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Release Day for Going Up!

2013-04-02

  09:39:07 am, by

Release Day for Going Up!


 

 

It's release day! My new horror story Going Up is now available from Samhain Publishing!

Below is an excerpt from Going Up...

In this scene, Beckett is determined to find out what's been riding in the abandoned elevator she's discovered on the resort property.

 

Blurb:

Some secrets should remain hidden.

Investigative journalist Beckett Hayes hopes a stay at a Caribbean resort is just what she needs to recharge her batteries. But mysterious clanging in the night doesn’t let her get much rest. Outside her hotel room, she finds an overgrown, seemingly abandoned elevator leading up the hill. The hotel staff insists the elevator hasn’t worked in years, but Beckett can’t shake the feeling they’re hiding something. Sensing a story, she’s determined to find out the truth. But will she be alive to tell it when she finds out what awaits her at the top of the hill?

 

Excerpt from Going Up:

Below her the trees in the grotto that hid the elevator booth swayed. She heard the unmistakable grinding of the lift engaging. Its motor hummed. Well, not hummed exactly, more like coughed and sputtered. Metal grated against metal in an ear-splitting screech. She wondered how anyone in the resort could miss it. Then again, most people were either still at dinner or down at the beach bar. As if on cue, the reggae band started up, covering most of the sound.

The elevator rose, winding through the shrubbery. She followed its progress by the trees left swaying in its wake. It ground toward her, lurching up the hill, screeching and clanging and crunching any branch that tried to hinder its passage.

Ducking below the balcony’s railing, Beckett watched it pass. In the darkness all she could see was a dim glow from a light on the instrument panel. As far as she could tell, the booth was empty, but she was too afraid to stand up and show herself. It passed the block that housed her room, curving behind the building. Rising a little to peer above the railing, Beckett watched it continue up the hillside until the track’s curvature stole her view.

Once it had chugged out of sight, the music from the beach covered the sounds of its passage. Anyone on the path likely wouldn’t notice now. If they did hear the generator running, they’d probably just think it was providing the resort’s power. Sleep forgotten, Beckett stood and glanced around the corner of the balcony.

Occasionally she could see the dull flicker of the light on the instrument panel through the trees. She followed its progress until it came to a screeching halt at the top of the hill.

She could no longer see the booth where it came to rest amongst the shrubbery at the top of the hill. The twin palm trees at the top of the hill jutted against the darker sky. The band down at the beach bar took a break. Conversation drifted up the hill.

Beckett waited for several long moments, frozen in the darkness, pressed against the balcony’s concrete side. Then, from above came a deep clang as the machinery engaged. Trees swayed as the elevator booth crunched down the slope toward her. The band picked that moment to begin their second set.

Beneath her the balcony vibrated as the machine lurched past. She ducked back below the railing, hoping the darkness would hide her. She peeked above as the booth went screeching past. The tiny light on the indicator panel gave the interior a sickening glow.

She risked rising above the railing for a better look, straining her eyes to see through the gloom.

Something huge occupied the booth, nearly filling it. Something huge, black and horribly misshapen. She tried to put the pieces of the puzzle together in her mind. Was that a shoulder shoved high above its head? Was that meaty black appendage an arm?

The booth chugged past her. As if sensing her staring, the booth’s occupant shuffled around in its tight quarters. Golden eyes reflected the dull gleam of the indicator light. Its gaze pinned her to the balcony, sighting her as unerringly as if someone had shone a spotlight on her.

With a gasp Beckett ducked beneath the railing, squatting on the balcony floor. The elevator continued down the hill.

For a moment she could only hunch there, her heart beating furiously. Then reason kicked in.

Had she really seen something terrible in that booth, or had it merely been a trick of the light? It could have been someone wearing a coat or carrying a knapsack that produced such an unusual silhouette. Though, why someone would want to wear a coat in this heat was beyond her. Had its eyes really gleamed in the darkness?

Forgetting her earlier terror, she darted from the balcony, back through the sliding glass doors. She pulled the chair from beneath the door and quickly locked up before slipping down the staircase.

The path was empty as she rushed across the concrete toward the grotto that housed the elevator terminus. Music from the beach bar covered whatever sounds might have come from the metal tracks. She thought she heard a clang as the mechanism engaged, stopping the booth’s progress. Crouching in the bushes, she waited to see what might emerge.

From within the grotto came the snap of twigs. Bushes rustled. Wet feet slapped the concrete steps. Brush parted. A large black shape darted between the trees.

It moved deceptively fast for something so bulky. It kept to the shadows cast by the bushes that lined the pathway, keeping out of the revealing light of the globe lamps. Bending low to keep out of sight, she followed it.

It moved with an odd swaying gait. It did have one shoulder hunched higher than the other. She couldn’t see much in the dim light, but it seemed like its whole body had been mashed and put back together. By its lurching movement, she guessed one leg was longer than the other. Its feet slapped the pavement, first one side then the other, in an odd cadence.

It headed past the beach bar where the party still carried on. Music drifted out across the water, covering the sounds of its progress. Still keeping to the shadows, it stumbled onward until the bushes ended and it reached the little bridge that led to the water. Beckett hung back, waiting to see what it would do next.

A couple walked by on the beachfront. It lingered in the shadows, watching their progress. They wandered into the light from the patio and up to the bar.

The black figure took that moment to dart across the narrow space, over the bridge and into the black water.

Slinking along the side of the bridge, Beckett followed.

 

 

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