The Death Series: A Dark Dystopian Fantasy Box Set: (Books 1-3)

Table of Contents

 

 

 

THE DEATH BUNDLE

Death Whispers

Death Speaks

Death Inception

Copyright © 2010-2014 Tamara Rose Blodgett

 

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system without the prior written permission of the publisher.

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.

All rights are reserved.

Series by Tamara Rose Blodgett:

 

The Blood Series

The Death Series

The Reflection Series

The Savage Series

 

 

 

 

 

Praise for
DEATH WHISPERS:

 

“ …
This was a great teen read, but mostly I liked it because the idea behind it was awesome! It sort of reminds me of a mash-up between X-Men and DARK VISIONS by L.J. Smith. AFTD (Affinity For The Dead)- not my choice of 'special ability', but then if Caleb Hart could've chosen his ability, it probably wouldn't be among the first on his list, either. The characters are distinct with well-written personalities and I love diversity in my characters, otherwise I get bored easily. In all, DEATH WHISPERS is a neat idea and a fresh take on teenagers mixed with paranormal abilities...”
JA Redmerski, New York Times bestselling author.

 

“ …
EXCELLENT!!! What an incredible book. Tamara Rose Blodgett captures the essence of teen boy relationships and combines it perfectly with a fantastical paranormal tale. LOL Funny with a storyline that packs a punch...”
Beth, Tome Tender

 

“ …
Catch a glimpse into the future where genetic manipulation is common. Sit like a fly on the wall listening to real teens as they talk uncensored, and realize that no matter what, the rite of passage between child and adult is timeless and priceless.
..” Dii, Reader

 

"...I can't emphasize enough how wonderful the narrative voice is. The dialogs are so full of life and natural! Some authors seem to have a big problem with dialogs, they're either too flat or way too overdone. For TR Blodgett writing from a 14-year-old-boy's perspective seems to be as easy as breathing..."
--evie-bookish.blogspot.com/
"...The issues surrounding the paranormal gifts these kids have is so fresh. I don't think I've
ever
heard of an idea like this.... I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a great read..." --
awesomesaucebookclub.blogspot.com/

 

“...
I especially love that the main character is male, as more often than not, lead roles in YA literature are female (why is that?). I've been looking for something along these lines to promote reading among my male student for a while, and thankfully, I've now found it. With a main character that can raise corpses, how can you go wrong...?”
Shana, AbookVacation

 

“ …
The story was scarily believable. Tamara Rose created a future where the DNA map for paranormal abilities had been created. Cool futuristic technology and government corruption is just the start. I would highly recommend this book. Very thought provoking as well....”
Heidi Hayes, Reader

 

 

What happens when teenagers manifest paranormal abilities which make them more powerful than the adults? Can death be used as a weapon? Can humanity transcend death?
DEATH WHISPERS,
reveals impossible human potential and the evil which lies therein.

 

Almost fifteen-year-old Caleb Hart is a Cadaver-Manipulator in the year 2025. When teens receive a government-sanctioned pharmaceutical cocktail during school, paranormal abilities begin manifesting... making the teens more powerful than the adults.

 

After Caleb discovers he has the rare, Affinity for the Dead, he must do whatever it takes to hide it from a super-secret government agency whose goal is exploitation.

 

Caleb seeks refuge in his new girlfriend, Jade, until he realizes that she needs as much protection from her family, as he does from the government.

 

Suddenly, Caleb finds that hiding his ability while protecting Jade and his friends is a full time job; can he escape the government, protect Jade and lose the bullies that are making him miserable?

DEATH WHISPERS

Book One: The Death Series

Copyright © 2010-2014 Tamara Rose Blodgett

Second Edition

 

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system without the prior written permission of the publisher.

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.

All rights are reserved.

Dedication:

 

Joshua

C
HAPTER 1

 

Pre-Biology sucked, but the subject was mandatory in eighth grade. I walked in and slumped into my seat. We were going to be dissecting frogs, and I wasn’t excited about it.

John sat down next to me with two pencils up his nose.

“Hey, Caleb.”

“Hey. Did ya make sure the erasers were in there first?” I asked him.

“Yeah, duh.” The pencils bounced as he spoke. For a smart guy, he had some weird ideas about self-entertainment.

“You still buzzing?” he asked.

“Yeah, it's on and off.” I felt kind of defensive about that and didn't really want to talk about it.

“I've been thinking about that,” he said.

I wondered briefly how he could think with pencils up his nose. A mystery. “Yeah?”

“I think you have the undead creeper, like that Parker dude,” John said.

That would be bad.
“He's the one that could corpse-raise, right?” I asked.

I had just been thinking about how much that ability sucked. However, the rareness of corpse-raising might come in handy. But that being my ability wasn’t likely. Mr. Collins went to the whiteboard and started to explain how to pin down the frogs.

“Government took him. Bye-bye... gone.” John made a fluttering motion with his hand like a bird flying away. The pencils kept bouncing in a distracting way.

