by Erik Therme
GENRE: YA suspense
The last thing Kaylee wants to do is participate in a childish scavenger hunt—especially inside the abandoned retirement home on the edge of town. When she finds a bruised, deaf boy hiding inside one of the rooms, she vows to lead him to safety . . . only to discover the front doors are now padlocked, and her friends are nowhere to be found. Kaylee is about to learn that not everything that goes ‘bump in the night’ is imaginary, and sometimes there are worse things to fear than ghosts.
The dog was taller than our knees and its skin clung to its ribs, as if it hadn’t eaten in days. A half-chewed leash hung from its collar, and its ears and muzzle were pulled back. There was no question we were unwelcome guests.
“Kaylee?” Anna said.
The dog began to growl. We both took a step back.
“Do we run?” Anna rasped.
“Are you crazy?” I whispered fiercely. “We can’t outrun a dog.”
“What do we do?”
A sound rose and died in my throat. All I could see was the dog’s teeth. Last year I had been bitten by a stray in our neighborhood, and I still had the ankle scar to prove it.
The dog let out a wracking bark, startling us both back another step. My eyes skipped to Anna, then to the open doors on each side of us.
“We can hide inside the rooms,” I said, speaking low and fast. “When I count to three, run into the room beside you and slam the door.”
Anna’s grip on my wrist tightened. “I can’t—”
“You can,” I hissed. “If both of us go for opposite rooms, the dog won’t know which one to follow. That will confuse it and give us another second of time.”
“Just get inside the room,” I said.
The dog lowered its head, shifting its muddy eyes from Anna to me. It knew who the threat was.
“One,” I whispered.
“Don’t make me do this,” Anna said.
My stomach knotted. “Two . . .”
The dog burst forward in a shambling run.
*** Coming Soon - In Process ***
AUTHOR Bio and Links
Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering for his oldest daughter’s volleyball team, or chilling on the PlayStation 4 with his thirteen-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only seven places in the world UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.Website
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