Anyway, today we have a special short story by author of Spellbound, Margeaux Laurent.
Margeaux Laurent is also sharing a copy of Spellbound with each visitor today. YAY!
Make sure to check out all the other participating blogs:
Once Upon A Twilight, Dark Readers, Books With Bite, Skyla11377, AliseOnLife (Read My Mind), and An Avid Readers Musings .
Short Story by Margeaux Laurent.
I have always had a close group of friends and most of the time we would gather at our friend Brianna’s house and hang out in her parents’ finished basement. It was our hangout, with a full living room, kitchen, three bedrooms and a bathroom all on one floor. There was a dartboard, a pool table, a big screen TV, a fully stocked fridge and a huge movie collection. It would seem like the perfect hangout for a group of teenagers, but to be honest, I never felt comfortable in that space. I never said anything though. It would take a Halloween night to finally realize that everybody else felt the same way, and the events that occurred would force us all to question our own beliefs in the supernatural.
It was Halloween night, and we had all gathered in Brianna’s basement once more. Jasmine was dressed in a cat woman costume, with her long caramel colored hair in a high ponytail, she sat on the lounge chair drinking a mojito. “Let’s watch some horror flicks!” she said as her doe eyes beamed through her fake lashes.
Brianna pushed back the cape of her Lord of the Rings elf costume as she sifted through her DVD collection, “Which one first, Dracula or the Exorcist?”
“The Exorcist!” Jael and I said in unison.
Jasmine rolled her eyes, “Seriously?” she asked as she sipped her drink.
“Seriously,” I smiled back as I adjusted my black witch’s hat.
Brianna put on the movie and we all settled in to have a horror movie marathon. We had our drinks, pizza, and were ready to go. Halfway through the Exorcist, Jael got up to use the bathroom. As she squeezed through the two recliners and turned down the hallway, she stopped abruptly. “What did you say?” she asked, while looking over her shoulder at me.
I pulled my attention from the TV and looked at her. She seemed a little pale, even in her Frankenstein’s Bride make-up, “I didn’t say anything…”
She looked down the hallway that led to bathroom and then back at me, “I think I need to go home now,” and instead of walking down the hall to the bathroom, she turned for the door that led upstairs.
We didn’t think much of it. Jael had a tendency to have mood swings and we just shrugged it off.
“Typical,” Brianna mumbled as Jael shut the door behind her.
“I’m going to make another mojito, who wants one?” Jasmine asked, as she stood from her chair.
“Me!” I replied.
Jasmine went into the kitchen as Brianna and I kept watching the movie. A few moments later, we heard a glass break.
“You break it, you buy it,” Brianna joked, as she stood to help Jasmine. She didn’t have a chance to reach the kitchen, Jasmine came flying through the doorway and nearly knocked her over.
“What’s wrong?” Brianna asked.
Jasmine shook her head, “Nothing…I …nothing.”
Brianna squinted at her, “You just ran out of the kitchen after dropping a glass. Something must have happened,” she said quizzically.
Jasmine took a short breath, “Fine,” she replied shortly, “I just thought I saw club soda move on its own. That’s all.”
Brianna’s full lips pulled into a grin, “Okay, maybe we’ve had enough horror movies for one night,” she said, while reaching for the remote.
“I’m going home,” Jasmine said as she grabbed her giant handbag.
Brianna and I exchanged a look of disbelief, “Jazz, are you sure?” I asked.
“Yup,” she said while reaching for her keys.
“I can’t let you go,” Brianna said with seriousness, “You’ve been drinking, you can’t drive.”
Jasmine looked up at the ceiling and sighed, “Fine,” she said while tossing her keys to Brianna, “I’m not sleeping down here though.”
“You can sleep upstairs on the couch,” replied Brianna, as she pulled off her grey cloak and threw it on the nearest chair.
I didn’t think much of what Jasmine had said, she has a wicked sense of humor and is known to pull a joke or two, especially on Halloween.
“I think I’ll go to bed too,” I yawned.
“Okay, take the bedroom at the end of the hall,” Brianna replied, as she and Jasmine headed upstairs.
“Goodnight,” I smiled, and gave a tired wave as she shut the door behind her. I could hear her walk down the hallway and heard the door open to the stairs that led out of the basement. I was now alone.
