QBBS Meredith Reynolds
The children huddled together—human, Yollin, Torcellen. Their frightened eyes darted around the massive space. The bump, ba-bump, ba-bump of their hearts seemed loud in their ears.
Their friends and the other young ones around them could definitely hear how scared they were, right?
Red lights illuminated the giant cave. In this area the asteroid’s rock walls hadn’t been smoothed. They still were rough.
Just as they had been when the ship was created so many decades before.
They had come in here, laughing together after their last fright, becoming closer as they weathered the challenges of this night.
However, this was the final room, and SHE was here.
The kids could feel it, and the fear was starting to get to them. Many grabbed the hands or appendages of the kid next to them. Those who had weathered the experience so far and kept up a strong front in the other rooms couldn’t keep the fear from their eyes now.
“My name,” the darkness hissed, its voice guttural, like stones rubbing against each other.
The lights were extinguished and the children screamed.
Seconds later—a time which seemed like an eternity—the massive lights came back on, the cave blazing white as the kids looked around, trying to find the lady with the voice.
“There she is!” a young male Yollin yelled, his mandibles open as he pointed toward the ceiling high above them.
And there she was indeed.
Her red eyes flashed at them, and her white hair hung loose over her shoulders as her black skin gleamed in the light. Every child there saw how long her claws were.
“Happy Hallloooweeeeennnn!” She grinned, and they could see that her teeth had all been sharpened to points.
“AHHH!” Many girls (and more than a few guys) yelled when she disappeared from the walkway above.
The kids were glancing around, worrying she was coming down, when the exit doors opened. They recognized Empress’ Bitches John and Scott. “Don’t run!” John commanded, and the kids stopped.
“You know the drill!” Scott called. “You are all in the Etheric Academy. You will be orderly as you leave the Empress’ Haunted House!”
How did I do? Bethany Anne’s voice echoed in both her friends’ heads.
I’d say a few will probably need a change of underwear, Scott sent back.
Some are wondering if that was really you or just a good hologram. John added as he listened to the kids’ conversations. Their voices were excited as they chatted while waiting to exit the final room in the Haunted House.
No crying, though, Scott added. I think maybe ten is the minimum age of those we should allow to come into this room of the Haunted House.
I didn’t ramp the fear up nearly as much as I did for that first batch, she replied. I think I was trying to go for too much effect the first time.
John watched as the kids raced to meet their parents at the end of the hall. Their excitement at seeing the avatar of the Empress’ displeasure, even if many were saying she was just a hologram, was evident in their expressions and loud chatter.
I think you might have started a tradition, John told her. I hope you won’t regret this.
I’ll get a hologram project going, she replied. I can use that same technology to display Bethany Anne from a distance. It will be good for us to have a backup plan to prove I’m around.
And do it where? Scott asked. He walked over to two arguing human boys. The larger one pulled his hand back, only to have it enveloped in another hand. When the boy pulled it didn’t budge, and he looked up to see that the problem was Scott.
The boy swallowed as Scott glared down at him. “Do you want,” Scott asked, “to have a personal discussion with Baba Yaga?” Scott looked around the large cave. “This is part of where she lurks.”
“Uhh…” The boy, his eyes flitting around the hallway, looked uncertain. “I thought she was a fake.”
From above, a cackle could be heard. Those kids still in the room looked up to see a black-skinned woman, white hair floating in the wind and eyes red, looking down at them. “Do I look like a fake to you?” she hissed.
Scott had to catch the boy before he hit the ground when he fainted.
YES! Bethany Anne cackled in their minds. I’ve still got it! Bullies ain’t got nothing on the Baba Yaga.
Scott shook his head as he lifted the young boy into his arms and turned toward the door. “And how am I supposed to know which set of parents he belongs to?”
“Oh, I know,” the other boy told Scott.
“Yeah?” Scott asked as they walked toward the door.
“Sure,” the young boy replied. “He’s my older brother.”
FROM MICHAEL >>>
This is a CRAZY week, and a lot of us are converging on Las Vegas (not me, I’m already here) this week for the first 20booksto50k authors party… Oh, sorry, Author’s Conference at Sam’s Town.
I’ll be having dinner with Craig Martelle tomorrow night, then a trip to the museum with Craig, MD (Michael) Cooper and Richard Fox (Nellis Air Force Base). What could possibly go wrong with four (4) authors who write sci-fi and military fiction on an Air Force base?
I’m sure nothing, but what happens in Vegas… #amiright?
Thursday are meetings and a party, then Friday starts the conference with a meeting in the morning, then Conference and evening stuff etc etc.
Oh, and Friday (11.03.2017) we release AHEAD FULL – 2 Years to the DAY that Bethany Anne was first introduced to fans…
How little I knew back then how she would change my life.
Love you all!