Friday, June 5, 2015

"Mother's Nature" by Wally Runnels

Mother's Nature
(A Rocky Short Story)
by Wally Runnels

Author Wally Runnels stops by today to share an excerpt from his latest release, Mother's Nature, now available for only $0.99. You can also read my review and enter our exclusive giveaway for a chance to win one of five Kindle copies.
Mother's Nature is part of a series of five novellas and short stories in which the same characters are interwoven, but which have no plot connection. Also available (for only $0.99): The In-Ko-Pah Spirit, Tupho’s Pink DeVille, Heavenly Pain, and Death Karma.

Rocky is a disabled Marine Sergeant who works as a professional hitter. He’s reluctantly agreed to locate his best friend’s aunt Moya, a powerful curandera who lives in a mysterious canyon where even local Indians are afraid to enter. His pal Hector says that he would try to locate aunt Moya himself, but she makes him nervous. Rocky gets a weird feeling yet agrees to find her, but helping Hector takes Rocky into a web of danger with a strange woman who nurses wild creatures back to health. Will her dark desires permanently end Rocky’s career?

Book Video

The air began to have a sickening smell of death and decay, removing the last measure of security Rocky carried on his journey.
He slowed to study the landscape and checked the sky for vultures. The odor of decomposition was getting stronger. Circling scavengers usually marked the location of the source. There were none.
Forms of boulders and redshank leaned and angled away from the direction he traveled. The landscape had the appearance of attempting to move in the opposite direction. Boulders and scrub trees leaned away as if pushed back by some blast. After a tight turn around a gooey confectionary looking boulder, Rocky jerked the truck to a stop.
Through his driver’s side window he saw roofless rock walls that rose like the remains of a Neolithic village. Empty. Solitary chimneys, empty gaping windows and open entranceways that revealed weeds growing inside. Small windows held sad expressions. Open doorways seemed to howl against their lonely solitude.
Now the smell of decay was thick and its source appeared to be a live oak that grew in the center of the barren community. It had a barrel-thick trunk with supporting branches that rose no more than twenty-feet. From its twisted limbs hung hundreds of small rag dolls.
All were female and wore the same gray shift topped by a round stuffed head, and were suspended by a brown cord wound around their necks. They had dots the size of pennies for eyes. The wind swung and jerked them in a cacophony of discordant actions. Their facial expressions were somber. The stuffed ladies stared at Rocky and jigged. He felt watched by thousands of eyes.
Movement pulled his line of sight to the right. Another doll lay in the sandy reaches thirty feet from his truck. Did it just move? A light breeze ruffled its gown. Stick arms and legs looked skeletal. Now still, its head was tilted towards Rocky. Their eyes met. Was it seeing him as he saw her? Had it been moving, and that was what he had seen, or just a flash of shape caught in the breeze? Mentally he joked to himself and thought it was trying to get to the tree and join the others. Then he had a dark thought. Was it?

Praise for the Book
"To begin a Wally Runnels story is to step into a world that is fully realized, one where the desert, the heat, weirdness and violence not only exist, but thrive. We are trespassers in this strange land, but Runnels is our guide - he takes us to very distant and dark places, far from our homes, then sees that we return safely, though not unchanged. I have read a lot of horror, and many, many stories that deal with a man visiting the home of a witch. Runnels' one-armed hit man Rocky (a wonderful character), has such an encounter with a curandera in a story entitled Mother's Nature. It is a tale that is compelling, rich with detail, and full of menace and dread - and genuine horror. I urge you to read this story, then look for Runnels' other tales of Rocky and his murderous exploits and constant search for the spirit of a lost love. But leave more than one light on, because bulbs ... well, they can burn out, can't they? And you don't want to be lost in Rocky's world in the dark." ~ Mark Onspaugh, Author of Kau’ Mau and other published novels

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
This is another in Wally Runnel's series featuring Rocky, an ex-military, one-armed hitman. In this story, Rocky reluctantly agrees to find Moya, the aunt of his best friend, Hector. Moya is both a curandera (witch) and a nagual (shapeshifter). But what Rocky encounters is even weirder than even he expected.
Rocky is an interesting character with a skewed moral compass; he dislikes killing animals - even snakes - but has no problem killing humans - as long as he is paid to do so. The author skilfully interweaves Rocky's back story into the narrative, making us understand his motivations and his never-ending quest for his lost love, Bo Kwan. Set in the In-Ko-Pah mountain ranges on the border of California and Mexico, the author gives us a great sense of place and deftly creates a sinister atmosphere. And he has impeccable timing when delivering the final blow.
Warnings: horror, violence, coarse language, sex scene.

Message from the Author      
In this story, as in many of my others, I have set up Nature as a dark, supernatural force. It acts only for the benefit of itself in conflict with humanity. The main character, Rocky, sees Nature's dangers as earthquakes, hurricanes and landslides. These are hazards that work on a large scale. Rocky's dangerous experience in Mother's Nature takes on a more personal aspect of Nature's power.

About the Author
The Border – the Mexican/American edge - a territory filled with bizarre characters wrapped in myth and legend. Ancient beings. Shape-shifters. Impossible? Think again.
Wally Runnels was born in San Diego, California, raised at his family’s ranch on the border (whose original deed was recorded in 1870), and has traveled extensively through Mexico and Latin America. Hanging out on the border between two countries, he’s met a lot of unusual people: Hollywood types, Border Patrol Officers, professional trackers, smugglers, and people he won’t mention by name. He’ll remind you that no matter how weird a story can get, it’ll contain some grain of truth.

Enter our exclusive giveaway for a chance to win one of five Kindle copies of Mother's Nature by Wally Runnels.