Pressure

Standard

image

One of the things common to us all is that at some point in our life we will have been under pressure or stress. Be it a moment that jumped up in front of us, say a bank robbery or seeing someone about to be hit by a car, or whether that it is the slow build up of a situation which requires us to endure some sort of pain to see it through, we have all had experience of these things.

When writing, especially action and adventure, or dark fantasy, there are situations where the characters are in wild moments I have never faced and one wonders how they would react. Personally, I have never looked a demon from the deep in the eye, swung from a hangman’s noose or faced strange creatures intent on taking my head off. And the only way I know to generate these feelings is to drift into the characters shoes, drawing on my own reactions to horrors I have had in my own life. Not that my life has been a rollercoaster of disaster, it’s been bloomin’ good to be honest. But we all have the well of dark moments to draw from.

Sometimes people say my books would look great in a movie, or that they could see it as a TV drama and I think I know why. When I write, I write describing the movie in my head. The creatures move for me, I hear the drop in the noose, I look into those demon eyes. And I then feel what comes. I don’t see words, I see pictures and then the job is to put that picture into words. The further distillation by the reader reversing the process hopefully brings the movie back to life.

It begs the question, are my characters real to me? Only in my head, only in the movie. And that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t want a mad cap professor summoning up who knows what, an emotional father pulled from his family by every woman that walks past, or an ice cold winged femme fatale. Life is weird enough. And by putting these people under pressure the real emotions come out and hopefully the real life heroic decisions we make or fail to make, get brought to the surface.

If you haven’t got it already, you can purchase the first Austerley & Kirkgordon novel “Crescendo!” here. Read it quick as the follow up “The Darkness at Dillingham” is coming very, very soon!

Advertisements

Crowdfund fund for Crescendo! is underway

Status

Just a quick note to let everyone know my crowdfund for my first novel is off and running at Kickstarter. Check it out at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/grjordan/crescendo-do-you-embrace-the-dark-or-run-from-it

I’ll be posting about it on my blog but get ahead by having a quick look. It’s my first kickstarter soo finding it well exciting!

image

G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

Footsteps – Epilogue

Standard

Next month I will be releasing the first novel in my Austerley and Kirkgordon adventure series about a pair of investigators into the paranormal. In order for readers to get a feel for my characters I will be releasing a short story prelude before launch day and as I am especially good to my blog readers, I am going to serialise it here. So take a trip into the depths of a lost graveyard in search of Eldar things with Messers Austerley & Kirkgordon and find out how this diverse pair became entangled in horrors from the past.

Epilogue

“And that is about that Officer. I went to drive the car but I didn’t have any keys, lost down below I think. Hot wiring it came to mind but to be truthful, it’s not a skill I have in abundance. Austerley was in a bad way, as was I, both losing blood and I could feel my overall capacity reducing, both mentally and physically. Listening intently, I located the nearest road and dragged the lunatic and myself over to it. It was less than a kilometre I reckon as I took the direct route.

By the time we were found, I think I was delirious and Austerley, well he had lost his mind in the depths. Ranting is a speciality of his, especially in other languages. And I do mean other! So that’s it, Officer. And to be honest I no longer care what anyone thinks or what happens because I damn well capped it and it ain’t coming out that hole. So do the decent thing and send me home and that space cadet to the asylum he deserves.”

The officer crunched up his plastic cup and picked up his notebook before leaving the room. Outside he took a right into the small viewing room and looked at the smartly dressed man in grey overcoat, polished black shoes and bowler hat.

“Crazy story but he tells it like he believes it,” said the officer.

“Yes, he most certainly does,” agreed the bowler hatted man. “Well, I do thank you for letting me watch. On behalf of Her Majesty’s government, I am glad that we have come to an agreement on how to proceed. Mr Kirkgordon needs some rest and recuperation and letting him seek it at home is a most excellent accommodation. As for Mr Austerley, the asylum at Arkham should suffice. A man like that certainly needs to be observed for all our good.”

