What Hides Within
Inside all of us, there is darkness. Inside Clive, it's tangible, and it's aching to get out.
What Hides Within tells the story of a man held captive by an unknown evil. Clive Menard is a spineless slacker leading an ordinary existence. But when Chester enters his life, it becomes far from ordinary.
A disheveled Clive stands alone in a hospital waiting room. A series of incidences have led him to undergo unnecessary neurosurgery. A voice inside Clive’s head nags him to kill the doctor.
Weeks prior, a murder investigation and an unrelated kayaking excursion set the story’s interlocking events in motion. When a remorseful killer, a bomb-happy psychopath and a mysterious widow spider converge upon Clive, they bring with them destruction and death. Clive must discover who or what is steering his very existence before he, too, is consumed by the carnage around him.
With a driven detective following his every step and a vicious killer hiding within his circle of friends, Clive must walk a narrow and dangerous path, teetering between salvation and damnation. He must confront Chester and his own demons. But is he powerless to overcome them?
Character Interview – Chester
JP: Welcome back to Frank Talk. I’m your host for this evening’s interview, Jason Parent, author of What Hides Within. Before the break, we put the bug in your ear about our very special guest, one sure to dazzle you, enchant you, and maybe even make your skin crawl. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome . . . Chester!
I see the door backstage open as if on its own. No one comes through it. The audience stares at it, then at me. I can feel their impatience mounting. Where is she? This is so embarrassing, being stood up by a guest.
Wait a minute. I hear something, the slightest pitter-patter of feet upon the hardwood floor. The sound amplifies. The feet draw nearer, working their way up the stool beside me. They stop atop the seat.
JP: Chester! You’re here. I was beginning to think you weren’t coming. Could you wave one or more of your legs and say “hello” to the crowd?
C: Hello, everyone. Thank you for having me on the show, Jason.
JP: I didn’t realize you were so small. Someone could have stepped on you. We could have had a crew member carry you in.
C: I will suffer no such indignity from your kind.
JP: Okay . . . So Chester, what the hell are you exactly?
C: For the most part, I resemble a black widow spider, color variations aside.
JP: But you are so much more than just a spider, aren’t you?
C: How many other spiders do you know that can talk?
JP: There’s Charlotte from E.B. White’s novel.
C: That stupid cartoonish spider who befriends a pig? Nothing but a weak, laughable, socialistic know-it-all. Here’s a spoiler: that bitch gets what’s coming to her in the end. Don’t ever compare me to her again.
JP: Aren’t you the hostile critter? How did they ever get a microphone on you, the tiny speck of spitfire that you are?
C: Very delicately. Besides, I’m only hostile when it serves my purposes.
JP: And what purposes are those?
C: I simply want to be what I once was, what I deserve to be again.
JP: That’s rather cryptic. Do you care to elaborate?
C: If I told you--
JP: You would have to kill me? How dreadfully unoriginal. I wrote you to have more wit than that.
C: You saved all my best lines for the book, What Hides Within, available where books are sold.
JP: A cheap and blatant plug . . . I like it! So where are you living these days?
C: I’ve got me a new host who’s very malleable. With but a whisper, my will is done. You humans are so susceptible to inner monologue.
JP: I bet you’re giving whoever it is an earful.
C: That’s terrible. Besides, I don’t stay in the ear too long. I like to move in deeper where I have more control. Plus, it’s cozier, less drafty.
JP: I’m afraid we’re running out of time. Will we be seeing you again?
C: That’s up to you. But darkness is everywhere. I’ll be around. The next time that voice inside your head urges you to act upon your most deviant desires, answer its call. It could be me. And if it is and you don’t do as I say, you’ll soon wish you had . . . if you live long enough.
Giveaway: Open internationally until Oct 9, 2012. Prize: 1 Ebook (pdf, epub or mobi) of What Hides Within. Winner has 48 hours to respond to winning notification or a new winner will be chosen.