The Vixen’s Deceit – Peculiar Tastes Read Online Nikki Sloane

Categories Genre: Dark, Fantasy/Sci-fi, Paranormal Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 48
Estimated words: 44459 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 222(@200wpm)___ 178(@250wpm)___ 148(@300wpm)

Void is more than just a haunted house. It’s a psychological nightmare designed to find your breaking point.

And this year, the experience will be extra special and horrifying. For its tenth anniversary, the elaborate production has taken over a castle high on the cliffs of Scotland, which has a bloody, tragic past.

Haunted, some say. Cursed, others whisper.

Reviewing Void wasn’t supposed to be Tyler’s assignment. But when he’s the only journalist available at his failing magazine for the important exclusive, he’s thrust into an immersive horror movie experience.

Every scene is more disturbing than the last, and the only thing holding him together is the seductive woman operating the elevator. Her flirtations seem genuine, but as he goes deeper into Void, his grip on reality begins to slip.

Are her feelings for him as manufactured as the monsters he sees? Or is all of it real?

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

Chapter 1

Turbulence doesn’t cause plane crashes. I told myself this over the sound of screaming, which came from the woman seated two rows behind me.

Before takeoff, the captain had warned us they expected some rough weather and that the flight attendant would need to remain seated for the duration of the short flight. But this? The past ten minutes had lasted for-fucking-ever. Every uneasy breath I pulled into my lungs took at least a decade.

The man sitting in the seat across the aisle was unfazed. He wasn’t bothered by the way the wind batted our tiny plane around or the fact we could fall out of the sky at any moment and plunge into the hilly landscape of Scotland.

I lifted my chest and tried to match his confident posture, which was laughable because we couldn’t be more different. The guy was tall and big. He obviously worked out often and probably woke up each morning with more scruff on his face than I’d have if I went a month without shaving. At five foot eight, I’d been the tallest kid in my sixth-grade class—but I’d peaked early. I hadn’t grown another inch since, and it seemed highly unlikely I’d get another growth spurt at twenty-eight.

My last girlfriend told me I had an “intellectual” look, which was . . . a compliment? Or maybe just a nice way of calling me scrawny.

My stomach vaulted into my throat as the plane dropped and then violently tottered side to side. People gasped, and the woman two rows back screamed again. This air pocket was so bad, the urge to catch myself was instinctual. I had to make the falling sensation end.

Except the thing I grabbed and tried to steady myself with was the thick forearm of the guy across the aisle.

His focus snapped to me—the strange American man who’d put a hand on him. I couldn’t imagine what expression was plastered on my face. Hopefully he’d think my discomfort was because I’d grabbed some dude’s arm and not because we were plummeting to certain death.

But the plane leveled out and seemed to find air beneath it again, and I peeled my fingers away.

“Sorry,” I said, doing my best not to be sheepish.

The man nodded politely. “Nae bother. Happens all the time to me. The wife’s scared of flying too.”

I held back a grimace. Scared? No, I was nervous, not scared.

Because if I got scared, I wouldn’t be on this plane, and after it landed—or crashed—I wouldn’t be headed to the ultra-immersive horror experience known as Void.

Even though it was the last fucking place I wanted to visit.

Disneyland for horror-movie fans was how my editor had described it to me last night, but unlike the rest of the guests, I wouldn’t have to fork over thousands of dollars to attend. Refiner, the magazine I worked for, had secured the exclusive rights to review Void—which was a first in its ten years of production.

Josh Sharpe, the creator, was secretive and mysterious. He kept the thing by invitation only and prevented any details from getting out on social media with airtight nondisclosure agreements.

There was no website, no information. Apparently, this was the haunted house all other haunted houses feared—so good that it didn’t need to advertise.

It meant I was going in unprepared tonight, which was not how I liked to do my reporting. But then again, nothing about this job was how I liked it. I was the magazine’s literal last choice for writing the article.

Yesterday, the entertainment writer—the one who’d pitched the project—had crashed his car on the way to the airport and was now in surgery to repair a fractured forearm. Our editor had scrambled our small team, trying to get someone last minute from politics or sports or even food and wine, but everyone was unavailable or unable.

Everyone except me.

To celebrate the anniversary of the experience, Void’s creator had moved the production from New York City to a sleepy castle on the coast of Scotland, where it would run for five nights and end on Halloween. I was the only writer at Refiner who possessed an unexpired passport, had no personal life conflicts, and—as I was already in London working on my own piece for the magazine—could reach Scotland in time.

My editor didn’t say “go or else” explicitly, but he didn’t have to. Refiner had once been the premier men’s publication, but now it struggled in the digital space. We needed something big to stay afloat. This review would hopefully bring in the clicks and the much-needed advertising dollars that went along with them, which meant it was far more important than anything I’d ever written for the magazine before.

And I wasn’t just my editor’s last choice . . . I was the worst one too.

I disliked haunted houses and horror movies. I understood why people enjoyed them, but the fake peril and cheap scares? None of that appealed to me. I liked characters who made smart, logical choices and knowing what was behind the door.