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Copyright © 2019

Books By Nathan Hystad
























About the Author

Lights Over Cloud Lake


Copyright © 2019 Nathan Hystad

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, names, incidents, organizations, and dialogue in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Cover art: Tom Edwards Design

Edited by: Scarlett R Algee

Proofed and Formatted by: BZ Hercules

Books By Nathan Hystad


Keep up to date with his new releases by signing up for his Newsletter at www.nathanhystad.com

Nathan’s books are also available on Audible!


Lights Over Cloud Lake

The Survivors Series

The Event

New Threat

New World

The Ancients

The Theos

Old Enemy

New Alliance

The Gatekeepers

New Horizon

The Resistance Series




Red Creek




The moonlight sneaked past the incoming clouds for a brief moment, allowing Brittany to see the path ahead of her. Spring was late this year, and she was angry at herself for so many things as she trod through the mucky winter melt-off on her way home.

She listed the reasons off in her head as she took another step, her white shoes squelching in the mud. Brittany cursed Abigail for telling her to meet them in the woods after her bedtime. Why had she ever believed the snobby girl? Just because your parents owned the Gilden car dealership, it didn’t mean you could treat other people like trash.

And what possible reason did Abigail have for suggesting they get together in the forest? She hung out with older girls who dyed their hair jet black and painted their nails to match. Maybe she was mixed up in witchcraft or some cult. Brittany had watched a few videos online of women chanting in the forest, and it had made the hair on her neck stand on end. Her mom had almost caught her watching, but she’d closed the laptop right in time.

Brittany tried to push all thoughts of betrayal and witches from her mind as she trudged on, heading toward Wood Street where her house sat, hopefully dark and quiet. She might still be able to creep in, but she didn’t know how she was going to explain the mud stains on her sneakers and pants. Somewhere along the way, Brittany had lost her scrunchie, and she knew that when she made it home, the finality of that would hit her hard. She loved that hair elastic with its tiny pink hearts, and now it was gone somewhere in the woods.

The clouds pushed in behind a large gust of wind; the newly budding trees swayed and danced in the breeze. Brittany pulled her coat tight as rain began to fall, lightly at first, then heavier with each step she took toward home. Her wet hair fell in her face, a quick reminder of what she’d just lost. And it was all Abigail’s fault. By the time Brittany reached the treeline, seeing the path that would lead her past the fields and onto her street, she was drenched.

Brittany wiped the wet hair from her eyes, and she chided herself for being so stupid. She was thirteen, not a little baby anymore. She needed to toughen up and stop being manipulated by other girls. She had friends… Amy was her friend, and she never pulled this kind of crap on Brittany.

A twig snapped loudly behind her, and Brittany froze, stopping short on the muddy path.

“Who’s there?” she asked, spinning around, her hair flying around her face with a splash. No one answered, and she couldn’t see anything in the murky night sky.

She fumbled for her phone, pulling it out of her jeans pocket. She activated the flashlight as another branch crackled, this time to her right. She swung the phone toward the noise, seeing nothing.

“Abigail, if this is you messing with me, you’re going to regret it!” she yelled, not sure what she would really do if it was her classmate.

Still no reply. Brittany took a few more steps, slowly at first, then her shoe stuck in the mud, and she fought to pry it out. Her phone fell to the ground with a splat, the flashlight shooting up into the sky.

“No. No. No,” Brittany muttered, now on her hands and knees. There was no way she was going to be able to hide this from her parents. Not unless she got home, undressed outside, and threw everything in the trash can. Was it garbage day tomorrow?

Her wet hair hung low like a dirty mop as she pulled her foot free. The shoe stayed behind. She clambered onto her feet and saw the dirty white sneaker deep in the mud, deciding to leave it. If she was going to throw it away later, what did it matter? She was almost home.

For a moment, she’d forgotten the snapping twigs nearby, but it all came rushing back as a darkness poured in front of her, covering the meager light of her phone.

She tried to scream at the apparition, a black ghostly essence she could almost see through, but no sound emerged from her closed throat. The threat kicked in, and she moved. Brittany was on the junior high track team for a reason. Her long legs pumped in reaction to the danger, and by the time she was halfway to the street from the treeline, she realized how ridiculous she was acting.

There was nothing in the woods trying to hurt her. All of the rumors surrounding Red Creek were a bunch of baloney, at least according to her dad. And if she showed up at home without a shoe and without her cell phone, her parents were never going to let her out of their sight again.

Still, that black mist had seemed real enough, but it

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