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Nightmare Abbey: Nightmare Series Book 1

Nightmare Abbey: Nightmare Series Book 1

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They were searching for ghosts. But what they found was much worse…

TV Producers Matt McKay and Ted Gould are looking for one thing… ghosts. As the creators of a popular paranormal investigation show, they’ve staked their reputation on the existence of the super-natural. But when they lead their camera crew deep into the cavernous interior of Malpas Abbey, they discover far more than they bargained for…

The Abbey’s infamous history is marred with bloodshed. With its corrupt walls resting upon a foundation of death and torment, the bleak, decrepit manor house has been avoided by locals for centuries.

As the unsuspecting crew ventures into the hell house, they are beset by one problem after another. Strange noises echo through the halls. Their equipment fails, and ominous shadows surround them. And they soon realize they are not alone in this sinister building.

Something else stalks the dark halls of the abbey. Something that feeds upon their worst nightmares. A force of evil, stronger and older than the devil himself.

And it hungers for fresh blood…

159 pages

"What is evil?" asked Lord George Blaisdell. "Seriously, you fellows - what is evil, truly?"

The two other men seated at the great dining table exchanged significant glances. They and their host had drunk a sufficient amount of port wine to remove all inhibitions, but not quite enough to hopelessly fuddle the brain. Fortunately, much of the alcohol had been mopped up by the feast the lord had laid out for them.

"Evil is surely the rejection of Christian principles?" suggested Donald Montrose, a young Scottish writer of satirical verses.

The two older men laughed.

I've made a fool of myself, thought Montrose. Well, it was inevitable. I should not have accepted an invitation from such a man. I wish I was back in London among my fellow hacks. But I need a wealthy patron, and they are not easy to come by.

"A very Presbyterian answer, "rumbled Blaisdell, raising his wine to Montrose in mock salute. "Your chapel-creeping, Bible-thumping Scotch ministers certainly spend a lot of time condemning sin. Especially sins of the flesh, eh? Never stop thinking about flesh, your average holy man."

The lord snapped his fingers and a serving girl came forward to refill his goblet. She was completely naked except for a generous layer of gold paint, as were the other two girls waiting at the table. At first, Donald had thought they were statues standing in alcoves along the walls of the great dining room. He tried to avert his eyes from the girl pouring wine for Blaisdell, but could not help glancing at her obvious charms. She smiled at him, and he felt himself blush hotly.

"Simple lust, fornication, or any of your so-called deadly sins," continued the lord, running his free hand along the breasts and thighs of the girl. "None of them are really more than animal desires, impulses shared by all living things. Evil? I think not. Off you go, Sukie!"

Blaisdell gave the girl a playful slap on the rear and she retreated to her alcove. The lord turned to his guests and slapped his palm on the table to win back their attention.

"No, my friends!" he declared."Evil is not merely a falling short, a failure to observe some code or other. It is an active force in the world, a darkness at least as powerful as that of light."

Donald was puzzled by the question, and disturbed.

"Do you mean to suggest, my lord," he asked, "that the revolution currently underway in France is an upsurge in this force you speak of?"

Blaisdell looked at the young man for a moment, then gave a dismissive snort.

"Peasants banding together to chop the heads off their betters? Pah! Such uprisings are nothing new. But you have a point, Donald. Because if this revolution spreads, brings chaos to the whole of Europe - well, perhaps that will prove me right. Darkness will indeed triumph."

"Stop dancing around the subject, George," said Sir Lionel Kilmain, the older of the two guests. "What do you mean by evil? Devil worship, perhaps, like that damn fool Wilkes and his friends of the Hellfire Club?"

The lord mulled this over, staring into the blazing coal fire for a moment before replying.

"You are right, Kilmain," he said finally. "Now may be the Devil's time. And yes, a few short years ago the Hellfire Club made great play of toasting the Prince of Darkness and such. It was claimed that the infernal dignitary did put in an appearance at one of their gatherings. But there is nothing new in such practices."

Silly talk, thought Donald. Perhaps designed to get a rise out of me.

"Surely," he began, battling the alcohol to choose his words with tact, "only the ignorant peasantry believes in a literal Devil these day? Old Nick with horns, cloven hooves, a stink of sulfur?

For a moment, Blaisdell looked as if he might take offense and Donald tensed. He had heard that the notoriously wayward lord sometimes had his serving men pitch annoying house guests into his ornamental fountain. But then Blaisdell's broad face relaxed into a grin.

"Scoff away, Donald," the lord said. "I, for one, would not be surprised if Old Nick did not put in an appearance this very evening."

Kilmain gave a half smile, pointed a pale, bony finger at his host.

"I suspect you have a surprise in store, my friend. But please, toy with us no longer."

Blaisdell stood up, swaying slightly, and rested his large, flabby hands on the table top.

"What if I were to tell you," he said slowly, "that the monks of the old abbey were in thrall to Satan? According to the locals, they made sacrifices. My tenants still whisper darkly about blood rituals. Chickens, lambs. And even, on occasion, an orphan child. All slaughtered in a solemn ritual on a pagan altar. An altar that my workmen discovered lately while draining an old, mill pond."

Nonsense, thought Donald, the man is merely showing off. But he felt an undeniable chill despite the roaring coal fire in the hearth.

"Nothing would surprise me about a bunch of Papists," observed Kilmain, who Montrose knew owned extensive lands in Ireland. "Superstition and shenanigans all the way with your Catholics, I've found - an absurd mix of the Christian and pagan. I've lost count of the number of times some old biddy has put the evil eye on me for turning her family out of their hovel. But what of it? The monks of Malpas were driven out in the days of Henry Vlll. And good riddance."

"Yes," agreed Blaisdell, "and my ancestors acquired their lands at a very fair price. But the altar they used for their unholy rituals still exists, as I say, although a little worse for wear. It is, in fact, the centerpiece of a little temple I have had built, dedicated to the gods of pleasure and debauchery."

Kilmain frowned.

"A temple? I saw no new buildings in your splendid grounds," he mused. "And no sign of building work in the abbey ruins. So this temple must be-"

"Underground!" exclaimed Montrose, then felt himself blush again.

"Quite right," said the lord. "Beneath our feet, in fact. Come, my friends, let us descend into the ancient cellars of long-defunct Malpas Abbey! I have been quite busy. See what you think of my - my very personal conception of an unholy temple."

Montrose, unused to wine of any sort, wobbled slightly as he followed his social superiors out of the room. As he left, he caught the eye of the brazen Sukie, who gave a distinctive wink as well as a smile. Montrose had a sudden, vivid image of her slipping into his bed that night. He shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts.

I must not have lustful thoughts, he told himself, and made an effort to recall his toothless grandmother eating porridge.

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