Ethan Lewis is a precocious, blissful boy. He has wonderful parents who love him dearly. He looks forward to what they all expect to be a promising future. Then, on one fateful day, his life is turned upside down as tragedy strikes.
Twenty-two years later, Ethan is a fragment of the man his parents, or even he thought he would be. He lives in a run down apartment building. He spends his days doing little else but simply passing time in his dreary life.
Then, a string of savage murders take place around his apartment building, wreaking havoc in the neighborhood. Yet, for Ethan, something about this evil is all too familiar.
Given no other choice, Ethan has to look to the past and conquer his darkest fears to find the truth behind these brutal deaths, and try to save any semblance of the man he was meant to become.
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"They're surrounding us," Lucy panted, "Gotta move or we'll be cut off….."
Sarah was too winded to respond. She let herself be dragged down the causeway, then they were into a side street and another alley just as quickly. She had a few seconds to register the appearance of a dark mob at the far end, then they were back on a wide avenue and charging toward a distant rectangle of light. A knot of alphas came barrelling around the corner, so Lucy plunged her into yet another alley where she was allowed to stop just long enough to help roll a trio of garbage dumpsters across in a makeshift barricade, then her hand was back in Lucy's and they were off again at a sprint.
A secluded little alcove appeared midway down the alleyway, piled high with cardboard boxes and discarded bits of lumber, and covered over with garbage bags. Sarah assumed that it was simply one of those dead spots where the flotsam of the streets always seem to gather, but as they drew even closer, something stirred within, the mound of trash suddenly erupted, and a dirty, ragged, howling thing launched itself directly at the two of them, hair flying out in wild confusion and angry red froth dripping from its gnashing teeth.
Sarah gave a single startled yelp and lashed out a foot that caught the alpha just above the ankle, dropping it to its knees, but it didn't stay down for long. It leapt back to its feet in a flash, clawing at the air, but it had lost track of its prey, and Sarah and Lucy were giving nothing away. They both froze like statues, and as the wild thing flailed wildly about, Lucy put a finger to her lips and they both backed slowly away, inch by cautious inch. The alpha charged about in confusion, first one way, then the other, then spinning back, snorting and huffing like a wild boar. At last, it took two angry steps toward Sarah, but where anyone else might have fled, she froze defiantly in place. She drew in a deep, slow lungful of air that stunk of stale urine and vomit, then she held her breath and moved not a muscle as the creature advanced close enough that she could actually taste its hot acrid stench. The thing took one more puzzled step toward her, then it suddenly halted, silenced its incessant snorting and snarling, and assumed the familiar head-tilt.
It knew they were still there. The sounds had stopped, but the prey hadn't fled, so the alpha was waiting. Waiting for that first faint echo to give it direction.
In 1901, an innocent child was cruelly tortured, and murdered by her vengeful mother.
Twisting her once beautiful soul into something evil and monstrous.
Her name was Maisie Whitmore.
Bound forever to Promised Land Lane, she will take her revenge on those foolish enough to cross her path.
If Maisie sees you. Run, for she will never forget.
“You just don’t understand. But you soon will Jake. I’ll not return here until everyone you know and love is long in the ground. My work was almost done. Now I must hope that I have done enough.” Jake noticed a faint blue outline appear behind Smeets as the wind kicked up around him.
The trees whistled and strained as a gust whipped up along the hillside. To Jake, it felt like his ears had just popped as he saw the blue glow strengthen into the shape of a doorway. The big man put his cases on the floor, bowing his head and removing his dark glasses. He spoke as he looked at the ground, the wind blowing his coat around his long legs.
“Do you know why you’re stood here, Jake? This very minute?”
Suddenly unsure of himself, Jake hesitated. “No, why?” he shouted over the roaring wind.
“Because I wanted you to be. You are my gift to a friend. Now I must leave you.” He looked up at Jake, his red eyes penetrating the night. Jake’s mouth fell open as he swayed on his feet.
