First Paragraphs — A Cat of Nine Tales

William Meikle’s A Slim Chance — I smoked too many cigarettes, sipped too much Highland Park and let Bessie Smith tell me just how bad men were. For once thin afternoon sun shone on Glasgow; the last traces of winter just a distant memory. Old Joe started up “Just One Cornetto” in the shop downstairs. I didn’t have a case, and I didn’t care.

Joshua M. Reynold’s An Ounce of Prevention — It was 1920 and in the light of the flickering torches, strange shadows danced across the stone of the church. Men and women in rough-spun robes intoned hymns in a language not seen since the last King of the Picts had fallen to Roman swords and Roman treachery. An uprooted, flat grave-marker lay flat across a tomb and a woman, head lolling thanks to the drugged powder mixed with her cider, lay across it.

Algernon Blackwood’s Ancient SorceriesThere are, it would appear, certain wholly unremarkable persons, with none of the characteristics that invite adventure, who yet once or twice in the course of their smooth lives undergo an experience so strange that the world catches its breath—and looks the other way! And it was cases of this kind, perhaps, more than any other, that fell into the wide-spread net of John Silence, the psychic doctor, and, appealing to his deep humanity, to his patience, and to his great qualities of spiritual sympathy, led often to the revelation of problems of the strangest complexity, and of the profoundest possible human interest.

Aleister Crowley’s The Artistic Temperament —  Jack Flynn was the centre of a happy group of artists. They were seated upon the terrace of the Café d’Alençon to drink the apéritif; for although November was upon Paris, the Sun still remembered his beloved city, and fed it with light and warmth.

H.P. Lovecraft’s The Horror at Red HookNot many weeks ago, on a street corner in the village of Pascoag, Rhode Island, a tall, heavily built, and wholesome-looking pedestrian furnished much speculation by a singular lapse of behaviour. He had, it appears, been descending the hill by the road from Chepachet; and encountering the compact section, had turned to his left into the main thoroughfare where several modest business blocks convey a touch of the urban. At this point, without visible provocation, he committed his astonishing lapse; staring queerly for a second at the tallest of the buildings before him, and then, with a series of terrified, hysterical shrieks, breaking into a frantic run which ended in a stumble and fall at the next crossing. Picked up and dusted off by ready hands, he was found to be conscious, organically unhurt, and evidently cured of his sudden nervous attack. He muttered some shamefaced explanations involving a strain he had undergone, and with downcast glance turned back up the Chepachet road, trudging out of sight without once looking behind him. It was a strange incident to befall so large, robust, normal-featured, and capable-looking a man, and the strangeness was not lessened by the remarks of a bystander who had recognised him as the boarder of a well-known dairyman on the outskirts of Chepachet.

Christine Morgan’s Matt Brimstone, PIFinding yourself chained hand and foot to a wooden chair in a falling-apart warehouse down by the docks, surrounded by big bruisers with brass knuckles embedded into their rock-hard fists, is nobody’s idea of a good time.

Greg Mitchell’s MetamorphosisJosh Banks turned his key and entered the country shack. The place seemed colder these days without her there. On the wall, where portraits of her pretty face once smiled back at him, there was only bare wood paneling. Vinnie had already removed all the painful reminders of her beauty, her warmth. Dirty clothes lay draped over furniture and empty bottles of Bourbon were scattered on the carpet, but what bothered Josh most were the stacks of strange books. Vinnie’s new obsession.

Robert E. Howard’s Names in the Black Book“Three unsolved murders in a week are not so unusual—for River Street,” grunted Steve Harrison, shifting his muscular bulk restlessly in his chair.

Steven L. Shrewsbury’s Zenith of the TotemI read the message from Oswald A. Kellod again, as if the words would be different at the airport than they were in my office at Miskatonic University.

Occult Detective Stories, Volume One — A Cat of Nine Tales — featuring supernatural thrillers from Algernon Blackwood, Aleister Crowley, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, William Meikle, Greg Mitchell, Christine Morgan, Joshua M. Reynolds, and Steven L. Shrewsbury — is available now from AMAZON.COM


One Response to “First Paragraphs — A Cat of Nine Tales”

  1. […] Rookhaven Publishing’s A Cat of Nine Tales, including “An Ounce of Prevention”. Head over to his site and check them out! Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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