The guestroom was small, but the queen-sized bed was comfortable and I found myself starting to drift to sleep. Just as I felt my eyelids getting heavy, I heard something scratch at the bedroom door. I sat up and starred at the door, half expecting Brianna to walk in. When she didn’t, I brushed it off. I had just watched a notorious horror movie known to mess with people heads. Obviously, I was a little jumpy. At that, I pulled the covers over my head and started to concentrate on sleeping. However, each time I would get close to a deep sleep, I would get an overwhelming feeling that someone was watching me. I felt that if I could gather the courage to look at the door, I would see someone…or something standing there.
This went on for about an hour, and then I heard movement in the basement’s living room. The shuffling of feet, movement of glasses, and then finally the sound of the old recliner being popped into the reclining position let me know that Brianna or Jasmine was back downstairs. Out of absolute relief not to be alone, I jumped from the bed and reached for the door. As I did so, I heard a soft knock and I jumped back.
“Margeaux?” Brianna’s voice whispered.
I pulled the door open to find Brianna and Jasmine standing in the doorway. Brianna’s dark eyes were wild and her short brown hair was a mess “I needed to make sure you were okay…we think someone’s in the house,” she whispered anxiously.
“Were you guys just watching TV?” I asked, as I searched their faces. Jasmine kept looking nervously back down the hall.
“No, we both heard the recliner open and thought it was you. We couldn’t sleep and thought we’d hang out some more…but when we came downstairs, no one was there.” She looked behind her as a strange sound of something sliding on the stone floor made us all jump.
“What are we going to do?” I whispered. The room I was in had no access to a window, and no way out. We would have to walk back through the basement if we were going to make a break for it.
“Brianna, what are you doing?” I asked as she flicked the lock on the door and stepped through the threshold. She was locking Jasmine and I in.
“Just call the cops and stay where you’re safe,” I pleaded.
“I just need to check…besides, I don’t think the cops could help with this,” I heard her reply. I looked at Jasmine who had opened the guestroom closet and started sifting through its contents.
“What are you looking for?”
“A cross, or a rosary…anything like that,” she replied, without looking up.
I felt my heart start pounding and I waited in silence, with my cell phone clutched in my hands, listening hard to hear anything that would make me call 911. Looking over Jasmine’s shoulder, I saw a baseball bat. “I’ll take that,” I walked over and pulled it from the closet.
Jasmine placed a rosary around her neck, “I doubt the bat will help, but if it makes you feel better…”
I was going to respond, but the lamp by the bedside table began to flicker as though it was about to turn off, we both stared at it with dread and I felt my hands begin to shake. I knew that Brianna had told us to stay in the room, but I couldn’t take it anymore. As I opened the door, Jasmine pushed past me and went into the bathroom. Not bothering to shut the door, she went to the sink and splashed cold water on her face. I held my breath and waited in the guestroom hallway.
“This is unbelievable,” Jasmine gasped as she leaned over the sink.
I opened my mouth to reply, but I froze in fear as a shadowy figure formed between Jasmine and the bathroom door. Jasmine, seeming to sense the ominous presence, looked up as the form moved behind her. The towels hanging from the rack on the opposing wall were left swaying from its presence.
Jasmine reached for her stomach, as though she was going to vomit and I let out a shriek as Brianna turned the corner of the hallway. “What’s wrong?” she asked with alarm.
“Look,” I pointed with a shaking hand.
Brianna’s eyes followed my outstretched fingers and she shrugged, “What?”
“It was just there,” Jasmine said in a small voice, “It was in the room with me.”
Brianna walked into the bathroom and looked around, “I didn’t see anything and I checked the whole basement…nothing’s down here,” she insisted.
“What was it then?” I asked with disbelief.
“I have no clue…I don’t want to know,” Brianna replied.
We all spent the rest of the night upstairs on the couch exchanging our versions of the night’s events. In the morning, we decided to keep the story to ourselves. We didn’t want people to think we were crazy. Little did we know that our friends would find nothing to laugh at.
Two nights later, as we were all sitting around talking at a local restaurant, Jael started off the conversation by saying to Brianna, “Your basement is the creepiest place I have ever been…I didn’t think I would last down there Halloween night.”
Brianna and Jasmine exchanged a look and I searched Jael’s face for signs of a prank coming on, but Erica and Matilda, both of which had not been there on Halloween night, just nodded their heads in agreement. No one responded the way I was anticipating. One by one, our friends shared their own experiences in that basement.
“Something whispered in my ear that night…that’s why I left so quickly,” Jael admitted.
