Today’s #horror offering is the fresh off the press anthology of stories based on Edgar Allen Poe, A Legacy of the Corrupted Mind. Read an exclusive excerpt from USA Today Bestseller Lianne Willowmoon, one of several authors with work in the collection.
Legacy of the Corrupted Mind, a Mystery 42 Manuscripts anthology
Purchase link: www.books2read.com/
Nine guests find themselves around the dinner table awaiting E.A. Perry’s latest writing project announcement only to find that their host is crazed and battling the ghost of his beloved as well as his personal demons. And now, these guests will become the entertainment at the end of it all – a legacy to leave behind for a troubled and intriguing gentleman.
Enter the Victorian house of horrors as these strangers must work together to face the ultimate of escape rooms if they wish to make it out alive.
With rain pelting down around the manor, a night that never ends, and secrets they never wanted revealed, these unfortunate companions must solve puzzles, trudge through oceans of blood, and face the agony of their sins as they are trapped in a never-ending tale spun by the master himself.
What is real and what is not, and who will survive the stroke of ink on the final pages of Perry’s life?
Fans of Edgar Allan Poe will be thrilled by this roller coaster ride of his characters brought to life!
Edward gropes at his eyes as they feel like they will soon pop out of their sockets. He does not know where the beating of the heart is coming from, yet he perceives greatly where its rhythmic drumming derives. He reaches down and begins to tear at the boards on the floor, causing splinters to embed themselves in his already gory flesh. “I am the causes of death, I am the ripper of hearts, and the taker of breath, but only the sanity I have has known that to this point…there, my confession you evil tempter…my confession.”
He hears the voice of Perry as scribbles can be heard. “He is not the villain here! He needs to be a victim, and yet his madness drives me to write him this way! Why can I not get this correct?”
Edward stops tearing up boards long enough to listen to the ghoulish whispers of Perry.
“Corrections cannot be made to things which are true. I could never play the victim when I have had victims so to say. PERRY, you will not get the words you wish, the words you thought would scribe themselves, only words of untested truth.” He looks back down and continues to work at the boards as barb like splinters cause his fingernails to push up, almost off his flesh altogether.
“No. You are not good enough to play anything but the victim here. And so you shall…”
He hears scribbling once more as the words are scratched deep in the floor all around him.
“…I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim…”
Edward, angered to no end, picks up a large collection of splintered boards and throws them in the direction he thinks Mr. Perry is coming from. He then sees carved words all around him of the story that would supposedly be his. He thinks the man who was once supposed to be his gracious host has succumbed to the idiocy of his own sins and has chosen to share them like a shrine of his own lies.
“You have nary an idea who plays the victim in this conundrum. My chamber is private, Mr. Perry. I have only once shared it at the demise of who lies beneath.”
Edward once more goes down into fetal position as he can feel hands all over him yet sees nothing. He can nearly feel the presence of the victim supposed to be below his feet. He watches the words continue to write themselves on the boards. Edward, mad as can be, picks up a sharp splinter and copies some of the more unique words into his own flesh to take note.
As Edward hits the fetal position, the boards around him begin to warp and creek, causing him to stir. The shavings now seem to be joining together as if the wood was healing itself gives a fright until he realizes what they are doing. The wood curls like tendrils, beginning to wrap around his hands and legs. He attempts to pull free, but they are stronger than they look. Pulling him to the floor, he hears Perry speak again.
“Yes, now I have it!”
‘Oh God! what could I do? I foamed—I raved—I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder—louder—louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! —no, no! They heard! —they suspected! —they knew! —they were making a mockery of my horror!—this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now —again! —hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!’
Edward feels the wood wrap as shackles around his wrists and ankles. He holds his breath as if the inhalation of nothing but dust, might make him smaller, smaller to lose the ties which bind him.
“Mr. Perry, you think you are the only master of words, yet I have spun a tale or two of my own. What say you Mr. Perry…I am already mad for my sins, mad as the insanity that haunts the pink fleshy tones of my head organ.”
Edward fights at the binds as he slowly gives up the fight, keeping in mind that he will not let Perry win; perhaps he is the underdog of the group that came with he, but Edward knows he can and will fight to keep secrets just that…secrets. There is nothing but the sound of the heartbeat getting louder around Edward as he begins to notice the tendrils pulling him… into the floor that is now pulsating beneath him. He is now on his way to be buried beneath the floor with the beating heart he thought he had escaped so many years ago…
About the Publisher & Author:
Mystery 42 Manuscripts is owned and operated by Lianne Willowmoon and published solely through Hydra Productions. Lianne and her co-authors with teams of other authors, run and produce role play interactive novels. They have published Remnants of the Everleigh: Murder on the High Seas in 2018, Legacy of A Corrupted Mind in 2019. Future novels include Remnants II: Changeling Freedom and III: Ancestors of Escaria, Murder at the Crimson Ink, Elegance of the Moon, Return to Sleepy Hollow, and more. They have over 20 more planned in the future and more ideas to come. If you are interested in keeping up to date on their information and projects, you can follow them at:
Lianne Willowmoon was raised in Kingsport, Tennessee. She is now settled with her husband, daughter and son in Surgoinsville, Tennessee. She graduated from Dobyns Bennett High School with a major in creative arts. She enjoys writing, reading, hiking, swimming, and making jewelry in her free time. She owns and operates a jewelry business (Gothic Nightmare) as well as running a book trailer promotional business (Hydra Custom Made Book Trailers and Promotion Services). Writing is her passion and has been for most of her life. Now, it is a dream turned reality. For more information on the author and her works, please visit:
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