Dreamspell Haunts Volume 1
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by Lisa Rene' Smith
Description: Enjoy five haunting tales: The Guardian by James Mascia Dying doesn't necessarily mean the end. When Bobby Barnes wakes after being killed in a horrible car accident, he finds himself staring into his own cold and lifeless eyes. Even knowing he's dead, only one thought goes through his head: Where's his girlfriend? The Victorian by Teresa Leigh Judd Elizabeth had lived in the old Victorian alone for many years so she was happy when a realtor brought a young couple to see the house. However, there was something about them that disturbed her. A Particular Detective by Gilda A. Herrera A junior college co-ed librarian assistant stumbles into an overbearing Brit who fears he was Jack the Ripper in his former life in the 19th century. Through the magic of the Internet the twosome fall into an uneasy friendship and search for his true identity, the solution of a riddle over a hundred-years old, while an evil, dangerous presence stalks nearby continuing another "Autumn of Terror." 12 Perfect Days by Terry Campbell Father O'Connor is called to the bedside of an aged and dying woman, Katie Garrett. The proud woman confesses her life has been a partial lie, for there was a man she loved who has lived inside her heart all her life, a love which was never totally fulfilled. She wishes she'd had just 12 perfect days. Demon Chick by Melanie Marks When Aiden's girlfriend, Angel, drowns, Aiden has to call on the demons he's been hiding from to help save her. Now the demon chick from Aiden's nightmares is walking around in his wide-awake life, claiming Aiden as her new boyfriend.
eBook Publisher: L&L Dreamspell/L&L Dreamspell, 2010 Spring, Texas
eBookwise Release Date: November 2010
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [95 KB]
Reading time: 57-79 min.
Okay. So I'm dead. It's not so bad. Is it?
Letting your girlfriend, who only has her learner's permit, drive your car is never a good idea. But when Brittany looked at me with those "puppy-dog" eyes of hers, I couldn't resist.
The next thing I knew I was surrounded by cop cars and staring down at my own bruised and broken body lying on the double yellow lines of Route 41. I tried to get someone's attention, hoping they could tell me what happened. All the cops, the EMS volunteers and even the firemen ignored me.
"Sir," I said, to one of the passing officers, a tubby man, nursing a half drunk cup of Starbucks. "Can you tell me what happened? Where's Brittany?"
He walked right past, without a glance in my direction. Frustrated, I reached out to grab his shoulder, "Answer me, will you! Tell me where Brittany is."
My hand went right through his uniform and stuck into his back. The officer kept walking, but I didn't miss his shuddered, "Chilly tonight." He took another sip of his coffee.
What in the world was going on?
It took only a couple minutes to figure out my predicament. No matter who I approached, who I spoke to, they all looked past me. Even when I flailed my arms or jabbed my face in theirs. I couldn't get hold any of them. Every time I tried, my arm swiped right through them, sending a feeling of fire shooting up through my arm. I was definitely dead--no doubt about it.
I followed the cop with the Starbucks cup and stood three feet away as he bent over my prone body beside the still-warm car. I saw the flash of his nametag--Mallory--as he reached into my jeans and pulled my wallet out. Opening it, he said in a very robotic tone, "Barnes, Robert. Age 17."
"Bobby," I corrected, then mentally slapped myself. Here I was, decomposing on the ground, and all I cared about was the officer calling me by my proper name. How sick is that?
Another officer, whose badge read "Franklin," stood next to me scribbling down information as Mallory read it from my license.
"See if we can contact his parents," Mallory ordered the other man.
The way he said it, so detached, as if he saw something like this everyday, made me want to hit him. My mother would be crushed. I pictured her collapsing to the ground at our front door, bawling her eyes out, while my father tried to hold back the tears he desperately needed to shed.
Franklin looked up from his report pad. "What about the girl?"
"Brittany Hamilton, 16. Critical condition. Contact her parents and have them meet us at County Hospital."
For a second, I was relieved. Brittany was alive. Suddenly, my body felt cold. The two officers, standing over my body, both shivered. Steam rose from their open mouths.
I shouldn't have been relieved Brittany wasn't dead. She'd been the one who'd killed me. If she hadn't been driving...
She needed to pay for that. I would make her pay. My hands clenched as I imagined myself wringing her neck. My mind reminded me that I couldn't grasp anything. The thought calmed me, only for a moment.
