A mysterious lab. A sinister scientist. A secret history. If you think you know the truth behind Eleven’s mother, prepare to have your mind turned Upside Down in this thrilling prequel to the hit show Stranger Things.
It’s the summer of 1969, and the shock of conflict reverberates through the youth of America, both at home and abroad. As a student at a quiet college campus in the heartland of Indiana, Terry Ives couldn’t be farther from the front lines of Vietnam or the incendiary protests in Washington.
But the world is changing, and Terry isn’t content to watch from the sidelines.
Here is an exclusive excerpt from the book:
Dr. Martin Brenner wished he could see inside the minds of the subjects. No messy conversation to extract what they might or might not have seen, how effective the hypnotic techniques had been. No unreliable witnesses of their own experience.
No lies unless he told them.
The young woman in front of him, Theresa Ives, had piqued his curiosity. Rare enough these days, especially in adult subjects. The way she’d sensed an opportunity and shown up suggested potential – hers would not be an easy mind to crack. The challenge would make their findings more meaningful. She didn’t seem afraid of him. He approved of that quality… at least when it wasn’t in a young charge who didn’t know how to take no for an answer.
“Better?” he asked as she sipped the water his aide had provided.
She nodded and handed the glass back, smoothing soaked hair away from a cheek shiny with moisture. Tears and sweat both. Extremely susceptible to the drug cocktail, by all appearances.
“On a scale of one to ten, how strongly do you feel you’re still experiencing the effects of the medicine?”
Her eyes were clear for the answer she gave. “Eight.”
“Can you tell me what you saw?” he asked, keeping his voice kind.
A hesitation. But a brief one. “My parents’ funeral. In the church before it.”
“Yes, good. Do you remember anything else significant? How do you feel emotionally?”
She adjusted the hospital gown to more fully cover her legs. “I feel…” she hesitated. “Lighter somehow. Does that make sense?”
Brenner nodded. He’d taken a great pain from her, locked it away. She’d feel much lighter. The first stage to creating a mind susceptible to greater manipulations. And he’d have a tool to use for leverage in the future if he needed it. The key was to make sure she wasn’t aware of the change until then.
“And you don’t know why?”
“No.” She eyed him nervously. “Can I ask you something?”
He nodded again. “Of course.”
“What’s the purpose of this? Is it as important as I think? What do you want me to say?”
Before he could formulate a response to her three questions, she surprised him by shaking her head and giving a dry husk of a laugh. “Never mind, I’m sure that would violate the experiment rules. Like us talking on the way over here.”
“What do you mean?”
“He told us not to talk about the experiment.”
He looked at his aide, who studied the floor. That hadn’t been any direction of his. As long as the man took careful note of what was said, the participants could say anything and everything that popped into their minds.
“You should talk about whatever you want on the drive,” he said.
The aide nodded acknowledgment but didn’t look at him.
“Did you experience anything else of note in your trance state?” Dr. Brenner asked.
Terry heaved a breath. “All kinds of crazy shit. I’m so tired. I’ve never done that before.”
Ah, that explains some of the strong response.
“But when you answered your questionnaire…?” He waited.
This time, she had the grace to look guilty. “I said I had dropped acid several times. I thought you might want that.”
Potential. She was bursting with it.
Get your copy of Strangers Things: Suspicious Minds today!