So in honor of the Giveaway, I'm releasing a new excerpt! It's one of my favorite Kolgardi scenes. I hope you enjoy!
The lights flickered.
They flickered again, then briefly shut off before stuttering on again.
Sean stared in disgust at the overhead florescent lights. He hated this office. He hated his bland cubicle that was the same as the other fifty cubicles. He was a nameless, faceless drone for a greedy corporation. It was the working hell known as data entry. What a shit ass job. Sean needed this work, but felt trapped, like the proverbial rat in a cubicle maze.
The lights flickered in rapid succession before steadying on again.
“Hey, Sean,” the disembodied voice from the other side of his partitioned wall called to him. “If the lights finally go out for good, do you think they’ll send us home?”
Sean snorted. “Are you kidding? They made us come in on the day of a major quake. It’s now the day after. God forbid they don’t have the latest parts’ tracking information at their fingertips. Do you really think a little thing like no lights would stop them, Mike?”
“Well, the power could go with the lights,” Mike added hopefully.
“Yeah, right. That’s why they have the computers networked to a backup generator. They don’t want to lose their precious data.” And that’s why, Sean thought cynically, we had to work when everyone else in their right minds stayed home, got drunk and recovered from the quake.
The lights flickered.
Christ, I really hate this place.
“Hey,” Mike called again. “A twenty says the lights will fail for good this time.”
“You’re on.” Sean took the bet. The lights had been acting up ever since the quake. They hadn’t gone out yet and the building inspector had given a green tag. It should have been a sucker bet.
The lights flickered then went out.
They stayed out.
The computers stayed on.
Mike laughed. “I should have made a bigger bet. Pay up, man.”
“Eat shit.” Sean stood and looked over his makeshift office walls. The floor was pretty dark. With his cubicle located in the middle of the office, it was hard sometimes to tell what time of day it was. He pulled out his cell and unlocked the screen. It was after four. The days must be getting shorter to be this dark so early.
Enough of this crap. “Hey, I’m getting coffee, you want some?”
“Nah. Thanks though.”
Sean yawned, stretched and left his box. It was a testament to how much management had squashed their employees. No one panicked with the lights out. No one rushed to leave the building. They all knew the consequences. Most people had stopped working though, using the lights as an excuse for chatting and visiting.
Sean worked his way through the maze heading toward the stairs, occasionally stopping to chat or simply wave and nod as he passed.
He reached the door and glanced once over his shoulder, smiling at the thought of how pissed his boss would be at the non-productiveness of the floor. More power to the workers. He hoped his boss’s ass got chewed out.
Sean reached the stairwell door when something caught his eye. He stared through the murkiness to the far upper corner of the office. There was movement near the ceiling. It looked like smoke.
Crap, was there a fire? Sean took a few steps back into the maze. He didn’t smell any smoke. There wasn’t an alarm.
He looked for air vents, noticing they all had a weird sense of motion.
Then the screaming started. Sean spun as terrified, anguished cries filled the room. He froze, not understanding. The room got darker by the second.
A chilled finger of foreboding swept up Sean’s spine. The hairs on his arms raised and his skin tingled as if a million ants crawled all over his body. Survival instinct took over, unlocking his muscles. He ran toward the door seconds ago he had abandoned. He lunged for the push bar, but it was too late.
The darkness enveloped him, smothering his cry. He couldn’t breathe as a sharp unbearable pain pierced him. He felt himself being slowly turned inside out. As if his very soul was being ripped out of him.
Sean collapsed to the floor as the Kolgardi rose off him, well sated and satisfied. Like the lifting of some dark noxious fog, the Kolgardi began to rise throughout the room, floating en masse to the ceiling. As silently as they entered, they left, oozing back through the air vents. In less than a second, the floor was clear of the killers, leaving only the unconscious bodies in their wake. The lucky ones lay already dead from shock. The others, unconscious, started building fevers.
The lights flickered back on.