Teaser Tuesday--Prologue continued

I realized that a line got dropped in last week's teaser, so I'm backing up a bit and then finishing out the prologue this week. You can see the first part of the prologue here

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—"

My mouth was dry; it took me a few tries to ask, "What happened here?"

"We'll show you—" they said together.

Since I ordinarily could hear spirits but not see them, their cascade of images caught me unawares. I struggled to make sense of the pictures: this room filled with moonlight and candlelight, three girls weeping over a bloodied woman lying still on the carpet. And the figure looming over them, coming out of the shadows with axe raised and ready to strike.

I must have fainted; I came to on the floor, the scent of dust and old blood filling my nostrils. As I tried to re-orient myself, the whispers started again.

"You see? He's too strong."

"We tried to tell you—"

And then, "He's coming," and I felt I was alone again.

But I was not alone for long, as I saw the dust motes by the window begin to swirl and coalesce. The very air boiled, blood-red and seething as it took on the outline of a human form. I didn't wait to see more, stumbling in terror as I ran to the door.

I pressed my lips to a crack. "Miss Bonney, Miss Bonney! Please, you have to let me out!"

The steps on the other side were muffled, and far too slow. "Hurry!" I called. I spared a glance over my shoulder; the figure was becoming solid, I could see the man's wild hair and demented grin. This spirit looked substantial enough to do me real harm, and I scrabbled at the door in panic.

The key scraped into the lock, but Miss Bonney asked, "Are you ready to admit you were lying?"

"Yes, yes, I was lying," I cried. "Let me out!"

"I want to hear you say, 'There are no such thing as ghosts and I cannot communicate with the dead.'"

I heard a dragging step behind me as I repeated, "There are no such thing as ghosts and I cannot communicate with the dead."

The key rasped in the lock and the door opened in front of me, spilling me into the corridor. I rolled to my feet and ran down the gallery, hardly registering the sound of the door closing to muffle the frustrated roar beyond it.

I ran until my shaking legs would no longer support me, and one of the other teachers found me and took me to the infirmary. I lay in bed, raving, for four days, crying over and over, "There are no such thing as ghosts and I cannot communicate with the dead."

And with time—and much practice—the latter became true for me.


Alyce Haast said...

Awww... that was freaky... so you've hit the nail on the head there.... and i would personally like to put Miss Bonney where ever they were keeping her

Brianne Carter said...

Oh, so creepy! I like it :)

Angie said...

Wow freaky, and I love the tension. :)

Ellen said...

"And with time—and much practice—the latter became true for me."

Great last line! I know a lot of people don't usually like prologues (and I'm normally one of them), but I think this one is very effective since it shows, rather than tells, the reader what the MC has gone through before the story (I'm assuming) starts. :)

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Yes, Ellen, the story picks up about 8-9 years later, when Isabelle is 17. And this experience needed to scar her enough that she turns her back on her powers. I tried it in flashbacks, but it wasn't nearly as scary without the immediacy of it happening.

deltay said...

Wow! As a prologue, this sounds like a great start to the story. Nicely done!

Sage said...

This is an excellent prologue. Lots of tension and setting up for what I assume is the MC finding out she can communicate with ghosts again. It wouldn't work as well without.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

It will be more that she HAS to communicate with ghosts again.

RAD - Dot Painter said...

I know the whole book, and have read this prologue several times, and I'm still creeped out.

Bidisha said...

This is only the prologue? There's so much going ob. Wow.

Glen Akin said...

Woah, this is just the prologue, and I'm this hooked? Trust, this is awesome! Man, I love where this story is headed. I hope we get to see that creepy ghost guy again!

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