Smeets took two steps back, turning his head to the blackness behind him. “Enjoy him, Anya, for he is fresh and very healthy.” He walked backwards until he vanished from sight, the blackness swallowing him whole.
Jake took a step forward, dumbfounded. His mind a whirling maelstrom. He stopped in his tracks when another figure emerged from the void. He stared in horror at the figure, dressed in a dirty grey gown that fell almost to her white bony ankles, dark mottled blotches covering her bare arms. Her yellow eyes are searching out and finding Jake, who felt like the earth was tilting at a strange angle.
She smiled at the sight of him, her dirty canines filling her blackened mouth as she moved closer. He tried to move backwards, tripping on a fallen log and crashing into the crook of a small tree. She sensed an advantage and moved to within ten feet of Jake, edging closer to him with shuffling feet. He wanted to turn and flee, back to his car, back to the safety of his house where he could bar the doors from all this. He then remembered his friend who lay dead on his lounge floor.
Not even his house would keep him safe from this. He was brought back to reality as two hands seized the lapels of his coat. He looked into the eyes of the woman as they bored into his. The yellow light seemed to dance like firefly’s, slowly taking away his fears. He welcomed the inevitable. He could almost see himself floating in a red river as her face filled his vision. He was at peace as her hands yanked apart the material of his clothing, exposing the flesh underneath.
Two things happened at that moment.
Firstly, his ears were filled with the deafening sound of her screams. Second, his eyes were blinded by a flash of light from below as he felt the hold on him released. The woman staggered backwards, her hands in front of her face, trying to fend off the piercing light that threatened to engulf her. Jake tried to rub his eyes and blink away the fuzzy shapes that floated in his vision as he suddenly felt a searing pain on his chest, followed by the smell of roasting flesh and burning hair.
He tried to grab at whatever it was that was causing the pain, his fingers touching the pendant that hung there. He pulled his hand away at the intense heat, flapping his fingers in the cold air. The bright light had dissipated enough for him to see that the woman had made it over to the glowing blue doorway between the two trees, one hand resting on the trunk as she tried to recover her resolve.
“Next time we meet, you’re mine,” she hissed before turning to trudge into the blackness.
James 'Big Jim' Peck is a professional game hunter in Africa whose life has evolved from wartime encounters to hunting animals; but when a client is killed in a hunting expedition gone awry, he's forced to hang up his guns and retreat to his plantation in the face of an ongoing investigation.
When a rogue Cape buffalo whom villagers believe to be infused with an evil spirit terrorizes local natives, Big Jim is asked to track and kill the creature. With the help of his trusted friend and partner, Caesar Wilde, and American photo-journalist Mary Watkins, they embark on an adventurous journey through the African bush.
After a series of inexplicable deadly encounters the hunters soon realize they are up against a creature unlike any other they have hunted, and it will take all their combined experience and courage to destroy the beast...or be killed!
Ashley remained under Sam’s mutilated leftovers, a fragment of skeleton with some tissue left in sporadic areas. The zombie dogs and human zombies wandered away. Where did they go? Ashley wondered as she slowly pushed Sam’s waste from her.
Getting to her feet, she walked down the middle of the street. A few hundred feet in, she came across another couple of zombie dogs. The hairs on her arms tried to prickle up, but they were glued down from all of Sam’s blood. She moved to the other side, quietly stepping over debris, and made her way past.
Suddenly, from the left side, one of them advanced toward her. Her heart thudded harder. Her legs felt like jelly and she crumpled to the concrete in a blubbering heap.
“I’m dead, this is it,” she said in a whisper.
