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The Last Resort: It's Ancient, It's Angry, It Stalks

The Last Resort: It's Ancient, It's Angry, It Stalks

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The Last Resort: It's Ancient, It's Angry, It Stalks

Lunghezza:
236 pagine
3 ore
Pubblicato:
Nov 5, 2016
ISBN:
9781370483457
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Spawn of an ancient curse - a creature straight from hell - and after a hundred years IT has returned - to a sleepy New York town - to its lair - to its hunting ground. Attracted to livestock and humans, no one ... nothing is safe.

Stark shocking horror has overtaken the Resort Lodge. Guests are disappearing, hikers have gone missing, even animals are vanishing from this posh upstate village. Something unearthly and vicious has stepped out of a nightmare and is stalking the campgrounds. Terrorizing couples of all ages, especially lovers in secluded cabins. Only one man stands a chance of tracking and killing the thing. The problem is, he has no idea of what he's facing. As a lawman, he's only hunted humans.

Resort owners Valerie & Nate Warden have put every dime into the lodge, cabins and campgrounds. The place is booming, preparing for a Halloween bash. When a guest suddenly vanishes without a trace, desperate, Valerie calls upon her Texas Ranger brother, Jackson Swift, to save a damsel in distress. But soon the terror builds and more visitors go missing. Jackson doesn't have much to go on; the only ones who have seen this thing are the victims, and body parts can't talk. Without a description, and far from city crime, Jackson must tackle the wilderness and a beast that's proving impossible to corner, no less defeat.
Book one of Two. Concludes in Heartthrob Hotel, coming soon.

Warning: Raw, bloody horror and sex. For readers 16 and older. Not for the faint of heart. This is a seriously tense and graphic novel.

Pubblicato:
Nov 5, 2016
ISBN:
9781370483457
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

