Do you like to sample books before buying them? I do too. Check out this page every Saturday to try a new author's work! Today we have Creatures of the Damned by Misty Harvey.
Lynx stared at the closed door to the study. He ran his fingers down the chipped paint, wondering if he should interrupt his parents. He gritted his teeth as the raised voices from their argument seemed to seep through his pores.
“You gave me a boy, Rose.” His father’s voice was only slightly muffled through the wood, but rang out with anger. “You know as well as I do what that means.” The sound of flesh hitting flesh permeated the air causing Lynx to jerk his head to the side. He reached a hand up, rubbing at his cheek as if he had been smacked. “I gave up everything for you, so we could be together, and you don’t bother to listen to me.” Lynx stood with his hands balled into fists at his side. His face drawn tight as his heart grew cold to his father’s distaste. “Damn it, Rose, you know what I am, what lies inside of me.” His father’s voice was only growing louder.
Lynx reached for the silver door handle, no longer able to stand on the other side listening to his father. He was slowly twisting the handle when something hit the door hard enough to cause it to shake. Lynx jumped back releasing the handle just as the wood began to splinter with another loud bang.
Lynx fell back landing hard on his boney bottom. He turned using his hands and sock clad feet to try to get back up. He slid on the hard wood floor causing him to almost face dive back down. The sound of glass shattering followed him down the hallway as he ran for his room. Making a hard right turn sent his feet out from under him, spilling his body just inside of his room.
His right shoulder hit the door frame with a hard crack. The fact his feet came into contact with carpet when he managed to stand up again, brought about a momentary sense of gratitude. Lynx look around his room in a state of panic for a place to hide. He watched his bare bed for a moment debating on rather to crawl beneath it, before spotting his closet.
He took the few steps to the closet door, throwing it open. He lifted his jeans up to sit farther on his waist. It was a useless feat as they slid back down to their resting spot, hugging his hips. Squatting down, Lynx crawled into the closet shifting his hanging clothes out of his way. He found his favorite hiding spot at the farthest end and moved the three stacked boxes, filled with books. He slid in behind them, in the dark, shifting them back to hide his small frame.
Lynx ran his fingers through his shaggy black hair before laying his head down on his arms. He remained balled up in the corner listening as the fight continued, grateful of the further muffling the added walls provided. His large brown eyes watched the small sliver of light the opened closet door provided, in hopes that no one would come. It was the blood curdling scream of his mother that caused every hair on his body to stand at attention. He curled up tighter into the corner and buried his head between his knees. Lynx wrapped his arms up over his head to wait out the argument.
Unsure at what point he had fallen asleep, Lynx lifted his head, rubbing at his sleep filled eyes with the back of his hand. He pushed his defiant hair off his face, before listening to see if the argument was over. His eyes took a moment to adjust, before noticing the boxes remained as a barricade. He’d expected the boxes to be shifted to make a path out. It had been the same sign his mother had used in all his nine years, it let him know he was safe to come out.
Lynx carefully pushed one box off to the side cringing as it scraped against crushed up crayons he’d never clean up. He began the crawl out of the closet trying to make as little noise as possible. Lynx stopped just inside of the closet trying to turn his hearing outwards. He knew it would have been silent if it wasn’t for his ragged breathing. The rapid increase of his heart brought on a state of hyperventilation that made hearing over it difficult.
Carefully he peered around the corner of the closet door examining his room at first, before letting his eyes wander to the hallway. He found nothing in view so he slid out of the closet, staying crouched towards the ground. He stopped just inside of the door as his nerves grew higher. He didn’t want to look around the corner, but knew it was that or go back to hide.
Pushing his disheveled hair back once again, he gripped the off white carpet with his hand. Lynx leaned around the corner peering towards the study. The door to the study was barely hanging on to the frame and left ajar. Lynx continued to watch for movement as he moved around the corner.
He followed the wall, glad his mother never was into decorating as he tried to avoid his father finding him. He stayed focused on the door and what may be hidden behind it. His hands slid out from underneath him moments before his knees followed, surprising Lynx. He struggled to try and catch himself, but regardless of his efforts he still fell. His face landed hard in something warm and sticky on the hallway floor.
Lynx shifted his hand over to try and get a better position to hoist himself up. He used his upper body strength, pushing himself up slightly. It was the deep crimson color that attracted his attention first. He looked down seeing the streak and what appeared to be finger paint marks in the blood. Lynx tried pushing back quickly to get out of the blood, but it was too slick. He slid, bringing him close to the liquid once more. He slapped his hand over his mouth to stifle the scream that was creeping up his throat. He managed to roll out of it.
He leaned against the wall, using it for support. He whimpered only slightly before forcing himself to continue moving, this time making sure not to find his way back into the blood. Lynx stopped once again just outside of the study to survey the inside.
Lynx found the room in complete disarray. Books were scattered off the bookshelf lined walls, and his father’s antique collection lay on the ground in shattered pieces. Even his father’s large cherry wood desk lay in two halves. The surprise at seeing the usually immaculate room in such condition made him forget why he was being cautious.
Lynx stood up and entered the room. He moved through it trying to avoid sliding on his father’s books. He came across what was left of his father’s wing-backed chair. It brought him up short. His parents lay in a disfigured pile, hidden from the view of the doorway. He sucked back a sob while leaning over to examine them closer. He reached a shaking hand down, finding his mother’s neck. The search for a pulse seemed useless as her body appeared twisted in a bizarre fashion.
