It’s almost the holiday season. You know who deserves a treat? You. You do. So why not read this snippet of The Rains by Gregg Hurtwitz, fall in love, and enter our giveaway to get one of two free copies of the book?
In The Rains, in one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek’s Cause turns into a war zone. Infected adults have become ferocious, inhuman beings, and no one under the age of eighteen is safe.
The Rains is available now.
It was past midnight. I was still working in the barn when I heard the rolling door lurch open. I started and lost my grip on a block of hay. It tumbled off the baling hooks.
It was creepy out here with the wind whipping across the roof, fluttering loose shingles. Bits of hay strobed through the shafts of light from the dangling overheads and the old beams groaned beneath the load of the loft. I was plenty tough, sure, but I was also a high school sophomore and still got spooked more often than I’d want to admit.
I turned to the door, my fists clenched around the wooden handles of the baling hooks. Each hook is a wicked metal curve that protrudes about a foot from between the knuckles of my hand. The barn door, now open, looked out onto darkness. The wind whipped in, cutting through my jeans and flannel shirt, carrying a reek that overpowered the scent of hay. It smelled as if someone was cooking rotting flesh.
I clutched those baling hooks like a second-rate Wolverine, cleared my throat, and stepped toward the door, doing my best to deepen my voice. “Who’s there?”
Patrick swung into sight, his pump-action shotgun pointed at the floor. “Chance,” he said, “thank God you’re okay.”
My older brother’s broad chest rose and fell, his black cowboy hat seated back on his head. He’d been running or he was scared.
But Patrick didn’t get scared.
“Of course I’m okay,” I said. “What are you talking about?” I let the baling hooks drop so they dangled around my wrists from the nylon loops on the handles. Covering my nose with a sleeve, I stepped outside. “What’s that smell?”
The wind was blowing west from McCafferty’s place or maybe even the Franklins’ beyond.
“I don’t know,” Patrick said. “But that’s the least of it. Come with me. Now.”
I turned to set down my gear on the pallet jack, but Patrick grabbed my shoulder.
“You might want to bring the hooks,” he said.
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