Halloween is mere days away, so here’s another hauntingly spooky excerpt from my paranormal romance, So Fell The Sparrow. It was recently awarded an Honorable Mention in Paranormal Fiction in the Readers’ Favorite Awards, and is now available in Audiobook!
Until 10/29, you can enter to win a FREE audiobook or eBook of So Fell The Sparrow right here on my blog! Click HERE to enter!
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A loud slamming noise from inside the house caused both of them to jump.
“What was that?” Grace darted to the open front door, peering inside anxiously.
Ian came up behind her. “Stay here. I’ll go look.”
“Excuse me, this is my house. I’ll go.” She darted inside and went straight to the living room, searching for the source of the sound. She heard Ian walking around the entryway and kitchen, but somehow she knew they wouldn’t find whatever had made the noise inside the house.
Her gut instinct proved right as she looked out the wide living room windows and spotted a woman teetering precariously on the edge of the lonely little dock.
“Oh, my God. Who the hell is that?”
Ian approached, suspicion tightening his eyes. “I don’t know.”
The woman was tall and willowy with long, coffee-colored hair and pale white skin. She faced away from them, her gaze set out to sea. Her body was draped in a Victorian era ivory gown splattered with dark stains. For a horrified moment, Grace wondered if it was blood.
“Was she inside my house?” Grace panicked.
“Let’s go find out.”
He started out the back door and hesitated when the woman suddenly dove headfirst into the ice cold waters of the harbor. “Shit.”
Both he and Grace ran to the dock, wet leaves and branches crunching under their feet. Ian came to a stop along the shore, his eyes searching the water, while Grace made the more dangerous decision of tackling the crumbling dock.
He called out to her in warning but she ignored him, adrenaline pushing her to the end of the dock. She fell to her knees and stared into the watery depths of the harbor.
“Where did you go?” she whispered, filled with dread as she searched through the muddy water. She noticed there weren’t any ripples or bubbles, nothing to indicate that a woman had just jumped into the water.
Was it an illusion? It had seemed so real.
Then she spotted a face within the murky water, and true fear froze her to the bone. It swam up out of the darkness, the rest of the body emerging with it. Lanky, pale arms, white legs, blood splattered ivory gown, length of dark hair. The woman’s eyes were closed as though she were peacefully asleep.
“Ian,” Grace stammered, unable to breathe. Unable to move. Panic rose within her like a furious geyser, destroying her from the inside out. She thought she heard Ian approaching, thought she felt his footsteps vibrating over the shaky wood dock. She wanted to pull away, desperately grasped for the strength to flee, but it floated just out of reach. All she could do was stare mindlessly into the water.
The woman’s eyes shot open, revealing nothing but pitch black corneas. Her face twisted in a malicious snarl, lips molded into a scream of true hatred.
Somewhere in the deepest recesses of her mind Grace swore she could hear the piercing sound of the scream. Or, perhaps the scream she heard was her own.
Ian grabbed her and pulled her back to land, back to safety. He let her cling to him as he led her up to the house. He realized it hadn’t been a woman at all. Rather, it had been one of the most stunning apparitions he had ever seen.
Grace struggled for air as he brought her inside the house and to the sofa. She cried out, afraid of the deteriorating furniture. Instead, she stumbled into the kitchen, where he caught her and settled her onto the floor.
“What did you see?” he demanded urgently, framing her face with his hands. “Tell me before you rationalize it and forget it.”
Her face was ghostly pale and her eyes darted back and forth, as if expecting a monster to jump out at any moment. He forced her to look at him, and she seemed to calm down.
He repeated his question. “What did you see?”
“The woman. In the water.” She let her head fall back against the cabinets behind her. Her breathing became easier as she shut her eyes and focused. She was safe now. The woman couldn’t hurt her.
“What did she do?”
“She screamed at me.” She rubbed her eyes feverishly, willing the images to go away. Wishing she had never gone out on the dock. “She was so angry, so violent…I’ve never been that scared in my life.”
“I don’t imagine you have.” He watched her thoughtfully, regretfully. He wished he had seen it instead of her. But then again, maybe he didn’t want that image emblazoned on his mind. “I bet that was Mercy.”
“What?” Grace let her hands fall as she gaped at him. “Really?”
He nodded, running with the thought. “She was the right age, had the right type of clothing on. Not to mention the blood.”
Grace swore under her breath as her mind reeled. “Why did she scare me like that? I thought we were supposed to help her?”
“Maybe she’s pissed we haven’t been back for awhile.” He settled back on his heels, feeling restless. “Either way, we both saw her so you’re not crazy.”
She stared at him, one eyebrow lifting. “Or maybe we’re both crazy.”
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