Kerry sat on her bed, headset on, playing her favourite video game. She was pitted against an online buddy from California. And she was kicking his ass. Her parents were asleep on the other side of the house, their bedroom door closed. It was way past midnight but Kerry wasn’t tired. She was a night owl, who’d probably sleep till the early afternoon, much to her parent’s annoyance. The room was dark, save for the light from the screen. That’s how she liked it. It made the game seem more real, like she was in a movie theatre. The top window was open a crack, letting in the sea air. She always slept with the window open, whatever the season. It had been a warm night with a pleasant breeze blowing in from the ocean. Now as she sat cross legged in a pair of joggers and vest top she started to feel a chill. She pulled the duvet up over her shoulders to keep warm. The video game was in mid battle and she didn’t want to pause it to put her bed socks and fleece on. She would do that later. She heard a cat howl in the distance, like it was squaring up for a fight. Her cat, Gizmo was out somewhere. Probably patrolling the gardens, garages, and roadway at the back of the houses she guessed. She heard another howl, making her look around at the window. It had become misty outside. Not like normal. Really misty, cold too. She paused the game, her buddy forgotten. Taking her headphones off, she slid from the bed and shuffled to the window. The mist was really thick. It seemed to stick to the glass, swirling and pulsating. She’d never seen mist like this. She shivered involuntarily, hugging herself to keep warm. She could not even make out the garage at the bottom of the garden, such was the thickness of the fog. She placed her hands on the sill to try to look to the house next door. As she did so she knocked the frame containing Jake’s buttons. They fell to the floor, landing in a muted clunk on the carpet.
“Shit,” she said, scooping them up. “What the,” she said, holding the frame. It was freezing. She set them down on the sill, rubbing her cold hand on her joggers. A deep drone from outside made her look up suddenly. She broke out in gooseflesh, hugging herself tighter. Something was wrong out there. Was it a ship’s horn? she thought. There it was again. What the fuck is it? She peered left and right, trying to see into neighbouring gardens. Nothing. It was like pea soup. She looked towards the garage at the bottom of the garden, noticing for the first time two glowing red points of light in the air. Her face looked puzzled. “What the hell is that,” she murmured. They vanished for a split second then reappeared. They looked to Kerry like far off car lights. She shuddered again, feeling increasingly cold. Something started moving on the sill. She looked down to see that the frame was gently vibrating. What the hell is happening, she thought. She watched it transfixed as it gently rotated on the white painted sill. She looked out the window to see that the red orbs seemed closer. Her heartbeat was now racing, her breathing constricted. She turned and grabbed her inhaler from the shelf, administering a double blast as she felt a panic coming on. She sighed heavily, placing both hands on the sill to try to steady herself. The frame suddenly shot left, shattering against the wall making her gasp. She pulled the top window closed and dove onto her bed, pulling the duvet all around her. She lay there shivering, her breathing hoarse, teeth chattering. She tried not to look out of the window. She buried her face in her pillow, trying to shut everything out. Something in her head was telling her to look. Something in the back of her brain was cajoling her to take a peek. She moved her head right, opening one eye. Nothing. The mist was still there though. She sat up in bed and looked at the window. She rubbed her eyes with the palm of her hands. Kerry opened her eyes, looking at the window. Looking at two red eyes, staring in at her. She could make out the shape of a head too, floating in the mist. She screamed, crashing back into the wall.
Shane jolted from his chair, stumbled over his own feet and fell to the floor. He must have fallen asleep, but he didn’t remember doing so. He was shivering and a layer of perspiration coated his body. Though feeling shocked and unsteady, he scrambled up and glanced at his watch. Two hour had passed. Unexplainable fear gripped him. He spun around, looking for something, but what was it that he was trying to find? Whatever it was that he felt so compelled to locate was not real. He’d been only dreaming.
He tried to remember details now that he was awake, but what had seemed so vivid while he slept now appeared hazy. One word flashed from his memory: Murder. Much of him did not want to remember, but curiosity overrode his apprehension. Trying to recall was challenging, as if the dream was made from old faded photographs. Shane tried harder to filter tidbits of latent info into his mind and slowly he gained specks and pieces. It had not been a clean killing. He remembered the smell of all that blood. Through his mind’s eye, he could still see it covering the carpet of Pile Hall’s lobby. There was no blood now, but the haunting memory of it remained, choking him. He bent over with his hands on his knees, trying to breathe, but feeling strangled.
