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About the author:
Wayne Kyle Spitzer (born July 15, 1966) is an American author and low-budget horror filmmaker from Spokane, Washington. He is the writer/director of the short horror film, Shadows in the Garden, as well as the author of Flashback, an SF/horror novel published in 1993. Spitzer's non-genre writing has appeared in subTerrain Magazine: Strong Words for a Polite Nation and Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History. His recent fiction includes The Ferryman Pentalogy, consisting of Comes a Ferryman, The Tempter and the Taker, The Pierced Veil, Black Hole, White Fountain, and To the End of Ursathrax, as well as The X-Ray Rider Trilogy and a screen adaptation of Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows.
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Corbin snatched the rifle off his shoulder in a flash and everyone ducked—but he was pointing it at the ceiling, not the Chairman. “Shhh,” he said, and cocked his head. “Just listen.”
Charlotte did so, her ears still ringing. Slowly it became manifest: the sound of cavern raptors barking amidst the catacombs, barking and seeming to answer themselves, and something else, which answered them all. The Cat. The smilodon. The saber-toothed tiger which bore little in common with any of its modern-day ancestors nor any of its prehistoric ones, for it was the size of a small bus. And beyond that … another. Something closer in tone to the raptors and yet altogether different. Something bigger, more robust. Something none of them had ever heard before.
“You all need to understand something,” he said finally, slowly re-slinging his gun, “and that is that before I found this place I was precinct commander of an entire police force dedicated to combating these … things. And if there’s one thing we learned …” He paused, smiling a little to himself. “‘We.’ He seemed to dismiss the thought. “If there’s one thing we learned before our unit was torn to pieces … one thing they learned, my men, before being bitten in half, beheaded, slit open by sickle-claws so that their intestines unspooled across the city streets like sausage links … is that these things are not animals.” He smiled to himself again as though reliving a lifetime’s worth of humbling nightmares. “No, an animal is something comprehensible, even relatable. An animal is something flesh and blood same as you or me, with the same needs, the same hunger, the same will to survive. But these things, these so-called dinosaurs and prehistoric cats, they’re not animals, not the way we understand them. They’re weapons. They have purpose. Intent. They’ve been infused with it somehow. Someone, something, has weaponized them against us.” He nodded slowly, distantly. “Those lights in the sky, I think. And I can promise you this … they will not go away.” The haunting smile returned as he shook his head. “They won’t give up, you understand. And they won’t stop until every man, woman, and child in this compound has been torn apart and devoured.”