EXCLUSIVE COVER REVEAL AND EXCERPT:
THE DEVIL'S GIFT
by Joshua Robinson
We’re hugely excited to reveal the cover (above) and share an exclusive excerpt from The Devil’s Gift, the debut novella from Joshua Robinson
Lonely and bullied at school, all twelve-year-old Daniel wants is a girlfriend. The mysterious girl at his local park seems like the perfect candidate. But when a jogger goes missing, Daniel discovers Gabriella’s secret: she’s a killer. One with a very unusual diet.
Lovestruck with a girl who can help him finally stand up to his bullies, Daniel has everything he’s always wanted. Can he really give it all up and turn Gabriella in? And does she love him enough to let him?
The Devil’s Gift is the thrilling debut novella by London-based horror writer Joshua Robinson.
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AND we’re delighted to share this excerpt from the novella, exclusively to readers of Horrified…
Pasty orange bricks made up the lower half of the broad building. A grubby white coated the upper part, with pale turquoise lines painted across, then up the gable. Grates covered all twelve windows, fastened with rusted padlocks. Moss dotted and hung from the umber roof and, alongside it, a naked tree spread its wiry arms as though shielding a building that didn’t need protecting. A building more prison than toilets.
Daniel pulled open the women’s gate. It creaked at first, then didn’t.
Through it, he faced a sickly green door, infected with dust.
He grabbed the knob, turned it, then paused.
He was really doing this. Going to see what she was up to, and then … then what? Daniel would have to speak. Talk to her with words. But say what, exactly?
Yeah. That could work. It wouldn’t blow her socks off, but it was something. And he was doing this. No more discussion, no more stalling. Let destiny decide the rest.
He sucked in a breath, then slowly let it out.
Pushing the door open, he stepped past the threshold and into the dim room.
Must and damp filled his nose instantly, as daylight clung to the murky windows. Sinks brimming with dead leaves lined the left wall, and opposite were four battered, mouldy green stalls.
The one at the end was open.
Daniel approached, a small step at a time across the mud-stained floor.
His body lightened as it did in class, only now, butterflies fluttered in his stomach.
He passed the first stall, and a low, unplaceable squelching reached his ears.
Clearer as he passed the second.
Louder with a rip as he passed the third.
By the fourth, Daniel frowned so hard his face hurt. The hell …
He flew back, smacked his spine against a sink as his muscles squeezed every bone in his body.
He’d placed the sound all right, but more than that. It played out before his eyes like a nightmare on steroids:
The chewing of a severed leg.
On her knees, the girl gorged on the thigh resting on the toilet bowl: an oversized drumstick that still had a trainer on.
She snapped her head around, fixing him with a dazzling blue stare that rooted him to the spot. Rising, she strode forward, blood dribbling down her chin, bits of meat caught between pink, sharkish teeth.
Daniel gripped the dry ceramic behind him, gripping until his fingers stung with pain. “V-Vampire,” he blurted.
Inches away, she smirked. “No. I’m Gabriella.”