The draft of The Lacerated Sky is complete. It finished up at just over 26,000 words (a little over 100 pages). A good length for a novella, I think.
Here's an excerpt. Planning on releasing this one before month's end.
The Lacerated Sky
Copyright 2020 Anthony Izzo
The sky was strange.
Tim Greenbow looked up as he exited Wilson’s Hardware. The clouds had taken on a pinkish tinge. It was overcast, the sun blocked out for the moment. But dammit if the storm clouds overhead weren’t pink.
Tim squinted. You could see veins of red running through them. He pulled his phone from his pocket and opened the weather app. The Weather Channel was showing the possibility of thunderstorms.
A breeze kicked up and blew a Snickers wrapper across the sidewalk.
He wondered about a tornado forming, but there’d been no warnings, and he was certain the sky got green or something with tornadoes. Still, it was damned weird.
He’d been replacing the flush valve on the upstairs bathroom toilet. The tank bolts were shot, so he’d taken a ride into town. Wilson’s was one of the last independent hardware stores in the area. He sure as shit didn’t feel like driving two towns over to Lowe’s.
Now, as he walked back to his pickup truck, Strider poked his head out the passenger window. He gave an enthusiastic bark, the Shepherd’s ears perking up.
Along with the toilet tank bolts, Tim had gotten a jerky treat for Strider. Wilson’s had them in a plastic container on the counter. Strider knew it, because every time Tim went, he got the dog a treat.
He got to the truck, scratched Strider between the ears, and offered the treat. Strider snapped it up, gobbled it down, and licked Tim’s hand.
“That’s a good boy.”
He heard a siren wail, and a moment later, a fire engine raced down the street, lights going. A ladder truck chased after it a moment later.
Strider whined. He didn’t like sirens.
Tim got in the truck and checked the time. It was just past noon. The dog watched him, as if to say, “We going?” Tim’s stomach rumbled. He had to go grocery shopping and had little to eat in the house. A can of beef vegetable soup didn’t seem appetizing.
He decided to get a burger-to-go from The Stackhouse down the street.
As he started up the truck, the classic rock station broke into some news. Seems there was a large fire at the Department of Energy lab over in Dell. That was about twenty miles from here. Fire and Hazmat crews were responding. Local officials were urging people to stay indoors.
“Weird,” Tim said. “Wonder if that’s why the clouds look so funny?”
Strider chuffed, as if putting in his opinion on the subject.
Thunder rumbled overhead, and lightning flashed. It had a red tinge to it. The flash left an imprint on his eyeballs.
He considered just heading home and settling for a can of soup. Strider was bound to get jumpy in the storm. He’d rescued the Shepherd as a pup, just after Ana passed away.
Tim never expected to be a widower at forty-six. Hadn’t expected to find Ana dead on the living room floor from a brain aneurism, either. The doctor at the ER told him she hadn’t suffered, that she was likely gone when she hit the floor. That didn’t help. Dead was dead. His best friend and wife of eighteen years was gone.
They’d never wanted kids. He was glad for Strider. The house had been too quiet after Ana died. The dog was good company, and had even taken to sleeping with Tim. He didn’t mind, as long as Strider kept to the other side of the bed.
“I suppose I have time to grab a quick burger. Maybe if you’re good, I’ll share.”
Strider woofed his approval.
He looked up out the windshield. A pink mist had settled among the clouds. Lightning flashed in the mist. It was damned eerie. They were likely going to get one hell of a storm.
He phoned in his order. They said to give it fifteen minutes. That would give Tim enough time to grab his burger and get going home. Hopefully, he’d beat the storm.