To Love A London Ghost
Click on image to enlarge.
by Maeve Alpin
Description: Walk on the wild side of Victorian London with the ghost and the ghost hunter. When Queen Victoria orders Sexton Dukenfield, premiere phantom hunter, to track down England's missing ghost he stumbles into Ceridwen, a phantom warrior woman of an ancient Celtic tribe. Not only does he find her intriguing as a piece of the puzzle of the missing spirits, but he's also haunted by her sultry sensuality. Though they both burn with desire, it's difficult to quench their fiery passion since Ceridwen is so translucent. Every time Sexton touches her, his hands pass through her misty body. On a mission through the bustling narrow streets of London, to a dreary match factory, and even to the Otherworld and back, to stop a genius scientist and his phantasm debilitater machine, the ghost and the ghost hunter also seek the secret to freeing the boundaries of life and death. Excerpt: Taken off guard, Sexton finally managed to catch his breath. "Do you see her?" Katie bobbed her head, then raised her thin, trembling arm and pointed at the apparition. "Ghost." The specter spread her feet in a warrior stance with her back straight and her chin tilted up. "Keep your box and magic beam away from me." Even in these strange circumstances, Sexton couldn't help but notice the ectoplasma outline of the lush bulge of her heavy breasts. He riveted his eyes on them, then his gaze roamed to her waist, which flared into curved hips and long, supple thighs. "These?" He held up the device he clutched by the brass handle and grabbed the one strapped over his shoulder. "No magic, just boxes. They measure energy and heat, to tell me if phantasms are near. They can't hurt you. Though I don't need them now. I can see you, I know you're near." He turned his head toward the child peering at the specter from behind him. "She really is a ghost," Katie said. "Indeed, and looking right at me." Sexton looked back at the stunning spirit. He could tell her hair had been blonde and her eyes a sky blue. He felt warm being near her, rather than cold. Looking the phantasm in the eyes, he said, "I'm not going to hurt you and I was just going to ask you to not hurt me. I can help you go back to the light." "I'm not going to harm you, but I'm not going to the light or anywhere else until I free the others and bring vengeance on those men for capturing me." "Do you mean others are there, more phantasms are in the factory?" He nodded toward the building. "Captured by men, did you say?" "Yes, about eight ghosts." Sexton took a deep breath. "Well, well, you are just the phantasm I was looking for."
eBook Publisher: Eternal Press/Damnation Books LLC/Eternal Press, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: April 2012
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [271 KB]
Reading time: 149-209 min.
* * * *
Wicks aflame in wax candles, held by the silver arms of fluted candelabras, died out--snuffed by an unseen presence. Just like the one in the wooden candlestick he clutched. The metal gas lamp adorned with a frosted lampshade, fringed by splintery thin crystal prisms, still burned. An icy chill cut to the bones of this phantasm hunter as he watched it dim, then shut off. Darkness descended.
The front parlor looked better to him in the gloom. All the shapely furniture legs, marble table tops, and gilded frames cluttering the walls were nearly invisible in the dark.
"I might need some light, but that's easily remedied," Sexton Dukenfield said aloud while digging in the pocket of his long frock coat. He fished out a Lucifer match, scratched it against the marble table top, lit the wick, and set the candlestick on the table with a soft clunk. Then he lifted the hard brass bell and the soft leather-bound book.
"Be gone, spirit. I banish you to your realm to never return."
Quavering ghostly moans overwhelmed the deadly silence as the four walls surrounding him trembled like chattering teeth. "You are not wanted here." He raised his voice. "Cinis in cinerem and pulvis in pulverem." With those words the room ceased shaking. "I banish you." The chill in the air vanished and the room returned to its normal condition.
Sexton glanced at the meter embedded in the wooden block, topped with a shiny brass button. The thin, gold-tone needle pointed to the right, indicating heat. "I see we have normal room temperature once more. Good, I was getting chilled." He shifted his gaze to another square device, rimmed in black metal. His eyes fixed on the gauge and the little brass arrow which swung from the far right to the middle, meaning it only detected human energy. Sexton had exorcised the specter.
"Another job is done. The hunter of spirits and phantoms saved the day again. I am good at what I do."
That was a tough one and the fifth spook he had to get rid of in this same house. He pulled back the folding doors from the drawing room. Hovering in the hallway near the door, as if ready to flee, stood tiny, gray-headed Widow Lupton.
"Is it gone?" she asked in a soft, breaking tone as she peered at him with her round, bug-like eyes.
"I have vanquished the spirit. You have your home to yourself again."
"Thank you, Mister Dukenfield. I do not know what I would do without you." The scrawny woman's thin mouth turned up into a smile that softened her heavily wrinkled face.
"You may call me Sexton if you like and madam, you could do without me if you stop your seances. They are like a pub in a bad part of town; they draw all the loitering riff raff from beyond the grave."
"But Mister Dukenfield, I mean Sexton, they are the only means I have to reach my dear Johnny. My only son."
"Johnny's not marching home again. He has gone on to a better place. All the good ones do, Mrs. Lupton."
"I miss my boy so."
"I do not doubt it for a moment, but when you call the spirits, you put out an invitation to all of them, even those souls you would never have had in your house when they were alive. Call your friends over to needlepoint, exchange recipes, play charades, or mold wax flowers, anything except seances." He waved his finger in front of her wrinkled face. "No more ghosts for you."
"I promise, this will be my last time."
"Very well, and Mrs. Lupton, if you will be so kind to hand over the six shillings for my fee, I'll leave you to your leisure."
"Oh yes, Mister Dukenfield, I mean Sexton, come with me."
Sexton picked up his two spirit and phantom hunting devices by their handles and breathed in the soft, comforting lavender scent of the elderly woman as he followed her from the hall to the study. The yellow floral paper on the walls peeked through the few spaces not covered by gilded frames encasing paintings and an occasional photograph. He recognized one of them as her deceased son, young, twenty-something. Though it was black and white, his short, straight hair was obviously blonde. He'd gone into the light the moment he died, over forty years ago, and wasn't coming back, but Widow Lupton wouldn't hear it. He'd told her many times before. Her husband died a year ago, but she never asked about his spirit at all. At the tall mahogany secretary, she pulled open the first drawer and withdrew the coins. Once Sexton sat his energy detector down on the secretary-desk, Mrs. Lupton dropped the silver shillings onto his gloved hands.
"Mister Dukenfield, won't you stay for tea?"
Sexton deposited the coins into the small crocheted miser purse on his belt and grabbed the smooth brass handle of his energy detector. "I must bid you a good day. My cook has dinner ready no doubt, and a big, fat bottle of brandy waiting for me."
"I always had dinner waiting for Mister Lupton; he's been gone now for almost a year. First Johnny, then his father." She wrung her hands nervously. "Speaking of husbands and sons, when will you put your bachelor days behind you and settle down? I'm sure many young ladies are vying for your attention."
He noticed how fast she changed the subject of her dear deceased spouse, but he had no desire to pry. His stomach growled at him to get out of there and home to his supper. " I assure you, it would take a warrior woman to tame me."
"Oh, I don't suppose they are many of those around."
"No, Victorian ladies are too gently bred and demure to bridle the beast in me."
"Oh dear, Mister Dukenfield, really."
Sexton shifted the two instruments he used for finding phantoms and spirits to one hand and then tipped his hat. "It has been a pleasure, and now I'll bid you good day, Mrs. Lupton."
"Yes, and thank you for your services." The widow walked him to the door.
Sexton dashed down the front steps to the sidewalk and with a loud whistle and a broad wave, he hailed a passing steam-powered omnibus.