I'd heard about that. Corpse manipulation was rare. Jeffrey Parker was the only recorded case.

“Are you shitting me? Why do you think? Dead people? Come on.” I got an image of zombies with M-60s. I was interested for a change. Sometimes John would lose me in a tech rant, and it was all over.

“No, think about it. They could get people raised and force them to do stuff. From a distance, they'd look like they were alive, important people.” He raised his eyebrows.

“Presidents?”

“Rulers or whoever,” John said. “He was a five-point. He could do the whole tamale. I think the government exploits whatever they can; using whoever they can.”

I laughed.

“What?” he asked.

“I can't take you seriously. You look like a dumb-ass.” The pencils dangled indignantly inside each nostril, humiliated.

John pulled them out, checking the ends for gold.

I'd been wondering why my head was buzzing. I tried to remember when it'd started. I had no idea what triggered it. I wondered if John could be right?

“Okay, people,” Collins said. “Zip up here and pick up your trays. Your sterilized utensils should already be at your desks.”

John went for our trays, minus the attractive pencils. I stared out the window, the rain rivulets that looked like gray streamers marring the glass.

I shook my head, clearing fuzziness. I couldn't get rid of the buzzing, a dull noise that ebbed and flowed. As soon as I had entered the classroom, it had increased. It was starting to sound like people whispering.

“Here. One frog for the both of us.” John plunked down a frog that had once been green but was now a bone-gray. The pins staking it to the board gleamed under the LEDs.

Suddenly, I felt as though the earth was swiveling on its axis with me at the top. The whispering grew in volume then images of a marsh flooded my head. A frog, in the bloom of its life, shiny with amphibian iridescence, leapt to a log, hoping to fool a water moccasin.

Right behind you!
I shouted.

But the frog didn’t seem to hear me.

A motor boat was closing in on the frog. A man leaned out, getting ready to take capture the frog with a loose net on the end of a long metal pole. I heard the frog's thoughts:
Strange predator. Must seek cover... noise... hurts...

No! No!

More visions came. With every cut my classmates made, I saw stuff from other frogs’ lives. I realized through some dim sense that I was lying on the floor. I think I might have passed out for a few minutes.

“He bit it over a frog? Seriously?” Carson yelled.

Brett, not to be outdone, caterwauled, “He's a total girl!”

Collins was moving his hand in front of my face, holding up fingers, but I was caught in the grip of the death memories absorbing my consciousness. My vision grayed at the edges. A pin point of black expanded in the center, and I knew no more.

 

*

 

Trees surrounding the cemetery danced in the languid breeze of the mild spring night. Headstones glimmered like loose teeth, and the whispering was like a steady thrumming of white noise in my head. My hands grew clammy.

I looked behind me at my two friends who'd come to support me. They had discovered my secret: that I could hear the dead. Proving to Carson and Brett that I had Affinity for the Dead—or AFTD—wouldn't keep them off my back completely, but it'd notch down their stupid to something me and my posse could manage.

“Caleb, show them you're not a frickin' poser,” Jonesy said.

“I don't pose.”

I took a step through the Victorian-style gate
, my foot touching its reluctant toe on hallowed ground.

The feeling of being forced pressed uncomfortably against my mind.

As I crossed the threshold, the whispering turning into voices. One whispered stronger than the others. As if an invisible string pulled me along, I was drawn toward one of the gravestones. The marker stood sentinel near the middle of the cemetery, glowing softly in the moonlight. I stopped in front of it.

“Clyde Thomas, born 1900, died 1929.”


Wake me
...”
someone whispered.

“What?” I asked
.

“Wake me
...

“Caleb, who are you talking to?” John asked.

I swung my head in slow-motion, as if moving it through quicksand. Blood rushed in my ears, and my heart beat thick and heavy in my chest. Everything became crystallized in that moment. John's frizzy hair and freckles stood out like measles. A microscopic chip lay like an imperfect shadow on the headstone, a shining stark contrast to the white marble.

Something... something... was building, rising up as if underwater and rushing to the surface. I was supposed to finalize something, but what? John's mouth was moving but no sound was coming out. He was arguing with Jonesy and flailing his arms as he spoke. The whispering of the corpse in the earth was so loud it drowned out his words.

Jonesy's hand suddenly connected with my face. My teeth slammed into my tongue, and the taste of copper pennies filled my mouth. I leaned over, and a drop of blood hung tremulously on my bottom lip, before falling to the grave like a black gem.

Everything clicked into place, vertigo spinning the graveyard on its side as if it had been waiting for that moment. The ground rushed toward my face, and I threw out my hands to brace my fall. My fingers bit into the damp earth. A hand broke through the ground like a spear through flesh and grasped my wrist. The vise-like grip and intense coldness of the grave lingering on its dead flesh made my breath catch in my throat.

