Silver Scream: Excerpt with Audio

Roy Merkin

The following is an exclusive excerpt from The Silver Scream, by Roy Merkin, with a concept by Ice Nine Kills. Roy Merkin is the Bayonet Award-winning journalist America trusts. Fearless, hard-charging, and unrelenting, Merkin stops at nothing to dig through the dirt, grime, and mud until he's touched the deepest insides of a story. An expert in Criminology, Serial Killers, True Crime, and Podcasting, with a Bachelor of Arts in Disruption and Music Therapy, from the prestigious University of Farmington in Michigan, Merkin's tenacious reporting on the Spencer Charnas case riveted viewers. He is the author of three other books, including Make-Up and Murder: The Colorful Kisses of the Lipstick Killer; Ghosts of the Appalachian Hill People; and The Devastation of Divorce. You can find an exclusive audio version of the following passage here.

Excerpt begins:

With everyone gone into the yard, or upstairs, the Shadow Man enters the house. He glides into the kitchen, quickly spotting the large knife set on top of the cutting board and wielding it as his own. The figure lurks in the back hallway leading to the garage for a moment before hearing the noise of one of the teens entering the nearby bathroom. The figure hides in the shadows of the corner at the end of the hall.

Fresh out of the bathroom, the teen that looks like Patrick strolls back toward the action. He walks down the hallway, flicking the lights off on his way, taking the secluded wing of the house from a bright orange to a dull black. Not a tick of a clock later, the figure descends on Patrick, placing his hand over his mouth, silencing any scream and slicing the knife horizontally across his throat with far greater ease than its previous user chopped her limes.

As she returns downstairs, Nancy, the babysitter, sees the outline of Patrick’s body lying face down on the floor in the darkened room just steps away from the landing. She hits the lights, revealing a pool of blood oozing away from his gashed neck and toward the spot on which she is standing. Nancy lets out a scream worthy of curdling the blood that now gathered in front of her feet and echoing up the stairs to the boy and into the yard to the teens. Upon hearing her cry, Karen heads toward the house with Julio following, leaving behind the large-breasted brunette. Once inside, they reach Nancy as she continues to scream in terror, a contagious reaction that soon spreads to Karen and Julio. As panic sets in, Nancy attempts to call the police, but just as she hears a dispatcher on the other end, the lights and phone are cut off. The teens become sitting ducks, panicking and running in opposite directions in a vain attempt at escaping their fate.

Back in the hot tub, the lone brunette sits drinking her cheap beer and wondering what is taking the others so long. A stillness overtakes her, blissfully masking the horrors that lurk in the house, just a knife’s throw away.

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Meanwhile inside, Karen is left alone in the living room, Julio and Nancy have run off to find help nearby. Karen walks through the house, making sure that she is alone. She looks around a bit and sees no one. Suddenly, she feels a hand reach across her soft mouth. She gasps, struggling to draw in air just before a knife stabs down into her chest. Knife after knife, blow after blow, the blade rains down on her as blood splatters around the living room. Her body goes limp.

The Shadow Man slowly draws his weapon out of Karen’s chest, resisting the friction from her sticking blood. He then lurches his large frame toward the backdoor that leads to the yard.

From the rear door’s four-pane window, he spots the lone girl, lounging in the hottub. He stealthily exits through the open door and makes his way toward her under the cover of darkness. Slowly inching his way through the crisp fall air toward his unassuming prey, the Shadow Man raises his knife in anticipation. Finally reaching her, he makes one swift motion where he springs from behind her and lowers his knife, sending a scarlet billow out of her neck and into the steamy water; her arteries rapidly draining their contents into the tub.

“Hold on a second,” the doctor interrupted. “I know time’s almost up, but I  just want to stop you there before I  hear the rest. You never mentioned how things were going with some of these bandmates. They appear in your dreams in rather gruesome detail, but last I heard you were also having difficulty with them in real life.”

“Yeah, let’s just say a couple of them passed on.”

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“You mean they left the band?” Doctor Black prodded.

“Sure,” Spencer replied, curtly.

You can listen to an audio excerpt of the above selection here


From THE SILVER SCREAM. Used with the permission of the publisher, Rare Bird. Copyright © 2023 by Roy Merkin, Spencer Charnas, and Andrew Justin Smith, concept by Ice Nine Kills.

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