The Troop

Nick Cutter

The Troop

A Boy Scout troop is on a camping trip when a stranger - in tattered clothing - appears. What unfolds is a night of horror no campfire story can ever prepare you for. The boys are stuck on the island, with no way out and no way to communicate with the outside world. How will they survive? And who can they trust? A gripping and original horror novel.

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Excerpt:

It came down to that flexibility of a person's mind. An ability to withstand horrors and snap back, like a fresh elastic band. A flinty mind shattered. In this way, he was glad not to be an adult. A grown-up's mind - even one belonging to a decent man like Scoutmaster Tim - lacked that elasticity. The world had been robbed of all its mysteries, and with those mysteries went the horror. Adults didn't believe in old wives' tales. You didn't see adults stepping over sidewalk cracks out of the fear that they might somehow, some way, break their mothers' backs. They didn't wish on stars: not with the squinty-eyed fierceness of kids, anyway. You'll never find an adult who believes that saying "Bloody Mary" three times in front of a mirror in a dark room will summon a dark, blood-hungry entity. Adults were scared of different things: their jobs, their mortgages, whether they hung out with the "right people," whether they would die unloved. These were pallid compared to the fears of a child - leering clowns under the bed and slimy monsters capering beyond the basement's light and faceless sucking horrors from beyond the stars. There's no 12-step or self-help group for dealing with those fears. Or maybe there is: you just grow up. And when you do, you surrender the nimbleness of mind required to believe in such things - but also to cope with them. And so when adults find themselves in a situation where that nimbleness is needed... well, they can't summon it. So they fall to pieces: go insane, panic, suffer heart attacks and aneurysms brought on by fright. Why? They simply don't believe it could be happening. That's what's different about kids: they believe everything can happen, and fully expect it to."


From The Troop by Nick Cutter ©2014. Published by Simon & Schuster.

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