Zoe slid the Necronomicon inside her shiny olive jacket. “Drop the belt.”
The sheriff unbuckled her utility belt. Her holstered gun thunked to the thin, gray carpet.
A cool draft twined about me. My hands dug into Bailey’s fur. Something was here – Harry? – but I couldn’t see it.
“You were outside my house last night,” I said.
“Yes,” Zoe said. “Now into the storage room.”
“Why?” the sheriff asked casually, and this time the chill I felt rattled my bones.
The sheriff didn’t want to go into the back room.
She didn’t think we’d leave it.
“To give me time to escape,” Zoe said. “There’s a strong lock on that room.” Her voice hardened. “Move.”
Arms raised, the sheriff moved slowly down the aisle of books.
I followed, hands clammy. Bailey quaked in my arms. Was he picking up my fear or something else? It’s not only cats that can see ghosts.
Zoe was focused on the sheriff – the biggest threat. Sheriff McCourt was unarmed, but she could fight. I was less useful.
The sheriff’s words echoed in my mind. You need to be open to everything, even what you don’t like.
Easy for her to say. McCourt didn’t know what I’d seen. Had Lovecraft? His stories had certainly gotten the creeping horror right. But what he hadn’t understood was that the most beautiful things were often the most terrible.
And my sisters and I had beaten them. We’d saved ourselves because I’d journeyed and faced those terrors.
Zoe and her friends – were there more? – knew about my sisters too.
My heart squeezed. I could save us again. I had to.
The air thickened, driving the breath from my chest with an electric pulse.
Relaxing my gaze, I saw.
Harry’s ghost looked worse than I remembered, chest torn and gaping, eyes burning with an awful wildness. A black snake slithered from his open wound.
“What are you looking at?” Zoe snarled, and I realized I’d halted beside a pyramid of travel books. A slavering wolf paced beside her, its ribs prominent, an animal representation of her ravenous, demanding spirit.
“See.” I gathered the energy – the ghost, the wolf, my own, and shoved it toward her third eye.
Coming in the final episode: Loose ends are tied up.
Photo (top) by Michael Larosa on Unsplash. Photo below by Daniil Kuzelev on Unsplash.
About the Author
Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.
Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.
If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town, Paranormal Museum and Wits’ End books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey series might be for you.
Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at kirstenweiss.com
Feel free to follow her on Twitter @KirstenWeiss, on Tumblr at kweiss01, on Pinterest at KirstenWeiss, or on Bookbub, get in touch on Facebook, post a picture of this book to Instagram and tag her @kirstenweissauthor, or send her an email. She’ll answer you personally…which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.