I debuted a short extract from my work-in-progress novel Stone Plant in Cape Town at the annual South African Halloween Horrorfest, as part of the Bloody Parchment readings by local horror authors. It was gruesome …
Here’s a taster of the taster:
In the layers furthest from the sun, the skeletons of old, strange animals swam, their giant forms suspended in rock. Flotsam from some murky inland sea, rendered down to silt. The earth down there was sour and starved of oxygen; more recent occupants turned their backs on it. A little higher, there were inscrutable things: acres of char from gigantic fires that had left nothing else behind. If you put your face close, you would still smell the stink of singed feathers. A ring of bleached jackal skeletons, laid out as offerings to some forgotten god. Complicated. Clues to a million murders. Enough to keep generations of detectives busy with their magnifying glasses, their fingerprint dust.
Several graves deep, a woman lay curled, hands up by her chin, thoughtful, listening to the ruckus of the years. Her necklace of eggshell beads was intact, although their string was gone. She was very, very old.