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Judith's Blood: Big Sky Terror, #2

Judith's Blood: Big Sky Terror, #2

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Judith's Blood: Big Sky Terror, #2

Length:
369 pages
5 hours
Released:
Nov 2, 2020
ISBN:
9781622537280
Format:
Book

Description

Easy thought the battle for Judith's future was won, but he's only scratched the surface of the demonic fate that's coming for his town.

If you're going to war, you build an army and an arsenal.

Easy and Jess call in reinforcements and grow their mystic resources as infected creatures turn on humanity. They discover a pestilence is headed toward Judith, and it's doubtful they can deliver the cure.

With the battle for the future of Judith descending upon them, Easy, Ben, and Jess are forced to fight harder and smarter than ever before, if they want to stay ahead of the bloodsucking enemy.

EVOLVED PUBLISHING PRESENTS the second book in the chilling "Big Sky Terror" series, where horror comes to life in the great state of Montana. [DRM-Free]

BOOKS BY D.W. HITZ:

  • BIG SKY TERROR – Book 1: Judith's Prophecy
  • BIG SKY TERROR – Book 2: Judith's Blood
  • BIG SKY TERROR – Book 3: Judith's Fall (Spring 2021)

MORE GREAT HORROR FICTION FROM EVOLVED PUBLISHING:

  • The "Lorestalker" Series by J.P. Barnett
  • The "Writer's Block" Series by A.K. Kuykendall
  • "The Enigma of Twilight Falls" Series by Mike Robinson
  • "The Holocaust Engine" Series by David Rike & Stephen Patrick

 

Released:
Nov 2, 2020
ISBN:
9781622537280
Format:
Book

About the author

D.W. Hitz lives in Montana, where the inspiring scenery functions as a background character in his work. He is a lover of stories in all mediums. He enjoys writing in the genres of Horror, Supernatural/Paranormal Thriller, and Science Fiction/Fantasy. Originally from Norfolk, VA, D.W. has degrees in Recording Arts and Web Design and Interactive Media. He has been a creative his entire life. This creativity has driven him in writing, music, and web design and development. He aspires to tell stories that thrill the heart and stimulate the imagination. When not writing, D.W. enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, camping, and playing with the dogs.


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Judith's Blood - D.W. Hitz

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~~~

JUDITH’S BLOOD

Big Sky Terror – Book 2

Copyright © 2020 D.W. Hitz

~~~

ISBN (EPUB Version): 1622537289

ISBN-13 (EPUB Version): 978-1-62253-728-0

~~~

Editor: Mike Robinson

Cover Artist: Richard Tran

Interior Designer: Lane Diamond

~~~

PUBLISHER’S NOTE:

At the end of this novel of approximately 77,223 words, you will find two Special Sneak Previews: 1) THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER by Mike Robinson, the critically acclaimed first book in the Enigma of Twilight Falls series, and; 2) THE POSSESSION by A.K. Kuykendall, the award-winning first book in the Writer’s Block series of horror thrillers. We think you’ll enjoy these books, too, and provide these previews as a FREE extra service, which you should in no way consider a part of the price you paid for this book. We hope you will both appreciate and enjoy the opportunity. Thank you.

~~~

eBook License Notes:

You may not use, reproduce or transmit in any manner, any part of this book without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations used in critical articles and reviews, or in accordance with federal Fair Use laws. All rights are reserved.

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only; it may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, please return to your eBook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

~~~

Disclaimer:

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or the author has used them fictitiously.

Books by D.W. Hitz

BIG SKY TERROR

Book 1: Judith’s Prophecy

Book 2: Judith’s Blood

Book 3: Judith’s Fall [Coming Spring 2021]

~~~

...and more to come after that.

Books 4-6 (a second trilogy in the greater series) are already in the planning stages.

~~~

www.DWHitz.com

BONUS CONTENT

We’re pleased to offer you not one, but two Special Sneak Previews at the end of this book.

