Palmer Entity: Asylum Series Book 2
Palmer Entity: Asylum Series Book 2
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Some nightmares are too terrifying to forget…
Paul Mahan just wants to put everything behind him. The shadowy halls of Rookwood apartments, the building’s bloodstained past, and most of all, the chilling supernatural presence he encountered there…
But when Neve Cotter, a former Rookwood resident, reaches out to him for help, Paul finds himself unable to turn away. Neve’s daughter, Ella, has been possessed by a tortured spirit that Paul freed from Rookwood’s haunted grounds. Feeling responsible for the girl’s pain, he agrees to accompany a paranormal TV show into the abandoned building, hoping to find a cure for Ella’s curse.
As Paul leads the group into Rookwood’s labyrinth of shadows and illusions, he discovers that the dark, powerful presence that haunts his nightmares has returned. And it’s stronger than ever before. This malignant entity feeds off an ancient power, a darkness that has festered within the building’s walls for centuries.
Even the destruction of Rookwood may not be enough to end its reign of terror…
"Is it me?" Joe asked, raising his voice a little, "or is that stink getting worse? Maybe it's a really ripe homeless guy."
They reached the automatic camera at the threshold of the East Wing. While the noxious smell was indeed much stronger, there was no sign of the mystery intruder. They moved cautiously into the room, and Joe crouched to get a better angle. The cameraman put one hand on the floor to steady himself, then recoiled in disgust.
"Oh, God. What did I put my hand in?"
As Joe focused on an oval patch of brownish fluid, Paul scanned the rest of the floor. He saw a line of similar patches leading past the fixed camera, out of the room, and into the corridor. He pointed this out to the others.
"Muddy footprints?" suggested Lucas.
"This is not regular mud," Joe grunted, wiping his fingers on his jeans. "And it stinks, like rotten meat."
There was a faint sound of movement echoing down the corridor. All three men froze and stared at the inner doorway. Then, still without speaking, they began to retreat to the entrance. Lucas, backing up clumsily, stumbled against the fixed camera and knocked it off its tripod. The accident prompted a volley of curses from Joe, followed by an argument, and for a moment, something like normality seemed to be restored.
Then Paul felt the temperature start to fall. The unnatural chill swept over him and he shuddered.
"Guys," he said urgently, but Lucas and Joe had already noticed.
"What's happening?" Joe asked, his breath clouding the air.
"Palmer's coming, we've got to get away," Paul said, trying to push by the other two. But the actor and cameraman were seemingly frozen in place. Then Paul realized they were gazing, eyes wide, at something behind him. He spun around and saw shadows growing, deepening, in the upper corners of the room.
"We should have stayed together, one group," he gabbled. "If Palmer takes over the most vulnerable person here, it will be harder for us to restrain him."
The other two looked at him vacantly, but he saw understanding start to dawn on Joe's face.
"Run!" he shouted, turning to flee. "Just get away, this is where Palmer's strongest!"
A moment later something struck Paul viciously across the shins and sent him sprawling. He landed heavily and tried to roll over. Lucas was standing over him with the camera stand, wielding the metal tripod like a bizarre club. Behind the actor, Joe dropped his own camera and lunged for Lucas, who fought back with startling ferocity.
Paul staggered upright and tried to help Joe restrain Lucas. The old actor fought fiercely, kicking and punching, even biting. But then, as suddenly as the attack had begun, it ended. Lucas became limp, his eyes rolled up into his head, and he slumped to the floor. Paul and Joe caught him before he struck his head on the tiles.
"What the hell was that?" Joe demanded.
"I can still see your breath," Paul pointed out. "Let's drag him out of here. You lift him under the shoulders, I'll get his legs--Joe?"
Joe was backing off down the corridor, eyes wide with panic. Paul spun around and saw a wall of darkness that almost blotted out the room beyond. It was the Palmer entity, stronger than ever before. And, Paul suddenly understood, it had what it wanted. With Lucas unconscious and Joe running away, Palmer could deal with Paul. The chill overwhelmed him, forced him to his knees, paralyzed him.
The darkness ebbed and flowed, tormented faces whirling in the icy cloud, then it condensed to become a squat, vaguely human-like figure. Two dim lights gleamed where eyes might have been. Paul remembered Palmer's old-fashioned, round-rimmed spectacles. For a moment, a fleeting thought tugged at his mind; the question as to why the glint of those glasses, of all things, should have endured.
And then he was simultaneously Paul Mahan and Miles Rugeley Palmer, experiencing the man's life, death, and post-death existence in one chaotic burst of sensory input. It was horrifying, and not just because of the things the man had done. Accessing Palmer's bloated ego revealed how utterly devoid of compassion and integrity the man was.
Even more confusingly, Paul was assailed by fragments of the personalities Palmer had absorbed and enslaved. Tormented souls, pale shadows of Palmer, orbited the doctor's vast, hungry ego. Cries of pain, despair, psychic wails, echoed through Paul's mind. Among the voices, he heard Max Rodria, still crying out for personal deliverance.
Then he had passed through this layer of lost souls and was truly 'inside' Palmer. The doctor's memories cascaded over him and, though he tried to resist, he found himself immersed in Palmer's personality.
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