Selena had never seen such archival disarray; the bookshelves’ disorder made her hands itch with need. She silently vowed to tidy only one shelf and quickly shuffled the titles into alphabetical order until one spine refused to budge. With a mighty yank, the book tilted forward and the hidden door swung open to beckon adventure.
The new dark age began when Eve discovered a loose baseboard in her new house. The repair revealed eerie patches of glowing mold inside the wall, which led to the discovery of the secret room. Unsealing the secret room released an ancient evil, and that is how perfectionism led to the downfall of all humankind.
There are all kinds of grins: A winning smile, a wry smirk, the toothy friendliness of a sales clerk. But if you see an indistinct figure wearing a peculiar, impossibly wide grin late at night, perhaps spying it from a distance on a deserted street? Beware that kind of grin. It’s the kind that bites.
Adrian methodically fished through the pockets of the cooling corpse until his fingers closed on the object he sought. He gingerly pulled out the talisman and marveled at its banality. It could have been the key to his grandma’s backdoor, for all anyone might know. But this key would open any door to any realm.
Dex had once told a single, tiny, harmless lie. Over time, that deceit built into an unbreakable web of falsehood that underpinned an entire life. It was easy to argue that the trappings of wealth and the tabloid marriage hadn’t been worth the psychic strain. But, Dex reasoned, one couldn’t die of a guilty conscience.