Mallory shook the folds from a white sheet, bent and covered my body with it. Then the two cops walked away.
"I hate nights like these," Mallory announced, draining the last of his coffee. "Now we're going to have to deal with the parents. And they're gonna look at us like it's all our fault."
I followed them to their car for the ride to the hospital.
They climbed into the vehicle. I reached for the handle to open the rear door, and cursed as my fingers went through.
I realized I could simply slip through the door into the car, so I climbed into the rear, hoping I wouldn't fly out the back when they pulled away. They were laughing at something as they sat in the front seats. I couldn't believe it. They were laughing and having a good time while my dead body was growing cold on the pavement not fifty feet away.
Unable to control my anger, I punched right through the back of Mallory's head. It wouldn't do anything, but at least it made me feel better.
"Why's it so cold in here?" He rubbed his hands over his arms.
"I don't know," Franklin responded. "Maybe the AC's up too high." He wound the dial on the dashboard.
As the car pulled away, I braced myself against the seat. I didn't fly through the back. Instead, I moved with the car as if I was a perfectly living human being. Breathing a sigh of relief, I sat back and went along for the ride.
I pretty much ignored the officers as they chatted about their plans for the weekend. Every word they spoke only made me angrier. They showed no compassion for someone who'd just died. I wondered if they even cared.
It didn't take long before the large brick hospital building loomed ahead. I'd only been there once before, when I broke my ankle playing basketball in eighth grade. It looked much the same as it had then. The two cops even pulled up to the same entrance I'd been wheeled through.
No wheelchair tonight. Not for me anyway.
The cops got out of the car and entered the Emergency Room. I followed as they walked up to the reception desk. They waited for the nurse moving about behind it. She looked like she was trying to do a million things at once. By the amount of people in the waiting room, I could tell it was a busier than normal evening. Only then did I notice how loud everything was. It sounded like a bomb had gone off in my head, as the talking, the ringing phones, the beeping instruments, and the PA announcements merged into a continuous cacophony of sound.
Finally, after sliding a couple of charts onto a cart, that another nurse wheeled away, she returned to the reception desk. She was young and looked pretty athletic, but even so, when she spoke, she sounded out of breath. "What can I do for you gentlemen?"
"A teenage girl was brought in a few minutes ago," Mallory said in the robotic, uncaring tone that was really pissing me off. "Brittany Hamilton. Car wreck. Listed as critical."
"They just wheeled her into ICU." The nurse barely looked at them as she recited the information. She pointed to the left. "Down and to the right," she snapped. Then she grabbed another chart and called out, "Pierce, Anthony!"
Following the officers, I trudged up the hallway, growing angrier with each step as I got closer and closer to the girl who'd murdered me. The hall itself was empty. The further we got from the Emergency Room, the quieter and calmer everything got.
Before we rounded the corner to the Intensive Care Unit, I knew Brittany was already here. Her familiar jeans and t-shirt lay in a bloodied heap on the floor outside a room, waiting for someone to come and pick them up and trash them.
She lay there, in a hospital gown, already hooked up to several machines, monitoring her heart and brain activity. A plastic hose stuck out of her nose, feeding oxygen to her system. Cuts and bruises covered pretty much every inch of visible skin. It even looked like some of her lovely blonde hair had been cut or ripped out in the crash. For a moment, I felt sorry for her. Then I remembered that she was the one who'd killed me.
A doctor entered the room, the doors sliding apart with a whoosh. I followed him in, and stood at the end of Brittany's bed. She looked so weak--so helpless. I was torn between my want to rush to her side and my need to throttle her.
The doctor examined a chart in a slot at the end of Brittany's bed, then he squinted at the monitors. He shook his head. He didn't say a word, but scribbled something on the chart and placed it back in the slot. I tried grabbing it, to see what it said. But once again, my phantom hands failed me. I could no more grab that chart than I could strangle the girl lying there so innocently.
The doors whooshed open and shut behind me as the doctor exited. In the hallway, I saw the doctor talking with the two officers. Turning my back on them, I stepped around the side of Brittany's bed. I suddenly felt cold as a wave of rage crashed upon me. She shouldn't have been driving. I shouldn't have let her.
Suddenly, I realized I no longer knew who I was angry at--her or me. Sure, she'd driven the car, but I'd been the one to hand her the keys. In a way, the whole mess was my fault too.