SHATTERED by Patrick Royal
Mind Shadows: Book 1
The only thing that multi-published, award winning horror author, Tom Elliot, wanted was to move to the country for a change of scenery and relaxation, to a quiet part of southern Illinois. It seemed he'd picked out a wonderful spot, miles away from the closest neighbor and even further away from civilization.
Tom couldn't write to save his soul. Weird thoughts trampled through his head and left him wondering if he'd made a mistake moving from Chicago. Could it have been that he ripped himself from his element, like his best friend, Michael Gully, had predicted? That he couldn't answer yet.
Words came and flowed like wildfire, but at what price? Tom's imagination was getting the best of him and running rampant. The very characters that he created tormented him, driving him mad where he couldn't distinguish fiction from reality.
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Copyright © 2013 Patrick Royal
All rights reserved, Wild Child Publishing.
A moan drifted from the next room and teased Tom’s ear. Stopping to listen, he struggled to figure out what he’d heard. He stepped slowly into the living room. A woman stood with her back toward him. His heart thudded fast.
The woman moaned. Her long-fitted skirt hugged her hips, and a pleated white shirt. On the floor by her feet lay droplets of blood.
Tom peeped around the woman’s body and caught a glance of her face. “Lady, who are you? Why are you in my house?” he asked and widened his eyes.
Tom still faced the woman’s back, and she wept a bit harder. “You should know why I’m here,” she said in a soft but shaky voice. She turned around, faced him, and quickly threw her arms out in front of her. Blood trickled and dripped onto the floor from deep slits across both wrists. In her hand she held a yellow hair ribbon.
Tom’s jaw dropped open and he stumbled back, widening his view. “Oh my God. Wha…?”
The woman stepped closer to him and held her arms out with her wounds still dripping blood. Her body projected forward, as if traveling in flash.
“You did this! You killed my daughter, and you made me what you see.” She shoved her bloody wrists toward Tom.
“No, no. You’ve made a mistake,” Tom screamed and backed away from her. He clung to the wall with his legs weakening and his hands trembling.
The woman stood and laughed hysterically.
Tom squeezed his eyes shut. “You’re not real. You’re not real,” he screamed. Opening his eyes, the woman had disappeared, the room once again silent. Tom sank to his knees, sat on the floor, and leaned against the wall with a blank stare.
Not long after the sun rose high in the sky, Tom’s nerves finally calmed. He called Michael, and it ended similar to the other times he called him for some well needed answers. His friend proved unable to offer any help. Hanging up, Tom sat at his desk more confused than ever. Am I losing my mind like Michael fears? He chuckled over his friend’s reaction when he told him that he planned to take a small break from writing. He had to admit that it even sounded strange to hear himself say it. Maybe, he was losing it. He had never really been scared of anything. Michael was the one that had always been scared and had nightmares over things that bothered him. What bothered him now was that he loved where he lived, but he hated the idea of being so far away from Michael. He had grown used to driving over to his house and discussing life’s little problems, and vice versa.
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