I have a story in the anthology The Gods of Lovecraft, which is coming out on December 11 in hardcover, paperback, and ebook. (Amazon, Barnes & Noble) The other authors are Adam Nevill, Laird Barron, Bentley Little, Jonathan Maberry, Brett J. Talley, Christopher Golden, Joe R. Lansdale, Seanan McGuire, and Rachel Caine.
My story is a detective/mystery story, and may be heavily influenced by years of playing the Call of Cthulhu RPG.
excerpt of "The Dark Gates" by Martha Wells
Reja crept through the knee-high weeds, mud squishing under her sturdy but stylish boots. The day was so overcast it was nearly dark, even though her watch said it was midmorning. She muttered, "Next time, we send the Honorable Tamith to do this part."
Fletcher, moving near silently behind her, snorted.
She had to admit it was unlikely. Ahead, she could catch glimpses of the house through the trees. It was owned by Baron Mille, and had no resident staff, which supported the rumor that it was used for assignations. It had taken Reja a few days and a couple of judicious bribes to discover its location, and she hoped she was right about the current occupant being presently in town. If she wasn’t right, this case might be over abruptly. Nosy Lady Detective and Her Assistant Never Seen Again was not a headline Reja wished to appear in the Society pages.
She slipped through the copse of trees and crouched in the overgrown brush. "Don’t touch that," she cautioned Fletcher in a whisper. "Stinging nettle."
Fletcher avoided it with a hiss of distaste. His ancestry might lead one to expect him to be more competent in the forest than the average human, but he had grown up in the city. So had Reja, but at least she had the benefit of childhood summers in the country.
From this sheltered vantage point, she had a good view of the house. It was small by the standards of the mind-bogglingly rich, three stories of light brown stone with a rather elegant conical turret, framed prettily against the giant oaks behind it. The immense towers of the Mille family mansion were just visible over the tops of those trees. There was no sign of movement in the empty windows or on the lawns.
Reja took a deep breath, touched the pistol in the pocket of her jacket, and stepped through a gap in the brush. Walking across the wet grass of the overgrown lawn toward the house made her feel as if every unfriendly eye in the world was on her. Her only option if caught was to say they were lost; she had dressed conservatively but finely enough to pass as a guest at one of the other wealthy houses nearby, in dark gray pants and a belted jacket of a steely blue to complement the soft brown of her skin. Fletcher wore dark clothes and looked like a house-breaker. There wasn’t anything she could do about that.
They reached the service entrance at the back, tucked into a little cubby on the far side of the terrace. Reja had a set of lock picks, drills, and other devices for the opening of locked doors. As she set to work, Fletcher stopped her with a slim, too-pale hand on her sleeve. "There may be traps."
She shook her head. "He has no reason; he believes he’s covered his tracks too well."
"People do things for no reason."
November 22nd, 2015