Dark Fantasy, Horror
“One of the best collections of strong female characters that I’ve seen in a long time.”–Errant Dreams
Alone. Frightened. Captive. If you hear someone approaching, RUN. She is not there to help you.
There is an ancient evil in the Back Country, dormant for centuries but now hungry and lurking. When it sets its sights on an unsuspecting mother one routine morning along an isolated stretch of highway, a quiet farming family is suddenly thrust into a world of unspeakable terror, and a young girl must learn to be a hero.
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She’d never gotten used to the taste. Even with the life and strength that teemed in every molecule, the russet fluid always went down heavy and crude. Like swallowing a fistful of thin mud that had been lifted from the bottom of a river.
There was a time in the early years of her life—this second life—when she was forced to mix the liquid with soup or tea, or to stir it into the batter of the sweet confections and pies that even today she took pleasure in baking. She had experimented relentlessly with temperatures and combinations—using ingredients she wouldn’t have otherwise fed to a cockroach—hoping to create a formula that, if not tasty, was at least palatable enough to override the involuntary rejection by her mouth and throat.
But she’d had little success, and soon began believing the more she tampered with and diluted the delicate recipe, the more the regenerative effects were diminished. Her nails and hair didn’t seem to grow quite as quickly, and her teeth, though they were restored, felt as if they had just a bit less length and severity.
Of course, it was plausible she was entirely wrong about the effects of the tampering, and she accepted the possibility that her observations were paranoid inventions of an overprotective mind. But she also wasn’t taking any chances, and over time she had trained herself to drink the mixture straight. After all, it took mere seconds for the solution to make it over her taste buds and down to her belly. After that, it was ecstasy.
About the Author:
Christopher Coleman lives in Maryland with his wife and two children. He received his degree in English Literature from the University of Maryland and has been writing professionally for over five years.