Excerpt From “Evil Stalks the Night — Revised Author’s Edition” by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Twenty years ago psychic Sarah Summers fled from the evil that lurked in the woods behind her childhood home after it killed most of her family, but a nasty divorce and financial hardships forced her back when nothing else could have.

With her son, Jeremy, she returns to her grandmother’s dilapidated house and tries to begin a new life. She meets a police detective, Ben, who falls for her, and she prays her fresh visions of bloodshed and death deep among the dark trees are not true.

Then the murders begin again and Sarah is hurtled back into the familiar nightmare that has haunted her her whole life. The evil in the woods is awake again…and this time it wants her last remaining brother, Jim; her son…and her.

With Ben and Jim’s help can she defeat it this time…and live?

EXCERPT:

Desperate, Jim got up and, grabbing the wheel, slammed his foot over the driver’s on the brake. They fought for a few wild, dizzying seconds then the bus zigzagged with a sickening crash into an embankment on the other side of the road. People were tossed against the windows and thrown to the floor in heaps. The silence was deafening. Smoke engulfed the bus. Jim had been dumped on the floor again and knocked out cold.

When he came to, he had no idea how long he’d been out. It could have been minutes or hours. The only hint was it was still dark. He woke to an eerie silence and propped himself up on an elbow to survey the damage. So far he was the only one moving. “Damn,” he moaned, staring around at the indistinct forms littering the bus like corpses. The driver was slumped over the wheel, unconscious.

What had happened to the car?

Jim didn’t know what drew him, but he crawled over to the open door and fell outside into the wet grass. He took a deep breath of fresh air and tried to stop his head from spinning. How many were dead in there? It was his fault.

“I can’t take it anymore,” he whispered, looking up into the bus’s blank windows. There was blood all over him and burying his face in his hands, he cried, “I give up!” He yelled into the woods. “Anything you want!” He released a long sigh of defeat. “You win!” There was a great hush as he spoke. Something stirred in the wind. The darkness was silent. Jim didn’t move.

“Jimmy?” The voice, a child’s voice, startled him and he looked up.

“Jimmy, what’s the matter?” A gentle, caring voice.

It took Jim a minute to understand. “Charlie?” His eyes grew wide. It was Charlie, as he’d looked so many years ago as a small child, standing patiently above him in the dawn’s twilight. He was smiling at him and clutching his mangy old cat, the one he’d slammed the door on by accident, and lopped off part of its tail. The one he used to torment to no end.

Jim’s mouth went dry. But Charlie was dead! Charlie was…

“Oh, it’s me,” the ghost child chuckled, petting his cat and looking amused.

“Charlie! My God! Where did you come from?” You’re dead, he thought but didn’t say. Instead he groaned, “What do you want?”

He was quivering. Did this mean he was dead, too? Jim jerked his head around and saw the smoking hulk of the bus behind him.

Was he dead, and didn’t know it yet?

“Oh, Jimmy, are you hurt?” The small ghost reached out its pale hand towards him as if to comfort, but Jim recoiled in fright.

“Don’t touch me,” Jim cried. He stood up unsteadily and propped himself against the trunk of a nearby tree. His eyes never left Charlie. “Am I dead, too?” There was cold sweat beaded on his face. “I don’t feel dead.” He ran his hands over his arms and down his body. The blood had dried on his face and hands, he wasn’t bleeding anymore, so it must mean something. He felt shaken, bruised and sore, but not dead.

Charlie was laughing at him and Jim gaped in amazement at the remnant.

He’d seen a lot of terrible things in his life, had been aware of existences most people would never experience in their lifetimes, but this took the cake.

He’d never thought he’d see Charlie again. Not in this lifetime…not in any.

“You want me to tell you if you’re dead or not?” Charlie chortled again.

Jim put up his hand as if to ward off evil. “No, I don’t want to know.”

“What do you think?” Charlie was floating a few feet above the wet earth stroking his stiff cat in long, gentle strokes and it made Jim’s teeth itch to watch him.

“I don’t really know.” He eyed him suspiciously sideways. “I don’t feel dead.” He mulled over the notion he might be in the Twilight Zone this time for real. No, it wasn’t likely, he felt too normal. “You’re not real.” He glared down at Charlie. “I’m hallucinating this whole thing.”

Charlie shook his head and slowly floated away.

Jim closed his eyes and prayed when he opened them again, Charlie would be gone. It didn’t work. “This isn’t happening.”

“Stubborn.” Charlie giggled. “You’re a silly goose, Jimmy. Like always.” The child had stopped at a distance and was grinning at Jim from behind a tree.

“Go away,” Jim moaned, as he slid down to the ground at the base of the tree and hid his head in his hands.

“I can’t go away. I came here to help you, Jimmy. I wasn’t very nice to you when I was alive, so I owe you something. You and Sarah were my favorites and now she needs us. I can help.” The eerie voice was sincere but Jim sensed fear, too. What could a ghost be afraid of?

***

Since childhood Kathryn Meyer Griffith has been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before quitting to write full time. She began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had sixteen (nine romantic horror, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel and two murder mysteries) previous novels and eight short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.

Kathryn has been married to Russell for thirty-four years; has a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and lives in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo.

All Kathryn Meyer Griffith’s Books available at Amazon.com here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Kathryn+Meyer+Griffith

Buy Link at Damnation Books: http://damnationbooks.com/people.php?author=79

Buy Link at Damnation Books: http://damnationbooks.com/people.php?author=79

2 Responses to “Excerpt From “Evil Stalks the Night — Revised Author’s Edition” by Kathryn Meyer Griffith”

  1. kathrynmeyergriffithryn Says:

    Thanks Pat for running my excerpt! warmly, Kathryn Meyer Griffith


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