THE DEAD GAME

THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist

 

Like thorns on a rose,

the town of Oasis appears

peaceful during the day.

But at night,

its thorn are revealed.

The Dead roam

the streets of town.

Follow them

to their wild parties.

But be careful

you don’t become one

of the lifeless bodies

found on the beach 

come morning light.

 

THE DEAD GAME

DARK ARE THE STREETS

Altamura (Apulia, Italy) by Dauno Settantatre

Dark are the streets.

Along which they creep.

Silence is their goal.

Through town they go.

Bodies they leave behind.

Blood-dry they must die.

Church bells are tolling.

And heads are rolling.

Flee from this we must.

Before we are dust.

THE DEAD GAME

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OUR GAMES HAVE JUST BEGUN — THE DEAD GAME — PART 40

What lies hidden beneath End House?
Familiar faces and bony countenances.
A cacophony of moans and sounds.

A community of creatures living in the tunnels.
Friends who might be returning to the living,
Or the living who might be joining The Dead.

David grabs hold of Tom’s hand,
One of his long lost friends.
Tom stands stiff and tall, not responding.

Howard shuffles forward.
Howard had been the daring one,
The one who had saved Tom from the dark pool.

The town looks like Oasis,
With its beaches, stores, cafes, parks, and hotel.
In the distance, the forest looms dark and forbidding.

But where are the people?
The stores stand empty.
“There, they are!” Linda calls out.

A large group walks down Main Street.
No smiles crossing their deathly pale faces.
No emotions from these sad replicas of humanity.

Something is wrong.
No one is happy to see us.
“Let’s get out of here!” Linda yells.

The group before them lurches forward,
Arms extended like bare branches in the winter cold.
Her friends back up in fear.

“But they’re our friends!” Mike says,
“We can’t leave them here,”
His eyes pleading for help.

Linda drags him away from the red-eyed mob.
“Our friends are gone.
These aren’t are friends any longer.”

A man grabs hold of Louise’s long hair.
She lets loose a heart-wrenching cry,
Frightening the pale creature away.

Linda takes one last look at Oasis.
They look like members of our town,
But yet they don’t.

The door slams shut,
Separating them from the empty shells.
Linda follows her friends out of the dark.

Goodbye to Wolf and your demented band of followers.
I can’t believe that I had been tempted by you.
Thank god we escaped in time.

OUR GAMES HAVE JUST BEGUN

THE DEAD GAME









5 STAR REVIEW OF THE DEAD GAME

Gripping horror, March 14, 2015
 

This review is from: The Dead Game (Kindle Edition)
 
“Beneath the pretty field of flowers growing on End House property, exists an evil so great and powerful that even the elders can’t fight it on their own.” Who are the elders? What is The Dead Game, what is the relationship between the wicked vampires, good vampires, human vampires and what role do spells and magic play in Susanne Leist’s hugely enjoyable horror novel? If you want to learn the answers then you’ll need to read The Dead Game, and if you enjoy this type of fiction then I strongly suggest you do.
The author wastes no time laying out her literary stall. After a gripping prologue replete with bloody tentacles and a swirling vortex Leist ends her introduction with, “No sounds or voices were heard again. End House remained empty until the party five years later that awoke the house to the possibility of new victims.” I especially enjoyed the prologue as I’m not a big fan of the slow burn or the slow build. When chapter 1 begins with descriptions of the quaint shops, pristine white sand beaches, tree lined walkways and grassy town parks of the picturesque town of Oasis we know that this tranquility is illusory, ephemeral at best. When Linda and the others receive invitations to End House the sense of suspense quickly grows and it isn’t long before we’re plunged into supernatural horror once more.
Some books you can’t help but imagine as films and for me, The Dead Game is one of these. I could easily see myself watching something like this on the horror channel or a Fright Night special. The characters are well drawn as are the interactions and interpersonal conflicts but in essence it is the narrative, the “game” itself which drives the tale as the victims wonder if their fate is to “all die in this house, one by one.”
On the whole the novel pretty much played out as I expected and the diabolical vampire, Wolf, was very much part of this. Even the little surprise right at the end wasn’t such a surprise. Yet for me at least, this is not to the work’s detriment. The Dead Game is extremely well written with vivid (often extremely vivid) descriptions, the premise is strong, the central characters well drawn and the actions and reveals continue to build throughout. If I had one criticism it is that of the narrative layering. Linda is the main protagonist and as such needs to be the focus a little more in the story. It is through the central character after all that the reader best experiences the roller coaster of emotions, especially fear and hope, of a horror novel. Although a fan of James Herbert this is an aspect that I never enjoyed of the late British horror writer’s work.
Notwithstanding this minor quibble, if you like this type of fiction then you will love Dead Game. I certainly did.

