Midnight’s arrived, at least for the Midnight Type, and the Harpy is pleased as punch to celebrate it with you.
Last Friday we showed you this picture, which yours truly picked out, and asked you for a caption to land yourself a spot to present some of your work.
….to which the lovely Cassandra Page captioned, “Pushing up daisies.” WINNER!
Without further ado, read more of our little Cass’s brain bits…..
Extract from the first chapter of Isla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page
Scheduled for release in the second half of 2014 with Turquoise Morning Press
Disclaimer: this excerpt is from an unedited proof and may differ from the final, published version.
Once the candles were lit, Emma closed the door to the hall and turned off the overhead light. Darkness swam in and for a few seconds I couldn’t see anything except the tiny flames. When my eyes adjusted the room seemed larger somehow, filled with deep shadows that trembled and danced in time with the flickering candle flames. The dartboard resembled a shadowy face. Emma swept around the table and resumed her seat. I glanced at Dominic, who perched on his cushion, eyes bright with curiosity.
He was good looking—the candlelight leant his straight nose and perfectly formed lips an air of mystery—but not so good looking I didn’t wonder what I was doing there.
It was quieter with the door closed, but I could still feel the music throb through the floorboards and my thin cushion. I fidgeted; if we were there too long I was going to get a numb butt.
“Okay.” Emma rolled up her sleeves so they wouldn’t trail on the table. She slid the upturned scotch glass so the pentagram was centered within it. “Everyone put a finger on top of the glass.” We did. “Ready?” Without waiting for a response, Emma tilted her face toward the ceiling. “Is anyone there?”
“Is anyone there?” Emma asked again. She didn’t seem worried. I glanced at Dominic, whose face had fallen.
“Is anyone there?”
The glass began to inch along the surface of the paper, picking up speed as it slid toward the “Yes”. Tamara gasped, going white under the makeup; that pale, she looked like a porcelain doll. Emma smiled, enjoying her moment. The guys watched with wide eyes.
“Welcome.” Emma smiled. “What’s your name?”
I studied the glass in its nest of fingers as it spelled out “D-a-n-i-e-l”. I was searching for the whitening around the fingertips that would indicate someone was pushing the glass. Was that why Emma had turned off the light: to hide the tells?
“Hello, Daniel.” Emma smiled again. “Daniel’s my spirit guide,” she added in an aside to the rest of us as the glass slid across to “Hello”.
I watched with a frown as the others asked questions of “Daniel”: where he was born, how he’d died, that sort of thing. I didn’t pay much attention; I was busy trying to see how the trick was being performed. It was a normal scotch glass and, if anyone was pushing it, they were being discrete. Emma was good.
Finally, she looked around the table at us. “Daniel can act as our intermediary to the afterlife, protecting us from evil spirits. Do any of you have relatives who have passed over that you’d like to contact? A grandparent or anything?”
“My grandpop’s dead, but he was an old bastard.” Kurt laughed. “I don’t want to talk to him. Besides, your ‘Daniel’ wouldn’t let him through if he don’t like evil spirits.”
Tamara shook her head; Dominic turned to me. “Isn’t your mother dead?” he asked softly.
“Yes.” I looked away. I’d never known my mother. She’d died giving birth to me. But I didn’t like the idea of turning her into a parlor trick.
Dominic saw my hesitation and looked sheepish. Emma brightened up, though. “What was her name?” she asked.
“Melanie,” I said reluctantly. “Melanie Blackman.”
“Hey, we don’t have to do this if you don’t want to,” Dominic said.
“It’s alright,” I said. It wasn’t real. It didn’t matter.
“Melanie Blackman, are you there?” Three times Emma repeated the call, and, as before, the glass didn’t move until the third time.
“No?” Emma looked surprised—which was surprising, given she was the one moving the glass. “Melanie Blackman, are you there?”
The glass circled away from the word and back to it, rattling across the paper. No.
Obviously that wasn’t meant to happen. “Daniel, are you there?”
There was a long delay while I imagined a sheet-covered ghost handing over the receiver of a telephone, then: Yes.
“Why isn’t Melanie Blackman there?”
It wasn’t real. It didn’t matter. But I still held my breath as I watched the glass spell out the reply.
S-h-e [space] i-s [space] n-o-t [space] d-e-a-d.
Now I picked out this week’s picture, too. Give me a caption for THIS, baby.
Say it here, you silly monkeys.