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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

THE CREEPING CITY IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE!

Reality has broken down, allowing the spirit world to bleed into our own. The source of this chaos, an ancient demon, stalks the streets, rallying his strength for a final confrontation with the young woman who has the power to stop it and to save our world.

Erik Handy, the author of The Web, brings you an urban fantasy epic that will stretch your imagination . . . and make your skin crawl.

The Creeping City -- 30,000 soulshredding words for $.99
 

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Erik-

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A sample . . . if you dare . . .

The Yellow Kid kept coming. Lamarr couldn't believe he was still standing, but he forced himself to accept these facts: this thing was still coming at them and he meant to do the trio harm.

Lamarr couldn't hear The Yellow Kid through the gunfire say, "You all gonna die now." But Lamarr knew, on some primitive level, he knew this bum was trouble.

They backed around a corner, shooting and reloading. During one reload, Neal yelled, "Let's haul ass!"

They did, Lamarr in the lead.

"Run, run, run!" The Yellow Kid chanted. His sick voice seemed to be all around them. Lamarr was losing his focus.

Impossible. Unless he found a shortcut. But there were none to Lamarr's knowledge. He had studied the damn plans.

The Yellow Kid was in front of them.

The mercenaries skidded to a halt and fired upon the menace. This time he walked into the torrent of lead, unfazed.

Madison, out of Uzi ammo, drew his pistol and fired his clip into the bum's face to no effect. The slugs ricocheted and thudded into the walls of the tunnel ahead. The Yellow Kid grabbed Madison's outstretched gun arm and disappeared. Madison yanked his arm back.

"Let's go," Neal said, taking the lead. Lamarr knew Neal could find the way out -- they were only a few turns away from the tunnel entrance. Neal wasn't that much of a screw-up.

Lamarr made the mistake of looking back at Madison. He didn't know Madison that well. Had just met him a few weeks ago. Seemed like an okay guy. Complained a little bit too much. Lamarr also knew what people looked like on the inside. He'd seen his share of blood and gore in Beirut, Panama, Haiti. But what frightened him was the way Madison was being turned inside out. His body was keeping pace with his two teammates, holding the rear. But the front of his face, torso, and even legs were ripping apart. The flaps folding backwards, wrapping around. Lamarr realized the tunnel was lit. Madison's tendons and tissues were red, white, and yellow. They would have been black in the green glow of their lightsticks.

Lamarr ran harder. He and Neal turned another corner and stopped dead. Madison didn't crash into them. Instead, he seemed he had disappeared completely.

"This is where they all are," Neal said. Lamarr wished he would've kept quiet. He now hated the man again.

They stood at the threshold of an intersection. Lit white light bulbs hung in an x from the ceiling of pipes. The intersection wasn't extremely wide, but there was enough room for the mound of arms, legs, and stilled anguished faces, male and female, all ages. Lamarr couldn't tell if it was just limbs and heads he saw or if they were attached to something, hopefully bodies, in the pile. Atop this mound sat The Yellow Kid.

"Now I won't have to drag your carcasses here," he said. He stood effortlessly.

Lamarr and Neal both felt that they were witnessing something beyond their control. Everything they had known and believed was twisted inside out and torn away from the safety of their world. This man could not be standing atop a mound of body parts. It wasn't possible. Lamarr wanted to get the hell out of there and Neal wanted to stare and shit his pants. Modesty had gone the way of any sane logic.

Then all of this in the span of one second:

The Yellow Kid howled.

Neal brought his Uzi up to fire.

The Kid opened his arms and jumped from his perch.

Lamarr half-expected the bum-thing to fly.

And he did. Right at the two shaken mercs.

Neal fired.

Lamarr just stood and stared at the swooping man. I can see through him, he thought. I can see the faces of the mole people. They're staring --

The transparent bum crashed to the ground. He simply dropped as if gravity had enough of his bullshit.

No.

It was a woman. Lamarr saw a woman through the Kid. She appeared on top of the mound of bodies and dove onto the crazed eagle. Now they were struggling, the bum-thing obviously solid now. Or maybe not. Lamarr laughed. Neal was nowhere to be seen. And Madison . . .who knew?

