But a smell shivered him awake.
It was a scent as old as the world. It was a hundred aromas of a thousand places. It was the tang of pine needles. It was the musk of sex. It was the muscular rot of mushrooms. It was the spice of oak. Meaty and redolent of soil and bark and herb. It was bats and husks and burrows and moss. It was solid and alive – so alive! And it was close.
The vapors invaded Nicholas’ nostrils and his hair rose to their roots. His eyes were as heavy as manhole covers, but he opened them. Through the dying calm inside him snaked a tremble of fear.
The trees themselves seemed tense, waiting. The moonlight was a hard shell, sharp, ready to be struck and to ring like steel.
A shadow moved.
It poured like oil from between the tall trees and flowed across dark sandy dirt, lengthening into the middle of the ring. Trees seem to bend toward it, spellbound. A long, long shadow…
Excerpt: The Dead Path, Stephen M Irwin
Inky: ahhh, a Belgium Chocolate standard of a description. Loved it.