Day 2 of the Creepy Halloween Blog Crawl

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Today is our stop on the Creepy Blog Crawl!!  The amazing Kate Ellis writes our piece and gives you your letter! Tomorrow head to Book Mood Reviews for the next stop and once you have all five letters, visit http://www.piatkusbooks.net/halloween-blog-tour/, submit that word and you’ll be entered into their competition to win a bundle of Piatkus books and special Halloween sweets.  Good luck!

ROOM TWO Kate Ellis

My heart thundered in my chest as I hesitated in the corridor. Which door next? I had to make some sort of decision so I stumbled towards the first door to my right. I turned the handle and when the door swung open all I could see beyond the threshold was a heavy darkness. But somewhere beyond that door I knew there’d be a second clue. I stepped forward and the door slammed behind me.

I stood there quite still, my legs weak with fear, and suddenly I realised I wasn’t alone. Something was in there with me. Breathing. Watching. The air felt dank and I could smell decay; the smell of the grave. There was a faint rustle, like dry dead leaves blown by a fetid breeze, and a light appeared in the far corner; the flickering flame of a tall candle lit by an unseen hand. Then I heard a sigh, like air expelled from the lungs of a corpse after death.

With a huge effort, I summoned the courage to take a step forward. Whatever was in there with me, I needed to find that clue.

In the dancing flame I could just make out a shifting shape in the darkest corner. And, as I stared, the candlelight reflected off dark, glossy plumage. Feathers. Crow black. Shining like wet blood.

It slithered slowly across the floor towards me and my body tensed. It was a thing of evil – half-bird, half-serpent – and I forced myself to watch as it glided over the splintery floorboards. It breathed. It moved. I couldn’t see its form but there was a sour odour of decay, growing stronger as it drew nearer.

As I backed away the candle guttered and in that moment of brightness I saw something terrible. It was a doll with staring eyes and rosebud lips, open to reveal a set of sharp white teeth. It wore a cloak of black feathers and it was standing a few feet away, watching me. I could hear its rasping breath and I knew it lived. Then I heard a voice, like a child singing softly to itself.

‘Here comes the candle to light you to bed. Here comes the chopper to chop off your head.’

The voice was brittle, sweet yet knowing. The thing had me trapped and it was gloating. The rhyme was repeated again. Then again. Each time a little louder than the last.

‘ To chop off your head.’

I tried to scream but no noise emerged. The candle was burning dimly now and the creature was still watching me with its cold glass eyes. I shuffled back and stooped to pick up the candle, hoping its feeble flame would guide me back to the corridor.

I could see a light beneath the door. If the thing didn’t strike at me I thought I could make it. As I clutched the candle I could hear it moving again, still singing, stalking like a predator.

I reached the door and fumbled desperately for the handle. To my relief it opened and I fell on my knees into the corridor, twisting round to slam it shut behind me. To shut out that evil thing and its terrible rhyme.

I was still holding the candle. The hot wax had dripped onto my hand but terror made me oblivious to the pain. Then I noticed something drawn near the candle’s base; a dark, malevolent bird – a raven with a human face. And just above it I saw the letter R carved into the wax. I had the second clue.

If you need a reminder of all the stops and dates, you can see them here.

Creepy Halloween Blog Crawl

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This Halloween, follow five amazing authors through five fabulous book blogs for the chance to win a grand prize with Piatkus.

Christopher RiceKate EllisTim O’RourkeKristen Callihan and Darynda Jones have joined forces to write a spooky story. Every day from 27th to 31st October, each author’s section of the story will feature on a different blog. Each section of the story will contain a single highlighted letter. Follow the story through the blogs, collecting the highlighted letters as you go and on 31st October you will have enough letters to spell a single word!

The creepy blog crawl starts here (you don’t need to collect a letter from this section of the story):

You wake up at the end of a long, dark corridor. Someone slams and locks the door behind you. There’s no way to go but forwards. At the end of the corridor is a heavy wooden door.

In front of you is an envelope with your name on it. You open it with trembling hands. It says, ‘You have been brought here for a reason. Prove that you are worth saving. Work out the five clues if you want to live.’

You stand up, clutching the letter, and run for the end of the corridor. On the door is a keypad, containing all 26 letters of the alphabet. Knowing, deep down, that it won’t help, you try desperately to open the door. It’s firmly locked. Turning round, you see five doors in the side of the corridor. Three to the left and two to the right. Five doors, five clues. You know what you have to do.

Day 1, 27th October: Head on over to Chicks That Read to read the first installment of the story from Christopher Rice and to collect your first letter!

Day 2, 28th October: Go to Bookthing to read the second installment of the story from Kate Ellis and to collect your second letter!

Day 3, 29th October: Click through to Book Mood Reviews to read the third installment of the story from Tim O’Rourke and to collect your third letter!

Day 4th, 30th October: Head on over to Opinionated Cupcakes  to read the fourth installment of the story from Kristen Callihan and to collect your fourth letter!

Day 5th, 31st October: And finally go to Fiction Fascination to read the fifth installment of the story from Darynda Jones and to collect your fifth and final letter!

Visit http://www.piatkusbooks.net/halloween-blog-tour/, submit that word and you’ll be entered into our competition to win a bundle of Piatkus books and special Halloween sweets.

Good luck!