Lamarr drew his sidearm pistol, cocked the safety off, and blew his brains out. His next thought was "Oh, no. I'm still here. I didn't shoot myself right." Bam. Why am I still thinking? I SHOULD BE DEAD!

***​

Abby suggested to Brittany they spend the night somewhere away from the streets and the downtown area. Underground. She told her friend about the mole people. Brittany had replied that her mother told her some stories about those mythical people. There was a sub-civilization thriving -- "sub" in the literal, physical sense. Abby led the way to a bricked-up subway entrance. Brittany was lost. They turned left, right, and left again only to backtrack and Brittany hoped Abby knew where they were supposed to be going.

At the subway entrance, Brittany kicked the wall instinctively, as if she had the strength to topple the barrier. It did, and without hesitating, the girls dove down into the musty dark.

Abby led the way again. Even in the dark, Brittany could see the back of her friend and faint outlines of the passages and any debris to the side or in the way. Brittany knew that they would eventually stop when one or both of them felt they had arrived at a safe spot.

Brittany wondered about the cracking street earlier. Could there be some terrible cause here, below? Brittany shook off the first pangs of doubt and fear. She would handle anything terrible. She could. Even that monster that possessed her. She could still feel that thing following her, clutching her, climbing her back, wrapping its razored tongue around her throat. I thought it was gone. It's still after me.

The tunnel ahead brightened. There was light.

Then the gunshots began. Abby was the first to stop. Brittany stepped in front of her friend, trying to peek. The shots soon ended.

"Do we go ahead?" Abby asked.

"What are you worried about? You're dead." Brittany didn't know if she could pass through bullets or walls. She doubted her new powers extended that far. She walked towards the light.

***​

Yelling.

Cursing.

Noise.

Brittany and Abby saw the red and white mound before they saw the man standing on top. Brittany knew this man was dangerous, alive or dead. She could feel wild hatred leaking from him, spilling over the mound of --

-- was that an arm? --

-- creeping towards her. Filthy. Acidic.

Abby took the lead. "You have to stop him."

This wasn't my possessor, Brittany thought. Why can't Abby do something?

The man rose from the mound and was falling forward. Brittany dashed into the intersection, up the mound of bodies, and tackled the man to the ground. She barely saw the two men staring at her. Instead, she began to see white flashes. The dirty man had somehow gotten on top of her and was repeatedly bashing her head into the ground. She tried to kick him off, but he seemed weightless, almost ethereal. But not alive.

And Brittany could deal with that. The man's hands were around her throat. Her hands were inside his own throat, gripping a dim, yellow light, his essence. As she parted her hands, his eyes went wide and then he was gone.

Her throat ached. It was dry. Her head throbbed. Her ears rang.

She got to her knees and looked over at the two men. One was on his back, eyes open, not looking at anything. She knew he was dead. The other pointed a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. He fell. Then he appeared standing again. Fired. Fell. Standing again. Faster. A blur. One image, like a man covered completely in tar stretching, vibrating. Brittany turned her head. Abby was by her side, looking at the grotesque figure.

"Why can't you do what I do?" Brittany asked her. She didn't want to be the only one to do what she could. She wanted the dread to be passed out evenly.

"Interact with the living? I chose not to. My soul chose not to. I don't need to."

Her frustration with Abby subsided. She couldn't blame her friend for anything. Abby was beyond any living desires or needs. Abby was dead. And Brittany was not. She had to remember that. Abby could and would help in her own way.

She was glad she had destroyed that . . . filth was the only word she could dredge up. The world didn't need a new monster, especially a world that was undergoing a change on par with hers, one of mind, body, and something deeper.

He was collecting the dead. Why? Were they the mythical mole people? Were they all here? Brittany stood and put her hand on Abby's shoulder. "Let's get the hell out of here."

***​

All was quiet. The gunfire had ended. No more yelling. The boy stood in the lit hall, listening. He knew he should've found help on the outside. Why can't I do the right thing? he thought.

He needed to act. So he walked back to where he left the gunmen and the bum. He was sure it was indeed the infamous Yellow Kid. He was also sure he was safer now than he was before hiding beneath the cot.

