Worthe's Village: Haunted Village Series Book 1
Worthe's Village: Haunted Village Series Book 1
Worthe's Village: Haunted Village Series Book 1

Worthe's Village: Haunted Village Series Book 1

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A ghastly experiment takes a sinister turn…


Professor Abel Worthe is brilliant, wealthy, and utterly immoral. He is an expert in a very particular field: the study of fear and death. Using his vast resources, Worthe has purchased a collection of haunted houses and paranormal sites, hidden across the world. And he intends to subject a captive to each location in his collection of horror, all in the name of science.

All he needs is a test subject, a human lab rat to undergo his experiment in terror. And the target of his sinister attention is Marcus Holt. A veteran of the Vietnam War, the tough old soldier is haunted by nightmares of brutal conflict. Marcus soon finds himself kidnapped from his own home, and forced to endure a never-ending barrage of horror.

But Marcus is no stranger to fear and death. He’s a fighter. And he is determined to survive long enough to find and kill his malicious captor.

Let the games begin.

223 pages


Chapter 1: Abel Worthe Conservation Land, the Village

Everything was hard-wired.

Each camera was served by a dedicated line; the line, in turn, snaked through metal conduit attached to walls. From each room, the conduit emerged, joined at a junction within the house, and traveled out into the street. Workmen, employed under the strictest of privacy agreements and paid exceptionally well, had lain the conduit first, then expertly constructed cobblestone roads.

Nine houses populated the street, and in the fading light of the day, a pair of armed guards appeared, flanking a worker who quickly lit the old gas lanterns that stood as silent sentinels along the sidewalks.

The trio moved at a rapid pace, finally reaching the last set of lights and then breaking into a jog.

Abel Worthe used a mouse to guide a free-range drone high above to track their movements. When he saw that the men had reached the gate, he returned the drone to the patrol pattern from which he had taken it.

He focused his attention on the Ezekiel Greeley House, which was the newest addition to his collection of homes. Three days earlier, the large colonial had been fitted with the necessary equipment. Two days were required to transport it from the staging area near Lake George, and the staff had worked to tie everything into the grid before nightfall. And they had been successful, Abel thought with a soft smile.

He lifted a tumbler, made from cut crystal and crafted by Tiffany workmen, and sipped graciously at his mineral water. His long, nimble fingers flickered over the keyboard, and the image of the Greeley House was transferred from the monitor in front of him to the wall-sized screen on the wall opposite. Several more clicks and 17 separate camera views appeared.

Each camera was focused on a single room, except for the last two. Those were trained upon the front and rear of the house respectively.

Abel turned his attention to Camera One, the upper, far right bedroom. He zoomed in on the bed, then clicked on an icon of the rising sun.

Smiling, Abel prepared to wake up the occupant in the bedroom. 

Chapter 2: 114 Broad Street, Norwich, Connecticut

Marcus Holt tamped the tobacco down into his pipe, struck a match and held it to the bowl until he was able to draw a steady stream of smoke along the stem. He shook out the match, dropped it into his ashtray and put his feet up on the railing, crossing one booted foot over the other.

The relaxing smell of cherry curled up from the darkly stained bowl of the pipe, and Marcus let out a pleased sigh. He looked out at the empty lot where the old Victorian had once stood at 114 Broad Street and wondered aloud, “Who buys an entire house and has it carted away?”

There was no one to answer his question.

Marcus was what older generations called, a confirmed bachelor. And while that label led to significant snickering and double-entendres by the younger teens and 20-somethings whom he taught at Mohegan Community College, Marcus knew it for what it was.

At least in my own situation, he thought. He sighed again, with melancholy rather than pleasure. They don’t know, and I’ve no interest in explaining. None at all.

He pushed the thoughts down in the unhealthy way that his therapist had always tried to cure him of.

She means well, he reminded himself. And I wouldn’t have to go to her if the doctors at the VA didn’t think there was something wrong.

He rolled his eyes at the thought of his last trip to the VA hospital in New Haven, then shook away the memory.

Enough of that, he scolded himself. Marcus let his eyes drift back to the empty hole in the ground across the street.

The company that had moved the Victorian had even removed the foundation. Marcus had watched them carefully catalog and excavate each granite block. He had seen less care given to the digging of graves.

And why was the house moved? Marcus wondered again. Who bought it?

With a grunt, he saw his pipe had gone out, and he fished a fresh match from the box on the table beside him.

Chapter 3: Confusion and Disorientation

Peter Murphy groaned as he sat up, his head throbbing and his blood pulsing painfully behind his eyes.

What in the hell did I drink? he wondered, rubbing at his eyes with the palms of his hands. His mouth was dry, and he reached out instinctually for the water he kept by his bed. The glass was cool against his fingers and the liquid sweet and refreshing as he drained the glass.

Tequila? He fumbled for the light switch and turned on his lamp. Must have been. Hell, that girl could put it away though. Never would have thought a thin kid like that could drink like a fish.

Hopeful, Peter glanced at the other side of his bed, but it was empty.

Oh, well, he thought. Peter stood up stretching his arms, but quickly stopped.

He wasn’t in his room.

All his belongings were there. His bed, the lamp, the bedside table, his dresser. Even the old, broken rocker he used to keep his work clothes on.

Everything.

Except, it wasn’t his room.

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