I have a new short story out today: “Monkey House.” Here is the book description:
Retired lawyer Tom Tate is just about to call it a night when an impossible creature comes out of the bush and asks for help. It is convinced they are in danger. Tom, despite his better judgment, allows the creature in the house.
His house is shortly attacked by burly monsters that look like monkey-ape hybrids, demanding he turn over the strange creature.
The monsters can’t just talk, some are as intelligent at Tom Tate.
Tom Tate must use his wits to escape the clutches of these menacing monsters as he tries to understand the unexpected situation and how he should respond. If you like monster stories that push the bounds of your imagination, this story is for you. Fans of Planet of the Apes, the Island of Doctor Moreau, and Michael Crichton’s Next will enjoy this yarn.
Fuzzball ran from a window to a far corner as I entered. One of the ape-monkey creatures stood in the broken window, a foot lazily hanging over the edge while a hand was propped up on the inside for balance.
Becker’s barking appeared to be the only thing that kept it from entering. It blinked at the barking dog.
“Watcha doing?” came a voice from below. “Go on, get in.”
The creature hissed. “There’s a dog that will bite me the moment I touch the floor.”
I swung my ax, catching the haft in my hand. If there could be a talking bear cub, why not talking monkeys? Had Marjorie slipped something into my diet Coke before heading out for the evening? I was starting to feel like I’d been transported into a bizarre reality, with wild animals that could mimic human speech patterns.
“Flee, you tormentor!” cried Fuzzball from the corner. “Death take you.” Strong words from a small cowering creature who had no way of fighting.
I glanced at Fuzzball and did a double take, he had his paws up, four-inch claws were extended. His teeth were bared, giving me a clear view for the first time. They could have chomped my arm in half. He was also standing straight on his two feet, rising well above my waist. He looked much more dangerous than when I had first met him.
I took several steps into the room, brandishing my ax as if it were a club or a baseball bat. Its handle felt familiar and was comforting. I used it every day during the winter to chop wood.
“Look here,” I shouted. “This is no place for a brawl.” I motioned with my ax at the creature. “You can leave the way you came. Take your friends with you. I won’t charge you for the window.”
He let out a barking laugh. “Petey, you got to get up in here, there’s a fleshbag with an ax who thinks he’s going to scare me.”
“Move, move, Regey! You need help.” This was a third voice. I guessed there were five, maybe six. I hadn’t counted the shadows.
For as fierce as the monsters looked, they sounded like teenage boys who were skipping school for the first time to have a little fun.
I took umbrage at being referred to as a fleshbag, but I thought of them as talking monkeys, so perhaps it was only fair.
“Call off your dog,” Regey said, looking at me with a mocking smile.