Authors: Jeremy Bishop,Daniel S. Boucher
Book 2: Darkness Falls
Sam Lake awakens from an alcohol-induced stupor to find his town, Refuge, New Hampshire, is no longer on an Earth he recognizes. While he slept, the town shifted between universes, leaving behind loved ones, severing all contact with the world they knew and resulting in several deaths—including that of Sheriff Rebecca Rule. The new Sheriff, Helena Frost, and the recently deputized ex-Army Ranger, Griffin Butler, work to coordinate a response and figure out what’s happening to their small town, but they need help.
Struggling to come to terms with the new, dark world raining ash on the town, Sam and his friends, Jimmy and Dana, volunteer to visit the local radio station and attempt to contact...anyone. With his son Wyatt along for the ride, Sam leads the group toward the radio station, and the edge of town. But the increasing gloom hides the denizens of the new world, who are slowly invading, as the darkness encroaches on the town, claiming one person at a time.
The town of Refuge responds to the otherworldly with bravery and Yankee gumption, but can they survive as darkness falls?
REFUGE is a serialized novel, co-authored by #1 Amazon.com horror author, Jeremy Bishop, and five other authors, including Amazon.com bestsellers Kane Gilmour and David McAfee,
bestseller, Robert Swartwood, and newcomer Daniel S. Boucher. The novel will be released in five parts, every two weeks. The first part was released November 12, 2013. The story will also be available as one complete novel, as soon as the fifth episode is released. So read along as they appear or hold out for the completed novel. Either way, you’re in for a creepy ride.
Book 2: Darkness Falls
By Jeremy Bishop and Daniel S. Boucher
To Domenick. Your infinite imagination inspires me.
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Wait? Acknowledgments in a novella? Ayuh. It’s my party, and I can write if I want to.
First and foremost, I want to thank Jeremy for taking a chance with me. Thank you, Jeremy, for seeing the spark inside me, and for giving breath to the fire I hope it one day becomes.
I’d also like to thank Kane for his diligence in editing, making sure that we all ended in sync with one another. A task that I, for one, could not imagine having to handle across five books and five different authors. Kudos my friend.
I’d like to thank Jimmy Stanley and Dana Cram—both of whom I’ve taken great liberties with in DARKNESS FALLS—for being great sports, answering my random questions and allowing me to have fun at their expense.
I want to thank Domenick for his input and inspiration throughout. His imagination is truly limitless.
And finally, I’d like to thank my wife, Kendra, who had to listen to countless stories, ideas and plots of nasty things that go bump in the night, and who ultimately enabled me to finally finish a story I’d started. Thank you, babe. I love you.
—Daniel S. Boucher
INTRODUCTION TO A SERIAL NOVEL
REFUGE is a serial novel, co-written between five authors. This means the reading experience will be a little different from a standard novel. The best comparison for this scenario is a TV show. Each episode furthers a larger story, but it also has its own contained beginning, climax and end. Refuge is set up in the same way, so that each novella is an episode, and the first five books are effectively Season 1. Also, TV shows use different directors and writers, meaning the show’s style, pacing and tone might shift week to week. While our team of writers strived to make each episode flow right into the next, you will notice subtle differences in writing style and tone, especially with newly introduced characters. At first I felt unsure about this approach. I’ve never done it before. But once I started thinking about REFUGE, a town shifting between worlds, subtle changes in tone, voice, style, and so forth, makes total sense. So, I hope you enjoy the series and the unique experience created by each new co-author.
said unto Moses. “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt—even darkness which may be felt.”
The hideous chime of the church bell signaled an impending shift. Griffin saw Frost stiffen at the sound. She gripped the old mug on her desk, which had survived the attack on the Sheriff’s station unscathed. It had been seven hours since the last shift, and neither of them had slept. How could they? Instead, they had brewed copious amounts of coffee and set to work on the station, repairing the damage done and getting things back in order. And as they made physical progress, a slow sense of normalcy had returned. While much of the main office was still a mess, the space was functional once more, and the front doors had been crudely repaired with sheets of plywood.
But despite the progress, both physical and emotional, Frost was still tense. The death of Sheriff Rule had not only forced her into a position of authority, but she now carried the responsibility of Refuge’s safety. It was a big task for even the most experienced of law keepers, and one that Griffin knew she wouldn’t be able to handle alone. Who could?
“Hey!” came a shout from the back room. Charley Wilson was still locked up. They had told him of Rule’s death, but they hadn’t released him yet.
They ignored his call.
“C’mon. I know you can hear me.” Charley rapped against the cell bars with something solid, adding harsh clangs of metal to the now repeating clang of the church bell. “I’m sober now.”
While Griffin’s survival instincts had kicked in, his Army Ranger training had not prepared him for what was happening in the town. It defied logic. Refuge looked like the same cozy New England town it had been since the first foundation was laid in 1749, but the world around it was no longer their own. Since the desert world disappeared, they’d been surrounded by a lush jungle. Despite the obvious signs of wildlife surrounding the town, nothing came in past the borders. Everyone remained safe. Things got quiet, which gave people time to collect themselves.
But now, they were going to shift again, and no one knew where they would end up. Home? Back in the desert? Some place new? Some place dangerous?
“Seriously,” Charley said. “Rule wouldn’t have kept me in here sober. You know it. And if my hazy memory serves, I saved some people last night.”
Frost sighed and looked up at Griffin. “He’s right.”
“You don’t think he’s a danger?”
“Not while he’s sober,” she said.
“But how long will that—” Griffin looked toward the front of the station like he could see straight through the wall toward the now incessant church bell. “Never mind.”
They headed back to the cells.
“Seriously. Frost.” Charley sounded desperate. “I don’t want to be in here when—” He clamped his mouth shut when Griffin and Frost entered.
Without a word, Frost unlocked the cell, swung open the door and stepped to the side. As Charley stepped past her, she took his arm. “Next time you get drunk in public, I’m going to leave you in here.”
He nodded and tried to continue past, but she held on tightly. “Next time you invoke Becky’s name in your defense, I’ll knock your teeth out.”
Charley smiled briefly, but it faded when her gaze communicated the seriousness of what she had said.
Frost released him, but he made it only one step before Griffin blocked his path. “Oh, for fuck’s sake,” he complained.
“Your son and his friend, Lisa, are under my protection,” Griffin said.
Charley sneered and puffed out his chest. “You telling me I can’t see my son?”
Griffin shook his head. “I’m telling you that if you hurt either of them, or anyone else, having your teeth knocked out will be the least of your worries. The world is different, Charley. It’s dangerous beyond the town border. It can’t also be dangerous within it.”
Charley stared at Griffin for a moment, then backed down and nodded. “I get it. Okay.”
The church bell continued to ring, growing faster with each ear shattering peal, until it became one, loud long tone.
Without another word, the trio headed for the front door. Charley reached the plywood first, and opened the makeshift door. He turned his head skyward and stopped, holding the door open, more out of stunned immobility than politeness. “Not in a million years...”
Frost and Griffin exited next, and stood beside Charley, wincing at the sound of the church bell.
The air all around them shimmered.
The sky above shook and darkened, changing as one place faded and the other emerged. Then, in a snap, the shift tore them into a new world.
A dark world.
Griffin caught sight of motion above. He tracked its slow descent.
The object was gray, slightly lighter than the blackened sky above. He reached out for the quarter-sized object. It slid gently into his hand, nearly weightless.
“What is it?” Charley asked.
Griffin smelled the answer in the air all around them, but didn’t speak it aloud. He looked up again as a blizzard of gray descended toward Main Street. Somewhere, the world was burning.