Geri Paulson killed herself ten years ago. Now her friends are about to discover why.
It’s been ten years since Geri Paulson’s suicide tore her away from her five closest friends and destroyed their friendship. Now her friends’ questions about her death will be answered. They’ve returned to their hometown in a desperate attempt to find out the truth of why she killed herself. But something more than grief haunts them. Geri has returned. And she’s not alone.
Trapped in a nightmare version of their town, Geri’s friends must run, hide, and kill to uncover the truth behind the terrible secret she kept from them. If they succeed, then they might have a chance against the evil that destroyed Geri. They might be able to bury it before it buries them.
But if they fail, Geri’s hell will be their new home.
Inside Stu Brennan’s head, a voice screamed his name.
Stu’s hand jerked, his cup flew and smashed against the sink. The scream filled his head again.
His name. A shriek inside his head.
He slammed his hands against his ears and held his breath. For a few silent seconds, there was nothing but his own thoughts, desperate to reassure him with simple noises of comfort. Then his name came a third time, a horrific bellow just behind his eyes.
He knew who was calling his name.
[ITALIC]No. No. I’m at work. This isn’t happening.[ITALIC]
Right. He was at work; this was a Friday morning; the other shops and the rest of Dalry were all right outside and everything was where it should be so there was no way this was happening.
His legs refused to work properly and he had to move somewhere between a crawl and a shuffle for the short distance towards the toilet.
Pulling himself up and using the edge of the sink as leverage, Stu staggered a couple of steps to the toilet door. He pushed it shut and dropped to the lavatory.
Music from below on the shop floor came in steady beats. Stu held onto the sound with as much focus as he could. Through his panic and confusion, he tried to picture Rich downstairs, Rich probably tapping on the counter to the rhythm of the music as worked on the tills and readied the shop for opening.
[ITALIC]It’s okay. Everything’s okay.[ITALIC]
Of course everything was okay. Everything was hunky dory.
Stu took a few breaths and rational thought spoke while he remained perfectly still. Sandra was in the cash office and the only reason she wouldn’t have heard the breaking cup was down to her door being shut. There was nothing to stop her from coming out to make a drink. How could he explain the mess?
[ITALIC]Sorry, boss. I just heard my name shouted inside my head by someone who can’t be speaking to me and I needed a sit down.[ITALIC]
Stu swallowed the bitter taste of vomit. He closed his eyes again.
Images swam in front of him and his eyes flew open. The images remained.
He saw a house and his first thought was that the house was his. The thought was wrong.
He stood in front of his parents’ house. Their car sat on the long drive and that was normal. What wasn’t normal were the broken windows, the black stain of fire damage on the bricks and the spray paint covering the smashed in door.
A shout of horrified negation came. Stu heard it from his mouth despite being aware of his lips clamped together and his tongue immobile with shock. His feet moved, forcing him to back away and he tripped on the uneven pavement. He landed heavily and his hands slapped down on dark stains. Wet stains.
Cold blood covered his fingers and palms. And still the horror arguing against this came from his silent mouth, still he couldn’t do a thing but see it all here: his childhood home a defaced wreck while the moon shone and his breath rose in front of him and the rapid thud of running feet came from somewhere close.
Running towards him. Dozens of people, their shoes and boots thundering on the ground. Stu lunged upright, panic swallowing him.
The runners were coming from both ends of the road. The only way to go was forward, into the house.
Into the black of the house.
He spun, ran to the road and the ground left him. Stu dropped into blackness. Dozens of voices came at him from all sides, his name bellowed over and over again in the dark. Stu’s screams answered the voices and a barrage of nonsensical images hit him in flashes of silent light, all passing much too quickly for him to get a fix on them, all dropping with him as he fell into an immense void.
And with the images, with the black and with his own screams, a name came at him from somewhere far below.
One speeding thought answered the name–
[ITALIC]oh god she’s here she’s come back–[ITALIC]