The perfect book to get you in the fall mood! Check out At the Gate by Trey Stone and pre-order a copy today!
At the Gate
Expected Publication Date: September 6th, 2022
Genre: Psychological Thriller/ Paranormal/ Novella
Publisher: Inked in Gray
Length: 170 Pages
Checking out isn't an option
Joseph can’t live with the fact that he’s responsible for his daughter’s death. He checks into The Gate as his final destination, but after the disappearance of a guest everything begins to unravel. Days go missing, people are acting strange, and nothing is what it should be. At every turn, he’s reminded of this most painful mistake.
Joseph disappears down a rabbit hole of mysterious events, all the while keeping up the battle against his own inner demons. Now he is trapped inside a haunted hotel trying to find a guest that may not even exist.
Joseph rang the bell for the fifth time. The loud, dreadful chime echoed throughout the sparsely decorated lobby. The room had a reception desk on one side, a doorway to a dining lounge directly opposite, and a big old stairwell at the end.
“Hello?” he called into the dark room behind the desk. It was eerily quiet in the hotel, but he thought he heard people moving around in that back room: shuffling around, feet dragging across the moldy carpet, as if they'd heard him come in but couldn't be bothered to get up.
Turning in a half-circle, Joseph wondered if he was even at the right place. It didn't look like there was anyone in the lobby. It was so quiet, so empty. But when Joseph had mentioned The Gate, the driver who brought him there hadn't even questioned him. This had to be it.
This is the place where I'll end it all. It's perfect.
“Hello, is there anyone—?”
“Yes?” a hard voice asked from behind him.
Joseph startled and smashed his hip into the side of the reception desk with a painful groan. “Holy hell, you scared me. Do you work here?”
“Of course I do.”
The man—or boy, rather—looked too young to work there. His clothes were too big for his arms, his shirt too long at the sleeves, his jacket too wide across the shoulders. He had thin, black hair that fell into his eyes.
“Hi, I've booked a room. Joseph P—”
“Of course, Mr. Podwall. We've been expecting you.”
When the boy spoke his name, Joseph's stomach sank. The way Bryan said it, with familiar melancholy—or was it disdain?—made Joseph uneasy.
“Good, you got my booking then, I wasn't sure if—” “Frank told us. Like I said, we've been expecting you.”
“Frank? The driver?” hasn’t that what the cab driver had said his name was? Joseph couldn't quite remember, and he didn't recall giving the driver his own.
“Sure, why not,” the boy behind the desk said. He turned a few pages in a large book, making an entry here and there.
Joseph heard movement behind the boy again, in the office
—or whatever the hell it was—and leaned over to see a figure glide past on the dirty, red carpet. Must have been who the boy was referring to when he said ‘us.’
“There you go, Mr. Podwall. Welcome to The Gate.” The boy handed him a metal key. It was large and cold, ornate like the rest of the hotel. It felt heavy in Joseph's hand.
“You're in room 704. Top floor. The elevator isn't in working order I'm afraid.” The boy smiled a far too toothy smile, giggling as he did so.
Joseph didn't get the joke and wasn't about to ask what was so funny.
“Leave your luggage here. I'll have someone bring it up to your room.”
“It's not that heavy. I can grab it myself,” Joseph said as he reached for his suitcase, but with a sharp movement, the boy cut his hand in front of him as if to say Stop!
“Leave it, Joe!”
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About the Author
Trey Stone has studied archaeology in England, lived on an Arctic Island for two years, and has more guitars than he has room for (the real problem is that his home is too small). He grew up on a farm in rural, western Norway, and has a bunch of siblings, half-siblings, and in-laws, and is uncle to–oh, I don’t know–twenty or so kids. They’re all pretty awesome, he thinks. It’s difficult to remember who’s who anymore.
Trey has been telling stories for as long as he can remember. He used to create “books” when he was little by folding and stapling a bunch of paper together to write and draw scenes on the pages. He wrote a bunch of short stories when he was younger and tried his hand at a fantasy novel as a teen (but hardly any of that got anywhere). Then he finally wrote his first thriller five years ago and just never stopped. Trey Stone is the author of A State of Despair and The Consequences of Loyalty.
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