Category Archives: Chapter Excerpts – Book One – The Chosen

New Book Cover

Here is the new book cover ideas for The Chosen ~ 2nd edition

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Second Version


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The Chosen 2nd Edition – Chapter 5 Preview

Here it is. An except some have been waiting for. This excerpt is from Chapter Five of my upcoming re-release of The Chosen.

Just a warning: Parts of The Chosen have been rewritten to reflect the extent and nature of some of the characters, and this one character in particular is what I would call the forefront of being evil.

Not for the squeamish or offended by graphic horror:


Chapter Five

Jamiesonn’s plans had not gone as he had anticipated. He fully expected Alex to show up rather than hightail it to some remote town in the middle of nowhere.

What he got though was two teens looking for a secluded place to have sex turned up instead. He knew why they were there. His sanctuary was to be defiled by their raging hormones. But for now, he lurked in the shadows and watched them, waiting for the opportune time to strike.

The young couples were no older than seventeen. While Cathy had long flowing red hair and big supple breasts, her boyfriend, Thomas, was average built and average looking. He was hardly the popular teen in school, but Cathy was his first girlfriend, which he was thankful for.

Thomas had waited for this moment for a long time. Today, finally, he would experience sex for the first time. In his anticipation he hoped that he wouldn’t cum so fast.

The young couple found a room that had little light and they began to kiss and undress one another. Thomas’ manhood ached as Cathy grabbed it in her soft hand. He moaned with pleasure. He had imagined how she would feel. The scent of her body drove him wild.

He kissed her neck and started to kiss down to her breasts as she gently stroked his hard cock.

Thomas positioned himself on top on her and prepared to slide his aching manhood inside her waiting vagina.

Finally. This is it. He thought

Jamiesonn wasn’t going to let them get away with defiling his sanctuary. This sight of their wanton passion infuriated him. But, he bided his time, waiting for the right moment to destroy their momentary pleasure.

He could remember a time when he once had that oneness with a woman. He vaguely remembered the feeling of holding a woman in his arms, and the feeling of being one with someone. But, those things were gone. Faded, like as his mortality ended, so did his compassion. With that faded memory well behind him, he opened his eyes and glared at them. Rage coursed through him and he loathed this abomination in his kingdom!

Before Thomas had the chance to enter Cathy, an invisible force pulled him off her and threw him against the wall. Cathy sat upright and watched in terror as imprints of fists began to beat Thomas repeatedly in the stomach, chest and face.
Thomas begged for the force to stop, but it didn’t. It continued its violent attack. Cathy tried to flee, but she couldn’t. Before she had a chance to even stand she was sent flying back against the opposite wall and bound by an unseen power and forced to watch the brutal attack.

“Please stop! Stop!” Cathy cried and pleaded over and over.

Jamiesonn took no heed to her pleas. He ignored her and continued to beat Thomas violently, punching him hard in the stomach and in the face.

Cathy cried and watched helplessly as the blows become more brutal.

Thomas was thrown effortlessly against the far wall, and then thrown face first into the other wall. The sound of bones breaking echoed in the room, and blood could be seen spurting from his mouth.

Jamiesonn turned Thomas around and threw his back against the wall.

SNAP! Thomas’s ribs were broken. But Jamiesonn didn’t stop. He continued his horrific attack, punching Thomas repeatedly in the face. With one swift blow, Thomas’ jaw was smashed and his jawbone was exposed through his flesh.

Jamiesonn paused for just a second to look at his work, and seeing the exposed bone, he grabbed it and with a one quick jerk he ripped Thomas’ broken jaw off his face.

Blood! Blood spurted and flowed everywhere. Jamiesonn stopped for a moment and looked back at Cathy who was crying frantically, terrified.

Jamiesonn smirked then looked back at Thomas.

“What do you want” Cathy managed to choke out

Jamiesonn released Thomas who slumped on the floor, bloodied, beaten and mutilated. He was alive, but barely.

“It seems that no one will heed my warnings,” Jamiesonn finally said as he manifested in front of her.

“Who are you?” She managed to squeeze out throw her tears.

“The one who will feast on your soul,” Jamiesonn replied.


I would like to annouce that coming in May, The Chosen will be re-released as a Second Edition, and will be available through many online retailers.

The Second Edition will include previously unseen chapters and changes back to some original characters.

