The smell of Streaker lingers in the air.
Welcome to one of the many stops on the book blitz for Eau De Parfum by Lisa Acerbo with XPresso Book Tours. Look for others participating in this blitz across social media and on your favourite bookish blogs January 24-28, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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About the Book
Eau De Parfum: Eric’s Story Short
Hell in a Handbag
by Lisa Acerbo
Published 28 December 2021
DLG Publishing Partners
Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic Horror
Page Count: 90
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
The smell of Streaker lingers in the air.
I must be dead!
I woke up naked and covered in blood. Teeth marks littered my arms, creating holes and revealing muscle. Someone or something attempted to gnaw off my elbow.
I’m alone! So, maybe, I’m worse than dead.
If friends and family abandoned me, I must have turned into a Streaker. On second thought, it’s an easy “no” to eating body parts.
The idea of brains for dinner disgusts me.
I only see one option ahead, and that’s to find my family and ask why they left me as dinner for the undead.
“Move.” Abe shouted and grabbed Eric’s arm, hauling him along the road until they came to a dilapidated car, burnt out and prone on its side. The remains of a door jutted towards the heavens. Abe motioned him toward it and Eric crawled in, the cold of the metal burning his palms. He made room for Abe. Jammed together, Eric’s cumbersome gear pinched his back as they hid from an unknown enemy. Eric tried to quiet his loud and ragged breathing.
A worn out, graffiti covered van slowed as it neared Abe and Eric. It stuttered to a stop. A large, scruffy man, heavily bearded and armed with an ax emerged from the gloomy interior of its back door. On his belt, the metal of a knife reflected the sun. Covering his free hand, brass knuckles weighed upon gloved fingers. Four gloved fingers. The man was missing his thumb.
He scanned the road before marching a few steps. Bending down, he grabbed something off the pavement.
“Shit,” Eric whispered.
“What is it?”
“It’s my map! It was in my back pocket. It must have fallen out.”
“It’s just garbage on the road.” Abe whispered back.
“Maybe.” Eric wasn’t convinced.
The man surveyed the empty highway around him. He pivoted and Eric hoped he would return to the battered van. Instead, he called to those inside.
“Jones, Frank, get out here. Let’s search the area. I saw something.”
The man’s voice was louder than needed. The stranger wanted Eric and Abe to hear, his smile predatorial.
I’m the prey.
Two additional men exited the van, both similar in appearance and as heavily armed as the first, savagery in every step. One brandished a knife as he lumbered away from the van. They fanned out across the road, checking every abandoned vehicle. Each empty shell of a car or truck brought them closer to Eric and Abe.
“We can’t let them find us trapped in the car. We won’t be able to fight back,” whispered Abe.
“Maybe they’re really nice guys.”
“Wishful thinking”, he huffed.
“These guys will kill us for our supplies.”
“What do we do?”
“We fight for our lives, Kid. It’s us or them,” Abe murmured in hushed tones.
“You ready?” Eric nodded, wiggling out of his backpack and following Abe as he slid from the car. Eric did the same.
Once out, he crouched by the side of the vehicle, leaning against the burnt-out door and into the jagged metal pieces that pinched his back. He waited. One of the strangers moved close. Abe, Bowie knife in hand, rushed at him and rammed the stranger, toppling into a heap of limbs on the ground. Punches and kicks flew.
Eric remained immobile, unable to differentiate a winner from a loser. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a blur of movement. A man with a thick beard and one eye swollen shut cornered him. Eric stood, unsure of what to do.
He fought Streakers, not humans.
The man standing here, the one who first exited the van, appearing taller, huskier, and much more menacing. Then, he dropped the ax and put his knife back in the belt loop of his jeans.
Should I try to reason with hm? Explain why Abe and I are out here and that I’m searching for my brother?
“I won’t need this with you, too pretty with all the long hair.” He chuckled. “Might be some use for you.”
The stranger smiled and without warning, threw a punch.
Eric reacted a second too late. The punch hit his cheek. The brass knuckles on the man’s other hand met Eric’s ribs, doubling him over. violently expelling the air from his lungs.
Eric fell to one knee, wanted to drop to the ground, pain radiating from his stomach, mind blurry, but forced himself upright just in time to block the next blow. The fear twisting inside him morphed, spurning something new.
He used the pain and turmoil, the loss of his brother and family, the anger from the endless search, and his fear to find his courage. Eric wanted to live. Courage fueled his soul, but the months of training with Abe helped in other, equally as important ways.
Staring at the stranger, eyeing the remains of food in his beard and shifty, single bloodshot eye, Eric threw a punch. He’d aimed for the man’s greasy chin but hit the stranger’s shoulder.
The man staggered backward. “You little shit.”
He lurched forward, but Eric blocked the blow aimed at his face. He ducked the next one, brass knuckles swinging over his head.
Eric countered with a couple weak punches of his own, nothing connecting.
His assailant plunged forward, delivering a powerful punch to Eric’s ribs. The stranger rammed Eric, but Eric locked his arms around the man’s paunchy middle in a bear hug, refusing to drop like grass under the blade of a lawnmower.
Breaking the hold, the stranger stepped back and threw another punch. Eric blocked the brunt of it, locking the hand between his own two. He pushed back, but the man sidestepped to remain upright.
Eric released his hold and attacked, knuckles stinging as soft skin met the metal buttons of the man’s jacket before the cartilage of the man’s nose. Three solid punches, but were they enough?
About the Author
Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at a local community college. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, two dogs, and horse. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and fosters dogs.
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
$20 Amazon gift card
5x ebook copies of Eau De Parfum
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