Fate brought Will Shepard to Macon Hollow, an isolated mountain town where time has stood still for decades. And it is there, in the town of his ancestors, that he is drawn into a centuries-old struggle with a legendary creature known as the Beast.
From his first night in the small town, Will begins to have visions…visions that allow him to see — and feel — as the creature. He watches, horrified, as the Beast embodies its victims’ greatest fears and then feeds on their very souls. He feels its hunger, its rage, its evil with every feeding…and must fight to prevent his own soul from being corrupted.
Will soon realizes that, with each victim, the Beast is growing more powerful, preparing itself to begin a worldwide apocalypse. Armed with help from his sister, two new friends, and a kindly mentor, Will must find why he is connected to the creature and stop it before it destroys the world.
But it won’t be easy. A powerful family has profited from the Beast for centuries…and its last heir will do everything within his power to protect it. A secret worldwide society has been watching for the Beast’s appearance…and will stop at nothing to harness the creature for its own evil agenda.
Mysterious catacombs…wandering spirits…fearsome zombies…maniacal enemies…and the Beast! These are just some of the challenges Will must face to find the answers. Ultimately, he will discover that he must look to Macon Hollow’s sordid past for the keys to protect its future…before it’s too late!
Will ran red-faced from the dance, following the tent’s long shadow to the rear of its massive structure. The rain had stopped and the moon peeked from behind the clouds, giving some light to grounds. A thick mist had followed the rain and hovered over the field, surrounding the pavilion.
He slowed to a walk and scolded himself. Some hero he was! He couldn’t stop a little girl! Why did he run out? Why did he suddenly feel so exposed, so terrifyingly embarrassed and ashamed? He felt like a fool. He kicked one of the rough stones scattered around the fairground. How could he be anything but a loser to Cate now?
As he reached the rear of the tent, the sound of laughter got his attention. A teenage girl was pulling her boyfriend toward a lonely gazebo at the rear of the fairground, her face smiling and playful. What he would give for Cate to look at him that way…
A rough hand suddenly grabbed his shirt and jerked him behind the tent. Mule Jackson’s misshapen nose was inches from his as he pinned him to the back of the tent, his feet dangling a full foot above the ground.
“Gotcha!” He grinned, a frayed toothpick clenched in his yellowed teeth. His eyes, bloodshot and bulging, danced with delight. “Thought you could make a fool out of me and get away with it, didn’t you? You and your big city gadgets and outsider ways. Charmin’ the girls… Well, I got news for you! Nobody…and I mean nobody…makes a fool outa Mule Jackson. Sooner or later, I get ‘em.”
Pete stood behind him, a broad smile on his acne-marked face. They both looked as if they had made an attempt to be presentable for the dance. Their usually greasy hair had been freshly washed, Mule’s hanging in long straight strands while Pete’s twisted and curled tightly to his head. Mule reeked of stale beer and cigarette smoke.
“Mule! Fancy… meeting you here,” Will said, jokingly. He found it hard to breath with Mule pressing his diaphragm. “You guys… get all fixed up… for me?”
“A wise guy. He’s a wise guy, Pete. I don’t like wise guys!” With a powerful yank, Mule tossed Will onto the ground behind him like a sack of feed. He landed hard, skidding in the soft mud for a few feet before coming to a stop. He lay there, struggling to catch his breath, staring at the cloudy sky.
Chuckling, Mule stood over him menacingly and pulled his knife from his pocket. Its blade glinted in the moonlight. Pete stood beside him, both with their backs against the tent, looking at Will’s prone figure.
“I’m gonna carve you up like a Christmas turkey.” He advanced slowly, bouncing the knife loosely in his hand. Will thought quickly for a means of escape; if he tried to get up and run, they would be on him in a flash. His only choice was to get help. Quickly.
He decided to yell as loud as he could and hope someone would hear him over the band. The couple! Maybe the couple he saw at the gazebo would hear him.
But when he opened his mouth to yell, a scream pierced the night air! Confused, he watched Mule and Pete as they stood dumbfounded, looking toward the woods beyond him, their faces changing from anger to alarm before his eyes.
Something was happening behind him…
He flipped over, got to his feet, and saw it.
The Beast, black shadows flowing and swirling around its panther-like form, moved steadily toward the couple at the gazebo. It was huge. Easily as tall as the pavilion itself. And it was closing the gap. Thirty feet. Now twenty-five. Getting closer with every second.
The girl screamed again as her boyfriend tried to pull her from the scant safety of the wooden structure. She stumbled on its wooden steps and fell to the ground. Panicking, the boy pulled her arm. “Come on! Get up! Run!”
But the Beast, now resembling a misshapen silhouette, was upon them, towering only a few feet from the girl’s prone form. She stood, frozen in place, as the Beast began to writhe and change, taking on another form.
T. C. Harrelson has loved books since he was old enough to hold one in his hands. His favorite genres include paranormal, science fiction, and good old-fashioned adventure. But he’ll take a good story over genre every time.
T. C. began writing The Beast of Macon Hollow on a dare from his wife, who challenged him to write a story on their own local legend — the Beast of Bladenboro. But T. C. soon got bitten by the writing bug and the story of the Beast grew far beyond his original intent. In fact, he found himself trying to keep up with the creature as it kept revealing layer after layer of its personality and history. He is currently writing the second novel in the Beast series.