The Shattered Seam
(Seam Stalkers, #1)
Publication date: September 13th 2016
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult
Spending spring break on an isolated island rumored to be haunted is not sixteen-year-old Sam’s idea of fun. Spending spring break with her uncle and his ghost-hunting film crew on an isolated island is even worse.
Her family’s secrets—and a genetic ability she can no longer deny—surface, along with the ghost of a rich serial killer who left behind a trail of trapped souls.
And he’s not through yet.
With only one chance for escape, Sam must embrace her family’s curse and close the Seam between the living and the dead. Or be lost, forever.
Scene set up: Sam is with Chauncey, the dog, in the morning while everyone else is asleep.
“Chauncey? Want to come with me?” If I checked out the hall, I could put off opening the book of death.
The dog came with me to the grand hall. The vast room was empty. I walked to one of the static cameras and searched around it. Nothing. No movement. Chauncey sat next to me on the floor. I glanced around. The huge clock’s arms still pointed to 2:13. The freakiness of how every clock had stopped at the same time made my skin prickle. I pulled over the closest chair and sat.
Two thirteen. AM or PM? The journal entry I’d read last night had been February 13th. 2/13. I rubbed my arms. It was just a weird coincidence.
A tingling sensation ran up my leg. The tingling turned to an itch, and I bent over to scratch. The itch intensified and started to sting.
“Now what?” I sighed and rolled my jeans up. “Oh my God.”
A black beetle crawled across my leg. I swatted the insect away and jumped up, dancing and twirling, making sure it was off, then I looked down.
A line of bugs crossed the floor. My breath wedged in my throat. I followed the bug line. Hundreds more marched down the wall to the floor. My skin crawled, and every brain cell screamed for me to run from the invasion, but I stepped closer, making sure not to be close enough for another one to crawl up my leg.
Chauncey stood and whined.
When I was about three feet from the side wall, my stomach flipped over. Black beetles scuttled down it in a straight line and dropped to the floor, where they spread out in a formation that reminded me of pictures of British soldiers from the Revolutionary War. Chauncey inched his way closer to the beetle army and sniffed. The bugs had to have come in from a crack or something.
Thousands of the beetles descended down the wall, scurrying toward me. I stepped back. Chauncey copied my retreat. This was worse than the idea of ghosts. Bugs were real, and these smelled like rotten eggs. I needed to arm myself with bug spray or something. Had to kill them. I wasn’t going to be a victim of Novak’s house of horrors.
I turned and screamed. Beetles covered every wall in the grand hall. There had to be millions of them. And they kept multiplying. The army on the floor continued to grow and work its way toward surrounding me.
My heart leapt in my chest. The beetles came closer, making a clicking noise similar to the sound of typing on a laptop. This couldn’t be happening, couldn’t be real. I had to be hallucinating or something. Maybe I’d really and truly stepped over the edge and descended into madness.
The beetles clicked closer.
Kathleen wrote her first story in elementary school about a pegasus named Sir Lancelot. It had no plot or conflict, but it sparked a dream. After serving a fifteen-year sentence in retail management, the bulk in big box bookstores, she turned her love of reading into a full-time career writing dark and haunting characters and stories. She writes paranormal, fantasy, suspense, horror YA books. She is a contributing member of READerlicious, writers who love readers. Check out her blogs here.
She lives by the mantra that a day is not complete without tea. Lots of tea. Kathleen lives in Ohio with her husband, two boys, and two attention-demanding dogs. When not writing or editing or revising, you can find her reading, cooking, spending time with her family, or photographing abandoned buildings.