He saw the pile of bodies. It took a few seconds for his brain to register the image. He shouldn't be seeing this. Run, from the back of his brain. Run!

He scanned the mound for Oscar's face. Run!

Any familiar face.

An arm fell loose from the pile, dislodging the entire structure. He thought he saw someone getting up, but his brain shouted "Run!" again and his body finally obeyed.

Every sight, sound, and smell were drowned out by that cry of escape.

He almost made it.

***​

"Oscar!" the boy exclaimed. He didn't expect to see anyone from the cluster alive. Not after what he heard and imagined.

Oscar wasn't a huge man, but he looked like a giant to the boy. "Come here, son," the man said, embracing the boy. "You're alive."

The boy motioned towards the tunnel that led out. In one breath, "We have to get out of here."

"You have to get out of here," Oscar said. "I have to . . . do something else. Down here." Oscar looked over his shoulder.

The boy didn't want to leave without his friend. Oscar knew how to survive, but the boy wasn't sure he was up to it, not after the last few minutes of holy-driven terror.

"Okay," the boy mumbled. "I'll see you outside."

Oscar smiled and nodded. "Outside."

***​

The Yellow Kid was gone. Oscar couldn't find that bastard. The bastard who killed everyone in the cluster. Except me, Oscar said to himself. The bastard tried though. Stuck me with a broken bottle. But the others . . . .

Oscar ran, practically flew through the tunnels surrounding the cluster. He came upon the mound of mole people and grew more enraged. He wished that bastard was in front of him, amid the grisly macabre. He'd show him no mercy. None.

Neither would we.

He halted his pursuit. Looking ahead, he saw his friends from the cluster. Alive. But looking haggard. And angry.

"He's not here anymore," they said in unison.

Deep in Oscar's mind he knew what they meant. And his rage scalded the tunnel walls, brick and mortar collapsing, white smoke following. Oscar hoped the boy had heeded him and left the underground. But if he hadn't . . . .

He howled. The mole people howled. One pained scream. Filling the dust and empty spaces of the world below. Echoing out into the day air. The sound wave hit the boy, knocking him down but not out.

He got to his feet, brushed the light layer of gray powder from his face and clothes. He looked up at the tunnel entrance. The front was caved in. No way in or out.

"Oscar," he whispered.

Now the boy was angry. Angrier than he had been when his father threw his baby sister across the sty of a living room. He felt his head flush with familiar voices. Oscar. Miss Nancy, the resident teacher. All the kids he went to school and played with.

And the foul snarl of the feared Kid.

His head felt heavy. His eyes watered.

He screamed one long savage syllable until his throat went raw. Blood rushed from both nostrils. He wanted nothing more than to hurl his father across a room.

Turning to the bordering warehouse district and to the downtown beyond, he wiped his nose with the back of his hand.

He muttered, "Long live The Yellow Kid."

Copyright 2011 Erik Handy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Vampires. Zombies. Psychotic slashers. All pale to the terror of The Creeping City.

30,000 words of epic horror fantasy.

Say goodbye to your sanity.

The Creeping City -- $.99
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
from The Creeping City . . . .

"A Ouija board?" Brittany replied. "Those things never work."

"But this one does," Abby lied. "I used it the other night."

"What did you ask it?"

"I asked if there were any spirits present."

"And?"

"And the triangle thingie moved to 'yes'."

"I don't believe you."

"Come on, Brit. Spend the night tonight."

"I don't know."

"Are you scared?"

"No."

"You are scared. Well, then I shouldn't tell you about your house."

"What about my house?"

"It's haunted."

Copyright 2011 Erik Handy
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A force of destruction is brewing in the tunnels below an unsuspecting city. This force is pure rage, focused on only one goal: annihilation. It will destroy all in its wild path, offering no mercy.

Long live The Yellow Kid.

The Creeping City waits for you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A sample if you dare . . . .

Brittany stood confidently in the alley. Rain began to float down. She looked over at the boy. He was standing now, returning Brittany's stare. "It wasn't me," she told him. He looked like he did in life, just more pale due to either his change or the night. He wasn't sad or emotionless. He actually looked eager, biting his lower lips a bit.

"I know." His voice seemed deep for a boy his age -- around fifteen. He pointed past the two girls. "She did."

