Happy Thursday all! Today I have Rick McQuiston on my blog with his book, When Only The Nightmare Remains. The title certainly sounds ominous, but the scaring red eyes he shares with us definitely brings along the goose-bumps!
Of all of the stories I've written I'd say the one I used a real life experience to write would have to be A Trip to Grandma's House. It's a short, scary tale that centers around an old building near my grandmother's house. It was a party store in better days and had devolved into a true derelict of architecture. It stood there, not more than a few hundred feet from my grandmother's front porch, seemingly mocking me with whatever lurked inside its walls. Every time we'd drive past the place (in my dad's cumbersome Oldsmobile, no less) I would gaze through the car's grimy windows and wonder what those walls hid.
Year after year we'd visit my grandmother, usually on holidays, and every single time that building was closed.
Then one time it was open. I remember being mesmerized at seeing lights on in the building and struggled to see inside as much as I could. I also remember walking over to the store after my dad parked in my grandmother's driveway, and after I worked up the nerve, stepped up to the front door. The handle (a neglected, cold thing) felt like a venomous snake in my hand, and I quickly released it due to the irrational fear that it might actually open the door. Then I shuffled away from the building, only daring to take a peek behind me when I was a good hundred feet or so away.
To this day I swear I saw something, something red, something that should not have been in the building but was.
I assumed (during the sleepless nights that immediately followed) that they were eyes, but eventually came to accept that they were some sort of equipment generally used in party stores (the power lights for a fridge or freezer, or perhaps a cooking device?). This rationalization allowed me to get a grip on reality again, but there still resides in some part of my brain the notion that what I saw should not have existed, but did.
I wove my experience into my tale, embellishing it here and there, but retaining the dread I felt at the time. I think this aspect gave the story the feeling I was looking for when I wrote it.
Did his story raise the hair on your arms like it did mine? Let's find out about the book.
A town sheriff and three young boys manage to overcome an evil entity threatening their town.
Emily nudged closer and closer to the spider-webbed pane of glass. The window offered little in the way of a view—being octagonal and no larger than a dinner plate— but what it did reveal was adequate to say the least. It allowed anyone gazing through it to see the lush rolling landscape surrounding the house…and all it contained.
Feeling her already weak heart pound heavily in her chest, Emily scanned the grounds intently, watching for any signs of movement, for any hint of life. For any signs of William. She held the Book tightly in her small hands, refusing to relinquish it to anything or anyone. She had only scratched the surface of its contents, but that was still enough to impart its importance to her.
Her eyes moistened with tears as she thought of earlier, happier times in her life and her marriage to William. She should have been thinking about raising a family and planting flowers around the front porch of her home. She should have been thinking about what to cook for dinner when her husband returned home from a hard day’s work. All these simple notions, ones so many young people took for granted, were well beyond her grasp. In their place were terrifying visions of a dim future. Or worse—no future at all.
Movement caught her eye, sending a fresh batch of fear down her already frail spine. She rubbed her eyes to clear them and stared at the spot where she thought she had seen something. It took only a few seconds before her fears were confirmed. Something had moved. She was sure of it, but it was not easily noticeable. Whatever was lurking in the dense foliage was crafty and using stealth to its advantage.
Despite expecting it, Emily found herself cringing from the implications. She knew what it was, slithering around the fields, worming its way closer and closer with each
passing minute. She also knew that eventually, inevitably, it would reach her house.
Her house. It was her house and hers alone since her beloved husband died earlier that year. Nearly eight cold, empty months had passed since that fateful day when a
bullet found its way into his forehead, killing him instantly. Some said that it was a suicide. Perhaps it was, but Emily was not so sure. William had no reason to kill himself. The pain of that day pushed its way into Emily’s heart, so slowly at first as to be almost unnoticeable, but gradually increasing in its intensity. William had been a good man and a good husband, at least he was before he had changed into a cold, cruel person wholly incapable of compassion or love.
Emily stepped back from the window and slumped into a small, worn leatherback chair. She was exhausted, both physically and emotionally, and the alluring thought of sleep entered her mind more than once. She ignored it. She had too many problems, too many things to think about to be able to enjoy a good rest. Not that she didn’t deserve it.
Outside the house, nestled snugly within the green vegetation of the fields, something waited for its chance to move, to advance toward the house and reach a solitary
figure huddled in the attic of the building, and end her life.
Buy links for When Only the Nightmare Remains:
Paperback available from the publisher's website: www.classactbooks.com
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-only-the-nightmare-remains-rick-mcquiston/1120364310?ean=2940046171884
SPOOKY! Great Excerpt. Let's see what we can find out about Rick.
Rick McQuiston is a forty-six year old father of two who loves anything horror related. By day, he works for a family-owned construction and management company. By night, he churns out horror fiction.
Rick has well over 300 publications so far. He’s written seven anthologies, one book of novellas, and edited an anthology of Michigan authors. He’s also a guest author each year at Memphis Junior High School, and is currently working on his fifth novel, a Cthulhu-based anthology. Rick currently has two novels with Class Act Books: Fear the Sky and When Only the Nightmare Remains, which was voted #2 in Horror for 2015 by the Paranormal Romance GuIld’s Reviewer’s Choice.
Find out more about Rick at:
Publisher's website: www.classactbooks.com
Author's website: www.many-midnights.com
Thanks so much Rick, for sharing a scary moment in your childhood life and your book. I hope you have great sales from it.
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