Today’s Spooky Legend is a well known ghost story told by a girl who sees ghosts. I’m talking about C.C. Hunter’s Kylie Galen from the Shadow Falls series about a camp for supernatural teens that reminded me of Camp Half Blood from the Percy Jackson series except with older teens and lots of romance. The second book in the series, AWAKE AT DAWN is in bookstores everywhere today from St. Martin’s Griffin and thanks to C.C. two of you will win a copy! See details below.
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Kylie Galen on Where Did She Go?
People say urban legends are absurd. I say they don’t know what I know. Albert Camus, a French writer and philosopher, once said, “The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.” I sometimes wonder if Albert was a supernatural like me. Did he see things that no one else could see? And by things, I mean the dead, spirits . . . ghosts. They are here amongst us. Not everyone can hear or see them. I can do both.
A while back, I lived an urban legend. I was home for the weekend, driving back from seeing Sara, my old best friend. Well, she’s still my best “human” friend. But we’ve sort of grown apart since I learned that I’m not human and moved to Shadow Falls. Anyway, as my wheels hummed and ate up the asphalt, the sound of the rain splattered on the windshield. I could see the lightening flash in the dark sky to the north.
It was late August, when you can fry an egg on the sidewalk during the day; even at night the heat sticks to your skin. But tonight the car was cold, the dead kind of cold. The kind that told me I wasn’t alone. Someone was there. I was pretty sure it was my dad. He does that sometimes, drops in for short visits; but because he has used up his allotted time on earth, it’s difficult to manifest. But I still feel his chill and it isn’t a bad feeling. I’ve grown to see it as almost a hug.
This time, however, I wasn’t so sure it was him. I glanced into the backseat to see if there was the slightest smear of fog hanging in the air. If there was, that would be him trying to materialize. But the backseat was empty, almost lonely looking. Still, I knew someone was there, I just couldn’t see them.
When I looked back to the road, I’d accidentally swerved off onto the shoulder, toward the curb. She was sitting there. Just sitting on the curb. And my car was heading straight toward her. I screamed. Slammed on my brakes. And lost control of the car.
The car started spinning. I was afraid that, any minute, I’ll hit the girl or maybe a tree, and I pray it was a tree. The thought of hurting someone cut to my soul.
The car finally stopped. I gasped, and the first thing I did was jump out and pray I wouldn’t find her face down in the dirt, bleeding.
But I shouldn’t have worried.
She was sitting there, quiet, watching me. “Are you okay?” I asked.
She nodded. I ran to her. I needed to make sure she was okay.
She had tears in her eyes. She blinked them away. “My car, I had trouble and I need to go home. Can you give me a ride? It’s only a few miles down the road.”
There was something about her voice, soft like sleigh bells in the distance. “Of course.”
She stood and smiled. I was so relieved that she was okay that I would have done anything for her. Cartwheels, or even driven her to Dallas. But if I hadn’t been so relieved and still feeling panicky at thinking I had almost killed her, I might have noticed how odd things were. Instead, I just stood there like an idiot and almost hugged her for not being dead. How crazy is that?
“It’s mine.” She pointed down at the edge of the road.
I looked down and saw a heart-shaped necklace. It was silver, and kind of pretty but it looked worn to the point it should be retired. I picked it up and handed it to her.
She smiled and held it to her chest as if it was something she’d lost a long time ago. “Thank you,” she whispered in that weird, sleigh bell voice of hers.
We got in the car and that’s when I noticed the cold again. It was even colder than before.
I worried she might notice this. The last thing I wanted her to do was think I had a ghost in the car, so I turned on the heater. She gave me the address and sat in the passenger seat staring at the necklace, letting the chain run over her palm over and over again.
About five minutes later, I pulled up in front of the old house. The lights were on, and a golden hue spilled out the windows. She stared out at the front porch then glanced back at me. “Will you give it to her?”
I stared at her, feeling confused. “What?”
All of a sudden, the radio started to blare and I looked down to turn it off. When I looked back, she was gone. The necklace lay on the seat. The street light cast a warm glow over the passenger seat and the silver of the necklace reflected the brightness and sent pinpoints of diamond-shapes onto my dashboard.
That’s when I realized that the cold that had been with me for the last fifteen minutes had lifted. Gone. Just like her. And mostly, that’s when I knew. The cold hadn’t been my father trying to manifest.
Her last words whispered in my head. “Will you give it to her?”
When I looked back at the house, I saw an old woman peering at me from the window. I picked up the necklace and walked to the door. She opened it before I could knock. She looked at me with her faded gray eyes, and I saw so much sadness in them. Not just sadness, though, I saw true grief.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m sure you have questions, but I don’t have any answers. I can’t explain it. She died a year ago on that patch of road and she’s been sending people here ever since. I don’t’ why. They don’t’ know why.”
I nodded. Sometimes the dead were like that. Even when they could communicate, they couldn’t always tell the living what they wanted or why. Then I remembered the necklace. “I think she wants you to have this.”
She saw the heart and the silver chain in my hand and I heard her breath catch. “It belonged to her mother who died a few years before her. They said she wasn’t wearing it the night she died. I’ve looked everywhere in the house, and couldn’t find it. I thought it was lost forever.”
I gave her the necklace and she hugged me. When I started to leave, I saw the young girl standing beside her grandmother, and I gave her a slight nod in greeting. As I walked toward my car, she followed me. Her cold sent goose bumps up the skin on my bare arms.
“Thank you.” She looked puzzled. “I could never get the others to pick up the necklace. I could get them to come here, but that’s all. What makes you so different?” She came closer, so close that when I breathed, fog leaked out of my lips and snaked up into the darkness. “What are you?” she asked.
I smiled and decided to tell her the truth. “I don’t know. Not yet anyway. But I hope to know soon.”
When I got home, I pulled out my laptop and did a quick search to find out her name. Anna Little. She’d swerved to avoid hitting a cat that had darted in front of her car. Her grandmother hadn’t been surprised. “My Anna could never hurt an animal.”
There were stories linked to Anna’s obituary, too. Stories of how several people had sworn they had nearly slammed into a young girl sitting at the curb at the accident site. How they’d picked her up and drove her home, only to have her vanish when they got there. It was hard to understand ghosts, sometimes. Hopefully, now that she’d given the necklace back to her grandmother, she would pass on.
My mom popped into my room. “What are doing?” she asked
“Reading,” I told her.
“About what?” She leaned over my shoulder.
“Just an urban legend,” I said, knowing it was just easier for some people to think about urban legends, rather than know the truth.
About the author:
C.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she’s still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.
C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels for Grand Central. www.christie-craig.com
Want to read more from CC Hunter
Giveaway provided by C.C. Hunter
Two copies of AWAKE AT DAWN by C.C. Hunter & swag
Available today from St. Martin’s Griffin
Now that she’s settled in at Shadow Falls Camp, Kylie Galen’s determined to discover the extent of her supernatural abilities. But with a ghost insisting someone Kylie loves is about die, a rogue vampire on a murdering rampage, and her sixth sense telling her someone is watching her, Kylie’s quest for answers is quickly put on hold.
To make matters worse, just when she’s about to give her heart to Derek, a half-fairy, he starts pulling away. When Lucas, a werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past, returns, Kylie’s feels more conflicted than ever. Her weekend with her mom should have been the just the break Kylie needs, but it turns out to be her breaking point. Someone from the dark side of the supernatural world has plans for Kylie–and it’ll take all her resources to get back to Shadow Falls alive…
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**Don’t forget to visit Dark Faerie Tales today for her Spooky Legends guest blog with Katie MacAlister and a chance to win MUCH ADO ABOUT VAMPIRES**