Rookwood Asylum: Asylum Series Book 1
Rookwood Asylum: Asylum Series Book 1
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Some memories are too painful to forget…
American History lecturer Paul Mahan was looking for a little peace and quiet. A place to recover from his personal demons, and pursue his academic career. But when he moves into the newly refurbished Rookwood Apartments, he soon finds himself trapped in a living nightmare.
A series of terrifying events forces Paul to question his sanity. Strange messages scrib-ble themselves across the walls. His beautiful neighbor seems to vanish without a trace. And a deadly accident tears away the veil from Rookwood’s dark past.
As these violent incidents escalate, residents call in a paranormal expert, hoping to end the strange accidents once and for all. But only Paul understands the chilling truth. The pain and torture of Rookwood’s blood-soaked past can no longer be contained…
And a terror beyond anything they have ever experienced is about to be unleashed.
An American, thought Declan Mooney, as he watched the elevator doors close. Seems ordinary enough. But you never know.
He ran the fingers of his left hand over the patch of skin where he had had the tattoo removed. That had been nearly ten years ago, but he could still see the slogan, the flag. It had not been illegal, strictly speaking. But it had guaranteed that nobody meeting him could have doubted his allegiance, his origins. In the right area, it was a safe conduct pass. But if he had simply walked into the wrong pub, asked the wrong guy for directions, the tattoo could have earned him a beating. Or worse.
As if getting a bloody picture taken off my skin could solve the problem.
Declan tried to shrug off unpleasant thoughts as he made his way back to the modern office he disliked. He would have preferred a dark little cubbyhole somewhere, or a shed in the grounds. But Kate had been insistent on his membership to 'the core team,' and wanted him close at hand.
Not a bad lass, he thought. And a fine pair of legs on her. But naïve. Not the sort of person to be running a place like this.
Declan sat down at his desk, turned on his company-issued computer, and began to log the day's repairs, complaints, and faults. The log on Rookwood's intranet was fuller than any he had kept in the past when he had worked in Liverpool and Manchester. The building clearly had more teething troubles than average, and it was not even finished.
The East Wing, he thought. Hanging over us all in its way.
He closed the online log and got up, stretched. He felt a slight twinge of pain in his neck, rubbed the area for a few moments. Then he set off on his rounds, his daily routine of checking lights and common spaces, making sure nothing else had failed for no readily apparent reason.
Gremlins, she calls them, he thought. Makes the unknown seem all cuddly, small, and trivial. But maybe it isn't.
As he passed through the foyer, he thought he glimpsed someone from the corner of his eye. When he stopped to look out at the sunlit driveway, he saw no one. He continued on his way, but could not shake the notion that he had caught someone watching him. And he felt the odd, crawling sensation up his spine as he went along an empty corridor. More than once he glanced over his shoulder, but of course, he was not being followed. He attributed the creepy sensation to the lights, which were triggered by motion sensors. They created moving pools of radiance. A few yards ahead of him and behind, the corridor was dim, with more shadows than he cared for.
Sure, and how would they track me down here anyway? Declan asked himself. You're just being bloody paranoid, man. It's not like you were ever a big boss in the organization. Nah, you were just a daft lad who took messages, kept watch on the corner. Nothing too heinous at all. Thousands did worse and got away with worse.
"You hid those rifles in your ma's attic."
The words were spoken directly into his ear, the voice an urgent whisper. Declan spun around, anger rising, fists raised. But there was no one to lash out at or defend against. He was still alone in the silent, carpeted corridor.
"I'm hearing things," he said aloud.
He had stood still for just long enough for the lights to go out. Declan waved an arm to trigger the sensors. In the split-second before the light was restored, he thought he saw a figure at the far end of the corridor. It was masked, wearing a black beret, its clothes baggy combats, heavy boots. One arm hung by its side, and in its hand, he saw the sharp outline of a gun, an automatic pistol.
"Nobody there!" he insisted as the ominous silhouette vanished. "Mind playing tricks."
The sound of a drill pierced the air, a noise that would normally be mildly irritating. But now it was a relief, a reminder of the mundane world of work, of practical matters and practical men. Declan turned and walked on, taking his moving pool of light with him, heading for the East Wing.
I'll just have a little chat with those builder lads, he told himself. See how they're getting on. It's not good to be alone too much around here.
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