Gregory Carrico

 

A small taste of the story.

 
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Tales From the Mist

 

TALES FROM THE MIST will take you on a journey into the dark world of the paranormal. These twelve stories vary in their degree of horror, yet all reach across the boundaries of their genres into the chilling realms of the macabre. Witches, ghosts, shape-shifters and vampire rats are some of the creatures that reign within these pages. Authors included are: Scott Nicholson, Rhonda Hopkins, Marty Young, Cate Dean, Tamara Ward, Meredith Bond, Catie Rhodes, Greg Carrico, Mitzi Flyte, Natalie G. Owens, *lizzie starr and Stacey Joy Netzel.

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Tales From the Mist

King of the Rats by Gregory Carrico

All that stands between him and a lifetime supply of food is a Queen, his sister, and a surface world overrun by vampires. Will the King of Alley Rats risk everything for his throne and his pack, or leave it all behind for a pretty mouse in distress?

Part One: The Rat King’s Plan
As his cockroach spy and longest living companion, Skit, scurried away through earthen tunnel, King Giles of the Alley rats enjoyed a rare moment of contentment. His age had been showing lately. He was indecisive at times, and had even been seen showing mercy. In a king, these were unfortunate signs of weakness, and the weak were to be shunned.


Four of his subjects had vanished, either fled or taken by an enemy. Either way, it was an insult to the pack, and an unanswered challenge to the King. Worse, yet, someone had been stealing food from the pack’s hoard, and the smaller rats were forced to go hungry. This meant Giles was no longer feared by some of his subjects. For a king, these were unforgivable signs of incompetence, and the incompetent were killed.


He had even been seen backing down from his mate, Alice, as she publicly berated him for showing weakness. The irony was delicious. Giles only let her live because their newest litter of kittens was still nursing, but to be honest, he was running low on patience with them, too. He suspected they weren’t really his, anyway, but that issue needed to ripen a bit. He’d let her grow more attached to them first.


His plan had taken longer than he hoped, but his performance had finally worked. Skit had identified the ambitious members of his pack who lacked the subtlety to hide their plots against him. They, along with their mates and recent offspring, just to be safe, had been brutally and publicly tortured, murdered, and butchered for his larder. That should firmly reestablish him as a rat and a king to be feared.


He owed his good spirits to Skit’s news. Their plot to ambush and kill his final and most dangerous rival was ready to move forward. To make things even better, Skit had found a stash of dried food bigger than they used to have on the farm! In a single outing they could eliminate the biggest threat to his power, and return with enough food to feed even the runts for most of their lives. He would be more than a king, he would be a hero!


Everything was in place, but for the greatest chance of success, they’d have to leave the warren before sunset, when humans and monsters of all sorts would be able to see them. He hated going to the surface, especially when the sun still spilled its horrid light over everything. It was almost enough to make him reconsider

.
He wondered if he could go back to being a country rat; living in a comfortable hole on a farm, with a stream where he could swim, fields with endless supplies of food, and a pretty little mate to dote on him.

Bah! I’d go crazy of boredom in a day!


He went back to the main nesting chamber for a little rest before his outing.
~~~
Thanks for reading this sample of King of Rats. If you’d like to get to know Giles and Skit a little better, the whole story is part of the Tales From the Mist anthology, available at most online retailers in digital and print editions.

 

 

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