Authors: J. Thorn
"...an edge-of-your seat apocalyptic adventure full of twists and turns. I couldn't put it down!"
Worlds Burn Through
"A new and refreshingly believable handling of an old story concept.
I totally enjoyed the characters who were well rounded out to show the good and bad
and sometimes pure evil in the human condition. .Apocolypse with a twist of humanity"
Gayle from Amazon.com
"It makes you gasp at every turn...J. Thorn does an amazing job of flipping every preconception on its head!'"
Jack D. Albrecht Jr.
"Very enjoyable, hard to put down, some late nights till finished."
Mate from Amazon.com
The Seventh Seal
By J. Thorn
Copyright © 2011
by J. Thorn
reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner
whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations
embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This book is a
work of fiction. The characters, incidents, places, and dialogue are drawn from
the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and are not to be construed
as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead,
is entirely coincidental.
Cover Illustration by Kate Sterling
Robert Reed & Katy Sozaeva
For more information:
my first reader and cohort in crime.
the smoke of their torture goes up for ever and ever, and they have no relief
day or night, those who worship the beast and the image of him, and anyone who
takes the mark of his name.
Revelation of John, Chapter 14
Take the cup and sip the wine
Until you see the cursed line
Green,” Threefold Law
Table of Contents
Every strand of Sarah’s hair shocked John Burgoyne like
voltage from downed electrical wires. He needed to be in her, envelop her.
The room glowed through the darkness. The hypnotic guitar of Threefold Law’s
“Old Dominion” pulsed through the speakers on tentacles of golden vibrations,
surrounding and stifling the other sounds in the house.
The pill dissolved in John’s stomach, quickened by gulps of
Great Lake’s finest. The beer settled at the top of his throat and he fought
the acidic burn.
Sarah pushed him back on the couch and unbuckled her black
leather belt. John spilled the remainder of his warm beer, dropped the bottle
to the floor, and – moving his hands to her hips – slid down the garter straps
and pushed the miniskirt up to reveal the tops of white, fishnet stockings.
John’s body slid beneath hers and into a familiar position. His vision blurred
and Sarah’s words took on a wavering quality, as if she spoke underwater. He
felt her hands tugging at his underwear and he saw black pants at his ankles.
John’s cell phone slid from his pocket and hit the cement floor, punctuating
his pang of sexual guilt: Jana.
John awoke shivering. His chattering teeth pulled him from
a fitful sleep. The stench of vomit and piss pulled at the remaining contents
of his stomach. He sat up and glanced at the black plastic through nauseous
double vision. John picked up the phone and flipped it open, expecting the
screen to come alive. He squinted to prepare for the bright shock of a
compounded headache. When it did not happen, John fumbled for the on button,
bringing the inanimate object to life. The smudged LCD screen finally lit, but
John dropped it to the ground as rays of pallid green bored through his skull
like a rusty drill. Shrill beeps emanated from his phone in rapid succession.
John rubbed his eyes with sweaty hands, his body convulsing before looking down
at the display.
He forced his eyes to focus on the screen, struggling to
read the characters on it. The phone looked back at him through an imaginary
fog, which obscured the display. John held the phone outward and turned in a
slow circle. Bits and pieces of memory raced through his head. John yanked at
a white collar hanging from the button on his black shirt. A dime-store rosary
twisted as the cheap plastic cut into his throat. The air felt cold and damp,
weighed down with silence. Opposite the steps, John ran a hand along the wall
and found the light switch. He flicked it up and down several times, failing
to dispel the inky blackness. Stumbling over empty beer bottles, he crawled to
the circuit panel. Using the weak light from his phone’s display, he saw all
of the breakers faced right, locked in the “on” position, but still failing to
deliver power to the house. More beeping shot from the tinny speaker on his
phone, the source still a mystery. John navigated the basement furniture and
tried climbing the stairs. He reached the solid, oak door and listened.
Flies crawled under the door and buzzed around his head, an
unusual occurrence for late October in Ohio. A sour stench, which forced John
to heave again, accompanied the insects. The locked door forbade him entry to
“Hey!” he said.
