Excerpt: Beyond the Grave
Sage crossed to the window and looked out. The moon was high in the sky, its silver glow penetrating the darkness of the night. She could clearly see the large gum tree next to the window, illuminated from the nearby street light. And the leaves were absolutely still. There was not even a slight breeze. What made the door slam?
For no apparent reason, the hairs on Sage’s skin stood on end. Not just the ones on her arms, but the ones on back of her neck too. An unexplained fear, unlike anything she had ever felt before, came over her. A sense of dread, of imminent death, as if someone were standing right in front of her with a butcher’s knife.
But there was no one here. She was alone.
Is this what it feels like to lose your mind?
The sensation passed as suddenly as it had arrived. Sage lowered herself onto the side of the bed and told herself she was being paranoid. She hadn’t had enough sleep, she hadn’t been eating regularly, and she’d been doing too much.
And it was the day of her beloved Nan’s funeral, after all. She needed to start taking better care of herself. If she didn’t, she feared turning as crazy as the ladies in Nan’s card group. For the sake of her sanity, she wasn’t going to do any more packing tonight. She changed into her sleep shorts and slid into bed, even though she was not in the slightest bit tired. She would do without a bath or shower tonight—despite her little pep talk, there was no way she was crossing the hallway to the bathroom.
Pulling up the covers of her Nan’s bed, she didn’t feel the same sense of safety she’d felt when she’d first arrived. What had changed? It didn’t make sense, but she was sure the room somehow felt different ever since she’d packed up the crystals. But that was just didn’t make sense. Another example of a sleep-deprived mind.
Then again… if it helped her sleep, perhaps she should put them back? Would she remember which corner they came from? Would it matter?
Stop it, Sage. Crystals were pretty stones. Rocks. And any sane person would know that rocks can’t help you sleep.
Instead, she sprayed herself again with Nan’s perfume from the bottle on the dressing table. The smell comforted her, as if she could close her eyes and imagine her nan still being here.
Grabbing the mystery novel she was half way through off the bedside table, Sage attempted to focus on the words. She loved reading and quite often used it as an escape from reality. But no matter how hard she tried to zone out, she found herself reading the same sentence over and over, unable to be drawn into the story.
A shiver rippled across her arms and down her legs and she pulled the covers even tighter around her against the chill. It was summer, and had been a warm day. The nights had been balmy, and she expected tonight to be no different. Maybe she was coming down with the flu? She checked her head for signs of a fever. That would explain her confused mind.
She glanced across at the floor fan which showed the temperature reading on its front and blinked. That can’t be right. The digital numbers declined at a steady pace from twenty-one degrees Celsius to three.
A scraping noise came from the far side of the room. Her eyes widened and her mouth dried as she stared at the shelf. It was cluttered with numerous objects and statues of mythical dragons and witches. Only now they were all in a single line—all eyes looking at her.
The light on the bedside table went out, plunging the room into darkness. Outside the door, she heard footsteps in the hallway.
She opened her mouth and screamed.
Excerpt from Beyond the Grave, Darkness Descending, Book 1