“Some of the corpses were out in the open and some were hidden where only the locals could find them. But every town had one, at least every town between the stretch of Highway 26 that started at Hillsdale in the south and ended at Crescent in the north. Broken skeletons bleaching in the sun, twisted limbs silhouetting the hazy sky, gutted innards rotting in the rain. It was a graveyard, all right, this funereal ribbon of road that threw off killing waves of heat in summer and then disappeared beneath a miasma of fog in winter. Fifty-three miles of asphalt, and a corpse for each one of them. At least, that’s what Dan Sherman hoped. He’d already found twenty-three. One more—the right one, with the right part—and he’d be finished.”
An ordinary guy in an extraordinary situation makes a decision—the wrong one. The deadly one. The one that can’t be taken back, can’t be undone.
That one decision that changed everything—but what if you got another chance at making it?
On the mist-snaked highways of Lost, Oregon (a place not found on any map or satellite image), Dan Sherman discovers a place the ancient natives called the Bridge of the Gods. A real place; a real phenomenon. Whatever “real” means in Lostville.
Around five hundred give-or-take years ago, a landslide occurred, sending massive piles of debris sliding into the Columbia Gorge, close to modern-day Cascade Locks, Oregon, and creating an enormous natural dam along the Columbia River. The impounded river formed a lake and created a forest of drowned trees, whose water-worn limbs reach out to remind passerby that they once lived here, too. And still do.
Native Americans may have been able to cross the river on the dam or, as their oral histories say, a bridge.
But a bridge from where, leading to where?
One day Dan Sherman happens upon a fatally wrecked heap of a car in a junk yard and decides to find out.
Drive along the Black Highway with him in my short story “The First and (Maybe) Last Ride of Dan’s Death-Defying Death Car,” out now in this fuel-and-engine inspired anthology:
In Dark Passages II, author M.J. Preston brings together writers from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Colorado, Oregon and Western Canada to spin their tales of THE BLACK HIGHWAY. We open with a biker’s murderous road trip in THE HOLLOW MEN followed by tales from B.E. SCULLY, PATRICK LACEY, JON MICHAEL KELLEY, TONY TREMBLAY, KRISTI PETERSEN SCHOONOVER and many more. On the Black highway you’ll never know what you might find. Child eating amusements, woman possessed, ghosts, even man eating plants. In 8X10 format in the spirit of the now defunct Rod Serling’s Night Cry Magazine, this is the collection ready made for the collector. With exterior and interior artwork by M.J. Preston, this anthology is made to curl up with, but leave an extra light on for things from the black highway are lurking in the shadows. Additional authors include: Gregory L. Norris, Philip C. Perron, Kyle Rader and introducing Cody J. Spagrud. Bonus material: This collection also includes a chapter excerpt from M.J. Preston’s forthcoming novel: Highwayman.
Bonus: A “Riders on the Storm” inspired intro by Firbolg Publishing’s very own Alex Scully.
“Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire…!”
Click the cover below to get it: