Enter the Rafflecopter to win your choice of a Kindle Fire, Nook HD, or Kobo Glo, as well as signed books and audiobooks in the Home for Halloween giveaway from author Scott Nicholson.
The giveaway celebrates the launch of paranormal thriller The Home. Experiments at a group home for troubled children lead to paranormal activity—and the ghosts are from the home’s dark past as an insane asylum. In development as a feature, it’s available in ebook at Amazon US, Amazon UK, BN.com, Kobo, and Smashwords.
EXCERPT: THE HOME
By Scott Nicholson
(From Chapter Four)
The janitor drew closer, pale lips quivering. The man’s hands trembled. There was something odd about his gait. His bare feet protruded beneath the ragged hem of his trousers, making no sound on the tiled floor.
What kind of a janitor goes barefoot?
“Do you work here?” Freeman looked up the hallway to see if Starlene was coming back.
The man didn’t answer. He was close enough now that Freeman could see the pores on the waxy face. Dark half-moons lurked in the shadows beneath the staring eyes. A strand of drool hung from one wrinkled corner of his mouth. The legs moved on, the arms limp at the man’s side. The smell of dusty old meat wafted over Freeman.
The man passed Freeman, close enough to reach out and touch, but Freeman didn’t dare. You never knew which of these home employees would snap, which one was important, which one you might need to impress at some time or another. You never knew which of them held your future in his hands. True, this dried-up geezer didn’t look like a counselor, but you also never knew which little game was actually one of their staged tests.
And if this guy was with the Trust, he definitely had games behind his eyes.
Freeman waited to be asked why he wasn’t in class with the others. But the man shambled past, staring ahead as if Freeman didn’t exist. The feet were creased with a mapwork of turgid purple veins, the bones knotted and calcified, but they rose and fell steadily. The man walked as if he had a destination just beyond the wall and didn’t realize that the wall stood in the way.
Freeman had another thought. Maybe this man wasn’t an employee of the home. Maybe he was somebody who’d never left, never found a permanent placement. Maybe this was what happened to unwanted people when they grew old. For a moment, Freeman imagined himself in that soiled uniform, condemned to a lifetime of directionless trudging.
Freeman thought about triptrapping him, getting into the geezer’s brain, but the manic buzz of an hour ago had faded to zilch. Plus every read came at a price, in headaches and confusion and loss of identity. For one thing, he’d learned that everybody was screwed up, everybody’s thoughts and emotions were strange and twisted. One voice in his head was plenty enough, and maybe even one was too many.
The old man disappeared around the corner. Freeman stepped back into the Blue Room and let the door slip closed with a whisper of air. He felt more alone than he had in years. It was almost as bad as the closet Dad used to lock him in, where the wires and weird lights and pain first caused him to triptrap. And caused him to do bad things, think bad thoughts.
He went to his cot and sat quietly, like a death camp inmate, until the other kids arrived.
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