22 October 2011

It wasn't Halloween. It was July, in Tokyo, and my best friend and I had split away from our 8th grade tour group and were making our way through the crowded streets of a shopping district not entirely unlike Times Square. We were probably looking for cheap Walkmen or watches. The streets were narrow, giving the area a claustrophobic feel, and the scene was all the more chaotic because although we spoke a tiny bit of Japanese, the chatter and signage around us were mostly an unintelligible blur.

We turned a corner into an outdoor mall area -- no cars on the street, just pedestrians. I noticed a change in the air, a hushed electricity. Then the crowd parted, people moving to the sides. And I saw him.

He (it took me a moment to figure out it was a he) strode down the middle of the street. He wore a wig -- long blond hair in two messy side braids, and a schoolgirl's uniform -- short, pleated skirt, white short-sleeved blouse, suspenders, knee socks. Exaggerated makeup painted his face -- round circles of pink on his cheeks, a slash of red across his mouth, wide and uneven. He was grinning. 

And in his hands, he held two large machine guns.

He was walking through the crowd, occasionally scanning faces, grinning that horrible grin and holding the guns so that they pointed just a little bit forward. I didn't know if the guns were real. I didn't know if he was seriously deranged, as he looked, or just playing some bizarre dress up game. All I knew was that my body felt like it didn't have blood in it anymore. My friend and I were frozen in place, watching him, like most of the people in the crowd. Waiting. 

As he approached, he began swinging the guns back and forth, obviously enjoying the power they were giving him. Where were the police? I wondered. Why wasn't anyone doing anything? But we all just waited, a collective mass of speeding pulses and sweaty palms. The closer he came the sicker he looked -- the bits of his own black hair sticking out under the wig, that sloppy makeup, his reddish, bare knees visible between socks and skirt. 

I don't think I breathed at all when he passed us. And as soon as he did pass, my friend and I came unfrozen and started hurrying in the other direction, pushing past people, first walking then running, trying to get back to our tour group, waiting to hear shots. Which never came, thank god. At least, not that we heard.

This happened over 20 years ago, and I still wonder who that man was. I shudder when I remember the deranged look on his face, his jaunty walk, and those guns. Sometimes, in my nightmares, he points one of them at me.

 Currently available from Balzer & Bray!

Synopsis: Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school begins with a shock: Frost House, her cozy dorm of close friends, has been assigned an unexpected roommate: confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar. But while Leena’s anxiety about a threat to her sanctuary proves valid, it becomes less and less clear whether the threat lies with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind, or within the very nature of Frost House itself. Mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and Celeste’s brother, and the reawakening of childhood fears, all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. Frost is the story of a haunting. As to whether the demons are supernatural or psychological . . . well, which answer would let you sleep at night?

Order Frost Online:

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You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
To enter, please fill out the form provided below.
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Giveaway ends: November 5th, 2011

Don't forget to stop by and check out who Jessica is featuring today for Haunted Halloween!

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Marianna, thank you so much for being part of this years Halloween event and thank you so much for sharing such a chilling story. Also, thank  you for offering the copy of Frost for this giveaway, it was amazing of you to do.

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  1. Mary DeBorde
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

    As much as I'd love to visit Tokyo, seeing that freaky fellow would have scared me into NEVER going back lol
    Ugh ... totally bizarre, wonder who he was and why he dressed up like that :O

  2. Oooh I've been meaning to read this one. Thanks for the chance to win!


  3. Thank you so much for the giveaway! Frost seems like a keeps-you-at-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of book! I need to read more of these types of books :) Thanks for the giveaway!

    Email: osnapitzAngiex3(AT)aol(DOT)com

  4. Okay, that story was seriously freaky and awesome. I can't believe that it's even real. I loved Frost! What an awesome book.

    Happy Haunted Halloween!

  5. Was that a true story? That is freaky.

  6. Thanks for the comments, everyone! And yes, Jessy, it's a true story. And yes, it was freaky!

  7. Chilling story! I'm glad that no one got hurt but that would be such a scary situation to be in!


  8. sounds so good! Thanks for the chance at a great giveaway!

  9. Ooh this looks like a good book!


  10. LOL! I would have probably peed my pants had I been in your position! That sounds horrible! My sister in-law was in the metro in Moscow and these guys got on that were dressed up in scary costumes with hooves and scary makeup, etc - they told her they were going to sacrifice her to the devil... she was 8 or so at the time and started bawling. She had nightmares about them for quite a while. -.- Ahaha.

    bookcrookliza at gmail dot com
    Liza @ Book Crook Liza

  11. Absolutely loved it! Really great tale.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  12. Yep, that is totally freaky and I am pretty sure it would (and will) give me nightmares too!


  13. WEIRD! And creepy... I don't know what to think. That's going to bother me not knowing who he was or what he was doing...


  14. Wow, that is terrifying! I'm with M.A.D. in saying if I saw that, it would more than discourage me from wanting to go back to Tokyo.


  15. How very odd. I have a friend who was recently in Tokyo and she didn't mention any insane citizens. :P Thanks for sharing the story!


  16. That would be really creepy!


  17. That would have been so scary! Wow! I wonder why it was not reported on the news or something?


  18. Holy crow! I would have been terrified as well. And how cool is it that you got to go to Japan in the 8th grade! Our school never offered any trips like that.


  19. That's crazy! I wonder why people weren't running around screaming...

  20. Great post! Thanks for the great giveaway!


  21. You know I wanted to go to boarding school for highschool...I had decided that when I was in middle school because of watching "The Trouble with Angels" - silly I know - the parents almost let me until the realized how much it costs...
    Pabkins @ Mission to Read

  22. WOAH! That had to be SO scary!

    AmethystDaydreams at zoho dot com

  23. I had a chance to read an ARC of this for review before it was released and I absolutely loved it so much. Thank you, for this delightful and albiet scary post, and giveaway! :)

    Suz @ A Soul Unsung

  24. I wonder how any of us would react in your shoes. I would love to see Tokyo and travel the orient, it is one of my dreams, and like all places all over the world there are scary things that happen, but I really feel we cannot let that get in the way of life. Thank you so much for sharing and now I will be pondering the rest of the day just what was really going on LOL I appreciate the lovely giveaway opportunity. I would love to read Frost.


  25. Scary! Thanks for sharing with us. :)

    P.S. I loved Frost so much!

    readingfever {@} gmail dot com

  26. This post is intensely freaky! I don't think I would sleep for WEEKS (at least) if that happened to me...

  27. Another fun post!

    ashleysbookshelf at gmail dot com

  28. OMG, that was a really and truly freaky story. I kept waiting to read the gun shots which never came thankfully.

    thenarcissuslibrary at gmail dot com

  29. Crazy that it was a true story and that it creeped both girls out the same! The book sounds great!

    bchild5 at aol dot com

  30. Perhaps, the man was a cosplayer and those guns were fake? LOL. Thank God, nothing bad happened. I would be frozen too if i saw a deranged looking man holding TWO FREAKING MACHINE GUNS!!! :S

    I've been wanting to read this book! I really love this cover. It's just beautiful! Thank you so much for the chance!



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