Today we have an Exclusive Sneak Peak at The Death House, the upcoming novel from Joshua MacMillan, including the official backcover blurb, the cover, and an excerpt!
Nick and Jerry have been searching for the fabled extreme haunt: The Death House, and they may have bit off more than they can chew.
After being burned multiple times, the brothers find themselves catching a lucky break from a local haunter, telling them the elusive haunt will, in fact, be in their area this year. After contacting The Death House, Nick receives an invitation to visit the immersive experience.
Nick and Jerry, along with three friends plan to accept the invitation to the mysterious place. Things take a twisted turn for the worse when the group are hooded, drugged, and taken away in a van.
Nick and Doug awaken to find themselves bound to chairs in an old farmhouse with their friends nowhere to be seen. They suddenly find themselves in a violent fight for their lives as they navigate the area around them, searching for Jerry and the girls and the answers to their questions.
What is The Death House and who will survive?
And now, an excerpt from The Death House:
With a swift wrench, the man with the skull mask pulled the axe free, gripping it tightly as he turned back toward Doug, his chest heaving. Slowly, the man closed in. Within three steps he was standing over Doug, switching the axe’s position from his left hand to his right, gearing up for a swing that was sure to drive the blade of the tool deep into the crown of Doug’s skull.
Doug’s eyes widened as he looked up in sheer terror. The man loomed over him, impossibly tall. He pulled himself backward once more, raising his left hand in an attempt to ward off the blow that would undoubtedly send him into eternity. His heart slammed a spasmodic rhythm in his chest as his throat began to close. He opened his mouth to speak, to scream, to do anything, but before he could, movement from his peripheral caught his attention.
The chair that Nick had been tied to careened across the sitting room, smashing into the man in the skull mask’s back and clattering to the floor, nearly knocking the man over. The man cursed as he tried to steady himself. Nick wasted no time closing the distance between the two of them as the man with the axe caught his balance. Nick dashed towards him, raised one foot, and kicked it out in a downward motion, connecting with the back of the man’s right knee and shoving the man away from Doug. The axe fell to the floor with a heavy clunk.
Nick moved to snatch the axe, but the man was too quick, flipping over and getting his feet under him with a speed that made Nick pause, momentarily stunned at the man’s agility despite his size. Nick reached for the axe again as the man closed the distance between them and wrapped both of his large, meaty hands around Nick’s throat, squeezing tightly. Nick gripped the man’s hands, fighting desperately to pry them away from his neck as strobing spots began to dance in front of his eyes. The world around him began to swim as his hands let go, falling to his sides.
The masked man walked forward, forcing Nick’s body to lay back. The man stood over him, his legs now on either side of Nick’s hips as he let the man fall, his head bouncing hard on the plastic covered floor. He stood there a moment, waiting to see if Nick would get up. He didn’t see Doug behind him.
Doug raised the chair that Nick had thrown across the room, wincing at the pain in his ribs. He was certain that at least one of them was broken. It hurt to stand, or even breathe, but he had to do something before this psychopath killed Nick. He could see his friend’s chest moving slightly and knew that Nick wasn’t dead, yet. He tightened the grip he had on the back of the wooden chair, pushing away his thoughts of pain. “Hey, asshole!”
The man turned around and as he did, Doug swung the chair with everything he had. The legs of the chair cracked across the man’s face. He tried to bring his hands up to deflect the blow, but Doug was too quick. He let out a wild howl of pain as he stumbled backward and fell on his ass, blood pouring from his mouth.
Doug brought the chair back again, repositioning himself and swinging the chair again as if it were a golf club. This time the chair connected with the underside of the man’s chin, knocking him back, a spray of blood jetted from his busted mouth. The man lay there, unmoving.
Doug stepped forward, cautiously standing over the man. He used the chair like a fire poker, testing the man to see if he were conscious. The man didn’t move. He reached down and pulled the rubber skull mask from the man’s head, flinging it across the room. He turned, looking back at his friend who still lay on his back.
Doug hobbled over and dropped down to one knee beside Nick, wincing at the pain in his ribs. He reached out and grabbed Nick’s shoulder, giving him a shake. “Hey. Hey man. You alright?”
Nick didn’t move, but Doug could still see the steady rise and fall of Nick’s chest as he breathed. He shook him harder and called out louder. This did the trick.
Nick groaned, lifting one arm, and draping it across his closed eyes as he continued to lay there.
“I think he’s down for a bit.” Doug said.
“Is he dead?”
Doug shook his head, and then saw that Nick still had his arm across his face and spoke aloud. “No, I don’t think so. But I knocked the fucker out cold.”
“Here, let me help you up. We gotta go find everyone and get the fuck out of here.”
“I swear, man.” Nick said, laying there, not moving. “I swear I didn’t know. I thought this was the real deal.”
Doug gripped Nick’s forearm and pulled it down and away from his face so that he could look his friend in the eyes. “That doesn’t matter now. We need to get the fuck out of here.”
Watch for The Death House, coming soon.