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Claimed Possession



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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Excerpt of Spook House (Harmony, Indiana #3) by Michael West!

At twenty minutes past midnight, Robby, the EMT, returned.  Sheri knew this because she’d been staring at her watch.  A present from Jeff.  He’d given it to her for her birthday in July, and the thought that it would now be the last gift he would ever give her sank into her brain like a slow-motion bullet. 

A police officer accompanied Robby, a young man with a crew cut who looked more like a Marine than a cop.  He knelt down in front of her, his eyes very serious.  “Ma’am, I’m Officer Hicks.  I pulled you out of the car a little bit ago.”

Sheri nodded.  “Thank you.” 

“I’m afraid I have some upsetting information – ”

“He’s dead, isn’t he?”

“I made a complete search of the farmhouse, and I found a flashlight and cell phone in the cellar that may belong to him.  Other officers were then dispatched here to the scene, and together we – ”

“Is he dead or not?”  Goddammit, stop handling me with kid gloves and just say it!  Sheri wiped the scalding tears from her cheek with Robby’s blanket.  “Can you – can you just tell me?”

we don’t know where he is right now.”

“What are you talking about?” Sheri pointed up at the old farmhouse as if they couldn’t see it.  “He’s in there!”

“Ma’am, as I said, he’s not.”  The officer’s eyes never left hers; his voice was calm, quiet but firm.  “I made a careful search of the entire house, every room, and Mr. Stone is not inside.”

“Then where is he?”

“We don’t know,” Hicks said.  “We think he may have been trying to protect you from the animal that attacked your car; that he may have run off into the woods to try and lure it away from you.  We found tracks that suggest it went off in that direction.”

“Jeff’s alive?”  The knots in Sheri’s stomach loosened up a bit.  She glanced up at Robby for confirmation, but he stood by, silent and non-committal. 

Of course.  He didn’t go in the house.  He doesn’t know.

“We don’t know that for certain,” Officer Hicks cautioned.  “We did find drag marks in the cellar near his personal items, but there was no blood or other evidence of violence.”

Sheri frowned.  Drag marks sounded pretty violent to her.  They didn’t see the creature she’d seen.  They didn’t understand.  Hell, she was still trying to understand.

“Jeff was – he’s a big guy,” she told them.  “It would take something really strong to drag him anywhere he didn’t want to go, unless he was unconscious.” 

Hicks looked at her, neither agreeing nor disagreeing, then he said, “The most important thing to focus on is that, if this animal had mauled him, we would expect to find a large amount of blood at the scene.  We didn’t find any.”

“But you don’t know anything, right?  You don’t know he’s alive?”

“I don’t want to give you false hope, ma’am, but I’ve been on the job a long time, and not finding blood or other evidence ... it’s a good sign.”

Sheri nodded, feeling numb, cold.  She pulled the blanket tighter, crossed her arms over her chest.  She wished it was her own blanket, wished she was at home in bed, having the worst nightmare of her life.  And more than anything, she wished she’d wake up. 

Hicks went on, “Miami County Animal Control is on the way.  When they arrive, we plan to follow the tracks into the woods.  There, we’ll catch or kill the animal that attacked you, and we will find Mr. Stone.  I promise you that.”

Sheri nodded, then she noticed Robby’s face.  The EMT didn’t look at all convinced.  Neither was she.  She glanced off into the woods, into the darkness between the trees, and her mind did not like what it saw there.

To be continued…

There are some places in this world that go far beyond any normal definition of “haunted.” These places are so evil, so diabolical, that they become gateways to Hell itself. The Fuller Farm is one such place.

It is said that old man Fuller conducted unspeakable acts, blood rituals and human sacrifices, all in an attempt to gain the ultimate knowledge, the ultimate power. And then, he was killed–horribly murdered on his own lands, leaving the house to stand as a vacant monument to his wickedness. But once a door is opened, it can never really be closed.

Now, the stars are right. The gateway is ready to once more unleash unspeakable horror upon the town of Harmony, Indiana. And this will be one Halloween that they will never forget!

Michael West is the critically-acclaimed author of The Wide Game, Cinema of Shadows, Skull Full of Kisses, and The Legacy of the Gods series. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their bird, Rodan, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

Every Halloween, he turns his garage into a haunted house


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