Monday, September 26, 2016

The Carnival Keepers by Amber Gulley - Excerpt

The Carnival Keepers

Amber Gulley

Dark Fantasy
World Castle Publishing
October 10, 2016


It's 1879, and James, a time-wasting escapist, is trying to win a bet. His challenges include purchasing a lighthouse, hosting a séance, and spending the night with his father's prize-winning stallion in a notoriously haunted attic. But the Carnival is in town for the All Hallows' Eve celebrations, and the London Fog has other ideas for James. Something vicious is waiting to pounce and lead him unwittingly towards a destiny he could never have imagined.


Little Arry up by the chimney saw the expression on the portly boy’s face change and was about to move closer to the edge of the roof for a better look when a strange, tinkling melody floated softly up through the stillness.
He had heard that same type of music once before. Where, he could not say. And although he recognized the tinkling quality, this music felt different—dark and shadowy, like it was hiding something bad that wanted to jump out and scare everyone to death.
All the boys down below were standing with their backs to the giant black puddle, gazing bemusedly up towards the main road, and at first, he couldn’t see what had caught their attention. He thought it must have been the source of the tinkling music, but then something funny started happening to the already murky light around them.
As the melody grew louder, he noticed tendrils of heavy green fog reach around every corner, sliding across crumbling brickwork, creeping past him where he huddled by the chimney and down over the rooftops, filling up the stinking little alleyway till the atmosphere looked, felt, and tasted like they had all fallen into a sunken ship.
“Enry! Whats’s ‘appenin’?” It was the boy with the bird face.
Arry could hear the others whimpering and shuffling their feet. They were scared, and he couldn’t blame them. The green fog was building like the storm clouds above, but, if he squinted, he could still see their outlines.
“Shut up ‘n listen! Where’s that music coming from?” shouted Enry.
As they all began to panic and shout at one another, Arry looked directly beneath himself and saw that the fog had cleared a little over the large, black puddle.
At first, he thought he was imagining things, but after staring at it for a whole minute, there was no mistaking the large, glowing, green eyes that stared unblinkingly back up at him. Strangely, he was reminded of a cat. But that was silly, he told himself. Cats don’t swim, and it’s only a puddle. Puddles aren’t deep enough to hide in… Then one of the eyes blinked up at him, and he remembered his mother saying that when a cat winks at you, it is blowing you a kiss.
Arry held his breath, trying not to scream, as the eyes blinked shut and something pale, green, and scaly began to emerge from the puddle.

About the Author

Amber Gulley moved from Australia, where she was a qualified massage therapist, to the south of Spain, where she could, amongst other loves, write books and spend as much time in the ocean as possible.



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