When the Devil comes knocking, a choice must be made.
Rachel’s home was her sanctuary, until the thunderous battering at her door began. She doesn’t know what is causing the banging—there’s never anyone in sight. And it’s getting worse with every passing day. Deep scratches appear on her door, gashes no one can explain. Impossible destruction leaves her sanity stretched thin.
Something is determined to get her, she has become the prey hiding in her den and praying that this… thing, whatever it is that leaves scorched hoof prints and deep gashes as its calling card, never makes it inside.
Left to her own strength and fleeting sanity, Rachel will have to stand and face her demon, or die trying.
Targeted Age Group:: Young Adult + Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Answer It was written while I was trying to cope with a few fear issues I was having. I am the person you go to school with and consider a 'scardy cat' and the women at church who hear about my biological father put a hand to their chest and frown at me while saying "poor dear."
I hated it. I found the best way to get over my fears was to embrace fear itself. I adore horror movies, horror stories, going to haunted locations, participating in ghost investigations, going through haunted houses, and my great loves in life involve watching documentaries on mysterious disappearances, cryptids, and paranormal activities; and decorating my apartment for Halloween enough that the neighbors either get competitive or mildly worried. By taking control of these 'horrors' I stopped seeing things as enemies, and instead considered them alliances, or at least things I had knowledge and control over. Sort of a way to desensitize myself, as well.
The things I couldn't desensitize myself from was the daily activities that were considered normal, but caused me fear. I got help with that while taking a horror writing course. The instructor gave great advice and I had to work hard to get a good grade, which allowed me to find some of my favorite horror novels and also get tips from successful authors on what they found worked. One assignment in particular was all about how to make believable horror. We were asked to list our fears. After several submissions that were turned down, I submitted one that got a pass. There was a knock on the door, and no person was around to cause it.
Writing this novella not only helped me explore this fear I had, it allowed me to meet dozens with the same fear. An unexpected knock on the door can disrupt your whole day, your evening, your plans. It's an uninvited interruption that's often just seen as annoying, especially if you have just started something, or outright terrifying, such as if this knock comes with no explanation or if it happens far after anyone should be coming by.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Rachel, the lead character, is a retail worker who managed to make it to a management position and has long past realized how little power that actually warrants her besides being the one who has to keep the peace. She comes from a good home, has a big brother who loves and adores her, connections in the community, and is generally "making it" in life, even if some of the attempt goes un-noticed or under appreciated.
I wanted a character who was a great target to be a victim, because they already were. This is someone who takes grief from customers, who watches her co-workers fight and has to handle the same arguments every day, it is a person who deals with the minor abuse so many of us have to deal with, but people are so familiar with it happening that they shrug it off with the "yeah that sucks" attitude, and expectations that things continue as normal.
When advanced, paranormal events begin happening, this is someone who cannot just stop what they are doing to handle it. She can't sell her house and just up and move, she can't even miss a day of work without worrying what her absence would cause and fear her job being terminated. She has to handle life, paranormal activities, and the chaos both those things cause because there is no other option but to handle it.
Rachel worried her bottom lip, staring at the window. She slid her cellphone out of her jacket pocket, comforted by the weight of it and the knowledge it could summon help. After a moment of hesitation, she yanked open the curtain above her sink like ripping off a bandage. She flinched, but all she saw out the window was an empty porch.
Bang, bang, bang.
Fist clenched around her phone, she stomped to the living room. That clamor was far more than the damned pipes! The banging grew to a fierce pounding. It caused her ears to ache and the doorframe to convulse.
Startled, she dropped her phone and stared at the rattling door. The pounding grew to a rapid, constant noise, as if a freight train were passing through her porch. A metallic grinding sent daggers through her ears, slicing against every nerve; jagged nails against an old chalkboard.
The doorknob twisted.
Rachel grabbed the knob tight and struggled to keep hold of the lock as the door shook, bucking against her. Someone wanted in and they were willing to break whatever got in their way.
She let out a scream and pushed with every ounce of her strength. In her grasp, the lock turned. The bolt did little to stop the shaking, but the lock prevented the doorknob from turning.
The door buckled in, warping under the weight of whatever was outside striking against the solid wood.
Rachel fell over herself as she raced down the hall to her room, dialing nine-one-one as fast as her fingers could manage.
“Emergency Dispatch, what is the nature of your emergency?”
“Hello?” Rachel shouted over the noise. “I need help!”
“I don’t know! Someone is try—”
A deafening blast as if someone had fired a high caliber rifle next to her ear echoed through the room. She heard a deafening, unending ring that enveloped her, causing her to lose focus.
“Ma’am? What is your location? Ma’am? Ma’am!”
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