Broken Sigil

A novella in the Sigils and Totems mythos, in ebook from Crossroad Press.

I've been having a nightmare off and on since I was a boy. It's of a bird - a huge, black, bird. The stuff that dreams are made of.

In the nightmare I'm on the edge of a high sea cliff. I feel the wind on my face, taste salt spray, smell cut grass and flowers. I feel like if I could just give myself to the wind I could fly. Then it comes, from blue, snow covered mountains way to the north, a black speck at first, getting bigger fast. Before I can move it is on me, enfolding me in feathers. It lowers its head and puts its beak near my ear. It whispers.

The bird's most recent appearance in my dreams was early this year, and the next morning I had an idea that fused my own history, my favorite movie and my bad habits into one coherent whole.

In this one you'll find a New York brownhouse, a broken cop, betrayal, smokes, hard liquor, the dreams that stuff is made of, memories, regrets, more smokes, more liquor, and a black bird.

BROKEN SIGIL is the most personal thing I've ever written, and was the kicking off point for what is an ongoing mythos of Sigils and Totems stories. It's also among my favorites of all my works.

Will we talk about the black bird?

Plot

There are houses like this all over the world. Most people only know of them from whispered stories over campfires; tall tales told to scare the unwary. But some, those who suffer…some know better. They are drawn to the places where what ails them can be eased.

If you have the will, the fortitude, you can peer into another life, where the dead are not gone, where you can see that they thrive and go on, in the dreams that stuff is made of.

When a New York cop is called to investigate a murder at one such house, he is sucked in to a world he cannot fathom, cannot control, a place where past and present have no meaning, and where symbols and memories are as valid as facts and truths.

The black bird is speaking, but can he afford to listen?

Reviews

A bravura performance. - Pete Tennant, Black Static #38

The book has a strong and interesting story. The dread is mostly in the unseen, with little violence or gore. It’s all very subtle, and following a satisfying conclusion, very rewarding. - SCREAM Magazine

...would have made a great ‘Twilight Zone’ episode. - British Fantasy Society

While Broken Sigil is filled with ghosts, its true power lies in how it will haunt the reader’s mind even after the last word is read. Broken Sigil is one of those rare stories that is powerful enough to make the reader think about every word and turn it into something much more meaningful than just another story. - Examiner.com

Heartbreaking, chilling and highly recommended. - Ravenous Reads

It's a highly imaginative premise and one which is delivered consumately. - Dark Musings

This storyline, which begins as a dark-around-the-edges tale, seamlessly runs to full black, and readers have a first class ticket for a rollercoaster ride in this fascinating novella. — Shannon Raab, Suspense Magazine

Broken Sigil is moody, dark, and packs an impressive amount of old-school horror into a slim volume. William Meikle takes this story in some decidedly unexpected directions, which is refreshing. - Court Street Literary Collective

if you can imagine the love child of Stephen King and Micky Spillane what you come up with might look a lot like this wonderfully dark, noir-esque horror. - What Shall I Read Next?