Wednesday, 30 January 2013

New Harrison Peel tale “The Road to Afghanistan”

My latest Harrison Peel adventure, “The Road to Afghanistan” has just been released in the anthology What Scares the Boogeyman? Edited by John Manning and published by Perseid Press. This story takes Peel to Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan in his hunt to track down Taliban controlled weapons of mass destruction of the otherworldly kind.

Here is the line-up for What Scares the Boogeyman?:
  • “Boogeyman Blues” by Janet Morris
  • “The Boogeyman’s Wife” by Nancy Asire
  • “The Road to Afghanistan” by David Conyers
  • “The Fear of the Lord” by Robert M. Price
  • “The River Witch” by J.D. Fritz
  • “The Cold” by Jason Cordova
  • “Blood and Ochre” by Thomas Barczak
  • “Testament of Tuff” by C. Dean Andersson
  • “Night of the Bettys” by Beverly Hale
  • “Jack the Raptor” by Chris Morris
  • “Failure to Comply” by Michael H. Hanson
  • “The Shadow of a Doubt” by Larry Atchley, Jr.
  • “L’Uomo Nero” by Richard Groller
  • “Bad Mustard” by Bill Snider
  • “Grandma” by Wayne Borean
  • “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” by John Manning
  • “Apis Primatus” by Bettina Meister
  • “Under the Bed” by Shirley Meier

 Here is an excerpt from “The Road to Afghanistan”:


David Conyers

 The three days it took Harrison to flee the black desert of western Pakistan, he barely slept. When the saw the dusk lights of Rawalpindi he felt relief; street lights meant normalcy and a safe place to rest.

When Peel drove into the city’s heart he was forcibly slowed, melded with the busy evening traffic. Despite the late hour, he passed busy bazaars and crowded alleys. Hindu temples and Muslim shrines were clean and complete compared to cheaply constructed apartment blocks and government offices, with their rusting reo jutting from upper unfinished levels. Mounds of stinking garbage piled against chipped walls. Woman’s faces on billboards were ‘veiled’ with black paint while men were left untouched.

Peel reached the Hoodbhoy Orphanage as it was closing. Identified by his National Security Agency employers three days earlier, he had been assured the institution’s reputation was sound. Foreign and local journalists’ accounts spoke highly of their director, a Muslim who accepted all wards, regardless of their religion, gender or ethnicity.

Peel parked in the courtyard. His aching muscles protested as he clambered from the old Soviet Army truck. As he unlatched the rear door, two dozen red and blinking eyes stared back. It took the first child several minutes to shuffle forward and step into their new home, and into a new life.

“Mr. Peel?”

“Yes Sir?” he snapped in a moment of disorientation. Embarrassed, he scratched at the dirt caked to his millimeter thick hair. He felt drunk. He wasn’t. He was dead tired.

“Thank you for saving these children, Mr. Peel.” Rashid Hoodbhoy spoke softly, with a formal and precise command of the English language. He watched, with a gentle smile, his volunteers aid the children as they clambered from the stolen truck. Many had to be carried. All needed water. A few with infected wounds were attended to with bandages and disinfectant.

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