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Kurkow Prison: Berkley Street Series Book 5

Kurkow Prison: Berkley Street Series Book 5

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War against time and the undead...

Shane, and Frank, two ghostblasting military vets, have a new job – the gruesome ghosts of Kurkow Prison. When one of the clueless new owners cuts the iron chains that keep the deadly ghosts locked inside the prison, the property becomes hell on earth! Shane and his brother-in-arms can’t believe the inherent stupidity of the new owners. Fools, Pete and Ollie, forge ahead, ignoring Shane’s warnings and unleash a spectral horde on Gaiman, New Hampshire!

Taking over the town, the undead kill everyone in sight. Shane and his comrades wonder why the ghosts are focused on Mulberry Street. As the battle rages on, the men discover the town is covered in a shroud of secrecy.

Hoping to stop an Armageddon, Shane and Frank wage war against time, a winter freeze and vengeful ghosts. It’ll take all their combined battle skills, supernatural experience and the courage to be as savage as their unholy enemies to save the few brave survivors waiting on a savior. As the truth about Mulberry Street unravels, Shane and crew unearth the deepest secret … which lies very, very close to home!

227 pages


Chapter 1: Kurkow Prison

“It’s a steal is what it is,” Pete said.

Ollie glanced at him. “How, exactly, is it a steal?”

“Come on!” Pete grinned as he stepped away from the sedan. “Look at it, Ollie!”

“I am,” Ollie said. “Damned thing looks like a money pit to me.”

“No!” Pete said. He spread his arms wide as if trying to encompass the entire structure. “Look, part of the beauty of the deal is that we don’t have to fix it all up.”

“What?” Ollie said, staring at his brother. “Pete, have you lost your mind? Honestly, what part of it looks like a good deal?”

Ollie left the car then went and stood by Pete. “I’m going to tell you what I see, okay? I see acres of lead paint. I see miles of asbestos-wrapped pipes. I see lakes of foul, nasty water. The place is a superfund site without any funds to clean it up. What the hell are you thinking? Do you want to open a bed and breakfast? A museum? For God’s sake, man, what the hell do you want to buy this for?”

“First,” Pete said, holding up a thin finger, “I want you to hold onto the bed and breakfast idea. Might be a great way to put a spin on it. And, second, don’t be mad, I already bought the place.”

Ollie turned his attention away from the prison and looked at his brother. He tried to speak, but the words refused to exit his mouth.

Pete took a step back, holding his hands up in front of him, palms out.

“Oliver,” Pete said, “they were practically giving it away.”

“What was the price?” Ollie hissed.

“Well,” Pete stammered.

“Price!” Ollie screamed.

“Two!” Pete yelled.

“‘Two’ what, Peter?”

Pete loosened the collar of his shirt. “Million.”

For the first time in his life, Ollie felt faint. He took a step back, trying to catch his breath. Pete reached out to help and Ollie snapped, “Don’t.”

“Okay.”

“You already signed the paperwork?” Ollie asked, exhaling slowly.

Pete nodded.

“How much did they want down?” Ollie grumbled.

“Twenty percent,” Pete said.

“Twenty percent,” Ollie repeated. “Twenty percent!”

Ollie straightened up and focused on the prison. The building was huge, stretching for two entire blocks. Three fences wrapped around the perimeter and each fence was topped with razor wire. Old guard towers were on each corner, and the prison was three stories tall. The windows, protected by heavy metal grating, were unbroken, and for that Ollie felt thankful.

He turned and glared at his brother. “You used my part of the inheritance.”

“I had to,” Pete said.

“Fine,” Ollie said. “Fine. We’ll make a go of this, whatever the hell it is you’re thinking about. But this is how it’s going to work. You, my dear, stupid brother, are going to be in there, with the crews, going through the place. My inspector is going with you.”

“What?” Pete said, crestfallen. “Gordy hates everything I do!”

