Black Widow: Dark Fantasy Supernatural Horror
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They say the past is the past. It’s over. So, what do you do when it stirs back to life?
Meg has lived with the guilt of that fateful night for ten years. She’s tried to put it behind her, to move on, but it refuses to be forgotten. Then, one night, she stumbles across a man’s body, his partially desiccated corpse riddled with spider bites. As the days pass and more bodies surface, Meg begins to see an ominous pattern that could trace back to her.
Can she solve this mystery and end the nightmare? Or will she be too late and become the next victim?
Black Widow is the third book in the eerie series A Tale of Disturbia. If you like chilling murders, deadly shifters, and icy elementals then you'll love this latest book from bestselling author Anna Sinjin.
Get your copy of Black Widow today to discover what's stalking the streets of Disturbia!
***Each book in this series is a standalone, meaning they can be read in any order without impacting the reader's experience.***
Release date: February 15, 2022
Print pages: 118
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Black Widow: Dark Fantasy Supernatural Horror
“Here we go,” Andie announced. “The moment this door is closed, your thirty minutes will start.”
Jess moved in front of the dark, gaping maw and hesitated.
“And remember,” Andie reminded her, her voice a purr at her shoulder, “if you come out before Greg tells us your time is done, you fail.”
A hint of annoyance broke through her fear. Jess held up her wrist, shining her flashlight on it.
“I have a watch, too, Andie. I’ll know when my thirty minutes is up. I’m coming out after that, whether or not Greg says it’s time.”
Andie narrowed her eyes. “Leave your flashlight!” Andie hissed, sticking out her hand for the tool.
Jess paused, knowing she had caused that last impromptu requirement when she had implied Greg would cheat. She didn’t argue, though, and flicked her flashlight off before relinquishing it to the enemy. Drawing in a breath, she descended to the first stair and then the second.
The door slammed shut so close behind her that she felt the wind of it and teetered on the edge of the stairs, desperately trying to hold her balance. Terror leapt in her throat. The certainty that the others were trying to break her neck and make it look like an accident filled her. Clumsy in her blindness, Jess scrambled to turn around without falling and shoved at the door. Andie and her friends were never going to accept her into their group. The risk of breaking her neck wasn’t worth the effort. She’d have to find another way.
Something grated and then thumped against the other side of the door. Her fingers scrambled for the handle. Too late. She turned the knob and pushed, but the door refused to budge. Again and again, she tried but to no avail. Laughter sounded from outside.
“Are we stuck, Weaver Weirdo?” a playful female voice called out.
Andie. Fury surged within her, and she bared her teeth in the blackness, seething. She slammed her fist against the door and winced as pain lanced up her arm.
“Let me out!” Jess shouted.
“I thought you wanted to be part of my group,” Andie pointed out in mock innocent confusion.
“You’re cheating!” Jess insisted. “Nobody said anything about locking me in.”
“Well…” Andie drew the word out as if she was contemplating telling the truth or not. “To be honest, I was worried you wouldn’t be able to handle it and I so wanted you to join us. I thought to give you a helping hand.”
“Liar!” Jess spit.
Silence fell behind the closed door. Jess stared blindly ahead of her, trying to hear what might be going on. Time seemed distorted without the use of her eyes. She had no way of telling how long the moment stretched. Were the others still there or had they gone? Jess punched the door with the side of her fist again, ignoring the pain it caused.
“Let me out, Andie!” she shouted. “I changed my mind. I wouldn’t want to be a part of your group if we were the last people left in Disturbia and my life depended on joining you. I hate you!”
She struggled with the door as she spoke, throwing herself against it and hitting it in her anger. Nothing she did helped. Panting, she gave up and glared at nothing.
“Are you finished?” Andie responded in a bored tone.
Jess slammed the palm of her hand against the door as a reply.
“Well,” Andie sniffed, “if that’s how you feel, have fun spending the night. And good luck getting yourself out.”
Jess heard footsteps thump back down the hall. Her mouth dropped open in rising disbelief as she listened.
They’re leaving, she thought. They’re leaving! They can’t do that!
She struggled with the door again. “Hey!” she called, thumping the flat of her hand against the wood to get their attention. “Hey! You can’t leave me here!”
Jess heard a soft, female voice speak.
“Andie, this wasn’t part of the plan. You never said anything about leaving her down there.”
Jess could tell it wasn’t the brainless Becca, and it certainly wasn’t Andie. She wracked her brains, trying to remember the name of the third girl there. The girl had always been quieter than the others, hanging to the rear all the time. She was short and pale, had white hair. What was her name?
“Plans change,” Andie snapped. “Maybe if she wasn’t such a wuss and had an ounce of brains, I’d stick around, but she doesn’t, so I’m outta here.”
Jess heard footsteps get closer to her. Hope rose in her chest, dissipating her fear in a rush of relief.
“I’m letting her out,” that same unknown voice said.
Thank you! I love you! Jess silently praised her. But then Andie cut back in, killing her hopes in an instant.
