Horrornchill.com caught up with author M.J. McAleer. M.J. McAleer lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife Melissa, and their three children. As a long time horror fan, he enjoys authors such as Stephen King, Nick Cutter, Paul Tremblay, or anyone else who thinks they can give him a good scare.
His novel, THE CHUREL, will be available in paperback, and through all major e-book retailers, on March 8, 2017. M.J. McAleer gave us a sneak peek of THE CHUREL.
Check out the excerpt below:
George left for Syracuse early the next morning, and was gone before Sarah had awoken to the soft sound of the old clock radio playing a familiar Whitesnake song. She always found it somewhat disorienting to wake with her husband gone. As if something were missing—perhaps because George was missing. She lay there for a few minutes just staring at the ceiling, and thinking. Collecting herself.
The morning show host talked about the pleasant weather change, that the entire week would be in the 70’s. Not a drop of rain to be felt until closer toward the weekend. She listened a while longer before throwing the sheets off of her toned naked body (Sarah was an avid fitness guru in her spare time), and placing her bare feet upon the floor. She walked to the master bathroom to brush her teeth, still nude, and weighed herself—a weekly tradition. She was pleased with the results, and beamed accordingly.
She threw on a spring dress, did her hair and make-up, and made the bed. After a few other chores in the bedroom, she was ready for her day. She smiled. Just before leaving the room, she noticed a strange odor seeming to come from the bathroom, and a sudden chill gripped the air of the bedroom, despite the warm spring morning. Her skin broke out in goose pimples, but she wrote it off as nothing more than old plumbing and a drafty house. She would add this to George’s honey-do list when he returned from Syracuse.
Sarah descended the long curved staircase, and entered the kitchen. She began preparing breakfast for the children, humming quietly to herself. She was lost in her own head, reminiscing of the sex from the night prior. Then it happened.
She removed cereal bowls from the cupboard, and turned around to get spoons out of the drawer on the other side of the kitchen. She froze as her vision focused on the most horrific thing she had ever seen: a malevolent old woman stood less than a meter away from Sarah, looking up at her from a height of about four feet. Startled, she tried to scream, but instead it came out choked.
The woman wore a decrepit-looking burlap cloak, which left one sagging breast fully exposed. Her hair was gray and long—reaching her waist in tangled mess. She had four fangs—which when Sarah later reflected, reminded her of a goddamn saber-toothed tiger. These protruded over the woman’s thin chapped lips. A black forked tongue, like a snake’s, flicked in and out of her mouth. Her stench was horrendous—coppery and stagnant—and that of which Sarah had caught briefly upstairs just minutes ago. She gagged in response and wanted to scramble away, but found that she was immobile. She could not move!
The thing’s eyes were as red as blood, the pupils crescent shaped, and glowed in the dimly lit kitchen. Its mouth opened abruptly, contorting in an unnatural way, seeming to stretch the thing’s long face far beyond its normal capabilities—as if it had grown to twice its normal size. A nauseatingly loud screaming/shrieking sound was omitted that reminded Sarah of nails down a chalk board; and she caught a fleeting glance at the teeth inside the mouth, which had all been filed to sharp points.
Frozen in place, Sarah’s eyes were drawn to the old woman’s bare legs. They held the thing upright at an irregular backwards posture—looking similar to a hunchbacked person that had the top part of their torso attached the wrong way. Its feet were backwards, and were complimented by long and yellow toenails, which curled downward, scraping against the hardwood floor. But those feet! Backwards!
“GET OUT!” it screamed in a dreadful piercing voice—with its mouth opened wide with that same unnatural openness. The thing’s head suddenly flashed side-to-side—similar to that of the standard ‘no’ head gesture—frighteningly fast, then rested central and stared upward at Sarah with those penetratingly awful eyes. The brisk supersonic-like motion lasted only half of a second, but it was the most horrific half of a second in Sarah’s life.
This seemed to ignite Sarah’s natural reactions and she regained control of her body—she jumped back impulsively. With nothing behind her but the old cupboards, her head struck them with a tremendous force. Sarah’s world went black, and she felt nothing as her head struck the floor.
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