This short excerpt from Polar Night features antagonist Aleksei Nechayev, the proprietor of the haunted asylum turned tourist attraction in the Alaskan Arctic.
Aleksei lay in his huge king-sized bed and dreamed of blood. He clutched at the thick black bedspread and recoiled from the sounds of gunfire in the distance. The gunfire came closer now, and was accompanied by screaming.Men screaming for their mothers, for their wives, for God. Ear-piercing screams of unrelenting agony. He tried to block out the yelling, but it was impossible. The screams were so shrill they echoed through his skull, causing him to cover his ears with his frozen hands and beg for silence.The hunger was even worse. Pangs of hunger threatened to take over his whole being. And the cold. Icy, bitter cold covered his body and left him shaking from head to toe. He longed for a real coat and gloves that were more than tatters on his fingers.He couldn’t have that, but he had her. She was there, next to him, her hand brushing his blond hair from his forehead. He was sure she was an angel.Aleksei woke with a start and sat straight up in bed. He cursed at the bedspread crumpled in his hands. He had never intended to fall asleep. He had work to do.He got out of bed and quickly re-arranged his bedding and pillows. He hated an unkempt bed. He ran a brush through his hair, and straightened his black sweater and pants. He didn’t need a mirror to know that he looked perfect. He always did. Satisfied that his bedroom was back to being presentable, he left the room and headed for his kitchen.He didn’t want to keep his guests waiting.
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