There's trouble in Arizona.
Jenna Cieres is a struggling young college student on the verge of graduating. She hasn't had a social life since enrollment into law school, but she has her best friend and loyal dog, Benji, by her side. She's full of fight and has the potential to be a successful lawyer – if she lives long enough.
When Jenna begins to receive strange emails and frightening phone calls, she does the logical thing and informs the local police. Disheartened by their inability to help, the young woman tries to ignore the sensation that someone is watching everything she does.
Just as Jenna is reaching her breaking point, FBI agent Terry Miles becomes involved when he discovers a stark correlation between her case and a series of macabre murders strewn about the state. Even Terry feels the fear inflicted by the killer, who threatens everything he stands for.
When she no longer feels safe in her own home, Jenna turns to ex boyfriend, Will Thompson. He appears to be the perfect person to comfort her, but it seems as if Will has some secrets of his own – and uncovering them could lead to her death.
'Scream For Me' tangles lives and twists secrets around everyone involved in this dark thriller. Increasing troubles and dangerous passion will leave the reader wondering just how deeply everything is connected, and just how far obsession can stretch. Jenna's life is in the hands of a terrifying killer, unless she can use her quick wits to save herself.
Kenneth Platt drove his old 1995 pale-blue Ford pickup down the lonely stretch of highway 35 that connected Norfolk and Wayne Nebraska. He was going from the south, towards the north. His destination was Wayne. He drove with that lazy sort of confidence, the kind that comes from doing a mundane task over and over so many times that it could be done without even thinking. This was the way it was with the trip between Wayne and Norfolk; a task that he
had done so many times that he could do it with his eyes closed.
With the cruise control engaged, he hummed quietly to himself as he drove along. His fingers tapped upon the steering wheel as if his hands were a practiced team of sequin-studded Rockets doing their Vegas act for his sole entertainment. Likewise, his right foot, being denied the responsibility of depressing the accelerator, tapped up and down in rhythm to the tune. He drove through the darkness of night, humming and tapping, along that highway that resembled a giant serpent lying in the prairie grass, he watched the road magically appear in front of him. It seemed to grow out of the darkness as his headlights brought it into view.
He glanced in his rearview mirror. Behind him, he watched as the road disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared in front of him. It was as if the furnace-red glow of his taillights incinerated this giant prairie serpent into nothing but ash and blackened bones. He was alone on that road, but this was nothing unusual for that stretch of highway at that time of the evening on that day of the week.
This was a route without glamour and one that Kenneth had taken so many times before that he often arrived at his destination without remembering anything about the trip. In fact, he had been known to joke that a race of aliens routinely abducted him while he was traveling along this stretch of lonely rural highway. On Saturdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays, Kenneth made the trip from Wayne to Norfolk and back again. He lived in Wayne, attending the state-college there, but the town of Wayne was small and lacked job opportunity. So, on the weekends, he worked as a stock boy at a small discount store in Norfolk.
Compared to Wayne, Norfolk was a virtual metropolis, boasting a population of more than 20,000 souls. So, the potential for employment was equally boastful. This is why Kenneth did his lonely commute, at least as far as the Saturdays and Sundays were concerned. On Tuesdays however, he came to Norfolk for an altogether different reason. On that day, he came for lessons, guitar lessons to be precise. One would think that after taking on a full-time college credit load, and taking on a part-time job, extra lessons would be only an unwanted burden but such was not the case for Kenneth.
Like many his age, he had grandiose dreams of being something more than just another guy with a degree, destined for the stagnant grind of corporate life. No, Kenneth had bigger aspirations than that and it involved stardom. Wearing ties, butt kissing management, and working in a cube just wasn’t his thing. For him, this was plan “B”. Nobody knew that this was plan “B” except himself. He always felt that his parents would likely have simultaneous heart attacks if they found out that he was not interested in being the college grad, medium management schmuck that so many others seemed so keen to. No, he had a plan “A” and that plan was to rock!