~~~

In the first preview, you’ll enjoy the First 2 Chapters of THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER by Mike Robinson, the critically acclaimed first book in the Enigma of Twilight Falls series.

~~~

~~~

Editor’s Choice at HorrorNovelReviews.com: Among the Top 10 Horror Novels of All-Time

~~~

Absolutely magnificent. ~ Shannon McGrew, Nightmarish Conjurings

~~~

Literary horror... Every page is full of insight, matched only by the high standard of the writing. ~ Tom Conrad, The Indie Pendant

~~~

OR GRAB THE FULL EBOOK TODAY!

FIND LINKS TO YOUR FAVORITE RETAILER HERE:

ENIGMA OF TWILIGHT FALLS Series at Evolved Publishing

In the second preview, you’ll enjoy the First 2 Chapters of THE POSSESSION by A.K. Kuykendall, a dark horror novel sure to appeal to fans not only of JUDIT’S BLOOD, but also of books by Dean Koontz and Stephen King.

~~~

~~~

As much as I like Dean Koontz and Stephen King, none of them build such nice twists and turns into their plots. ~ William Greenleaf

~~~

I honestly feel that you’re a gifted writer. ~ Michael Garrett (Credited as Stephen King’s First Editor)

~~~

A.K. Kuykendall blurs the lines between fact and fiction to conjure a true nightmare. ~ Shane KP O’Neill, Author of The Lucifer Agenda Series

~~~

OR GRAB THE FULL EBOOK TODAY!

YOU’LL FIND LINKS TO YOUR FAVORITE RETAILER HERE:

WRITER’S BLOCK Series at Evolved Publishing

Table of Contents

Copyright

Books by D.W. Hitz

BONUS CONTENT

Table of Contents

Dedication

JUDITH’S BLOOD

Chapter 1 – Sea Spray

Chapter 2 – Cold Flames

Chapter 3 – After a Crunchy Blow

Chapter 4 – Once More with Feeling

Chapter 5 – News from a Traveler

Chapter 6 – Rocky Top Revival

Chapter 7 – What is this?

Chapter 8 – Whisky Dirge

Chapter 9 – Dangerous Junction

Chapter 10 – Becca’s Revenge

Chapter 11 – Lame Horses

Chapter 12 – Chilly Like a Frito

Chapter 13 – Showdown in Old Lame Deer

Chapter 14 – Medics & Meds

Chapter 15 – A Cold Highway

Chapter 16 – Caravan Town

Chapter 17 – Long Time No See

Chapter 18 – On the Garden Shores

Chapter 19 – Welcome Guests

Chapter 20 – Finding a New Home

Chapter 21 – Jumping in with Both Feet

Chapter 22 – Late Night Noises

Chapter 23 – To Sink or Swim

Chapter 24 – Back on Broadway

Chapter 25 – Under the Ancients

Chapter 26 – Alone in the Garden

Chapter 27 – Plans for a Brighter Saturday

Chapter 28 – Jumpy and Stumpy

Chapter 29 – Cloudy Days

Chapter 30 – Which Way is Up

Chapter 31 – Which Way is Down

Chapter 32 – Which Way is Home

Chapter 33 – Which way is Back

Chapter 34 – Search & Rescue

Chapter 35 – Pickup Lines

Chapter 36 – Tall Drinks & Long Guns

Chapter 37 – Dashing and Dancing

Chapter 38 – Dark Influences

Chapter 39 – Into the Mouth of the Beast

Chapter 40 – The Breach

Chapter 41 – The Bridge

Chapter 42 – An Uncomfortable Position

Acknowledgements

About the Author

What’s Next?

More from D.W. Hitz

More from Evolved Publishing

Special Sneak Preview: THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER by Mike Robinson

Special Sneak Preview: THE POSSESSION by A.K. Kuykendall

Dedication

For Christina, for supporting my crazy dreams.

For Wolf and Kaari, for your smiles and excitement.

Chapter 1 – Sea Spray

Virginia Beach, VA.

Clouds consumed the night sky, their bellies softly aglow in city lights. A bitter breeze carried the beach’s damp, salty air into the park. The cold had forced the homeless under walkway bridges and sent passersby scurrying that much faster to their office Christmas parties and last-minute shopping. They tightened their coats and wrapped their scarves. And Sean stepped into the park.