To give you a taste of what is to come:

The Chosen was originally a 306 page novel that was packed with horror, blood and gore. Unfortunately most of it was edited and cut from the final print.

For those who wanted it to be longer, your wait is almost over

This is the book that will appeal to all those who love supernatural horror at it’s finest.

The Chosen Second Edition.

Coming in May 2009.

The Chosen – The Origin of Jamiesonn

Jamiesonn could remember his former life, a life that started so simply and full of promise. There was once a time when he recounted the days of when he was a mortal. He remembered there were many people from his former life who thought that he was born around 1763, but this was far from the truth. Jamiesonn was born in a filthy environment in a town called Nesikan, located in a small province in northern Russia.

He was born in 1329, to a woman of hideous by nature. He never knew his father. He could have been any number of men who used her for sex. His mother often frequented the local village when she needed food. Most of the time, the only thing she received was a beating. She was so easy and stupid.

Jamiesonn Sabbilarnotz grew up in a small shack infested with rats. It was made of stone for the lower part of the walls, and timber for the upper walls and roof. It was a far cry from even being livable. Day in, day out, the brutally he suffered from the hands of his mother, Olga, were commonplace, and by time he was a teenager he had become so conditioned to the violence that it had become natural to expect the torment. But something happened one day that changed his life.

He was fifteen when he met Danska at the local festival. Danska was young and beautiful. She was the same age as Jamiesonn. From the first moment he saw her, he loved her. But she didn’t feel the same, not in the least. She was repulsed by the sight of him.

She was the only daughter of a local merchant, and seeing an opportunity to advance her own social status, Olga bought her for all the silver she had, and the young couple were married, much to the disapproval of Danska.
As much as Danska despised Jamiesonn, she did like his mother, and the two of them formed a strong bond, mainly due to the fact that Danska’s own mother had died some years before from the plague.

Jamiesonn’s new life seemed like an ideal nightmare. He had a beautiful wife who didn’t love him, and he lived with his mother. The only thing that really changed for him was now he was married. The beatings continued and along with the physical abuse he suffered from his mother, he also endured emotional abuse from his wife. The longer he was in her presence, the more she hated him.

Even his first sexual experience was under duress from his wife, during one of her drunken rampages.

That Danska was sleeping with every new suitor who passed through the village was no big secret, but he didn’t see it. In his eyes, she was perfect and could do no wrong. He wasn’t even wise to the fact that she was having sex with travelers and anyone who offered food and warm clothing.

A year after his non eventful sexual experience, Danska gave birth to a stillborn, deformed male child. Of course, it wasn’t his, but his mother blamed him for this curse, and like any other day, he was beaten violently and then thrown out of the hut by his mother and his wife with nothing more than the tattered clothes on his back.

That day, his eyes were opened for the first time and he saw the true nature of his beloved wife. And his hunger for revenge on them both fueled his rage, and he would do anything—anything—to get it.

The revenge took place, seven years later.

Jamiesonn had gotten heavily involved in witchcraft and black magic. By the time he was twenty-two, he was second in rank to the high priest of a little known cult. This, in his eyes, was an achievement. Satan had become his lord and master and he gave his life to him. He was considered a promising son, and the high priest taught him everything there was to know about the forbidden realms in no time at all.

Exactly a year later, he became the high priest. As his sect grew, so did his power. His followers feared him greatly, because he would kill anyone who crossed him. The one aspect about his position that he truly loved was sacrifices. He took joy in sacrificing anything that had a heartbeat. Jamiesonn had grown into a person who knew only evil, and had great power to add to it. Before he could become Satan’s one and only son, he first had to prove his loyalty and devotion.

“If you want to be my son, you must go to those who persecuted you and do unto them what they did to you,” Satan had once told him.
Jamiesonn was excited about this. He could torture them at last. He had to torture their minds and bodies. Jamiesonn had no problems fulfilling his master’s wishes.

Olga and Danska never expected to see him approaching their filthy home, and they didn’t know that this man was in fact the teenager they had tortured many years ago. Jamiesonn was nonchalant about seeing Danska again. As much as he wanted to tear her flesh from her bones, he remained cool as ice. The only thing he had on his mind when he approached that shitty little hut was revenge.

