Wednesday 3 August 2011

Doc Mortis Blog Tour - Exclusive Short Story: The Rise of Doc Mortis - Part 3

Kyle wakes up in hospital... in the Darkest Corners.

In this hospital the surfaces aren't clean, and the instruments are not used for healing.

But it's about to get much, much worse.

The doctor is ready to see him now...

The Invisible Friends Series:
Mr Mumbles
Baggie Maggie
The Crowmaster
Doc Mortis
The Beast

Visit Barry Hutchison's website for more information

To celebrate the release of Doc Mortis, the fourth book in the Invisible Friends series by Barry Hutchison I'm thrilled to be able to share this exclusive extract from The Rise of Doc Mortis short story.

The story is being told in 5 parts so here are links to the blogs hosting each section (I'll add links to the relevant posts as soon as I have them):
  1. 1st August - Book Zone for Boys - The Rise of Doc Mortis Part 1: A Dying Friendship
  2. 2nd August - Serendipity Reviews - The Rise of Doc Mortis Part 2: First Contact
  3. 3rd August - Feeling Fictional - The Rise of Doc Mortis Part 3: A Helping Hand (see below!)
  4. 5th August - Emotionally 14 - The Rise of Doc Mortis Part 4: Suffer the Little Children
  5. 6th August - Bart's Bookshelf - The Rise of Doc Mortis Part 5: Prepped for Surgery

Barry Hutchison


The Rise of Doc Mortis Part 3: A Helping Hand

Doc slashed with the scalpel and swung with his briefcase, as the birds closed in around him. The air was filled with their screeches and caws and the whumming of their greasy black wings

‘Get… away!’ Doc cried, as one of the birds dug its claws into his shoulder and lunged at his neck. Doc brought the scalpel up sharply, slitting the bird open from stomach to throat. It fell backwards, but half a dozen others rushed to take its place.

With the snap of a beak, a chunk of his ear was torn off. He twisted, knocking the crow away, but leaving himself open to an attack from behind. Three more of the birds flew at his back, digging their claws into his tweed coat, pecking hungrily at the base of his neck.

‘Filthy creatures! Get… get away from me!’

He stumbled forwards, contorting his body as the birds tore at his flesh. The scalpel hand shot out and a wing landed on the ground at his feet. He swung with the leather case and another bird went down with a satisfying thonk.

But it wasn’t enough. They were all over him now, all claws and beaks and wings, burying him beneath a squawking mound of black.

‘You see what happens, boy?’ cackled the scarecrow, watching on. ‘You see what happens when you go messing with the Crowmaster?’ He laughed again, that sickening ss-ss-ss-ss, like air escaping from a tyre. ‘Bet yo’ sorry now, ain’t ya, boy?’

Doc tried to run, to get away, but the hurricane around him made it impossible. He staggered, tripped, then fell face-first onto the ruined tarmac. As the crows moved in for the kill, he clutched his case tighter, screwed his eyes shut, and steeled himself for the pain.

A second later, the darkness evaporated. He could see, even through his closed eyelids - the brilliant glow of a blinding light.

It lasted for less than a second, but a second was all it took. The birds stopped attacking at once. They flew off in panic, dazzled and dazed by the sudden light.

‘What did you do? What did you do to my babies?’ the Crowmaster screeched. He stumbled forwards, arms raised in front of him, then slumped sideways into a tangle of weeds as if no longer able to maintain his balance.

Cautiously, Doc raised his head. Even though his eyes had been shut, white spots swam before them. By the time they cleared, a man in sunglasses and a long leather coat crouched before him, a hand reaching down.

‘Come on,’ the man said. ‘The light won’t stop them for long. We have to get out of here.’

Doc slid the scalpel back up into his sleeve, before allowing the man to help him up. He turned and looked at the Crowmaster, still lying in the grass. The tools in his bag cried out to be put to use.

But the birds were already settling, their beady black eyes beginning to recover. There was no time for revenge. One day, perhaps, but not right now.

Doc turned to the man in the sunglasses. ‘Thank you, my friend,’ he said. ‘Please, lead the way.’


For several minutes they skulked along deserted streets, through grubby alleyways, across overgrown parks. Around them, the night was filled with screams and howls, and other noises unlike any Doc had ever heard before. His heart raced through the sheer hellishness of it all.

‘What is this place?’ he asked, as the man in the black coat led them through the burned-out remains of a restaurant. ‘What happened here?’

‘A new arrival, huh?’ the man said, curtly. ‘You’re in the Darkest Corners. It’s where we go when they don’t need us any more.’

‘Where we go…?’

‘Imaginary friends,’ the man said. He scanned the street beyond the restaurant’s doorway before venturing outside. ‘Where the forgotten imaginary friends go.’

‘Ah,’ said Doc, nodding. ‘I see. I am understanding, I think.’

‘You’re lucky I found you when I did. Most people don’t survive more than a few minutes. Those crows would’ve torn you to pieces.’

‘Yes,’ Doc admitted, touching the scratches on his neck. ‘Yes, I think they would.’

The man stopped. ‘What’s your name, by the way?’

‘Mortis. My name is Doctor Mortis.’

‘Adam,’ the man said. ‘Nothing else, just Adam.’

‘A pleasure to meet you,’ Doc said, flashing a yellow-toothed smile. In truth, he was rapidly becoming bored with the man’s company. He shifted his hand and the handle of the scalpel slid into his palm.

‘Likewise,’ Adam said. ‘So, what… you’re a doctor?’

‘I am… a surgeon,’ Doc said, nodding. His index finger pressed against the back of the blade, ready to strike.

Adam pulled of his sunglasses as a smile lit up his face. ‘Really? Wow. That’s… that’s fantastic! You’re just what we need!’

‘We?’ Doc asked. His eyes fixed on a spot just to the right of Adam’s windpipe. His muscles tensed.

‘Yeah. Me and the kids,’ Adam said, nodding enthusiastically. ‘I run this shelter for kids who’re lost and alone here. It’s not much, but it’s safer than them being out on the streets.’

Doc felt the fine hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. ‘You have… a children’s home?’ he asked, his voice a low whisper.

‘Yeah,’ Adam nodded. ‘Yeah, something like that. And, well, I’ll be honest with you, we could really use a doctor. Maybe, if you don’t mind, maybe you could come with me? See what you can do for the sick ones?’

Doc bit down on his lip as a shudder of excitement rippled along his spine. ‘Mind?’ he said, hoarsely. ‘Oh, I do not mind. I do not mind at all.’

His grip relaxed on the scalpel. ‘Take me there,’ he urged. ‘Take me to the children.’

‘Really?’ asked Adam. ‘You’ll really come and help them?’

‘Oh my, yes. I’ll make them better. I’ll make them all better.’ Doc felt the leather case quiver softly in his hand. ‘Children are my speciality.’


There are still lots of exciting posts to come on the blog tour so make sure you check them all out!  I've included links to all of the blogs to make things easier for you.



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