Chapter 1 (Morgan)
My feet seem to move as fast as my heart and I nearly stumble into Dad. “Sorry” I mumble and begin the walk into town. I was going to use a pay phone but I don’t have a quarter. Guess I’ll have to use the cell, though Grandma hates it.
My feet shuffle as I pull out my cell phone. I take a deep breath. It is time to face the inevitable; Grandma’s wrath. My hand shakes as I dial her number.
“Hello?” She seems apprehensive.
“Hi Gramma B.” I know I sound nervous.
“Morgan!” She sounds relived. “Are you alright child?”
“Um, yeah, should I not be?” I am confused.
“I’ve been worried sick about you. Had horrible feeling that something was going to happen to you.”
“Oh, well, the bus ride was, um,” I choose my words carefully, “interesting, but nothing really Happened to me.” Not entirely true. Things did happen to me. I tried to help an injured man and failed. I became friends with Gloria, a young mother. I confronted Fancy Anne, a ghost. I met Ghost Wheeler aka Mike, my biological father. And I gave my number to a young man, Ash Van Helsing.
“Yeah, um,” this is the hard part. As the sunlight fades so does my nerve.
“Where are you?”
“Pete’s Body Shop,” I whimper.
“Why are you not at school?” Her voice thunders. I can’t answer. “Never mind.” She sighs. “I presume you're coming home, and you better get a ride!”
“Yes Gramma B.” I was planning to anyway.
“Promise you won’t cut through the woods tonight.”
“Yes, Gramma B.”
“I mean it.” Her voice is dead serious. “Something wicked that way goes, and I don’t want you near it.”
“Okay, I promise Dad and I will catch a ride.”
“Dad?” Ops, that wasn’t how I wanted to tell her.
“Yeah, Um,” I glance up at my Dad, “I have my dad with me.”
“George?” her voice is surprised.
“No, my real Dad.”
A chair scraps and I know she’s sat down.
“Ghost Wheeler,” she whispers.
“Yeah, he was on the bus.” Silence stretches. I know I’ve given my Grandma a lot to think about. “Well, We’ll catch a ride and see you soon okay?”
“I love you.”
“I love you too honey. See you soon.”
“See you soon.” I hang up and let out a deep sigh. The street lights flicker on.
Jorden will be closing the small grocery store soon. I guess I’ll see if he can’t take us up to Grandma’s farm. We get to the store just as he’s locking the door.
“Hey Morgan,” he says turning around to see me. Then he sees my father and frowns.
“Could we get a ride to Grandma B’s please?”
He looks at me, then my Dad. “Sorry Morgan, I got to pick up Chelsea.”
I know he’s lying. Chelsea’s away at college, just like I should be. I can tell by his looks he doesn’t like my dad. I watch him walk away and realize he hadn’t even asked who the guy with me was.
“It’s okay Morgan,” I look at my Dad, he places a hand on my shoulder. I don’t understand. “Why don’t we go ask Pete?”
“Senior or Junior?” I ask.
Dad’s eyebrows shoot up. Then he chuckles. “Yes I suppose Junior would be grown up by now. I think either one would give us a ride don’t you?”
“I guess.” They never have before. Then again I have never asked them before. Sometimes Junior creeps me out with the way he looks at me. Mom told me once it was because he likes me and that I should talk to him. I never have.
Thankfully Dad catches Pete Senior just as his beat up red pickup pulls out of his mechanic’s shop. They great each other like old friends. As I get in I can’t help but glance out towards Devil’s Flat. I swear I see a figure up there. I get in, scrunched between Pete and my Dad.
The truck rumbles to a start and turns onto the road. My gaze is again drawn to Devil’s Flat. There is definitely someone up there. Someone with a long bladed weapon. I also see the dark swarming cloud that seems to be rushing towards him. I shiver and shrink back into my seat. No wonder Grandma didn’t want me to go through the woods. I would have gone right past there.