Danska saw the strange, tall man, and obviously thinking he was just another customer, she rushed into the house. He could hear Olga snoring as she slept in the back room, and did not stir as Danska invited him in. Jamiesonn gazed around the room briefly, and saw that nothing had changed. He looked at Danska, and noticed how beautiful she still was, even though she was older.

“What would you like?” she asked.
Jamiesonn looked into the room where his mother slept, and then stood by the warmth of the stove. That hut brought back many painful memories. Danska shifted nervously from one foot to the other. She clearly felt uneasy with him just standing there, but she said nothing.

In the time between his departure and now, he had heard from travelers that these two particular women were known as the local prostitutes.

“Would my lord like some wine?” Danska asked.
He turned around and looked her right in the eyes. “You don’t remember me, do you?” His tone was calm and steady.
“I don’t know? Have we met before?”
He stepped closer to her. “Oh, yes. Many times.”
Danska looked at him hard, but there was no recognition in her eyes.
“I was one of your favors,” Jamiesonn stated.
Danska grew fearful. “I want you to leave.”
“You have no right to be here!”
“What rights did I have when I was bound, gagged, and tortured by you and my mother?” He paused, noticing the shock on her face. “Ah, now you remember, don’t you?”
She shook her head in disbelief and went to run but couldn’t. He had her firmly in his grip. She begged for his forgiveness, claiming it was not her fault, but his mother’s.

Awakened by the commotion, Olga stormed into the room and demanded to know what was going on. Jamiesonn threw his beloved wife against the wall in one quick movement and faced his mother. Olga grabbed the first thing she could find and charged him.

Jamiesonn stared at her and she stopped suddenly, bound by an invisible force. With a word from him, she was thrown to the far side of the shack. He grabbed Danska by the hair and ordered her to tell his mother who he was. She cried out in pain, but couldn’t bring herself to speak his name.

“Who are you?” Olga shouted in her old crackly voice.
“I am the one you two slews found pleasure in torturing,” Jamiesonn replied, his voice full of bitterness and anger.

His mother gasped in shock, and her eyes widened in fear. He knew she had suspected that he would return someday, but she had no idea what to say. Her mouth moved, but no sound emerged. She feared him. Her eyes told him that. She began to cry and plead with him not to harm them. She promised change, but Jamiesonn knew better.

“I have not come for an apology. You two shall pay for what you did to me!”
He picked up Danska and threw her face first into the hot coals of the fire. She screamed out in horrific pain and fell to the floor weeping. Jamiesonn laughed when he saw his wife’s once beautiful face now bloody, blistered, and scorched.

Olga looked at her and then at Jamiesonn, her expression angry but he didn’t care. He listened as Danska wailed continuously in pain as the blisters spread all over her face.

“It’s your turn now, Mother.”
Instinctively, she put her hands up to cover her face. Obviously, she thought she was to suffer the same fate. This was not the case. Jamiesonn had something special planned for her. He grabbed her by the throat, snarled, and threw her out the front of the shack. She landed heavily on the muddy ground. He wanted to finish this, but something suddenly came over him. He turned around and looked at his deformed, screaming wife, and felt pity for her. He didn’t know why. Maybe it was the memory of how beautiful she had once been. Perhaps it was because he couldn’t stand to hear any more of her pathetic wailing. For whatever reason, Jamiesonn clicked his fingers, and all her sores immediately disappeared.

She crawled to a corner and sat there sobbing as she watched him walk outside.

“Well, Mother,” he snarled, grabbing her up and placing her on her feet.
“Jasha, please don’t.”
He just shook his head, and hit her hard in the face. She fell to the ground again and cried out for mercy.
“I’m not in a giving mood today,” Jamiesonn stated. He kicked her hard in the chest, leaving her gasping for air. “You will now get what you deserve.”
The ground began to tremble. From the depths of the earth arose a wooden cross. Jamiesonn was intent on crucifying his mother. He threw her against the cross. Thick iron nails suddenly appeared from within it and pushed through the flesh of her feet and hands. Then a crown of thorns appeared and embedded themselves on her head. Blood gushed from her brow as the crown’s thorns stabbed deep into her skull. He found real pleasure in this sight of ungodliness. Just before she died, she begged God to forgive her son for what he had done. Jamiesonn took little note of this. In his mind, she was going straight to hell.

His revenge was complete, he felt.

