Excerpt Monday: Andrew Kaufman
The winner of Andrew's book is Tiffany K. Congrats, Tiffany! Send me your contact info and I'll give it to Andrew. Thanks to everyone who participated.
Strange things are happening in Faith, New Mexico. People are disappearing and for others it's far worse. The body count is rising, the pressure is mounting, and the clock is ticking as they rush to uncover a dangerous secret hiding just below the surface of this all-American town — one that's threatening to destroy Faith and everyone in it. One they must hunt down quickly.
Slowly, Kyle eased her way out of bed, gun at her side, padding softly toward the door. Using her other hand, she turned the knob just enough to disengage it from the jamb, then pulled it open a crack so she could peer through.
The hallway was empty.
She moved on to the foyer, treading lightly, concentrating on every step, her senses heightened, her mind on high alert.
Suddenly, Kyle heard commotion coming from the living room downstairs and froze. She walked to the edge of the staircase, looked down, and drew a steadying breath.
When she reached the bottom of the steps, she immediately felt the air turn frigid. She’d wandered into a patch of ice-cold air so chilly that it turned her breath to steam as it left her mouth. A wave of goose bumps wriggled up her arms; still, she moved on.
But not quickly or easily. Along with the chill, a commanding resistance penetrated the air — something thick, soupy — and the harder she pushed against it, the stronger it seemed to become, like trying to defy a powerful water current. Laboring with each step, she struggled her way through it.
Kyle had experienced this phenomenon before but never to such an extreme. Cold spots, she remembered, an indication of energy from a lingering, paranormal presence.
Slowly, she lowered the gun down by her side, knowing it would do her no good — you can’t shoot the dead. She put the weapon away in a drawer and headed toward the living room.
Turning the corner, Kyle had the uneasy feeling that someone was standing directly behind her. She spun around, but saw nothing. Still, she couldn’t shake the intense impression of another’s presence.
A loud crash interrupted the thought, but it wasn’t coming from anywhere near her; it was coming from up near her bedroom.
Kyle looked toward the top of the staircase, then back down and across the living room. Noises were coming from all over the house. First upstairs, then downstairs, now upstairs again. She was chasing ghosts, chasing her fears, and getting nowhere.
Anger replaced fear as Kyle turned to climb the steps again, but upon reaching the top, her emotions quickly changed. She stared with disbelief at her bedroom door.
Closed. She knew she’d left it open.
But that wasn’t all — the doorknob was cold to the touch, icier than a tombstone in the dead of winter. Before Kyle could turn it, the door swung out violently, slamming against the wall and producing a thundering crash. Startled but determined, she stepped forward, peered into her bedroom.
And saw nothing.
But she felt something: a hard slap across her face. She screamed, then heard more noise off in the distance, the sound of bells, hundreds of them. The sounds quickly graduated until finally reaching ear-shattering intensity.
Kyle finally gave in to her panic. Things were moving too fast. She didn’t know where to look or what to do next.
All of a sudden, the bells cut out at the same time, and there was complete silence.
Before she could gather her thoughts, she heard a child screaming, followed by a cold, tingling sensation that felt like icy water on her spine. Something, or someone, had just passed through her body. She had an idea who it was.
Kyle swung her head toward the window; it was wide open, although she knew she’d closed it earlier, and even though the wind was blowing in, the curtains were blowing out.
Just then, a powerful gale picked up speed and barreled toward her, lifting furniture inches from the floor, then slamming it down forcefully and violently. Things were falling off shelves; others did worse, flying across the room, one book missing her by inches as she dropped to the floor.
A brutal storm was raging inside her bedroom, inside her house. Determined to get to the window, Kyle picked herself up and pushed forward, struggling against the wind, the noise. When she finally got there, she caught the curtains with her hands and pulled them inside; as soon as she did, all the commotion instantly came to an abrupt halt. The air was as calm as could be.
Kyle stood silent, gazing out at the bottomless night, wondering what she’d just experienced, and why. She closed the window and the drapes.
Then she crawled back into bed, burrowing beneath the covers and closing her eyes. But only for a few seconds. She jumped when she felt her toe pressing against slimy, cold flesh.
Someone was in her bed with her.
She screamed, swung her head to the right, and found a pair of flat, listless eyes staring back, only inches from hers.
The small child lay right beside her, on her back, head turned toward Kyle, stringy, filthy hair clinging to her skin like wet, muddy grass. Kyle was peering into the eyes of a corpse.
She jumped from the bed and screamed, “What do you want?”
The girl gave her the answer, coldly, impassively, and with only two words: “Help me.”
For more info about Andrew E. Kaufman and While the Savage Sleeps, please visit: http://www.andrewekaufman.com