I'm now over 50,000 words into the new novel. Here lies a snippet:
The next few pictures were distant and close-up shots of the murder scene. It was a captured terror, a collage of the impossible made possible. Hal winced as he clicked through each picture, the next seemingly more gruesome than the last and festooned with enough violescent horror to deform reason itself. He did not even know why he was looking at the things. This should have been Phil's job; he wanted them taken, and he should have been there to choose which one was more newsworthy than the last. This was news, after all, an informative and educating medium in which the world was introduced and reintroduced to the darkness and mayhem of humanity on a daily basis. What was only previously told in stories was now real and spattered across papers and television screens for the world to see, for New Wood to see. Hal wanted to be a photographer plain and simple. He wanted to freeze moments of happiness and natural beauty rather than endorse moments of death and misdeed. How could this be deemed a career? He shook his head with disgust both for himself and the means by which he now lived. This was not how he had planned things.
He leaned into the screen after clicking on the next picture of the man they had seen kneeling by the car. He appeared normal enough; he was still a bald man in his fifties and still wore spectacles. There was nothing terribly out of the ordinary about him aside from the contraption he was clutching in his left hand.
Hal double-clicked and zoomed in: "Looks metallic," he whispered to himself as he enlarged the picture a little more. "That's blood," he added with surprise as he moved the pointer over the man's hand.
At that magnification the blood appeared as a crimson coverlet over his fingers and, as for the device itself from which the blood seemed to emanate, it was shaped like a starfish that hugged the hand and wrist with a mutated grip. Hal zoomed in further until the computer pixels enlarged into unsightly blocks, but he was still able to discern the shape of the thing. It appeared as a glistening glove that seized its wearer with inbound claws to pinch and pierce the skin. Hal could also now plainly see a small but discernible antenna hanging from the base of the contraption, which had burrowed beneath the flesh and infiltrated the vein.
"That can't be," Hal said as his eyes moved from the antenna and back to the minute pools of blood on the ground. He pursued the trail of dark pixelated puddles at the man's feet, which led to the victim's car door.
Hal's lips parted involuntarily and invited a drifting draught into his mouth. Suddenly the residual taste of coffee on his palate was erased and forgotten. He swallowed cool dry air as his tongue kissed the roof of his mouth and remained stuck there while he formed the only feasible and yet still unfeasible conclusion; the man was injecting himself with the victim's blood...