Welcome to my stop on the book tour The Dead of Winter by: Billy McLaughlin! Read below for a chilling excerpt and be sure to stop at the other bloggers for the rest of the tour!
Run! Don’t stop!
My mind is screaming at my legs to move. Yet I’m frozen in place; gripped by terror as I stare into his dark empty eyes. I am reticent to move because he towers over me and I know he could snap my neck with one twist of the hand.
Finally, my legs catch up with my brain and I’m running. It doesn’t feel like me though. I race into the kitchen knowing he won’t be far behind. Thankfully, the back door is still unlocked. I stumble forward and find myself leaving the garden through the side gate. I dare not turn back because I fear I’ll lose speed and he’ll be upon me. Not knowing if he is five or fifty yards behind only compounds my rising fear.
The dark grey skies cast shadows across the light granite stones as they rise from the dirt. They blur at the corner of my eyes as my boots crunch against a thick layer of snow. I’m grateful the ground has not turned to ice. I don’t have time to fall.
Just when I think I’ve put enough time and space between us, I turn and see that he is pounding through the snow. Even though he is so far behind, his eyes still drill into me. He has locked me in his sight. I find I’m heading towards rows of trees and I wonder why I came this way. Maybe it’s because I know I have no place else to go. They’ve made sure of that.
The Bluebell leg of the river runs through the heart of the forest, burrowed into walls of steel that are joined by the iron blue bridge. I can hear the water as it batters in the wind. The snow begins to fall again, and a mist has formed at the far end of the forest. He still stalks me. I fear the only place I can hide is on a ledge that lies beneath the bridge. It will be cold there, but it will also be dry. More importantly, it is too small for him to climb onto should he discover me there. I’m grateful I know about it. The steel slope into the river is steep so I know it will be dangerous to climb down. I fear it’s my only chance.
As I twist around the iron fence, I catch the back of my coat on a sharp, loose spear. I can see his silhouette appear between the trees. If I don’t move quickly, he’ll see me. I push forward and hear the coat rip straight down the centre. I’m becoming desperate. I dislodge from the spear and find myself scrambling down the slope. I’m heading for the water. I manage to grab onto a steel handle and then trap my foot in a groove. I look up. He has arrived on the bridge but he hasn’t spotted me yet. I manoeuvre towards the ledge, trying not to catch his eye.
I lose my grip and scramble down towards the water. The next thing he will see with his dark empty eyes is the sight of my canary yellow raincoat as it falls into the water and disappears into the mist.