Read the Prologue!

Hey everyone.

So in preperation of the launch next month, as well as writing as much as possible to perfect the final draft, I've decided to share the teasing prologue of the novel.



The feedback I have received for the prologue has been overwhelmingly positive. I couldn't be happier and more proud of the final product. The prologue is probably one of the fully-finished chapters of the novel. I have proof-read it hundreds of times and my friend and editor Lisa Davison has also commented that she thought the prologue was brilliant and really draws the reader in. Thanks for that Lisa!

Without further delay, here is the opening chapter of the novel, completely free to read. Thanks a lot for reading, as always, I really appreciate it.






Prologue
A Nightmare on Meadow Falls



In Lakefield View, everybody has a secret. Behind every smile lies a dark story. Behind every hello is a hidden goodbye. There are many legends about this town. The stories began when the town was first founded one thousand years ago. One particular urban legend is that once you leave the town and return, you’re doomed to die. In fact, just stepping foot in Lakefield View is enough to curse a soul to a promised home in the ground. Why? There is a monster. It cloaks itself with a human identity. There are many monsters that live in the shadows, but only one is solely responsible for the fate of this abyssal sanctuary.
Lakefield View was a quiet, peaceful town until quite recently. The moon descends a haunting glow on the spacious town that is locked in by miles and miles of evocative trees. Not many people find themselves on the deserted streets at such a late hour. Rumour has it that many people have been killed whilst walking alone through one of these countless neighbourhoods. Rumour also has it that the people in the houses just watch from their windows when such murder occurs. Why should they help? They’d only be put in danger.
A sly fog rolled into the town like a flood from the forest, completely embedding the ground, hiding the pavements and roads from naked eyes. The graveyard boasted with pride at the amount of tombstones that lay undisturbed on this cold October night. The man who cares for the cemetery snuck away to his hiding place within the church, knowing that evil will once again strike the town like it has done for hundreds and hundreds of years.
Meadow Falls is one of the few neighbourhoods that does not share the town’s reputation. With gorgeous houses lining the street, the residents milk the opportunity to brag about their homes. Not all of the people who live there are smug and condescending, but the majority have a death wish. They should know better than to make other people jealous. If the wrong person gets jealous, they will take extreme measures to make sure said person gets what they want. It’s that kind of town, every man, woman, child, killer, witch and monster for themselves.
The moon had hit its peak when a woman began screaming. Her desperate running through the fog-filled streets from a person with a raincoat on and a hood to darken their face from view are futile. Women look from their houses to catch a glimpse of the latest casualty in the never-ending horror movie that is Lakefield View. The screaming girl sees them and shouts, but never do they respond. They keep watching, waiting for this girl to be put out of her misery.
They recognized her too. Her name is Stacey Hawkins, one of the four daughters of the richest man in Lakefield View. She left town a couple of weeks ago in search of her mother. Judging by her frantic screaming and the cloaked figure chasing her, she’d returned. Stacey knew the stories of how useless the people in these streets were. She knew better than to run to their houses and ask them to let her in. She knew better than to stop and ask for help.
Stacey ran towards Meadow Falls which lay only a couple of streets away. In Meadow Falls rests one of the best cafés in town. The Pandora Café, the place where five youths work for a living. Five youths who haven’t known each other very long but have a past that entwines. Stacey is going to set in motion the catalyst of an event that will forever change their lives. Tonight is the night they never wanted to happen; a horrifying presence lingers in the frozen air.
 The Pandora Café looks astonishing. For a town that looks terrifying from first glance, the Pandora Café was blessed to be so attractive. Surrounding the small building was a fake moat filled with crystal blue water and lights that illuminated the beauty of it all. The grass around the moat was pristine and thinly shaven. The wooden bridge that safely led customers inside was the cherry on top of a sickening change to the dreary appearance of the rest of the town. Everyone wanted to live in Meadow Falls and this is why.
The interior was even better. Lights on the ceiling hung down like little beaming fireflies, adding a glow to what could be a restaurant in the middle of a jungle. Exotic plants and wooden furniture consume the place, leaving the customers and staff satisfied with seeing such a gorgeous sight. Yes, the café looks perfect inside and out, but like everything else in Lakefield View, it has more than its fair share of secrets.
