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Author(s): Joanna Parypinski

Don’t open the box.
There’s something in the basement of Maria’s new house—something dark and primeval that made the previous owner commit suicide. It has infected the town of Sickle Falls, giving its inhabitants nightmares of a dark, fanged spirit that thirsts for blood. When Maria finds a mysterious ivory box buried in the bowels of her house, she must unearth its secrets before whatever is inside escapes and destroys them all.


Ben was back in the cemetery.
Rocco, Spyder, and Flem were there, too.
The headstones twisted up into the gunmetal sky like great stone towers, grass slippery as silk and curling around the base of the marked graves like tentacles. Epithets carved black words into the stone, night-words, the sayings perverted like Styrofoam Halloween decorations gone bad.

Ben stumbled around the jutting stones, the ground rolling in uneven waves, and he didn’t remember the graveyard having hills but everything was slanted and askew. And there were Rocco, Spyder, and Flem, ugly grins contorting their faces.

“There you are, Benny-boy. We’ve been waiting for you,” Rocco growled.

Behind them, in the gathering mist, rose a sea of faceless demons, corpses stretching from their graves, clawing from the dirt, skin sagging, flies dipping into their empty eye sockets, maggots writhing in the rotting crevices of flesh.

Ben screamed.

He ran, feet sliding on the grass as on a sheet of ice, the world topsy-turvy, corpses laughing behind him with dry disused mouths, Rocco, Spyder, and Flem chasing close behind.

Uphill, his feet skidded, and he landed with a mouthful of dirt before a grave—and on the stone the name, the name—Benjamin Behrens.

A balloon crept into his throat, clogging his airway, and he was screaming again, swiveling on his back to gaze up, up, up into the moon-glinting eyes of his tormentors surrounded by a backdrop of the reanimated dead.

“She’s been waiting for you, Benny-boy,” said Rocco. There was a purple gash on his forehead that spouted a fountain of blood, splashing it over his face and clothes. It dribbled into his mouth, down the collar of his shirt, sprayed the grass. He didn’t seem to notice.

Ben scrambled to his feet and turned around, gazing through the darkness of the cemetery as the wind picked up and swept his face, his hair, and there, across the tumbling sea of headstones, silhouetted by stone and sky, She stood waiting for him.

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 9781615727445
Genre: Fantasy
Date Published: 09/01/2012
Publisher: Damnation Books LLC

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