On a dare,
I came here.
Into a deserted house, I go.
I can’t see if there’s friend or foe.
Windows too dirty to see through the casement.
I’m taking the creaky steps to the basement.
Three empty coffins are in the light.
My heart almost stopped beating from fright.
This is much too creepy for me.
I hope one isn’t meant for me.
Unfortunately, the door was locked.
My only way out has been blocked.
Shadows are moving toward me from the rear.
Their elongated faces show no fear.
I believe I have well-played my last game.
The evil winner could have all the fame.
Steps lead to the basement of End House.
The door locks behind you.
There’s no way out.
Water fills up to your knees.
Metal cages descend.
Sharp edges extend to catch
their next victim.
You dodge the cages.
Circular saws sweep through the water.
The far wall holds three closed doors.
What lies behind these doors?
Read THE DEAD GAME to find out.
The door beckons.
Into the darkness.
Into the quiet.
We step inside.
It locks behind us.
The silence envelopes us.
It carries us to our destination.
To the dark chambers.
Beneath the house.
Where our fate awaits us.
THE DEAD GAME
Author Showcase – Susanne Leist
THE DEAD GAME
A TOWN ON THE EDGE
Look through the palm trees.
Past the sanded beaches.
Beyond the swimming pools.
And you will see the truth.
Hear the raging winds.
Feel the spray of the tall waves.
Taste the salt in the air.
And you will know Oasis, Florida.
For what it really is.
A town living on the edge.
In fear of the nights.
Of the dark shadows.
LOST IN END HOUSE
Do you love mazes?
Being lost in the dark.
Searching for an exit.
Only to find more hallways.
What if a house was a maze?
Guests trapped inside.
Searching for doors.
Doors leading to more horrors.
Welcome to End House
and The Dead Game.
~~ EXCERPT ~~
Linda was passing the empty tables by the tall windows when she felt her arm being tugged—very hard. Before she could react, she found herself being forcibly dragged through the open patio doors and onto the isolated garden path. She came face to face with the mighty Wolf and his trusted companion, Hayden. The grounds were deserted. Everyone had left the gardens, and she was all alone with the two evil vampires.
Wolf glared at Hayden. “Please let go of her arm; we are not animals. We never force ourselves on women.”
“Chivalry among demons—I’m very impressed. Too bad your table manners and choice of dishes leave a lot to be desired,” Linda said. Her hatred of Wolf had just caused her to forget her low position in the food chain; she closed her mouth to stop herself from talking. In the future, she must remember that he was a vampire—the strongest one in the world—and that he could destroy her at any time.
Wolf didn’t seem the least bit focused on her. “I didn’t come here to play parlor games with you. I need you to convince Todd to join us. He can never be human or will ever be accepted by them. He belongs to us. He must 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. He must join with us.”
“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,” Hayden said, grabbing hold of her arm again.
Oops, she did it again. Her big mouth had now sealed her fate. She had to learn how to be more assertive without getting herself into trouble.
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 unlimited 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. She only wanted to be with him.
“I’ll be back for you.” Wolf held her tight against his body and whispered 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 her body. She was stuck in some kind of trance…she couldn’t leave; didn’t want to go if given a choice. His voice soothed her and made her think of love, passion, and great need: a need that could be satisfied only by him with his expert hands and mouth. She knew that one day she was going to be with him, to be joined with him.
He lowered his mouth to hers and drew her into a swirling haze of unexpected feelings and desires. His mouth 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. 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 arms, and 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. Todd’s eyes cleared and returned to their original dark color. Then he looked 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 body at Wolf, causing Wolf to lose his balance, and they crashed together to the ground. Wolf pushed Todd aside and stood back up. He lunged at Todd, who sidestepped his maneuver. Todd retaliated by lifting him high up in the air and flinging him through one of the glass doors to the house. Wolf rose up and dusted glass off his clothing.
He said to 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.” Wolf stalked away with Hayden following close behind. Todd quickly followed.
Linda was left standing alone outside. She felt bereft without the touch of Wolf’s lips on hers and the solid strength of his arms holding her. Linda had felt the unmistakable pull of him on all her senses. In his arms, she’d felt weak and needy—as if she needed him to live. Todd and Wolf were extremely powerful, and both had taken hold of her senses.
TO BE AN AUTHOR
If I had known it was going to be so hard,
involving computer skills to the extreme,
I might have thought twice about it,
thought twice about writing my book.
Writers must write each and every day.
We must promote our books daily.
We must post on our blogs.
But there are not enough hours in a day.
How do other writers accomplish all this?
How do they leave free time for their families?
They must be expert jugglers.
Experts at writing, blogging, and juggling.
I must learn this dance,
this high-wire walk,
this never-ending battle.
I must learn to juggle.
I will do it.
I will do it all.
Just give me a chance.
Book two is being written.
I feel free.
I feel empowered.
I will survive.
James Patterson, eat my dust.
WELCOME TO THE PARTY
Candles along the stairs,
Keepers of the dark night.
We’ve come for the party
With no one else in sight.
More candles down the hall,
Their eerie lights flicker.
Empty rooms greet us as
We begin to bicker.
The basement door stands open.
We argue and make a fuss.
We agree to take the stairs
As the door slams behind us.
THE DEAD GAME has begun.
WHO SITS THERE?
Who sits there in the darkness?
No movement in the blackness.
As still as a fox waiting to pounce.
No hint of a ruffle or a flounce.
A soft sigh can be heard in the air.
Are those slithering snakes in her hair?
Shadows coast along with the circling dust.
The walls trickle with blood or maybe rust.
The ghostly form stands up to meet us.
She can be the hostess to greet us.
A deserted house this seems to be.
She hovers over us like a tree.
We stand alone in this bleak hall.
There won’t be dancing at this ball.
All the candles go dark.
This was a silly lark.
Time to leave this creepy place.
We must quicken our slow pace.
But since this is a horror story.
We won’t be leaving soon with glory.
The house sits alone.
Night after night.
Ghosts in its walls.
Demons below its floors.
It waits for the night.
When the moon bleeds red.
Nature becomes silent.
And shadows walk tall.
Lights shine through its windows.
Sounds creep up from its basement.
We’ve come to play.
In The Dead of night.
THE DEAD GAME
The staircase gives way.
Linda slides into its deadly grasp.
A tunnel envelopes her.
Hands reach out for her.
Will I reach the bottom?
Is there even a bottom to this madness?
Who lives beneath End House?
Will I become one of them?
Into the unyielding darkness
Comes the cry, “Stop!”
Linda looks up to find Todd and Shana,
Clinging to the rocky walls.
The staircase reappears.
They climb to the front door.
Linda pulls on the handle.
It won’t budge.
“Open!” echoes in the hallway.
At Todd’s command,
The door opens for them.
The house pushes them out,
Slamming the door behind them.
Too terrified to glance back at Todd,
Linda races ahead to the car.
I can’t believe I was actually
Falling for him.
Linda’s problems have just begun.
THE DEAD GAME
I open my eyes
and to my surprise,
I’m at a carnival.
I’m chased into a tent.
My reflections surround me
on all sides.
I touch a mirror.
My hand flows through,
my body soon follows.
I’m in a dark basement.
The floor begins to turn.
I hear laughter,