Sixteen-year-old ghost hunter, Emma Hoffman thought that moving into an old Victorian was going to be awesome-- ghosts galore.
Much to her delight, she discovers that the house is haunted—not by a ghost, but by a construct (a spirit created to be a servant). As she gets to know Marcus, the construct, he asks her to help him avenge his maker and find her killer. Emma’s not too sure this is a good idea, she’s a ghost hunter after all, not a detective, but she agrees to help him anyway.
While trying to discover more information about the killer, Emma begins to have feelings for Marcus- feelings she isn’t ready to admit. Then the sorcerer who killed Marcus’s maker shows up at Emma’s house with an insane plan to capture Marcus and absorb his power- Emma isn’t having it. Marcus is hers.
When the killer performs a spell that begins to steal Marcus’s life force, Emma risks losing him. It’s a race against time for Emma to figure out how to stop the sorcerer and his spell before Marcus fades away and disappears from her life forever.
Social Media Links:
There’s just something about looking at a cardboard box. You know what’s inside, but there’s still that jolt of excitement, energy that licks your nerve endings. Maybe it’s just the anticipation, I don’t know, but I definitely felt something. It could be that this was the last box I needed to account for. All the others, my boxes of books, movies, and knickknacks were checked out and were okay. This…this was the box that mattered the most.
The box was in front of me on the bed. I’d carried it into the house myself, not trusting the moving guys to carry it up our new, wicked-cool, wooden staircase. The new house was split between two levels with a landing in the middle that held a beautiful stained glass window. Last thing I needed was for the guy to trip, my box go flying through the air, and taking out that window. So, to eliminate that possibility, I’d carried the box up myself.
The last time I’d seen it was when I handed it to the moving guy. I’d carefully explained to the guy that this was a box to be careful with. Did he heed my warning? Probably not. It’s not like you can really expect anyone to be careful with your stuff except you. At 5’ 6”, I don’t exactly look fierce or anything.
I remembered wrapping everything in it in bubble wrap, taping up the box. I really wanted to carry it to Boston myself, but we were going by plane, and there just wasn’t enough room. I had to hope for a miracle.
So, I did the best I could and I hoped that it wouldn’t come open in transit. I’d even written, “Fragile” and “This Side Up” on the sides with a permanent marker. Now, if they paid attention, which I kind of doubted, nothing should be damaged. If my equipment was broken, I would not be happy. Granted, Dad would probably replace anything that was broken, but it wouldn’t be the same.
Memories rushed forward, pushing everything aside. I remembered Florida. I remembered the heat and the bugs. I thought I’d never miss it, but apparently, I did. No more exotic plants to watch out for, no more lizards poking around in the grass of the backyard. It felt dark here, like an expanse of nothingness that I couldn’t cross no matter how hard I tried to walk across the fog. I felt frozen and sedentary.
If the electronics were broken, the new stuff wouldn’t be from Florida, wouldn’t have been in ghost hunts with my friends. We’d called ourselves “The Ghost Chicks.” We’d run around Tallahassee trying to get people let us into their homes so we could investigate possible hauntings; no one ever really let us. Mostly, we’d gotten a lot of pictures of dust. I was really going to miss it.
I stared out the window. It was sunny and looked entirely too chipper. I didn’t feel chipper. I felt scared and uneasy. The unknown was something I dreaded, and this was a huge honking unknown. I opened the box with a pair of scissors and set them down on the bed. It was time. There was no sense in putting it off any longer. I had to do it.
After taking one last deep breath, I popped the cardboard flaps away from the tape and looked inside. Everything had shifted around. I reached inside, pulling out newspaper. At least nothing was missing, now if all of it worked…
Of course the heat might mess with the equipment too. I’m sure I had to be more careful about that in Florida than Boston, but still, it was hot. I wiped the sweat off my brow. The air conditioning wasn’t on high enough. Mom got too cold if the air was on too high. But then, Mom wore sweaters when it was seventy-five degrees. Mom was always cold.
Who knew it would be this hot is Boston?