“Nice working with you,” complimented the police officer shaking the man’s hand. “Take good care mister ….., mister …..what did you say your name was again?”

“Farthington, Mr Farthington at your service.”

Who is the strange Mr Farthington? Will Austerley recover from this nightmare? Does Kirkgordon return to a happy family and a snaity of mind? Find out in Crescendo!, releasing mid-October.

wpid-logo-horizontal.jpg.jpeg

G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

Footsteps – Chapter 5 Battling Blind

Standard

Next month I will be releasing the first novel in my Austerley and Kirkgordon adventure series about a pair of investigators into the paranormal. In order for readers to get a feel for my characters I will be releasing a short story prelude before launch day and as I am especially good to my blog readers, I am going to serialise it here. So take a trip into the depths of a lost graveyard in search of Eldar things with Messers Austerley & Kirkgordon and find out how this diverse pair became entangled in horrors from the past.

Battling Blind

My pack was distributed all over the floor and as I scrabbled in the dark, I managed to pick up various items. Finding a pistol and a spare magazine, I was able to fire off rounds for about fifteen seconds which kept whatever was out there from me. Warren’s face was imprinted on my mind but the infra-red goggles meant I had some idea where the attacks were coming from. At this time they were tentacles that whipped towards me from the dark and I rolled and fired with moderate success.

Then I was struck behind the head which pitched me forward but also knocked my goggles from my face. I heard them hit the floor in a despairing crunch and was completely blind. Fortunately, I was able to find a knife on the floor and began wildly slashing all around me. Austerley’s screams could still be heard, bizarre chants and wails interspersing full-on shrieks.

The next few moments were a mad slash and hack for survival. Several times I was caught on my torso by a whipping action, I assumed a tentacle, and was hurtled across the open space. Thankfully I never collided with the wall. Thoughts of Austerley were gone as I couldn’t locate him and I was wondering how I would get out of this hell-hole. Suffice to say, I was purely on time until I was hit by something massive.

I was tense when it hit me from scouring the dark for the next attack but I wasn’t expecting to be gorged on my back. I don’t know what it was but it felt like an articulated, sorry you’re American, a juggernaut smashed into my back. Sailing through the air I thought I was a goner. My right ankle collided with the wall first and I reckon I pivoted it slightly so that my elbow connected hardest. It was smashed, as you can see here, and my ankle broke too. I had good quality boots on which probably saved my ankle to a degree.

Normally I would react by getting clear in any direction but I now knew the wall was near me and it was my only escape route. With my right hand I searched the floor around me and found a flash-bang. The pin wasn’t easy to pull but a combination of my knees and and right hand extracted it. I quickly tossed the device into the dark, shutting my eyes.

Howls, wild howls in voices I have never heard before, followed its detonation. I’ve been in many bad situations and seen some horrors but I have never felt like I did then yet it was only an audible terror. Getting to my feet I tested my ankle which screamed at me. Dropping down again, I felt for my laces, pulling them clear down to the ankle before wrapping them tightly around it. Standing again, it was still painful, but usable.

I leant against the wall and began to half-run, half-stagger along it hoping to avoid the creatures, praying they wouldn’t react from the blinding light of the flash-bang before I was able to put some distance between us. But there was something on the floor, I don’t know what, which I tripped over. I was able to break my fall with my right arm and a half-roll. Reaching down with my good hand to stand again, it happened upon a small device. A quick feel alerted me to the fact it was the activation device for the beacons I had dropped.

There were scraping sounds in the dark and howls and grunts but I ignored them and pressed the beacons into life. Surprised to see only some eighty percent of the beacons ahead, I glanced back to find the rest behind me. In their light I could see Austerley being held by a creature. It seemed bulky, even in the poor light and possibly had others congregated around it. Austerley was in pain but was making no sound. His eyes were wide open and showed such a profound horror. There was no need for a cry to express it.

I should have left him. Yes Officer, I repeat that a lot. Trust me, I think it often. They seemed more interested in him anyway. Nothing was chasing me at that point, as far as I could tell. I could have sneaked away, just left the insane fool to a well deserved fate. But like I said before, I’m a professional like yourself Officer. I might not have a badge but there’s an internal code.