He strolled with no hurry in mind. His ragged overcoat flapped with the wind, forcing him to cinch it repeatedly with each blow. He tugged his wool cap down over his black hair and mahogany ears. His tattered gloves slipped, tilting the hat off-center. He rubbed his gray-bearded cheeks then jabbed his hands into his overcoat pockets, where he could wrap the garment tightly around his tall, athletic frame.

Holy shit, this is cold, Sean huffed, closing in on his target.

The wind paused, and his body odor fluttered past his nose. It overpowered the smells of sea-salted air and his beard’s perfume of dried whiskey. He held back a grimace. This is how I should smell, after all.

Sean reached the bench and stretched out his hand. He missed the armrest, slipped, and tumbled onto the ground. His grip wobbled as he pulled himself up onto the black metal seat and rolled onto his back. He curled up inside his overcoat.

Really sell it. Make them see it.

He waited. Shivering, he rocked left and right.

Where are they?

He waited longer.

Thirty minutes passed before anyone came. Two paused at Sean’s back. Their feet clopped and slid like a couple. Heavy step, light step. A man and a woman?

How about this one? the man said, in a flat, hoarse voice.

He looks a good size, the woman said.

Excuse me. The man shook Sean from the shoulder. Sir?

Sean grumbled, rocking his head. Act it up good. Drunk, careless. He set his head back down.

The man rattled Sean’s shoulder again. Sir? Please, wake up, sir.

Huh? Sean turned. Blinking hard and deliberately, he focused on the middle-aged man’s gaunt face. What?

Dear, sir, the woman said. Her face was chiseled thin, as well. Come with us. Let’s get you out of the cold.

What? Sean said. Are you... from the shelter?

Yes, the gaunt man said. Come. This way. He motioned toward the parking lot.

Sean stood. "It is pretty cold tonight." He took a step toward the sparse parking area.

It is. The woman urged him forward.

Sean nodded and stumbled on.

The couple followed just behind him. Every few steps, their hard soles clicked against the pavement in unison. Sean’s feet slid across the ground, scraping along the cement.

He reached the edge of the parking lot and paused. Where’s the shelter van?

Over there, sir, the woman said. She pointed to a solid-white cargo van, three spaces to the right. The other van is in the shop.

Oh. Sean approached the indistinct vehicle.

As he stepped to the van’s side door, his gaunt host slid in front of him, grabbing the handle.

Let me, the man said. He jerked the handle back and slid the door open.

From inside the vehicle, the scent of bleach wafted over the air. The inner walls shone metallic white. The floor sparkled from black rubber matting. There were no seats. The windows were sealed, blocked by black metal grating. A similar cage separated the front seats from the cargo space.

But, Sean said, there’s nowhere to sit.

Stone-hard hands grabbed his sides, hoisted him up, and tossed him into the rear of the vehicle. He banged his head on the interior wall and saw white spots floating in the gloom of the van. The door slammed shut behind him. Hey!

Sean felt the doors. There were no handles on the inside.

The couple climbed into the front seats.

Let me out of here! Sean said.

Relax, the woman told him from the passenger seat. Everything’s fine. We’ll be at the shelter soon.

Fuck you, Sean said. Let me the fuck out of here! He threw his hands against the cage separating him from the front seat. He banged and rattled the metal, shaking the van.

The woman turned away. She inhaled and swung her face toward Sean, stopping an inch from the metal grate. Her jaw hung low, exposing a row of fangs behind her lips, ivory daggers enclosing her tongue. Her eyes glinted red, firm, and focused on Sean’s.

Sean jumped backward. He shuffled like a furious crab to the rear of the van. What the fuck!

The vampire looked forward. As the vehicle started, she returned her gaze to Sean, her face now human. Relax, friend. In fact, look in the bag next to you. It should help settle your nerves on the way to the shelter.

To his left, Sean felt a cloth bag containing a hard object. I know what this is. Opening the bag, he found a metal flask.

Keep it going, Sean thought, let’s see where this goes.

As the vehicle rolled, Sean unscrewed the flask’s cap. He sniffed its mouth, and once more traded glances with the vampire.