January Valentine is the pen name of Victoria Valentine, New York writer and indie book publisher.Victoria Valentine writes childrens storybooks and poetry. She writes thrillers and romance as January Valentine, and erotic fantasy as Lana Lundon.She has published five novels: Love Dreams contemporary romance, Sweet Dreams in the Mind of a Serial Killer, and Fighting For You New Adult romance, Beautiful Experiment. All are available on Amazon and other booksellers.Victoria publishes books for other authors through Water Forest Press, which she founded some years ago.Her desire to be in a rock band brought Victoria into a recording studio ... where her lyrics sprang to life with the help of a local alternative rock band. Together they produced the Eyes of Ash CD."I enjoy designing book covers and youtube videos. Hiking and swimming are my favorite things to do in summer. I love all kinds of music. Watching horror flicks and Tyler Perry movies are my escape from reality. I have an addiction to engraved pens that I buy to accompany each of my books. My office is filled with paperbacks, bookmarks, and a variety of swag including handcrafted beaded bookmarks I gift at my events."Websites and PagesJanuary Valentine Bloghttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaJanuaryValentinehttps://twitter.com/VictoriaSkylinehttp://www.pinterest.com/janvicval/http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1http://www.januaryvalentine.comhttp://www.waterforestpressbooks.com/VictoriaValentineMailingList.htmI've written three other novels: Love Dreams contemporary romance, Sweet Dreams in the Mind of a Serial Killer, and Fighting For You New Adult romance. All are available on Amazon and other booksellers, or will be shortly in ebook and paperback.I publish books for other authors through Water Forest Press, which I founded some years ago. In the past I have written poetry and song lyrics, but now I focus on fiction. I've created multiple websites and blogs that I don't have time to manage very well.My desire to be in a rock band brought me into a recording studio ... where my lyrics sprang to life with the help of a local alternative rock band. Together, we produced a CD.I enjoy hiking and swimming. I love all kinds of music. Watching horror flicks and Tyler Perry movies are my escape from reality.I have an addiction to engraved pens that I buy to accompany each of my books. My office is filled with paperbacks and a variety of swag including t-shirts, mouse pads, handcrafted beaded bookmarks.My sites and pages.http:// januaryvalentine.blogspot.comhttp:// www.januaryvalentine.comhttps:// www.facebook.com/ AuthorVictoriaJanuaryValentinehttps:// twitter.com/ VictoriaSkylinehttp:// pinterest.com/ janvicval/http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1A bit about my books:Wheel Wolf: Beneath a full, blood moon, on the way home from his girlfriend's house, Jack Bailey encounters something terrifying at Phantom Lake. Fleeing the unknown, he dumps his bike and is found unconscious, his body tangled with a naked girl. Jack struggles to regain memory and the use of his legs, while fighting a sudden urge for raw meat and to bay at the moon. Wheel Wolf is a story of unconditional love that lives beyond the grave, and a relentless fight for retribution. An Amazon bestseller in Werewolves/Shifters/Horror/Suspense.Beautiful Experiment: Six unruly teens are abducted on their way to a juvie home. Dumped onto an uncharted island. Could things get any worse? Hell, yeah. Hostility and envy run rampant. Throw in some alphas, divas and demons, and what do you have? Beautiful Experiment. Book One of the Island of Defiance Trilogy.Love Dreams: She's a beautiful wreck who wants nothing to do with me. Beaten and left for dead, she suffers from night terrors. When she keeps running into a gorgeous guy things heat up, but memories of abuse dampen the fire.He's handsome. He's wealthy. He's in a wheelchair. His entire life has changed, and the past months have been hell. But there's a bright spot in Michael's life: a girl named Sienna.Sweet Dreams: A serial killer is on the loose, moving up the East Coast, leaving bodies & notes. Planting roses in his victims. Leonardo Gibraldi, Baltimore's sexy Assistant DA, is tracking the fiend who's responsible for the grisly murder of his ex-girlfriend. Leo's out for revenge -- so is the killer. Between hunting the madman, and fighting off beautiful women, Leo's got his hands full. There's one break in the case: An eye witness who says, "It doesn't look human."Fighting For You Fighting (He's fighting for his future. She's fighting with his past.)Jewelia Delarosa isn't too eager to fight her way through another dead-end relationship. Then her eyes find his. By chance. He's like wine, rich and intoxicating. One sip rocks her world, and suddenly, she's drowning in a guy called Indigo. She doesn't know how to handle her overwhelming emotions. His mood swings. The two women who refuse to let him go. The battle is all uphill. Giving up seems the most sensible thing to do, but once she's tasted his love, given herself to him body and soul, living without him is not an option. Until she realizes, leaving him seems the only protection from heartbreak.About to begin his residency at NYU Medical center, Indigo's plan is to rescue every child who needs him, even if it sucks the life out of him. He doesn't remember what happiness feels like. His mother haunts him. A wannabe girlfriend stalks him. He doesn't need another woman in his life. Then a stunning gaze captures his, and while fighting to resist, he sinks deeper into something he never thought could be his. Love has never been in the cards for Indigo. But a girl named Jewelia is as necessary as the blood coursing through his veins.

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Anteprima del libro

The Last Resort - Victoria (January) Valentine

ME

THE BRIDGE

If ever you stray

On the brink of the wood

A rustle of brush

The hoarse breath of wind

Heed then the season's warnings

And hasten for your soul

For it be not the wind

Rushing at your throat

And by all that is cherished

Beware the Bridge

BEFORE…

AUGUST 1842

She squatted at the river's edge, hands white knuckled, twisted around the limb of a birch tree. Her fingers coiled the chalky shell, squeezing the flow of life from the bark. Glistening streams of perspiration seeped from her tangled hairline, gliding over high-set cheekbones, trickling to her mouth; she licked the salty droplets.

Wracked with pain she shifted her weight to one hip, dipping a burning hand into the bubbling current. Purple blood imprinted her throbbing palm and burst through the abrasions. In a cupping motion she scooped a handful of cool water, bringing it to her parched lips. Again and again she tried to wash away sin until she had been cleansed of winged insects and particles of dust drawn to her sweating skin.

The woman was slight of frame, yet she had moved sluggishly through waist-high water-hemp, her youthful gait altered by the oppressive weight with which she was burdened. Her satin hair hung in a thick braid and swayed with her movements; a corded knot tapping from hip to hip as she made her way to this birthing-ground as others had before her.

Gripped with a series of agonizing spasms, she repositioned her aching thighs, widening the gap to accommodate the urgent contractions. The sun was overwhelming and her breath came in short suffocating gasps. She dared not cry out, for she was a brave woman − the wife of the spiritual leader and would bear her young in silence. But in reality, fear was the greater silencer and the vision floated before her in a cloud.