“One time, when I went into the kitchen, something pushed me in the back,” Matilda said in a soft voice as she stared down at her French manicure, “At first, I thought it was my imagination, but I had a bruise on my back for a week.”
“Why didn’t you say anything?” Brianna pressed.
Matilda raised her eyes, “I thought you would think I was crazy.”
“The last time I stayed over, I felt like I was being watched all night,” Erica added with discomfort, “Brianna, has your home always been haunted?”
Brianna took a long drink of her martini, “I never really experienced anything until Halloween…I mean, I heard strange things before, but nothing like that night.”
We went on comparing notes for a good half hour, and we all felt a sense of relief in learning that we weren’t the only person who was experiencing something unexplainable…but that sense of comfort was short lived.
Months later, Brianna finally confronted her parents about their basement. Being from a highly religious family, they requested that a priest come to the home to either verify or deny our claims. The Priest only spent a few minutes in the basement and refused to come back, leaving a bottle of holy water behind. He said that it was more than he could personally handle.
Since that day, her family will not talk about it or even acknowledge our claims. While they insist that the basement is fine after the priest’s visit, Brianna refuses to enter that space again, and none of us have hung out in that basement since.
Thank you Margeaux for sharing this story with us. For more information on Margeaux, check out the links below:
I have always been drawn to the supernatural and as I was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my Grandmother Rose, who shared the same interests. When I was nine, she led me to her book collection which was stocked with horror stories. She had everything from Bram Stoker to Anne Rice, and many books on magic, supernatural creatures, and ancient societies.
Of course, Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Together, my Grandmother and I would decorate her house and get all the candy ready for our neighborhood trick-or-treaters. I would help her set up and then get into my costume and meet with my friends.
“Be careful tonight,” Grandma Rose would remind me as I reached for the door, “the walls between our world and the spirit world are thin on this holiday.” I would smile back with my vampire fangs flashing and promise to be safe. Then, I would leave and meet my friends for our Halloween adventures.
While I have lived all over the country, I feel that there is something special about celebrating the holiday in New Jersey. The state is steeped in folklore, ghost stories, and urban legends, and on Halloween night, New Jersey’s spooky side comes to life. Of course, my friends and I would add to the effect by listing the monsters that were speculated to be from our area as we walked through the dark streets. More than once we found ourselves jumping out of our skin as a cat hissed from nearby fence, or a car backfired. The crisp October air, the leaves crunching under our feet, and the eerie howling sound of the wind rushing through the trees made Halloween nights that much spookier.
I traveled often as a child, and my interest in folklore prompted me to ask a lot of questions during my stay in different countries. One of the most fascinating aspects of folklore is that, no matter where you travel, people normally have the same tales of monsters, and "otherworldly" beings. This always made me ponder what thread of truth ran through these ancient legends and connected them from country to country, culture to culture.
As I grew older, my interests expanded beyond the realm of folklore and, as a result, I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University in 2008, with a Bachelors in Applied Biological Sciences and a minor in Applied Psychology.
After graduation, I, like so many others, faced the harsh reality of a diminished economy and was unable to find work. While this was disappointing and a little bit of a blow to my ego, it was a blessing in disguise. I finally had the time to sit down and write the story of Aislin, a story that had been with me for years.
Currently, I am working on my Masters of Science in Space Studies and continuing the story of Aislin in the Spellbound series.
It is 1734 in Burlington, New Jersey, and nineteen-year-old Aislin Collins carries many secrets, but the one that threatens to surface has the potential to change her life forever: Aislin is a witch.
Now, something evil lurks in the woods outside Aislin's home. Animals are found slaughtered and drained of every drop of blood. It stalks in the shadows as men patrol the forest nightly to hunt the unknown malice, but the creature is not interested in them. It is after Aislin, for the creature is the servant of a witch hunter, and is cloaked by dark magic. As rumors spread through town, Aislin is protected by a handsome, mysterious stranger who disappears as quickly as he arrives. Even as the witch hunter haunts her every step, her protector, Greer, appears in all her dreams.
Aislin realizes she is falling undeniably in love with Greer, but her mother is suspicious of him and fears that Aislin is falling into a trap. Soon, Aislin must face a destiny she never foresaw, but as she attempts to protect herself and all those she loves from the witch hunter's wrath, the spirits keep warning her, "Things are not as they appear"...
Margeaux is sharing a copy of Spellbound with everyone! All you have to do is visit
and enter this CODE to get the book FREE: YQ25D
This code is only good til November 1st at midnight.
HAPPY READING!!!! :-)