Rotgut vodka. Not on my worst day.

He leaned against the rear door and flipped the flask back. He sucked in air, as if his mouth burned, and scooted himself into shrunken cower in the rear corner.

The woman nodded with an approving smirk and looked forward.

Sean listened to passing traffic, felt the textures of the road below. The windows shielded the inside from the out. As he tried to peak through, he discovered they weren’t just tinted—they were painted black.

Where are we going? He stilled his twitching foot and checked that his hosts were still focused ahead.

They passed under streetlamps, light pulsing through the van. The ground smoothed as the vehicle slowed and turned. Sean saw the roof of a building, the top of a garage door, then a tall industrial ceiling. The engine stopped, and the driver and passenger removed themselves from the van, leaving Sean alone in the dark.

Muffled voices issued from beyond the vehicle.

Sean flipped his coat open and dug underneath his layers of flannel insulation. As the side door slid open, he remained still.

A twenty-something man with black hair leaned into view. He placed his eyes on Sean and said, in a high, encouraging tone, Come on now. Let’s get cleaned up for dinner.

Sean sat like a statue.

The man leaned deeper inside, his torso hovering beyond the threshold. He placed a hand on the black floor and tilted his gaze. Come on now, fella. We won’t hurt you.

Sean stared through the man’s false visage. I know who you are. Outside the van, a murmur grew.

The black-haired man’s face hardened. He squinted. Okay, then.

The man closed his eyes, then slowly reopened them—and they were glowing red. His mouth spread, sliding dozens of fangs into view. As he turned and reached toward Sean, black, bloody claws sprouted from below his fingernails.

Sean remained motionless as claw-tipped fingers approached his leg. He watched the hand grow closer with its fanged head in tow.

Wait, Sean said calmly, as the hand hovered over his ankle.

The black-haired vampire gazed up as Sean swung his right hand from under his flannel. Sean curled forward, jabbed his 9mm pistol into the monster’s temple, and squeezed.

Pop.

An explosion of mist, brain, and bone spattered the shiny white wall. The vampire’s limp body slumped to the driver’s side. Sticky black clumps oozed onto the rubber mat.

Sean swung his pistol toward the open door. Who’s coming? Who wants to play?

The hissing, fanged face of the female passenger jumped into view. She turned to the back of the van.

Pop.

The woman stutter-stepped backward, pivoting against the side of the van. Droplets of blood sparkled in the darkness, clinging to the back of the passenger seat. Her body slumped to the ground, and a thin stream of vampire blood trickled from the center of her forehead.

Sean focused on the opening. Come on, he whispered, heart thumping so loud he could barely hear his own words.

Murmurs and chatter resumed beyond the van’s white walls.

Clunk. The rear door holding Sean’s weight was sucked from behind him. He tumbled from the van, slamming his back onto the concrete floor. His gun slipped out of his hand.

Ow, Sean said. Shit! he felt for his gun and couldn’t find it.

Five fanged faces stared down at him. A redheaded man and the driver squatted, spreading their clawed hands toward him.

The driver’s forehead shattered like an egg. A distant pop rang through the cold night air. He wobbled and fell.

Thank God, she’s out there, Sean thought.

The left half of a redhead’s face exploded. Pop. His body collapsed forward, flopping atop Sean and pinning his arm.

The tallest of the vampires growled and screamed until his face burst like a water balloon. Another distant pop. Blood and cartilage expelled over Sean and the redhead’s corpse.

The next vampire in line turned to look through the garage door. His head exploded too.

Pop.

The last vampire turned, his eyes frantic for escape. His face erupted into a crater, gushing like a burst bag of motor oil. Pop. He slid like a ragdoll, falling over his friends.

Sean groaned as he wiggled and shoved bodies out of his way. He found his feet and offered a smile at a pair of approaching headlights.

A late-model VW Jetta stopped twenty feet from Sean and the neighboring pile of corpses. The door opened, and Theresa stepped out of the driver seat. She propped her rifle up on the car door and scanned the inside of the warehouse. Dillon emerged from the passenger side and fell back to the garage door.

Thanks, Sean said, pulling himself erect and shaking off the feeling of being prey.

