[Greetings folks! I’ve decided to give away the first four chapters of my ALLEN TOMBES novella as a sort of sampler to let people have a taste and see if they want to read more! This is the first chapter, and just so you know, my chapters are sometimes pretty short—like Douglas Adams!—but there are a lot of them (37, to be exact.) The total word count on the story is just under 38,000 words, and it has never been published before! (Exciting!) For those who want to read the whole serialized business, all you need to do is head to the Primitive Patreon page and sign the heck up! I’ll be posting a chapter a day for the next four days, then after that the rest of the chapters will be available for patrons only! Meanwhile, enjoy the FREEBIE! —RFY]
ALLEN TOMBES – FIRE FROM WATER (Chapter 1)
Allen Tombes was ten when his older brother, Chris, was taken. Chris was sixteen then, competitive, and kind of macho. He was a superstar athlete—football, wrestling, track—and too smart for his own good. He fought with their Dad, sometimes, mostly about coming home late, drunk, while driving their Dad’s Porsche, that sort of thing, but Allen thought he was a good brother. And one morning Allen woke up and Chris was gone.
The cops said he’d probably run away. His window was open, and it didn’t look, to them, like any “foul play” had taken place, but Chris hadn’t taken any of his things with him. Not even his shoes.
The night he was taken, and Allen knew he had been taken, Allen had heard voices coming through the wall from Chris’s room. Maybe not voices, exactly, more like whispering or hissing, and one sound that was so low and terrifying that it sounded more like the Earth moving than a voice, though Allen was certain that it had been a voice.
When Allen told his Mom and Dad what he had heard, they ignored him, but he wouldn’t let it drop. He pleaded with them to believe him, and eventually they took him to a “grief counselor,” to let him “talk things through.” That “asshole,” as Allen called him when he described him to his friends, told his Mom and Dad that Allen had probably just heard Chris when he was slipping out the window with his friends, although none of Chris’s friends had disappeared the same night that he did, and according to the counselor, Allen had then “incorporated the sounds of Chris’s escape into his ‘dream-state.'” The hissing and the low voice that Allen thought he heard where part of his dream, and Allen had just latched onto the fantasy of Chris being taken because it helped him to deal with his “sense of loss.” Allen, of course, thought all of this was “total bullshit.” He knew what he had heard and he knew that Chris hadn’t run away. He had no reason to go anywhere because their life was pretty good.
Allen’s sister, Rose, took Chris’s disappearance even harder than he did. She was twelve when it happened, and she cried for, it seemed to Allen, an entire year. Now, at seventeen, she’d become all witchy-gothy. She didn’t talk to Allen much anymore, but she had mentioned on a couple of occasions, that she too knew that Chris was still alive. She said that she could sometimes “feel” that he was nearby, and the thought of her having these kinds of “feelings” gave Allen the willies.
Allen would have like to believe her, but he had his doubts. If Chris was still alive, why hadn’t he ever tried to contact them, even once, in five long years? And those voices…
[Stay tuned for Chapter 2, coming tomorrow! As I said, I’ll post four chapters over the next four days, and those will be completely FREE! To receive the exciting, serialized chapters beyond four, you’ll need to sign up as a Primitive patron for at least a buck a month. I’ll most likely post a few chapters per week until the entire story is up! Head over to the Primitive Patreon page now to see what else you can get! And don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the next exciting chapter of ALLEN TOMBES – FIRE FROM WATER!!!]
—Richard F. Yates
(Commander in Cheap of The Primitive Entertainment Workshop)