Screams for the Dying is a short science fiction story that blends myth, fantasy and science fiction. In the time in which this short story is set, banshees and star ships are real, and so are a lot of other things.
Screams for the Dying is available as part of An Anthology of Worlds, and also as a stand-alone title at Smashwords, Kobo, Kindle, iTunes, and Nook.
First Page: Screams for the Dying
I had lived here from childhood to my thirtieth year but, in spite of the wattle dancing on the breeze and the eucalyptus-scented air that brushed across my skin, I knew I no longer belonged. My nostrils remembered the faint fizz of Kelfa blossoms from the sun-drenched planet of Bolan, and my eyes recalled the darkness of subterranean living on the asteroid of Quorbet.
Now, as I stood, again, beneath the gold-flecked grey of the acacia and stared at the red earth of my home, I felt my homecoming a farce and found myself cursing the accurate wisdom of another older than myself.
I had doubted her when she said that few who had wandered as long as I had, could retain the links to the lands of our birth. It had been the truth.
I was different now. I had learnt so much. I had discovered the truth of legends and the reality behind fairy tales.
I knew there were creatures for whom death was but a step in the cycle of life, another stage in their own strange metamorphosis. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, the fey; all were real. I no longer doubted the existence of banshees.
I had disbelieved that the banshee’s wail meant death, only to discover it true, and I had also found that not all impending death compels the creatures to scream.
Take the man now walking towards me, his dark face a picture of anxiety as he searches for his daughter. She has been missing for just over an hour. I know where she is hidden, but I will not tell him. He is about to die and, if he finds her now, she will die with him. I have discovered that banshees suffer prescience to a merciless degree, but never when they need it.
The explosion comes. I hear it as a dull ‘crump’ above us. Red rock hurtles through the air. It swarms as helplessly as ameleorites in a solar wind. I will be showered by pebbles and sharp shards. He is buried beneath a boulder. Someone comes.
If you'd like to read more, Screams for the Dying is available as part of An Anthology of Worlds, and also as a stand-alone title at Smashwords, Kobo, Kindle, iTunes, and Nook.