Friday, November 23, 2012
Thanks to author Kristen Day for sending us an excerpt from her book Awaken and offering a great giveaway. The prizes up for grabs are 7 copies of Forsaken and Awaken (winners will get both), a Stasia inspired original necklace and a Finn inspired original necklace.
Directly in front of us was the quintessential haunted house of childhood nightmares and horror movies, positioned on a decrepit acre of dead leaves. The ragged branches of a lone live oak tree had been stripped of its foliage, which now lay below. No other trees on the island had begun to lose their leaves yet, and the stark contrast chilled me to the bone. Once you were able to move past the layer of brown leaves and the overgrown stone path that used to be a driveway, the main attraction took your breath away.
The Victorian style manor was extremely out of place on an island of beach homes. Its majestic wraparound porch had been warped by the destructive forces of nature, but it still looked to be intact. Ruthless vines of ivy were devouring the entire house inch by inch, and most of the light gray paint had been peeled back from the exterior from years of relentless salt, wind and sand.
Several dormer windows were perched on the third floor overlooking the dreary landscape. The suffocating darkness and mass of vines drenched the house in mystery; hiding its secrets from the world. It looked…patient. As if waiting for something. Or someone. I felt a gentle push from behind.
“Go ahead Stasia, you go first,” Carmen urged.
“The only way I’m going in that house is if every person out here goes in with me.” I stared at the drab, wooden front door that probably hadn’t been opened in eighty years, “And even then you might have to drag me inside.”
“What’s the big deal? It’s just a house. Just because an entire family was gutted inside doesn’t mean it’s haunted,” Ricker rolled his eyes.
“What are you waiting for, then?” Carmen raised an eyebrow at him and mocked him, “I mean since it’s not a big deal and all.”
Sensing a shifting movement on the road, I glanced down and followed a sheet of sand marching from the side of the road to gather at Phoebe’s feet. I met her gaze and smiled sympathetically. I knew from my own sand experience how comforting it could be.
“Yeah, man,” Ian stared at the house as if it could come alive at any moment, “That’s all you.”
“Ya’ll are pathetic.” Ricker shook his head and began to walk toward the house. Shaking out his arms and tilting his head back and forth like a boxer readying for a fight, he strode up the front steps with confidence, turned the knob and disappeared into the house. We held our breath as we waited for him to reappear.
“See?!” He popped back into the doorway with a triumphant smile shining on his face. “Ya’ll were getting all bent out of shape for no-“ Without warning, he was yanked from behind by an unknown force; leaving us with only silence and a dark empty doorway.
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