Searching the floor, I recognised the shape of my grenades despite the poor light. There was the shape of a gun close by as well, I prayed with a clip that wasn’t empty. I’d say there was a plan forming but really, it was a gung-ho moment. Three grenades. One after another. In a direction that was away from the wall and would cause most damage I hoped to the creatures holding Austerley. I turned my head from each blast, shielding my eyes.

Following the last explosion, I ran towards where Austerley had been and found him lying on his back. His eyes were wide open, the whites reflecting the beacon’s light but there was no motion in them. I slapped him hard and he responded. Grabbing his hair, I pulled him up and told him to run. But he shrieked in one of those languages and so I pointed him and booted him in the arse. What? Yes, ass as you say. It was then I threw up. Man, the stink. I realised I was treading on the insides of creatures and was thankful of the poor light. But we couldn’t wait so I drove myself after Austerley.

A good job that I did for I heard other creatures stirring and coming after us. Whenever I saw shadows behind us I fired into the dark. As we reached the last beacon, I dove to the ground seeking the twine. My fingers found the blessed cord and shouting at Austerley to follow I started along the string’s path. But the stupid fool didn’t follow. He was wild and hysterical. I hadn’t got this far to leave him behind. So, in the little light the beacons gave at this distance, I managed to run around Austerley, catching him in a loop of twine, and began the string’s path again, pulling the crazed professor behind me.

Hanging by a thread! Will our heroes emerge from the depths? Join us in two days time, or if you can’t wait, read it all on Wattpad now.

wpid-logo-horizontal.jpg.jpeg

G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

Footsteps – Chapter 4 Scrabbling in the Dark

Standard

Next month I will be releasing the first novel in my Austerley and Kirkgordon adventure series about a pair of investigators into the paranormal. In order for readers to get a feel for my characters I will be releasing a short story prelude before launch day and as I am especially good to my blog readers, I am going to serialise it here. So take a trip into the depths of a lost graveyard in search of Eldar things with Messers Austerley & Kirkgordon and find out how this diverse pair became entangled in horrors from the past.

Scrabbling in the Dark

It was a weird hunt beneath the ground for whatever we were looking for. Austerley would point over my shoulder, rarely speaking, almost afraid to make a sound. I could just about make out his arm pointing from behind and the direction seemed fairly random to me. The infra-red goggles were letting me see but without any reference points it was hard to work out where I was going.

Austerley would chant quietly behind me from time to time, words I have never heard. It felt very freaky, like having the devil at your back and I was looking forward to getting out of there, grabbing my money and heading home. I remember thinking to myself that next time I’d sneak off for a week’s golf if I got itchy feet. A large sand bunker holds no fear compared with this sort of moonlight shenanigans.

A tentacle appeared in my two o’clock and I jumped back pistol drawn, before I realised it wasn’t moving. Although the infra red distorts the colour of objects, something told me it was grey. A murmured rebuke from Austerley about “why was I jumping?” led to taking his hand and letting him feel the wall ahead. As I scanned the wall, the image was clearly some sort of octopus with elongated tentacles and a type of moustache effect around its mouth.

The image sent Austerley into a excited frenzy and he mentioned something about some guy named Hu-tu-loo. Meant absolutely nothing to me. Also something about a hydra. Now that I do know. It’s in the Greek legends, I read them when young. Seven headed beast who was struck down by Perseus, or Hercules, or one of the other demi-gods.

Part of me was quite relaxed at this point as I believed the lunatic I was accompanying might be satisfied, shoot a few photos and then we would get ourselves back up to the soon-to-rise sun. But no, onward Austerley insisted. Onward. I explained about the twine in my pocket as a way back and he just tutted. Reaching inside, I realised the twine was becoming a rather thin ball. From my rucksack I took out some automated flares. I would be able to drop these at various points and upon activation from my remote device, they would burn for approximately thirty minutes, marking a route.

