The Diner on the Edge of Hell
My new story, The Diner on the Edge of Hell, is out in the latest issue of Weird Tales. Happiness!
Here’s an excerpt:
Petrie shrugged and sat back, chewing placidly, and looked around the diner. It was a spotless, perfect stereotype of a diner: bright porcelain tiles, harsh fluorescent lights, a juke box, a pinball machine. A line of pennants hung just below the ceiling, points-down, like a colorful array of stalactites. Booths lined three of the walls in a sort of squared-off U, capped by the long formica bar at the back of the diner. A demon in a kilt stood behind the bar, wiping down its glossy surface. His name was Harold.
“Hey,” called Petrie, and pointed at his empty mug. Harold glanced up, with two of his eyes, and nodded.
There was a flash of color on the other side of the window, and a rift opened up in the molten sky. Janikowski leaned toward the window and watched something pour out of the rift — a long columnar thump of something, like a narrow waterfall — and explode into a roiling particulate cloud when it touched the ground. He squinted through the muck until the cloud resolved itself a swarm of creatures, tiny with distance, making its way toward the diner.
“I thought we were waiting for a girl,” said Petrie.
“Then why am I looking at a horde of demons?” There was a tightness in Petrie’s voice that some people might have mistaken for fear.
Janikowski stood up. “I don’t know.”
“This is a setup.”
“Maybe.” He took a step toward the door, looked back. “You coming?”
“Hell yes I’m coming.” Petrie ducked under the table and came up with his cannon. It was long and smooth and tubular and taller than he was, made out of some kind of milk-white metal, with a muzzle the size of a rabbit hole and some sort of fiendishly complicated mechanism on the butt end. “This is finally getting interesting.”