Deranged Souls: Haunted Village Series Book 9
Deranged Souls: Haunted Village Series Book 9
Deranged Souls: Haunted Village Series Book 9
Deranged Souls: Haunted Village Series Book 9
Deranged Souls: Haunted Village Series Book 9
Deranged Souls: Haunted Village Series Book 9

Deranged Souls: Haunted Village Series Book 9

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Every experiment must come to an end…

Marcus Holt is Subject B, a Vietnam veteran forced to run the gauntlet of Professor Abel Worthe’s sadistic study of terror. But the professor’s brutal experiment is finally coming to an end. And Worthe has saved his deadliest surprise for last.

Still injured from his battles against the supernatural, Marcus struggles to keep his team together. As they desperately try to escape from Worthe's horrifying village, a new structure appears in the twisted landscape. A simple little house that Marcus knows all too well…

As the wounded soldier confronts a ghost from his past, another subject finds himself consumed by his growing paranormal abilities. Now able to force the dead to do his bidding, his terrifying power may be the key to escaping the haunted village once and for all. But it just might shatter his soul in the process.

The final battle draws near, as enemies and allies both converge on the village’s walls. Marcus must overcome crippling pain and fear, to fight harder than he ever thought possible. But will courage be enough to beat the professor at his own sinister game?

Or will the subjects finally join the tortured souls that haunt Worthe’s village?

PUBLICATION DATE August 22, 2019


Chapter 20: Smarter

The patrol moved cautiously through the snow, their weapons ready and each member of the three-man team acutely aware of the dangers present. They all knew what could happen. They had watched the footage and witnessed the damage firsthand.

Their formation was tight, a triangular pattern that allowed for maximum fire and support. They were in an open area, moving through the center between the watchtowers and the fencing of the Village. All three men knew of the Natives, just as they knew of the dead woman in the new house. While the Indians were bad, the woman was worse.

“I’m telling you,” Lance said, “she’s smarter than Armand’s giving her credit for.”

“Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut,” Mitchell snapped.

“You shut it,” Lance barked back.

“Hey,” Grant said, interrupting them, “I’ve had enough from both of you. Mouths shut. Eyes on sectors.”

The two other members of the team grumbled their assent, and once more silence descended over them. On the right, the protruding section of the fence where the dead woman lived in her small house appeared.

“Tighten it up,” Grant ordered. Neither Lance nor Mitchell argued as they complied with the command. Tension sprouted between the three of them, all eyes on the house. They kept an even pace, following the well-worn tracks of previous patrols.

The three of them were parallel to the house when Lance yelled, “Contact!”

His shotgun roared a moment later, then Grant and Mitchell were firing as well. Indians sprang up out of the snow, screaming and charging, driving them back.

In the distance, Grant heard the reassuring sound of rifle fire followed by the sudden vanishing of a pair of Indians. But there were more than he could count. Grant tried to lead his men out of the attack, but the dead flanked them on three sides. Row upon row of them, pushing the patrol toward the fence. Grant risked a look at the wrought iron fence. The dead woman was nowhere in sight.

Hell, they’re going to put us up against the fence and butcher us, Grant thought, anger flaring up. He fired off a pair of shots and heard the horrific sound of the hammer falling on an empty chamber. Grant dropped his hand down for his sidearm, but the crack of a musket sent him sprawling backward. He tripped over Mitchell and fell to the snow. Swearing, Grant tried to stand up, but one of the Natives charged him. Even as the dead man struck his chest, the Indian vanished, but not before the force of his blow sent Grant onto his back again.

A howl of glee went up from the throats of the dead men, and they charged the patrol.

Battered and beaten, Grant was driven into the fence along with Mitchell and Lance. Repeatedly, the dead slammed into them. Lance crumbled and collapsed to the ground, a large crack visible in the back of his helmet. Mitchell tried to run but was struck by several Indians at once. The combined blow was powerful enough to launch the man into the air, and Grant was horrified to see Mitchell land on two of the fence’s spikes. They protruded from his chest, and the man let out gasping screams as he desperately tried to free himself.

Fear attacked Grant with as much ferocity as the dead men, but he did his best to ignore it. He fired his pistol until it was empty, and as he reached for a fresh magazine, the dead men renewed their focused assault on him. His head slammed against the wrought iron fence, and he felt the blow through the helmet seconds before the snap let go and the helmet was knocked off of his head. Grant tried, in vain, to get to his feet.

Suddenly, he was breathing cold, fresh air, and spitting blood into the white snow. He looked around and saw the dead had backed off. They were silent and staring at him. Grant heard the sound of a voice and realized it came from his helmet, which was several feet away. He squinted and tried to understand what was being said, yet the only word he caught was helmet.

Yeah, he thought bitterly, sitting back and resting against the fence. I know it’s a damned helmet. Why are they saying it’s a helmet?

He chuckled and was suddenly aware that his head was spinning. There was no easy way to comprehend his situation. Everything seemed wrong. Lance was on the ground, not moving. Mitchell was on top of the fence, iron spikes protruding from his chest.

Stupid, Grant thought. Every part of this job is stupid. We ought to just go home and count our losses. Hell, who knows, maybe this idiot professor paid upfront.

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