PAUL D CooMBS
the strange, the gothic, the dark, and the beautifully tragic
A story born out of humanity’s current disarray, our arrogance toward each other, nature and the species with which we co-exist on this planet. It explores our concept of morality and the state of the human soul itself. Ultimately, it confronts our over-riding instinct to survive and the price we are prepared to pay.
“Follow the path to the end. Ignore if you can the happy sing-song of the ghosts. They aren’t happy."
In We Are Vermin, Hari Blackwood is lucky, he’s found sanctuary – Windsor Castle. Everyone there is safe.
It finally happened, the end came, civilisation is in ruins, and Hari is caught between two worlds, the Anthropocene and the next. For some reason, Windsor Castle, the thousand-year-old bastion of human security is safe from the avian Feral terror, and also the virus that has decimated the human race – the Blackwood Virus.
He discovers his sanctuary is thick with fear and paranoia. People, even children, have disappeared, taken from their beds, never to be seen again.
But these things must be ignored, there isn’t an alternative, or so the Castle’s leader would have Hari believe. Its inhabitants are reluctant to talk, his questions return only resentment and hostility. He’s used to that, though, he and his father were complicit in the creation of the virus.
Hari refuses to back down, even if it means his own life is threatened. But when those he cares about are threatened and his father is killed, he’s left with a startling revelation that forces him to question everything he thought he knew about his father, the Castle’s leader, and himself.
The answers he discovers reveal a more sinister reality and morality than he could ever have imagined, but in the end, perhaps it’s the Ferals who hold the ultimate answer.
Everyone likes to think they are in control. They are not. We are not. The realisation is often crushing.
Always just enough to hold me in the grip of your words...waiting...feeling I am the character in the scene. You describe so vividly. LOVE IT!
Rebekah Tally - Dallas, USA
This story has everything I want - It's a dark, ghostly, gothic mesh of breath-taking post-apocalyptic, dystopian surrealism. A meaningful fantasy thriller that will live on in my memory.
Donna Johnson - Ampthill, UK
A beautifully strange story set at the edge of humanity's end. It throws a disturbing light on the extreme consequences of our arrogance - toward each other, nature, and the animal kingdom. It will touch your heart and never leave.
Dr. Marcus Forster - Wakefield, UK
PRAISE FOR PAUL D COOMBS
Image credit: @EdinDailyDoo (twitter)