Lake Nutaq: Berkley Street Series Book 6
Lake Nutaq: Berkley Street Series Book 6
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Sinister whispers echo from Lake Nutaq...
Running from his own demons, Shane Ryan ends up in a cozy little cabin in New Hampshire waiting out a snowstorm. Despite the idyllic setting of ice frosted trees and snow covered lawns, Shane’s peaceful hideout is suddenly plunged into chaos. A Micmac ghost army, led by Broken Nose, goes on a rampage of torture and murder. Shane may be a ghostbusting expert, but without his fighting gear, his chances are slim in winning the battle against a supernatural horde.
With Shane missing, Frank knows deep in his gut that his friend is in trouble. He pulls out all the stops and enlists the help of The Englishman, a lunatic who has a passion for killing. They both head to the one place Shane might be – Lake Nutaq.
As the trio prepares for battle, Shane realizes it’s time to fight fire with fire, rage with rage and death with death! When they face Broken Nose, Shane sees the medicine man has commandeered an army of the dead to carry out his brutal blood killings. Frank and Shane live on the edge of danger but nothing could have prepared them for the malevolent evil unleashed to destroy them…
Chapter 1: The Darkness Comes In
Shane woke up panting, his hands shaking. He fumbled as he went to turn on the light, the lamp rocking on its base. Shane grabbed hold of it and held onto the cool metal, forcing himself to calm down.
He had nearly succeeded too, until she screamed.
Goosebumps erupted on his skin as he shivered. Another scream burst from within the walls, rising to a crescendo before being cut off.
A thin, disturbing silence filled his bedroom.
Shane swallowed; his mouth was dry. His heart hammered in his chest, and he hesitated before he turned on the table lamp. He blinked as harsh, bright light exploded in the room. It shined into all of the dark corners.
Courtney was not in his room.
But he knew her screams hadn’t been part of his nightmares, which revolved around his past.
God in heaven, Shane thought, letting out a shuddering breath. I can’t do this.
A knock sounded on his door, and Shane answered, “Come in.”
Carl passed through and stood in the room, lowering the temperature by several degrees.
“I’m sorry, my friend,” Carl said in German, “but there are times when we lose control of her. Her madness makes her quite strong. You could always bind her.”
Shane shot Carl a hard look. “I told you before, I’m not doing that. It’s bad enough that I have to keep her locked up in the house. I’m not going to bind her to some little lead box, or stuff her into a bag of salt.”
“Then I do not know what to do, my friend,” Carl said.
“I do,” Shane replied, getting off the bed. “I’m going out for a drive.”
“For how long?” Carl asked.
Shane shrugged. “Long as it takes, I guess.”
“As long as what takes?” Carl asked, frowning.
“To figure out what to do about Courtney,” Shane said. He sighed, shook his head, and walked to the bathroom.
Chapter 2: Lake Nutaq, New Hampshire
Clark Johansen pulled his van up to the chain which stretched across the mouth of Preston Road. He was surprised to see the barrier was still intact. More often than not, he found it cut, with the tracks of snowmobiles having pressed it down into the snow.
Clark put the van into ‘park’ and let it idle as he forced the door open, climbing out into the bitter cold. He cleared his throat, spat a glob of mucus out, and pulled his custodial keys from his pocket. After several long and miserable seconds, he found the key to the padlock.
It looked like Danny, the plow driver, had already been down Preston Road. Banks close to four feet in height flanked either side of the narrow road, and Clark hoped like hell Danny hadn’t forgotten to cover the padlock back up.
Clark sighed in relief as he saw the blue, weatherproof bag around the log. With his breath rushing out in white clouds, Clark bent over, undid the straps, and pulled the bag away. He fit the key into the lock, wrestled with it for a moment, and then grinned at the satisfying sound of the tumblers as they freed the latch.
Clark let the chain fall to the ground, pocketed the lock, and hurried back to the van. He climbed in, slammed the door behind him, and swore under his breath.
Too damn cold, he thought, pulling off his gloves. He turned up the heat and held his hands in front of the vents. As he let his fingers warm up, Clark looked out at the tall pine trees which grew up along both sides of the road. Snow clung to the branches, dull, gray clouds in the sky above them. The winter had been brutal so far, with harsh temperatures and more snowfall than in the past one hundred years.
While there was no prediction of snow in the forecast, that didn’t seem to mean anything.
Clark shifted the van into drive and headed down into the community. When it came down to it, he didn’t care one way or another about the weather. The Society paid him a decent wage over the off-season months and kept him busy during vacation time. None of the owners could be troubled to fix their own, everyday domestic problems.
Clark snickered and pulled up to the first cottage, the one owned by the Zettels. Clark knew they were well to-do dentists from Cambridge, down in Massachusetts. He remembered when they bought the place, after being approved by the Society of course, and they had brought in some interior decorator. From New York, no less.
He shook his head at the memory and wondered what else the doctors wasted their money on.
Clark nodded in approval at the plowing job. Danny had been a good hire. He took care of everything, same as Clark did.
Different for a kid his age, Clark thought, coming to a stop in front of the door. He put his bag down, opened it, and pulled out a pair of disposable booties.
The interior was warm. A sure sign that the electric heater was running properly. Clark whistled to himself as he moved through the cabin. He checked the main room, the kitchen, the bathroom, and the bedroom. Everything was in order. No broken windows. No sign of leaks or burst pipes. The taps ran, and the toilet flushed.
The wealth of the seasonal residents on Preston Road ensured that their power was always on.
Money makes the world go ‘round, Clark thought, nodding to himself.
He finished his walk through; made sure he hadn’t left any lights on, and left the house. The cold stung his face as he paused to take off the booties. Damn, it’s so God-awful cold!
Clutching his belongings, Clark hustled back to the van. He climbed in, shivering, and slammed the door behind him. Clark turned the heat up to high and thought, Twenty-four more houses, and the damned clubhouse.
He looked to the far end of Preston Road and saw the clubhouse, a squat, ugly structure sitting like a wart on the face of the lake. It seemed to glare at him, the curtainless windows malevolent in the shadow of the porch.
Clark straightened up.
The front door of the clubhouse was open. Wide open, as if someone had swung it inwards and stuffed a wedge into it.
Frowning, Clark shifted the van into drive and rolled towards the open door.
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