Tech Wolves

Tech Wolves

by William Wilde

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940152574920
Publisher: William Wilde
Publication date: 01/14/2016
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 430,230
File size: 124 KB

About the Author

EPIC Award Nominee William Wilde writes Suspense and Horror Thrillers. He also writes the blog Murder Beach Mystery Reviews.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

As usual, he got so engrossed in the black trail of numbers across the green-ruled accounting pages that he lost track of time. When Marvin Stanley remembered to look at his watch, it was 5:20.

A small shock of fear ran through him.

He stood up quickly in his workspace cubicle and looked immediately across the office floor at the big glass windows. Outside, the mid-November darkness had already fallen and the streetlights were on.

Too late.

Stanley looked around the honeycomb of empty cubicles. He called out, his voice hollow in the room. No one answered back. He was alone. He vaguely recalled people streaming out, the fading goodnight calls. He should have gone with them, instead of trying to finish that one last sheet of ledger entries before calling it a day.

Now he wasn't going anywhere.

He hurried over to the window glass and looked out from the third story office, hoping to see a few people still on the way home. The street below was a silent canyon, eerily empty of cars and pedestrians. It was supposed to be.

With the new city security system operating, citizens were warned to stay off the streets at night in the protected areas. Stanley's office was in one of those areas.

The security system was meant to stop rampant street crime and break-ins in the urban core district. It was doing that. Crime numbers had dropped to near zero. The system worked so well that the muggers and the rapists were scared to come out at night anymore.

But now there was something even worse out there to worry about.

Stanley heard his stomach rumble. It was close to dinnertime. His stocky body needed food, a lot offood real soon.

He turned from the window and went to the office coffee room. It had a small fridge for people who brought sack lunches or snacks. He opened it greedily. The plastic shelves were bare except for one half-empty pint of dairy creamer. No yogurt tubs, no apples left by his female coworkers.

Stanley slammed the door shut. He rummaged through the cabinets. Nothing but coffee mix and sugar packets. How was he supposed to get by on that junk?

It was going to be a long, hungry night.

The office cooled noticeably as the HVAC system cycled down until morning. Stanley swore at himself for being dumb enough to get trapped there overnight. He would be the laughing stock of the office tomorrow.

He went to the coat rack and put on his sport coat. It was wool tweed and it helped keep him a little warmer. He hadn't worn his overcoat today.

He wandered around restlessly. He had a lot of time to kill. He was drawn back inevitably to the windows. A block down the street, parked on an all-day lot, he could actually see his own silver Buick sedan waiting for him.

A lousy block! It was frustrating.

His stomach rumbled more urgently. The office got cooler.

Stanley eyed his car down there, calculating the odds like a good CPA. Sure, he had heard the stories about those people who were attacked recently. They were supposed to be random "accidents." The technicians were supposed to be fixing the problem so it never happened again.

He had only a block to go. It wasn't much of a risk at all, if he hustled. In another five minutes, he could be safe in his car, heading home to eat. It was either that or stay there in the office, cold and starving, for the next fourteen hours.

Stanley didn't have to think about it for very long to make up his mind. His empty, churning stomach made the decision for him.

What could happen in a block, anyway?

Stanley left his briefcase at his desk. It would only slow him down and he damn sure wasn't going to do any more work tonight once he got home.

His office doors were locked, but he had a key to get out. He took an elevator down to the vacant lobby. There wasn't another person left in the whole place. They were all smart enough to leave when they were supposed to.

The building doors were on a timer lock after five-thirty p.m. Stanley knew the key code. He went to the wall pad and punched it in. The doors unlocked.

He pushed open the cold, heavy glass door and stepped halfway outside. He peered up and down the silent, dead street; saw nothing out there. Just empty pavement under the orange cones of the streetlights.

Stanley stepped all the way outside. For just a moment, a last pang of doubt tingled in the back of his mind.

Then the door closed automatically, snapping shut behind him.

No going back now.

Stanley began to quickstep along the sidewalk, staying next to the building to hide himself. He covered the half block to the corner easily. So far, it was a piece of cake. In another five minutes, he was going to be in his car with the heater cranked up, laughing this whole stupid night off.

On the corner, he was momentarily exposed in the streetlight glare. As he stepped off the curb, he took a quick glance up and down the street. At first, he saw nothing. Then movement caught his eye. He squinted at it, trying to see what it was.

Something black and large, running low to the ground. It was coming toward him. Coming fast.

Stanley froze in disbelief. It was one of them! How could the thing have picked up his presence so quickly?

Maybe it wouldn't harm him. It might only be doing surveillance of anyone in the vicinity, just to determine who he was. The system malfunction may have been corrected already and it was only operating the way it was designed to.

But what if it wasn't fixed?

The thing kept coming straight at Stanley and he suddenly realized that it wasn't going to stop. It was charging him!

Panic surged up inside him. He broke into a shaky, clumsy run, the fastest he could move. He was fifty-three, overweight, and out of shape. Within seconds, he was already panting hoarsely.

The parking lot was a hundred yards ahead.

Stanley twisted his neck to see how close the thing was. To his horror, he saw that the first one had already been joined by others coming in from the nearby streets. They were like a pack, all converging on him, closing fast. Too fast.

There was no way he could outrun them.

He looked desperately up and down the street for help. A car moving, another person, anyplace that still had people inside it who could let him in. But there was nothing. All the building fronts were dim and shut up behind the electronic shrouds of those damned security screens.

Stanley was by himself out there and the things behind him knew it.

He saw the Buick waiting, so close now. If he could only get there, get inside the door; get the engine started. They couldn't get at him inside the car, could they?

His legs faltered, muscles starting to tie up. His arms windmilled wildly to keep his balance.

Behind him, he could hear them coming now. The relentless click of racing feet on the pavement. A terrible shrill whining sound as they closed in. A sound like he had never heard before.

The car was just a few yards away now. Stanley had enough sense left to find the electronic key in his pocket and point it. The familiar chirp unlocked the doors.

He lurched the last steps to the car, falling against the fender. He ripped open the driver door. Sudden relief poured over him. He was going to make it.

He threw his right leg inside and sprawled heavily into the seat. But hot pain flashed through his left leg before he could get it into the car. Something seized his leg in a powerful grip, and then they had his left arm too.

He was being dragged back out of the car. He clung frantically to the steering wheel, but more of them had a hold of him now. He lost his grip on the wheel and they pulled him out the door. His face scraped on the asphalt as he fell.

He rolled onto his back and they were standing over him, a whole pack of them. As Stanley saw them up close for the first time under the streetlight glare, his eyes bulged in terror at the brute ferocity of their faces.

They knew what they were doing, all of them working together like a unit. They had his limbs controlled so he couldn't thrash free. Before he could scream, they had his throat.

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Tech Wolves 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Hazel Trent More than 1 year ago
Looks like a good book ;u;