Read Deep Within The Shadows (The Superstition Series Book 1) Online

Authors: Teresa Reasor

Tags: #Romance, #Urban, #Fantasy

Deep Within The Shadows (The Superstition Series Book 1)

BOOK: Deep Within The Shadows (The Superstition Series Book 1)
13.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Deep Within the Shadows

Teresa J. Reasor

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2015 by Teresa J. Reasor

Kindle Edition

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.

Contact Information:
[email protected]

Cover Art by
Tracy Stewart

Edited by Faith Freewoman

Teresa J. Reasor

PO Box 124

Corbin, KY 40702

Publishing History: First Edition 2015

ISBN 13: 978-0-9886627-6-6

ISBN 10: 0-9886627-6-0

Dedication

For my wonderful friend and cover artist Tracy Stewart. You are always so supportive and I love you for it.

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Epilogue

About the Author

Books By Teresa J. Reasor

Prologue

A
hungry scream
echoed in the distance behind him. Willy jerked, a strangled gasp tearing from him. His heartbeat leapt high in his throat as he pushed his shuffling jog into a run. Sweat ran in rivulets down his face. After the cool of the basement he’d just left, he was baking alive in the hot, still humidity.

Damn that security guard for kicking him out. He wasn’t botherin’ nothin’. Fucking jerk. Luckily Willy knew where Gerry was staying. They’d split up weeks ago, hoping to throw the shadows off, but it hadn’t worked. They just kept coming, night after night. And now the daytime creatures were on the prowl, there was no place left to hide.

God, he was so tired.

Another angry cry sounded from a block away. They were getting closer. If he could get far enough ahead, he might find somewhere to hole up until daylight. Somewhere no light could enter. A basement, crawlspace, anything. He’d even take the bottom of a dumpster if he could find one empty enough for him to squeeze into.

He careened around the corner of Kentucky Street and slipped into a dim alley. The sour smell of his own sweat mingled with the odor of rotting garbage from the dumpster behind one of the restaurants. His feet hit a flat sheet of corrugated cardboard and his right foot slid forward before the other could catch up. His left knee hit the ground with all his weight, and he cried out.

“Jesus, oh Jesus.” He was hurt. Something had cut into his knee.

Pushing up with one hand, he felt something gooey squish between his fingers. He swore and slung his hand to get it off as he staggered to his feet. Hugging the brick wall of the building, he settled back into the deepest pool of darkness he could find. He wiped his filthy hand on his pants and probed the knee with the other one. A triangle of glass stuck out of his flesh, and he could feel blood welling up around it. He jerked the shard free, and a whimper leaked from him. He slung the piece of glass away with a sob.

They’d smell the blood and track him. He didn’t know how they did it, but the
things
always seemed to know where he was. Oh God, if only he and Willy hadn’t tried to kidnap that girl. She had something to do with
them
. He just knew it. They’d shown up right after he and Willy killed the guy she was with. The burns she gave him had finally healed, but now he had a cut that would probably rot his leg off.

He hobbled forward a foot or two, the pain making him lightheaded, and he gagged at the coppery scent of his own blood.

How long had it been since he’d eaten? Two days. He’d been afraid to leave the basement. Until the asshole guard had tossed him out. If he could just reach Gerry’s motel room. Gerry would have some food. Maybe some weed. They could wait out the night in the dark together.

Another scream came from the end of the alley, almost right behind him, and he nearly jumped of his skin. From the wide, yellowish-white pool of the streetlight, a dark gray figure rose. Its arms hung down nearly three quarters of its form. Strangely elongated fingers repeatedly flexed in a grabbing motion, like a crab’s claw, as if hoping to pluck him from his hiding place. Though it had no eyes, and Willy hid twenty feet away in the deepest shadows cast by the three-story brick building, it homed in on where he stood with unerring precision. The creature opened its mouth like a black pit and screamed. The sound, a blend of a baboon-like cry and an ear-ringing roar, reverberated with frustration and rage.

Willy’s fear shook him to his bones. His knee ached like an abscessed tooth. His mouth tasted pasty and dry, and his bladder felt uncomfortably full.

The shadow paced back and forth, searching for the light it needed to reach him. Willy stumbled further down the alley, hugging the building. The rough bricks picked at his clothing and scraped his arm, his hand, as he attempted to stay out of the anemic light cast from the windows above him.

His head jerked up at the rumble of an engine approaching. A silver car swung into the street directly in front of him, the bright headlights pinning him against the wall. Willy opened his mouth. “No-o-o-o-o!” The scream of denial worked its way up his throat. Almost from beneath his feet, a shadow leaped from the ground with inhuman speed.

