Today's featured author is C. E. Martin who tells One Thousand Worlds, "Not sure what genre my series fits in best- it's got fantasy, horror, military and scifi aspects. In a nutshell, it's supersoldiers vs the supernatural." Let's see what we can find out in one thousand words.
Mythical (Stone Soldiers #1)
Mythical (Stone Soldiers #1)
Mark Kenslir is the last of the Cold War supersoldiers- and he's just come back from the dead. Awakening in the Arizona desert with no memory of who or what killed him, Kenslir sets out to regain his memories. With the help of the two teens who find him, he begins piecing together his last mission: stop a prehistoric shapeshifter that steals the form, lifeforce and memories of victims by consuming their hearts.
As the enormous, six-fingered hand plunged into his chest, Scott Sutton screamed like a little girl. His shrill, ear-splitting wail of pure terror finally ended when the giant’s hand wrenched his heart out of his chest- past splintered ribs and torn flesh the giant had reached through as easily as a normal person might reach through a wet paper towel.
Scott’s dying body toppled sideways to the rough sand of the Arizona desert, his life flashing back before his eyes. There was the long career of working his way up the corporate ladder, lying to so many people to achieve his goals. There was his married life, and the day to day grind of going to work. There was the recent trip west to an executive training class that really was just the cover for a quick trip to Mexico where he and his partner-in-crime loaded up on drugs then flew them back into the United States. There was the fireball he’d seen in the desert, then a mid-air collision with something that forced him to land his small airplane. Then the giant, reaching into his chest.
Then there was only darkness.
Not far away, still seated in the fixed-wing, single-engine airplane Scott had been piloting moments ago, Margaret Hicks finally started screaming. She clawed at her seatbelt for several seconds with one hand and opening her co-pilot’s door with the other.
Standing in the desert, blood running down its arm, the six-fingered giant watched her impassively as it took a bite out of Scott’s still-warm heart.
Margaret continued to scream, finally undoing her belt and falling out of the plane. She was in full shriek mode now- no longer aware she was even screaming, just pausing for breath and starting back up again every few seconds. She clawed at the sand and crawled away from the plane as fast as she could.
She was a good thirty feet from the plane, scampering along on all fours like a crab, when something large passed over her head. Wind pushed down on her- the down blast from large wings.
It landed with ground-shaking force not far from Margaret. She stopped crawling- and screaming- and looked slowly up.
The dragon was red as blood- covered in glistening, metallic scales. Its head was the size of a horse and it had four legs- each ending with large taloned feet. Broad leathery wings stretched out on either side of its back- their wingspan greater than that of Scott’s plane. As she watched, the wings slowly tucked in, folding up.
Margaret began to skitter backwards now, away from the monster barely illuminated under a half moon.
The creature reared up on its hind legs, then seemed to shrink. Red scales faded, turning tan like the desert. They absorbed into the creature’s skin. The front legs shortened, turning into massive, muscled arms ending in six-fingered hands. The rear legs also turned more human-looking, forming into mighty, tree-trunk legs with six-toed feet that supported a giant well over eight feet tall.
The monstrous figure strode forward, toward Margaret- the last remnant of its long, dragon tail shrinking away into its backside.
“No, no!” Margaret screamed. All the way on the flight from Mexico she had fretted over the precious load of marijuana she and Scott had been smuggling into Arizona. Then they’d been forced down by a mid-air collision with the dragon-giant creature. Now all Margaret cared about was her life.
The bare feet of the naked giant strode over to Margaret, then a massive hand grabbed her by the short hair on her head and lifted her off the ground. Margaret screamed again and clawed at the arm holding her- but her nails might as well have been digging at stone. The giant’s arm was bulging with corded muscles beneath skin from which sprouted wiry, black hair.
The giant smiled at Margaret, revealing a double row of teeth in his mouth. “Hush, Margaret. You’re being too noisy.”
That stopped her screaming. The monster knew her name. Which was impossible.
The giant looked her up and down, taking in her skinny, vegetarian’s body and her manly haircut. Finally, it made its mind up about what to do with Margaret.
A six-fingered hand smashed through Margaret’s chest- exploding her ribcage and parting her flesh. Blood geysered out of her and then the hand reached up, inside her, fingers wrapping around her heart.
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