Red River Seven by A. J. Ryan EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
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- Author: A. J. Ryan
- Language: English
- Genre:Science Fiction
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It was the scream rather than the gunshot that woke him. It was not a
He knew that there had been a gunshot, the dissipating but familiar echo
of it thrummed his ears as he raised his head, blinking eyes stinging from a
mix of salt and drizzle. The scream sounded again as he shifted to press his
hands against chilly, rubberised metal, pushing against a surface that heaved
and swayed. He jerked towards the source of the scream, the keening,
piercing quality it possessed sending a jolt of pain through his skull. More
blinking brought the screamer into focus, confirming its inhuman nature.
The gull angled its head at him, a stiff, grating breeze ruffling its
feathers as it bobbed on the deck as if preparing for something. He
wondered if it intended to fly at him – gulls could be vicious – but it merely
widened its yellow beak to scream once more before spreading an
impressively broad set of wings and launching itself into the air. Following
the track of its flight, he watched it skim choppy grey waters before
disappearing into a bank of mist.
“Sea…” The word scraped over a dry tongue before escaping his lips.
“I’m all at sea.” For no reason at all this struck him as remarkably funny,
and so he laughed. The pitch of his hilarity surprised him, the loud,
breathless peals of mirth causing him to descend once more to the deck as
he convulsed. Deck, he realised as his laughter faded. I’m on a boat, or a
His immediate impulse was to rise once more and survey his
surroundings, but once again for reasons that failed to make themselves
known, he didn’t. For the space of a full minute he remained huddled and
unmoving on the deck, his face only inches from the rubber matting. His
heart raced as he tried to parse the cause of this paralysis. I’m afraid. Why?
The reason dawned with such shaming obviousness that he almost laughed
again. The gunshot, fuck-head. There was a gunshot. Now get up before
there’s another one.
Gritting his teeth, he pushed against the deck, forcing himself to his
knees, head swivelling in search of threats, eyes tracking over more mistshrouded waves, the white on grey wake left by the boat he was on and a
small, tarpaulin-covered inflatable swaying a little in its tethers. Little boat,
big boat, he thought, fighting down another wave of laughter. Hysteria, he
corrected himself, drawing in a deep breath.
What he saw as he turned to his right drove out any vestige of humour.
The corpse lay slumped against a bulkhead, dark grey paint discoloured
by the plume of red and black that had very recently emanated from the
dead man’s skull. He wore plain military style fatigues and boots, the jacket
lacking any insignia or name. His head lolled to one side, the face a
stranger, although the passage of a bullet fired beneath the chin to puncture
the top of the skull will do much to alter a man’s features. One arm was
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