In The Hidden Valley: Carrie’s Story, Carrie is a professional photographer who allowed one of her private gigs to get more than a little out of hand. The fallout is severe, one that leaves her marriage forever changed.
When the family reaches South Bend, she makes a promise to herself that she is only going to work in freelance photography, sending nature photos to magazines and the like. She finds that everything there seems primed for the lens—and every picture she takes is National Geographic-cover perfect. As such, it comes as a surprise when she begins to receive one angry rejection letter after the next for her submissions.
Another look at the pictures offers her a shocking reality check: none of the pictures appears even remotely as it had appeared at first glance. She is then faced with the terrifying question of whether she had perceived them incorrectly when she first took them, whether she saw them from a skewed perspective as she reviewed them again, or whether someone was playing a cruel trick on her and actually replacing her perfect pictures with the horrific images now cluttering her hard drive.
Or has she simply lost her mind?
Deep in a hidden valley, there is a ghost town that has experienced a miraculous rebound. It is separated from the rest of the world by a mountain pass, but it's found a dark and deadly lifeline…. Carrie and her husband Grant are moving wayward teenage twins John and Jane across the country for a fresh start. South Bend seems like the perfect place for it. Maybe just a little too perfect. When they become aware of the trap that has been set for them, will it already be too late for any of them to escape?
In addition to being a ghost story, The Hidden Valley is an experiment in structure. The reader will find that nearly every chapter is, in itself, a work of flash fiction. Each main character’s story may be read individually for a surprisingly different effect. Read The Hidden Valley by character; read The Whole Story in Kindle or paperback (coming soon); or read the weekly flash fiction serial here at The Cerebral Writer.
This post is part of the week-long Horror Novella Blog-Hop, hosted by Precious Monsters. Make sure to check out the other participating blogs.
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