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Authors: David Bernstein

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Baby-blue skies, dotted with white puffy clouds, stretched out for miles overhead. The scene would have been brochure worthy had the man not been present, like a cockroach creeping across a freshly made coconut cream pie. The hay seemed to separate a few feet ahead of him as if avoiding his touch. He didn’t belong where he was, but what was anyone to do about it?

The sky began to darken, turning a navy blue, and the clouds grew smoky in hue.

A hulking oak tree, appearing leafless and charred, as if struck repeatedly by lightning, stood by its lonesome fifty feet from where the forest began again.

The man marched up to the monstrous oak, stopping a few feet from its base. He released the woman’s ankle, letting it flop to the ground. The sky darkened to a plum-colored hue, and the winds had all but died.


Thirteen-year-old Evan McCormick had been up in a tree when he first heard the screaming. He froze, listening, his chest unmoving, a spark of panic mixed with curiosity entering his brain. He saw the old man exit the tree line and march across the field, the screaming, pleading sounds he heard coming from the woman. From that point on, Evan didn’t dare move. He remained seated on the branch, his fingers wrapped tightly around the tree’s bark, and watched as the old man approached the charred-looking tree.

After releasing the woman, the old man backed away from the tree. He held his arms out wide like an opera singer bellowing a grand note. He swayed back and forth and began chanting something foreign. It seemed odd that the man could speak, having appeared zombielike until that moment.

The tree began to sway, as if following the man’s movement; and not a hint of wind blew. The thinnest of the branches were stirring, twitching, and soon the thicker ones were moving too. The trunk twisted and the branches whipped about.

The woman woke up and began screaming again, her words incoherent. The man stopped chanting and lowered his arms. One of the tree’s tentacles reached down toward her. The woman managed to get to her feet. She turned to flee, but the branch wrapped itself around her calf like a python, then the smaller twigs gripped her as a human hand would and lifted her from the ground. Her dress flipped upside down, revealing her pink-colored underwear in full. She screamed louder.

The tree’s base bent awkwardly back as the woman soared high into the air. A large horizontal crack appeared in the tree trunk. It widened, then parted, revealing a mouth with numerous jagged teeth. It seemed to yawn, the inside a black abyss. The woman flailed about, trying to break free, but the tree added more of its tentacles to her leg. A growl emanated from the creature’s maw.

The tree-thing lowered the prey to its mouth, but the woman braced herself, using her arms to keep from going in. The tree roared in protest, shoving the woman down with force. Her right arm slipped into the blackness, but her shoulder slammed against the side of the creature’s mouth, preventing her from entering any farther. The monster’s jaws closed, taking the woman’s arm. Blood gushed from the stump, covering the bark in glistening red. The tree growled and swung the wailing woman into the air before bringing her back down with whiplike speed. Her right side slammed into the tree’s waiting mouth. Its jaws slammed shut, taking a huge chunk of the woman’s hip and stomach. Blood exploded forth as she bellowed in agony.

Another branch sailed down and collided with the woman’s back, breaking her in half—the wicked snap of bone echoing above all else. She fell silent. With her body bent backward and in the shape of the letter V, head and feet meeting, the creature began shoving the meal into its mouth.

Witch Island




David Bernstein





A witch’s curse from beyond the grave!


Witch Island used to be feared. Even the bravest would not dare go there. Legend said a witch had been burned alive at the stake, and upon her death she cursed the town. Terrified residents performed rituals to keep her spirit trapped on the island where she was buried.

Now, over a hundred years later, a group of high school seniors have decided to forgo the local graduation parties and have a small gathering of their own—on Witch Island. They don’t fear the legends. They scoff at them. But the group will soon learn these particular legends are nothing to scoff at. And Witch Island will prove far worse than they could have ever imagined.

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They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement on the copyright of this work.


This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.


Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

11821 Mason Montgomery Road Suite 4B

Cincinnati OH 45249


Witch Island

Copyright © 2014 by David Bernstein

ISBN: 978-1-61921-869-7

Edited by Don D’Auria

Cover by Scott Carpenter


All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
electronic publication: June 2014

BOOK: Witch Island
12.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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