|Annotation:||Those who go for cold, queasy horror will embrace the latest shocker from Stoker-winner Lebbon (Fears Unnamed). When a dangerous military experiment on England's Salisbury Plain goes fatally awry, the authorities hastily and secretly bury the bodies of a dozen soldiers and a few other victims. The body of one soldier, Steven, is supposedly returned to his parents, but the coffin is empty. Ten years later, Steven's still grieving father, Tom, locates the place of burial. But when Tom excavates the site, he discovers not his son's remains but the moldering corpse of a little girl animated by a peculiar form of life. Lots more nastiness follows. Fans who prefer their horror to have a sense of humanity should look elsewhere.|
The dead thing slithered toward him as he pulled, connected to the first headless body by the thick metal chain, and then another, smaller corpse followed it up. Tom stood and backed away, only partially realising that he still had a hold of the first body's mummified legs.
He was about to drop the legs, back away, run away, when he saw that the chain was wrapped around another corpse. This one still seemed to have its head attached. He pulled again and it popped free of the ground, wet and filthy and yet obviously whole. It was chained to the three headless corpses, the metal wrapped around its chest, under its armpits and between its legs, thoroughly entangled.
Tom faltered only for a second before moving slowly down into the pit again. The first skull stared at him as he reached over the two adult bodies, grabbed the child's skeleton and pulled it across to himself. The child was as light as a pillow, its body seemingly whole and yet dried out and desiccated. The only thing that gave it weight was the chain. Tom placed the corpse gently between the headless adults, clasped the chain and pulled. He lifted, grunting with the effort, tears and sweat blurring his vision as he tried to make out what was wrong with this thing's head, why it was shaped like that, why it was turning....
And then the tiny corpse reached out and grabbed Tom's arm.