WALK IN SHADOW

undying-orchid:

Row of Trees (1915) by Jan Mankes (Dutch, 1889—1920).

WALK IN SHADOW

Who waits in the dark?

Stalking its victims.

Blending with the night.

Walking in shadow.

Lighter than air.

One with the mist.

Never seen.

Never caught.

Leaving death behind.

Traces of evil.

Evil wrought on the town.

Who are you?

Come out in the light.

I know you can’t.

I know what you are.

Creature of the night.

Come to me.

And your time on earth will end.

For I protect the town.

I protect the innocent.

Come out of the shadows.

And face me.

All will know who you are.

The leader of The Dead.

Your time is at end.

THE DEAD GAME

Kindle
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Nook
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HELP ME

HELP ME

I’m trapped in the house.

The house at the edge of the forest.

A forest of darkness and nightmares.

Why did I attend this party?

An invitation to a night of games.

Games played to the death.

By those who are already dead.

Revolving rooms.

Cages descending from the ceiling.

Blood.

Bones.

No more.

I must get out.

THE DEAD can’t win this time.

We must fight for our lives.

THE DEAD GAME

Kindle
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Nook
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SPOTLIGHT

halftimeprincess:

A clearing in the woods.

A spot of light in the darkness.

Why is this clearing special?

Why does it have its own lamp?

What lives here?

Who lives here?

I can see mushrooms

and dead grass.

And holes in the ground.

What’s in these holes?

Let’s take a quick look.

This one looks deep.

I can see hands and feet.

They are moving.

They are attached

to dark figures,

who are staring up at me.

They have no faces.

Time to leave.

I feel a hard push.

I’m falling into the hole.

Hands are reaching for me.

The creatures are laughing.

Will I become one of them?

One of The Dead of Oasis?

THE DEAD GAME

Kindle

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Nook

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THE DEAD GAME — DAY 143

THE DEAD GAME -- DAY 143

Linda was pulled into the deserted garden to face Wolf and his side-kick Hayden.

