Sunday, January 17, 2016

School Spirit's Teaser

In Book 2 of Leta Hawk’s Kyrie Carter Paranormal Mystery series, a paranormal investigation on the campus of Willow Lake College leads to the discovery of a decades-old murder mystery. Kyrie Carter is thrilled to accompany her best friend JoEllyn to their alma mater, Willow Lake College, for a ghost hunt with the campus Paranormal Club. She is pleasantly surprised when celebrity ghost hunters Drac and Gabe Petery show up with their team. She is not so pleasantly surprised when her critical former teammate Spook Steele shows up with them. What begins as a routine investigation into campus ghost stories soon turns dangerous as Kyr encounters a malicious spirit in the bell tower of Appleton Hall. Upon further investigation, the team learns that a suspicious fire had claimed the life of a female student in 1958. After Spook becomes a victim of a similar fire in the bell tower while investigating, he and Kyr begin to suspect they are dealing with more than a simple haunting. Kyr and Spook put aside their differences and team up to piece together what happened in the bell tower. The mystery deepens as they discover that everyone—townspeople and campus administrators alike—seem determined to keep the truth hidden about the events of that night.

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Steele seemed as perplexed as I was scared. He turned to me. “Well, why don’t we try to make contact?”

“Okay,” I replied reluctantly. I began walking down the hallway away from the bell tower.

Steele chuckled and said, “Why don’t you go down the hallway, and I’ll stay by the bell tower?”

I stopped and gave him a withering glance, which I knew he couldn’t see in the dark. “Smart aleck,” I muttered, sitting down about halfway down the hall. I watched as he appeared to fumble with something at his end of the hallway. Suddenly, points of light appeared all the way down the hall; he had set up the laser grid.

I turned on my digital voice recorder and began, “Steele and Kyr, Appleton Hall, third floor.”

“Hello,” Steele began, leaning back against the wall just opposite the bell tower door. “Is there anyone here with us? We’d really like to talk to you.”


“We’ve heard…” My voice was trembling, so I cleared my throat and tried to steady it. “We’ve heard you spend a lot of time on this wing. Why do you stay here?”

The hall remained quiet, but this floor still felt colder to me than either the first or second floors. That, and I was definitely on edge. I kept pushing myself tighter against the wall, trying to make myself less visible to whatever might be present. Whether or not it was making itself known, there was definitely a presence on this floor.

“Carter,” Steele hissed. I looked towards him. “Where are you right now?”

I could see him leaning forward, poised to jump up. “I’m right where I was before,” I replied, flickering my flashlight at him. “Why?”

I turned to look towards the other end of the hallway and saw what he had apparently seen–something was disturbing the points of light from the laser grid. I began inching backwards away from it, still in a sitting position.

I gasped audibly as Steele suddenly crouched right beside me, whispering in my ear. “Don’t run from it. Try to talk to it.”

I was torn between boxing his ears for scaring the life out of me and being grateful for his nearness. “What is your name?” I asked, watching as the laser points continued to move; whatever it was paced back and forth. “Do you need help?”

I noticed Steele was pointing a handheld video camera over my shoulder towards that end of the hallway. The warmth from Steele’s body seeped into my back as I pressed closer against him. Drawing some courage from his presence, I decided to try something different. “The story is that someone committed suicide in the bell tower. Is that true?” I asked, not taking my eyes from the shifting laser points. “Did you take your own life?”

All of a sudden, the laser points stopped moving and returned to their original appearance. Steele and I remained motionless, keeping our eyes fixed on the spot where we had just seen movement. A moment later, we heard the unmistakable sound of a door creaking open. I quickly turned towards the bell tower door, my face only inches from Steele’s. Our eyes met briefly in the dim light before he too turned to look.

He sprang up and moved quickly but quietly towards the bell tower door. I immediately missed his closeness, feeling exposed and vulnerable, but was still reluctant to follow him. “What the blazes?” he exclaimed. “Carter, come here.”

I didn’t need to go to the end of the hallway to know what he had found, but I started down the hall towards him. Even though I knew what I’d see when I reached him, I still let out a yelp when I saw that the bell tower door was indeed standing wide open. This time, though, the light was not on, so Steele and I stared into a black gaping doorway. His earlier joke about the doorway to hell came to mind, and I tried to banish the image.

He flashed his light up the stairs to peer into the bell tower, but I quickly looked away, afraid to see what might be standing at the top. Steele stood still for a moment before moving deliberately to walk up the stairs. Each step creaked and groaned under his weight as though no one had used them for a long time. I stared wide-eyed after him, wondering if he was really that brave, or if he was just crazy. Halfway up the stairs, he turned to me. “Come on, Carter,” he coaxed. “Time to face your fears.”

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