“I don’t care,” Ollie snapped. “Gordy won’t try and hand me a polished turd and tell me it’s a diamond. He goes with you. He’ll make notes. He’ll tell me whether or not your little plan is feasible.”

“It’s a great plan,” Pete said, grinning. The grin vanished and was replaced with a somber expression. “You’ll see, Ollie.”

“I better,” Ollie said, “or you are going to be in for a world of hurt.”

Without waiting for his brother to reply, Ollie turned away from both Pete and the prison and walked back to the car. He sat down hard in the passenger’s seat and sent Gordy a text.

Ollie closed his eyes and tried not to think about the financial mess his brother had gotten them into. 

Chapter 2: An Honest Day’s Work

“What have you got going on today?” Frank asked.

Shane looked up at him, the morning light causing the milky portion of his right eye to glow. A fine stubble of light brown hair had started to grow on the former monk’s head, and the scars on his face stood out crisp and sharp.

Shane shook his head and shrugged. “I have absolutely no idea. I’ve taken a break from any translation work. The past couple of months have been a little too much, physically and mentally.”

Frank nodded, pulled out a chair and sat down at the table.

“Why?” Shane asked. “What’s up with you?”

“When I left the Order I reached out to a few friends of mine,” Frank said. “Told them I’m looking for any work. Not too much, my knees can’t handle it, but I’ll do some day labor.”

“Someone gave you a call?” Shane asked.

Frank nodded. “Guy I knew in high school. Ollie, he wants me to work on a crew that’s going to look at demoing the old Kurkow Prison.”

“Where the hell is that?” Shane leaned back in his chair, knocked the head off his cigarette and said, “I’ve never heard of the place.”

“Old prison, upstate, New Hampshire. It’s a little town called Gaiman, right along the Canadian border.” Frank said.

“That’s a long ride,” Shane said.

“Yup,” Frank said, grinning. “So, you feel up to a little honest, manual labor?”

“Hell no,” Shane replied. “But I’ll go anyway. I could use the work. Get out of the house for a bit. How much is your friend paying you?”

“He hasn’t told me yet,” Frank said. “But I think he wants me to babysit his brother Pete.”

“Hard to handle?” Shane asked.

Frank shook his head. “Impulsive.”

“Ah.” Shane stubbed out his cigarette and nodded. “Yeah. Alright. When do you want to leave?”

“Soon as you’re ready,” Frank answered.

Shane stood up. “I’m ready now.”

As Frank got to his feet and Shane turned to leave, Courtney appeared in the doorway. She shimmered in the pale light thrown by the overhead kitchen lamp, and she had an expression of concern on her dead face.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

Her voice sounded strange, almost too faint.

“I’m going out for a bit,” Shane said. He smiled at her. “Frank and I will be home soon enough.”

“Take me with you?” she asked.

Shane shook his head.

Courtney’s form solidified as she demanded, “Why?”

“I won’t risk losing you,” Shane said, his voice gentle but firm. “You are not a trinket for me to carry around and to lose.”

For a moment, Shane thought she might yell, but instead, she vanished.

When she did, Shane shook his head and led the way out of the house, pausing only for himself and Frank to grab their coats out of the hall closet. Once they were outside, Frank glanced over at him.

“What’s going on?” the former monk asked.

“Wish I knew,” Shane said. “Want to drive since you know the way?”

Frank nodded and caught the keys with one hand when Shane tossed them to him.

Shane felt sadness well up within him as he wiped the snow off his car on the passenger side. Frank did the same on the driver’s window. Shane brushed the snow off his hands, the flesh red from the cold, and felt his attention drawn back to the house.

Courtney stood in his bedroom window, her crooked neck glaring in the morning light. A harsh and bitter reminder of her death at the hands of Abel Latham.

“Hey,” Frank said, his tone gentle. “You alright?”

“No.” Shane sighed and got into the car. Frank climbed in, started the engine and closed the door.

“Want to talk about Courtney at all?” Frank asked.

Shane shook his head, closed his eyes, and tried not to think of the young woman who had given her life for him.

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