However, Wolf didn’t seem the least bit focused on her, but troubled over something different. “I didn’t come here to play parlor games with you. I need you to convince Todd to join with us. He can never be human or accepted by them. He belongs with us! It makes more sense for him to stick with his own kind.”
“He’s not like you in any way at all: he cares too deeply for people and is loyal to his friends. On the other hand, you and your kind enjoy killing too much and have no feelings whatsoever.”
“Todd will never be accepted by humans or by his own kind! He will be an outcast with nowhere to go!” screamed Wolf.
“Todd is human and will always be accepted by humans.”
“Let’s kill her now, boss. She’s going to be trouble; I could take her away and no one will ever see her again,” urged Hayden.
Oops, she did it again: her big mouth had now sealed her fate.
Wolf strolled over to her with a wicked gleam surfacing in his eyes. “I have a much better use for her in the future. When she finally comes to her senses, she’ll realize that she will be better off with a real vampire with limitless powers than with a pathetic human. She’ll learn about intoxicating love and passion—not the games that humans play that pale in comparison. Here comes the human. Let her go for now.”
Linda was horrified to find herself wrapped in Wolf’s strong, muscular arms. She became hypnotized by his black eyes and tempted by his deep voice. He seemed perfect in every way. Suddenly, she only wanted to be with him.
“I’ll be back for you,” promised Wolf as he held her tight against him, whispering dangerously in her ear. ”I love the way you stand up to me with your flashing blue eyes. Soon you’ll be mine, my beautiful ice queen.”
Linda couldn’t move; she was stuck in some kind of trance…she couldn’t leave or even want to leave if given the choice. His voice soothed her and made her think of love, passion, and great need: a need that could only be met by Wolf with his expert hands and mouth. She knew that one day she was going to be with him, to be joined with him.
His mouth lowered onto hers, drawing her into a swirling miasma of unexpected feelings and desires. His mouth fully covering hers introduced her to a new realm of pure pleasure. His powerful form enveloped her, making her feel feelings that were foreign and untried for her. She couldn’t get enough of him. She tentatively began touching his face and then his body with an eager and unrelenting hunger.
She didn’t know what she needed, but she knew that she wanted and desired this beautiful man standing right before her. Her past life was washed out of her mind, never to be considered again. She begged him to take her with him tonight. In response, Wolf lifted her in his arms—as if she weighed nothing—and turned to leave the party. His beautiful face looked victorious and happy. His black eyes filled with passion. She hoped that it was because of her. Then he looked down into her small face and gave a hearty roar.
While Wolf carried her in his powerful arms, a dark shadow swooped out of the house and flew directly at them. Linda was knocked out of his strong grasp, while Wolf was thrown across the patio.
She looked up to see who had attacked them. It was Todd, his eyes a deadly shade of green, standing there panting. Linda backed away in horror. His eyes clearing, Todd looked beseechingly at her. “Don’t ever be afraid of me! I’m here to protect you!”
Then he was struck down by Wolf.
They began circling each other like two wild animals. Todd thrust his whole body at Wolf, causing Wolf to lose his balance as they crashed together to the ground. Wolf violently pushed Todd aside and swiftly stood back up. He lunged at Todd, who neatly sidestepped his maneuver. Todd quickly retaliated by lifting him high up in the air and flinging him through one of the glass doors to the house. Wolf rose up, dusting glass off his clothing; bewildered that Todd had somehow bested him.
He warned Todd, who stood before him, “We are not anywhere near finished, my dear friend. The next battle between us will be more private—without so many witnesses. If I were you, I would watch your back…and your pretty little girlfriend,” said Wolf as he stalked away with Hayden following close behind. Todd quickly followed.

THE DEAD OF NIGHT

THE DEAD OF NIGHT

atraversso:
The storm is nearing the shore.
The waves are rising in strength.
The sky is darkening in color.
Streaks of lightning light up the sky
followed by loud rumblings of thunder.
Who is safe in Oasis, Florida?
No one.
You might run but you can never
hide from THE DEAD.
THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist
atraversso:
The storm is nearing the shore.
The waves are rising in strength.
The sky is darkening in color.
Streaks of lightning light up the sky
followed by loud rumblings of thunder.
Who is safe in Oasis, Florida?
No one.
You might run but you can never
hide from THE DEAD.
THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist
atraversso:
The storm is nearing the shore.
The waves are rising in strength.
The sky is darkening in color.
Streaks of lightning light up the sky
followed by loud rumblings of thunder.
Who is safe in Oasis, Florida?
No one.
You might run but you can never
hide from THE DEAD.
THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist
atraversso:
The storm is nearing the shore.
The waves are rising in strength.
The sky is darkening in color.
Streaks of lightning light up the sky
followed by loud rumblings of thunder.
Who is safe in Oasis, Florida?
No one.
You might run but you can never
hide from THE DEAD.
THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist
atraversso:
The storm is nearing the shore.
The waves are rising in strength.
The sky is darkening in color.
Streaks of lightning light up the sky
followed by loud rumblings of thunder.
Who is safe in Oasis, Florida?
No one.
You might run but you can never
hide from THE DEAD.
THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist
atraversso:
The storm is nearing the shore.
The waves are rising in strength.
The sky is darkening in color.
Streaks of lightning light up the sky
followed by loud rumblings of thunder.
Who is safe in Oasis, Florida?
No one.
You might run but you can never
hide from THE DEAD.
THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist
atraversso:
The storm is nearing the shore.
The waves are rising in strength.
The sky is darkening in color.
Streaks of lightning light up the sky
followed by loud rumblings of thunder.
Who is safe in Oasis, Florida?
No one.
You might run but you can never
hide from THE DEAD.
THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist

atraversso:

The storm is nearing the shore.