The Chosen – Synopsis

There was a time when Alex had everything in life. He had a wonderful fiance and a fantastic job. That was until seven days ago when nhis completely normal life was turned upside down and he lost everything. It started with the sudden death of his father, Paul, then the disappearence of his mother, Samantha. The third event occured on the seventh day when the life of his fiancee, Alison, was taken in a horrific car accident. Now, years later, just when he started to get his life back on track, he is once again thrown into a world where nothing is what it seems, and he alone must come to terms with who he is and his calling to fulfil a destiny that he wants no part of.

The Chosen – Chapter 10 Teaser

Alex awoke around six that night. Besides feeling strangely sore and lightheaded, he felt refreshed. As he tried to recall what happened, he remembered making love to some woman, but the details were a blur. He still couldn’t distinguish if it had been a dream or not. There was a love bite on his neck that indicated he had surely engaged in sex. There was no denying that.

“Well, you wanted something that promised adventure and danger, and now you’ve got it,” Alex said to his reflection in the mirror. “Is this really something you want to get into deeper?” He grabbed the razor, and started shaving. “Why not? It only gets better from here.”

Just then, a familiar voice spoke in his mind. “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

He flinched and accidentally nicked his chin. He gazed around the bathroom and realized there was no reason to get worked up as there was nothing there in the bathroom but him.

“You just keep thinking I’ll do nothing. I’m warning you again to leave this town. It’s ours,” the voice echoed. Alex froze and glanced around the room in hopes of seeing something, anything. But still there was nothing. “After all, what can you do, a mere mortal, against us? While you are one, we are many. For each of us, there are multiple powers both above and below our ranks of distinction. You’re fighting a losing battle.”

“Depart from me, Lutancix!” Alex commanded.
“By whose authority?” Lutancix questioned in amusement.
“Mine,” he quipped.
His mind was filled with echoing, demented laughter before Lutancix answered. “Christ I know . Paul I know . . . but who the fuck are you, smartass?”

The Chosen – Chapter 11 Teaser

The time seemed to pass slowly, and he found himself unable to peel his eyes from the clock. He grew restless and glanced around, hoping to see some sign of Alex, but there wasnt. In his hung-over paranoid state, all he could do was sit there uneasily and with growing impatience.

“For the love of shit!” He finally spoke loud enough for a nearby security guard to hear.

The guards attention was drawn to Usher, an he started at him for a moment or two before he walked over towards him, both hands resting on his belt like a hero gunslinger.

You got a problem sir The guard asked

Usher stood and replied, looking past him No. Sorry. Just having a bad fucking day.

The guard ignored what he heard and said, Try and keep it down okay.

“Or what? Youll ask me to leave? Fuck, what a crime that would be! Listen, rent-a-cop, do yourself a favor and go shake down the convenience store for a day old donut”. He felt like saying, but didnt.

Rather, he nodded and again apologized and sat down again and watched the guard walk away back to the reception desk, where he continued to talk to the night nurse and occasionally glance over at him.

Thats right idiot. Keep looking. Better yet, take a photo. Itll last longer.

Let it go, Usher. Slowly, he turned and stared in shock. My friend, let go of your hatred.

He shook his head and stood up. No, no, youre not gone, you cant be!

Sit down! Drake said, You dont to create a scene.

Usher glanced back at the guard then sat down next to Drake.

Dont look at me. Just pretend Im not here. Anything you say kept it quiet. You dont wanna end up in the nuthouse

My friend, what the hell is going on? Usher whispered.

Its too late for me, friend, my race is over. Drake answered.

Usher couldnt believe what he was seeing or hearing, and his heart began to fill with hatred. Alex just came down to your room. Where the hell is that kid?

Drake sensed the anger Usher felt towards Alex, and said, It was not Alex who entered that room

What do you mean?

It was one of Lutancixs shape shifters

What is the point of all this? Usher questioned himself. The answer was simple, and it was surprising that Usher hadntseen it. He was up against all forms of deceptions that were aligned to destroy him. The Alex he had seen that had walked into that room had turned off the life support machine and smothered Drake with a pillow, was not the real Alex at all, but a manifestation of Tanzacs. Usher realized that now.

Usher realized that all of them were pawns in this war. Everything was done the way it was because that is how it had to be. This was war, and both things that were natural and supernatural did what they could in order to win.

