I am serializing my book, The Only City Left, here on G+ for Saturday Scenes, and also on Wattpad. Links and more info below the story, if you're interested. If you'd like to finish reading it sooner and/or support my work, please consider purchasing this book or one of my other works (list and links at atgoldman.com
Story begins here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AndyGoldman/posts/14QWbZJbsgC
Chapter 4.2: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AndyGoldman/posts/Zcsk87kz9xiThe Only City Left Chapter 4.3
“My home. And we’d be well on our way if you hadn’t done your little hole-in-the-wall act.”
I tried to walk as slowly as possible, but Doyle squeezed my arm a bit tighter, forcing me to keep up or be dragged along.
The next door was locked, but one elbow from Doyle and it crumpled to splintered chunks. Inside was another apartment given over to ruin. We moved on.
“I’ve never heard of a solid ghost before,” I said.
“First time for everything.”
“Can you phase through things if you want to?”
“You ask a lot of questions.”
I had to ask questions. It was all I could do to tamp down the fear threatening to turn me into a quivering pile of jelly.
“I thought you wanted to talk,” I said.
“Not here. It’s not safe.”
He yanked me past another empty room and I stumbled to one knee. When I got back up, I glimpsed a pair of glowing eyes following us a few inches above the floor, past the edge of our combined light. It looked like Scratch was following us after all.
Doyle didn’t notice and I didn’t fill him in, so as not to put the cat in danger. A moment before he busted down the next door, another scratching sound from above caught my attention.
The hairs on my arms stood straight up. If Scratch was following us on the floor, what was making the noises in the ceiling?
“Can you be hurt?” I asked, imagining how a solid ghost might respond to a tacmite horde.
“Not by the likes of you. Enough with the questions.”
He opened another door into a room whose floor had entirely caved into the apartment below.
“Forget this,” Doyle said. “We’re going back to the water and climbing. You’ll live.”
“Shhhh,” I said. “I think there may be tacmites in the ceiling.”
“Pull the other one, kid,” Doyle said, but a scritch scratch above us made him look up. He put one finger to his lips, let me go, and made a fist next to his head.
I walked backwards until I hit the opposite wall. He kept his eyes on me as he lowered his fist to shoulder level and punched the ceiling with such force it crumpled in a shock wave from the point of impact.
Dust and plaster, wires, and two broken pieces of a rectangular metal duct collapsed onto Doyle, who was completely unfazed by the downpour. Nothing else revealed itself.
“See, kid, you got me jumping at shadows,” he said.
At that moment Scratch came barreling down the hallway, yowling and hissing. Doyle jumped and turned toward the incoming threat. His face twisted in confusion at the sight of an attack cat heading for him.
I took advantage of his momentary confusion and ran at him shoulder-first, hitting him full-force. The impact knocked the air out of my lungs in a great whoomph, but I pushed him off-balance and into the doorway.
He teetered on the edge of the giant sinkhole and tried to grab hold of me. I crouched down and kicked out one foot to tip him all the way over.
He landed with a splash and sank under the water, his body outlined in a blue glow. Scratch ambled up beside me and I absentmindedly petted his head.
“Good job,” I said. “Now let’s—”
A human ghost had fallen into the water, but the ghost that burst forth was of the gigantic mutant werewolf variety. The kind whose head was nearly level with the floor.
“You’re gonna regret that,” Doyle said, bringing both of his arms up over his head.
I would never regret that.
My moment of rebellion gave me the adrenaline rush I needed to scoop Scratch up and flee as Doyle brought his fists down on the already distressed floor.
There was a crash and the floor shook, but I stayed on my feet and kept running in the direction we had been exploring.
I had a chance at escape and I ran as fast as I could to make the most of it. Behind me, more crashes and thuds reverberated. I glanced over my shoulder and saw Doyle pulling himself up into the hallway.
Crap. I needed someplace to hide, and fast.
Ahead, a grate popped out of the ceiling and hit the floor with a clatter. I hurtled toward it, unable to slow down in time. From the hole in the ceiling, a furry creature leaned down, a gun in its hands.
I was trapped. Doyle had somehow foreseen my escape and boxed me in.
The creature aimed the gun at me.
It fired.To be continued next week.
Or, if you want to read along at a faster pace, I'm releasing the story 3x/week on Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/story/34658555-the-only-city-left
For other great free reads on a Saturday or any day, search for the #saturdayscenes