The Home for Halloween Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter to win your choice of a Kindle Fire, Nook HD, or Kobo Glo, as well as signed books and audiobooks in the Home for Halloween giveaway from author Scott Nicholson.

The giveaway celebrates the launch of paranormal thriller The Home. Experiments at a group home for troubled children lead to paranormal activity—and the ghosts are from the home’s dark past as an insane asylum. In development as a feature, it’s available in ebook at Amazon US, Amazon UK, BN.com, Kobo, and Smashwords.


By Scott Nicholson

(From Chapter 13)

“We’re waiting, Freeman.”

“No, I don’t want to talk about it.” Bad enough for one brain drainer to pick at your skull, but when you were double-teamed—

“Freeman, this is Robert Brooks. I’m a friend.”

Yet another voice. Another “friend.” This was turning into a joke. Shrunken by committee. Did these clowns honestly think they were going to catch Freeman off-guard, grill him as if they were TV cops, keep hitting him with new lines of questioning until his spirit broke?

“How can you be a friend if I’ve never met you before?” he asked.

“We’re here to help,” said Brooks.

A brief argument flared in the background as Brooks forgot to switch off the microphone. Bondurant was telling somebody that Freeman was a kleptomaniac who should have his fingers held over the flames of hell. Freeman wanted to triptrap him again, to experience the weak and foggy misery of the man’s soul. Except depression was taking its toll, the elevator bottoming out, and his sarcasm and willpower failed.

The first voice to question him said, “Freeman, I’m Dr. Kracowski. We’ve arranged a little demonstration for a couple of our supporters. All you have to do is relax.”

Relax. Freeman took a breath that tasted of mint ice.

“What I’m going to do will only hurt for a moment, and then you’re going to feel better,” said the faceless Kracowski. “Your depression will fade and you’ll feel elated and energetic.”

“How did you know I was depressed?”

“Because I’m trained to observe, Freeman. Because I listen. Because I care.”

“What’s this business about it only hurting for a moment?”

If there was any answer, he didn’t hear, because—zzzzifff—his ears clanged and orange light streaked behind his eyes. The bones of his head tumbled like gravel in a clothes dryer. Hot wires jabbed into his spine and his intestines tangled into knots. A scream came from somewhere. Blood was sweet in his mouth.

This was as bad as anything Dad had ever done.

Freeman stared at his reflection, scarcely able to recognize the boy in the mirror: the pain had written ugly years on his face, peeled back his lips, caused his head to tremble and his jaws to clench. Worse, he found himself unable to read his own mind. He fought for breath and waited for the wave of agony to crest.

For the briefest of moments, his reflection had that same stretched grin that Dad had worn just before ordering Freeman to visit his mother in the bathroom.

Like father, like son.

Pacino in “The Devil’s Advocate.”

Eastwood in “High Plains Drifter.”

De Niro in “Cape Fear.”

It was the kind of grin that killed.

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