The Year's Best Horror Stories, Series XIII
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"So. You survived 1984, did you? Now then, let’s see if you can survive The Year’s Best Horror Stories: Series XIII—presenting eighteen of the best horror stories published during 1984."
of things.” He fell still a long time then and I let him be still. Didn’t have no urge to move him. And at last he says: “She disappeared in August. I seen her for the first time in early July, and she looked . . .” Homer turned to me and spoke each word with careful spaced emphasis. “Dave Owens, she looked gorgeous! Gorgeous and wild and almost untamed. The little wrinkles I’d started to notice around her eyes all seemed to be gone. Worth Todd, he was at some conference or something in Boston.
range. He could still walk, by God. The Omicron reminded Jack of a kid’s bedroom. To an adult, a noninitiate, it looked like a trash heap—but there was a comforting order inside for those who cared to delve past the superficial. It would never appeal to the Rolls Royce trade, yet was not quite as bad as the kung-fu sleaze pits of downtown L.A. which looked as though they had been razed by Mongols. The Omicron was, in essence, a “normal” theatre stripped down for combat, its patrons exemplars
beginning to scab over. “Yeah, tumbleweeds.” Hagen put his gun away. “Look, we gotta go out there again. I’ve gotta see what the hell is going on. You understand? I’ve gotta know. One minute they were there and the next . . . I’ve gotta know if I’m crackin’ up or what.” For the first time Hagen noticed the blood on Sanchez’s face. “What happened to you? Your face is cut up.” “I fell in the damned cactus. I was chasing three of them. There’s gotta be more. Let’s go, only this time we stay
of his own imagination, and, feeling sleep approaching again, he turned onto his side and let it come. He slept easily this time, falling almost immediately into a dreamless slumber, and did not wake again until a heavy knocking at his door aroused him at about half-past-six. Only half-awake, he climbed from his bed and opened the door to his untimely visitors. A yawn became a gasp of incredulity as he saw the urgent faces of the landlord and Harry Arnold, the latter biting his lip nervously,
said to himself, I’ve been driving too long. He pushed the gas pedal to the floor. They had best get to Redemption as quickly as possible. Certainly before nightfall. In the rear view mirror he thought he saw another car in the far distance. For the next few miles he stared straight-ahead at the highway. He started counting the dead animals again. He killed yet another prairie dog. Rechecking the mirror he saw that the car was a pickup truck, the same dirty green as the boy’s. Ralph pushed the