The Hungry Earth by Trevor Tallmadge
Paul and Adriel are a fairly new couple, still exploring and sharing their worlds with one another. But their mutual naivete of her family’s heritage cause them to awaken things that were meant to stay dormant. Now, with the little knowledge they’ve been able to muster, they’re trying to keep up with something way over their heads…and deep beneath their feet.
In an era of remakes and reprocessed ideas in the present cinematic landscape, author Trevor Tallmadge responded by delving into the rich worlds of Greek and Wiccan mythologies as they might find themselves in a modern day setting. Tallmadge has found these rarely explored opportunities as a deep pool of relatively untapped manna and this book is his reaction to a stagnant world of suppressed creativity.
This book is a psychological thriller, involving Greek and Wiccan mythologies, in the horror/fantasy genre.
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He awoke in what seemed like a confined space. Lying face up he felt as though something was directly above him and he lifted his hands to feel a suffocating length of unfinished wood. For a heart-stopping second he thought he was in a coffin, buried alive. But then he noticed dim light in his periphery and stretched his arms out to the sides, feeling nothing but air. In total confusion and disorientation, he rolled out from underneath a coffee table and found himself alone in the living area of Adriel’s mother’s house. Mythic moonlight lit the round, open space. But he had absolutely no idea how he got there and had no prior experience with sleepwalking or ever waking up in strange places before. Absently, he wandered around in a sleepy daze, trying to understand what had happened. There was nothing out of the ordinary here but he knew something was off and made his way to the front door. Stepping out onto the porch, he glanced around at the circular driveway and beyond, dimly aware of a crisp cold that engulfed his naked body. He scanned the trees where the boughs were swaying on the sea of a gentle breeze, ebbing and flowing to a silent wind. And that was the weird part. There was no sound; no chirping of crickets, no scurrying of woodland creatures, no hooting of owls or any evidence that anything existed at all. Ever. It felt like he was the last man on earth; solitary and vulnerable. And scared. Really very disturbingly scared as he watched the dark trees waving at him.
And Cody was nowhere.
Off to his right he noticed a speck of color. Actually, as he zeroed in on it, there were two specks of color. Round, orange dots on the ground that he couldn’t identify. He listened for a sound, any kind of sound, but was only met with perfect quiet, like he had turned mute all the sudden. And within that total absence of noise blared a long and distant ringing. The silence was deafening, and all he could do was stare at those two flecks of orange that he now noticed had tiny red points in their center, like retinas. His curiosity hypnotized him and he turned his head back and forth to gain a better perspective of what he was looking at. It was as if he were peering into a 3D poster, dilating his eyes with different degrees of focus before discovering the image in its depths. And so he saw them. Two eyes fixed, steadily, on his; not further away on the ground like he thought but much closer, suspended in the black air of night, just out of reach of the moonlight. He issued an odd gasp as his skin prickled with unwanted awareness. The rational portion of his mind tried to matrix in the rest of a body, but there was none; just eyes and nothing more. Still, he felt something approach him; approach his soul and approach his heart. That’s when his adrenaline kicked in and the alarm in his mind moved his legs back into the house. Just when the door connected with the frame there was a wrong rush of wind, as if the something on the lawn made a desperate effort to attack him, but he was safely inside and his hand turned the locks, shakily.
Dizzy with fear, Paul apprehensively checked the windows to make sure they were all locked. Not seeing any hint of the lunatic on the grass, he returned to the bedroom. Adriel was asleep on her side and was breathing, rhythmically, to his reluctant relief. He sat on his side of the bed and sipped at a glass of water, unable to make sense of what he had just experienced. Sleep was the only answer now so he rotated himself into the sheets and concentrated on Adriel’s soothing breath. She shifted slightly at his movements but remained asleep, and he listened with amusement as her breathing turned into a soft, little snore. He smiled to himself and closed his eyes, breathing in through his nose and out his mouth, just like Dr. Bo instructed, as a relaxation exercise to calm his nerves. As he focused on keeping a measured pace, Paul gradually realized that Adriel’s snoring was growing louder…and more labored… and raspier. Her coarse, choking breath turned into the beginnings of a low snarl, and he opened his eyes. It looked like she was much larger, then. With her back to him, her shoulders seemed to be twice their normal size, and gaining mass, as her snarling swelled to the angry warning of a growl; all the while, unmoving. Paul sank into the mattress of his mind with an all-consuming horror that he finally surrendered to when the growling permeated the room around him and forced him down into the hell of the earth.
Only when he woke up did he know it was a dream.
About the Author
Trevor Tallmadge is an author of a psychological thriller in the fantasy/horror genre. After posting his book on the Publisher’s Desk website, he earned their Gold Star Award. He was matched up with Elementa, an imprint of Wisehouse Publishing.
Author website: https://www.facebook.com/TheHungryEarth