The shadow of a new, dominant species cast over the ruins of the old world.
Hunted by a deadly, viral predator, a lawman, a tiger-striped gigolo, and a steely smuggler come together to unravel the mystery behind a remote grove rumored to remain immune from the outbreak and out of reach from the shadow of death. The closer the expedition gets to their destination, the more vulnerable they become to this Promised Land’s temptations and each other. At the heart of this seductive, alien Eden, they slowly realize that paradise doesn’t belong in this world.
About the Author
James W. Bodden is an LGBT writer from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In addition to writing fiction, James has hunted for fresh corpses as a crime beat reporter and for UFOs as the host of a paranormal radio show. He is the writer of the Red Light Princess and Coffin Riders. Red Paradise is his latest novel.
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The smoke thickened and blacked out the streets of the camps. Only the red, glass eyes of the inquisitor’s gasmask were visible through the rising cloud of ash and debris.
Rhys turned the bend on the next corner, locked back into step with the rest of the priests, and rushed inside the ground floor of a rundown tenement building; he stood guard and took his position surrounding a lone, red door at the end of an unlit hallway.
The inquisitor unholstered his daggers in one swift movement. Black northern steel gleamed in the darkness. He signaled his partner, and they moved for the red door together.
Rhys kicked the door open. His partner sparked up a mortar and tossed the live round inside. The charge detonated with an explosion of gunpowder and white phosphorus.
The priests stormed in back to back, pivoting in opposite directions to clear the area. They spotted movement through the haze and turned their blades on a woman cornered with her daughter by a fading cook fire. The girl clung to her mother’s skirts. Her skin was scorched with chemical burns. Piss leaked down her legs as she whimpered and screamed.
Rhys clipped the girl under the chin with the end of his dagger, “Quiet… “
The inquisitor withdrew his blade when her mouth shut. He turned his back on the girl, and wandered around the room. Dry straw crunched underfoot. Rhys rifled the pantry and the beds looking for something valuable to steal, but nothing here was worth his while. He spat on the floorboards and rolled his eyes. This was going to be another slow night.
The inquisitor kicked an empty piss pot across the room and cursed under his respirator; he fell back into position with the priests just as the judge entered the room.