“Don’t you dare!” she ordered. “You let that little misfit out and you’re banned from the group. You’ll be just like her and get the same treatment.”
A heavy silence seemed to weigh in the air. Jess prayed this unknown girl was brave enough to stand up to her leader, but dread sat like a dead weight in her gut. She rested her forehead against the cool, dry door. Through the wood, she heard the footsteps recede once more. The girl was as much a coward as Jess.
“We’re leaving,” Andie ordered, her tone biting and sharp. Final.
Jess listened, silent in her resignation, as a group of footsteps thudded farther and farther away. A door slammed shut—presumably the front door—and she knew it was over. Tears leapt into her eyes, and her legs shook, ready to collapse under the despair and panic that threatened to overwhelm her.
It was pitch black. She was trapped in a basement in a haunted house and she was alone. Even her mom didn’t know where she was. No one could help her now. A wild desire for her dad startled and momentarily distracted her. Her dad hadn’t been in the picture for years, having disappeared before she had started school. Oddly, her mom had never shown sadness over it. Jess had eventually stopped thinking about it and sometimes even forgot she had ever had a dad.
Maybe if he had never gone away…
“No!” she said aloud and scrubbed at her eyes as a wave of angry determination washed over her. “I don’t need him. This is nothing. I can do this. It’s a stupid basement like any other stupid basement. You have one in your house. Stop being a baby.”
She fumbled as she cautiously shuffled around, hands outstretched to feel the walls on either side of her. Then she sank down to sit on a step, bending forward to hug her legs to her chest. She pressed her forehead against her knees and buried her face in her legs. She found if she closed her eyes, the darkness didn’t seem so bad. A thought occurred to her, giving her a smidgeon of hope.
“My eyes will adjust,” she murmured comfortingly to herself. “When they do, I’ll be able to find a way out of here. The basement at home has a small window that opens. I’ll bet this one does, too. It’ll be fine.”
After an immeasurable amount of time, she lifted her head and opened her eyes once more. Her pulse quickened as she tried and failed to peer through the gloom. There wasn’t enough light for her eyes to adjust to.
No, no, no, she mentally wailed. Her panic rose, and her breath caught on a sob at the continued failure of one of her senses. She shook her head to dispel the fear.
“Stop,” she whispered to herself. “Try again. It hasn’t been long enough. Okay.”
She squeezed her eyes shut again and pushed her face into her legs, beginning to rock back and forth as she counted the seconds.
“One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand, four.”
Tears built up behind her lids and leaked through the edges. Jess shook her head more violently this time and pinched her arm.
“Stop it, stop it, stop it!” she berated herself in a fierce snarl. “It’s only darkness, stupid. Half the day is spent at night. It’s natural. Nothing to be afraid of. You’re a Weaver. You cower to no one.”
But that was a lie. Jess had been cowering all her life. She had a hidden worry that she was a disappointment to her mother because of it. The woman always said a Weaver isn’t afraid of anything or anyone.
But Jess was.
“If you have to stay here for the rest of the night, fine. Whatever. It was midnight when you got here. There’s, like, five hours to go now. It’s not a big deal.” She sniffled and scrubbed at her eyes again. She breathed deeply to help dry her tears, but her nose remained stuffed.
The silence pressed in on her from all sides. Jess’ ragged breath sounded unusually loud in her ears, and the constant ringing had returned. The high-pitched frequency was odd at best and a bit annoying at worst. In it, she thought she heard a faint scuttling noise coming toward her. She couldn’t place what it might be, but she knew it had to be small.
A strange smell drifted to her nose. It was dry and dirty, maybe like parched soil. There was an underlying sweetness to it that she couldn’t place.
Images of desiccated corpses clawing their way out from the dirt floor played across her mind’s eye only to be rejected the moment she recognized them. The flooring in her basement at home was concrete. Most likely, this was as well. And adult human remains were sizeable at the very least. The sound she was hearing was tiny. Very tiny. And it was multiplying.
Jess’ throat constricted with her terror over the unseen menace.
Weavers are brave, she reminded herself. We never cower. We never give in. We’re brave and strong. Brave and strong.
The frenzied pace of her thoughts put the lie to the words. But she persisted, hoping it would be convincing if she repeated it enough.
Weavers are brave. We cower to no one.
Something small touched her arm. With a spasmodic jerk, she swiped it away. Tears of fear leapt to her eyes. She shook her head and bit her tongue to keep silent.
Weavers are brave. We cower to no one.
She felt the slight weight of something solid and thick edge onto her shoe and begin its unhurried ascent up her sock. A whimper escaped her throat as she gave a kick to dislodge whatever it was. Her stomach clenched and her muscles went rigid with the effort to control her body.
Weavers are brave.
Something hairy brushed against her cheek as it fell onto the front of her hoodie. A hiss near her shoulder reached her ear.
Jess shrieked as she jumped up, batting at her clothes and barely catching herself from pitching forward into the empty darkness. Whirling clumsily toward the door, she frantically renewed her struggles with it, screaming her throat raw for someone to let her out.
Weavers are brave. Except for her.
She was terrified.
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