Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One Dark Halloween Night by John Kohlbrenner: Spotlight and Excerpt

“The ultimate Halloween adventure.” – Professor Grimmgraves.

From a distance, the town of Autumnville never seemed quite right – the area being picturesque while at the same time haunting. It was a quiet, peaceful place to live, but there was a strange feeling that permeated the town and its people as Halloween approached. An eerie feeling that descended upon Autumnville, and no one knew why… until now.

Jason Myers, a 12-year-old boy who enjoyed all things monsters, discovers through a mysterious Halloween blog that monsters may be very real. On the blog is a video of a witch flying on a broom sighting. While showing it to his three best friends, they come to the horrible realization that it was filmed in the very town they live in.

The four friends will have to face a host of ghosts, witches, scarecrows, and other terrifying nightmares that have invaded Autumnville for a dark and sinister purpose. The boys will have many terrifying encounters and ultimately uncover the real secret behind Halloween. But Jason is not completely helpless, for he has the unwanted aid of a monstrous ally, and of course, Jason’s own incredible secret!

It was at one o’clock in the morning when Jason’s nightmare began. Starting with him sitting in class, his classmates all around him, he felt that something was not right. Turning to look at the teacher, Jason saw that a skeleton stood in the front of the classroom and was lecturing. No words came out of its bony jaw, just the clack, clack, clack of the skull’s bare teeth gnashing together. Reaching up the skeleton removed its head and held it out for the whole class to observe. Jason almost fell out of his seat as he saw now the rest of his classmates had become skeletons too. Imitating the teacher, they also removed their skulls for examination. Then Jason felt his own hands reach up to grasp his head, pulling it off his neck he turned it to face his body and saw that he was a skeleton too.
With a cry Jason woke up gasping from the anxiety caused by the nightmare. Glancing around his dark bedroom he saw it was dark and empty, no skeleton classmates here. As he sat up on his bed Jason noticed something was wrong with the bed sheet. He normally had a black and orange comforter on the top, now a white blanket covered him. Reaching over to touch it, he snapped his hand back having felt an icy coldness that radiated from the sheet. In response to Jason’s touch the sheet began to slowly rise. A man shape form rose from under the white sheet and where the head was two black circles opened and stared down at him. They were the dead eyes of a ghost. Bending down toward him, those dark circles enveloped Jason, and he tumbled into darkness, falling into a black void.
At first his only sensation was the open air around him as he fell and fell. Then just as suddenly he felt something wooden in his hands, his body then landed on what seemed to be a pole, it was actually a broom. Wrapping his arms and legs around the broom stick, Jason noticed his downward motion slow to a stop and now he was moving forward now. A cackle issued from behind him and the young boy slowly turned his head to face a hideous old witch. Her wart covered face had a large crooked nose and chin that looked like a half moon face. Grayish-white hair poked out of her long black pointy hat. Her pale, white face glowed framing her dark clothing, standing out in the night sky. Trying to scream, Jason heard nothing coming out of his throat for it was frozen. The witch continued to cackle as she pointed down below her with a long bony finger. Jason, observing what was beneath him, quickly regretted it.
Below them was a dark sinister city. Odd-shaped grayish-white skyscrapers reached out toward them, lit by odd colored lights, creating a spectral cityscape. This grim city stretched for miles in all directions forming a nightmarish mountain range of structures. Feeding on Jason’s dread, the witch banked her broom downward, and as they approached the buildings Jason saw that they were actually made up of great piles of round white objects. Moving closer he realized that those round objects were actually skulls, great mounds of them, forming a whole city of bones. Jason felt his body tremble as they drew nearer and nearer to the city. The broom skirted the top of a particularly tall building and Jason noticed movement, the mound of skulls turned to follow the broom’s flight, clacking their bony jaws in anticipation. Suddenly banking to the left and accelerating, the witch raced her broom past the dead city and out over what looked like the suburbs.
Now these suburbs were not built of bones, but of old rotting wood. Large groups of ancient crumbling structures lined along a maze of streets. It was a neighborhood of haunted houses below him and as they passed by he could see monsters exiting the homes. It was a suburbia of horrors. A nightmarish version of the American dream, could this be real?
The witch having shown Jason enough of her neighborhood turned the broom upwards, toward what looked like a dim, full moon. There was definitely something wrong with it, its shape not quite a circle. It was too wide, its top and bottom too flat, and it glowed with a sickly orange color. Approaching the moon, a great triangle shaped eye opened and then another. Jason, horrified, cried out as a huge misshaped mouth cracked wide open with a dead greenish light burning inside. It wasn’t a moon! No, it was a great monstrous pumpkin in the sky, shining down its malevolence to the horrible world below. Toward the light they flew until Jason had to cover his eyes with his hands, blocking out the brightness of the dead light.

Born in Blytheville Arkansas, but living there was not to be. Ended up growing up in Buffalo and Denver you see. Went to the University of Colorado and got a film and English degree. Then moved to Los Angeles to work in the movie industry. Was a sound FX editor for eight years, but that was not for me. Raised my daughter at home, lovingly doing it for free. Now it’s time to start a new career, this being number three. I’ve become a writer, so buy my book, if you hear my plea. It’s an exciting and scary novel, I’m sure you would agree. I hope you like my life rhyme and not found it too goofy.  
YouTube (the book's trailer): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM68jMg0WJU&feature=c4-overview&list=UUSWUAwjXtpMYPz7IsGmf1sA


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