Teaser Tuesday (also Towel Day)

This is the very beginning of my book, Those Lost at Sea and Drowned, or technically its prologue. I thought it would be a good continuation of the spookiness I posted yesterday. And do you have your towel today?

"Where are you taking me?" I tried to plant my feet, but Miss Bonney roughly pulled me into motion again.

"I'm taking you to the east wing, to put an end to this superstitious nonsense once and for all," she answered, holding my arm in an iron grip. "I will solve two problems with one fell swoop—get some use out of that room, and cure you of lying."

"But I don't lie," I said, my breath coming in puffs as I trotted to keep up.

Miss Bonney snorted. "I suppose you deny telling the other girls that the ghost of the groundskeeper and his dog walk the gardens? Or that Tabitha's late grandmother wanted to speak with her? Some of those girls haven't slept in a week. You're nearly ten years old, Isabelle, you're getting too old for such stories."

"They are not stories. And I told the others that they didn't need to fear these spirits, they don't mean us any harm."

Miss Bonney turned left into a long gallery, raising her candle to get her bearings. This wing of the school was cold and disused, smelling of decay and mildew. I was more curious than frightened—until we approached the door at the far end.

"What is this place?" I whispered, trembling now.

Miss Bonney fumbled with a ring of keys. "This apartment has been locked up for years; something unfortunate happened here and the staff are convinced it's haunted. But once you've spent the night in it, and you emerge unscathed, I'll prove to them there's no reason to neglect this space."

"And if it is haunted?"

"Impossible. There are no such thing as ghosts, and once you admit that I will let you out."

With a triumphant grunt, she turned the key in the lock and pulled the door open. I turned to run away, but she grabbed me and shoved me inside the room. The edge of a rug caught at my foot, tripping me, and before I could recover the door was closed and locked. She had not even given me the candle, but moonlight filtered through the cobwebbed windows. Every one of my senses was on edge, alone in this room.

It was quiet at this end of the building; all the students would be getting ready for bed in their dormitories by now. The furnishings in the room were years out of date and covered in a thick layer of dust. Chairs and small tables were knocked over and broken, from some long-ago disturbance. My steps lifted the dust on the carpet, and I sneezed. At the sound, the silence in the room took on a new quality.

I froze in place, holding my breath and straining to pick up the slightest noise. Suddenly, there was a flurry of whispers around me, dry and fluttery as the cries of moths. The voices of three girls, overlapping and swirling together, so agitated that I could only pick out a few words.

"You shouldn't be here—"

"Get out—"

"There is still time—"

"We'll show you—" they said together.


Ellen said...

Yikes! Poor MC :/ That would reeeally scare the crap out of me. I hope she makes it through the night ok!

Karla Calalang said...

Ahh so creepy! Hoping she gets out of that room!

Debra Driza said...

Creepy! I already don't like Miss Bonney--mean old biddy! I'm definitely eager to read more!

Kara said...

I love historical novels in 1st person. Nice job :)

Unknown said...

oooh...creepy. in a good way:) nice snip:)

Brianne Carter said...

So creepy at the end, but so good! Awesome tease :)

RAD - Dot Painter said...

I haven't read this one for a while. It is still as scarey as before:)

J.S. Wood said...

Freaky, creepy. I really liked it and would love to leave the adult in that room!

Glen Akin said...

Man, this is creepy. Poor girl! But I don't think I feel that sorry for her, cos she seems like she knows a bit about ghosts and how to handle herself in the presence of one.

Tahereh said...

wow this is a great snippet! the voices were so real :D

great job!

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Thanks for all the uplifting comments, everyone! It's good to know that when I go back to revisions, I should concentrate on the other 99.5% of the book. For next week's Teaser Tuesday, I'm going to continue on with this.

Jeanne said...

Chilling grabber, hooked me right away. Now I have to know all about this girl and the possible haunts around the place. Someone needs to put a tack on Miss Bonney's chair. Keep up the good work, Angie! Jeanne

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