Alone in a haunted house, Emma faces the wrath of an evil spirit whose dark secret she's uncovered. A Fragile Ghost by Violetta Antcliff. Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, other fine eBook vendors and Gypsy Shadow Publishing at:
Collingwood Manor drew Emma like a magnet; after her first visit she couldn't keep away. She wasn't afraid of ghosts, and until she'd spent a night on her own in the Manor house, she'd have argued they didn't exist. However, after coming face to face with a troubled spirit, and feeling the evil presence of another, she soon changes her mind. The Manor house has a dark secret, and Emma is determined to find out what it ss. Befriending one fragile little spirit and facing the hostile wrath of another was her intention. But now she has, she can't and won't, back down.
Word Count: 10154
Pages to Print: 23
A full moon shining through a barred window caused shadows to dance high on the walls of the room. Emma shivered, and tucked the scarf she’d been given into the collar of her jacket.
Harry had unwound the scarf from his own neck and placed it round hers, minutes before locking her in the filthy, vermin-infested room. She could still smell his manliness on the gift, and somehow it gave her comfort.
Apart from a broken down bedstead, the room was empty of furniture. On the floor next to the bed, a candle leaned precariously in an empty tin can.
Emma squinted at her wristwatch and sighed; there were still ten hours to go before someone would come to unbolt the door and let her out.
She heard footsteps on the landing outside and the door knob rattled; she knew it was Harry checking up on her.
“Now you’ve seen the room, do you still want to go through with it?” he asked.
Emma was sorely tempted to say, No I don’t; I’ve changed my mind. Let me out, but she didn’t. Instead she said simply, “Go away, I told you I’d do it, so just leave me alone. Let me get on with it.” She sounded braver than she felt.
She heard Harry’s retreating footsteps, sensed his slight hesitation before he descended the creaking, rickety stairs, going back the way he’d come.
Sat hunched on the bed in the deafening silence, Emma recalled the events that had led up to the bizarre situation she now found herself in.
She brought to mind the retirement party thrown for the undermanager of the city store where she worked. Drinks had flowed and during the course of the evening, tongues had loosened and things had been said that, perhaps, would have been better left unsaid.
She knew she would have to do some apologising when she returned to work after the weekend. Telling her boss to keep his hands to himself or she’d have him up for sexual harassment hadn’t gone down well.
Tom, her boyfriend, had berated her in front of everybody, told her she’d be lucky if she had a job to go back to on Monday, if she didn’t apologise immediately.
This had made her angry. Boss or no boss, she’d spat, I’m not going to let him get away with patting my bottom and trying to peer down the front of my dress.
Tom had said she was an idiot, and she had told him to get lost.
Eve, a girl who worked in the millinery department of the store, warned her she’d lose Tom if she wasn’t careful.
She had responded with a couldn’t care less shrug of the shoulder and walked away to join in a heated discussion about the supernatural taking place in another part of the room. Tom had tried to drag her away, and for the second time she’d told him to get lost.
That was how it had all started, she’d pooh-poohed the idea there were such things as ghosts and zombies, and when she’d been challenged to spend a night on her own in a haunted house, she’d accepted.
It was the reason she now sat shivering in a derelict building on the outskirts of town, in the room that was supposed to be the most haunted in the house.
Collingwood Manor had been left to the country by its previous owner, Lord Baverstock. Over the years, due to neglect, it had fallen into disrepair and there was now talk of it being demolished.
The manor house had a reputation of being one of the most haunted buildings in the midlands. Allegations a wailing ghost haunted the place went undisputed. And it was common knowledge that both squatters and Romanies gave the place a wide berth.