Home :: Young Adult :: Nightmare Island Series Book 3: Night Terrors by Stella Drexler (Young Adult Paranormal Mystery)

Nightmare Island Series Book 3: Night Terrors by Stella Drexler (Young Adult Paranormal Mystery)

Nightmare Island Series Book 3: Night Terrors by Stella Drexler (Young Adult Paranormal Mystery)
 
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Mia's at her wit's end. She hasn't had a moment alone since the last attack, and the twins won't let up, waiting for her before school every day, following her to all her classes, and popping up the second she has a single moment to herself. Even worse, they won't even tell her what's been happening on Flicker Island and why they're so sure she's still in danger. And the twins aren't the only ones a little too interested in Mia these days. Lorien's new boyfriend, Ashton Wolfe, wants Mia to help him write a book about what happened with Mr. Quillen earlier in the year, but when she agrees, she discovers that might not be all he's after, and he might know a lot more than he let on.

Mia and the twins have bigger problems than another nosy journalist, though. Something terrible is simmering on the island, but Mia is determined to see it for herself, anyway. As she meets the strange inhabitants of the island and sees what they can really do, she realizes they might be every bit as dangerous and ruthless as Ian said. Even the mainland doesn't feel so safe anymore.

When she arrives home, Mia starts sharing horrible nightmares with Ian, and she starts to fear they've brought something back with them from the island. As the nightmares become more and more real, Mia and the twins have to figure out who is behind them before the dreams start to leak into reality and destroy them all in this chilling conclusion to the Nightmare Island Series.

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Nightmare Island Series Book 3: Night Terrors by Stella Drexler (Young Adult Paranormal Mystery)
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Sample Chapter

Prologue

There was a slight chill in the air. A fine, salty spray misted her face as the waves crashed on the rocks below. A breeze lifted her hair. She stretched her arms to the sky, enjoying the lithe, supple feel of her limbs and the ease with which she bounded to the edge of the cliff, peering down at the churning sea with gleeful disregard for the breathtaking drop and the lethal landing. She felt lighter, younger, more carefree than she'd felt in ten years.

She knew where she was. She remembered this day.

For a moment, her joy was so intense she felt her chest might burst with it. A giddy laugh bubbled up out of the back of her throat.

Then the laughter died on her lips. There was something wrong.

Profound sadness washed over her. A deep, wrenching ache squeezed her heart, and she doubled over, clutching her chest with a gasp.

She was alone on the cliff. All alone.

No, this wasn't wrong. This was right. This was exactly how she had felt that day, when she had screamed out her agony to the sea and sunk to the ground, weeping. This was how she'd felt in the beginning.

Her younger self didn't know yet.

She heard someone call her name behind her. She spun, and the leap of hope in her chest stole her breath. She'd been so desperate. How could she have forgotten how she'd felt that day? How could she have forgotten peering over the edge of that cliff at the rocks below, thinking of the wind in her hair and the terror of falling before it was all over?

She'd forgotten because he'd come back. Ezra Archer, the only boy she had ever loved, had always loved since she'd been just a girl and hadn't even known what love really was.

There were two Ezras on the cliff, superimposed upon each other, one atop the other: Ezra, young and broad and so handsome, it made her heart ache; Ezra, his lined face still the most beautiful she had ever seen, though his hair had gone to grey and his broadness had spread to his middle.

She loved both Ezras, the man he had been and the man he had become. Her joy at the sight of him warred with mistrust and devastation. Her younger self remembered this so differently, remembered only the way he had hurt her, the way he'd gone to the mainland and left her behind without a second thought.

But he'd come back, and he was smiling at her.

"I've been looking everywhere for you." His voice was a storm at sea. There was something different about him. He looked the same as she remembered him that day. He was windswept and flushed, as though he'd run from one side of the island to the other.

She knew what he would say next. She stepped towards him. She did not even have to think of the words, for her younger self spoke them for her.

"Why? I thought you left. I thought you wanted something different." Her voice was brittle with bitterness. "I thought you wanted to get away and see what life has to offer." She took a hitching breath. "I thought you didn't want me anymore."

Her heart leapt, for she knew what he would say. I was wrong.

Ezra's smile disappeared. His lip curled. "I don't want you. I just wanted to tell you that I have postponed my leaving."

She opened and closed her mouth dumbly. This wasn't how she remembered it. "What?"

"I came back for Sarah."

"Sarah--Sarah Evans?" Her voice faltered. But Sarah was her friend. Sarah knew she loved Ezra. They had never been together, had they?

"I asked her to come to the mainland with me. We are going together." He sounded so heartlessly deliberate. "We are going to be together. Sarah and I."

"But I--" She pushed her hands desperately through her wind-ravaged hair. "This is not right. That's not what you're supposed to say. You were supposed to say you were wrong and you love me and you want to be with me. Only me. Forever."

He didn't laugh. Instead, he lifted a cool, disdainful eyebrow. He spoke with the same quiet, steady precision. "Foolish, delusional girl. Why would I want that? What about you would keep me here on this island? You aren't as pretty as Sarah. You're half-mad from your visions. I don't want you."