I grabbed my book bag from the bottom of the staircase and headed off in the direction of where I thought Dad’s home office was. This house was so much bigger than it looked on the outside, but then, the way the yard was, you didn’t see how far back the house stretched into the backyard. The hallways were twisty and seemed to go in all directions. I felt like Alice in Wonderland fighting her way through a maze. I looked for anything that could be a hidden passage, but there was nothing; all the space was accounted for. It figured. But still, the walls felt like they were getting narrower. It was odd.
Finally, I knew I was near the office, but somehow, I’d gone down the wrong branch of the hallway. This hallway was darker than the others and only had one door at the end. My fingers tingled with excitement. Who knew what was on the other side of that door.
I tried the old brass knob. It was unlocked. After opening the door, I stepped inside. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust. Colors of covers burst from the bookcases surrounding me like a multifaceted stone. It seemed to twinkle in the light streaming into the turret window. I’d never seen a library like this. It was the best library ever.
My friends back in Florida always thought I was weird for liking libraries. Yeah, I had an e-reader, but I loved the smell of a book. I liked holding the book as I read. There was some sort of connection I felt with a book if I could touch the paper. Holding a mini-computer just wasn’t the same.
This library was the type you’d see in old movies. Large windows that stretched from the ceiling to the floor, built-in bookcases of dark wood that lined the walls; filled with leather bound tomes no one had read in years. I was in Heaven.
I remembered the day we moved in that Dad had said something to the movers about keeping books. I thought he’d been talking about all of the books in his office, but maybe he was talking about these.
I dropped my book bag by the door and wandered into the room. I felt a reverence here. The room smelled faintly of incense and old books. It was perfect. I set my muffin down on a small table that held only a lamp and ventured further where I promptly bounced my shin off a low sitting coffee table.
After hopping around looking like a wounded duck, the pain calmed down and I limped over to the first bookcase. I let my fingers dance on the spines of the book. Some of them were the classics— Dickens, Hawthorne, Poe. Others, however, were in languages I did not know. Some of them were Spanish, which I could read. I‘d have to ask Dad about the others.
I moved from bookcase to bookcase, looking for something that I just had to read right now. It would be silly to enter a library and not find something to read. When as my eyes settled on an old book whose title had been worn off the jacket, I felt a cold chill creep down my spine. I knew it wasn’t cold in the room, hell it wasn’t cold anywhere in the house. I slowly turned towards the window.
Standing in front of the window was a guy. I hadn’t heard anyone come in, and I would have. The floor creaked slightly when you walked across it. I looked away and then looked back. He was still there. That was when I noticed that he was just slightly transparent. I could faintly see the cross bars of the window through him.
I wanted to run and get my camera, but I was afraid that by the time I got it and turned back around, he’d be gone. Who was he?
“Hello,” I said.
He turned his head toward me. That was when I noticed he was dressed in clothes like the ones I’d seen in history books of people from around the turn of the Twentieth Century. He stared at me. His eyes were bright green, almost startling in their clarity. His hair was brown and curled just slightly around his ears.
Simply put, he was beautiful.
He continued to stare at me. His eyes had a sadness that made me want to do something, anything to take the pain away. I shook myself. No, it wasn’t a power he was transmitting. There was something about him that struck a chord with me.
I realized I’d been staring at him so long, I hadn’t even blinked, and when I did, he was gone.
I knew I hadn’t imagined him. If I had, that was one hell of a dream.
I walked across the room, grabbed my muffin from the table and walked to the door of the room. I looked back. There was nothing there. My mystery man remained hidden. I snatched my book bag from the floor and went back upstairs to my room. I would have to start being more careful. At the very least, I should be holding my cell phone so I could snap a quick picture. It was stupid of me to not be prepared. Dumb me had left my backpack on the floor by the door. I at least should have taken the camera out of it.
Now, I knew my house was haunted. But by who, that was the question.
Danielle Giveaway: $10 Amazon Gift Card and Miranda’s Book of Spells used to create Marcus.
Get the Entry form here:
Danielle DeVor spent her early years fantasizing about vampires and watching “Salem’s Lot” way too many times. After living briefly in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she moved back to her hometown to write. When not writing and reading about weird things, you will find her hanging out at the nearest coffee shop, enjoying a mocha frappuccino.