The Unlucky Man – Halloween Special (1)

Now it’s time for something new. Here’s a real creepy thriller that gets darker the more you read. We’ll be featuring more of The Unlucky Man by H T G Hedges this week but if you can’t wait then download the book now from Amazon.

And then another figure emerged from the mist which, though it parted for Quinn and his team, seemed to cling to the newcomer much as it did to me, lending him an ethereal sinister aspect.

“Wychelo?” Quinn croaked as the strange eyed killer advanced on us. Somehow, despite his actions in the crash, Wychelo still looked immaculate and unruffled, as if he’d stepped from a salon rather than the burning wreck of his car. I felt a pressure building in my skull and the mist closed in even more. I was almost ready for the feeling this time as the shadow moved.

“Control wants these two alive,” Quinn said, turning towards Wychelo so that the business end of his rifle now pointed at him. A flicker of annoyance played over the killer’s previously impassive features.

“Lower your weapon,” he said evenly but, although the barrel wavered, Quinn kept his rifle raised, barrel levelled at Wychelo’s chest.

“What’s going on out here?” Quinn growled. The mist seemed to be circling him, growing thicker around him, clinging at his mouth. It was almost like he was breathing it in, being infected by its insidious tendrils.

“Lower your weapon,” Wychelo repeated as the mist rolled around him, drawing a tight circle around us all. He had, I noticed, a suppressed pistol in his hand hanging loosely, almost casually, at his side.

The blood was pounding in my ears, sweat beading on my brow and prickling down my neck. A white wall now penned our small drama in, like players on a stage. The closer Wychelo came, the stronger the tension became; it was like there was a cord running between us, stretched almost to breaking point. The sense of another world overlaying this one surfaced nauseatingly once more. For a split second I had the distinct feeling that there were figures waiting in the impenetrable mist, indistinct and intangible. I could see them when I closed my eyes, grey shapes cast against the blackness of my eyelids. Eyes opened, I could still feel their still presence.

The moment passed, but my sense of them still remained, like reality was stretching, being strained and extended like an overfilled balloon, ready to rip under the strain at any moment. Something shifted in the murk, a wet whisper of noise. By now the others could sense it too, I was sure.

“What was that?” one of the ops shouted, squinting off into the mist. Others followed, his lead, their

attention suddenly no longer locked on Corg and me.

“There’s someone in the mist,” Quinn hissed urgently, still sighting on Wychelo. He was losing it fast from the look in his wide eyes. “Someone who makes my skin crawl same as you do. How do you explain that you creepy motherfucker?” he growled, voicing the strange creeping parity between the cold eyed assassin and the encroaching white wall.

Quinn was unravelling quickly now, every breath of misted air leaving him more strung out than before, spooling his poise out like so much unwound cotton. The whispering was increasing too, a steady creeping susurration that seemed to come from all sides.

Around us, the mist was moving as if alive, coalescing and resolving itself into half-seen shapes, darker patches that flittered and moved in the corner of the eye and disappeared when you tried to look for them. Dark patches that looked almost like the shapes of people. My mouth felt full of electric and there was so much tension buzzing off Quinn and his men I expected them to sizzle and crack with each jerking movement. Quinn was breathing in heavy gulps, taking in great lungfulls of the coiling air.

I caught Corg’s eye and tried my best to convey “When this goes off, get ready to run,” without moving my face in any way. I think he got it.

Wychelo’s lips slid back revealing even, white teeth. “Put it down,” he said with deadly finality. I looked from his cold, impassive face, still with poise, to Quinn’s bunched up features, a vein pumping madly at his temple, teeth bared. There’s only one way this ends, I thought.

“What’s happening?” Quinn whispered again, desperation edging into his voice, his final plea. What followed was a complete cessation of all movement, the whispering stopped: whatever – if anything – was waiting in the mist held its breath.

“Fuck it,” Quinn breathed and I could read his intent. His fist tightened on the grip of his rifle, knuckles white and bloodless on the trigger. With a speed that seemed impossible, inhuman, Wychelo whipped up his hand and we all heard the zip as he fired, once, at close range.

There was blood in the air. Something howled.


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