The Haunted Month of October continues with this ectoplasmic excerpt from the first Icarus Fell urban paranormal horror novel
By Bruce Blake
“Okay, that’s it everyone. I’m calling it,” a doctor with an overbite said glancing at the wall clock. “Time of death: two forty-seven a.m.”
I surge of panic caught me unaware. Calling it? Giving up? This was really the end? I didn’t get to give Trevor his birthday present.
“Do we know who this guy is?”
“They found his ID on the scene. Looks like a mugging.” Nurse Overweight looked to the cop standing at the curtain. “Got a name, Ted?”
“Yeah. Icarus Fell, thirty-seven years-old.”
“Icarus Fell?” Dr. Overbite said. “You’re kidding, right?”
“Nope. That’s what it says on his driver’s license.”
A rubber glove snapped as the doctor removed it. “Guess his parents didn’t like him much.”
Their conversational tones irked me—where did the caring go? Thankfully, sound faded. My mind still told me I stood amongst them like a medical student learning how to make fun of a dead patient’s name. I stepped back from the mélange of medical personnel, glanced around the room, waiting for darkness, emptiness, nothingness.
Nothing is exactly what I got.
Dr. Overbite left; Nurse Overweight pulled a sheet up, covering my corpse all the way to the top of my head leaving a tuft of wet, spiky hair remaining in view. I stepped up to the gurney, alone with my corpse, and stared at the pink, rose-like blossoms of blood soaking through the sheet. Soon, someone would come and wheel away this inanimate piece of meat, take it somewhere to be identified by my next-of-kin: Rae and Trevor. I rested my hand on the corpse’s shoulder, sighed heavily, and wondered if they knew I loved them.
I didn’t get to say good-bye.
This was really it, then. I surveyed the area, heard the sounds of movement beyond the curtain partitioning my deathbed from the rest of the ER. Were both my morbid beliefs and Father Dominic’s bible wrong? Was I doomed to spend eternity hanging around an emergency room watching the sick and injured dragged in and out? Better than at least one of the priest’s alternatives, but I didn’t believe in Hell any more than I did Heaven. If this was it, the ultimate destination, it promised to be terribly dull.
But maybe it was a chance to see my son again.
I walked toward the curtain, reached out my hand to push it aside, but my fingers passed through like it wasn’t there. Like I wasn’t there.
Liked this excerpt? Get the whole book,
On Unfaithful Wings
To some, death is the end; to others, a beginning. To Icarus Fell, it should have been a relief from a life gone seriously awry. But death had other plans.
Icarus doesn’t believe that the man awaiting him when he wakes up in a cheap motel room is really the archangel Michael, or that God’s right hand wants him to help souls on their way to Heaven. Icarus doesn’t believe there’s a Heaven, so why should they want his help? But the man claiming to be the archangel tempts him with an offer he can’t ignore–harvest enough souls and get back the life he wished he’d had. It seems Icarus has nothing to lose, until he botches a harvest and the soul that went to Hell instead of Heaven comes back to make him pay by threatening to take away the life he hoped to win back. To save the wife and son he already lost once, Icarus will have to become the man he never was.
Somehow, he will have to learn to believe.
lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don’t take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.
Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Since snow isn’t really a pressing issue, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the “u” out of words like “colour” and “neighbour” than he does shovelling (and watch out for those pesky double l’s). The father of two amazing children, Bruce was once the trophy husband of a burlesque diva…not so much anymore.
Bruce’s first short story, “Another Man’s Shoes” was published in the Winter 2008 edition of Cemetery Moon. Another short, “Yardwork,” was made into a podcast in Oct., 2011 by Pseudopod. Since then, he has concentrated on writing novels, publishing the Khirro’s Journey trilogy (Blood of the King, Spirit of the King, and Heart of the King), three books in the ongoing Icarus Fell urban fantasy series (On Unfaithful Wings, All Who Wander are Lost, and Secrets of the Hanged Man), and the six-volume Books of the Small Gods series. Part One: When Shadows Fall, The Darkness Comes, And Night Descends; and Part Two, When Ravens Call, The Twilight Fades, And Kingdoms End.