Horror - Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Date Published- 4/4/13
…a matter of light and death…
In the sleepy college town of Cumberton, MD, an old cemetery must be moved to make room for a new dormitory, and an ungodly Light, buried for centuries, escapes. A rash of gruesome student suicides rocks the town. Sheriff Estin Booker teams up with former Baltimore homicide detective Anna Tucci to investigate the deaths. What neither expects is to have all roads point to a 2000-year-old legend which, if true, could lead to the destruction of mankind.
The most frightening account of the power of evil breeching our world since The Exorcist, DEAD LIGHT will teach you the most improbable lesson you will ever learn:
FEAR THE LIGHT!
Read an excerpt:
The thickness faded again, like she’d just awakened from a deep sleep.
Wait, no, she must still be dreaming ‘cause she was standing naked on the bench seat of a rowboat in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. She heard a low hum and looked down to see the sound came from the friction of a black line rubbing across the boat’s edge. Something on the end of the line must be awfully heavy to make the line run that fast. She followed the line back to—Oh, my God! The
line was tied to her ankles and—someone was treading water next to the boat.
Grampy? Impossible, Grampy was—the man in the water had no eyes and no mouth. Just a black hole that opened on the side of his face. She shrieked as loud as she could, but knew no one could hear her.
She felt the line scratch her ankle. She saw in an instant she would be yanked overboard. She crouched and grabbed the line to slow it down, but the weight was too heavy. She jumped off the bench and tried to use the gunnel as leverage to stop the pull of the line, slowing it down some. If she could just untie the knot around her ankles . . . yet if she let go to free the knot, the line would pull her into the water.
The muscles in her arms weakened, her hands bled from the rope burns.
She screamed again, but she was too far out for anyone to hear. Her eyes fell on the oarlock. A chance, but she had to pull the oar out of the lock. She tried to kick it loose, but the instant she lifted her foot she was yanked forward. She quickly replanted her leg to maintain the brace against the weight, then clamped the oar between her knees and tried to lift it. Her legs were slick with sweat and she couldn’t get a grip. She tried again, pressing her legs together as hard as possible and this time the oar moved, but she couldn’t maintain the hold and the oar slipped back into the setting. The line was digging deeper into her flesh and her hands were now slippery with blood, making the line even more difficult to hold.
She knew she had only one more chance. This time she squatted deep and sat on the oar. She crossed her legs, clamping it hard against her body, then stood up straight. The oar lifted it from its setting. Yes! She released the pressure and the oar dropped between her legs, hit the bench and bounced overboard.
She looped the line around the lock. Immediately, she felt the tension slack. She twisted the line around two more times for good measure. It was holding! She let one hand fall from the line, then the other. Thank you, God!
Only one oar left, but she could use it to paddle back as soon as she untied the line. She bent down to her feet and attacked the knot. Damn, it was so tight.
“Shipshape, Jilly, shipshape!”
The voice was coming from the water, from that thing. She couldn’t spare a second to look up. The knot was impossible—no, wait, one of the loops loosened. Just a touch. A bit more and she’d be able to—
The weight on the line had ripped the oarlock completely out of the
railing. The line was running free. She reached for it, then felt a tremendous yank as if something or someone was pulling on the line from the depths below.
In a split second she was overboard.
She struggled to tread water; with her ankles tied together she had to move like a mermaid. She’d grown up by the bay and was a strong swimmer, but the weight was heavy.
Her head slipped below the surface. No! She would not drown! Summoning all of her remaining strength, she undulated her hips and knifed up to the surface. She pulled her long red hair from her face. The boat was right there! She reached up and was able to curl her fingers around the railing. She caught her breath. If she could just hold on until—
“Want a hand, Jilly?”
She looked up. The thing, the Grampy thing was now in the boat. He—it—reached downand touched her bare shoulder. She watched in horror as its flesh dropped into the water like overcooked meat from the shank, leaving nothing but greasy black bone. He laughed and pulled his arm back. She didn’t scream. She had to keep all her wits about her and concentrate. Maybe if she swung back and forth she’d be able to get her elbow over the rail and—her fingers were slipping. The rail was covered in something slick. She tightened her
grip, but it wasn’t working.
She smelled something. What was it? Cookies. Burnt cookies. Not
chocolate chip, more like—
The thing leaned over the rail, inches from her face. Its putrid breath compelled her stomach to convulse violently, and she had to fight to keep the bile from rising in her throat.
“Time to go, Jilly.”
God help me! She felt a tickling across her breasts and looked down to see a swarm of shiny black waterbugs tightly circling her. She tried to dig her nails into the wooden rail and squeeze her fingers as hard as she could. For a moment she didn’t move. Then the muscles in her fingers weakened and her grip slowly curled under the railing. No! No! No!
Wait. Of course. This is a dream. Has to be. She laughed to herself,
hoping she would remember everything in the morning so she could tell Tony.
He’d probably tease her for dreaming she was naked.
The tickling became more pronounced, and she looked down again. The bugs had formed two long lines. With military precision, each line scaled one of her breasts, circling the rounded flesh like a conquering army. Deeper into the water she saw the Grampy thing looking up at her, smiling, beckoning.
And she knew she wasn’t dreaming.
She willed the muscles in her fingers to hold, but they were numb and could no longer respond. Her grip released.
She didn’t scream. Instead, she used her last breath to whisper, “Beware the Light.”
Then Jill Louise Bryant slid silently down into the black glass.
Mike Pace was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Illinois on an art scholarship, and graduated with a BFA degree. He taught public school in Washington D.C.’s inner city, while attending law school at Georgetown University. As an attorney, he prosecuted numerous cases, including those involving murder and rape. He resigned in order to practice law part time, thereby allowing him the time to devote to his first love, creative writing. He lives on the Chesapeake Bay with his wife and two dogs, Blueberry and Scout. DEAD LIGHT is Mike’s first novel.
Website- http:// Mikepacebooks.com