Welcome! Today’s post is an excerpt from my debut novel The Death of Laszlo Breyer, set for Halloween release for your Amazon Kindle device/app!
(This post was updated April 2021. The book is out now! Link after the excerpt!)
Alcoholic ex-detective Jack Talbot is accused of stealing the remains of his dead wife’s killer, but when new killings start, he has to find out who is passing themselves off as lycanthrope psychopath Laszlo Breyer, before the copycat exacts his bloody revenge and kills those closest to Jack.
In this excerpt, David saw something unusual on his CCTV cameras and their dog, Freddy, is missing. He is preparing himself to go outside and look.
David tramped downstairs re-tightening the belt on his dressing gown. In the kitchen he rifled through his drawer, ignored the ball of string and screwdrivers and WD-40 and assortment of light bulbs and grabbed the torch. Outside, the wind whipped up again. He looked down at the torch, unsure of the last time he’d used it and flicked it on, off, then on again. Gripping the cold barrel, he stood by the back door.
From upstairs came a click and warm, welcoming light cascaded from the landing.
‘What’s going on?’
David’s grip released on the torch and fastened again just in time to stop it falling to the floor. He breathed deeply, ‘He’s gone... again.’
David sighed, ‘He’s gone again. Your beloved Freddy.’
‘Well go out and find him.’
‘What do you think I’m doing?’ he snapped. ‘Go back to bed.’
He heard muttering as the light went off and then the only sound in the house was again the sound of that biting wind.
David stared longingly upstairs in the direction of his warm bed, then turned back to the door. He did the maths. It would take ten seconds, maybe fifteen, to get outside, round the corner and to the back of the property. Once there, he would check the rope which tied Freddy. If it was chewed through (again) it was nothing serious, just another escape attempt. He could come back inside, go back to the nice, warm bed upstairs, and start looking for him tomorrow. Thirty seconds. Max.
And if it wasn’t an escape attempt?
He frowned. Deep down he sensed that this was different from the other times that Freddy had escaped; that the scene on the monitor was somehow wrong. He couldn’t swear to it, but he thought he’d seen a shadow on screen as he entered the study. He drew another deep breath, turned the key in the door, and opened it.
Once outside, the bitter wind snatched at his dressing gown as he strode to the rear of the house. Five seconds. The silver torch beam twinkled on the snowy ground a few feet ahead of him. As he rounded the corner the harsh security light flooded his tired eyes. Ten seconds. He shielded them, before turning his attention to the kennel and rope. He kneeled to inspect the rope when, above the wind, came a sound from the trees. He span, half falling against the house, and trained the torchlight into the dense greenness of the conifers.
The wind died to a whisper. In the distance a car door slammed shut and he thought about calling out to the neighbour for help. But what would he say? That his dog was missing?
He stood now and gingerly stepped towards the trees, bobbing and leaning to get a view through the branches, his heart racing.
Then he heard it.
A low growl.
The pounding heartbeat rose in his ears again as the torch settled on a pair of glowing eyes.
‘Fred. Stop fucking about,’ he shouted, unable to control the quiver in his voice.
As he stepped back he noticed footprints leading into the trees. Too big for Freddy’s? His mind was at the point of contemplating the patch where whatever it was stopped walking into the trees and started to be dragged
Please not Freddy
when, between the gusts of wind, the growl rose.
David dropped the torch. He turned and sprinted for the door. Behind him, he heard the trees part. His shadow shrank in the fallen torchlight only to be swallowed by something huge. He stumbled around the corner and leapt at the kitchen door expecting to feel the cold grip of death at any moment…
The Death of Laszlo Breyer is available now on Amazon in ebook and paperback. If you’d like more info on new releases, or almost daily posts on horror and the unexplained, head to my Facebook page...
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The history of mankind is riddled with the weird and the wonderful; bizarre people, strange places and odd events. For centuries, we’ve told each other fantastic stories around campfires and in darkened rooms. Tales of ghosts, UFOs, and conspiracies, but are these stories exactly that: Stories? There’s only one way to find out! Join me as I dive down the rabbit hole and into… the Unexplained Files.
This time: Simulation Theory
2015 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate,
American Museum of Natural History, New York. The annual science conference is going well; Neil Degrasse Tyson and other boffin types are all having a great sciencey time and laughing at Flat Earthers (rightfully) and religion (probably) when suddenly, Dr James Gates Jr. takes the proverbial floor and watches as his revered colleagues break out in assholes and shit themselves to death.
Why? He told them that the chances are we are living in a simulation. That everything around us isn’t actually real. It’s made up. They were all part of the Matrix. Just in shit clothes.
And I can hear you cry “Why didn’t the sciencey ones tell this dude to fuck himself?” The answer to that is, he didn’t tell them outright they were all part of the Matrix. He dropped them a little factoid and let the clever peeps work out the rest on their own.
So what did he tell them?
He’d been looking into string theory, the idea that all of the forces in nature can be described by one theory, that strings everything together.
In his research, he’d been studying pictures of equations related to string theory attempting to fathom the true nature of reality, and within said pictures he found codes. Computer codes. Computer codes like those you’d find in an internet browser.
If that freaks you out a bit, you might take a little comfort in knowing that after hearing this information Neil Degrasse Tyson spent a full three minutes trying to scoop his melted brain back inside his earholes.
That can’t be right though, can it? Over seven billions souls on Earth, how can it not be real?
Quantum computers. That’s how. In a nutshell, a quantum computer is like a regular computer, but instead of doing calculations one at a time, it does all of the calculations at the same time, much like a human brain. A computer powerful enough could pretend to be seven billion different brains. In fact, it’s actually more likely that we live in a simulation.
If you look at the first computer game Pong, it was two rectangle ‘bats’ sliding up and down hitting a square ‘ball’. Compare that with what we have today. Space explorer No Man’s Sky may not have been everything that was expected of it, but what was cool about the game was that the developers themselves hadn’t seen all of the worlds they had created. Because there were 18 quintillion of them. They put code into a computer, and it developed multiple worlds based on that data.
What we have to consider is this: If the pattern of improvement continues, at some point the future, we will reach a stage where computer games are indistinguishable from reality.
Enter Philosopher Nick Bostrum and his Simulation Argument. Bostrum reckons there are three distinct possibilities and one of them must be true.
Make Your Mind Up Time.
So if this is all a computer simulation, doesn’t that make it all a bit sad? We live in a computer-generated world, and nothing is real.
Actually, I don’t think it does. Think about it: if the sun shines, don’t you fell a bit better? If you drop a glass, does it not fall to the floor? And probably break? If you cut yourself cleaning it up do you not bleed? In the simulation, if you get hit by a train, it really hurts. You probably die. That’s if you’re lucky. If you kill someone, they stay dead, and you get caught, you go to jail. And perhaps get touched inappropriately by a 200-pound man named “Crystal”. Not good.
By the same token. If you fall in love, that spring in your step feels real enough, doesn't it? Real or not, it changes nothing. And if you do get the feeling that none of it matters because it’s not ‘real’, then why not throw caution to the wind and chase your dreams. Make good of it. Take a chance. Just make sure you’re not hurting anybody in the process. Basically, don’t be an asshole.
Are we living in a computer-generated simulation?
RATING: 1=Bollocks 2=Not convinced 3=Possibly… 4=Compelling stuff 5=Holyshittheskyisfalling
If you enjoyed this, you might like my post on Operation Gladio. And if you run out of stuff to read here, you can always join us on the Marc W Shako Facebook page!
In this blog I'll be bringing to you short tales of things that go bump in the night, true stories of weird and unexplained events, and the real-life news of all things odd and macabre, and entertain you along the way.