Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Extinction: A Look Inside

I am very happy to announce that, Extinction, is finally out. Extinction is a short story set three years before the events of the novel. It is a really fun, fast paced and exciting story following some of our favourite characters. It is completely free to download. Below I have posted a brief excerpt from the story.

Jeff “Jawbreaker” Hardly was a big man. This is not to be mistaken with a tall man or a fat man. Jeff was big in the sense that he looked like the ancient Great Wall, but built purely out of bulging muscles. His biceps were as big as a normal person’s waist. He was of average height, with shaggy brown hair, which had knotted itself into his curly beard, and now covered most of his face. Two beady little eyes were the only features that people could see. A large intimidating battleaxe rest upon his back, only someone with his build could ever dream of using such a bulky weapon. When people are introduced to Jeff they pause for thought at the word “Jawbreaker”, as it was an interesting and uncommon name, which originated from the breaking of jaws. It was an early warning sign that he wasn’t the most pleasant of men.

It was one reason most people, packed into the inn, were avoiding eye contact.

The inn was overflowing with customers, but that was to be expected with the occasion. It was literally impossible to get from one side of the room to the other. Health and safety would have a nervous breakdown if they did a surprise investigation right now. It really was a case of people being squished together, shoulder to shoulder.

‘Excuse me,’ said a voice from behind Jeff “Jawbreaker” Hardly.

The man turned like a revolving planet and glared at the owner of the voice.

A little old man, leaning heavily on a walking stick, was stood behind him. The old man was several inches smaller, had a bald head and long white beard, which came as mandatory with being wise.

‘Do you mind if I can get passed?’ he asked politely.

Jeff grunted and turned back to his companions.

‘Um,’ the old man cleared his throat. ‘You are blocking my way. Can I please get by?’

Jeff didn’t even bother to turn around.

And then something happened. It was something that was considered suitable, and within the requirements, for the breaking of one’s jaw. A finger was being tapped impatiently upon Jeff’s muscular shoulder. The flames of anger roared within the depths of his stomach. Clenching his fists into tight balls he swung around to face the old man.

Jeff could feel his heart stop.

Fear was a funny thing. It could turn the biggest, strongest and scariest of men, into quivering wrecks. The old man was no longer there. He had been replaced by someone else. This someone else was a very large, very scary looking Gorilla. The Gorilla had a certain aura about him. That aura was “I am going to eat you.”

‘Could you please move,’ asked the old man from behind the Gorilla.

Jeff moved.

In fact everyone moved.

The Gorilla walked through the centre of the crowd like some kind of mythical figure parting the waves. The old man, holding the hand of a little blonde girl, followed a few steps behind. They approached the barman, who was doing his very best at appearing invisible, which was pretty difficult for someone that round and hairy. It was clear he didn’t want to deal with them. The inn had become uncomfortable quiet.

‘Do you happen to have any rooms?’ asked the old man.

‘I-I...’ stuttered the barman. His eyes were fixed upon the Gorilla. ‘I’m afraid we are booked up.’

‘There is no reason to be afraid,’ countered the old man. He stroked his fingers down his beard, in that way wise men do. ‘I suspected this inn would be like the others.’ The Gorilla nodded his head in agreement.

‘Do we need a room, master?’ asked Rocky the Gorilla. To those who could use magic, which granted them the ability to talk to animals, heard Rocky speak, but to those that couldn’t use magic, heard a rather deep and scary noise, which sounded a bit like a grunt-come-growl. ‘It shouldn’t take, Charlie, long.’

‘That is true. Do you have a free table?’

‘Um, well, we do, but you see,’ the barman cleared his throat nervously. ‘Animals are not welcomed in here.’

‘Oh, did you hear that, Rocky?’

‘I did, Master.’

‘Do you feel unwelcomed?’

‘Not really.’

‘Then it is settled. We will have the table.’

The barman wasn’t exactly sure what had just been agreed, but if it meant the Gorilla going away and this weird old man stopped talking to him, he was more than happy to give them what they wanted.

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