Not always had the young woman been fruitful. Born beneath a cloak of scorn, she was an unworthy maiden. Until the Evil One had visited her, tempting with the promise of glory. Blindly she had walked in his shadow to a noble standing. There she had shared the change of many seasons as mistress of the house of the highest. Not a wiser, nor more compassionate leader was the clan to know. She had prospered and ripened with the knowledge of riches purchased with lust. But as time passed, no longer could she betray her king − and her very soul. She rebuked the Evil One − mocked his demands. And in the rising of the bloodiest moon of the season, he had come to her once more issuing his warning in a dream.

Mistress, your flesh is mine! In spirit, in heart, in soul. Blood and bones you have pledged to me! The demon roared and the heavens shuddered. Forsake me and you shall bring upon this land the wrath of hell no human hath ever witnessed.

The woman was strong. Willful. Defiant. And as it had been told, it would take place.

Her thundering heart screamed in her ears; it is coming! Almost time!

The sky grew dark and she crouched in night. Her body, no longer hers, yielded to the savage winds. Her tormented mind broke with regret.

I beg you, she cried to the blackened earth that beckoned her. Have mercy on me. On my child.

A hideous howl thundered with the wind; the answer to her plea.

Her grip strangled the branch, fingernails piercing her swollen palms. With each sharp thrust of the offspring writhing from her womb, the hot blade of agony penetrated her spine. Easing her tensing muscles, she flowed with the constricting rhythm. Again, the searing knife struck her abdomen as the fire within struggled to enter this world. Seized by a series of vibrating tremors, her body held fast with fierce resolution. It would soon be finished and she would be free. Bravely, she faced the contest; eyes wide, void of passion as if in the stare of the dead.

A final eruption. With clenched teeth she bore down into the pit of the oncoming. A rasping gulp of air burst through her trembling lips. With a guttural groan originating from the hell into which she would fall, she forced the birth from her womb.

It burst forth, dropping onto the waiting blanket of grass. With a shuddering breath, she carefully lifted herself, bare legs stepping around the quivering mass, eager to wash away the bloody sheath and view her newborn. She fell to her knees, her outstretched hands close to the thing writhing at her feet and the scream lodged in her throat.

The curse had come to pass.

AUGUST 2018

With the final days of summer came a blast of heat. Though the hillsides resisted, the first shades of autumn overtook the woodlands. Warm and moist on this October eve, the forest floor was carpeted with decay. Showers misted treetops and falling leaves gathered. Occasionally, a pale moon escaped a cloud, illuminating slices of the woodland with ghostly shapes and shadows. Death choked the air with a pungency only a forest could know.

This was the northwest arc of Clifton County. Until the development of the Resort Lodge, the forest held only a handful of homesteaders who had replaced the tribes of long ago.

The attractive establishment with its cabins and campgrounds encroached upon the serene lifestyle of the mountain dwellers who feared the lodge would, Invite a crop of undesirables. Bring misery to the town.

But something far more deadly was about to invade the peaceful settlement; a descendent of hell was preparing to devour the tranquility and every member of the community.

The foreboding silence was interrupted by a sudden movement in the thicket. A jack rabbit, one of the few creatures to remain, scurried across a fallen log, retreating to the safety of the underbrush. Instinct told it to fear for its life and it did.

In the distance, when moonlight reflected through a vintage timberland, the outline of an archaic bridge could be distinguished rising above a ravine. Virtually hidden by over a century of twisted growth, within this cavity, concealed beneath the bridge, it was awakening.

It ravished these hills at the dawn of the clans whose fervent rituals offered sacrifice. Appeasement. Excitement. Many tender maidens had been led to its cave in feeble attempts to calm it. Console it. Feed it. The brave had tried to destroy it, but the devil is indestructible. Without mercy. Without conscience. Without soul.

Plagued by starvation in a land that had grown barren and cold, the clans moved on. Enraged by abandonment, it thrashed further north to become a stalking abomination that would ravage until not a single shred of life remained. As years passed it migrated south, exploring, rampaging, gradually returning to its birthplace: to the sacrificial bridge, to its lair. To the Resort Lodge.