The waves are rising in strength.

The sky is darkening in color.

Streaks of lightning light up the sky

followed by loud rumblings of thunder.

Who is safe in Oasis, Florida?

No one.

You might run but you can never

hide from THE DEAD.

THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist

  • Don’t close your eyes.
You never know who you
might be kissing in the dark.
THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist
 

Don’t close your eyes.

You never know who you

might be kissing in the dark.

THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist

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THE DEAD GAME — DAY 108

THE DEAD GAME -- DAY 108

THE BODIES WERE BEGINNING TO PILE UP IN THE PEACEFUL TOWN OF OASIS. SINCE THE SHERIFF AND HIS MEN WEREN’T INVESTIGATING THE DISTURBING DISAPPEARANCES AND DEATHS, THE RESIDENTS BEGAN TO DO SOME INVESTIGATING OF THEIR OWN.

The next day Shana entered the bookstore whistling, with a bright smile on her face. Linda knew that she looked this way only when she had a new plan up her sleeve.
Shana rubbed her hands together and said, “I’m ready to begin questioning everyone in town. We might be able to accomplish all this in one afternoon. This time around, we must ask tougher questions to force them to lower their guards.”
“How are we going to get invited to this mysterious party at Diane’s house?”
“Don’t worry, I have a few plans in the works.”
Linda was afraid to find out what those plans might be: her plans usually got them into trouble.
“Let’s begin with Hank, since we are the least familiar with him,” said Shana.
“Okay.” Linda followed her outside.
The bell over the door tinkled as they entered Hank’s Auto Body Shop. Hank came out from behind a car that he was working on to greet them. He has kind eyes. Linda watched him walk over. He was always so nice and friendly to everyone in town.
“What can I help you ladies with today?” asked Hank.
The store was noisy from all the work being done on the cars lined up along the two side walls. The front of the store had two large windows on either side of the door, while the back wall had a glass window to the back room. Hank had ten mechanics working for him up front, and around that many salesmen working in the back office, selling the new cars on the lot behind the store. Even though he was very busy managing his two groups of employees, he always had a ready smile for visitors.
“We’re questioning everyone in town about the party last Friday night. We don’t know who planned it, but it tragically ended with two of our friends missing. Maybe you saw or heard something that might help us?” asked Shana.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t help you with that. I went to bed early and heard only the storm outside.”
“What about the party this Friday night? I heard that Diane throws two parties each year on exactly the same dates. What goes on at her parties?” asked Linda.
“Diane’s parties are very innocent: there’s dancing and food; everyone gets a chance to get dressed up,” said Hank.
“Who are the strangers that are invited each year?” asked Shana.
“They’re not strangers, but Diane’s friends and business clients,” said Hank, beginning to sound annoyed with them.
“I guess we were misinformed,” said Linda. It didn’t look like they were going to get anything else from him. She looked around at the employees and noticed that all the mechanics had stopped working to glare at them. She could even see the salesmen watching them through the back window. The climate of the store had changed from a friendly workplace to an uncomfortable atmosphere full of distrust and suspicion.
Linda thanked Hank and hurried out of the store, pulling Shana along behind her. As soon as they returned to the coffee shop, Linda locked the door and slowly sank to the floor. Shana sat down beside her.
“I’m afraid that we’re never going to get a straight answer from anyone,” said Linda. “Even Sam and Todd are holding back vital information from us. I don’t want to have to leave this town.” Not when she was beginning to like Todd so much.
“We have to attend this party ourselves in order to find any answers. Hank wants us to believe that these parties only have food and dancing. He must think that we’re pretty stupid: any idiot could figure out from the last party that something evil is loose in town. Somehow, we must find a way to get invited to this party.”
Susanne Leist