Uh-huh, Theresa said.

Sean walked to the Jetta and popped the trunk open. A second later, he headed back to his body pile, swinging a machete in his right hand.

You want to help me with this? Sean said.

I think you got it, Theresa said. She loved to shoot but wasn’t a fan of the dirty work. Her eyes were fixed in the distance, away from the up-close carnage.

Dillon? Sean said.

Dillon turned to Sean, flashed half a toothy grin, and pivoted back to the outside.

Just thought I’d ask, Sean said. He knelt and lined up his blade under one of the corpses’ jaws.

Theresa looked at Sean from the corner of her eye, then glanced away quickly. I’m going to walk the perimeter. Make sure we’re alone. She set her rifle in the back seat and drew her pistol.

Okay, Sean said, forcing his blade through the vampire’s flesh.

The rough tread on Theresa’s boots became quieter as she strutted further into the building.

Dillon spotted Theresa’s trip and sprinted to catch up.

Sean moved to the next body. I guess someone has to do the dirty work. He grabbed the next corpse by its bloody hair.

One, two, three heads severed, when Sean heard the silence break with the sound of Theresa’s voice. She shrieked from the far side of the warehouse.

Theresa! Sean surged to his feet and ran.

Gunshots lit the distance like flashes of lightning. A group of beings scrambled toward Theresa and Dillon. They were too fast and too many to count. The hunters backed away and fired, again and again.

What the fuck! Dillon yelled above his outpouring of shots.

Dillon’s pistol locked back. Empty. Then Theresa’s.

Run! Sean said. He fired between his two friends, into the crowd.

Theresa swiveled and ran toward Sean.

Dillon turned while dropping a magazine. He took a step and capsized as claws sunk into his leg. He screamed.

Sean placed two rounds into the beast holding Dillon. Its face gushed, and its claws went limp.

Dillon stood. He took a step toward Sean, and a creature’s fangs converged on his left bicep. It wrapped its arms around his waist, hooked its claws into Dillon’s chest, and he howled.

The bloodsucker drew its arms downward. Dillon’s jacket split into strips, exposing sliced flesh and streaming blood.

Sean fired at the monster, bursting its eye and the back of its head. Another attached to Dillon’s right, another on his leg, and yet another on his ankle. Sean sighed, then aimed his pistol at his friend’s forehead.

Dillon’s gaze met Sean’s. He trembled as he mouthed a silent prayer. His face fell still as a bullet tunneled through his head.

Sean cried out. His blood boiled. He turned and ran toward the Jetta.

Theresa sat in the driver’s seat and flung the vehicle to the left, aiming the passenger door at Sean.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, Sean said. He frantically sprinted to the car and dove inside.

Theresa squealed through the parking lot and onto the road, while the passenger door flapped with each bump. She refused to slow down. She threw the VW around curves and down the city’s streets, through lights, green and red. As they crossed under the Interstate, she pulled off the road and slammed the vehicle to a stop.

What! Theresa cried. She clinched the steering wheel in both hands, stared forward, gasped, and panted.

A small white and red paper blew in the wind. It hovered above the pavement, tapping down every few feet with its corners before lifting into flight. It danced across the road and fluttered off into the night as Theresa’s eyes burned, peering into the dark.

Sean sighed. He placed his hand over Theresa’s.

Rolling thunder vibrated through the vehicle. In the distant sky, light flashed, illuminating a large swath of clouds.

Theresa’s phone lit up and vibrated in the cupholder between them. The screen read, New Message from J

Chapter 2 – Cold Flames

Easy guided the shovel across the ground, removing the latest inch of snow from the shared space between his and Jess’s campers. As he reached the end of the path, he tossed the shovel’s contents into the empty field in front of his camper. He paused, letting the light from his headlamp set off crystalline sparkles in the white blanket, as if diamond dust had been sprinkled across the ground.

The group took turns after each snowfall. Easy, Ben, Jess, then Damon. An old injury in Maddy’s back exempted her from the job. Besides, she easily pulled her weight around camp with her witchcraft.

