Teaser Thursday: Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey (a two-fer)
Consider yourself special, dear readers, because this week you get not one, but two teasers. Get ’em while they’re hot! I’ve been making my way through the lastest in Rick Yancey’s Monstrumologist series, The Isle of Blood, which was just released this week. It’s a scary book that has a lot of humor incorporated (though it’s most definitely a darker sort of humor), so I’ve decided to give you a pair of teasers that fit in each category. Up first, Doctor Warthrop’s twisted sense of humor:
“Ambra grisea. or ambergris, the aged regurgitation of the sperm whale,” the monstrumologist answered. “A common ingredient in perfume. I often wonder, though, how common it would be if ladies in particular knew where it came from. You see, ambergris is normally expelled through the whale’s anus with fecal matter, but –“
“Fecal matter?” My stomach rolled.
“Shit. But sometimes the mass is too large to pass, and the material is regurgitated through the mouth.”
“In a matter of speaking, yes. The ancient Chinese called it ‘dragon spittle.’ In the Middle Ages people carried balls of it around, believing it could ward off the plague. It’s quite pleasant, though, isn’t it?”
I agreed that it was. The doctor smiled with satisfaction, as if he had just imparted an important lesson.
“All right. Quietly now, Will Henry.”
We stepped into the bedroom. Despite the gift of regurgitated whale shit, I could smell Kendall’s decay,” (68).
And now a teaser that will have you on the edge of your seat . . .
I turned back. My turning took a thousand years. The stairs stretched out below me for a thousand miles.
To the landing, another millennia. There was the beating of my heart and my hot breath puffing my makeshift mask, and the smell of ambergris and, above, and behind me, the gentle protest of the top step, creaking.
I stopped, listening. The passing of the third millennia.
I was patting my empty pockets for the gun.
Where is the gun?
He had forgotten to give it back to me, or, as he would undoubtedly say, I had forgotten to ask him for it.
I knew I should keep going. Instinctively I understood where salvation lay. But it is human to tie ourselves to the mainmast, to be Lot’s wife, turning back.
I turned back (pg. 75).