Monday, June 26, 2023

Tracks Tour and Giveaway

 


Skinwalker. Lycanthrope. Werewolf. 

Whatever the name, whatever the legend, 

an old evil has found its way into McGregor Falls, and no one is safe.

Tracks

by Lyn I. Kelly

Genre: Horror 

"It ain't nothin' like you've ever seen before, Sheriff."

That was when Sheriff Cotton Briggs found the body, slaughtered beyond recognition inside a random boxcar. The trains have always moved through McGregor Falls, Texas, but now they have brought something into town, something Briggs had hoped was forever in the past.

Fifteen-year-old Travis Braniff while exploring an old trainyard with a friend, encounters that same something. Both boys escape the creature's murderous intent, but now it is after them and will stop at nothing to prevent its secret from being revealed...too soon.

In Lyn I. Kelly's newest novel, the werewolf mythology is explored and rewritten, as vengeance is rendered onto a small Texas town and secrets are revealed. Skinwalker. Lycanthrope. Werewolf. Whatever the name, whatever the legend, an old evil has found its way into McGregor Falls, and no one is safe.


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Travis turned, Mark at his heel, and took a haphazard step towards the hill they had descended only a short time previous when another sound, a new sound, froze him in his tracks. Something was coming up from behind them. Even through the wind, he could hear it, heavy and deliberate.

Travis stopped to find that Mark was already looking behind them, his body language telling Travis all he needed to know. He followed his friend’s line of sight until he stopped on the dark shadow standing just beyond the boxcar they had been investigating.

Even at this distance, Travis knew it was enormous—its shoulders and chest heaving rhythmically, hot plumes of smoke emerging as its breath and body heat dispelled into the air. Travis did not know what it was, but it was not a man.

“Mark, run,” Travis said, the fear choking his throat allowing for little more than a whisper, and either Mark could not hear, could not move, or both, because his friend did not budge.

Travis started to nudge his light in the shadow’s direction but could not find the courage to do it. In fact, he had never felt more incapable of movement in his life. Run! Tell Mark to run! Both of you run! His mind screamed at him, but he could do nothing. The shadow took a step forward, and Travis was certain this was how he was going to die when—

—the creature screamed forth the most violent of roars, a haunting song whose cadence shifted from pain to anger to rage, metamorphosizing into a throaty, animal rumble. 

That was when Travis found his legs.

He started to pull away only to realize that Mark had not moved. He grabbed his friend roughly with both hands. “Move!” he screamed, spinning Mark into action.

Through the yard and up the hill both boys ran, Travis hearing the unmistakable sound of the shadow thing chasing after them. He looked back and saw that not only was it chasing them, but it was also closing fast. Instinctively, he threw his flashlight at the creature, hitting it square in the chest. He turned ahead to find that in his moment of distraction, Mark had sprinted well ahead. 

He watched as his friend reached the top of the incline only to pivot, stumble, and disappear over the hill in a swell of obscenities. In two huge bounds, Travis was atop the incline and straddling the railroad tracks looking down the other side where Mark had fallen.

Travis part-ran, part-slid down the hillside and drew up behind Mark. He hastily put his hands under his friend’s arms, Mark jumping at the touch, and hoisted him up.

“I caught my foot on the tracks,” Mark wheezed, almost apologetically.

“We gotta move,” Travis beseeched, pushing Mark ahead of him.

“What was that? A dog? Coyote?” Mark asked as he ran over the gravel road and towards the woodland edge.

Travis didn’t answer, but it was no coyote, much less any sort of dog. He cautiously looked back towards the hillside. The sky was overcast and loomed darkly, and without any light source, everything was painted a deep, unforgiving midnight blue; however, his peripheral vision still caught a shadowy silhouette explode atop the tracks and leap down into the darkness. 

“Faster, Mark!” he screamed. They were both heading for the woods, but Travis understood the woods would do nothing, not hide them, and certainly not protect them. It still had to be better than being out in the open, he reasoned.

Through their footfalls and Mark’s labored breathing, Travis heard a new sound: a sharp crunching. That thing, whatever it was, was close, so close that Travis felt a smattering of rocks kicked up by the thing’s pursuit sting the backs of his legs. In desperation, Travis grabbed Mark’s arm in the hopes of helping his friend move faster, but two steps later, they both stumbled and fell.

Travis felt a burning as his cheek skid roughly across the gravel while somewhere around him, Mark let out a shout as they tumbled over the other before settling in a frightened mound of cold pain. For a moment, there was no sound except for his and Mark’s anxious breathing as they lay twisted and cold on the barren gravel road, but then a dark shadow swelled over them, turning the blue night black.

It was pouncing, Travis realized. Instinctively, he turned, throwing his right arm over his face, and felt something like a hot knife slice effortlessly through his jacket and into his forearm before pulling free with a terrible squelch.

Travis heard the thing land in the leaves and twigs of the bordering forest, and he tried to reach for Mark, knowing another attack was coming, but his right arm would not respond. Aside from a sickly warm sensation that was flowing down his arm, it was numb. He switched to his left arm, again trying to help Mark—and himself—up, but after a confusing dance of struggling to right the other, they both collapsed back to the ground.

Travis could hear the thing circling around in the woods, moving towards them. Unable to run, he shut his eyes tightly, hoping that whatever was out there would lose interest and, if not, would be quick about its intent.

Then there was the explosion.




Lyn I. Kelly is the author of the Dark Lands series and the horror novel, Tracks. His work has been published in Diamond Comics and in periodicals such as the Wichita Falls Times-Record News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and Newsweek. Lyn is a member of the Horror Writers Association of America (HWA). He and his family live in Keller, Texas. He has cats that occasionally hinder his writing.


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2 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting my book! If there are any questions about it, I will gladly answer them.

    ReplyDelete

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