By Theresa Dale
Maggie’s worries about moving to her husband’s childhood home in rural Nova Scotia couldn’t have prepared her for the disturbing events that began right after they moved in.
Nevertheless, she and her family became quickly entangled in the torment of long-dead neighbors who remained tethered to the land on which their tragic lives – and deaths – played out…but death did not free Rose from the tragedies of her life. And between that time and the haunting of Maggie’s family, her enduring madness has twisted her reality into something darkly skewed. Increasingly desperate, she beseeches those who reside upon and around her land to aid her in her quest, but her efforts threaten to alter the lives of those whose help she enlists – or end them.
Rose’s Ghost is the first in a chilling series of three about a family’s connection with a tormented ghost, still desperate to gain back the child she lost.
About the Author
Combining a lifelong love of words and a penchant for all things supernatural, Canadian author Theresa Dale specializes in scintillating thrillers. She delights in enticing readers with loveable characters, then spooking them with unexpected twists.
Theresa lives in Gatineau, Québec with her husband and children.
She was in her back yard. Birds were singing in the trees, and she was aware of the distant sound of a lawnmower. She knelt in the soil, planting seeds of zucchini, carrots and tomatoes. It was long, dirty work, but she loved it. There was something fulfilling about planting a vegetable garden. Something reassuring about the promise of growing your own food.
She heard the phone in the kitchen ring. Wiping her hands on her jeans (she never used gloves), she ran to get it, wondering absently, when did I plant a garden?
She spoke to Zoe briefly; she’d asked for Jack, who was at work, to plan a joint gift for Martin, and Maggie was little help.
As she hung up, a movement from the window caught her eye. Her hand froze on the wall-mounted handset as she looked at the woman standing on the other side of the bridge.
Some memory from a different time tried to surface, but she was unable to grasp it. What was it? This woman. Where had she seen her before? She finally let go of the phone and walked to the window. The woman was looking at her, too.
There was something dripping from her left arm. And she held something in her right hand. What was that?
Maggie stepped outside onto a thin blanket of snow. Hadn’t it just been warm? When did it snow?
The woman waved at her then. Waved with the hand that held something. Maggie moved closer, smiling and waving back.
“Hello! Did you come from the trail?” She stopped.
The woman was holding a severed hand.
Maggie’s hands flew to her face, and she covered her mouth before she could scream.
The woman smiled and lowered her waving hand – the hand that was holding what must be her other hand because, at this closer proximity, Maggie could see her left hand was indeed missing from its arm, and severed roughly, at that, hence the steady stream of blood flowing into the snow.
“Oh my God!” she yelled and ran toward the woman, who quickly held out the severed hand, as if to say, stop.
Maggie skidded in her tracks, her eyes riveted on the woman. She watched as she brought the forefinger of the hand to her lips and said, “Shhhhh. He’ll hear you.” She looked in the direction of the farm.
Dark rivulets of blood flowed from the stump of the hand down her arm, and the blood on the finger smeared over her lips.
Maggie sank to her knees, screaming, and in some trick of perspective, the woman appeared on Maggie’s side of the bridge, again bringing the forefinger of the severed hand to her lips as she shushed her. Her eyes were wide in – what? – fear?
Maggie flew backward at the shock of the woman’s sudden closeness, and just as suddenly she was standing above her, smiling down at her, her mouth impossibly wide, stretching her face grotesquely. “There was so much blood,” the woman said, her mouth widening into a gaping, black hole in her face as her jaw stretched to her chest and the word “blood” seemed to go on forever. Maggie felt certain she’d be engulfed by it and live in this terror forever.