He wanted to be a rock star and often dreamed of all the fame and glory that came with that lifestyle. Of course, he was not yet good enough for stardom. This was something he regretfully realized. Someday, he would be good enough. Currently, he could play a few Ramones songs, which meant that he knew exactly three chords. This was not sufficient to be the next American idol, but it was a start in the right direction. Everybody after all, had to start somewhere. Even B.B. King had that moment when he first picked up a guitar and strummed the strings and immediately fell in love with the instrument and the potential that could be unleashed from it.
As he rode the snake-like highway, he glanced affectionately at his passenger, the current love of his life. It was not a woman. With all of his activities, he had not found much time to meet women. In the passenger seat sat his guitar, a Gibson Les Paul. He didn’t love it quite the way he would have loved a woman, yet he had been intimate with it, telling it his deepest secrets and desires through lyrics that he wrote. They were only apart when he was in class or asleep. Actually, they were consistently apart only in class, and then only because the professors would not allow the instrument to take up a seat. He had actually been known, on occasion to sleep with it. He did not do this for sexual reasons. He did not do it out of obsession. It was mostly just to creep out his roommate
who objected that his hobby had sped past healthy levels long ago.
As far as his hobby being an obsession, what did his roommate know anyway? He would think on this and smirk. His roommate was a business major, destined for nothing more than days filled with cubicle life, gossip by the water fountain, and annual reviews for miniscule wage increases. That life was not for Kenneth.
The guitar’s polished white finish glistened from the pickup’s greenish dash-light as if it were winking at Kenneth, flirting with him. The flirting worked. Kenneth wished he were home right now, playing those silvery strings and pouring his heart out in song. But first, he had to get home. He didn’t have a case for his love, not even a cheap gig-bag.He did have a roll of black plastic trash bags under the truck’s passenger seat so he could avoid getting the instrument wet if it rained.
It wasn’t that he thought the guitar didn’t deserve a case; he loved it more than that. He simply couldn’t afford one on his college student, discount store stock boy paychecks. He had worked more than full-time at two jobs all summer and had saved every cent he could to get that instrument. After he purchased it and a small Peavey Rage 108 amplifier, which he had to get second hand from a cigarette smoking pawn shop owner that seemed to sweat far too much to be healthy, he just had nothing left for a case.
His humming grew into words and he began to serenade his love with touching lines from his Ramones library. It was a Ramones-medley, a little of Teenage Lobotomy, a bit from I wanna be Sedated, a line from We’re a Happy Family. Then he stopped mid-song, an action that would have probably put off
his love if she had been anything more than pieces of fine wood, bits of precisely formed metal and high-gloss enamel. He stared with eyes wide open out his front windshield and unconsciously slowed the car to about fifty miles per hour.
Ahead of him, a bolt of lightning had torn the night sky into fragments separated by white-blue rips. This didn’t make any sense to Kenneth. First, mere seconds ago, he had been singing and he had been driving under a starry sky. There had not been a cloud to be found from horizon to horizon. Second, although lightning is not unheard of in Nebraska during late September, it is not at all common. He never heard a clap of thunder. Then again, maybe his ears never had the chance to relay that sound to his brain.
Mere milliseconds after this odd phenomenon occurred, something slammed into the pickup’s front windshield so hard that it transformed it into a useless piece of junk.The thing was something like a snake without eyes and apparently with a head of steel. Kenneth only got the slightest of glimpses of this---this, whatever it was. He had just enough time to take his foot off the accelerator. He did not have time to brake.
As easily as the thing had penetrated the windshield, it plowed itself into Kenneth’s skull. It went through his left eye-socket, which was comparatively less solid than automotive glass. It sliced through that tissue like a knife through warm butter. It entered his brain.
