The Rage: Part 22

XXII

“Here.”

The man positions the frame over my eyes. The blinding glare of the sunlight surrenders to the comfort of the shadows. He steps back and I see him for the first time, his colours tainted by the exposure. He’s like no other man I’ve ever seen.

He has walked in the sun long enough to kill any other man. His skin is dark like rust and his hair like frost. His left eye is green. The right is orange and struck through by four diagonal scars from a Rager’s claws. His gaze dares me to back away. He knows he is infected.

“Who are you?”

“I am the man who is going to save your life.”

I cast my eye over him again. He carries little equipment, but what there is, is attached to a harness around his chest and waist. On one hip, he has a blade, on the other, a length of sturdy pipe. The handle of my knife sticks out of a pouch beneath his arm.

“Where are your companions?”

He seems too lucid to be a Rager, his tone calm despite the anger in his voice. If he wanted me dead, I would be.

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The Rage: Part 21

XXI

“You’re still alive?”

The voice is gruff and aggressive. I’ve heard this before. Words spat like they were poison. Every syllable a knife. Infection.

I take out my knife and lunge at the fuzzy shape. He moves, sidestepping me. I turn and the room spins with me. The man steps forward and I thrust the blade at him again, but he avoids the attack. He’s too fast – or I’m too slow. He grabs my arm and pulls the knife from my hand.

“Are you the only one left?”

I turn to the side and aim my foot at his stomach. The force pushes him back and frees me, but I’m face on to the cloudy window and I can’t see him.

“I’m not the enemy.” He’s behind me. “Are you the only one?”

“You’re infected,” I reply. “Give back my knife and I can help you.”

“I don’t need your help. You need mine.”

He takes my arm and pulls me into the shadows. I wait for his claws to sink into my flesh, for teeth in my arteries. Something hard pushes against my palm. Something cold. I run my fingers over the smooth edges. Metal. Glass. A visor?

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The Rage: Part 20

XX

It took three days to get through the tunnel. I walked ahead of Topi and Emilia. At the end, a hut sheltered us from the outside, but the light was still dazzling when I crawled out. Topi and Emilia are still down there, waiting for the sun to set.

I am half-blind, hungry and thirsty. I hear things moving outside. Perhaps rats. Perhaps ragers. I reach for my knife.

No. Voices.

There are voices outside.

I listen carefully. Topi and Emi are too deep in the tunnel for it to be them. I am not alone here. The voice comes closer. Louder.

The door rattles. I remain silent. It is still too light out for me to open my eyes. A knock. A thump. I crouch in a corner and wait.

I have never heard a rager speak after they’ve turned. While there is still humanity, they talk, but as the Rage takes over, they lose it. At first, they swear. Then they scream. Then they just growl.

Whoever is outside, they can still speak.

The latch clicks and the handle screeches as it is turned. Cool air floods the shelter. Footsteps approach. They stop in front of me.

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28495754I love this book. Written by the handsome E.I. Wong (his words), the hopefully formerly depressed human of A Narcissist Writes Letters to Himself fame*, Poet Robot is made of exactly the kind of twisted humour I wasn’t sure other people had. It’s about the hilarious cruelty of life, the truth that we are nothing more than monkeys in shoes. The fact that most of us, in those dark corners of our minds that we don’t ever dare show anyone else, all want to kill some of the other people**. It’s human darkness warped into comedy. It also contains the world’s best lesson on the dire consequences of misplaced commas.
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The Boy in the Field: Out Now!

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The Boy in the Field is finally available to download!

I really hope you enjoy reading it. Even if you don’t like the characters, I’m sure you’ll have fun working out how many ways there are to kill them, so it’s not all bad!

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This blog and my Twitter both hit 100 followers last weekend (Facebook is still lagging behind, lazy Facebook), my new book is being released on Monday and I’m generally feeling good, so as a token of my gratitude, enjoy a copy of my first novel (novella?), Soldier, on me.

While you’re on Amazon, don’t forget that The Boy in the Field is already available for pre-order. Today is also the last day for the Boy in the Field giveaway, so don’t miss your chance to win!