Suddenly he heard a strangely familiar laugh from next to him, and when he turned, he saw Lutancix sitting there in place of Drake.

Usher shot to his feet and backed away, gazing at Lutancix.

What the fuck did you do to Drake! He yelled

The same that we do to any mortal that we wanna kill! Lutancix snarled.

Usher froze in fear and could only scream, Fuck you! You will never take me!

Oh really, Lutancix quipped, I think they may have something to say about it though.

Usher looked in the direction where Lutancix pointed and he saw three security guards approaching him cautiously, with their hands on the gun holsters. He looked back at Lutancix and could only mutter, Why?

Lutancix jumped off the chair and snapped, With you dead, The One will fail! And so will the Grand Scheme of those idiots who call themselves The Elders!

Usher looked back at the guards, who stood close by with their guns now pointed at him. They ordered him to drop face down on the floor. All he felt was overwhelming fear. He had no idea what to do. His seemingly great knowledge had forsaken him, as had his power. He was helpless, alone, and frightened. A cold sweat broke out on his brow, and he felt like crying.

* * * *

Lutancix said nothing as he stared hatefully at the man in front of him. He clearly saw the years of pain that this man had endured, but he knew that was nothing compared to what would soon take place. When Tanzac was through with Usher, his mind would be gone. He had the power to make this so, and he was very intent on making it happen.

Lutancix had a wicked smile on his face as he walked toward Usher.

All Usher could do was wish he were somewhere else. He thought maybe if he closed his eyes all this would disappear. He did so for a split second, and when he opened them, he realized he was out of time. The outcome of this situation was his death, he knew that. He took a deep, nervous breath, closed his eyes and waited. Many thoughts flooded his mind, and then silence. He could hear nothing, not even his heart beat. Was he dead? He felt no pain. Maybe it had been instantaneous. The last thing he heard was the guards, who ordered him again to drop to the floor. That was the very last thing he heard.

Usher opened his eyes, and all he saw was darkness. His mind, body and soul were captive in this place with no escape. He should have been afraid, but strangely enough he wasnt. All the fears he had felt before, had passed, and were now a part of the darkness around him. He felt an unusual sense of tranquility; he had only felt this one other time in his life. This place may have appeared or felt like paradise, but it was only another illusion.

Sometime later, Usher began to realize things were about to get really bad. He had given up trying to figure out how he had gotten here. It may be his mind trapped in this everlasting darkness, while his body remained in the real world.

He was dead.

In the real world, he watched as the guards drew their guns and ordered him to kneel on the ground. In those few seconds before the gun fire, he saw Tanzac, and he watched terrified as Tanzac ordered the guards to fire! Usher could do nothing but watch as the guards obeyed, and immediately opened fire on him. Sounds of gunfire filled that room and in a split second it was over. The silence. Usher may have been unarmed, but to everyone who witnessed this incident, he was wielding a machete.

In the split seconds that followed the gunfire, Usher was transported into the depths of Tanzacs world. Not only Usher, but also the guards, Drake, and everyone else in that hospital. In the blink of an eye Tanzac had transported everyone into his realm where hey would suffer an eternity of their own private hell

The Chosen – Chapter 1 Teaser

As Alex parked his car, he rubbed his hands together and cupped them in front of his mouth. It was a bone-chilling Monday night, and he had a strange feeling something terrible was going to happen inside that conference center. For the past two days and nights, he had been plagued with frightening visions and nightmares. The first time he experienced the series of visions was when he was driving home from the supermarket two days ago, and for that moment when all he could see was the surrounds in the visions he almost lost control of the car and crashed into a tree. The second happened shortly before he went to bed last night, and the third vision was an hour ago.

The visions were almost always the same. Each time, the sky above was covered with a mass of swirling hazy yellow gaseous clouds. The cold steel-like ground was almost covered with an array of blood that formed into a vast pool nearby. He always took a moment to take in the strange and terrifying surroundings, as if expecting to see something new. But nothing ever was. In this place there was a creature, which could only be described as half-human and half-dragon, on each side of its head it had a face, that represented the four corners of the world. Its arms were thick and its claws were long and slender, sharp enough to pierce even the thickest of metals without effort. Strewn around this beast was the multitude of nameless faceless bodies. The air was thick with the stench of rotting flesh and sulfur. Looking around, it was evident that these victims had tried to flee from the beast and failed. There was nothing that this beast had not consumed and destroyed, yet Alex was not among the dead. Standing among this array of death was always a woman, alive, for reasons that he could not comprehend. He would gaze at her flowing long hair, and curled around her scantily clad body were asps, and in her arms she carried a new-born child who seemed to have been born prematurely. In her eyes he could see deception and great fear.

