If Sergio Leone and Quentin Tarantino had a book baby!
Two populist Texan folk-heros, Chancho Villarreal and James Starr, embark on a mission of political endorsement, but what they find is a hill country rife with fear and rumor. A so-called Angel of Death is executing individuals infected by a terrible plague, and the company mining town at the epicenter has gone dark.
It's up to Chancho and his worst enemy to navigate a world of shifting allegiances while uncovering the truth about a plague and its infected who refuse to die quietly.
Twitch and Die! is at its core a grind house throwback begging the classic sort of "Don't go in there!" response from the reader. Of course "going in there" is exactly what we all want.
This excerpt represents the first time the characters lay eyes upon the place where they know the rest of the story awaits them. With the description I wanted to evoke the right amount of the familiar and the alien.
Then by releasing the obvious gauntlet of "survival" I wanted to raise the question for the characters as well as the readers, "Who will the survivors be?"
Twitch and Die!
Thurber stretched out below them, a wood and mud version of a modern city. Power lines stretched from side to side, crisscrossing the major intersections. The homes each claimed their own assigned space, giving way to the neighboring homes with grace. None of the calamitous collisions between meandering shotgun shacks, or tent towns sprouting like mushrooms after a rain, typical of boomtowns. None of the disorderly derricks littering every open space like pyres of matchsticks.Thurber had once been a proud community, given to a singular purpose. But its fidelity had been lost—exchanged for a more basic one. Buildings had been burned. Barriers of debris and shattered shells of automobiles clogged roadways. Power poles had toppled. Smoke billowed from mine shafts that still harbored smoldering coal seams. Thurber had gone to war from within and without. And war was always ultimately about survival.