A part of the Systema Paradoxa series under eSpec’s new NeoParadoxa imprint, this is Breaking the Code by David Lee Summers. A cryptid novella based on the skinwalker.
There are creatures lurking in our world. Obscure creatures long relegated to myth and legend. They have been sighted by a lucky—or unlucky—few, some have even been photographed, but their existence remains unproven and unrecognized by the scientific community.
These creatures, long thought gone, have somehow survived; creatures from our nightmares haunting the dark places. They swim in our lakes and bays, they soar the night skies, they hunt in the woods. Some are from our past, and some from other worlds, and others that have always been with us—watching us, fearing us, hunting us.
These are the cryptids, and Systema Paradoxa tells their tales.
1942. Gallup, New Mexico. Marine recruiters have come to town looking to fill their ranks with a secret weapon against the Axis powers—what would become Navajo Code Talkers—but not everyone supports the prospect of young native men going off to war.
When one new recruit is found dead, and a rancher’s cattle are mutilated, whispers of witchcraft and skinwalker filter through the town and interest in enlisting wanes. Is there evil afoot, or is that just what opponents to the cause want everyone to think?
Whether guided by magic, mischief, or malevolence, without a doubt, nothing is as it seems…
David Lee Summers is the author of a dozen novels and numerous short stories and poems. His most recent novels are the space pirate adventure, Firebrandt’s Legacy, and a horror novel set an astronomical observatory, The Astronomer’s Crypt. His short stories have appeared in such magazines and anthologies as Cemetery Dance, Realms of Fantasy, Straight Outta Tombstone, After Punk, and Gaslight and Grimm. He’s one of the editors of Maximum Velocity: The Best of the Full-Throttle Space Tales from WordFire Press. He’s been nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Rhysling and Dwarf Stars Awards. When he’s not writing, David operates telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory. He’s also been known to drive lonely desert roads, watching for cryptids. Find David on the web at http://www.davidleesummers.com.