Wednesday, June 1, 2011


The four stories that comprise the Tales of Nephren Ka chapbook (available from Rainfall Books) were some of my favorites to write, and consequently, I think some of my better Lovecraftian work. IMHO.

The stories include –

The Circle
The Chronicler
The Coming
The Candidate

Here’s an excerpt from “The Coming” –

“Miss Myers.”

At the sudden mention of her name, Jen turned her eyes to the handsome dark Arab man standing at the table. He was smiling, a hand extended to an empty chair.

“May I?” Khalid al-Alranna added.

Momentarily startled by his abrupt appearance at the table, she shook it off and nodded. “Yes, by all means.”

Khalid sat, crossed his arms on the table, and continued to smile.

“How do you know my name and what do you want?” Jen questioned pointedly, her momentary awe given over to mistrust and suspicion.

His smiled widened as he leaned over the table. “Even in Cairo, it is not difficult to find the one who seeks the tomb of the Black Pharaoh,” he said, his words hushed. “The people whisper and word gets around. It is a dangerous thing you do.”

“Old wives tales...”

“Not to the people of Egypt,” Khalid interrupted softly. “But you are an outsider; you would not understand.”

“My research has shown that not all Egyptians are as superstitious as you claim. Some Egyptian scholars even dismiss Nephren-Ka as fantasy.” She tapped the book she had been reading.

Khalid glanced at the book, sat back, and nodded. “Yes, there are those who discount the stories of Nephren-Ka.”

“Do you?” Jen asked.

Khalid continued to smile, his head titled down slightly, his eyes upturned. “I do not,” he replied after a short pause.

“Alright, then why are you here?”

“To help you in your search, Miss Myers.”

“I’m not sure I want your help,” Jen replied.

“If you want to find the tomb of the Black Pharaoh, you will accept my offer,” Khalid said. “Otherwise, you will find no one to help you.”

“I already have help...”

“Mustafa Ibn Almar,” Khalid interrupted. “I know him well. Apparently you do not. He will take your money and sell you to Sudanese rebels for their pleasure.” He paused, leaned close, and added softly, “It would not be the first time he has done so.”