The head of the corpse broke free of the ground, then the hand released me. I scooted backward and got to my feet, swaying, overcome with some unidentifiable emotion. I had done it, but I didn't know how to undo it.

The corpse moved toward me with purpose, using the undisturbed ground for leverage. When it reached my feet, another drop of my blood landed with a dull plop on the corpse's forehead. Jonesy ran out of the cemetery and stood at a “safe” range from what the ground had disgorged.

The zombie's gaze fixed on me. It put a hand on its knee and began to push itself upright. Dull, lank strands of hair hung loosely from a scalp of rotten sinew. “Why have you awoken me?” The words sounded garbled.

I stared at it. “You asked me to.”

John was standing at my right, trying to mask a fine, all-over tremble. His freckles stood out from his pale face like beacons of fright.

“What the hell is this?”

I turned and gave him a
duh
look
.

The zombie’s eyes rolled wetly in their sockets.

“Why have you awoken me?”
it repeated, shambling a little closer.

The smell... wow. It rose like a torrent of rotting garbage
.
John clapped his hand over his nose and backed up a bit.

The corpse took another step closer to me.

“Got any brilliant suggestions?” I asked John, keeping my eyes on the zombie.

“Sorry. I don’t have the
Zombie Handbook
handy,” John said.

Not helpful.

The corpse tilted its head. “You're just a boy. For what purpose have you disturbed my slumber?”

“I, um… I didn't... uh, mean to… um, wake you up.” I wasn't usually so tongue-tied, but meeting a corpse in the flesh—ha, ha—seemed to have stolen my ability to speak coherently.

“You do not know what you would have of me? You use your life-force to awaken me and without purpose? Put me back.”
His clothes hung in tatters, and the smell was definitely old, dark coffin, not that I knew what
that
smelled like.

John's look clearly said,
Do something!
What I hadn't told my friends was that I had never thought that I could actually raise the dead. But there the dead guy was, standing before me in all his rotting glory.

“To whom much is given, much is expected. Put me back,”
he said.

Adults were all the same, even dead ones; lecture, lecture.


How?

I asked.

“You are the necromancer, boy, not I.”

“I’m a what?” I felt surprisingly calm. For the first time, there were no whispers. Perfect, blessed silence filled my head. Talking to the dead seemed like the most natural thing in the world. I could still taste the blood from my busted lip. Its eyeballs were inky marbles staring back with uncanny devotion.

“A necromancer. A diviner of the black arts,”
he replied.

I thought about that for a minute. Things had only gotten über-weird when Jonesy had smacked me. I looked back at the corpse, no longer feeling that sense of swimming power just beneath the surface. I needed to regain that essence—fast.

“Ah... hang on a minute,” I told the corpse. I turned to John.

“John, give me your blade.”

“What the heck, Caleb? What are you planning to do with that”—John pointed at the patient corpse, “...thing?” Who was as immobile out of his grave as in.

“I figure my blood made it jump out of its grave, so now I need some to put him back. And you're going to help me.”

John's face got even paler. “Ah, we're good friends and all, but no
,
not a good plan! We don't know that for sure anyway.”

John needed to ante up the blood, or it was going to be a long night. I tapped my foot on the disturbed mess of the grave. “Here's the deal. Let's do a little 'friendship blood bank' just for the sake of putting the dead guy back in his grave, eh? Just give me your arm.”

John took a deep breath. “Okay, but you're going to owe me big time.” He held out his arm.

I placed the blade on his forearm then made a thin slit in the skin. John let out a little gasp. When crimson oozed out, I
repeated the process with my own arm then pressed my arm against John’s.

A vibrating tuning fork of trembling power welled up inside my body. A strange mixture of fear, dread and excitement paralyzed me. My teeth throbbed with the intensity of it. The zombie's hand snaked out and curled around my arm. Its skin felt cold against my warm flesh, like iced tentacles. I swabbed a blot of blood with the fingers of my other hand and dabbed it on the zombie’s forehead like war paint.

The dead guy rolled those empty eyes up at me, its dead bones clinging to my fingertips.

We shared a suspended moment in time, a terrible beauty of precariously balanced control.

“Go back and rest,” I said, feeling that
I
was choosing for both of us.

The zombie reluctantly let go of my arm, sand through a sieve, then lay down on the disturbed ground. His grave encased him in a shroud of earth.

John and I stared at each other over the grave for a swollen minute, his face showing a mixture of sympathy and dread. I was a corpse-raiser

one of only two in existence—and that was not a safe thing to be. John knew what that would mean for me in the world we lived in.

I was shaking from the intensity of the experience and thoughts of the future. This was not the same as Biology experiments and roadkill, this was real, huge. Looking outside the cemetery perimeter at two enemies and one friend, I knew it was time to swear the group to secrecy. A trickle of sweat slithered down my back and pooled at the waistband of my jeans, instantly chilling my fevered skin. I didn't want the same future as Parker. That loss of freedom was so
not
a part of my plan.

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