Nightmare Valley: Nightmare Series Book 2
Nightmare Valley: Nightmare Series Book 2
Nightmare Valley: Nightmare Series Book 2
Nightmare Valley: Nightmare Series Book 2

Nightmare Valley: Nightmare Series Book 2

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Soulless eyes of children stare into yours, opening the gateway to hell…

Months have passed since the Malpas Massacre, and the media is in the midst of a feeding frenzy. Reporters and law enforcement are certain the murders can be traced to a cold-blooded serial killer. But those who have survived the carnage know the truth all too well. As the victims become suspects, they find themselves in a race against time to clear their names.

Meanwhile, the peaceful town of Machen is hiding secrets darker than the eerie forest surrounding it. Vulnerable and wide-eyed children roam, pleading for help. Yet, behind their innocent façade lies a resurrected evil with an insatiable thirst for blood.

Led by Doctor Zoffany and Ted Gould, the Romola Foundation won’t let that happen. They’re certain that their extensive tests on Machen’s supernatural forces will lead them to much needed answers. At the heart of it all is Denny Purcell, who slowly discovers that her intuition is more powerful than she could have ever imagined.

As the night fills with predators, the mists of Machen lift to unveil hideous truths about its past. The whole town is on edge, and residents must face the violent souls that crave death and destruction.

The quiet town will quickly learn that some secrets are better left untold…




Chapter 5: Dead Man’s Diary

After Wakefield’s rebuff, Denny wandered back into the center of Machen. The town had woken up and the small main street was busy. She asked someone if they knew the way to the Copper Kettle and was directed up a side street. The small teashop was already half-full of people she assumed were tourists. She took a seat, checked the menu, and ordered a pot of tea along with something called an Eccles cake, simply to discover what it might be.

While she waited for the tea to materialize, she took out her cell and looked up ‘Church of St David, Machen, mural’. The search results startled her. Among the words associated with the mural were ‘Satanic’, ‘un-Christian’, ‘bizarre’, ‘pagan’. She spent several minutes exploring history and folklore sites.

Eventually she found a picture of the mural, but it was a small, grainy black and white photo. Enlarging it merely lost almost all the detail. It seemed to show a vaguely defined black mass to the left of the scene, and a group of people on the right. Something was going on in the middle of the picture. Oddly angular figures were crouching over something on the ground. It was easy to imagine them as Interlopers, but Denny was aware of the hazards of wishful thinking.

She decided to send the link to Gould along with the message: ‘Any higher quality pics of this?’

Her tea arrived. An Eccles cake turned out not to be a cake, but a flaky pastry shell containing currants in a kind of syrup. Denny was taking a picture of her half-eaten ‘cake’ when Brenda turned up. A few heads turned when the old lady came in, but when she reached Denny’s table there was no distinctive wave of feline odor. Brenda had also dressed in new, reasonably well-matching clothes.

“Thought I’d dress up nicely,” Brenda said, putting a large shopping bag on the floor as she sat down opposite Denny. “I don’t socialize much—and don’t pretend to be surprised by that, dear.”

“Have the cats come back?” Denny asked, keen to change the subject.

Brenda shook her head sadly. She leaned forward and lowered her voice, as if imparting a secret.

“I dread to think how they’re faring on their own.”

“Cats are pretty resourceful,” Denny pointed out. She started to tell an anecdote about one of her mother’s cats, which had grown fat by scrounging meals from neighbors.

“We thought he was missing,” she concluded. “But all the time he was being pampered by half the families on the street!”

“You’re a very kind girl, trying to reassure me and all,” Brenda said. “But I’m not here to talk about my missing babies. There’s a mystery about those children, and I want to help you solve it.”

Great, thought Denny. My Doctor Watson is the town’s Mad Cat Lady.

“I know what you’re thinking dear,” Brenda went on. “I’m not going to follow you around getting in the way. I just wanted to help point you in the right direction.”

Denny braced herself for a rambling anecdote or a wild theory. But instead, the old lady reached down, to the bag by her seat.

“These were my great, grand-uncle’s,” explained Brenda, producing a battered cardboard box. “Lord of the manor, he was. Hard to believe, I know, looking at me now.”

“Okay,” said Denny warily. “Family heirlooms?”

“Valuable for your research,” Brenda went on, nodding and smiling.

She opened the box to reveal an assortment of items. There was a smaller box, covered in faded red leather. Brenda took it out and opened it, showing the contents proudly to Denny. There were three medals, metal crosses with faded colored ribbons.

“These are from the First World War, I’m guessing?” Denny asked.

Brenda nodded.

“Major Reginald Pelham, Third Herefordshire Infantry,” she explained. “His Campaign medal, and the Distinguished Service Order, and the George Cross.”

“He must have been a brave soldier,” Denny opined, gingerly examining the medals. She had no idea how significant the British decorations were. But they looked impressive. They reminded Denny of her grandfather’s Vietnam medals. And, inevitably, of the old man’s bitterness at the way he had been treated when he came home.

Brenda nodded, satisfied at Denny’s response. She closed the little box and placed it in the bigger one.

“Oh, yes,” she said. “He was courageous, nobody ever doubted that. Not sure if he was entirely wise, though.”

She picked up a dog-eared book with a worn black cover. It looked to Denny like a small pocket diary, a view confirmed when Brenda handed it to her.

“This is his war diary?”

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