Sunday, October 30, 2011

Where do ghosts hang out?

Hi, everyone -- Sorry to be late to the party! I hope everyone's having a great "Halloween Eve"!

I often think that ghosts/spirits are always with us, it's just that we can't see them...most of the time. Sometimes I wonder if they can control just what we do see. I was thinking of that when I wrote a scene in my new novella (Adrienne's Ghost).


Rachael set the journals on the table and sorted through the pile until she found the one that began during Adrienne's high school years, figuring it would be a good place to start. Before she could sit, the diary dropped from her hand and fell to the floor. Tsking at her clumsiness, she retrieved the book, resettled herself into the sofa's cushions, and turned back to page one. Again the book landed on the floor, but this time it somersaulted through the air, as though it had been propelled by a force.

The surface of her skin beginning to prickle, Rachael stood and scanned the room, to search for the source of an energy strong enough, other-worldly enough to have caused what she'd witnessed. But the room was empty. Or maybe it only seemed empty because she couldn't see whatever life forces might be hiding just beyond the realm of her comprehension.

Still, she felt like an idiot when she retrieved the diary from the floor, then deliberately closed it and set it on the coffee table, as if she no longer had any interest in the secrets it held. And she wondered if the night of passion had scrambled her brains when she sat back to watch, her fingers crossed.

It wasn't long before her hunch paid off. The journal on top of the pile began to tremble, then buck. Fascinated, Rachael trained her eyes on the book, and as its movements became more frenzied, her heart raced to match its pace. Within a few seconds, the book had somehow shimmied itself forward so it teetered on the edge of the pile, like it needed no more than a tiny nudge to take the plunge.

Wondering if she was supposed to provide that nudge, Rachael reached forward, and in that instant a shadowy image materialized inches away from the tips of her fingers. She jolted and snatched her arm back as the shadow transformed into a shape. It was a hand, only a hand, like someone was reaching through a split in some cosmic curtain that separated two dimensions. A shriek whipped up Rachael's throat, and she slapped both hands to her mouth to stuff it back down. Scrambling backward, she found herself pressed against the couch, ready to run, when the ghostly fingers prodded the diary.

It tumbled over the table's edge, landing with a thunk, and Rachael dropped to her knees, inhaling one choppy breath after another until her lungs could take no more. She was paralyzed, mesmerized, watching the hand where it hovered over the open book, less than a foot away. The fingernails, ragged and torn, were dirty and stained with smears of what looked like blood. They waggled suddenly, and the pages of the book began to flutter, making the sound of a hundred birds in flight. The air Rachael had been holding expelled in a burst, and her lungs refilled on another giant breath. But before she could scream, the humming from the FBI's basement, that heartbeat-like pulse, saturated the air.

She didn't realize she'd scrambled to her feet and retreated until the backs of her legs hit the edge of the sofa, and as her muscles gave way to fear, she sagged onto the cushions and watched as Adrienne formed in front of her eyes. Only this time the ghost didn't look sad, she looked angry. Angry with Rachael.

(End excerpt.)


Na said...

This is a great scene for Rachael. I could feel and "see" everything she was. It's that nagging feeling that is hard to explain but you did so well.

Leah St. James said...

Thank you, Na! I had a fun time with that scene.

Stormy said...

That's a great excerpt! I like Rachael's reaction to realizing she wasn't alone in the room. Very realistic. Thank you for sharing!

Larion aka Larriane Wills said...

seeing a hand, just a hand, floating around would probably make me freak.

Jean P said...

Great excerpt, could visualize everything that was happening, kept me reading until the end.

Debby said...

I think I would freak. Great excerpt
debby236 at gmail dot com

Leah St. James said...

Thanks, ladies! I got chills imagining it!