Lynx backed up rapidly when her head rolled to the side to stare at him. He looked into the pale blue irises that he had always been filled with so much love, however, now they seemed empty. Nothing looked back at him - no soul or personality, and that brought on a new sense of horror to his young life.
He was shaking so vigorously while stepping farther and farther back, it took him a moment to realize he’d bumped into something. Lynx whirled around when his body finally registered the solid object behind him. His eyes first came into contact with the torn wallpaper hanging off of the wall, before he saw the bookcase he’d back into. On top of the case like some gruesome trophy sat his father’s head. His features were frozen in those of fury causing Lynx to instantly go into defensive mode.
Lynx backed up quickly, his arms instantly going up to protect his face as if that demented trophy had taken a swing. He slid on a leather backed book before stumbling onto his parents’ bodies. Lynx’s eyes met his mother’s once more. He began crab walking away from the pile towards the nearest corner. Unable to hold down his dinner any longer, Lynx turned heaving the contents of his stomach.
Lynx forced himself to stand up on his now wobbling legs. He could almost hear the knocking of his knees together as he tried to regain control. Lynx pushed his hair out of his face ignoring the slight tug as the dried blood released the few strands it kept hostage. He moved carefully over the obstacles as he approached a bookcase. Lynx reached up for the only standing book on the shelf, knowing it was not an actual book, but a hidden trigger for a closet. He knew his father kept weapons hidden there. His hand barely grazed the trigger before he landed with a crash against the wall.
He shook his head vigorously, Lynx pushed away from the wall causing the broken sheetrock to crumble. He fell the few feet to the ground with a whoosh of what was left of his breath. Lynx fought himself to stand up again, unsure of what happened. He lifted his head to look around, and choked on his next breath, as a vice like grip encircled his neck.
Lynx hung midair, his back pressed against the broken wall. He gulped his eyes finally registering what was in front of him. Two blood red irises that rolled and boiled with rage stared back. Unable to stop himself, Lynx let his eyes wander to take in his captor’s face. The man’s mouth was a sneering mess of scars and two sharp teeth.
Lynx grabbed a hold of the hand that was squeezing his throat. He tried to force the fingers open as he kicked. No matter what he tried, he was unable to free himself from the man’s strength. The snapping of those razor sharp teeth, mere inches in front of his face, brought him to a screeching halt. Lynx froze, fear paralyzing his body.
“Now, now, appears they’ve left a straggler behind.” The deep male voice spoke bringing Lynx’s attention to his blood stained lips. “Keep struggling, puny boy, it amuses me.” He hissed. The man laughed boisterously as Lynx paled.
“Tatum, stop playing with your food, its childish.” came a male voice. His words tainted with a French accent. The man that entered the room was commanding and walked as if he owned everything he touched. He stood next to Tatum, towering over him as they both looked at Lynx. Their eyes mimicked each other in color. He lifted the mahogany cane pressing the gold skull hand piece underneath Lynx’s chin, pushing his head up so he could stare in his eyes. He then shifted the cane to push Lynx’s face on direction and then the next. The man seemed to come to some decision about Lynx. He moved away from the boy to look around the room.
“I found this pipsqueak in here and his struggle rather amuses me.” Tatum spoke, not releasing Lynx. “I am sorry, Master.”
The lack of response from his master made Tatum think he was upset. He released the boy letting Lynx fall to the ground. He watched as the large man seemed preoccupied with trying to find something in the scattered books.
The master pushed his long blond hair back over his shoulder. It swung freely at the middle of his back, dancing along the charcoal gray of his suit before finally settling. The master was using his cane to shift book after book. The look on his face was intent and determined.
Lynx landed hard near the broken pieces of the wing-backed chair. He lay still for a moment, wrapping his fingers around a piece of wood that came to a sharp point. Lynx watched the men waiting for the perfect moment before jumping up. He ran at the master, jumping off a pile of books. He threw his arm back to drive the stake through his heart, but found himself lying on the floor once again.
Lynx gasped for air as it left his body in a whoosh. He tried to lift his right hand, but Tatum stepped on it pinning it and the scrap of wood to the floor. The master leaned over Lynx with a wicked grin on his face.
“You’re not fast enough. You probably will never be able to take out the head master of any clan.” His voice seemed to reverberate inside of the walls. “I should save myself the time, and just kill you now.” The master reached a hand up scratching his baby smooth face. “However, the fact you dared to try and kill me, while the odds were against you, was rather entertaining. These long centuries of existence brings me so little of that anymore.” The man quickly shoved the skull against Lynx’s neck.
“I shall allow you to continue life in hopes our paths cross again.” The master looked over at the pile of bodies, before turning back to Lynx. The look in his eyes was that of amusement and hunger. “You are a DeWinter, like your father, and his father before him. It is an ancient blood line. Train hard, young DeWinter, and when we meet once again…” He pulled the cane back. “Only then shall we truly see who the bigger Beast is.” The man turned on his heels.
“I should just finish you off now. I could use a little snack.” Tatum snapped his jaws in Lynx’s face, his face twisted maliciously.
“Come, Tatum. Clearly, what we came here for does not exist.” The master called back into the room.
Tatum removed a small bottle out of the inside of his black jacket. He pulled the cork out before spraying the liquid over Lynx. Laughter ran out in the room, before subsiding into Lynx’s own head. He cried out, squirming on the floor as the pain seemed unbearable. His body finally gave way to the pain, taking him into unconsciousness.
Did you like what you read? Buy DeWinter #1: Creatures of the Damned (Volume 1) from Amazon.com now!