Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sample 60 Saturday: Dead End Street

Every Saturday, until I run out of books--or decide to go to page 70--I will present an excerpt, page 60, from one of my books. No matter what it says--funny, filthy, scary, dumb, or tantalizing--you'll get it here.

And I'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below and let me know if this made you want to read more.

Let's continue the chronological tour with my young adult horror story, Dead End Street.

The old house at the end of a dead-end street is more of a dead end than anyone realizes...

They are five misfit kids who have banded together in their small Ohio River town. Over the years, they had organized various clubs, and now they've formed the Halloween Horror Club. The premise is simple: each week, each teen spins a horrifying tale, and at the end of five weeks, the scariest story wins a prize. The twist: the stories have to be told in the infamous and abandoned Tuttle house, where, fifteen years earlier, nearly an entire family had been murdered in their beds.

The idea of the club seems like a good one, until the kids begin to realize they may not be alone in the Tuttle house, which backs up against the woods. There seems to be someone—or something—watching them. Is it Paul Tuttle, the son who, while still in his teens, disappeared the night his parents and sister were killed? Or is it someone even more sinister?

With each story (each a completed short, original horror tale that stands on its own), the tension mounts...and so does the anger of the house's mysterious inhabitant. He is enraged at having his space violated, and his rage could mean a real dead end for those who dare to invade his home...

Page 60
“Gasping, he ran in the direction of the field, praying he would soon feel the soft warmth of the newly plowed soil. But all he felt after running for nearly twenty minutes was the same eerie solidness beneath his feet.

“There were no fields.

“Simon dashed back to his truck, slammed the door behind him, and locked it. He revved the engine a couple of times, put the pickup in drive, and floored it, roaring off to a black horizon at 90 miles per hour.

“After a while, Simon laughed with relief. The sky was lightening. The wheat fields flanked him. Up ahead, a billboard advertised Skol. A farmer on his John Deere tractor, ready to start the day, waved a bright red bandana at him in greeting.
“Simon Gregg drove on, confident he was headed home.

“The wreckage of the Chevy pickup rose before the State Highway Patrol car. The truck’s front end had collapsed in, grim evidence of how hard the truck had smashed into a big maple near the road. As the trooper pulled onto the berm, he was certain the driver couldn’t have survived the crash.

“When he reached the truck, he saw the boy inside, noticed the shock of red hair, and recognized him as Simon Gregg. The patrolman’s and Simon’s fathers had grown up together. The trooper did not look forward to telling the elder Gregg that his boy was dead.

“He threw the beam of his flashlight on the skid marks, letting the light follow their course, then noticed a dark spot on the left front bumper that looked liked blood.

“He said aloud, ‘The poor kid probably swerved to avoid hitting something.’ What a shame.

“Saturday night was just beginning. It was going to be a long shift.

“As he got into the patrol car, the trooper noticed a flash of white in the rearview mirror, a barely perceptible movement, quick. He turned in his seat.

“Nothing there.

“He shook his head and picked up his radio to call for assistance.”
* * *
Erin was the first to speak. “I don’t know about anyone else, but I think I know the story I’ll vote for.” Her admiring brown eyes fell upon Roy. From his grin and the way the reddish hue moved up his neck to engulf his face, everyone in the group knew that he needed no further praise.

BUY Dead End Street.

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  1. Dead End Street...had one in our neighborhood where I grew up and it was spooky.
    Does this little teaser make me want to buy the book?
    Oh yeah...bring the spook on!