Excerpt from “Vicious Traditions: Tales of Terror & the Grotesque”

This is my friendly reminder that I have a book coming out NEXT YEAR!!!

FEBRUARY 1, 2022 and you can PREORDER HERE

The excerpt below is from the short story, “Comets Tear the Skies.”

PROLOGUE

When I open my eyes, I have legs.

“The operation was successful,” the doctor beams.

I lift the white sheet with tentative fingers, and peek at my new set of legs. I had seen them in photos and in movies, prior, but on me they look foreign, almost hideous. I try to raise one but am unable to.

“Don’t,” the doctor says. “You’ll have time to learn how to use them before your mission begins.”

“I leave in two months. Is that enough time?”

“Yes, we’ve had some patients running within a month!”

I’m impressed. Maybe it won’t be so difficult after all. If I can manage the pain. I take another look beneath the sheet. They’re there, two perfectly toned pair of legs with a little drawing of a daisy chain circling around my right ankle.

“You couldn’t get rid of that?”

“Unfortunately, no, we were unable to remove that. But it won’t interfere with anything. It’s just a feeble embellishment.”

And also a constant reminder of the former owner of these legs.

But I don’t say that to the doctor. He seems so pleased with himself and the result of my operation. I don’t want to burst his bubble.

“Don’t worry about it, besides you can cover it up with clothes afterwards,” he says to me as though he’s read my mind. “Have you decided what name you’ll use during your mission?”

I manage a tiny smile and nod.

“Brenda,” I say. “My name is Brenda.” The name sounds foreign to me, much like my legs, but it reminds me of a character from the TV series I’ve been watching with the other missionaries to learn the new language. A name that will help me fit in.

“Your new life starts now, Brenda,” the doctor says. “We’re all aware of the great sacrifice you had to make in order to be chosen for this mission. Don’t think that our community isn’t humbled by your courage. You’re strong. You should be honored that you passed the selection process. Not many do.”

I sigh, thinking about the abomination below the sheet. What may seem like an honor to some, feels more like a curse to me.

But I can’t think like that.

No.

I’m a new person now.

And in a couple of months I’ll be bound for Earth.

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