Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

An Excerpt from ALARUMS

July 18, 2016

Professor Trueblood watched from the door of Wesley Hall as they hurried down the concrete stairs. Once away from him, they walked slowly side by side.

They walked through the warm night in silence. Then Melanie asked, “How’s your nose?”

“It’ll live.” He sniffed. “I think the bleeding’s stopped.”

“I’m sorry I hurt you.”

“It’s nothing.” He looked at her. “Are you going to tell me what happened?”

“Oh, Bodie,” she whispered. Her arm slipped around his back, her small hand warm on his hip. “It’s something terrible.”

“I know. I saw.”

“Not that. I mean…what I saw.”

“What you saw?”

“My dad. It must’ve been Dad. Or my sister.” Her hand tightened on Bodie’s hip. “God. He…he must be dead. One of them, anyway. I…damn it.” She sobbed. “I don’t know which one. But Dad, I think. When it happened last time, it was Mom.”

Bodie stopped. He turned and stared down into her glistening eyes. Her sorrow made a thickness in his throat and a tight hurt in his chest. But her words… What was she saying?

He tucked the handkerchief into his pocket and gently took hold of her shoulders. Too late, he realized he had blood on his fingers. “I want to understand,” he said.

Melanie stiffened. She lowered her head and wiped her nose with a cuff. “There was something coming at me,” she said in a shaky voice. “Only not at me. It was dark and noisy and running at me and I knew I had to get out of the way or it would kill me, but I didn’t have time, it was too fast and it got me. It got me.”

Bodie pulled her gently against him. She lowered her face against the side of his neck. He felt its wetness, the tickle of her eyelashes. “That’s what happened in your mind?” he whispered. “While you were…shaking and stuff?”

He felt her nod. “Jesus,” he muttered.

“When it happened before, I was eleven and at summer camp. It was Mom that time.”

She had told Bodie about the loss of her mother, the woman slipping in the bathtub, smashing her head and drowning. “You had a vision or whatever then — like tonight?” he asked.

“Not exactly like tonight. But yes. That’s why I know Dad’s dead.”

“You don’t know it,” Bodie said. “Not for sure.”

She didn’t answer.

“Come on. Let’s get back to the apartment. You can call home. Maybe everything’s fine.”

ALARUMS by Richard Laymon


All signs point to foul play.

Melanie Conway knows something is wrong when she starts having visions again. Her boyfriend, Bodie, wants to help but they are too late. Her father has been in a hit and run accident. Melanie’s sister, Penelope, is having problems of her own. She keeps receiving strange calls. Bodie is drawn into the mystery and gets more than he bargained for.

Previously Published in 1992

Horror [Samhain Publishing, On Sale: June 14, 2016, e-Book (reprint), ISBN: 9781619233362 / eISBN: 9781619233362]

About Richard Laymon

Richard Laymon

Richard Laymon was born in Chicago and grew up in California. He earned a BA in English Literature from Willamette University, Oregon and an MA from Loyola University, Los Angeles. He worked as a schoolteacher, a librarian, and a report writer for a law firm, and was the author of more than thirty acclaimed novels.

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