Win one of FIVE Kindle copies of SENSITIVES
The Wraith of Carter’s Mill
Genre: Paranormal Fiction
Publisher: Books Authors and Artists
Number of pages: 80
Word Count: 25,000
Cover Artist: Sherry Thoman
Sensitives is the first novella in the series titled; The Wraith of Carter’s Mill. The series will include three novellas published in Kindle format. A paperback compilation will include a fourth story, which will only be available in the paperback edition, and will be available late 2014.
Libby Martin has built a good life far away from her childhood home and its dark memories. After two decades, a death draws her back where an insidious spirit still waits for her. Libby is plunged into a whirlwind of long buried family secrets. As her daughter’s supernatural abilities become known to her, she discovers her own. Libby must learn to overcome her own fear if she is to protect her family from the dark figure who has haunted them for generations.
Available at Amazon
About the Author:
C. Evenfall grew up in a small fishing village in Eastern North Carolina. The area was rich with history, ghost stories and unexplained phenomenon; all fodder for the vivid imaginings of a young girl. She began “collecting” stories at a young age.
At aged six, C. Evenfall experienced the paranormal firsthand and has been seeking answers ever since.
Her fascination with the unexplainable and her love for old family ghost stories inspired her to write a collection of novellas. Each inspired by the experiences passed down through her family for generations.
C. Evenfall resides on the Carolina Coast with her husband, a self-proclaimed skeptic. She loves him anyway and the two complement each other perfectly.
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PART I – SUMMER 1955
Libby Carter made the long walk back from Mr. Johnny’s store as quickly as she could. Mama was waiting. She had been sent for a box of borax, and it was excruciatingly heavy to her reed-like eight-year- old arms. The lingering sweetness of the Coca Cola that Mr. Johnny gave her still hovered faintly in her mouth. He had insisted that she take it, even though she told him she did not have a nickel with which to pay for it. “It’s hot as blazes out there, girl I know you’re thirsty,” he said as he pulled the icy glass bottle from the drink box. “Sit out there on that bench in the shade a minute and cool off, and put the bottle in the drink crate when you’re done,” he had added as he patted her on the head.
There were three men sitting on high-back wooden chairs in a cluster in the middle of the store. One of them picked lazily at a guitar, while the other two eyed her and whispered back and forth. Mr. Johnny noticed it too, but pretended he did not. Mr. Johnny was always nice to her but acted nervous when she was in the store.
Libby obediently took the procured Coca Cola, thanked the storekeeper as she always did, and went outside to sit on the bench. The windows and glass double doors were propped open in an effort to catch as much summer breeze as possible. Only the screens separated her from the conversation within.
One of the men said to Mr. Johnny, “Hey Johnny, you gone go up to the Carter place and collect a nickel’s worth later on?” One of the other men laughed real loud, while the third continued to pick at his guitar, ignoring the other as he tried to tune his instrument. Mr. Johnny responded in an urgent but hushed tone that did not hide his disdain for the jest, “You hush up, Jim. The girl will hear you.” The man called Jim just laughed all the harder.
Libby did not know what the comment meant, only that it made her feel bad. She knew it had something to do with Mama most folks around here did not like Mama much.
Libby knew that Mama knew exactly how much time it took to walk to Mr. Johnny’s store and back. She drank the cold drink as fast as she could, without taking the time to savor the rare treat. Now halfway home, walking the dirt road in the blistering July sun, she wished she had enjoyed the Coke more.
It was exactly two miles from her house to the little general store. Her twelve-year-old brother Jack had told her that once. When Libby had asked how he knew that, he had said that he had watched the odometer on the church bus one Sunday. Jack thought he knew everything. Libby did not know how far two miles actually was, but she sure knew that it was a long walk, especially in summer time.
Libby shifted the five pound box of borax to her other arm, and then propped it on her hip the way Mamas often carried their babies. For most, the sight of the long dark bend ahead would be a welcome sight, especially in this heat. Oak trees dripping with Spanish moss hung over the road, providing shade for a good stretch halfway home, but Libby always found it difficult to pass through that part.
It was not the tales Jack told her of a forgotten graveyard buried deep in the woods along this section of the road that frightened her, but rather the feeling that she had when she passed through it. If asked to explain why she kept her eyes cast downward during this stretch, counting the steps of her bare feet, contemplating the red dirt that clung to her toes, she would have said that she did not want to see what was just behind the trees. If asked what was just behind the trees, she would have answered that she did not know, because she had not seen it.
As Libby approached the darkest part where the old oaks came together over the road, forming a canopy that completely blocked the sun, she picked up her pace. She shifted the heavy box to her front and wrapped both arms tightly around it, and with her eyes still on the road, she started to run. Libby tried to focus on the swishing sound of the powder within as it jostled about inside the box and the slapping noise her feet made on the hard packed red clay.
In spite of her attempts to block it out, the frightening clacking sound that came from just behind the trees was louder than usual. Libby started to sing “Jesus Loves Me,” to drown out the noise, as she often did, but this time it just got louder. Eyes still on the road and the tops of her feet, she opened them as wide as she could, trying to keep the tears from forming. If she could make it just a little further, she would be away from it and would be home in just minutes.
Bright summer sunlight illuminated the road just ahead, indicating that she was almost home free, and she slowed her pace. The clacking sound was loud but it was behind her now; she had made it one more time. Ten steps from the sunshine, the clacking stopped, and the pounding in Libby’s ears slowed and grew more distant. Five steps from the sunshine, and she stopped dead.
The tiny black figure, half Libby’s height, appeared directly in front of her, inches from her toes. It was like a shadow in that there was no definition, just mass, but it was darker even than the darkest of shadows, darker than night sky. What looked to be two arms hung off from it in a clumsy fashion, the ends of which appeared to drag the ground. Its legs, or what Libby would have discerned to be legs, were two short stumpy masses that supported the small frame. It stood in her path as if it merely intended to block her passing, still and unmoving.
Libby froze. A voice in her mind commanded that she run, run fast, but she was neither able to run nor pull her eyes from the being before her. She struggled to scream, but no sound would come. The chirping birds from moments before were silent and it seemed that the squirrels that had been running back and forth among the trees had stopped as well. The only sound Libby could hear was the pounding of her own tiny heart; the only sensation she could feel was hot water running down her legs, puddling at her feet. Mouth open in a silent scream and eyes wide in disbelief and horror, she watched it helplessly with absolutely no comprehension of what it was or why it was there; she had no thoughts, no words. The box of borax slipped from her arms unnoticed and landed on her toes, unfelt.
As she stared, unblinking and frozen, the little black figure moved in a quick jerky motion. The top of it seemed to fall backwards, and two eyes and a mouth appeared. The eyes were large and staring, as big as Libby’s little fist, and black as onyx and twice as shiny and only the slightest hint of white along their rims. The mouth was a large gaping hole that took up half of what seemed to be a face. It looked like a massive gaping sore. Filthy pus-looking mucus roped from one side of the opening to the other. Hot air, hotter than the day, escaped the ugly cavern and drifted in huffs against Libby’s face. The foul stench was worse than the pigpen or the dead cat she had found the summer before. Despite her paralysis, Libby’s stomach lurched, and an acidic liquid, lightly flavored with Coca Cola, filled her throat.
The thing leaned forward slightly, mouth still gaping, stinking hot air still coming out of it. The mouth moved, and two rows of what seemed to be yellowish-brown teeth appeared. They chattered against each other in a rapid movement, making the familiar clacking sound. As suddenly as the thing appeared, it was gone, disappearing into the tree line.