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Authors: David Niall Wilson,Bob Eggleton

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The Call of Distant Shores

BOOK: The Call of Distant Shores
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The Call of Distant Shores
 

By David Niall Wilson

First Digital Edition Published by Crossroad Press

Copyright 2011 by David Niall Wilson

Cover Design by David Dodd

Cover art by Bob
Eggleton

LICENSE NOTES:
 

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.
 
This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people.
 
If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with.
 
If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return the vendor of your choice and purchase your own copy.
 
Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

OTHER CROSSROAD TITLES BY DAVID NIALL WILSON:
 

NOVELS:

 

Ancient Eyes

Deep Blue

Sins of the Flash

The Orffyreus Wheel

Darkness Falling

The Mote in Andrea's Eye

On the Third Day

Heart of a Dragon

Book I of the
DeChance
Chronicles

Vintage Soul – Book II of The
DeChance
Chronicles

Hallowed Ground – With Steven Savile

SGA-15 – Brimstone – With Patricia Lee Macomber

The Second Veil – Book II in the Tales of the Scattered Earth

 

NOVELLAS:

 

Roll Them Bones

The Preacher's Marsh

The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & The Currently Accepted Habits of Nature

'
Scuse
Me, While I Kiss the Sky

 

COLLECTIONS:

 

The Fall of the House of Escher & Other Illusions

Defining Moments

A Taste of Blood & Roses

Spinning Webs & Telling Lies

The Whirling Man& Other Tales of Pain, Blood, and Madness

Joined at the Muse

 

UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOKS:

 

Roll Them Bones
/
Deep Blue
/
The Orffyreus Wheel
/
The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & The Currently Accepted Habits of Nature
/
Heart of a Dragon
/
This is My Blood

Buy Direct From Crossroad Press & Save
 

Try any title from CROSSROAD PRESS – use the Coupon Code FIRSTBOOK for a one-time 20% savings!
 
We have a wide variety of eBook and Audiobook titles available.

 

Find us at:
 
http://store.crossroadpress.com

Contents
 

Author's Introduction

Glenn, and the Tart of Mortar Psycho Maine Tenants

The Milk of Paradise

Are You Lookin' For Herb?

Cockroach Suckers

Darkness, and the Light

Death, and His Brother Sleep

Death Did Not Become Him – with Patricia Lee Macomber

From My Reflection, Darkly

The Lost Wisdom of Instinct

Rending the Veil

The Hall of Captured Gods

Anomaly

The Call of Distant Shores

Author's Introduction
 

A lot of authors of dark fantasy and horror will cite H. P. Lovecraft, William Hope Hodgson, Hugh Cave, and Manly Wade Wellman as influences on their writing.
 
Clark Ashton Smith is another name you'll hear, and in this volume, you'll find my tribute to that great talent, as well as a number of others that dip into the wells of darkness and magic – a world I'm familiar with from endless hours of reading, dreaming, and spilling my own words onto the page.

I have never considered myself a huge fan of Lovecraft.
 
Pulp writing, in general, appealed to me when I was much younger, and in the middle years of my writing career, I pushed it aside.
 
I was, of course, deluding myself.
 
When someone pointed out to me that I actually had a body of work loosely fitting this sub-genre of horror / dark fantasy that was probably enough for a book, I laughed.
 
Then I looked.
 
Then I stopped laughing.
 
What I found was that these writers – these storytellers I grew up with and believed I'd left behind me – were responsible for a huge chunk of my output as a writer.
 
There are elder gods, ancient evils, and everything that attends them walking the corridors of my creative consciousness, and that reader was correct.
 
There was more than enough to make a book.

I also note that, of all my works, most of my favorites, and some that have garnered critical notice, are among the stories you are about to read.
 
"The Call of Distant Shores," the title piece of this collection, is one of my most popular stories to date, and Cockroach Suckers, which is more recent and set near my current home town in the fictional Old Mill, North Carolina, could not be more
Lovecraftian
without being set in New England.

Anyway…there are a lot of words ahead – a lot of images – a lot of nightmares.
 
I hope you'll enjoy them, and I dedicate them to those authors who have gone before, paving the way for an ever-widening realm of new worlds and deep-rooted fears.

Welcome to my nightmares.

-David Niall Wilson

4/9/2011

Glen and the Tart of Mortar Psycho Maine Tenants
 

One of the only perks of being Building Superintendent is setting my own schedule, so when the doorbell screeched at the ungodly hour of 8:00 AM on Saturday; I rolled straight off the wrong side of the bed.
 
Rubbing sleep from bleary eyes, I staggered to the door or my room, only remembering halfway there that I was naked.
 
I turned back, snagged my jeans off the floor and hopped into them as I made my way down the hall.
 
The doorbell sounded again, and I cursed.

There are only about two things that are worth getting up early for on a Saturday; when I opened the door, one of them smiled at me and held out the round handle of a water valve on the end of her finger.
 
She was tall and freckled with wavy auburn hair and bright eyes that were either sparkling, or just reflecting more sunlight than I was used to seeing on a weekend.
 
I knew her name was Linda, and that it was customary among our people to say “Hi,” or “Good morning,” but all I could manage was a confused mumble and a lop-sided return grin that probably made me look like the drooling idiot I was.

She laughed and twirled the handle on her fingernail.
 
In the recesses of my depraved mind, I saw the tip of that finger crook and beckon me closer, but I shook my head.
 
Too much time spent in depraved recesses is never good.

“Um,” I managed, finally waxing eloquent, “can I help you?”

“I sure hope so,” she said.
 
Her voice was as bright as her eyes, and I was so fascinated by it that the words themselves took their sweet time sinking in. Her accent was odd, Boston, I thought, or somewhere in New England. She went on as if I were coherent.

“Daddy was trying to turn on the hose this morning, and this came right off.
 
We’re in the middle of some important work and…”

She stared pointedly at the handle on her finger.

That woke me up.
 
This was a real problem, and one that I could handle.
 
At that moment, handling things was foremost on my mind, and I knew that if I bobbled the hand-off of the faucet handle, all other handling was out of the question.
 
I took it gingerly off her finger.

“Let me get my tools,” I said.
 
“I’ll be right over.”

She smiled, and I swear when I said the word tools she glanced about three inches south of my belt.
 
Whether she did or not, my mental image of her did, down in those aforementioned depraved recesses, and I blushed hard.
 
I stumbled in a half circle and staggered back into my apartment.
 
She laughed softly, and called out to me from the doorway.

“I hope you can fix it.
 
There’s a lot of work to be done today, and if we don’t get some more water out there, everything is going to set wrong and crumble. When things crumble – it can be very bad.”

I vaguely recalled that her father made some sort of statues out in back of the building.
  
I never go there except to take out my trash, because I really hate rats and the smell of dumpsters, and because that area is rented, along with suite 1A, to one of the tenants.
 
These tenants.

I found a clean t-shirt and socks, laced on my Doc Martens and grabbed the canvas tool bag I kept just inside the door to my bedroom.
 
I learned early on that if pipes burst, or the roof leaked, or someone’s doorknob came off in their hand at three o’clock in the morning it was best to have the tool bag where I was likely to fall over it.
 
It saved me hours of bleary-eyed searching and helped me keep my job.
 
At the moment all I wanted was to get back to the front door before my Miss New England wet dream disappeared back into her apartment and left me outside playing in the water with daddy.

BOOK: The Call of Distant Shores
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