Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

The Apocalypse Door

James D. Macdonald

Tor Books


Excerpt from The Apocalypse Door:

The Blue Dolphin was a waterfront dive on the Hudson side of Manhattan. The lights were low, the vinyl on the seats was cracked, and the air was thick with the odors of sweat, cigarettes, and sin. I'd reported in by phone to the local chapter as soon as I was clear of Newark. The phone call had been four hours ago and every bone in my body kept screaming, "The OP is Blown, Get Out," but there are times when you have to ignore screaming bones. I mentally gave my contact fifteen more minutes and turned my attention back to observing the degradation of my fellow man.

I half-heard, half-felt someone approaching on my right. I still had my attention split three ways between what I hoped was a waitress, the stage, and the door—mostly the door—when she came up and bent over to murmur a few words in my ear. Her breath was warm, her lips moving close beside my ear. She was all but nibbling my earlobe.

"Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been two days since my last confession."

My cover was blown. She knew what I was, even if she didn't exactly know who. And she knew exactly how to get to me. I couldn't refuse her the sacrament, not without risking my own damnation. I had no choice but to ask her, "What is your confession, my daughter?"

"I've come here to kill you."

Copyright J.D. Macdonald