Wilderness: A Short Work Tie-In to Innocence

Wilderness: A Short Work Tie-In to Innocence

Dean Koontz

Language: English

Pages: 0

ISBN: 1491500484

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Wilderness: A Short Work Tie-In to Innocence

Dean Koontz

Language: English

Pages: 0

ISBN: 1491500484

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


New York Times bestseller

With this darkly intriguing original short story, Dean Koontz sets the stage for his masterly novel of mystery, suspense, and strange wonder―Innocence.

“The world is a machine that produces endless surprises and mysteries layered on mysteries.”

Addison Goodheart is a mystery even to himself. He was born in an isolated home surrounded by a deep forest, never known to his father, kept secret from everyone but his mother, who barely accepts him. She is haunted by private demons and keeps many secrets―none of which she dreads more than the young son who adores her.

Only in the woods, among the wildlife, is Addison truly welcome. Only there can he be at peace. Until the day he first knows terror, the day when his life changes radically and forever.…

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curved to the right, and I crawled through the blinding dark, frightened not just of the hunter but of what might currently be in residence in the chamber at the end of that passageway. In the past, when I’d gone exploring there, I had done so with a flashlight, but I didn’t have one this time. The warren offered a home for various species if they wanted it, including rattlesnakes. In the cool of early October, snakes would be lethargic, perhaps not too dangerous, but although Nature’s creatures

curved to the right, and I crawled through the blinding dark, frightened not just of the hunter but of what might currently be in residence in the chamber at the end of that passageway. In the past, when I’d gone exploring there, I had done so with a flashlight, but I didn’t have one this time. The warren offered a home for various species if they wanted it, including rattlesnakes. In the cool of early October, snakes would be lethargic, perhaps not too dangerous, but although Nature’s creatures

my life, I might be in the presence of true evil. I recognized the smell of his cigarette because my mother was addicted to her Marlboros. A moment later, the draft brought ribbons of smoke down the larger of the flute holes, suggesting that the hunter must be sitting near it. The pale fumes curled and quested as if they were spirits of the dead seeking a way back into the world of the living. He whistled a tune I didn’t recognize, pausing now and then to take another drag on his cigarette.

Mother named me Addison. I share her last name, which is Goodheart. On the night of my birth, which followed a difficult labor, a midwife named Adelaide delivered me in Mother’s bedroom. Adelaide was a good country woman and God-fearing, but at the sight of me, she would have smothered me or broken my neck if Mother hadn’t been able to draw a pistol from a nightstand drawer. Perhaps because she worried about an attempted-murder charge or because fear motivated her to escape that house under any

by the back door and avoid the dead man, I knew that it was incumbent upon me to look into his face and bear witness. Apparently he had been a hiker, one who loved nature and the mountains. He dressed the part, and he carried a large backpack. He might have been in his late twenties, a curly-haired man with a well-trimmed beard. His eyes were open wide, but as grotesque as I might be, even I couldn’t frighten the dead. I had seen just two living people in all my eight years, and this was the

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