Shriek of the Harpy

Shriek of the Harpy

by Sebastian Bendix


Publisher Sebastian Bendix

Published in Mystery & Thrillers

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Book Description

Film archivist Muriel Sharpe's dreams come true when she is tasked with salvaging a derelict movie theater and uncovers a treasure trove of lost film prints from Hollywood's golden age. Instead of reporting them to her bosses as she was instructed, resentful Muriel decides to have her own private film festival to experience the forgotten gems as they were meant to be seen -- on the silver screen.

Sample Chapter

 After a restless, guilt-fueled sleep,  Muriel returned to the Old Nick the following morning and was relieved to find that Kurt and Kitt had not been back to inspect the prints in the booth. The circular tins that housed the now discarded print sat there, empty accusers, reminding Muriel that she would have to dispose of them as well if she hoped to keep her crime a secret. But without her backpack there was no way to sneak them out, and she couldn’t risk just walking out the door with them, especially in light of her employer’s unannounced visit the day before. An idea struck her, and she went back to the boxes, searching for a print that had been packed without a tin. To her surprise, at the bottom of the rattiest box, she found one. 


            Collecting it the best she could, she brought the print over to the table to see what sort of movie deserved to be treated this shabbily. Shockingly, the film was remarkably well preserved, a miracle considering it had been left unprotected for so many years. It was the right number of reels to substitute for Knuckles Mahoney, so it would seem that Muriel’s promise to the angels had been heard and accepted. All she had to do was pack the mystery print into the tins and no one would ever be the wiser. She would even leave it for Kurt and Kitt to discover, let them have the glory all to themselves. It was the punishment Muriel rightly deserved.  


            Resolved, she reached for the film, and the end spilled from the table like a snake fleeing the grip of its handler. As she bent over to retrieve the dangling strip, she caught a glimpse of the images repeated in the frames, advancing incrementally like pictures in a flip book. Images that some haunted part of her subconscious demanded were given a closer look. 


            Don’t do it, Muriel told herself. Just wrap this thing as tight as you can, cram it in to those tins and don’t forget to tear off the labels. Do not push your luck any further.


            Though it killed her to do so, Muriel was able to stick to her guns and pack the film up without giving it another look. But she decided not to tell her superiors about the find until she had a night to sleep on it, so she busied herself with tidying work and went home later that day with the haunting images still spooling behind her retinas. It wasn’t until she was home, sitting in front of her laptop, that she recalled the strange interaction with the homeless woman outside the theater the day before. A few keystrokes later and she was drawn into the mystery, like a hound chasing a rabbit down a deep and fascinating hole.


Excerpted from "Shriek of the Harpy" by Sebastian Bendix. Copyright © 2015 by Sebastian Bendix. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Sebastian Bendix

Sebastian Bendix

Sebastian Bendix is a Los Angeles based writer and musician, as well as host of midnight horror film series, Friday Night Frights. He attended school at Emerson College for creative writing and spent his formative years in Boston playing in popular local band The Ghost of Tony Gold. Upon moving to LA he transitioned back to writing, contributing articles for the entertainment site and the print publication Mean Magazine. Stepping into the world of horror fiction, Bendix has found success both online and in print with numerous stories published in the genre imprints Grinning Skull Press, Encounters Magazine, Sanitarium Magazine, Xchyler Publishing and noted podcast The Wicked Library. Bendix self-published his first horror/fantasy novel The Patchwork Girl in 2013, and his second novel, The Stronghold, is a ripped-from-the-headlines thriller that has been published and is available for order. Also an avid film lover, Bendix has a sci fi/horror script that has been optioned and is in development.

View full Profile of Sebastian Bendix

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