Read an excerpt from a door in the dark

Read an excerpt from a door in the dark

We’re delighted to share an excerpt from Scott ReintgenIt’s A door in the darka fantasy thriller that follows six teenage wizards as they struggle to get house alive after a defective spell leaves them stranded within the desert. A door at midnight publishes March 28 with Margaret Okay. McElderry Books.

Ren Monroe has spent 4 years proving herself to be among the best witches of her technology. However prime grades at Balmerick College will imply nothing if she fails to get recruited into one of many massive homes. Enter Theo Brood. If being wealthy was a sin, he would already be midway to hell. After a failed and disastrous get together trick, destiny has them stumble upon one another on the Waxway’s public gate on the eve of the vacations – Theo’s punishment is to go house with the Fellows. Which does not swimsuit any of them.

A struggle breaks out. Within the chaos, the portal spell malfunctions. The six college students are snatched from the security of the college campus and dropped off in the course of nowhere. And certainly one of them died on arrival.

If anybody can get them by the punishing wasteland with restricted magical reserves, it is Ren. She’s been in survival mode all her life. However no quantity of magic may put together her for the tangled secrets and techniques the remainder of the group harbors, or what follows them by the darkish woods…

The portal spell felled Ren Monroe the identical manner a baby would throw a toy. She got here again into the world on all fours. There was ache. Way more ache than regular. She reached out and used two fingers to loosen the collar of her shirt, as she felt like she was choking. The opening of the eyes brought on a wave of dizziness. It took him a second to seek out his bearings.

A forest. Tall bushes with sprawling roots. The air was noticeably cooler than on campus. She tried to stand up and fell to her knees. Her thoughts and physique struggled to reconnect. Ren realized she was not alone.

Darkish shapes have been scattered on the forest ground. As she squinted, they grew to become individuals. Ren heard certainly one of them moan. Another person began gasping for air to their left. Ren’s personal respiration got here in shocked gasps. 5 different figures have been within the clearing.

It isn’t doable.

Everybody who had been within the portal room was there. It meant that one thing had gone terribly mistaken. They need to have appeared at their very own locations. In their very own quarters. Nevertheless it wasn’t the Decrease Quarter. It wasn’t Kathor. Wanting round, Ren wasn’t even certain they have been the identical bushes that marked the forests bordering their city.

“The place are we?”

His phrases got here out like rust. No one answered. One other moan close by. Ren acknowledged the gorgeous silvery-white hair, floating like ghosts over his slender shoulders. The modern shirt was now coated in soiled scratches. Timmons was there too. No no no…

Ren began crawling in the direction of her greatest buddy. As she did, she observed that the group was in the identical sample as on the again within the portal room. Precise distances and relative positioning. His clouded thoughts had a tough time processing that reality. Avy Williams was flat on her again, respiration deeply and slowly. Poor Cora was trapped beneath him, working to free herself. Ren’s eyes flickered to the fitting.

The 2 heirs have been there: Clyde Winters and Theo Brood.

“What’s the…”

She watched Theo get to his toes, curses ringing out as he stumbled sideways into the closest tree. He pointed at Clyde earlier than throwing up on the ground. Ren stood up, his head nonetheless spinning, and noticed the explanation for Theo’s response.

Clyde Winters was a pod.

There was no different phrase for him. It appeared like he had been cooked from the within. Each vein had burst. His eyes bulged and widened. She noticed blackened burns beneath the pores and skin. Virtually as if the magic flowing by his physique had boiled, laborious and sizzling. Even his garments appeared burnt. There have been darkish stripes on his cardigan and pants. Ren thought she may deal with it. Corpses had by no means bothered her earlier than, however the odor of burning flesh hit her nostrils. She turned in time to throw up on Timmons’ footwear.

“Hey! That is disgusting, Ren! Why…”

After which her buddy noticed the physique. She set free a cry.

For just a few seconds, Ren stood there, leaning ahead, chest heaving. Even the smallest motion threatened to shake his abdomen. She waited till she was certain she wasn’t vomiting anymore. Then she pulled her scarf up over her nostril and turned to face the darkish scene.

Timmons appeared like a dying flower. She was kneeling within the grime, her face buried in her arms, her entire physique shaking uncontrollably. Theo stood, one hand propped towards the bottom of an enormous tree, struggling to maintain his toes. He had turned his again on them. Something to keep away from taking a look at what lay on the forest ground between them. Ren’s eyes jumped to the identical spot.

She checked out Avy as a substitute. He was on his again, staring on the thick cover. His chest rose and fell, and he or she remembered that he had been hit by a stun earlier than the portal spell activated. Its impact was most likely amplified. She suspected the magic appeared like a two-ton anvil now.

Solely Cora remained calm. In fact. The medical pupil would know what to do when everybody panicked. Ren watched her navigate the maze of thick roots. She knelt all the way down to take important indicators and unnecessarily introduced, “He is useless.”

These phrases lastly introduced the image again into focus. Ren could not ignore it now. Clyde Winters lay at an odd angle on the forest ground – and he appeared very, very useless. Cora was rummaging by her bag. She unpacked a small medical package. The sound of his instruments clashing lastly pressured Theo to show round. He wiped his mouth with a sleeve.

” Cease that. He is an inheritor to Home Winters. This isn’t a take a look at corpse. Cora paused in the course of her preparations. Regardless that the forest was thick with shadows, Ren noticed the lady’s expression clearly. She appeared like she wished to inform Theo that was precisely what Clyde was now. As an alternative, she supplied a reluctant nod.

“You are proper. It is simply…not like all of the deaths I’ve ever seen…understanding the trigger…”

Ren noticed the sharpness in Theo’s expression. She determined to intervene.

“Not now, Cora. We should first decide the place we’re.

Avy lastly sits down. He blinked a number of instances. When he noticed Clyde’s physique on the bottom, each arms went up defensively. “I…I did not try this.” I swear! There isn’t any manner…” For some cause, her denial introduced Timmons again into the dialog. “I advised you to not do any magic in there.” Have a look at this. Look what occurred to him!”

Avy shook her head. “I did not even solid a spell. That’s what I’m saying. It could not be me. I did not use any magic…”

There was a second of silence. No retching, vomiting or sobbing. It was simply lengthy sufficient for the forest to press round them like a shadow. branches, snapping them collectively like spears. Ren heard the track of dying birds and the distant churning of bigger creatures. The group appeared round, irritated. The calm was a reminder that this place – wherever they have been – was additionally a menace to them. She had by no means felt so uncovered. It did not assist that certainly one of them was already useless. This thought was adopted by a darker one.

And certainly one of us killed him.

Extract A door at midnight by Scott Reintgen Textual content copyright © 2023. Reprinted with permission from Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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