For the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting the first three chapters of Legacy of Ghosts in tiny, blog sized nuggets, hopefully a bit a day.
If you’ve missed previous chapters, you can read them here.
This contains spoilers. If you haven’t read Shades of Gray, proceed at your own risk
Footsteps sounded through the house; slow and steady as they went from room to room, coming ever closer. “Jorick!” she pleaded silently, begging him to come back and save them from “her” before it was too late. But, there was nothing, so she tried to form a plan. She jerked her head to indicate that they should barricade themselves in the basement, but Loren didn’t seem very receptive. “Basement,” she whispered, desperately. “We should-”
It was too late. Whoever was after them was there. “What in the hell?” a deep voice demanded.
And then Katelina realized who it was. “Jorick!”
It took Loren a moment longer to realize that his certain doom wasn’t standing in the hallway behind them. When he did, he released Katelina and sagged back against the wall. “Thank God! It’s you!”
“Yes,” Jorick replied with annoyance. “It’s me. Now, do you mind telling me exactly what you’re doing and why there are two teenage girls in my living room?”
Loren leapt to his feet, his eyes wide with horror. “In the living room? You let them in? Oh God! You didn’t! Tell me you didn’t!”
Katelina stood up and rubbed absently at her abdomen, uncertain what to make of Loren’s distress. Surely that whole production wasn’t really over a couple of teenage girls?
Jorick ignored him and sought Katelina’s eyes. “What are you doing, Katelina?”
“Hiding. Apparently,” she added with a scowl at Loren. “I was under the impression we were about to die, but now I don’t really know.”
“I thought she was with them,” Loren muttered miserably. “I thought she snuck in and I was trying to keep her out of the basement. But then she said she knew you.”
“Yes,” Jorick agreed with a suggestive smirk. “She most certainly knows me.” He quickly turned serious again. “What I’d like to know is how those girls in the living room know you?”
Loren’s shoulders sagged and he seemed to shrink. “It’s not really my fault,” he murmured. “I mean, not, well, okay, sort of.” He looked at Jorick as if expecting reprieve, but his face was hard and unyielding. “Well I got bored! I mean it was six months. You said it would only be a few days.” He crossed his arms over his chest defensively. “What the hell took you so long, anyway?”
Jorick waved his hand dismissively. “That’s a story for another time. Right now I’m more concerned with the unconscious girls in my living room!”
Loren brightened. “Unconscious? Why didn’t you say so? Don’t worry, you just need to do your mind thing and I’ll take them back to town and drop them off.”
“And why do I need to do that?” Jorick tapped his foot impatiently.
“Like I said, I got bored.” Loren jammed his hands in his pockets. “Look, it was an accident. I mean, the one girl’s pretty hot, you know? And I didn’t think anything would come of it, but she got all attached and shit. Then when I tried to get rid of her I kind of, accidentally, said something about vampires and that just got her all excited.” He paused hopefully, but when Jorick only glared he continued. “Well, I kinda ended up promising her I’d make her one too. I didn’t know she’d be all into it. I thought she’d scream and run away like a normal person. But I can’t get rid of her now, and she’s got her friend helping her. They’re stalking me! Seriously! I haven’t been able to go home for days because I’m afraid they’ll follow me and do something horrible while I’m asleep! I’ve been hiding in all kinds of places! Then I saw your light on tonight and I thought you could, you know, help me out,” he finished lamely.
“Of all the stupid, asinine things!” Jorick growled. “It’s idiots like you…” he broke off and jabbed a finger at the boy. “You don’t understand the implications of what could happen here, do you?”
Jorick growled again. “I’ll handle this – this one time – because if I don’t, they’ll end up dead, but if I ever have to do this again I swear, Loren, that you’ll be more than sorry!”
Jorick turned on his heel and strode back to the front room, while Loren slumped against the wall with a heavy sigh of relief.
“Mind thing?” Katelina asked. “What mind thing does he need to do?”
Loren shrugged. “You know, where he, like, tells someone to do something and they do it?”
She nodded vaguely. She’d seen something like that at the hospital when the doctor and police hadn’t wanted to release her. Almost magically they’d suddenly changed their minds and let her go, even though she was reported missing. The ability made her nervous at the time, and it did so again.