Austerley reckoned this was all a waste of time and he hopped from one foot to the other in the dark insisting we follow the wall. We made our way along the wall, stopping occasionally with Austerley making a rubbing of the frieze. Officer, the pictures on the wall got no saner than the creature I saw at the start. One in particular one affected Austerley as he felt the design on the wall. He began to shake a little and his face, from what I could tell of it, took on a worried frown. I asked what the problem was and got told to shush, and then one word. One single word but delivered in a slow and hoarse whisper. Shuggoth. That was all and a hand signal to continue.

About twenty minutes later, I had run through all of my delayed flares and I brought Austerley to a stop. He protested in a hushed voice but I asked him how we were meant to find our way back. The stupid arse then stormed off further into the dark and I was left in a quandary. Should I go and fetch him or do I wait? As it was, my decision was made for me.

There was a tentacle in the dark. At first I thought I might have just seen a relief in the dark but then it hooked Austerley by the foot. The professor fell hard and landed on his shoulder in the process. A number of other tentacles could then been seen grabbing hold of him. I pulled my weapon and discharged it into the darkness. Yes Officer, I know. I had no positive sighting of what was doing it but hey, I was deep under the ground surrounded by pictures of the weirdest of creatures. I think you might have just fired a few shots too.

There was a scream. No wait, that sounds too human. There was a sound, a cross between a fog horn and white noise. Painful, penetrating, and yet having a deep enough resonance to believe there was an intelligence behind it. Then something hit my back. I was wearing the backpack and that probably saved me because the pack was sliced in two dropping my weapons, ammunition and other tools onto the floor. I knew where Austerley was and I fired off a dispersed pattern into the dark seeking out my attacker.

Something grabbed my leg just below the knee and I fell to the floor, scrabbling in the dark. I know Austerley was alive as I could hear his squeals. Desperately fumbling around for a flash-bang, I called out to Austerley encouraging him to try to make towards my voice. He answered in pain and panic but was coherent. So I searched the immediate area and found a flash-bang, closed my eyes and pulled the pin. Before tossing it, I cried out “fire in the hole.”

Austerley, to my knowledge, has never been a military man. Everything about him told me so but I still expected that he would understand my call. But he didn’t. The flash-bang went off and there were shrieks from whatever was out there, and also from Austerley. He became wild, shouting out all sorts of things in languages I don’t understand. I could just about see him at the edge of my goggles’ range. Screaming something about a place called Rayleigh-a, he had his arms thrashing but was entangled by some tentacles.

I could have left him. No, I should have left him and the world would probably be a better and safer place but I’m a professional and he was my client. So I ran forward but slammed into something which then sprayed a liquid over my face. As it bounced back off me, I saw a half digested face and was taken aback, for I knew the face.

When we had been in his office Austerley had talked about the two men whom he was following. One was Carter but the other was Harley Warren, the man who had been the driving force and also the member of the party to not return. He perished down the same hole more than an hundred years before. Yet tell me Officer, how is that I saw half his face, six inches away, down that cursed hole? Yes, I see you think I’m crazy, lost the plot. But I’m a pro, I hold my nerve in these things and I know a face. I don’t know how, and strike me down if I’m wrong, but that was the long deceased Harley Warren.

Will our heroes emerge from these depths? Join Austerley and Kirkgordon in two days time. Or if you can’t wait, read the whole story now on Wattpad

wpid-logo-horizontal.jpg.jpeg.

G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

Footsteps – Chapter 2 Miskatonic University

Standard

Next month I will be releasing the first novel in my Austerley and Kirkgordon adventure series about a pair of investigators into the paranormal. In order for readers to get a feel for my characters I will be releasing a short story prelude before launch day and as I am especially good to my blog readers, I am going to serialise it here. So take a trip into the depths of a lost graveyard in search of Eldar things with Messers Austerley & Kirkgordon and find out how this diverse pair became entangled in horrors from the past.

