shifted and rolled gently as the tide pushed toward the shore. Randy stepped among them, pushing them aside, moving toward the sea, finally clambering over the dead, crawling forward over a solid mass of bodies, the bit of April he carried sticking to his hand like so much mucus as he fought to get over the corpses and into the ocean. As he got further from the shore, the bodies were fewer and moved away when he pushed at them. He slid back into the water.