Despite the locked screams of victims past ringing in Stacey’s ears, she remained headed in the one direction. She wouldn’t dare turn around now; the sounds of the killer’s footsteps were getting alarmingly close. Her five foot six body was obviously slower than the killer’s tall figure who was gaining on her with every step. As she turned a corner she forced a memory to replay in her head. A memory of a moment she realised will be the ultimate reason for her oncoming death.
It was Christmas Eve. An eight-year-old Stacey sat with her younger sister in the living room watching a festive film drinking hot chocolate and eating freshly baked cookies. Their mother walked into the room and stopped in front of the television before kneeling down to their level. “Mommy has to go see Santa Clause now, I love you both so much, I hope you both know that.”
She was so beautiful and looked a lot younger than her actual age. Her younger sister was a mirror image of her mother. She gave her two daughters a kiss on the head and then straightened herself back up. Stacey could see the tears in her eyes. She could sense something was wrong but didn’t want to alarm her four-year-old baby sister. She had no idea that it would be the last time she would ever lay eyes upon her mother. She was declared missing on Boxing Day and was never found, alive or dead.
Stacey had heard the stories of leaving Lakefield View. She knew what would happen should someone leave and return, but she had to go. Two weeks ago she found a letter hidden in her father’s office written by her mother and addressed to her daughters to read. In the letter she revealed she was going to a hidden place outside of Lakefield View due to the threat their father made after she witnessed him kill his mistress. Stacey was so shocked and sickened by the letter she kept it from her sisters, deciding instead to investigate it herself. She could never begin to describe what she found out.
Stacey turned another corner. She could hear the assassin’s footsteps behind her getting quieter. Her heart quickened when she saw the Pandora Café. Hope spread like a virus in her heart. She could see her younger sister standing up from a table. She was always so proud of her baby sister. She wanted to talk to her again. She wanted to make sure everything was alright. She wanted desperately to stay alive for her.
Meadow Falls was otherwise empty. Stacey didn’t pass any bystanders or houses with lights on. The only evidence of life came from the café that currently housed various people she could recognise. That wasn’t a good thing. Stacey knew things now and she had to tell her sister, she had to know if she wanted to stay alive too.
Stacey encountered a sudden boost in her final lap. She was close to the finishing line; her sanctuary was almost in her grasp. She could smell the fresh pasta originating from the café. She could feel the warm air escaping from the nooks and crannies. She could taste her victory.
She passed the final car before she made the final turn onto the path directly in front of the café. She sprinted down the wooden bridge, thudding along it without a second thought and arrived at the door. She grabbed the handle.
Click. She saw the lock turn from inside without anybody turning it. She was locked out.
“No!” Stacey screamed. Her hands automatically banged on the glass of the window, drawing the attention of everyone inside. “Help! Somebody let me in, help me!” Her breathing had become frantic making her screams for help barely understandable to the people inside through the thick glass. She continued banging so hard she could feel the pain in her hands tenfold. She could hear the same thudding on the bridge she heard when she crossed.
The people inside didn’t have time to reach the door. Stacey didn’t have time to turn before she felt the blade plunge deeply into her back. Stacey lost her breath. The pain was indescribable. It felt like the knife had gone right through her and she could only breathe in. Her hands clawed at the door as she lost all of her strength. She could see her sister’s beautiful face morphing into horror. It was the worst sight Stacey had ever seen in her life. Her sister was watching her die.
The killer slowly removed the knife from her back then stabbed her again, and again, and again. Stacey couldn’t do anything. She felt paralyzed as her windpipe flooded with blood. She opened her mouth and let the blood pour, spitting some of it out onto the glass of the door.
She could see her sister trying to open the lock on the door as everyone inside was looking right at her, gasping and silent. At least Stacey thought they were silent. She could see her sister’s lips move. She looked hysterical but Stacey couldn’t hear a word she was saying. She couldn’t hear the knife plunging into her back anymore. The feeling was starting to go. She couldn’t even feel her killer grabbing her hair and moving her back slightly.
With brutal force, Stacey's killer pushed her forward. The glass shattered as Stacey went headfirst through the impossibly dense door. The chaos was all a blur now to Stacey as she was finally reunited with her sister, just in time for her eyes to close forever.