The girls turned and saw a little, scowling girl.

The teenage boy walked past Abby and Brittany. Brittany knew he was gong to avenge himself; she felt his hate, warm and starved. She turned away and walked deeper into the alley.

***​

I'll never play football again, he thought as he advanced towards the bitch. I'll never see my friends. My mom.

He was crying, bawling like a baby. He reached the girl, who made no effort to flee. He pushed her down and began stomping her curled face.

Copyright 2011 Erik Handy
 

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I just bought "The Creeping City," looks good! I'll write a review when I finish it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
a sample if you dare . . . .

Brittany pulled her hand out from her eye and looked at it. It seemed to glow a fleshy tone as if she wore a sheer silk glove. She yanked her other hand from her midsection. "She's gone."

"Where?"

"Don't know, don't care." Brittany stood confidently in the alley. Rain began to float down. She looked over at the boy. He was standing now, returning Brittany's stare. "It wasn't me," she told him. He looked like he did in life, just more pale due to either his change or the night. He wasn't sad or emotionless. He actually looked eager, biting his lower lips a bit.

"I know." His voice seemed deep for a boy his age -- around fifteen. He pointed past the two girls. "She did."

The girls turned and saw a little, scowling girl.

The teenage boy walked past Abby and Brittany. Brittany knew he was gong to avenge himself; she felt his hate, warm and starved. She turned away and walked deeper into the alley.

***​

I'll never play football again, he thought as he advanced towards the bitch. I'll never see my friends. My mom.

He was crying, bawling like a baby. He reached the girl, who made no effort to flee. He pushed her down and began stomping her curled face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A sample . . . .

The terror began for John when he picked up the phone one afternoon. He was alone. Brittany and Joan had gone out to shop for curtains. He was arranging and rearranging the living room when the phone rang. He hoped it was his wife. Every time she left his presence, he longed for her, as if he hadn't just seen her or spent the last twenty years with the woman. This was a new feeling for him. Ever since he stepped into the house . . . .

"Hello?"

No answer. There was a bit of static, but nothing ear-curdling.

"Hon? That you?" he continued.

Static.

"Call me back." He hung up.

No sooner did he place the handset in the cradle that a tremendous ringing erupted from the phone. John jumped, caught his breath, and picked up the handset again. He was greeted by static.

"Hello? Joan?"

Static.

Then perfect silence.

"Daddy?"

As if coarse energy from the handset shocked him, John dropped the phone.

The voice wasn't Joan's or his daughter's.

He could hear the silence on the line still. He wanted to run out of the house and keep running. Away.

Instead he picked up the receiver.

"Daddy?" the voice repeated.

John slammed the handset into its cradle.

The voice was male.

A young boy's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
THESE ARE THE END TIMES

Reality has broken down, allowing the spirit world to bleed into our own.

THESE ARE THE VILLAINS

Fain . . . an ancient evil bent on the destruction of the only person who can defeat it.

The Yellow Kid . . . the unholy personification of a city in turmoil.

THESE ARE THE HEROES

Brittany . . . a young woman charged with the restoration of this world.

Abby . . . Brittany's best friend, murdered by Brittany.

Joan . . . Brittany's mother who'll stop at nothing to help her daughter.

THE CREEPING CITY IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE!

$.99​
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Reality has broken down.

The spirit world is bleeding into our own.

The source of this chaos, an ancient demon, stalks the streets, rallying his strength for a final confrontation with the young woman who has the power to stop it and to save our world.

The Creeping City -- 30,000 soulshredding words for $.99

Link below in signature
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
THE CREEPING CITY IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE!

Reality has broken down, allowing the spirit world to bleed into our own. The source of this chaos, an ancient demon, stalks the streets, rallying his strength for a final confrontation with the young woman who has the power to stop it and to save our world.

Erik Handy, the author of The Web, brings you an urban fantasy epic that will stretch your imagination . . . and make your skin crawl.

The Creeping City -- 30,000 soulshredding words for $.99
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've raised the price of this book to $1.99.

However, this upcoming Monday (Feb. 20, 2012 -- President's Day), it will be FREE!

Check it out!

Erik
 
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