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Terror in the Shadows Paperback – July 23, 2018
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The dark can be a terrible, terrible place…
A young man’s attempts at breaking parole end in a night of horror. A child realizes that his Christmas gift might be a lot more sinister than he originally thought. An editor unveils his client’s sinister plan to cleanse the world of all evil. And a woman’s walk home is accompanied by a strange presence that promises a gruesome end.
Scare Street’s authors Ron Ripley, David Longhorn, Sara Clancy, and A. I. Nasser come together to bring you some of the most horrifying short stories in a single collection. They’re here to tell tales of the terrible and the macabre in a book so unsettling it will bring chills to your very core.
So head over to your favorite chair, make yourself comfortable, and dive right in. We promise that sleep will be the last thing on your mind. Just make sure you keep the lights on. The dark can be a terrible, terrible place...
"The Mysterious Beat" by Meredith Rusu
The first episode of the Amazon Original Series featuring Kristen Bell, Jackie Tohn, and Luke Youngblood is now a storybook, complete with twenty stickers! | Learn more
"This is a wonderful collection of horror shorts." - Maureen
"An anthology that lived up to my expectations. I didn't have to put it away until I had finished reading it. It has a generous number of stories that are unique enough to not get boring." - Reader
"Usually, I don't read short stories, but these are pretty good." - Amalthe
"A good selection of spooky short stories! I'm a fan of horror anthologies and I recommend this book!" - Reader
A huge recommendation for the thrill seekers out there." - Gloria A.
"I enjoyed reading these stories. As usual these writers never disappoint." - Brit
"This is a great short story collection. These stories will give you the heebie jeebies. If you love a good scare, read this one." - Lisa S.
"A series of thrilling reads from start to finish!" - Reader
"All of the stories where good, however, the last story was the best!" - Beverly S.
From the Inside Flap
We forgot about the music box for a few months after that night. Well, not forgot, but decided to ignore it, as though that night had never happened. It was a family habit; maybe if we didn't speak about what bothered us, then it didn't happen.
Kevin avoided me for a couple of days; after that night and on the rare occasions when we had to be in the same room together, I could see how hurt he was that I hadn't said anything to our father that night. It was the ultimate betrayal. I was supposed to be the big brother, always there to have his back.
When he finally did forgive me, I was in the backyard fixing my bike. I saw him from the corner of my eyes, rolling his own bike towards me with its flat back tire. He waited for me to fix the chain into place on my own BMX, all the time shuffling his feet and looking away when I caught him staring.
"Didn't I show you how to fix that?" I asked.
"I still can't do it right," Kevin replied. "I tried, but it didn't work."
"So we're talking now?"
Kevin shuffled his feet and looked at me, then nodded.
"Here, let's take it to the garage."
I abandoned my bike in the driveway and led Kevin to the garage where we set his bike up on the small workstation my dad usually used for his 'projects'. I half expected my brother to just prop up on a stool and watch me like he usually did, but he was quick to help with the tools, and paid close attention to everything I did. It was clear he wanted to show he was not fooling around.
When I had finally patched up the hole, I lowered the bike and rolled it to one side where he could pump the tire up.
"Want to go to the comic store?" I asked. "Dad gave me my allowance. My treat."
Kevin smiled. "Maybe next time," he said. "I still haven't read the one I have."
I shrugged and pushed up onto the worktable, swinging my legs as I sat and watched him pump the tire.
"You know, I really am sorry." I said.
Kevin paused for a second, and without turning around, nodded.
"I didn't know what happened, Kevin," I continued. "It was so weird. Like I was dreaming or something, you know? You had these yellow eyes and-"
Kevin dropped the pump and covered his face in his hands. His shoulders rose and fell as he sobbed, and I quickly slid off the table and fell on my knees beside him. I wrapped an arm around his shoulders and pressed him to me. "Hey, what's wrong?"
Kevin hugged me, crying freely now. His body shook like a leaf in my arms, and I felt tears well up in my own eyes. I felt helpless.
"It scared me, Johnny," Kevin mumbled in my shoulder. "It was so dark and scary. I couldn't see anything. And I was cold."
