An excerpt from my story "The Golden City," part of the Hallowed collection:
And a voice spoke, “Senses for the senseless, Joey.”
Joe felt a chill go up his spine and the short hairs on the back of his neck prickled. That voice, rich but not deep.
The tone was that of an announcer, but it was snarling in the background. Joe stared ahead, and gasped.
There was someone standing in the path!
All at once, Joe Thompson knew the voice had been no dream hallucination. The gnawing sensation in the pit of his stomach told him that.
Shining even in the shimmering mist, the chalk whiteness of the face contrasted with the darkness around the eyes and covering the mouth. And the sharp points of blackness extended beyond the lips like a smile. An ever-widening smile… “Come into my playroom, said the spider to the fly…”
Joe’s eyes went wide. “I want to go to another realm. Please?”
And the snarling sound grew louder. “Pleas? Do I hear pleas, Joey? Pleas of fear? Fear from the fearful? Oh, how sweet a sound… Ahh… Don’t you hear it? It’s the sound of pain…”
“You’re not real.”
“I’m as real as you, Joey. As real as the playroom.” The thing bowed its head. “You remember the playroom, don’t you?”
Available now, for $1.99: