YA Scavenger Hunt

Apr 3, 2018 by

 

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 120 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAM–but there is also a red team, a green team, a purple team, and a pink team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

 

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

 
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the gold team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, April  at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

 

Today, I am hosting Amy Plum on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Find out more information by checking out her website or find more about her book here!

 

Amy Plum is the author of the international bestselling DIE FOR ME series, the AFTER THE END duology and the DREAMFALL duology. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages. She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama before venturing further afield to Chicago, Paris, London and New York. An art historian by training, she can be found on most days either daydreaming or writing (or both) in a Parisian café.

 

 

 

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

“Amy’s Exclusive Content is Chapter 17 from her upcoming book NEVERWAKE. It is told from Ant’s (a 13-year-old girl on the autism spectrum) point of view, and begins when the group wakes up in Fergus’s nightmare.”

 
For most people, nightmares always come to an end. But for Cata, Ant, and the others, there may be no escape from theirs. After an experimental treatment meant to cure their insomnia went horribly wrong, the teens were dragged into a shared dreamworld where their most terrifying fears became reality.

Chapter 17

Ant

 

Before my eyes even have a chance to open, I hear a chainsaw.

I’ve never seen a chainsaw in real life. I don’t remember ever having seen one on TV or in the movies. But there are some things you just know, and this sound is unmistakable. The sound bores a hole into my heart: first a tiny hole, then widening until a chasm of fear gapes inside me.

I reach up to pull my earflaps down, but they aren’t there. I need my chullo. Why did I leave it back in the Void? I remember . . . It was getting in the way last time. But I long for it anyway.

I wonder for a second if I can make one materialize before remembering that in the dreams I have no power. Unless, possibly, it’s my dream. And there’s no way my dream involves a chainsaw. I give up and raise my head to look around.

We’re in a log cabin. The room we’re in measures approximately ten by fifteen, so one hundred fifty square feet. Door in one end with a standard-sized window on either side. There are two sets of bunk beds—one on either side of the room—and a chest of drawers. A tall white candle sends out a weak glow from a bedside table. A door in the far wall is half-open, showing a dismal-looking bathroom beyond. It smells like heavy-duty mildew, copper pennies, and fear.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” says Sinclair from nearby. He rises to his feet and walks over to the bed, brushing his fingers over the blue-and-white pin-striped pillowcase. He stares straight at Fergus, who is being pulled to his feet by Cata. “Is this Friday the Thirteenth?”

Fergus rubs his forehead tiredly, looks around, and then nods. “Like I said, I watch a lot of horror films.”

“Well, I’ve only watched a few, but I clearly remember Kevin Bacon being stabbed through the neck on this exact bed,” Sinclair says, crouching down and looking cautiously underneath.

“What are you looking for?” Cata asks.

“Jason’s mom . . . or a big-ass snake.” He stands, satisfied. “At least we’ll know what to look out for.”

The sound of the chainsaw grows louder.

Sinclair raises an eyebrow. “I don’t seem to remember a chainsaw in that film, though.”

Fergus nods, biting his lip. “They all get mixed up in my dreams.”

“So I guess that would be . . .”

“Leatherface. From Texas Chainsaw

“Perfect. Just perfect. I didn’t see that one coming. You?” Sinclair looks at me.

I can’t tell if he’s being sarcastic. “I’m not allowed to watch R-rated films unless they’re foreign,” I respond.

“Of course you’re not,” Sinclair says. This time I’m ninety percent sure that’s sarcasm.

He turns to Fergus and says, “I guess we’re depending on you, buddy. What comes next?”

“Weapons,” Fergus says, unsheathing his sword. We draw our knives and Sinclair gets ready with the crossbow.

“Do you know what’s going to happen?” Cata yells to be heard over the noise of the chainsaw. Heavy feet pound on the porch.

“No,” Fergus yells back. “With these dreams, I never fight back. I’m always hiding or running.”

“Well, that’s about to change right . . .” begins Sinclair as the door explodes in a shower of splinters, “. . . now.” His crossbow twangs.

A huge man wearing a weird leather mask sewn together with big black sutures crashes through the door and comes to a stand-still as Sinclair’s bolt plants itself firmly into the middle of his forehead. He roars in pain and fury, dropping the chainsaw as he grabs for the projectile sticking out of his head. The power tool thrashes around the floor like it’s alive, and Sinclair has to scramble to get out of its way.

“Run!” yells Cata. She grabs my arm and drags me toward the bathrooms.

“Not that way! Trust me!” yells Fergus, sticking out an arm to stop us. He pulls us toward the door, shoving the flailing masked man out of the way. The man stumbles to the side and slumps, motionless, over a chair.

Curiosity pulls me a step closer to the man, in spite of my fear. “Is he dead?” I ask.

“No one is ever truly dead in these films,” Cata replies, and yanks me away.

Sinclair has already grabbed the doorknob, and pulls open what remains of the door. The four of us run outside into a dark, wooded landscape.

In front of us is a lake, the water black as ink. A full moon hangs low in the sky. I shiver from the cold and wrap my arms around myself.

A small rowboat is moored by the water’s edge, and to our left is an archery range with four bull’s-eye targets sitting in a row. Sinclair turns to Fergus. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Something moves out in the middle of the lake, its epicenter spawning circles of waves. “What was that?” I ask, my heart in my throat.

“You don’t even want to know,” Sinclair replies.

“So this stuff is all straight out of various horror films?” I ask.

Fergus turns to me. “I’ve seen them all. Repeatedly. I have a lot of material to draw from.”

“Why?” I ask. “You told George you don’t even like them.”

“Probably distracts from your less-than-perfect home life,” murmurs Sinclair.

“Oh my God!” says Cata. She gives Sinclair a shove.

“What?” he says, shrugging. “His other dreams are about killing his dad. Or his dad killing him. I can’t imagine it’s all sunshine and roses at his place.”

Fergus ignores him and pulls me into a protective side-hug as we set off into the woods ahead of the others. I don’t flinch. Yay, me.

“It’s desensitization,” he says. We speed-walk side by side as he explains. “It’s so I won’t have a cataplectic attack. The fainting thing I did back in the Void. It’s brought on by strong emotions. I’ve pretty much got fear under control. Laughing is still a problem, though. Even after watching all the comedies I could. I might not get freaked out by horrific things, but I have to remind myself not to laugh.”

“Thus the ‘DFF’ tattoo,” Cata says from where she matches our pace on the other side of Fergus.

“What’s the DFF stand for?” I ask.

“Don’t Freaking Feel,” says Fergus.

“Except it’s not ‘freaking’.”

“Correct,” he responds with a sheepish smile. “I guess I thought if I cursed at myself, I’d take it more seriously.”

Cata laughs.

“Then why can’t you have a nightmare about a comedy? A little Bill Murray wouldn’t kill us,” says Sinclair.

“Unless it’s Zombieland,” Fergus responds under his breath.

I’m not getting any of the references here. It’s like Fergus and Sinclair are speaking in code. It’s not the first time I’ve felt left out of things. But I wish we weren’t run-walking because I want to jot them down in my notebook so I can look them up later.

“Does that mean you’re not scared?” I ask.

“Sure, I’m scared. But not terrified. That doesn’t mean these things can’t kill us, though.”

“Like what?” I press. “What could kill us in these woods?”

“Allow me,” Sinclair says, righting himself after tripping on a tree root. “As I remember from Friday the Thirteenth: throat slit with bowie knife, arrow through the heart, throat stabbed from back to front with a knife, face smashed by ax. There might have been a machete. But all I know of , since this is a Fergus movie mash-up, is the obvious chainsaw and something about huge meat hooks.”

“There was a hammer and a freezer,” adds Fergus.

“Helpful to know,” murmurs Sinclair.

Just then, a cherry-colored balloon floats by. I see a red clown wig poke out from behind a tree.

“Um . . . Pennywise,” Cata squeaks from beside me.

“Just ignore him,” Fergus says. “He won’t come after us. At least . . . he hasn’t chased me yet.”

Clearing the trees, we approach a winding one-lane road. We crouch below the embankment as an old station wagon sided with fake wood paneling drives past us and up a hill. As soon as it’s safe, we scramble across the road. The landscape abruptly changes.

We’re in a graveyard. I look behind us, and the road has disappeared, replaced by row upon row of old, crumbling graves. “Where are we?” asks Cata, a tremor in her voice.

“It could be one of so many different places,” Fergus says. “I can think of about twenty off the top of my head.”

I’m standing next to a freshly dug grave with what looks like a bucket of blood and a tiara sitting on it instead of flowers. Cata glances at it and yells, “Ant, move!” just as a hand thrusts up from the pile of dirt. I leap aside, my heart beating so hard it feels like it’s about to burst out of my chest. The hand disappears into the ground, the soil where it had broken through smooth and undisturbed.

“Ugh, Carrie!” Sinclair says. “Well, that’s not too bad, unless her mother’s lurking among the graves reciting Bible verses.”

Then, from a nearby grave, another hand pushes out of the dirt, followed by an entire corpse that starts rising out of the ground.

“That one’s not Carrie,” yells Sinclair, fumbling with his crossbow. He points and shoots. The bolt goes wide, sinking into the freshly disturbed soil of a grave nearby, which has its own zombie emerging.

“We’re not going to be able to fight all of them,” Fergus says.

Cata shrieks and fumbles for her knife as other graves begin bulging and limbs start sticking through.

“Get your weapons out!” Sinclair urges.

“Daggers aren’t going to do us any good,” Fergus says.

“It’s your dream, Fergus!” I say. “You can make us some weapons!” A moaning sound resonates from all around as an army of corpses starts rising out of the graves.

“I don’t think I can here! Not in the middle of a zombie attack,” he says. He takes my hand and pulls me away from the staggering corpses. “Just run!” he yells. We struggle back up the hill toward where the road used to be.

“How do we get out of here?” I ask. The road has disappeared, and all I can see is graves for what looks like miles around. Fergus doesn’t answer. He just pulls me along as he darts through the cemetery, looking back from time to time to make sure Cata and Sinclair are keeping up.

The zombies are doing what I always thought they would: holding their hands either straight out in front of them or dangling by their sides as they stagger along really slowly. They’re even wearing cheesy zombie clothes like an old wedding dress and a farmer outfit with overalls and straw hat. But as I watch the lumbering way they move and hear the groans emanating from their rotting throats, I find myself thoroughly terrified. Add that to the smell—a stench like when Dog dug up the neighbor’s dead cat, who had been buried for three months, and dragged it into the kitchen through the doggy door.

I know what the smell is: the volatile organic compounds that come from bacteria breaking down animal tissue into gases and salts, like cadaverine and putrescine. But that knowledge doesn’t console me like cold, hard, immutable facts usually do. Because in this case, facts don’t matter. The smell, in my mind, equals evil.

A crow caws three times, and then others pick up the call, and a whole cloud of them lifts to the sky as more zombies pour out of the ground. One bird isn’t so lucky: a putrescent hand grabs it before it can fly away. I hear it squawk, but I turn away so I won’t see what the zombie does with it.

Do zombies eat other species’ brains? I wonder. I wish I could write it down so I could look it up later. Not that I really believe in zombies. But it would be interesting to know what the lore says on the matter.

“No graves this way!” Sinclair says, waving us over to a section that is just an expanse of grass and mud—free of headstones.

He turns around, pointing his crossbow in the direction we came from, and waits for us to huddle behind him.

“I can’t run any more,” Cata pants, leaning forward, hands on knees, taking deep breaths.

“Man, you have to make more weapons. Or do something!” Sinclair says, swinging the crossbow from side to side, waiting for the zombie onslaught. But, besides the distant cawing of the crows, the night is totally quiet. With the imminent danger apparently left behind, we all begin to relax.

“I have to sit down,” I say, and everyone throws themselves down on the grass, panting.

“Any idea of what comes next?” Cata asks Fergus.

Fergus shakes his head. “It could be . . .”

“Wait!” I say, my hands flying to my face. “Something’s happening.” A numbness is creeping through my body. My lips feel all puffy . . . like at the dentist . . . and then it spreads through the rest of my face.

“Whoa . . . major hit of narcotics going on here,” says Sinclair, laying full-out on the ground.

“I feel like after my wisdom teeth surgery,” says Cata, sinking back to lie next to him.

I can’t sit up, and kind of slump to the side, where I’m practically eye to eye with a barely conscious Fergus. “What’s happening?” I ask.

“Don’t know,” he mumbles. “This hasn’t happened before.”

A roar of zombies starts up from far away. “Oh no,” I say, but the words kind of trip on their way out my lips and get lost in the buzzing sound in my head. And then it feels as if someone points a remote control at me and presses off.

 

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Amy Plum and more!To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 13! Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the gold team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

 

BONUS: Enter below for the chance to win a signed copy of my book, WESLEY JAMES RUINED MY LIFE.

CONTINUE THE HUNT

 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out Dorothy Dreyer’s blog!

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