Millie had created something dark, and she liked it. She approved of the darkness. She embraced it as she would her own mother.
She herself was dark. She knew this fact. She did not dispute it. She acknowledged it. She celebrated it.
She looked down from the open stairway landing that she stood upon. From that vantage point, she could see the entire space below her. And she marveled at what she had created there. She gazed down through the gothic stair rails at the environment that she had created.
What she had created was an invitation for the dead and those living who wished to commune with them. Only candles illuminated what she had created. Only candlelight was pure enough to light her world.
She looked down on the flame-lit scene and smiled. Bathed in the light was a table, circular, but not quite a circle. It had five sides equal in length, a perfect pentagon.
Each side had a chair pulled up to it. These were highbacked gothic things, upholstered in black leather.
They had cost Millie a pretty penny. But they were worth it. They added to the ambiance that she wished to create.
On the pentagon table sat a table cloth. It was almost completely black, as black as onyx. It was entirely black except for the crimson embroidery work that had been done upon it.
Millie looked down from her vantage point on the stairs. She looked down on this embroidered tablecloth with great pride. She herself had done the needle-work. The crimson pentagram that she had created contrasted nicely with the black fabric of the table cloth, or so she had always felt.
She gazed upon the walls of the room. They had been covered with gothic-style tapestries. These showed various medieval themes. Millie knew that none of them were authentic. They were all reproductions. They were good reproductions. To her this was what mattered. It was the atmosphere that she was trying to create.
Millie was almost completely satisfied as she stood there on the stairs, soaking in the pleasure that came from viewing her homemade lair of darkness. She estimated her internal satisfaction gage was at 99 percent.
She highly desired that elusive last percent. She knew what she would need to capture it.
She would need first and foremost to be patient. If she were patient, she knew that the final element to her room would come into place.
“Patience Millie,” she mumbled to herself. “Just be patient.”
But it was so hard to be patient. Indeed, she felt giddy like a dark-hearted school girl.
She looked at her hands. They were shaking.
She grasped the banister in front of her with both hands. She gripped it firmly. Yet, she still felt the tremors of anticipation running through her like highamp currents surging through the body of an electric eel.
She felt short of breath. She tried to control that. In through the nose, out through the mouth, she thought as she tried to regulate the exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide in her lungs.
Despite her efforts, she felt dizzy. She must not lose consciousness. She must not fall down the stairs. Such a mishap as that would lend poorly to her goal of becoming 100 percent satisfied.
Slowly, she descended the stairs. Slowly, she more fully engulfed herself in her lair of darkness of which she was the creator. As she descended the stairs, she had the sensation of one descending into a pleasantly temperate pool.
“Patience Millie,” she chanted. “You must remember to maintain your patience.”
No matter how much she tried. She felt unable to control her body. Her lungs continued at the rate of a steel mill bellows. Her heart continued to race.
She imagined her heart beating free of her chest. She imagined it smashing through her sternum as a bullet smashes through a clay target. She pictured this in her mind and giggled. It was a funny thought. She imagined her heart sprinting around the room and touching all the dark objects. Then she suddenly realized that she was doing just that herself. She danced about. She caressed the candles. She stroked the table and chairs. She made contact with everything.
“Calm down Millie old gal. You must have patience.”
On a hook was a robe. She grabbed it and put it on. It was made of shiny black satin and caressed her already excited body, making it even more so.
Under where the robe had been, on that hook was an amulet. This she also put on over the robe. She loved this charm. It was one of her favorite symbols of darkness, a pentagram.
The doorbell awoke her from her giddy self-induced trance. The first of her guests had arrived.
As she went to the door, she felt energized. That elusive last percent had been captured. Actually, she felt her internal satisfaction gage jump to at least 110 percent.
She was barely able to stand. The excitement was overwhelming her. She reached for the door. She turned the knob.
She could hardly contain her enthusiasm as she opened the door. Her first guest had arrived. She welcomed them in.
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