He turned his gaze from the woman to the beast and for a moment felt there was something familiar about this place. He moved closer, stepping over the mutilated bodies, which were sprawled between him and that entity. The beast turned toward him, sneered, and then there was a flash of black light. The vision always ended at that point, and he always emerged from it covered in a cold sweat, his heart pounding.

Alex looked toward the building and then at his dashboard. He had to go inside, this night, above any other. Yet, he sat in his car, hesitating and rubbing his legs together against the cold. Finally, he got out of his black Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am, locked the door, and walked toward the conference center.

What the hell am I doing here? he asked himself. Yet, in the back of his mind he already knew the answer. During the time he had been attending these seminars, he knew that most of what he heard from other researchers and witnesses were well-fabricated hoaxes. If anything was true of supernatural circumstances, it was his own life.

His life was a classic example of one supernatural incident after another. So many things had changed after the deaths not only his fiance, but also his parents. After the death of his fiance, Alison, there were times when he would catch a glimpse of her spirit, either drifting around in his parents home or by her grave site. He had experienced many unusual things, like the time his mothers antique vase flew off the mantle and shattered against the opposite wall.

Alex entered the conference center. He went to Room 4, where the meetings normally took place, and chose a seat in his usual spot, four rows from the back. He sat alone, which was how he preferred it. He was no longer the social type, and quite often crowds caused him to suffer panic attacks. Sometimes, they were mild and bearable, yet, other times, the feeling of anxiety was so overwhelming that he felt like shutting himself away in his apartment where he knew he would be safe. They were always the same, increased heart rate, cold sweats, jittering, nervous speech. but, sitting where he was, he felt safe. Even from his own anxieties.

There was a definite aura in this place tonight. He could feel a strange presence, and the longer he stayed there the stronger the feeling became. Yet, in this room with several dozen people, he seemed to be the only one who sensed it, and for a moment, he asked himself “why me?”

He carefully observed the other people as they came in then turned his gaze to others in this room. Some professed to be sensitive to the spiritual, yet judging by their expressions, it appeared they felt nothing. His inner senses told him that some of these people were here to find someone new to hook up with, nothing more. Some had no interest inthe paranormal whatsoever.

He turned his attention to the three men on stage, and in that moment he felt a cold chill sweep over him, and he felt goosebumps cover his arms and legs. He shuddered and glanced around, looking to see if anyone had noticed him, but no one did. He breathed a soft sigh then turned his attention back to the stage and at the three men. He recognized one of them who was the chairman of this society, but the other two men he didnt know. His attention shifted focus on a young woman, probably in her early twenties, as she entered the room and walked on stage, set a pitcher of water and some glasses on the small table in front of the men, and then left. Once she left the room, he turned his gaze back to the stage. One of the three men, who looked like a Native American, drew Alexs attention more than the other two. Again Alex got that same cold chill run through him when he looked at the Native American, and again he looked away. He began to feel very weird sitting here, very uncomfortable. His eyes darted around the room, and the feeling of anxiety started to hit him, just as it did so many times before. The lights seemed to glow brighter and the room felt like it was spinning.

I have to get outta here. He thought to himself, as he motioned to stand, but he did not. It was as though he could not. He was meant to stay here. The feeling of this anxiety was strong, oppressive, overpowering, but there was nothing he could do. He had left his meds at home, and without them, he felt too afraid to get up and leave just in case anyone happened to notice him.

No one noticed, nor did anyone care. He was being paranoid about nothing.

He closed his eyes and breathed deeply and focused on his own special place of peace and refuge. Soon, the anxiety subsided and he started to feel more secure about being there. He breathed a sigh of relief and opened his eyes. His eyes darted around and at first glance no one had noticed his panic attack. And that was true to a point. No one at first seemed to notice, but there was one who did notice.

He looked back at the stage, and as before his attention was drawn to the Native American. He did not feel anything peculiar except very weak. He closed his eyes and tried to focus on anything that would divert his attention from where he was.

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