Here is the first of three excerpts from my new book, A Wolf In Girl’s Clothing:
We slip in through the back, and I lead the way into the living room. I’m about to explain my first trip through the house when a flicking switch makes me jump.
But it’s Jesse who flipped it, and he looks at me and whispers, “No power.”
“No, the place has been abandoned for years.”
“Did you get that from the librarian?”
“Nope, from the real estate agent.”
“Why did you come out here the first time?”
“That’s another secret I can’t share.”
“Shoulda seen that coming,” Jesse says.
“Anyway.” I point to the side window. “See this window here?”
“This is a plastic pane, and when I showed up the first time, I found slivers of glass in the carpet about eight feet from the sill. Whatever came for Charles leapt through this window fast enough to blow the whole thing out.”
“You mean whoever.”
“I mean whatever, and I say that because there’s a high jump involved in coming through this—”
“Quiet,” Jesse says.
I shut up, and we both strain to listen. But it’s just the wind stirring the trees outside. I relax and whisper, “It’s the wind.”
Jesse lets go of his breath. “Sorry, go ahead.”
“Never mind, I’ll take you to the bedroom. There’s something in the closet I can show you that’s interesting, but I’ll have to use the camera light to point it out.”
We go through the hallway, and I get a tingly feeling that we’re being watched, just like the last time I was here. I glance around Jesse, worried that I’ll see the shadowy figure behind him. But there’s nothing following us.
The bedroom door is closed, and I stare at it, trying to remember if I shut it on my way out. I’m not sure, but my confusion is strong enough to make me turn the knob slowly.
The door groans as it opens, and we step into the room. The closet door is closed. But that’s not what freaks me out. What freaks me out is the idea that the bottom shelf will be back in place even though I didn’t put it back. I might not be sure about the bedroom door, but I damn well know I didn’t close the closet.
I open it, and sure enough, the bottom shelf is secured. I try to tell myself that after I called, Donald must have come out to check on the place. He could have closed everything up. It sounds logical, but I don’t believe it. I look down at the floor for other footprints, but even my footprints from my last visit are gone.
Jesse stands beside me, and he touches my arm, whispering, “Does it feel colder in here to you?”
“It’s the concrete floor,” I say.
Jesse opens his mouth, and then gasps when something made of glass shatters at the front of the house.
We spin around and back up at a loud thump in the hallway.
“Oh shit,” Jesse whispers.
There’s a growl from the living room, and heavy footsteps thump down the hall. My hand tightens around the camera, but I can’t look down to turn it on.
The bedroom door slams shut, and Jesse’s hand closes around mine. He’s squeezing my fingers so hard it hurts, but I can’t think to cry out. I can barely think over the sound of my heart slamming in my ears.
Something hits the door hard, and we both jolt.
“Oh shit,” Jesse says, his vocabulary reduced to two words. He’s doing better than me, because I can’t even manage a squeak.
Blow after blow slams the door, and Jesse loses his nerve and pulls me to the window and slides it open. He pushes me out first, and then he rolls over the sill. We just get outside when the bedroom door bangs open, and then every light in the place turns on. The back patio light shouldn’t be this bright, not even with a hundred-watt bulb, and never mind the fact that there’s no power. Every light pouring away from the house seems too bright in my eyes.
There’s light coming from the bedroom too, and I know that can’t be possible when there’s no fixture in the ceiling.
I back away from the window, but my feet root to the ground when the air is pierced by a blood curdling cry. It’s like a wolf howling, but much louder, and more frightening. I can feel the agony in the scream, and it shakes me to my bones.
Jesse is tugging at my hand when the window slams shut, and then blood explodes all over the inside of the glass. The scream takes on a louder volume, and it’s more shrill and full of pain. Underneath it, I can barely make out the sound of something else growling, but even worse, I hear something being torn apart. I hear wet flesh tearing, bones snapping, and sinews popping.
“Alice!” Jesse yells, his voice full of the same terror I feel.
I find my voice and choke out one word, “Look!” A black figure walks to the window and raises a hand to press a palm in the blood, swiping it to one side to smear the many splashes into one long streak.