When someone is killed too suddenly or tragically, there’s a creature ready to bargain for their soul…
Cain was killed by a sorcerer and dumped inside an empty room. Alone, with only his thoughts to torment him, he begins to regret betraying his best friend. So when a thing calling itself the Soul Dealer offers him a second chance at life, he accepts the challenge.
Sandy spends most of her nights alone. But tonight, in the beach cottage her parents left for her before they died, she plans to end the depression plaguing her every waking moment.
If Cain doesn’t stop Sandy before the end of All Hallows Eve, both of their souls will be lost.
Time seemed to work differently here, wherever here was.
After Cain’s soul had been stripped away from his body by the demented sorcerer, Samson Miller, he’d been dumped inside a room reeking of age and a hundred other smells he didn’t recognize, or want to dwell on.
The feel of death hung thick in the air, shimmering over his skin, and Cain couldn’t find a way out of it. No doors to walk through or windows to jump out of. He was stuck inside four cloying, stained-white walls with nothing to do but wait.
Cain hit one of the walls for what seemed like the hundredth time. But anger didn’t tempt any answers. Am I stuck in some sort of loop?
He pulled his fist back and inspected his knuckles—again. No pain, no damage. No matter how hard he pounded, it didn’t affect his skin or bones. The room seemed to have some sort of buffer, even the spinal injury he was pretty sure he’d sustained when Miller murdered him hadn’t carried over.
Is this what being dead is really like—a mixture of boredom and entrapment? It certainly was a form of torture, because he was going slowly insane. Maybe this is my punishment for all the lies and the betrayal.
Cain shifted on the dirty plastic chair and shook away the negative thoughts. He’d sat down for so long, he was surprised his ass hadn’t gone numb. Although sleep would’ve provided a reprieve, for some reason he couldn’t sleep either. All human abilities seemed to have been stripped away at the same time as his life.
He was actually dead…fucking dead! Cain couldn’t believe it.
Was he some sort of spook now? No, that wasn’t possible. Human ghosts didn’t exist. The human condition couldn’t possibly store and transform that much energy. Or at least, that’s what he’d deluded himself into thinking all of these years.
Cain had seen and faced off against many real monsters, but never accepted any of the human kind. Ghosts, poltergeists, even spirits, had to be non-human entities—just like the demons and sorcerers who were able to entice people with the promise of power and money. Then they turned around and killed you before you had the chance to react.
He smashed his fist against the wall behind him, again. Both his hand and the wall remained intact. See, you’re not a freaking ghost. Ghosts wouldn’t be able to hit solid objects, would they? Yeah but people would bruise, not remain in-fucking-tact. He wondered if he was in some sort of limbo state, defying everything he’d ever believed in. He hoped not, the idea of being stuck in the room for much longer filled him with horror.
He ran his hands across his legs and felt the muscles beneath. He wasn’t sure how this worked yet, but he was reassured that he still looked and felt the same as when he’d had a corporal body. He’d worked too hard on his physique to lose it now. Dead or not, I’ll figure a way out of this fucked up situation.
“Damn that Miller prick,” he said to the empty room.
Cain wrapped his arms around his legs and tried to get a grip on his thoughts, the place of nothingness was making him insane. Constantly trapped in his own personal hell of memories was unbearable—he had to escape!
Yeah. And how the hell are you going to do that, genius?
Even his mind was turning against him now, but he refused to give in or give up. Someone who’d pulled off as many secrets and schemes as he had during life would never survive a continual onslaught of thoughts. The guilt would be enough to make him want to kill himself... if he wasn’t already dead. Cain pushed off his cramped legs, raised both arms in the air, and stretched his spine. It felt good to feel the movement of his bones sliding against each other, his muscles straining with each move. After his deadly confrontation with Miller, Cain had been sure he’d never feel another sensation.
He eyed the room again but nothing new occurred to him. No windows suddenly appeared, no doorway opened up to a paradise that would make him forget the hard life he’d lived—just more intolerable thoughts flooded his mind.
His feet pressed firm against the dirty linoleum floor beneath him. It reminded him of snot. He felt so rigid. No amount of stretching was going to make him limber now. I guess death does that to you.
So much for all the bullshit he’d heard from psychic mediums who continually claimed the soul moved on to a better place after the physical shell withered away.
Fucking scam artists.
Well, except for his friend, Matt.
He’d known Matt was the real deal from the beginning. The crystal Cain used to carry in his pocket—the most valuable occult item his uncle owned—had confirmed it. The supernatural detector picked up anything and everything otherworldly about humans. He wondered where it could be now. Too many years had passed since he’d lost it, and Miller had promised to help him find it. Cain had been gullible enough to believe him, too. For all he knew the old asshole could’ve had it all along.
Still, it would’ve come in handy right about now inside the bleak, square room. At least it would give him something interesting to look at. Something besides the walls, the ceiling and the row of chairs. All dirty and all empty.
He was totally alone. You’ve always been alone. If he could have smacked his own thoughts, instead of the wall, he would have.