The following excerpt is from Outreach, a short story by Mike Lera (formerly Michael Lizarraga) appearing in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine and Schlock! Publications.
Synopsis: Meet Mr. Nick O'Neil, former L.A.P.D. detective, former husbani, former father, former "feared cop" who for years has lived in a perpetual cycle of self pity and resentment over the loss of a career and the absence of a reluctant daughter. More deeper than this is an unyielding animosity he holds toward others, a "red cloud" of rage and vengeful bliss. Blind hatred that has kept him in an unstoppable "train" of destruction and chaos.
This train, however, pit stops at a South Los Angeles coffee shop one evening where something bazaar begins happening to Nick - via phone calls, television screens, video monitors, and a dirty public restroom...
Ignoring the room's black musty smell of a week's worth of undisturbed urine and mildew, he splashed his face with cold water at the sink. Had to clear his head from all the weird happening.
As he was about to leave, he heard sounds from the ceiling.
Nick glared up at the square vent. Listened to the faint murmur of voices, thousands of them, creating a churning, almost a rushing sound. An intense drone, as he had previously heard on the phone.Nick flipped over a trash can below the vent, climbed on it. A fairly tall man, Nick's head was able to come within a few inches from the vent, and placing both hands on the ceiling, he peered past the webbed grills, finding complete darkness and stillness. The drone of voices had mysteriously dissipated; now there was palpable silence. He felt a rush of thick heat, as from an opened incinerator. Smelled a pungent, godless odor that brought tears to his eyes.
Then there was a deep beastly groan from within the vent that almost passed for a growl, neither animal or human, and something...up close...lurked and seethed in the pitch black. Its eyes appeared within the darkness, just past the vent grills. Glowed laser red, almost blinding, alive with stupid cunning.
Mad eyes that were crazily fierce, following Nick like a reflection as he moved. His hands remaining on the ceiling, his head propped upward, Nick continued peering past the vent grills, stared with drugged, horrified fascination, his breath a thin winter-whistle in his throat, where his heart had crawled up into the middle and froze, solid and dreadful. Merely standing under the being's presence was paralyzing. Nick's legs weakened by the thing's sounds and smell; he did not want to see it.
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For further reading, you may purchase a Kindle copy of "Outreach" from Schlock! Publications' Vol.8/Issue #24 at the following link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Schlock-Webzine-Vol-Issue-24-ebook/dp/B016DZ4TKW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1445077807&sr=8-2&keywords=schlock+webzine