No Grave: Keiran’s Back

Hey, guys!  Just another friendly reminder that No Grave is coming out…wait…tomorrow?  Is it tomorrow!?

OH CRAP.

Yes, paperback and digital versions will be available in a future so near we can almost taste it.  So whatever preference you have, get ready to crack the book open and get to reading.

Before I get too carried away with writing everyone in the world telling them to check it out, let’s take another gander at an excerpt, hmmm?

Some of you might remember Keiran from his role in No Reflection — quite a villain, wasn’t he?  And you might be wondering if he’ll be making a return…well, of course he will.  At the start of No Grave, he’s been AWOL for some time, but when he reappears he wastes no time in letting Nicole and the brownstone crew know.

(Remember to pre-order your digital copy today!  Available on Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, Kobo, etc…)

Here we go:

 

Nicole’s phone began bleating, buzzing against the plastic floral tabletop.  She glanced at the caller ID, half-expecting to see Katherine’s name, again, but was instead greeted by ‘Restricted Number.’  Her brow furrowed, and she thought of her mother in the new facility, out of the psyche ward and into private care.  She held up a finger, “Hold on,” she said, hand hesitating over the screen, “it might be…my mom…”

Jimmy gave her a nod and she rose from the table.

She answered the phone halfway down the hall back to her room.  “Hello?”

“I’ve missed your voice, beautiful.”  Keiran purred.

Nicole’s blood turned to ice and shattered in her veins.  Her heart crawled its way around her lungs and slammed against her rib cage.  As soon as she heard his voice, she could feel him again.  She could see him.  His long stringy hair limp around his skeletal face.  The scars crisscrossing the right side of his face, long jagged scars leading up to a milky, cataracted eye.  She could feel his coldness, the frigid touch of his dead fingers inside her, back pressed against subway tile, his hand clamped over her mouth.

“Where did you get my number?” her voice felt tight and small, strangled in her throat.

“Why are you hiding from me?  My beautiful, mine, my pretty little thing.  Why don’t you want me to hear your voice?  Why don’t you want me to see your glowing face?”

“Where?” she repeated, steadying herself against the wall.  “Where?”

“Why do you keep fighting, my pet?  Why play so hard to get?”

The floor of her stomach kicked out into a void abyss and her innards guttered down its vortex mouth.  She forgot the kitchen, the hallway, her room, the Brownstone, everything.  She was being sucked down a dark tunnel, caught in the undertow of a black ocean.  “Where?  Where?  Where?”

“I know you,” the croaking voice purred, “inside and out.  I cherish you, I love you, isn’t that what you need?  You cruel creature, poor pet, beautiful pet.  Why won’t you come out and play with me?”

She hadn’t seen him in four months, hadn’t heard him yell for her from the street, or found a note under a rock on the stoop, hadn’t had anything.  She’d almost dared to hope he was gone, that he’d moved on, found someone else to follow, to stalk, but of course not, of course not because then she would be free, and he wouldn’t let that happen.

“Where did you get my fucking number!?” the words tore through her throat like knives.  “Where!?”

She felt Angie’s hand on her right shoulder, anchoring her.  The black tide parted around her, and she gasped for air as she broke its surface.  She wavered on the hardwood floor and felt Angie guide her back toward the kitchen.  Her muscles shivered.  Her eyes were wet.

“Hang up the phone,” Angie whispered.

“You’ll never be alone, poor pet,” Keiran continued, “isn’t that a relief?  You’ll always have me.  You’ll always have me to keep you company.  When you’re lonely, think of that.  When you’re alone, think of that.”

“Hang up,” Angie repeated.  Nicole realized she was leaning against a wall with both of Angie’s hands on her shoulders.  “Please.”

“Where?” she felt herself ask, her voice tiny again, like a child’s.

“One day you’ll learn to love me, too.  One day.  Do you miss me, beautiful?  Do you think of me often?  Do you think of me always?”

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thesrhughes

I'm a writer of horror, dark sci-fi, and dark fantasy.