Death Cult Chapter 1: Blowback from Hell

This is it.

Death Cult’s official release is this Tuesday, December 11th.

But you don’t have to wait that long.

Because here it is, Chapter 1.

Be warned, this one starts a little faster than book 1.



Chapter 1: Blowback from
Hell

I was awoken from sleep to the
sounds of my son screaming.
I pulled my service weapon from
under my pillow. It wasn’t procedure, but I’d had a strange year. My
wife Mariel had also drawn her handgun. Large, human shapes appeared
in our bedroom doorway. No one had shouted police, nor had they given
any indication of who they were.
In short, we shot first, and
aimed high. The first one went down easily. Mariel’s bullet grazed
his head, twisting it around. It made his ear the 10 ring, which I
hit. The second one took three bullets in the chest and barely lost a
step. The fourth bullet made him drop forward.
By this time, we were both on our
feet and heading for Jeremy’s room. We hadn’t practiced this often,
but it had been a rough few months, and we were already hardwired.
I wheeled into the doorway of
Jeremy’s room at a crouch. Mariel was at my back, watching for any
other incoming from the stairs.
The man held my ten year old son
off the ground with one arm, a gun to his head. The man was tall and
narrow, swathed in brown leather. His hair was slicked back and
slightly mussed from holding my struggling son.
Jeremy held his plushy Ninja
Turtle, and seemed to be clutching it with both hands, though I
couldn’t see his right hand. When we thought he was too old for
stuffed animals, he argued that one is never too old for Donatello.
The man cocked his Beretta, and I
knew there would be no discussion.
All I said was, “Please don’t
hurt my family.”
The turtle exploded. So did the
man’s knee. He lurched to one side. Most importantly, his gun went
one way, and Jeremy dropped to the floor and rolled out from between
me and the perp.
I fired. I didn’t shoot to
kill, since I wanted him alive. (IA liked living perps). I was
prepared for this, so I stitched a line of bullets into his gun
shoulder. His arm dropped, and the gun tumbled from his fingers. I
charged off the floor and caught him with a flying knee. He didn’t
scream once, even when we crashed into the radiator and his other
knee buckled.
I ended up on top of him, but he
wasn’t discouraged. He threw an uppercut, driving his fist deep
into my gut. The impact lifted me off the floor. I’d been lucky, he
caught me on the exhale, otherwise the fight would have been over.
(Trust me. You don’t want the wind knocked out of you. Ever) The
terrible strength was familiar from the first, and only, supernatural
creature I’d battled. It was why I shot for his shoulder joint. I
knew firsthand that immobilizing the joint would disable even someone
on PCP…Or one possessed by a demon.
With the first hit, I knew I
didn’t want a second. I jammed the muzzle of my pistol into the
crook of his elbow as he cocked his fist back for another blow. Then
I blew his elbow out with a nine-mm jacketed round.
Without a sound, he stopped
struggling.
I pushed myself to my feet and
backed up, gun ready.
I didn’t take my eyes off the
invader. “Mariel. Is Jeremy okay?”

“He is. I have him.”
I nodded and backed up. I kicked
the exploded turtle to one side. I’d worked out plans with my wife
and son, since the previous monster had tried to kill them both. We
just executed scenario 1, variation B. One meant attack in the home.
“B” was always a variation with Jeremy held, with his turtle. On
my signal, Jeremy was to distract the felon holding him hostage.
The signal was Please
don’t hurt my family
.
At that point, Jeremy was to fire
the .22-caliber pistol hidden inside Donatello.
Yes, a pistol for a ten-year-old.
It wasn’t uncommon for seven-year-olds in some areas to have a .22
rifle, and wait a spell before a pistol. But it was mostly a matter
of maturity. After Jeremy had directly encountered a demonic
infestation, and a possessed serial killer and never throwing the
first punch in all the schoolyard fights that followed, despite more
than sufficient provocation. He didn’t even have nightmares. Think
he’s mature enough?
We secured the threat, called it
in, and got backup (even though village security was probably on it
already).
As we went through the motions,
one thing kept bugging me. The invader we captured had had his knee,
shoulder, and elbow utterly destroyed. I’d slammed into him, adding
my weight to his on his knee, and driving the wounded knee into the
radiator.
He had never even screamed. Not
once.
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