The Shed

by Dianne Hartsock

The Shed - Dianne Hartsock
Editions:Paperback
ISBN: 978-1625260819
Pages: 260

As a Certified Mental Health Therapist, Scott Reid has his share of interesting experiences, though nothing compares with the time he spends with the psychic, Alex Elson. Plagued by terrifying images and dreams, Alex turns to Doctor Reid in the hopes of learning to control his visions. Instead, Scott is pulled into Alex’s world, where dreams and reality mix and nightmares are real. Two young men, brothers, have been abducted from the lake outside of Oakton without a trace of who took them. That is, until Alex receives a silver pocket watch in the mail belonging to the elder brother, a taunt from the kidnapper for Alex to come find them. Alex’s visions turn at once into nightmares. Images flash in his mind of an abandoned well and a terrified, lonely boy slowly dying at the bottom. The shed looms close by, holding a horrifying secret, a dark place Alex’s frightened mind refuses to go. With the help of Scott Reid, Alex endeavors to control his visions and find he brutalized victims before death claims them. But the watch is ticking away and time’s running out

Excerpt:

 

Scott yawned as he opened the door to his side of the small house he shared with a colleague. The bungalow had converted nicely into office space for the two of them, each with a private entrance. A wall partitioned the two sides with a door between. And Benjamin was a friend as well as an excellent doctor, so it was working out very well for them.

The house was quiet when he entered, and he went at once to the small kitchen they shared and started the coffee. Definitely needed. It had been a hard week but at least he’d have the weekend to recuperate. He jumped when the doorbell rang and frowned at his watch, then sighed. Alex was twenty minutes early. Couldn’t fault him for that.

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He combed fingers through his hair as he passed through the outer office. It was still damp from a quick shower, which meant it would curl as it dried. Always made him feel like a kid when it did that. Scott laughed at the trivial concern, the smile lingering on his lips when he opened the door. His heart jumped at the sight of his unexpected guest. “Arthur?”

“Good morning. Sorry to just stop in like this without calling, but I saw a car in the drive…”

“It’s not a problem. Will you come in?”

Arthur hesitated, and Scott wondered at the faint color that touched his cheeks, until the man glanced over his shoulder before stepping inside. Scott’s smile turned rueful. Not everyone was comfortable with the mental health field.

“Afraid someone might see you?” he couldn’t help asking.

Arthur gave him a frank look. “Not at all. Alex said he was on his way to see you and I don’t want him to know

I’ve been here. The boy has his pride, after all.”

“He wouldn’t want your help?” Scott mulled that over as he led Arthur to his private office. A chair sat at his desk with several more clustered in the corner. He waved vaguely, curious where the man would feel comfortable.

“Please, have a seat. Would you like coffee?”

“Love some, but better not stay.” Instead of sitting, Arthur loosened his coat and took off his scarf in the warm room, then strolled over to read Scott’s credentials displayed on the wall. Scott didn’t realize he was holding his breath until the man turned to face him. “Impressive.

Have you dealt with cases like Alex’s before?”

So it was to be an interview. Scott could do that. He rounded his desk and sat in the worn leather of his chair, more comfortable with the barrier between them. Arthur wore a subtle cologne that teased his senses, made him want to step close and take a deep breath. And that silky red tie was driving him crazy…

Scott shuffled some papers on the desktop, a delay tactic as he gathered his thoughts. He made a conscious effort to stop chewing his lips when he noticed Arthur’s stare. “I’ve had some experience with patients who manifest psychic ability—” He stopped when the art dealer raised a brow, then plunged on, conscious of the angry blush in his cheeks. “I’ve been a psychiatrist for over twenty years, Mr. Peters, with my own practice as well as working with social services. I know the difference between someone who’s delusional and someone with a natural talent.”

“Do you?” Arthur drawled. “And which do you say Alex is?”

Scott stifled a sigh, chilled with disappointment. He’d thought… But no, it was plain Art Peters had little respect for him. Besides, the beautiful man probably had legions of lovers at his beck and call. What would he need a lonely, broken therapist for? Though for just a moment, in his dreams last night, Arthur had smashed through the wall around his heart and made him whole…

Shoving the memory from his mind, Scott rose to his feet, cleared his throat. “Good day, Mr. Peters. For the record, Alex is a close friend as well as a patient, and I’ve always believed in him. And despite your doubts, I think I can help him.”

Arthur stood as well, a flash in his blue eyes. “Let’s hope so. Alex is a dear friend of mine, and I’d hate to find out you’ve been fucking with his mind.”

Startled, Scott searched Arthur’s face. “Are you in love with him?” That would explain the man’s attitude.

Arthur’s hearty laugh dispelled that line of thought. “Alex is adorable, but no, I’m not in love with the child.” He suddenly leaned across the desk, his attractive face lit with interest. “Are you?”

 

COLLAPSE

About the Author

 

Dianne grew up in one of the older homes in the middle of Los Angeles, a place of hardwood floors and secret closets and back staircases. A house where ghosts lurk in the basement and the faces in the paintings watch you walk up the front stairs. Rooms where you keep the closet doors closed tight at night. It’s where her love of the mysterious and wonderful came from. Dianne is the author of paranormal/suspense, fantasy adventure, m/m romance, and anything else that comes to mind.

She now lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play. Dianne says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write. There’s something about being cooped up in the house with a fire crackling on the hearth and a cup of hot coffee in her hands, which kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.