Grand Masquerade by Stephen C. Perkins
Beware the terror lurking beneath a mask of smiles…
On an ancient ley line, deep within Vermont’s dark forests, lives a mysterious and frightening secret…
A forbidden door to a world beyond human perception.
And three hunters are about to become the hunted!
A high-tech executive and a US presidential candidate, who in public appear to be at odds, are covertly working together to flood a small Vermont town. The plan is to evacuate the townspeople to a federal camp where they will be implanted with a newly developed surveillance/mind control device called Minerva.
What they didn’t know, is that the town sits on an ancient ley line guarded by spiritual beings called the Others. There’s something going on in the Green Mountains of Vermont and it’s more than anyone can imagine.
Their visit to the small town, in the guise of a hunting expedition, quickly turns sour. They come face to face with their worst nightmares — coming back not just to haunt them, but coming alive to take revenge!
The executive’s playboy son and the town sheriff catches on to their fiendish plan and tries to stop them — and discover forces beyond comprehension!
Targeted Age Group:: All audiences
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 4 – R Rated
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Believe it or not, Rupert, Vermont is a real place, a small and rather isolated town near the border of Vermont and New York state. Surrounded by mountains and thick woods, it is a remarkably spooky place. Before beginning to write Grand Masquerade, I decided this would be an ideal setting for a supernatural scare fest.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Readers will find both politics and corporate greed woven into the narrative of Grand Masquerade. These are subjects I've explored with my previous six novels and, I thought, weaving these intriguing themes within the narrative of a good old fashioned horror story would not only lend depth to the novel, but also expand the possibilities of what could be done with Grand Masquerade's colorful cast of characters.
Dusk crept in over the mist borne wilderness.
The insistent message began humming in his ears; a faint but honeyed melody. Soon, he noticed the soothing tones grew in frequency, coaxing with reassurance that, out there, beyond the field's rowed tares of corn, great adventure and an even greater and wondrous gift awaited him. With the promise of a new morning's dawn, after midnight, he set out on his motorcycle, seeking destiny beyond the horizon. Autumn's wild tangles — skeletal branches of sugar maples and green ash along the winding dirt road — loomed overhead in soaring gray arcs. Cascades of leaves, like silken moth's wings, fluttered in pools of emerging full moonlight.
Gears churned, the motor sparked, and the night came alive with comet flashes. A dashing locomotive of euphoria barreled through the tunnels of every limb.
His pounding heart yearned.
He relished sizzling adrenaline's unbridled surges.
Over and down steep hillcrests, a wild wind's stiff fingers stirred his hair. With tornado's force, he swept into the widening mouth of a valley. The world became a blur of waving stalks of golden rod and towering leagues of conifers.
Upon the crisp wind's wild rushes and into his nostrils plumed the bitter tang of scented pines. His clammy fingers throttled the handlebar's brakes. Spinning rubber squealed in resistance but finally relented, spitting out rooster tails of gravel. He blinked while focusing his eyes through lingering swirls of dust.
As dawn's first faint traces began to slay the mordant gloom, he heard the unearthly screeching of a trio of crows, alighted in a perfect row onto the archway of tree branches. Distant lights of his father's dairy barns and corn silos shrank into dim portals.
Again, he heard the eerie message echo, growing from a dulcet whisper into a strident command.
Before him, a light beacon's rapier slashed at the waning darkness, tearing it asunder like a fine curtain's soft fabric.
While entranced by strange visions from the other side, the humming tone's frequency escalated with earsplitting ambience, and he felt mysteriously jettisoned from the motorcycle's seat by a mystical force.
Before leaving his prized motorbike behind to run towards the beckoning showers of light, he turned, watching the still revolving wheels sealed over into a dusty grave of windblown leaves.
Stepping over the ancient ley line, he saw them.
Completely still, he stood before their half-ringed array.
Though they appeared towering, black and grotesque, insectoid, perhaps even arachnid — with hideous winged appendages and scaly tails — they emitted an angelic glow, a golden evanesce more splendid than the sun.
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