Author: Lisa Acerbo
Publication Date: October 28th, 2016
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Young Adult
Rory is your average high school senior. Or she was, until her mother banishes her to hell, also known as Trumbull, Connecticut. The small suburb with only a mall and movie theater, sure feels like the netherworld until Rory’s first day at her new school. That’s the day she meets Bowen, who begs her to join him on a class project. But when Bowen drags her to a graveyard after dark for research purposes, Rory wants to fly back home to Atlanta, or at least return to her aunt’s house unharmed and unmolested.
Nothing could go wrong, right? They talk, they laugh, and they wander among the tombstones looking for information on the local ghostly legend known as the White Lady. Then they have to run, but they cannot outrun a ghost. In addition to the ghostly woman, a half buried dead body leads Rory and Bowen into a deadly game of cat and mouse, but who is the killer? Is it human or something long dead and otherworldly?
The police are of little help, Rory’s aunt just wants her to remain safe, and Bowen, who she can’t stay away from, keeps finding ways to get her into more trouble than she has ever known. Whether breaking into a suspected killer’s house, being followed by a menacing ghost, or being stalked at school, Rory hopes finding the killer will put an end to the supernatural haunting. Before Rory can discover the identity of the killer, she is drawn into the mystery of the White Lady, which opens the door for some very real danger.
Outside her door, something waited. Or so her imagination told her. She chided herself for being foolish. Rory had watched Bowen lock the doors to the house. His family slept in the adjacent bedrooms, and she could flood the kitchen with light as soon as she got downstairs. Still, she lingered under the covers. Her thirst slowly growing worse and worse. She sighed, removing the blanket that formed a halo around her head. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Right?
She wasn’t in a horror movie; this was real life. The bed creaked as she forced herself into a sitting position. While darkness blurred everything in the small room, she knew the door stood straight in front of her. She put her feet on the old hardwood floor. Her toes burned cold as if she had stepped in snow. Rory quickly pulled them back up.
Looking around, Rory’s heart galloped in her chest as she searched for the cause of the chill creeping up her legs. Everything appeared normal. She put her toes down again, barely able to stand the cold, but forcing herself to do so. She stood up as the ice moved into her torso, causing her to shudder as she walked in the darkness toward the door. She shook her head, feeling terrified and idiotic all at once. How much had she drank? Hand stretched in front of her to help guide her as she walked blindly in the dark, unfamiliar room, she was relieved to make contact with the wood door frame. She fumbled with the knob. It stuck momentarily and then opened.
In front of her, a veil of gossamer white linen hung from the ceiling to floor. Before she could react, it engulfed her, found its way inside her. She coughed out violently, strangled by the strange substance that grew in her throat like weeds in a garden. Forget the glass of water. She turned to go back in her room, lock the door and hide.
When she pivoted, the White Lady stood before her. Somehow vivid in the darkness, her face twisted in pain, mouth open in an eternal scream like Munch’s painting. The interloper moved to the window as Rory watched frozen, stuck like an icicle to the eaves. The White Lady’s fingers moved like ballet dancers, not actually touching the glass pane but gliding over it. Letters appeared. Rory watched the words form.
DANGER IS COMING.
Rory’s bones frosted over. She had to run, or she’d faint of cold and fright. She sprinted down the narrow wooden stairs clinging to the rail for support and bounded into the kitchen, breathless. A small light above the kitchen table cast shadows across it and the floor. A figure sat at the table, silent and still. As she entered, blinking against the milky lightness, he looked at her.
She couldn’t tell what emotion highlighted his eyes. When Bowen smiled from the chair he casually reclined in, Rory felt stupid. It must have been a nightmare brought on by too much alcohol.
“What’s the rush?” he asked.
“Bad dream. Need water,” she whispered, afraid to raise her voice higher, though why she felt that way, she couldn’t be sure.
“You sit,” he ordered.
Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and holds an EdD in Educational Leadership. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, three cats, and horse. She is the author of Apocalipstick and has contributed to local newspapers, news and travel blogs including The Patch and Hollywood Scriptwriter.
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