It had been an early year for the snow. It wasn’t unusual for the ground to be white by Thanksgiving, or even have a trace at Halloween. But this year, October 1st hailed the start of winter, and the land had worn a solid white sheet since the 15th. At a week into December, this cold season was already being called the longest on record.

Easy’s fire burned high, melting any drop of water or flake of snow near the fire ring. He locked the shovel in the storage space below his camper and placed his chair inside the warmth of the roaring flames. He glanced at his phone and took a seat.

They should be back soon.

Easy rested, staring into the cascading flickers and thinking about the night ahead. Behind him, the camper door swung open.

Ben stepped down. He grabbed his chair from beside the camper with his good hand and joined Easy at the fire. White bandages enveloped Ben’s right hand. They joked that the mitten would keep him warm, inside and out.

Nice fire, Ben said.

Thanks, Easy said. How’s the hand doing?

Feels like I dipped it in napalm after reaching into a fryer for a lost French fry.

That good, huh?

Ben shook his head.

Well, she got you good, Easy said. It’s a good thing we’re scarred with protective runes, or you could be a bloodsucker right now.

Almost wish I was, as much as this fucking hurts.

Ben, really. You have to think about letting her go.

We’ve talked about this—

Yeah, well, Easy said, as long as you’re keeping a chained-up vampire in a nearby cave, the topic is going to keep coming up.

Ben rolled his eyes.

Seriously, Easy said. She just about ripped your hand off. What else needs to happen for you to believe this is a bad situation?

She’s—

Cloe’s dead, Ben. It’s not her. It’s a demon, dancing around in her body.

I know! Ben stood, turning away from Easy. I know it’s not her, but if we can free her soul from Hell, she has to have somewhere to go.

She does, Ben. Heaven.

Really, Easy?

Call it something else if you want. A higher plain—paradise—the next life. Regardless, what you want to call it, after being in Hell, I doubt she would want to come back to deal with a vampire in her body. Let alone have to fight against this goddamn prophecy.

Ben sighed. Maybe.

You need to ask yourself who you’re really doing it for, her or you. Because from here, it looks like it’s all for you.

The Suburban’s heavy rumble echoed from down the road.

Maybe, Ben said. He walked to the woodpile and brought back three thick half-logs. He tossed one into the fire and dropped the other two along the outside of the ring. Sitting down, he turned to watch Jess and Maddy pull up and park beside Maddy’s Cherokee.

The girls laughed as they exited the truck. After seeing Easy and Ben, they headed toward the fire.

How did it go? Easy said.

Okay, Jess said. I got a text out to Theresa, but it looks like the other numbers I have are bad. Maybe Theresa has Keith’s and Bill’s current numbers. We’ll see when she gets back to me.

I got a hold of a witch friend in Kansas, Maddy said. She said she’s with us in spirit but has her own apocalypse to deal with.

Damon stepped out of Jess’s camper and joined the group. He leaned in and gave Maddy a kiss.

So, where do we go from here? Ben said.

We do like we always have, until something breaks, Easy said. "We check out what we hear, and we kill the vampires we find. Sooner or later, one of them is going to have to lead to where those mega-vamps are hiding—and then we’ll take them out."

We still have over a month, right? Jess said, turning to Maddy. Before they can do the ritual?

That’s how it translated, Maddy said in her long southern drawl. But I’d feel a lot more comfortable if we had more sources to gather information from. Maybe we could take another crack at questioning the one in the cave?

Ben’s face grew a sour expression.

We should, Easy said. He turned to Ben, I know you don’t like it, but if she knows anything that could help us—

I know, Ben said. But I don’t have to like it. Last time it took a week for all of her skin to grow back.

It’s a goddamn vampire, Ben! Jess said.

Ben stood and headed for Easy’s camper.

Ben, Easy said.

The door opened, and Ben climbed in without a word. The door slammed shut behind him.

Easy sighed.

It’s a goddamn vampire, Easy, Jess said. Enough already with this shit. If it has use for us, we need to use it—otherwise, we should get rid of it.

Easy raised his palm and nodded. I know, I know. Just—give him a little more time to work through this. He’s making progress.

Really? Jess said. "It’s been like five fucking months. That’s

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