Saturday, April 19, 2014

Knock Knock - an excerpt

The rain was starting to come down like mad. In this torrent, anyone dashing from one end of the house to the other, outside, would fall down; but there was no sign of anyone, no matter how fast Beverly charged from door to door.
It had to be kids playing pranks, probably more of the Dempsey boys, some of the pathetic cousins from those little trailers up in the woods. They drank whiskey, all of them, and they played cards late into the night sometimes.
She would look up into the woods and see the amber lights of kerosene lamps, because most of them didn't have electricity. There were five or six trailers and vans parked on one piece of land. The grownups kept pretty quiet except during hunting season, but the kids were bored. The kids got into trouble. Not like Connie Sara, just the usual kind of trouble, stealing cigarettes at Misty Mart. Dumb stuff.
Beverly took a detour into the kitchen. She knelt on the checkerboard floor and opened a cabinet under the sink. She grabbed the first thing handy, a can of foaming cleanser. That would give them a surprise!
She shook the can hard and strode toward the front door, ready for action. Then she looked up, and froze. The stimulated contents of the can crept out the nozzle like drool and ran down onto the carpet. She dropped the can.
On the opposite side of the glass and aluminum door someone was watching her intently, facing the door, so close to the glass that Beverly couldn't make out any features, only the outline of a head, shoulders, and arms.
"Hello?" She said.
The person didn't answer or move.
Beverly thought: Halloween pranks in the spring! Stupid kids!
But she didn't laugh.
"Is that Darrell Joe Dempsey?" She asked.
"Rodney Junior?" She said. "You better answer me."
Not a sound. She tried to move, but she couldn't force herself to go forward. She wanted to slam the wooden door shut against the security door and lock it, but she couldn't.
Whoever it was grabbed the handle and shook it hard. The door made a tin, shuddering noise. Beverly thought it was coming off the hinges.
She stayed frozen. As suddenly as the shaking had begun, it stopped. The figure outside let go of the handle, drew back, and spat a wad of phlegm at the glass. The mess stuck and dripped down leaving a slug trail.

-- from Knock Knock, the first book in the Skillute Cycle

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