Willy half turned to run. A slicing pain caught him just beneath his ribs and he was shoved against the wall and lifted. His legs cycled weakly. A suffocating fullness invaded his chest. His heart seized. The pain stole his breath and limited his scream to a choked gurgle. His bladder released and the warm urine ran down his legs to wet his pants all the way to his socks.

As the creature squeezed his heart to bursting, Willy’s last thought was one of relief. His two-month hell was over.

Chapter 1

J
uliet Templeton scanned
the patrons lined up at the bar waiting for drinks. Her hands flew as she packed ice into a glass and measured vodka in a jigger and dumped it in. She reached for the orange juice and tipped the jug.

“Have I told you this vampire-biker-chick look suits you?” Justin’s warm, moist breath brushed her neck. She flinched away, resisting the urge to elbow him in the gut. Orange juice splashed onto the counter. For weeks, since he’d been hired to bartend, he’d pushed for a date. He was doing it again tonight. With his shaggy mop of dark hair, clean-shaven, angular jaw, and hazel eyes, he could pass for Hayden Christensen’s cousin. Even with the Goth makeup turning his skin pale, he exuded sex appeal. Had her feelings not been deadened to it—to him—to every man, since—

“Look Justin. I don’t date anyone I work with. It causes too many complications. Move on to someone else.”

His smile wavered but didn’t quite die. “Maybe I’ll have to quit my job, then.”

She shook her head.
I’m not worth the sacrifice. I’m trouble you don’t need
. She slid the drink to the waiting customer and picked up his money.

A woman slinked up to the bar, her tight black strapless dress hugging her generous curves like a sausage casing. With arrogance and grace, she raised her hand in a demanding gesture. Juliet took a deep breath. She didn’t have the patience to deal with Justin and her, too. She nodded toward the customer. “Can you get her order? I need to ring this up.” She waved the money in her hand.

With a wry grin, Justin strolled down the workspace behind the bar, his shoes squeaking on the rubber mat.

Juliet heaved a gusty sigh. Maybe he’d hook up with Ms. Sausage and quit pressuring her. Hell, maybe they’d find true love together. She could only hope.

Her feet ached, as did her back, from nearly ten hours behind the bar. Even her facial muscles felt tired from smiling at customers. She just wanted to finish her shift and go home to a long, long bath and an empty bed.

She returned to the task at hand. The heavy metal beat from the stage pounded against her ears, drowning out the beep of the cash register as she keyed in the order. The base drum thumped in time with the headache throbbing behind her eyes. Jesus! She rubbed her temples. The rock bands Hector hired were usually more than loud enough, but for the last two weeks, The Skull’s music had been falling just short of an assault.

She scanned the dance floor where a strobe light captured the dancers’ stop-action gyrations. Not couples, but the group, the collective. They moved as one. She paused a moment, attempting to guess which were human and which had something to hide. The smoke machine backstage provided an eerie atmospheric backdrop for the band and the audience. Since they were already painted and garbed in Goth style, the special effects lent the patrons the look of extras on a
Day of the Dead
movie set.

The bar was the new happening hangout in Superstition, Kentucky. Business was booming. Tips were good. Unless you knew what to look for, it was difficult to sort the real from the imagined. Management strenuously encouraged the employees to dress a part. And the clientele.

Since the college had taken root, the sleepy little town of Superstition had begun to attract an interesting demographic. Very interesting.

The counter was sticky from orange juice she slopped while trying to fix a screwdriver and also avoid Justin’s latest pseudo-amorous efforts. She wiped her workstation with a damp sponge, tossed it in the sink, and turned her attention to the next drink order, a Primal Scream. The lead singer accompanied the order with a shrill demonstration. Juliet winced.

From the stage, a spotlight swept across the crowd and paused on the bar. Blinking against the harsh glare, she snatched up a bottle of Kahlua from the packed shelves. Its sweet scent momentarily dulled the flowery smell of her last customer’s cologne. The mirror behind the bar captured a brief glimpse of her pale face and exaggerated eye makeup.

A movement, a form, stealthy, fast, and gray, rose behind her in the glass. Cold feathered her skin and crawled across her scalp. The shape sprouted two very long arm-like appendages that looped around her. With a startled yelp, she twisted around to face the threat. The spotlight swung away.

BOOK: Deep Within The Shadows (The Superstition Series Book 1)
13.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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