Life held little interest for Jacob…until he found death.
Abused and neglected, Jacob’s only solace comes when he is alone in the woods or in the arms of his new girlfriend. But when he stumbles across a hidden bunker filled with human skulls, he learns what true suffering is. Drawn to examine the skulls, he finds there is more than just empty blackness behind their lifeless stares. Through their eyes he watches them die.
With every glance, he witnesses another murder, the memories of the dead playing out inside his mind until reality becomes a blur. A primal cruelty awakening, Jacob returns to the morbid comfort of the skulls, over and over again. But when he happens upon a fresh skull, a victim tortured and slain for his amusement alone, he knows his time has come. Face to face with death, Jacob must choose whether to resist the darkness that dwells inside or condemn himself forever, murdering his innocence on the edge of an axe.
Jacob Rile looked into the face of death. Through a hundred eyes, death stared back.
His heart thundered in his chest. He stood rigid as he faced the array of polished white skulls laid out before him. Shallow niches carved into the earthen walls cradled the skulls. Each was angled so their blackened sockets cast their sight upon the narrow entryway to the bunker.
A slick sheen of sweat broke out on his brow and he wiped it away with a shaking hand. The dark eyes seemed to follow his movements as he shifted from foot to foot near the ladder, which led to the quiet forest above.
His huffed breaths loud in the confined space, Jacob dared a step forward. The air was cool, prickling his skin. The gentle musk of moist earth tickled his nose. He reached out a tentative hand and traced his fingers along the nearest skull, the touch light and fast. Expecting plastic, the perfect shine too bright to be real, he yanked his hand back as he felt cold bone. His fingertips tingled from the contact.