This time a bit louder: ”Is anyone there?”
John pounded on the door with his right hand until it became
numb. He kept reassuring himself that Reggie would throw open the door at any
moment, and everyone would have a hearty laugh at his expense.
He sat on the top step, straining again to focus on the
phone’s display. His eyes chased a floater from the edge of his vision as the
letters on the screen materialized. He pushed the envelope button, which
retrieved the first three subject lines from the inbox.
whr r u
Jana had typed the text messages the night of October
thirty-first. The date on the main screen read November third. Had he been
here three days? Fumbling, John pushed the wrong button, retrieving his sent
wish u whr here
Sent at one in the morning on November first. John selected
the message and noticed three phone pictures attached to it. The hourglass
spun on the screen while retrieving the first picture. Although dark and
grainy, he had no difficulty recognizing himself in the photo, lying on the
couch in Reggie’s basement. John’s head tilted up at an angle, his mouth was covered
with a wide grin, and his eyes stared at a naked woman. Sarah stood to the
side, one hand resting on his thigh and the other holding her right breast.
He gasped and scrolled down to the second picture. Long,
blonde hair fell down to the top of her waist. She sat astride him, looking
back over her left shoulder at the phone, which must have sat on a high stool.
The third and final picture knocked the wind out of John. With the phone held
above, two white breasts and strands of blonde hair enveloped John’s head while
a look of stupidity plastered his face.
Using the phone as his flashlight, John staggered back down
the steps. He collapsed onto the loveseat at the opposite wall to avoid the
smell of his own vomit. John wiped tears from his cheeks and his thumbs moved
across the keyboard before he recognized the “No Service” icon. He shut the
phone off and back on again.
“No Service”. John walked back up to the top of the steps
and held the phone high above his head.
According to the phone, it was 5:06 a.m. If that were true,
someone in the house would be waking soon. He would hear them and call out. They
would hear him, find him, and everything would be fine. But John didn’t
believe that lie even as his mind formed it. He tried to open both closet
doors but the locks refused to give. John considered launching a shoulder into
the door but knew his collarbone would snap before the wood budged.
John took a quick inventory of the room. He noted two
couches, a treadmill, a TV, a chair, and a stack of board games on a shelf.
His stomach rumbled and grinded with a low moan, and his lips began to crack at
The pictures and the text kept tumbling through his
thoughts. Although the carrier delivered them to Jana, she did not reply. Her
text messages arrived prior to his, with her cryptic, desperate phrases.
Without any bars, John succumbed to the confines of his new cell.
Reggie’s basement sat beneath the living room and masked any
indication of the time of day. John looked at the top of the steps and saw a
thin, gray line appearing at the bottom of the door.
John opened his phone and pointed it at the chair, aware of
one less bar on the battery indicator. He angled the screen to the floor in
such a way as to provide enough light to get to work. John turned the chair
over and unscrewed one of the legs. The wooden spindle gave way, and he
repeated the process with the other three legs.
He climbed the steps and tried to shove one of the legs
under the door as a wedge. The tight gap kissed the ceramic tile, not allowing
any leverage. John took one leg and brought it down hard on the glass
doorknob. The handle shattered, but the brass innards kept their composure,
keeping the door locked. John climbed back down the stairs and decided to try
his luck on one of the closet doors. If he could get into Reggie’s tool chest,
his chances of getting through the kitchen door would improve.
John brought the chair leg up and struck the door with it.
Shards of wood shattered and flew across the room, but the door held strong.
John slid down the wall, fighting a rush of sobs. He
thought of Jana and reread her fleeting text messages. Visions of Sarah and
their sexual depravity aroused John against his will, followed by bouts of
Headaches pounded the inside of John’s skull while cramps
wracked his stomach. He shivered from the cold damp rising out of the basement
floor. The black shirt and collar provided meager protection from the unheated
house. Dark, black circles formed on the edges of his vision and took John
into the realm of the unconscious.