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Thursday, 9 November 2017

Book Blitz & Giveaway - The Sight of Demons by Darin C. Brown



The Sight of Demons
Author: Darin C. Brown
Genre / Keywords: Young Adult Loners and Outcasts, Superheroes, genetic engineering, auras, autism spectrum disorders, bullying, healing energy
Release Date: October 16th, 2017
Beaver's Pond Press

Book Description:
Hunter Miller sees demons. The terrifying shadows engulf him and everyone he knows—yet nobody else notices their presence.

Hunter can’t escape them, so he sets out to understand them. Why do they follow him? What are they trying to tell him?

In this first installment of the Master of Perceptions series, pre-teen Hunter discovers that every sensation the demons produce—whether it be sight, sound, texture, flavor, or smell—has a different meaning. And that by breaking this code, he just might be able to harness their power.

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EXCERPT

Prologue

The gigantic blue demon swims around me, engulfing my entire body with its long tentacles. Other demons of varying colors sparkle beyond, but the horrifying blue apparition occupies all my attention. I open my eyes, hoping the sights of the everyday world will make it go away, but it still slithers around me, unwilling to loosen its grip. In a panic, I jump back into the nothingness, certain I’m fortunate to escape with my life.

* * * * *

The world of the demons appears, and again I find myself in the clutches of the blue monster. The pungent smell makes me gag, and I am assaulted with harsh tones that amplify my fear. My own body parts are useless against these threats; the more I kick and scream, the more the crackling sounds and oppressive odors increase. Beyond, I feel more demons, grating against my skin and calling me with eerie voices. Words, with meanings I don’t understand, sound foreign above the din of the demons. I seek the place of nothingness, and with profound effort, I plummet into it.

* * * * *
Icy cold strikes my face—the world of the demons knows no mercy. Overhead, a warm yellow outlined in a gigantic mass of blue shimmers in the distance. More demons, surely, but they’re too far away to trap me. My feet move under my body, seemingly of their own volition. The blue demon encircles me, but for some reason, it lets me run. It’s toying with me. Or is this my chance for escape? I take conscious control of my own legs, and run as fast as I can, hoping to get away from the demon’s clutches. No matter how fast I go, the blue shadow glides easily, never once breaking contact. I head off onto uneven ground, feeling the other specters chasing behind, coming for me, trying to catch me. My anklebone snaps as I lose my balance and trip over something, and my face smashes into the rocky terrain. Blood-red demons erupt from the ground, grasping my leg and my face, producing an avalanche of stale odors, raucous noises, and pinprick sensations. Without control of my legs, I take the only pathway available; I fall back into the emptiness.

* * * * *

I awake to find the blue demon throttling me with its mere presence. While sitting at a table, I spot an object whose sharpened end catches my eye. A weapon. It lies just within reach, unguarded by demons. Although my ever-present companion bathes my arms and hands in its blueness, it doesn’t stop me from slowly moving my hands toward the item on the table. I can’t outrun the beast, but maybe I can kill it. The demon always seems to know what I’m thinking, so I’ll have to be very fast. With blinding speed I steal the pointed object off the table and thrust the tapered end through the demon’s tentacle, puncturing my own hand in the process. The demon shrieks, losing the blue color at the point of impact, but another, angrier, red-hot demon fills in the space, adding a painful peppery taste to the sensory assault. A purple demon engulfs me, calling out words laced with thrumming pulsations and a dank odor. Unable to withstand the three demons at once, I cascade into the oblivion beyond this world.

* * * * *

During every waking moment, I feel the blue demon. I can’t escape it. The purple one visits often too, but never alone. Another presence, not a demon, appears trapped by the purple hue, much as I am by the blue. The entity shrouded in purple brings warmth and calming sensations, and makes me wonder if the demons aren’t all out to harm me. Although I rarely stay in this world long enough to give them a chance, I know that with one brief constricting motion, they could. It is better to escape to emptiness than die of suffocation. Still, they haven’t managed to kill me so far, and I am getting bigger. Perhaps it’s time to find a way to defeat the demons.

I tried to eliminate the blue one by stabbing it, but that didn’t work. Instead of dying, it morphed into a more dangerous and frightening menace. What if cutting off its air supply would destroy it? It might be vulnerable through the air I breathe. If I could block off my nose and keep my mouth closed, it might die. Then I might be able to stay present in this world, rather than being continually forced to retreat into the nothingness. I need to be in control. If this doesn’t work, I don’t know what else to do. Today is the day.

Before the purple demon can react, I grab two small spherical objects and shove one up each of my nostrils. I clamp my mouth shut, making sure no air can get through.

“Hunter, NO!” yells the individual with the purple demon, and they both rush to protect the blue demon. They carry me, thrashing wildly, to the place where I always go after trying to destroy the demons. I lost again. The emptiness takes me without remorse.


1

Hunter

I keep my eyes closed, but it doesn’t help. They’re here. I still see the sparkling colors. My empty hands feel textures. I smell odors and taste flavors even though my mouth is empty. I can’t stop any of it. If I open my eyes, the sensations superimpose themselves on the sights all around me. The demons. They’re out to get me. But I never let them; as soon as they get close enough, I retreat inside myself, where they can’t follow. Safety awaits me in the emptiness, and I go there whenever the fear grips me. I visit this world—the one outside myself—infrequently, because the demons are always there, ready to pounce. They bombard me with their myriad of unwanted sensations. Falling off into my own private universe happens automatically.

* * * * *

Today I stayed in the world of the demons.

“Are you his mother?” asked the voice with the orange radiance seated behind the protective window.

“Yes,” the one with purple answered.

“Fill out these forms and wait over there.”

“Yes, certainly. Thank you.”

My mother emitted a harsh sound that made my skin tingle, spoiling the warm purple glow. The demon around me, mostly its normal cool blue, contained an additional spicy, blurry red splotch near my wrist, which hung at a strange angle in relationship to the arm above it. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t remember what happened or why it looked like that now. Thoughts of any kind barely registered amid the uproar of activity that attacked my senses.

The pandemonium only worsened when a woman dressed in loose-fitting pajamas approached.

She brought warm demons of white and orange. When she called, “Hunter Miller,” my mother responded with a wave.

We walked away from the dozen or so demon-infested people to another room, which made it slightly easier to think. The shock of surviving in this chaotic world so long rattled through me just like the demons themselves. I rarely lasted more than a few moments in this terrifying universe, and it felt like hours already.

The woman looked at me. “Hi, Hunter. How old are you?”

I didn’t look at her. I didn’t answer. I couldn’t speak.

“He’s nine,” my mother said.

“What brings you into the Emergency Department?” the woman asked as she turned toward my mother.

“Hunter is a special-needs child, and he fell off the bed, landing on his hand. Like this,” my mother said, as she held her arm out in front of her, miming a fall onto her outstretched hand.




About the Author
DARIN C. BROWN spent the last twenty years saving lives as an emergency medicine physician in New Hampshire and Maine. His master’s degree in biomedical engineering and PhD in biophysics helped him conceptualize Hunter’s astounding capabilities. When he’s not writing, he directs Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, including the biannual shows on the Conway Scenic Railroad. In addition to his varied academic interests, he competes at the national level in master’s track. He currently resides in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with his wife, Dr. Sandra Brown, and their many pets.

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