We are the first stop on Jason Parent's book tour for What Hides Within. Here is chapter 2 and an explanation of why it was written. You know if it is dark and bloody then I am interested! There will be a review coming soon.
Top Moment No. 1
Nine weeks ago.
Timothy sprinted through the thick underbrush. Prickers clawed at his clothes and skin, tearing both. Wet mud from a passing shower kicked up from his soiled sneakers onto his calves and white socks. The sun's rays had not yet baked the earth into solid clay, blocked out by tall pines and shady willows.
Timothy's eyes darted from tree to tree as he overcame them. He frantically searched for a place to hide. She'd be coming for him soon, and he knew it. She was probably already gaining on him, not far behind at all. He needed cover fast.
He spotted a felled tree, a remnant of a hurricane whose passing had been forgotten. He ran to it. The dense, fat base of the dead oak would veil him from her view. For now, he could rest, but he'd need to move again soon.
Her voice grew nearer. Its soft, seeking tone and her impetuous laughter traveled as if on fallen angel wings to his uninhibited ears. She hunted him, seeming to prey upon her own excitement.
Timothy crouched into the orange, red and yellow leaves of fall's beginnings. The leaf pile was high, an unusual accumulation for so early in the season. He thought to bury himself in them. Surely the pile was big enough for it. But the smears of blood painting his legs and the droplets still running down them would act as an adhesive, accumulating plant life. His flight would be harrowed by the crinkling of dead leaves rubbing together and crumbling as they fell from his body. There was so much blood that it startled him. He paused to check his wounds. Blood stained the leaves around him. But he felt no pain and could only find superficial cuts, no cause for alarm. At the moment, he had more pressing concerns.
His breath came out more and more slowly as he regained his stamina. It formed into a layer of condensation, melting in the air like steam from the mouth of a dragon. He closed his eyes and waited for the right moment to move.
The above selection is Chapter 2 of my debut novel, What Hides Within. Readers may wonder why I chose to add this chapter, barely more than a page long. In truth, I wanted to start the book with it, but since Timothy and his pursuer aren’t primary characters, it didn’t seem appropriate. However, the chapter sets up the first of many felonies, none of which are as simple as they may appear.
Still, this chapter was immensely fun to write, offering me a chance to mislead the reader into seeing something dark and dangerous in an ordinary childhood pastime. Did it work? You tell me. At the least, the chapter seems to gel with the overall tone of What Hides Within--dark, mischievous, and sometimes brooding. Plus, there’s blood. Who doesn’t like blood?
What Lies Within
by Jason Parent
December 15, 2017
In all of us, there is darkness. In Clive, it’s tangible, and it’s aching to get out.
What Hides Within tells the story of a man held captive by an unknown evil. Clive Menard is a spineless slacker leading an ordinary existence. But when Chester enters his life, it becomes far from ordinary.
A disheveled Clive stands alone in a hospital waiting room. A series of incidences have led him to undergo unnecessary neurosurgery. A voice inside Clive’s head nags him to kill the doctor.
Weeks prior, a murder investigation and an unrelated kayaking excursion set the story’s interlocking events in motion. When a remorseful killer, a bomb-happy psychopath and a mysterious widow spider converge upon Clive, they bring with them destruction and death. Clive must discover who or what is steering his very existence before he, too, is consumed by the carnage around him.
With a driven detective following his every step and a vicious killer hiding within his circle of friends, Clive must walk a narrow and dangerous path, teetering between salvation and damnation. He must confront Chester and his own demons. But is he powerless to overcome them?"
About the author:
Jason spends his days writing, but it’s mostly drafting legal memoranda as a civil litigator in New Bedford, MA—not exactly a venue conducive to creativity. But during his lunch breaks and after hours, you can often find him at one of the area’s charming coffee shops, huddled over an unadulterated iced coffee with a pen and paper in hand (somewhat old-school in his methods). Hopefully, when you see him, the pen’s moving, and he hasn’t dozed off.
Either way, be sure to say, “hello.” If he’s asleep just poke him with a stick. Jason always welcomes the chance to meet readers and to field their questions and comments, be it in person or through this website.