When death's darkest veil draws over you, then shall shadows weep
4 Yarborough Drive looked like any other late 19th century English townhouse. Alice Lorrimer feels safe and welcomed there, but soon discovers all is not as it appears to be. One of her housemates flees the house in terror. Another disappears and never returns. Then there are the sounds of a woman wailing, strange shadows and mists, and the appearance of the long-dead Josiah Underwood who founded a coven there many years earlier. The house is infested with his evil, and Alice and her friends are about to discover who the Thirteen really are.
We are the Thirteen and we are one
“I think we should probably get started, if we’re going to do this.” For the first time, Diana sounded unconvinced. Whether she transmitted that uncertainty to me, or whether I already felt it, I didn’t know, but the time had come. Seeing the table set out that way, a niggling doubt began to snake its way up from the pit of my stomach. Lena’s warning flashed through my mind. With sheer force of will, I suppressed it. Stuff and nonsense. That’s all.
I took a deep breath. “Okay, Vicky, have you got a notebook and pen with you?”
She waved both at me.
“Great. As we agreed, you write everything down, but you don’t need to touch the glass and you shouldn’t ask any questions of anything that may make contact with us. The rest of us should each place a finger lightly on the glass.”
Suzie coughed. “Should we turn the main light out or something? I could put the table lamp on so we can see the cards.”
“Good idea,” I said and Suzie obliged.
In the gloom, the atmosphere grew heavy in the room, not helped by a fug of tobacco smoke that hung in the air.
I took another deep breath and my heart beat a little faster.
We each rested the forefinger of one hand on the glass.
I cleared my throat. “Spirit, are you there?”
Another nervous giggle from Suzie.
“Ssshh.” This from Diana. Next to me, Vicky waited, notebook open, pen poised.
I tried again, as Lena had advised. “Spirit, this is a safe place. Are you there?”
The glass trembled. I caught my breath as the floorboards creaked beneath our feet.
“Oh my God!” Suzie snatched her finger away. “Did you feel that?”
“Yes.” My voice wobbled. “Please put your finger back, Suzie. We need our combined energies.”
Suzie did so, without another word. No one else spoke. I guessed everyone was as taken aback as me. This hadn’t happened yesterday evening.
“Spirit, is that you?” I asked.
The glass trembled again. Diana gasped. The tumbler seemed to be struggling to free itself. It began to shift. It slowly moved around the circle as if trying to familiarize itself with new surroundings. I watched in fascination as it snaked its way around the table.
The glass stopped abruptly, against one of the white cards. “Yes,” I read. Vicky wrote it down.
Suzie, Vicky and Diana were silent. As leader, I had to ask the questions. I had my next one ready, but with such a dry mouth, I could barely get the words out.
“Spirit, thank you for joining us. Please, will you spell out your name?”
The glass shot over to the white card on the other side of the circle—the one that read ‘No’.
“But why won’t it tell us its name?” Suzie asked.
The glass trembled violently, then darted around the board, stopping at letters and moving on so fast I could hardly keep up.
I called the letters to Vicky. She wrote them down. We were all breathing heavily as the glass moved faster and faster, gaining momentum all the time. Finally, with one massive tug, the tumbler flew off the table and smashed against the wall.
Suzie leaped up and snapped the light switch on. We blinked in the brightness and stared at the broken glass on the floor.
“What the hell happened?” Suzie asked. “Who moved that bloody glass?”
I shook my head and looked around at the shocked, white faces of my housemates.
Diana recovered first. “I don’t believe any of us did. Alice, what did Lena say we should do when something goes wrong?”
I struggled to collect my thoughts. “She said…we can do one of two things. We can either stop. Well, I suppose we have anyway. But we could start again if we choose to. Or we could call it a night.”
“I prefer that option,” Diana said, rubbing her hands together. “Does anyone else feel cold all of a sudden?”
I nodded and hugged myself. The room had grown chilly in the last few minutes and my breath misted when I spoke. “Shall we see what Vicky’s got?”
Vicky had been forming words from the letters I had shouted out and stared at her notebook.
I prompted her. “Vicky?”
She looked up at me. “Oh, you’re all going to love this,” she said.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “Does any of it make sense?”
“It makes sense all right.”
“Then tell us!” Suzie’s impatience bordered on anger.
Vicky glared at her. “Fine. It says ‘We are the thirteen. We are one. He is coming for you. He will take you with him.’”
The Darkest Veil is published by Crossroad Press and is available from:
Great excerpt. The cover is nice (and spooky!) too.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Priscilla!Delete