"Then why are you here?" She wanted to scream, but her words were so quiet, the wind might have carried them off. He heard them all the same.

"I wanted to be sure you wouldn't come looking for me. I want you to understand this is the end."

She shook her head violently. "No, this isn't right. We're supposed to grow up and get married. After this day, we were never apart again. We're in love--"

He scoffed. "You've been living in a dream world. It's just another vision. It's nothing more than your madness. We're done, Helena. I'm leaving, and I'm never coming back."

Pain lanced through her belly. She clutched her middle, and that horrible sadness returned. This time it was worse because it belonged to her memory self, and it belonged to her. All the hope she'd had, the delight at returning to this moment was gone.

"This is a dream," she whispered. "This is the dream. It's nothing more than a dream. I can wake up."

But she couldn't wake up. She lifted her head to find him staring down at her in disgust. But this couldn't be real. She had been here, and it hadn't happened this way. If she could open her eyes, she could prove it hadn't all been a fantasy her heartbroken mind had constructed to protect her from the truth. If she could just leap from the cliff...wouldn't she awaken before she hit the jagged rocks below?

And if she didn't, if she didn't wake up and instead crashed against them, ending her life, wouldn't that be better than remaining here under his glacial stare, in this awful world without him?

She spun away from him, and if he spoke to her, she did not listen, for he had said enough. She lurched towards the cliff edge. This time her body felt older, heavier and stiffer than before, but she could still move quickly. Saltwater misted her face as she huddled on the rocky edge. If she could just wake up...

It was a terrifying drop, and she screamed out his name as she fell. The waves dashed her mercilessly against the rocks, which pierced her chest and belly and shattered the bones in her arms and legs. The agony was black and blinding. And then there was no pain at all. Her body rocked slower and slower, and she no longer saw him peering down at her over the side of the cliff with cold, cold eyes.

There was a sweet, horrible sense of never feeling pain over him again...

"Helena. Helena?" The man cursed under his breath. "I thought she was coming back for a moment."

Helena's eyes fluttered, but they didn't open.

"Damn, she's gone."

No. No, I hear you. When she opened her mouth to speak, they weren't the words she spoke. "Ezra?" Was this Ezra? He didn't sound like Ezra, but neither had the Ezra she had met on the cliff in those moments before the boundless, lonely darkness had taken her.

The man--Ezra?--sighed.

"Ezra, I died. I think I died. I thought it would bring me back to you, but you are still going away with Sarah, and my body is still being torn to pieces by the rocks." There was a horrible, childish quality to her voice.

The man swore again. "She's delirious. It's just the same. I don't know what she is talking about."

He wasn't alone. A woman spoke now. "Is there nothing you can do?"

"No! I told you. I have tried. There's nothing. She just comes up long enough to look at me as though she has something to tell me, but then she regresses into this. I can't tell if she's sleeping or awake most of the time."

The woman with him cursed now, too, and Helena knew it wasn't Sarah Evans. Sarah never said a bad word in her whole life. "I thought she could help us. I just don't understand what's going on."

"I'm sorry, Mar. I'm trying."

"I know you are. I just wish you could help. I was sure our combined..." She sighed.

"This is beyond anything we've ever seen. I don't even know if it's a spell at this point. It could be she's just gone mad."

"That would be very unfortunate."

"I know. She was the best seer on the island. It will be a great loss."

"Power can do that." The woman's voice was soft. "Make you crazy. If you lose yourself in it, you can lose everything."

"Go home, Mar. It's late, and I don't think the kids should be alone at a time like this."

Their voices were growing fainter. Helena bobbed gently in the chill sea.

"You're right." The woman's voice faded back in. "I know you're right. I need to protect them. Now more than ever."

"I just wish I knew who would protect you."

She laughed. The sound was so familiar, Helena nearly gasped. "I think Ian can, if I need him to. He's pretty handy with his powers these days when it comes to someone he cares about."

Helena struggled to speak. Though her voice croaked, she managed one word. "Maritza..."

"Mar!"

"Helena? Are you back with us?" Yes, it was Maritza. Helena was sure. "Can you hear me?"

Helena's body felt lighter and lighter, and then she was floating up out of the water. The air was warm, and the scent of the sea faded gently away until the heady fragrance of wildflowers filled her senses. She landed with a soft, contented sigh in a bed of lush grass.

Her little sister lay on the grass beside her, dressed in a bright yellow dress. There was a pile of freshly pulled daisies tucked into her hem.

Helena gasped. "Ellie! You said you would wait for me to make daisy chains."

Ellie turned her head to grin at her sister. "There are enough daisies for everyone, Hellie."

"Yes." Helena smiled at she peered around them. The sweetly scented flowers filled her vision. "Yes. There are always enough daisies."

Somewhere, a man and a woman sighed together in deep disappointment.

"Well, that's that, then."

Helena allowed their voices to fade away completely. Why had she been listening to them, anyway? There were much more important things to be doing. Ellie was here. It was a warm, lazy afternoon, and she had so many daisies to chain...

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