I frowned, his words causing a chill to race through me. I looked over my shoulder at the door leading to the kitchen, contemplating whether or not to call for help, but quickly decided against it. Kevin needed me, only me, and calling any of my parents would be like breaking that trust again.
"Throw it away, Johnny, please throw it away."
I held my brother tighter, and my heartbeat raced when his shivering intensified. "Throw what away?"
Kevin sniffed, then let out a soft moan. "The music box," he said. "Throw away the music box."
I looked for it with this very intention in mind; the only thought going through my head was that of getting rid of it once and for all. I was angry; enraged actually. I hated seeing my brother cry, and I searched for the music box with a vengeance. I had even taken my father's hammer from his toolkit, already picturing myself smashing the box to pieces.
It was at the back of my toy chest, cradled between a Thundercat and a smiling Mickey Mouse. I would have missed it if it hadn't been for the way the light had reflected off its polished surface. I pulled it out, tipping the toy chest over in my anger and almost tripping over the mess. I placed the box on my desk, raised the hammer, and then hesitated.
Key moments, Johnny, remember? How do you know that destroying it is going to stop whatever came after Kevin? What if you just unleash it into the world? What if Kevin's eyes turn yellow again and stay like that forever? Do you really want to do that to your brother?
I brought the hammer down, slowly, and rested it on the desk next to the box. I don't know how long I stood there, stoic, my eyes fixated on the music box. Ten minutes? An hour? I had no idea. All I knew was that my blind determination was probably going to cause more damage than good.
I shook my head, biting my lower lip as I reached for the music box, my hand wavering slightly above it before I snatched it up. I held it close, turning it over and over, trying to wrap my mind around what to do with it.
Bury it. Throw it in the river. Just don't, for heaven's sake, open it!
I opened it.
Several things happened at the same time the second that lid went up. The cold from that night came rushing out, as if from the box itself, and the hands that had once threatened to rip my spine in two latched onto my shoulders. Invisible claws dug into my skin, forcing my mouth open in a silent scream as a force pulled me forward. I clenched onto the box, but I couldn't feel it anymore. The disc began to spin, and as the music erupted, filling my head with its ominous tune, I could have sworn I saw the wolf turn its head towards me and smile.
Then there was nothing.
I opened my eyes to darkness, and a chill crawled into my skin, wrapping itself around every bone in my body. I sat up, the air around me a heavy blanket that strangled my every breath. I gasped. I choked. I coughed. And all the while, my body shook like a leaf in the wind. Somewhere in the distance I could hear water dripping, the sound of it echoing in the darkness, its source indiscernible.
I wasn't in my room anymore; I knew that for sure as I pushed myself up to a sitting position, my hands like ice against the cold stone floor. My ears were ringing, and I clenched my eyes closed, only then realizing that what I was hearing was the music box's tune. It was vibrating off the walls around me, soft and muffled, as if it were coming from somewhere on the other side of the wall.
Chains rattled, and I gasped, pushing myself against the stone wall behind me. My eyes searched the darkness but found nothing. I held my breath in an attempt to blend in with the darkness, but I couldn't hold it for long, and after a few seconds, gasped for air.
The chains rattled again.
"You opened the box, didn't you?"
The voice came from all around me, hoarse and heavy, the voice of an old man too tired to speak. It sounded familiar, but I couldn't quite place it. My head snapped right and left, and my heartbeat quickened. Still, I couldn't see anything.
"That was stupid."
The words felt like they were being whispered directly into my ear, and I scrambled away, blind to where I was going. A hand grabbed me by the shoulder, a vice-like grip that propelled me back against the wall as I screamed. My heart jumped into my throat and I kicked out aimlessly.
"Stop moving!" the voice hissed. "You'll only make it angrier!"
I felt tears sting my eyes as I rolled into a fetus position, pulling my knees as close to my chest as possible, trying to hide within myself. From around me, the tune from the music box grew louder, and the walls around me began to shake.
"I'm sorry, Johnny," the voice whispered. "I couldn't stop it. I tried, but I couldn't."
I froze, suddenly realizing who the voice belonged to. From somewhere far away, I heard screaming.
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition (July 23, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 159 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1724240102
- ISBN-13 : 978-1724240101
- Item Weight : 7.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.36 x 9 inches
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