Sunday, February 05, 2012

Evil Ambulance by Mark Rinker

Hello and welcome to Mark Rinker who brings us his book Evil Ambulance.  I don't know about you but I'm going to think twice when I see an ambulance.

As a kid, there wasn’t a lot that I enjoyed more than a good horror novel or movie.  I saw Jaws and Halloween before, or roughly around, my tenth birthday, and was blown away by Stephen King’s The Shining, both the book and Stanley’s Kubrick’s adaptation.  Around the same time, I discovered the emerging popular Young Adult horror genre. 

The bestselling YA books of the early nineties usually weren’t of the same quality of today’s YA, or all-ages books, stuff like the Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games.  But R. L. Stine, Christopher Pike, and the rest of them put out some decent books, and I found myself recently going over some of those early 90’s titles, I suppose, at least partly out of a feeling of nostalgia.

Reading some of these YA books, I decided to adjust my approach to my novel, Evil Ambulance and turn it into a YA book, the kind I would have liked to read as a kid: fun, occasionally gory, with a little bit of an edge; the kind where main characters get killed off sometimes.  Not to knock Stine and his ilk, but those kinds of YA books rarely ever featured an actual death.  I’d suggest there’s a lot more blood spilled in any of the Harry Potters than an entry in the Babysitter series.

That’s part of the reason that, as a twelve-year-old, I loved the Friday the 13th YA series, by Eric Morse.  These were books clearly aimed at kids, but with bizarre violence and a fairly high death toll.  Obviously a good book isn’t made simply by splattering the pages with gore, but a novel’s suspense level is hardly diminished when the reader knows the next chapter could find a beloved character missing a limb.

It was in this spirit that I approached my revision, and final version, of Evil Ambulance, a novel I began working on almost five years ago.  If I’ve succeeded, then what I’ve ended up with is a suspenseful, fun novel aimed at a young audience, with just enough terror, suspense, and occasional violence to keep the pages turning.

(Evil Ambulance will be released this spring, through Noble Young Adult.)

Evil Ambulance
By Mark Rinker

Genre: Paranormal YA


Eighteen-year-old Eric Donnelly moved to a small town in Pennsylvania, to live with his uncle, Dan, while his parents finalize their divorce.

Dan has recently purchased an old house which sits atop a three-mile hill overlooking the town of Riverwood; a house which is host to the decades-old presence of Victor Devlin, a homicidal ambulance driver responsible for a series of brutal murders years before.

Eric soon finds himself alone, as the spirit of the ambulance driver begins to inhabit his uncle’s body, and each night Devlin’s ambulance appears in the driveway, eerily glowing, calling to Eric. 


Two people had been unfortunate enough to be home when Victor had showed up at the front door of the house on Winding Way. The house at the top of the hill. No neighbors up here. It wasn’t his fault; the cops had forced him there, chased him there. He hoped they were happy with what they found there: a young couple each with a new, red smile drawn across their necks. The result of their chasing him, forcing him into a corner.

You can’t trap a wild animal and not expect him to lash out—at everyone and everything around it.

He scolded himself, continued saying the words, tried not to think of the police upstairs. If the incantation didn’t work before they got down to the basement—
Yes, I am a wild animal.

His own voice shouted at him inside his head, demanding he focus, shut out distractions, focus on the words and—

He stared straight ahead at the wall, repeated the words, over and over, faster, then slower, trying to find the right pace—and blocked everything else from his mind.

* * * * *
He stepped past Eric and crossed the short distance between their rooms. He found Eric’s room bathed in a most unusual glow. Something about the light seemed to move, like fish swimming through it, or waves caressing one another. Waves of dull light. What could possibly be going on here? he thought again.

He crossed the room, to the window. Eric stood in the doorway, watching him. Dan placed his hands on the window ledge, propping himself up, because he most definitely felt like he might collapse again.

The ambulance, the source of the glow, waited in the driveway. It sat there, still, its engine purring, in terrific shape for a vehicle many decades old. The lights atop the ambulance didn’t light up or spin, but were enveloped by—and at the same time, exuding—the yellow, murky glow which consumed the rest of the vehicle.

Dan was only able to look at it for about ten seconds—ten seconds in which he was transfixed, absorbed entirely—before a sudden pain, worse than any he’d felt yet, attacked him, hit him square in the forehead, and knocked him to the floor.
“Dan!”  Eric was crossing the room in a hurry.

Dan faintly registered the sound of the ambulance pulling out of the driveway. He held both hands to his forehead, tears spilling out of his eyes, the pain driving into his skull, into his brain. He was unable to scream, though he’d never known anything as terrifying as that sudden hellish jolt.

* * * * *

Halbert saw the ambulance lunge towards them. It was impossible—the driver was outside, ten feet in front of him, hands up—but that’s what was happening. The ambulance rushed forward at a remarkable pace, and then somehow became airborne. Halbert was impressed with his own reaction, when he thought on it later. He registered what was happening, was still standing still as the ambulance jumped towards them, but he somehow dodged it, spun around, and dove out of the way.

The ambulance crunched down on the back of the cruiser, and slammed down onto the road behind the demolished vehicle.

Halbert dropped his gun. It landed on the ground, and it wasn’t until the ambulance had made it down to the next intersection, turning right, that he realized it was no longer in his hand.

Author Bio

Mark R. Rinker was born in California, but has spent most of his life in eastern Pennsylvania.  His short story, “Dog Mask” was published earlier this year by Dark Gothic Resurrected magazine, and Evil Ambulance is his first novel.

twitter @markrrinker

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