Hello, my followers!
After that rather awkward false start last fall, my historical horror (gothic) novella, Followed, will be released early next week. It will be free for the first day and possibly the second day. 🙂
Also, a huge thank you to my wonderful fellow author and friend, L.E. Waters. She was my beta reader!
Here is an excerpt from Chapter Four:
Mr. and Mrs. Mornington’s heated discussion brought Adeline out of the dark musings. She sighed and rested the back of her head against the cushioned seat, pretending to be asleep. Their personalities had come to life since Aunt Victoria’s passing.
“I hope we never go back there,” Gabriel muttered.
“Because of the ghosts?” asked Adeline.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Gabriel. “What I heard in the room was obviously just the wind.”
“You didn’t seem to think so when I saw you in the forest right after you heard them.”
Gabriel leaned close to Adeline.
“Well, they aren’t real,” he said.
“Are you sure about that?”
“Aren’t you a little too old to believe in ghosts?”
“I don’t know what I believe yet, but I do know that my aunt was horribly afraid of someone as she was dying. She was convinced that something was in the room to take her. I saw it in her eyes. She did see something.”
Adeline’s flesh was covered in goose bumps as she quietly related the story to her cousin while Mr. and Mrs. Mornington’s bickering continued.
Gabriel shrugged nonchalantly and he focused his attention back to the landscape outside his window.
“It still doesn’t mean there was something there.”
Adeline blinked back tears.
“Well, you weren’t there. I know what I saw. Besides, after knowing what I know about our great uncle, I don’t think I would ever want to go back there.”
Gabriel’s eyes returned to Adeline.
“How do you know about him?”
“Aunt Victoria told me,” she said, lowering her voice to a whisper. “She killed him after she caught him murdering a man that she knew.”
Gabriel’s brown eyes widened. Now she had his interest.
“I didn’t think she had it in her. Well, she did the right thing. Who knows how many lives she probably saved?”
“That is what I told her, but she felt so guilty. Do your parents know about it?”
“I don’t know. They don’t tell me much of anything. I didn’t tell you this before, but I went back into the room that night. I found some of Uncle Henry’s old journal entries. He was a madman. He recorded all ten of his murders and claimed that he heard voices ordering him to go about doing it.”
Adeline’s mouth dropped open.
“I know what you’re thinking,” Gabriel said. “I’m telling you that there was nothing in that room. I didn’t even hear them the last time I went in there.”
“Whatever you say. Did you read about all of the murders he wrote about?”
Gabriel shook his head.
The carriage stopped abruptly. They were already in front of Julia’s house.
Adeline felt her stomach knot.
“Take all the time you need, dear,” said Mrs. Mornington.
As Adeline stepped out of the buggy, a lump formed in her throat, and she tried in vain to swallow it away. She suddenly despised her aunt and uncle for making her leave one of her only friends behind.
Julia, with her unbound hair falling down to her waist in soft curls, stood on her porch smiling.