Sample Sunday: Gothica

Could it be Sunday already? If so, that could only mean one thing: Sample Sunday! That’s right everyone — Sample Sunday, that day where indie authors post up samples of their work for you to read and enjoy. This time I dug deep into the heart of my paranormal thriller, Gothica, and gave out a scene with the killer — Freeney.

Remember, if you enjoy this sample, you can purchase Gothica for your Kindle, for your Nook, for any other device, or in paperback.

SCREAMS OF sheer delight spilled through the halls of the D Wing. The inmates had been set free by Freeny, and they were doing everything they could to pry themselves beyond the door that sealed D Wing off from the rest of The Deep.

Baptist John was standing at the door praying, as if by some miracle, the hand of God would cut through the ceiling and wrench the door from its hinges. Eek was timidly peeking his head out of his cell. Fear had frozen his body, but his eyes and his mind were roving, dreaming.

There were a number of other inmates pounding on the door and the walls surrounding it. The noise was rising and falling like the chaos of a riot. From the other side, a guard peered into D Wing and shouted for the inmates to back off. The guard’s plea was ignored, of course.

But, that single door stood sentinel against the tide of madmen. It wouldn’t budge, so the men remained caged. Eventually, however, the guards would have to enter D Wing to herd the lunatics back into their cells. The lunatics knew this, and it was exactly what they awaited. From the inside, it would have been a surreal site to see a team of lunatics plotting and planning. But, that’s exactly what they did. One by one the men quieted down, hoping to fool the guards into a sense of false security.

When the noise finally abated, the door to D Wing slowly opened. A single gun was the first thing to appear through the crack of the door. The guard had no idea what would be waiting for him on the other side.

Before he could even get his shoulder into the room, one of the inmates slammed his body against the door, trapping the guard. The force of the impact knocked the gun from the guard’s hand, and Freeny gingerly bent over and picked it up.

The inmates knew exactly what Freeny wanted. Baptist John grabbed the guard’s arm as the door was released. The guard was pulled into the D Wing, the door was slammed shut, and the room went silent.

The guard’s eyes darted from man to man. The inmates, all smiling, were staring directly at Freeny. No one moved an inch. D Wing remained motionless and silent, save for some heavy breathing, for a very long time.

It wasn’t until the guard decided to make the first move that the silence was broken. “What do you want?” His voice was cracked and ragged from trying to hold back his fear.

That was all the incentive the crowd needed. It was like a horde of rats descending upon a hunk of cheese. The men leaped, coming down on the guard with fists, feet, and teeth. They tore at his flesh, some eating, some breaking. His screams were drowned out by the giddy laughing and childlike sounds coming from the mob.

Freeny watched as the crowd tore at the guard. Blood was spraying as flesh was torn off and tossed away so that a select few could reach the softer, sweeter meats. Eventually, a ring of keys flew from the frenzy. Freeny picked up the keys and glanced over at Eek as if to say, “Are you coming?” Eek complied by walking to Freeny’s side. With gun in hand, Freeny used the key to open the door to D Wing. He and Eek then walked out into the main concourse of The Deep.

The Deep was laid out in a large X with the A, B, C, and D wings extending out from a central Security Staff Center. The Security Staff Center was four stories and was separated from each wing by iron gated doors.

Apparently, no one had heard the riot coming from D Wing. Through the bars of the security gate, Freeny saw no activity. He stared at the keys with a confused look that Eek quickly read. Eek extended his hand, and Freeny quietly placed the ring of keys onto the tiny man’s palm.

Eek held the keys gently, as if they were the Holy Grail. He sniffed them and caressed his cheeks with them. He knew now that his remaining time on earth would not be dark days. Eek looked at a key and then the lock, another key and then the lock, yet another key and then the lock. He did this until a titter exploded from his lips. He put the lucky key between his forefinger and thumb and inserted it into the keyhole of the security door. With a turn, the tumblers clanked, and the door slowly swung open.

Eek kicked up his heels and started to run through the door. Freeny had other ideas. He grabbed the little man by the shoulder and stopped him short. Freeny knew they had the element of surprise at the moment, and he wanted to keep it that way. Eek looked up at Freeny, who was slowly shaking his head.

Both men stepped backward so they were hidden behind the wall on either side of the security door. And they waited. When no sound was heard, when no other guards came peeling out of the security room, they knew it was clear to move forward.

Sitting at the main desk, his head in his hands, a second guard was snoring away. Freeny stood watching the man. He knew exactly what he wanted to do. As he began moving toward the desk, the familiar chorus of voices flooded his mind.

“We are here.”

“We are to be one.”

“Do not succumb to the weakness of your own flesh.”

“Else you stop our return.”

Freeny stood, confused, unsure what the voices meant. Was he to kill the man or was the deep desire to take life the weakness of the flesh? He had no idea what to do. Freeny was frozen, locked inside his head as he tried to unravel the riddle.

“Kill him!” Eek whispered.

The next thing Freeny knew, Eek was attempting to pull the gun out of his hands. There was a quick struggle, and the gun went off, blowing a hole through the older man’s hand.

Eek screeched in agony.

The guard woke and, with lightening reactions, had his own gun in his hand.

No thought was necessary. No riddles need be solved. Should Freeny choose to live through this day, he had to continue killing. And that was fine with him as he was growing quite fond of playing the Grim Reaper again.

Before the guard could even yell ‘Freeze,’ Freeny pulled the trigger and shot the guard between the eyes. The man in blue dropped with a look on his face, as if he finally understood a very simple joke he had been struggling with all of his life.

The gun, of course, made much too much noise. Any minute, the room would be flooded with armed guards. Freeny’s mind raced for options. He decided his best bet was to release as many of the prisoners as he could. There was safety in numbers, even if the numbers were all madmen.

The two men eased down the hall toward C Wing, home of violent, but not criminal, cases. These men were typically schizophrenic, in extreme depressive states, suicidal, or a combination of the lot. None of them had actually committed any crimes, but all of them were a danger to either themselves or society.

Eek repeated the ritual with the keys, eventually opening the security door to C Wing. Inside of C Wing, it was feeding time. The guard carrying out the feeding duties had his back to the door when the iron gate slowly creaked open. Freeny silently made his way to within arm’s reach of the man. The inmates were staring, wide-eyed, at what was unfolding before them.

Freeny placed the barrel of the gun against the guard’s head and, without a second thought, pulled the trigger. Dinnertime was over. The room erupted as, one by one, Eek opened all of the cell doors.