Curiosity had lured it further from its territory, into the realm of a new and exciting hunting ground. Loping with ease unequaled by any creature of its size and weight it knew no boundaries. After all, it ruled this domain.

And somewhere in the depths of its unconscious, the familiarity of this old place rekindled the memory of its ancient craving; its overbearing desire to feast.

THE RESORT LODGE

CHAPTER I

The eight point buck bolted from an alert stance in the overgrowth, gleaming antlers protruding boldly atop a proud head. Out of the brush, climbing onto the powdery layer of earth leading to the road, the animal raced as if pursued by the devil himself, across the northbound lane, charging headlong into the path of the approaching vehicle.

The driver responded by stomping his worn work shoe full force onto the brake as he quickly maneuvered to the left to avoid the stunned animal. Cutting the wheels sharply to the right in an effort to regain control, the vehicle careened across the road, veering crazily from side to side, skidding tires burning rubber onto the pavement as it threatened to overturn with each screeching jolt. Losing momentum after what seemed an eternity for the dazed driver, the van coasted off the road coming to rest upon the dusty shoulder.

For a moment the driver sat deathly still, recovering his senses. Reaching to the floorboard, he retrieved a pack of cigarettes that had been thrown from the seat beside him, strewn upon the floor. With trembling fingers, he gathered the cigarettes into the pack. Lighting one, he dragged hard.

Jesus Christ, he grunted, sucking nicotine deep into his lungs as the thunder in his ears receded.

Gathering his bearings, his gaze bounced and blurred. He was still agitated from the mishap, which could have been a fatal accident, and who would have discovered his bloody remains on this lonely stretch of road? The buck was long gone. Not that it mattered. But it pissed him off. The animal was safe, and he'd almost had a coronary.

 You are one lucky sonofabitch, Dave Jordan. Besides your birthday, this must be your fucking lucky day.

He reached for the door handle and yanked, but didn't push the door open. Christ, they sent me to Deliverance. This is the last time I take this fucking route. Fuck George and his seniority. I'll walk. Like Rhonda did. The bitch. Some fucking birthday present. Your wife of twenty years leaves you.

The door cracked open just enough for one laced shoe to dangle from the cab. Christ. Look at this place. Death Valley. No stores, no diners, not even a deli? A guy could starve to death before anybody came along. And a piss will definitely have to wait. His faint whisper addressed the vast wilderness extending for miles around him and his work van. He slammed a hand to his chest, convincing himself that his heart had finally resumed its normal rhythmic beat, then checked his rearview mirror, dragged his foot into the van, and crept back onto the road.

The van sped across Interstate 95, bold red lettering of Starlings Wine & Liquors contrasting vividly against a fading blue enameled glaze. With the exception of an occasional eighteen wheeler whizzing by, Dave's van owned the sweating asphalt as it left a trail of exhaust, polluting the serenity stretching endlessly in every direction. Dave kept checking google on his cell phone, and the van slowed at the onset of each exit sign. But nothing told him to exit the interstate. Where the fuck is this resort place?

With no one to reply, he snapped on the radio and tried to tune into some music, but all he heard was static. So he decided to smolder with resentment.

Take the van, his dispatcher had said. It'll save you time and gas. No need to run a box truck all the way up there for one lousy drop.

Ordinarily, his territory would have ended some seventy-five miles south of here, most deliveries being made within city limits. But this was a special favor to a new and valued customer, who was in fact a relative of his boss. Keep an eye open for Widow Falls, the dispatcher had cautioned. It's one of those shitkicker towns that'll slip by if you fart …or is it blink? His asinine laughter at his own stupid joke had pissed Dave off more than the fact that he had to make this run.

Misty clouds rose in patterns, like angels and sheep, high above the range of mountains looming in the distance, merging with a low ceiling of thunderheads sweeping in from the west. Cresting a hill the van nosed around a curve in the road.

It's about fucking time. The old bladder's about to burst. He mused. Slowing, he pulled off the highway onto a gravel road.

'Entering Town of Widow Falls. Population 200', the road sign read.

He laughed aloud. That must have been before one hundred and ninety of them died off.

