Happy Halloween, kids!
To celebrate the spookiest of days, we have to talk about my paranormal story, Pianissimo.
Here's a little excerpt sure to put a chill in your spine:
The outside world was morphed and swirled around through the old leaded glass. Corinne stole an extra glance at the warped view as she vacuumed the cat hair off the area rug and then the couch. She smiled at the quirkiness of the old windows. Sweat raced down her face as she cleaned diligently despite the horrid hot, humid weather. After several minutes, she finally stopped the vacuum.
As soon as the whirl of the motor died down, Corinne thought she heard something. She strained to hear it. After concentrating for a few silent moments, she could finally make out the faint sound of a woman crying.
Why was there a woman crying? Was someone hurt? Did something happen? Corinne hoped whoever it was was alright.
Panic stricken for the other person, Corinne ran through the house looking in every room, opening every door. What was going on? Who was that? There was no one in the house. She ran out through the back door to see if any of her neighbors were hurt. Not one sign of life. What in the world? Something had to be happening.
She could still hear the cries.
Corinne walked briskly back into the house. As she came in, she felt drawn to the inside basement door.
Corinne went to slide back the lock, but it was so hot, it singed her hand. Corinne immediately removed her hand from the door. She looked at her palm which was blazing red. She blew gently on it to try to ease the scorch. The crying was clearer now.
Braving the lock once again, Corinne quickly undid the latch. She pushed the door open with all her
might. The darkness rose up the stairs like billowing clouds of smoke. There it was. The crying was clear and loud now. A woman wept down in dark, dank basement.
“Hello?” Corinne’s voice trembled with fear. “Hello? Who are you? Are you ok? Do you need help?”
Her voice echoed mildly down the stairs.
The crying continued.
“Who are you? Are you okay? Do you need help?” Corinne repeated herself.
Still no response, only sobs.
Corinne stood at the stop of the stairs, frozen with fear. The burn on her hand began to throb. She looked at her hand. Her palm was red and beginning to blister. Yet, there were no signs of fire. No smoke, there was no scent of anything burning, no crackling or visible flames. Was it possible the fire had only just begun? Why was the door so hot that she couldn’t touch it? If she were to go down there to help this woman, would she end up hurt herself? She was truly torn: unsure of whether to brave the basement stairs or tend to her hand.
After a perceived eternity, the sobbing suddenly began to fade away. Just as when it began, Corinne found herself straining to hear this woman once again. Eventually, there was utter silence.
Now paralyzed by both fear and confusion, Corinne stood in place and looked back at her hand. The blister was gone and her palm looked completely normal. No longer red, no longer painful. As if nothing had happened, life in the house was still and peaceful again.
There's plenty more where that came from! For more hauntingly good stories, check out Pianissimo (as well as my other books):