Ok finally got the latest chapter properly edited at great expense to me I may add haha. As always do yo extreme paranoia and neatfreakedness this is but a snippet of the whole chapter which is enormously long. I’m almost finished the book at large, and I may go back and break up some of the chapters so that people feel smarter when they read it “Look ma I read a whole chapter, aint I just Albert Hemmingway junior?”. But no seriously, it’s almost done in it’s delicious raw form ready for editing. It’s shaping up to be around 80k give or take a few thousand words.
Anyway I hope these changes tickle your fancy and if you want to read everything out so far you can find them on inkitt in a lovely mobile format for all your doodads by following this link;
On the edge of town, a sign read ‘Sage Valley – Population 979’. Halogen lights burned cold with a tinny buzzing sound that was both soothing and nauseating. Early morning was shaking its head and wondering what had happened. It was dark, the air was thick and electrifying. A gas station sign flickered on and off; it was empty, a dead time. The cold concrete forecourt stood bare and desolate and dirty and drab. Cricket sounds etcetera etcetera.
The stale, sterile light inside the gas station lit everything with an off-colour, sickly blue tint. It was just a small town gas station, like the kind you’d see in any crappy slasher movie: a one storey affair with a minimart inside, stocked with essential corn and meat-based snacks and energy drinks, the kind that turned your piss green and soupy.
“Daryl! You better not be sleeping again. Anyone else steals any gas I’m gonna take it out of your ass!” A booming, cigar-scarred voice came from somewhere in the back, through the thin corkboard walls of the gas station. A young man, with his feet up on the counter, slid the magazine covering his pock-marked face off one eye and opened it. He fixed his chair to the upright position, surreptitiously letting the magazine fall into his half-cupped hands. He gave an ever so effortless yawn.
“Shut up, you old fuck! I’m still living! Nobody out here!” he said, in a semi-raised voice, which he then lowered to address himself. “Gotta be four in the morning. No one needs gas in this goddamn town no more. Everyone driving those piece of shit roller-skate cars they got.”
Daryl rearranged himself in his seat and got as comfortable as he could get with his eyes open, reclining only slightly before pausing to look around and take a whiff of the cool night air cut with the smell of disinfectant. On top of the latent smells of puke and piss, there was a definitive lingering scent of cheap booze: burn your gut worse than drinking straight from the gas pump, but it was cheaper to drink from the bottle.
He resigned himself to the fact that nothing was going on. The roads were dead and dark and he rationalised a resting of the eyes, letting his heavy lids close and his vision become hazy as he blinked at the transparent glass doors of the minimart. Just as he hit the point of no return with his dozing, the doors parted soundlessly and then closed again, giving him pause as to whether he saw anything at all.
His eyes opened and rolled to attention as if he were waking from a coma. He could have sworn he saw someone come in. He strained to hear: padding, damp noises. A stray wandering off the street drawn by the smell of stale complex carbohydrates?
He straightened in his seat and stepped back into his body. He looked around. “Err, can I help you?”
A rustling sound, cans rattling; instant foreboding crossed the brow beneath his trucker cap. A cold damp grease formed where he had rested the magazine while he was sleeping. Sweat rolled off his forehead now as he felt the urgency of being alone. “Hello?”
Sounds of gumming and biting, ripping, crinkling: a dog for sure. He curled around the counter, picking up a tire-thumping bat from under his seat. He walked briskly to the front of the counter. Reaching the door, all his nervous energy left him with a cough. And he became lifeless and limp, trying to hold the bat firmly in a clammy palm. It dangled by his side like a twig.
“Who’s there?” Daryl called out, like all those clichés in the movies. And he cursed himself for falling into that trap. But a new, sudden fear of the unknown twisted in his guts now and he felt compelled to ask.
The scuttling sound of bare feet on linoleum sent a cold shiver up his spine and a dry gob of spittle down his throat. The noise moved deeper towards the back of the store. He felt his feet dragging him listlessly in the direction of the sound, the bat swinging at his shins.
“Hello?” he called out again, groping at the wet walls of his sanity, trying to come up with any number of reasonable conclusions to this event. A dog? A cat? A racoon? A crazy homeless guy? A drunk chick? Some hungry pothead or all of the above?
He turned down the snack isle, which was oddly paired with feminine hygiene products. He rested his shaking hand on the side of the metal shelves. He forced himself to look around them to where the noise emanated. His body felt numb. Pulses of adrenaline coursed through his brain and sent shocks all the way down to his fingertips.
Hunched over a small mound of assorted snacks and raw or semi-raw meat products, was what appeared to be a child. He saw its naked back. The skin looked cold and drawn and wet, like a fish or a lizard. It was so pale it looked blue. The child hunched over the food, making soft sopping gnashing sounds.
For the rest of the chapter mosey on down to inkitt sil vous plait;