Excerpt from The Haunting Season:
It was only when the crickets and frogs stopped that Jess awoke. She blinked, trying to adjust her eyes to the dark. She turned back over, expecting Allison to be either still sitting up, or asleep. But her bed was empty and Allison stood in front of the dresser, hands at her sides, staring at the mirror. Alarmed, Jess sat upright.
“It’s happening again,” Allison said.
“The spirits. They’re back. I can see them.”
Jess rubbed her eyes as a spark of uncertainty and a moment’s worth of fear rustled somewhere deep inside her. “They’re there, in the mirror?”
Jess got out of bed and tentatively stood next to Allison. She looked at the mirror, then behind her. Nothing. Uncertainty gave way to disappointment. The mirror cast back only the shadowy figures of Allison and herself, their faces made pale by the moonlight streaming into the room. They were alone, as far as Jess could tell.
Damn it! Why couldn’t she see the ghosts? Were they here? Disappointment gave way to a pang of envy.
“You don’t seem as upset as you were before,” Jess said. “If they’re back, aren’t you afraid they’ll take over? Possess you?” She wasn’t making fun of Allison. Something horrible had happened to her, and she was probably more sensitive to the supernatural than Jess was.
“Yes, I’m afraid,” Allison replied calmly.
The way Allison spoke seemed at odds with her words. The hairs on Jess’s arms tingled, but not because of any ghosts she couldn’t see. Right now, the only thing creepy in the room was Allison. The girl had been possessed, after all.
Allison turned her head to look at Jess, her expression unreadable in the shadows, even this close up. “He collects souls.”
Jess peered harder into the mirror, trying not to show Allison she was indeed afraid. “He? Who are you talking about?”
“He’s looking at you. I can’t make out what he’s saying. But see?” she pointed to the mirror. “He wrote his name.”
Fear and a healthy dose of agitation rose inside Jess. Fear, because someone staring at them from inside a mirror was downright scary. Agitated, because she couldn’t see anything, and Allison’s continual freak-outs were wearing on her. After a long day getting here, she was exhausted and just wanted to sleep.
“Allison, I don’t see anything! He? Who are you talking about?”
“Riley,” Allison whispered.
“Riley? Who’s Riley?”
Allison stood just as still as she had upon Jess’s wakening. “He lives here. With the others.”
“Others?” Jess stepped closer to the mirror, leaning against the dresser to get a better look. Her breath fogged it enough to reveal a single name, written backward: Riley.
Creepy Savannah photos:
Savannah's most haunted house, the Sorrel-Weed house is the inspiration behind The Haunting Season's own Siler House. Here's how I imagined the stairway at the end of the hall leading to the attic/music room at Siler House...