The van bumped along, his load clashing behind him. As he traveled, not much was visible but a few scattered cabins seen through roughly cleared side roads with the promise of leading nowhere except to some farmer's cornfield. Continuing past the wooden structures which were the town, he had a flashback of the old ghost town in a horror flick he watched last week.

Shit! Anybody building anything around here's got to be nuts! One hand on the wheel, the other scrubbed his chin. "Anyone living here needs his head examined."

 He considered driving straight past a small weather-beaten shack, then checked his gas gauge and pulled up to a pump that looked like it could spring a leak at any moment.

An old man sat in a sagging wicker chair outside the shack's open doorway.

Say, Chief. Fill it up, will ya? Dave slid from the seat and pitched his voice in the man's direction.

The man took a swig from a small jug of what Dave figured to be some kind of home brewed liquor, set it down in the dirt beside his rickety throne and staggered to the van. With each step, he kicked up clouds of dust.

Not much happening around here I'd say, said Dave in idle conversation. Almost missed the turn off 95. Guess you don't have a call for many deliveries, he chuckled, running a hand through his windblown hair. The hair on the crown of his head was thinning, and his scalp already felt the scorch of brilliant sun.

The old man pumped and mumbled. Folks round here don't need much septin a good crop, few farm animals and a kindly season. No need for any of your city inventions if that's what you was gettin' at. No need a'tall.

Yeah, well, continued Dave as he stretched his arms over his head, then paced a crescent path behind the van to work his leg muscles. You wouldn't catch me living up here. I'm a city boy at heart, he joked while the old man slowly withdrew the nozzle, dripping gasoline.

So what brings ya? The weathered attendant inquired flatly, rubbing a worn hand across his heavily bearded face. Might ya be lookin' for the Re-Sort? He eyed him warily, not waiting for a reply, That place ain't gonna bring nothin' but strangers and a bucket of trouble. I tole them city people. I warned 'em. His stare chilled Dave, who took a step back. Old Jake here traps out in them woods. His wheeze brought on a coughing spasm, bringing up a ball of phlegm he spat to the ground. I seen what's out there. Gonna bring a lot of trouble − yes sir. Gonna be plenty of troubles round these parts.

Dave's stomach growled. He checked his watch. It was mid-afternoon. By this time, he'd normally have stopped at a diner for lunch. He gave a thought to whether or not there might be shelves in the shack, and if so, what might be on them. No way am I eating anything that might be for sale in that shithole. Got a bathroom I can use?

The old man shook his head. The shitter's broke, he grunted, then laughed. Plenty of woods out there, though. He swung an arm in an arc and aimed another spitball at the ground. Like a cat uses litter to cover its waste, the old man used the tip of his boot to kick dirt over his disgusting loogie.

Watching him, Dave's stomach rolled. Then his gaze rose and he gauged the man, taking the old man's outburst in his stride. Considering his fraying coveralls, the alcohol on his breath, and his obviously aging brain, Dave tried to hide the grin working its way across his face. This old geezer's a real piece of work. He's been alone in the woods too long. Yeah, drinking that homemade moonshine, he decided, and doled out a twenty from the pocket of his green work pants.

Sure is interesting countryside though. Colorful foliage surrounded them, willowy in the breeze, delivering a sweet scent that softened the threat of the forest. Desolate but peaceful looking … if you like peace. I've got to give it that much, he called out to the old man's back.

Before climbing behind the wheel, he considered a quick piss – more like a five-minute piss − behind the open door, but decided against it.

As he drove deeper into the woodlands, the sun grew weak, peeking in and out from behind a wall of menacing darkness. A chill washed over him. Instinctively, he raised the window in protection − against what? He wondered.

Branches of towering trees arched across the road to meet and intertwine, providing a sheltered route, dark and dismal for the dirt-laden van. Dave felt he was in a tunnel, a secret passageway trapping him, swallowing him inside a world without time, without Rhonda. Maybe he'd call her again. Tell her he was sorry he stayed out too late. Drank too much. Maybe she'd answer this time. Alone with his thoughts, he drove the remaining twenty miles in somber detachment.

'The Resort Lodge & Campgrounds 2 miles ahead' was the only sign of life existing in this freaky wonderland to usher him safely back into reality.

The van rounded curves and climbed the mild incline leading to a somewhat manicured courtyard, and the mysterious journey ended. Here began the expanse of handsome rustic

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