Miskatonic University

The next hour was full of quite dry talk about his research. Don’t get me wrong, he was passionate enough, but I was bored. Austerley would talk about a man named Carter, in whose footsteps he was following. Apparently, the man had been on a search for truth and had found a dark and depressing answer. Coupled with this, he had jumped into clocks, travelled to the moon with various cats, conversed with creatures of a shadow world and bizarrely, this was to be our start point, waited atop a New England grave for a friend of his that hadn’t returned from a venture below.

You’re laughing, and I did too. Absolute nut job, I thought. But hey, he was paying the money and you don’t freak out the client. The excursion to the grave was to be in two night’s time and at least I would get a decent night’s sleep before we started. I asked what kind of resistance we could meet in our underground trip. Not expecting to have to do much, I found his response weird. Carter’s friend, a Mr. Warren, who had been lost in their expedition, was believed to have encountered creatures from older times. Possibly from outer space, these beings could converse with us but were extremely lethal. Austerley suggested an arsenal that would have made me look like a Hollywood front man on speed. I thought him crazy and decided on a minimal compliment. I wish I had taken his advice. Understand, Austerley is insane in that he searches out these things but he knows them well. Damn him, he was right.

We adjourned and he muttered something about lunch but I made my excuses, I think I said I was collecting my arsenal. Actually I decided to relax at my hotel. Time for some freedom. As I passed down the halls of Miskatonic University, I was stopped by one of the professors, Kenton – Ancient Literature, I think he said. He enquired whether I was going on Austerley’s graveyard shift to which I gave a non-committal response. That’s a standard reaction to someone talking about a client’s business. But the man laughed, talking about the great circus act, making out we would be going in the clown car. He wasn’t funny but I did get the point. Non-plussed, I continued my exit before I was accosted by three men in suits.

One introduced himself as the Chancellor of the university and asked me to accompany them to a nearby room. Once inside a wooden panelled library, I was offered a seat and asked if I was intending to accompany Prof. Austerley on his expedition. The tone was serious, too serious. I, again, became non-committal on the subject but the men’s faces were grim. I sat for the next half hour listening to their worries about Austerley’s actions. They stated he was delving into things that should be kept hidden. Things that could change the world as we knew it and things which we could not affect.

Everything was mumbo-jumbo to me. I didn’t understand half of the terms they used and their great anger at Austerley reading “the book”, whatever novel that was. They talked of expeditions to the South Pole that had been hushed up, kept from the public because the events were too horrifying to state. I was subjected to a list of New England phenomena in towns I don’t even know, all showing a trend that these beings were already here and active and possibly coming again. But I was tired and told them I wished to go. The Dean grabbed my arm and looked me straight in the eye.

“Alright Kirkgordon, be a fool if you must. But whatever you do, don’t let these things out, don’t show them the surface. And don’t dwell on what you find or they will become the inhabitants of your mind, and life will become a dark, meaningless void, occupied by every horror you can conceive. Stay away!”

I got the feeling there was maybe a bit more to this business than I suspected. Maybe one of the other professors would interrupt our journey. A feud over academic prowess, or a spat about the size of their journals. Who knew? But it didn’t scare me. These guys were light-weight compared to some of the things I had dealt with. But I decided to increase my weapons itinerary in case some hired help intervened. Nothing severe, just precautionary. Best decision I have ever made in my life. If I hadn’t I’d be dead, Austerley would be dead, and New England would have the depths of hell to deal with.

I know it sounds crazy and I wouldn’t believe it either, except I was there and I have seen these things. Damn Austerley for his curiosity. When I was in the room last night, I thought I saw them coming, with their arms, hands and the other stuff. Appendages. At times like octopus’ arms, sometimes insect legs, feelers, all manner of things but as large as ourselves. And the eyes. I didn’t sleep last night. Your Sergeant must have said. Even the sedation didn’t work. Nothing can. Nothing keeps those faces away. Dear God, I hope it worked.

Find out where Austerley’s madness takes Kirkgordon in just two days time. Or if you can’t wait, read the whole tale on Wattpad right now.

wpid-logo-horizontal.jpg.jpeg

G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!