As part of the eFestival of Words 2015 Halloween Party, we’re hosting book excerpts from horror, dark fantasy, and Halloween-themed books.
About the Book
Drew Collins is an atheist who experiences the world in black and white. As an educated man of science, he rejects belief in the paranormal and the existence of demons. Until an energy he calls “The Beast” takes possession of his wife.
What he witnesses at night in his own bedroom cannot be reconciled with science. And yet he sees it with his own eyes, feels its presence, ominous and evil, with his entire being.
Against every instinct, Drew reaches out for help. It is not just his marriage that’s at stake. The evil force has permeated his wife’s family, tearing them apart and culminating in bloodshed and murder. Drew must face a stark choice: sacrifice his beliefs and fight an entity he doesn’t understand and is reluctant to label, or abandon his wife and her family.
About the Author
Merry Freer is an author of memoir and fact-based fiction. She is a native of San Diego, where she lives surrounded by a large, eclectic family and a treasured handful of truly close friends.
While Doctor, Doctor is her debut novel, she has been a writer and editor for many years, including work with the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego Hall of Champions.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from San Diego State University and has been a featured speaker for classes dealing with medical ethics.
The most difficult battle is with an enemy you can’t identify.
“This is what I’ve learned about The Beast,” Laura said. “It doesn’t exist in our plane of existence. It has no physical form. Use that fact to your advantage. It gains power from negative energy. Remove your negative energy and replace it with positive energy. Be its opposite. It’s the only way to fight evil.”
Spending his lunch hours receiving an intense and personalized lesson on the finer points of demonic shielding, as well as an education on the various cultural ideologies of good and evil, was the last place Drew Collins expected to find himself in his five-year plan. His plan was loose and flexible, but he was certain it included love. He even had a vision about it before he left on his dream adventure, traveling through Mexico after he graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in Bio-Psychology. He dreamed he was destined to go to Mexico to bring something back. What he returned with was better than his wildest dream and worse than his most horrific nightmare.
Yet here he was, spending his lunch breaks with his boss, Laura, on the grass at the Self-Realization Temple. Today he was learning to control his personal energy. Laura studied with two shaman from different indigenous tribes. One was the Hopi, a small tribe within the Navajo nation. The other was from the Yaqui Indians, who lived in the Sonoran Desert in Mexico, south of Arizona, the same tribe associated with the mentor of Carlos Castaneda, a trained shaman and American author who held a Ph.D. in Anthropology. Castaneda claimed to have learned his craft from a Yaqui named Don Juan Matus, whom he claimed was personally trained by a Diablero, or devil, though some say his mentor never existed. Under ordinary circumstances, Drew would have considered the teachings of shamans to be fascinating fodder for an excellent conversation. Today, he considered them to be a necessary component in the lessons he agreed to pursue – the lessons he hoped would help him save his wife. Drew was a self-proclaimed atheist, a man whose beliefs were based in science, a godless man, to put it bluntly, who was in the peculiar position of being married to a woman who appeared to be possessed by a demonic presence.
A reasonable person might ask themselves how this could be so. How could a godless man, an atheist, believe his wife was possessed? Aren’t demons, the kind that possess humans, take over their bodies and voices to spread a vile message, associated with religious belief? Certainly the Catholic religion makes this connection. His wife was Catholic and he’d seen The Exorcist. For Drew though, The Beast was secular. It existed as an evil energy, separate and independent from the confines of religion. It had to. He didn’t believe in God, so he couldn’t accept The Beast as His antithesis, as a religious man might do. Religious belief as an explanation for his experience was discarded. He believed in science. But The Beast was an entity unidentified by scientific study. The Beast. Science.
Drew recognized with an awareness that shook the foundation of his being that they could not be reconciled. In the science he had studied there was no place for demons. And yet he knew they existed. He had seen The Beast for himself. In his own home.