Genre: Paranormal/Science Fiction/Horror
Number of pages: 276
Word Count: 44,966
Welcome Beneath the Veil, a Place Where the Dead Have Never Left...
With his life turned upside down, a terminally ill man seeks answers from a family he never knew. Barry Ryan, a successful sculptor, goes on a journey to find his roots and the extraordinary family that somehow evades death and ties him to a terrifying future.
Driven to find answers, Barry is joined by his sister and her boyfriend on the road to Auraria, a mysterious ghost town where terrible secrets lie hidden since the days of gold and greed.
All is well until they cross the city limits and fall beneath the veil, a place where the bizarre rules the living, and the living are prey trapped in an ever-changing web.
Generations of conflict come to light as these unfortunate visitors struggle to survive. Echoes of the past are lethal here...in this place where the dead have never left.
His headache began again with a dull ache in the back of his head. He walked to the kitchen, opened a cabinet door and grabbed a bottle of aspirin. Swallowing two pills, Barry Ryan leaned against the counter and gazed across his loft. The wood floors were covered with tarps, and chips of stone surrounded a car sized sculpture of a pyramid. The piece was a commission for an insurance conglomerate and almost completed after two years of work. He walked around the sculpture and into a service elevator, then rotated a brass handle and the lift shuddered to life.
He descended into a warehouse filled with massive stones and slabs of marble. Unfinished and abandoned works lined one wall, while a dozen cars lined another. He pulled a tarp from a 1967 Corvette Sting Ray convertible and then climbed in and fired up the engine. He drove the car out of the building and turned onto Spring Street, where the sun shined between glittering high-rises. After driving twenty blocks he pulled into a garage and parked, then grabbed his sketchbook from the passenger seat. The streets were quiet as he walked to a café on a corner. His agent, Peter Harper, sat outside in a tailored suit wearing gold rimmed sunglasses.
“Morning, Barry,” Peter said. “How’s the chiseling on the Daecom rock going?”
“Good,” he answered. “Just about finished.”
“Nice. I’ve got three more lined up when you’re ready. Word’s out on your work. All these companies want to enshrine themselves in stone.”
“Need a break for a while, Pete,” Barry answered. “These will have to wait.”
“I’ll hold them off as long as I can, Barry, but these are big time offers. I recommend we jump on them as soon as we can. One bad quarter and these deals are gone,” Peter said.
“I hear you Pete. I’ll keep you posted,” Barry answered.
The two men enjoyed breakfast at the restaurant, built in a former bank building. The original safe stood empty in the back, surrounded by tables of chatty patrons. The trees lining the street were beginning to sprout green leaves and birds were busy gathering materials for their nests.
“So, Pete, how’s Angie?”
“Well,” he hesitated. “Let’s just say Angie...is now Pattie.”
“I see,” Barry replied. “The revolving door has turned again.”
Barry coughed into his napkin then took a sip of water. He glanced down at the blood splattered linen, then spirited it into his pocket and stood up from the table.
“You okay?” Peter asked.
“I am fine,” he answered. “Something just went down the wrong pipe. I better run. Thanks for breakfast.”
William McNally is a former executive, husband and animal advocate based in the mountains of Dahlonega, Georgia. Drawn to dark and thought provoking stories, he released his first book, Four Corners Dark in 2012 and recently followed it with his second, Beneath the Veil. Visit him online at williammcnallybooks.com for updates and events.
Look for William's next release, The Knights of Moonshine, spring 2014.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/WilliamMcNally