The Shade Trilogy, Book 1
by Matthew Tallman
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: March 9th 2014
Number of pages: 340
Word Count: 105,494 words
Cover Artist: Pixel Pixie Design
James Langley's life is over. After an automobile accident leaves him comatose, James' body lies vulnerable in a hospital bed. However, his mind is lost, drifting between life and death, into The Shade.
Trapped in a world shrouded by the unknown, he meets Virgil, a mysterious stranger that informs him that his car wreck was no accident; that the man responsible has imprisoned them both, intent on keeping them there. Together they must race against time to get James back to his body in the real world before he becomes the next victim of a malevolent psychopath.
Enter the world of The Shade, where the boundaries of the human psyche are pushed to their limits and survival is not guaranteed. A place where death isn't the end, but only the beginning.
An intense wave of pain shot its way up my spine, telling me I needed to get up. The hard hospital tiles had broken my fall with the gentle care you would expect. Slowly I opened my eyes, getting my first look at the ceiling of the room I had been thrown into. My bloody fist clinched a hand full of tile fragments and crushed them into powder.
That didn’t go as expected.
My hands shook as they slowly lifted my body back to an upright position.
Once on my feet, I scanned the empty room quietly. There was nothing significant about it; the room looked just like the hundreds of others in the abandoned hospital. The paint on the walls was cracked and peeling from years of neglect, along with a floor covered in a thick layer of grime. However, I wasn’t scanning the room to look at the scenery; my eyes were looking for something far more—sinister. My legs quivered as they tried to keep me from doubling back over.
Then I felt a presence in the room with me.
It wasn't something tangible that I could see with my naked eye, but I knew that something was there. My breath remained slow and steady.
The fall must have been harder than I thought.
My hand rubbed the back of my head as I tried to get my bearings. Then it happened, coming out from the wall in front of me, the specter emerged.
It looked like a man in shape only. Truly, it was more like a cadaver that had been charred in an unholy fire. I gazed in horror at the creature, black as pitch. As I stared into the blackness that comprised it, the darkness seemed to swallow me up, almost like falling through space with nothing to grasp onto. Flesh from the specter's body was peeling away, matching the paint on the walls. Its eyes, if you could call them that, were as black and deep as the ocean depths. It moved closer to me, with a twisted look on its face that seemed to say. "You, you're screwed, and there's nothing you can do about it."
With my fists balled tightly, readying myself for an attack. I could feel the color draining from my clenched fists as the creature leapt at me, its arms opened wide, ready to take me to the ground. I instinctively ducked, letting my body slam against the hard tile floor, causing my assailant to vault over me. I rolled forward—creating more distance between the creature and myself—and then sprang back to my feet.
The specter landed softly, only a few feet behind me.
I spun around to face the creature.
It turned to face me, but before it had time to attack; my fist was already rocketing towards its face. The power encapsulated in my closed hand crushed itself against the creature's face and as the two forces made contact, a thunderous boom erupted in the room.
Take that you piece of—
The specter recovered quickly, and before I knew what was happening it had latched its arms around my waist and we were tumbling towards the ground. We slammed against the floor, rolling a few feet. When we stopped, my legs heaved upwards with all their strength, breaking the specter's grip on me, hurling it across the room.
The creature hit the floor as I quickly found my way upright. Using the confusion to my advantage, I ran for the door. I made my way through the door and immediately turned right, heading down the long hospital hallway. My breath was stuck in my chest, as if my lungs refused to work. My heart thumped quickly inside me as I ran. I felt the side of my body begin to burn as the pain the specter had inflicted became apparent. Halfway down the hallway, I found a room and ducked into it to avoid the specter. My hand met my mouth to stop myself from breathing too heavily. My heart pounded so loudly in my chest I thought that it would give me away.
From down the hallway, I could hear the specter moving closer towards me. My eyes shut tight as the sound of footsteps came closer towards me. Closer and closer the footsteps of the creature passed by the room. It breathed heavily as it searched the hallway for me.
My muscles tightened.
I could feel the creature as it passed by the room.
One, two, three.
I counted in my head and then took off down towards the opposite end of the hallway. I ran back down the hallway, leaving the specter behind me. I had only fooled the creature for a moment, because almost immediately after I emerged from the room the sound of heavy footsteps running towards me echoed down the hall. I would have looked back, but I knew what chased after me, I knew the unending horror of what a monster like the specter could do to a man. I tried with all my might, to will my legs to move faster, but with no success. The noise from the creature behind me grew closer, and closer. Each step that I took down the hallway the creature gained another few feet on me, I knew that within a few seconds it would be on top of me again.
So in a split-second decision, I stopped to make a stand.
I am currently a part time writer and full time government employee. Reading and writing books is one of my favorite hobbies as I enjoy every part of the story telling process. I have been working on three full-length novels for the last three years. I grew up all around the world because my father was in the United States Air Force, the past ten years I have lived just outside of Dayton, Ohio, which is where I now reside with my wife and stepson.
5 ebook copies of The Shade by Matthew Tallman