My first novel “The Bridge” is a blend of horror/paranormal/mystery/science fiction.  The manuscript is in New York waiting to be read by an agent who requested it.   I’m posting the prologue here today for those who have not had a taste of my writing style.  I hope you enjoy…

THE BRIDGE

by Allan Krummenacker

PROLOGUE

 

Rain fell mercilessly as the young man collapsed onto the wet stonework.   His wounds were taking their toll.  Blood from his leg mingled with water from the storm, making a red stained trail down the slope of the bridge and pooled where it met the path.  He tried to look up but saw only strands of his own blond hair.  Pushing them out of the way, he looked back over his shoulder and waited.  Lightning lit up the area and then left him in darkness once more.

Brief as it was, he had seen a perfectly manicured lawn with a few lone benches near some flowering bushes… and her.  She was still some ways in the distance.  Another crack of lightning illuminated the scene with a kind of strobe-like effect.  It only lasted for 2-3 seconds, but with each flash she appeared closer and closer.  First 30 yards away, then 20…. then standing in the pool of water mixed with his blood.  Then…

She was gone.

He waited.  Nothing happened.

“I know you’re out there.” he whispered in a heavy British accent.  The relentless pain from his leg made him wince, as he struggled to keep his wits about him.   He knew his tormentor was somewhere nearby.  “Are you standing behind me right now?  I’ve seen enough telly you know.”

No response.

He turned his head and body as much as he could to look.  There was no one, not even a solitary figure standing at the other end of the bridge.  He quickly turned back again to find…nothing.

//Where are you?// he called mentally.  As if in answer to his silent question, a new sound reached his ears.  Amidst the thunder and the falling rain, came the faint crying of an infant.

It took him a moment to realize it was coming from underneath the bridge.  He shook his head, “Sorry, not playing that game, Luv,” he murmured, painfully sliding away from the openings in the railing.

He had moved just in time.  A slender hand suddenly reached through the railing only to grasp empty space.  A furious hissing noise escaped the lips of the arm’s unseen owner, while the talon like hand flailed angrily, still trying to reach its prey.

Too close, thought young man, watching the hand in a mixture of horror and fascination.  He had no idea of what he could do next, or what she would try.          Suddenly the hand stopped searching and was slowly withdrawn.  Aside from the storm and his own heavy breathing, he could hear nothing.  Lying there on the damp stonework, he waited for the next flash of lighting.  He didn’t have long to wait.  As the area lit up, he saw that she was still there on the other side of the railing watching him,

her face devoid of emotion.

He reached out with his mind once more.  //Why are you doing this?//

Another stroke of lightning revealed she was no longer at the railing.

Slowly he started to ease his way over to the far end of the bridge, carefully dragging his injured leg.  He had just passed the ornate slab that marked halfway point when a new noise reached his ears.  It sounded like something scrabbling along stonework.  It was coming from the underside of the bridge again.  //You were soaking wet the night saw you//, he said mentally, //I even put my jacket around you.//

The scrabbling stopped.

He spoke aloud, “You looked so lost and alone.  I only wanted to ‘elp you.”

The falling rain and his labored breathing were the only sounds to be heard.

“I still want to…” he stopped in mid-sentence.  The scrabbling had resumed, only it was moving away from him and towards the end of the bridge he was facing.  If she got there first, he would be cut off.  Instinctively, he began to scramble forward, but his efforts were painfully slow as he tried to protect his injured limb.

He risked a glance and saw the girl emerging at the far end.  Her movements seemed jerky and awkward.  As if she was not used to actually taking steps.

That was when he heard the grinding of stone against stone and froze.

The structure beneath him began to pulse, like a beating heart.

They were not alone. He cursed himself for not sensing it sooner.  But before he could do anything, the bridge began to move.

He tried to grab the railing, but the undulations became more severe and began to toss his injured form to and fro.  A particularly violent wave smashed him against the

stone rail.  The blow knocked the breath out of him and he almost blacked out. Only terror, and an overwhelming will to survive, prevented him from giving in.  If he passed out now, he’d be thrown into the icy water and drown.

Another violent upheaval tossed him towards the opposite railing.  To his horror he saw the slits in the stone wall stretch wide like the mouth of some ancient stone giant.  Helpless, he passed through the opening and hit the dark waters below.  Soaked as he was from the wind and rain, the frigid waters of the swollen stream were even worse.  Yet somehow, he managed to struggle to the surface, gasping hungrily for air.  The strong current tried to sweep him away, but he grabbed a branch of a tree that had become lodged against one of the bridge’s supports.  From there, he looked around and then up and spotted the girl watching him from underneath the bridge.  She was clinging to the underside of the bridge like some sinister spider.

The cold of the water was seeping into his injured body.  It was becoming more and more difficult to hang onto the branch.  Yet he couldn’t tear his gaze away from the figure above.  It seemed to shrink and grow at the same time.  As if one image was superimposing itself upon the other.

“Please…” he whispered, “Why do you ‘ate so much?  All I want is to reach out to you.”

For an instant, he swore he could see a flicker of emotion cross her face.

            The man felt his limbs growing weaker.  “I CARE ABOUT YOU!” he cried.

Suddenly, something reached up out of the water beneath him.  It grabbed him by the neck and turned him around to face it.  In that instant Nothing could stop the scream that escaped his lips.  He was literally in the grip of something out of a nightmare…

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