The End Is Nearer Than You Think!
Realistically, the end of me, you, or the entire world is always potentially the blink of an eye away. You just never know what the fates have in store. Isn’t that a pleasant way to start your day? I once studied with a Buddhist monk who taught me the most powerful meditation. In meditation, you can fixate on a breath or a singular thought – kind of like a mantra, something to center your mind.
The one he taught me was this – “I could die today.” We’d start by saying it out loud, getting quieter until it was an internal thought. The purpose was to realize how precious life was, and to savor each moment, not wasting it on endeavors and thoughts that would hinder our progress as human beings.
What if today is the day that turns your world upside down? What if everyone around you perishes, and you’re left alive, wondering what happened, why, and what the future holds? That’s the premise that started my summer release, TORTURES OF THE DAMNED. The release date is just 4 quick months away. With the world being what it is, the entire time I wrote it, I kept hoping it wasn’t a predictive tale.
To prepare you for Armageddon…I mean the book…I’ve posted an excerpt from the opening chapter. The events in the opening actually happened in my neck of the woods during the Christmas holiday in 2013. It scared the crap out of us, and no one buys the story the authorities gave us. You can click hear to read the ‘official’ story. Read on and prepare your survival kits…
boom. Boom! BOOM!
The trio of explosions ripped the biting, January night air in two. Daniel Padilla was dozing between commercials when the sky exploded. He bolted from his recliner, as did his wife, meeting in the middle of the living room.
“I think the furnace exploded,” Elizabeth shouted, balling her fists tight at her sides.
“We wouldn’t be standing here if it did,” Daniel shot back. A framed picture of the family at last summer’s picnic at Orchard Beach crashed to the floor, making them jump. That last explosion shook everything in the house.
Footsteps thumped above them. The kids ran down the stairs.
“Mom, Dad, did something just blow up?” Rey asked. His youngest brother, Miguel, clung to his leg.
Daniel motioned with his hands for them all to calm down. “I’m going to check outside. It sounded like a plane. Everyone just sit tight.”
Max, Gabriela and Miguel crowded around Elizabeth on the couch. Gabby’s cheeks were smeared with tears, her stuffed koala Cody tucked under her arm.
He ran to the closet and threw on the first coat he found. It was a track jacket that belonged to his middle son, Max. It was a size too big for Daniel but it would do.
“I’m coming with you,” Rey said, slipping into his sneakers that he kept by the front door. He must have been lying in bed listening to his iPod because his short, jet black hair was flattened on one side. His ear buds dangled around his neck.
There was no sense arguing. Rey was a senior in high school now. Some days he was more man than boy. “Okay,” Daniel said.
The frigid air stung his face and shocked his lungs when he opened the door. Lights were on in every house in the neighborhood. A good number of porches were filled with people searching the sky.
No one spoke.
There wasn’t a sound to be heard. Even the wind had stopped. Daniel didn’t feel the powdery snow around his bare feet.
He looked up and down the street and over the houses opposite them. With his high front porch, he had a clear sight line to the Bronx border. All he saw were stars blinking in a clear, black sky.
When Rey spoke, Daniel’s heart did a triple beat. “How come there aren’t any sirens?”
He was right. Whatever had happened sounded as if something massive had been blow to bits. The screech of police, fire engine and ambulance sirens should be echoing around them.
“I don’t know. Go inside and see if there’s anything on the news.”
It was still a half hour until the eleven o’clock news, but Daniel was sure this would be breaking news on the local channels.
Buck, his next door neighbor, was on his tiny porch dressed in full winter gear and wearing his cowboy hat. He was a solid guy in his early sixties with, as he himself claimed, a body made by good beer and medium rare steaks. “Holy shit, Dan. What the hell do you think that was?”
The silence was becoming more disturbing than the initial blasts. Daniel wiped a sweaty palm over his face. “I have no clue, Buck. I thought for sure it was another plane going down.”
They’d both worked in lower Manhattan on 9-11. Neither would ever forget the sounds those planes made when they hit the towers.
“I’m gonna call a friend of mine on the force,” Buck said. “I’ll come over and let you know what he says. In the meantime, you might want to put something on your feet.”
Daniel looked down at his snow-covered feet. The sight of lurking frostbite finally made him feel the cold. He shook each foot, flicking snowflakes, and went back into the house.
You can pre-order TORTURES OF THE DAMNED on Amazon today.
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Tags: armageddon, Dark Hunter Newsletter, fireworks explosion in the Bronx, horror, Hunter Shea, Pinnacle paperback for summer, post apocalyptic novels, summer book releases, suspense, terror, Tortures of the Damned
About Hunter SheaHunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. You’ll also find him every week on the Final Guys podcast, available everywhere. He’s a bestselling author of over 30 books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.
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Ohhhhh……. I’m going to share this on my FB author page and Twitter, Hunter. 🙂 I’m sure you won’t mind. Then, off to place a pre-order, me thinks! 🙂
Share away! Thank you for spreading the end of the world word! 🙂
Suspenseful. An excellent opening!
I am excited about this one! Great opening, Hunter. I hope to live long enough to read TORTURES OF THE DAMNED!!
Have a great idea for a sci-fi/horror story. Based on current recruiting for Mars trip volunteers who have to be in perfect health. Come into contact with a pathogen that zombies them out. The pathogen however cures disabilities and disease. Sincr the pathogen had nothing to remedy on the resifents with perfect health, it attacks them. The colony of the elite on a distant planet are tearing themselves apart. Their salvation lies back on earth with the sickly left behind. Etc etc. Set in the future some 20+ years, I think the flash backs to now would be an interesting concept. Don’t tell me the check’s in the mail…lol Mike
Happy Connecting. Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S® 5
Hey Hunter, so glad to see you back! Thanks for the little peak on your up and coming monster of a book, can’t wait to read it, I got per-ordered, See you soon!
Thank you so much! It’s a real humdinger of a book. 🙂