When shy sophomore Kaci Lynn Richards moves to a small town, she is nervous about the change. That is, until she befriends the outgoing Jo and meets popular senior James Mitchell. Kaci quickly learns to love her new life…until she begins to see the ghost of a teen girl in her new home. The mystery girl haunts her, giving her visions that leave clues as to who she was and how she met her violent fate. But the more she learns about the girl, the more she finds that life in this sleepy town may not be what it seems.
As soon as I close the cabinet door, my whole body is chilled. I shiver, turning toward the microwave to find myself face-to-face with her. Her dark eyes gaze into mine, her cold breath so close I can feel it on my cheeks. My heart racing, I jump back, colliding with the counter behind me.
What happens next is a blur. I feel a sharp pain in the back of my head and I am on the floor. She stands over me, her tangled hair hanging down, covering parts of her face while she stares down at me, her eyes wide and intense. I am unable to look away from her, unable to scream or move or even breathe.
Suddenly, she is gone and the room spins. I can finally blink, and I try to steady myself as the room finally settles. I am still on the floor, still in my kitchen, except it looks…different. Mom’s mixer that sits on the counter is gone. Instead, a wine rack sits in its place, and I count nine glass bottles resting inside of it. The walls are a dark brown color, and the lights seem dimmer. “Aven?” I call out weakly, but the voice I hear is not my own. I try to use my hands to push myself up off the floor, but I can’t; they are behind my back, stuck on something.
I twist my neck around, trying to look at them so that I can figure out how to get them loose. That’s when I feel the shooting pain go up through my arms, and I realize it’s because my wrists are bound together with rope and it’s cutting off the circulation from my hands to the rest of my body. Desperately I try to pull them apart, but the fibers of the rope dig deeper into my wrists and the pain is unbearable, so I let them go limp behind me, giving up that fight.
Calm down, I order myself. Breathe. Don’t panic. I ignore the throbbing pain in my arms as I squirm, inch by inch until I am in a sitting position. Looking down, I see that the red long-sleeve shirt and jeans I had on have been replaced by a white nightgown. The blood stains around the collar and down my sides make my heart race faster – even more so when I realize that they’re mine.
“Help!” I cry out, again surprised when the voice I hear is a little deeper than mine. “Somebody please help me!”
“You’re wasting your breath,” a deep, masculine voice says from somewhere behind me. There is a hint of laughter in his words when he says, “There’s no one here but you and me.”
The voice is vaguely familiar, but I don’t have time to analyze it as a cold, pressing fear weighs down my body. It is then that I realize that he’s right; there’s no one here to help me and I am going to die.
About the Author
From the time she was old enough to talk, Katy Newton Naas has been creating characters and telling stories. As a child, they sometimes got her into trouble. She knew she wanted to write books when she won a Young Author's competition as a second-grader for her short story titled, "The Grape Pie." (Don't let its tasty title fool you - it was actually a sad little tale!)
Katy devoured books as a child and young adult, always doing chores and odd jobs in order to make enough money to buy more of them. Though she continues to age, her true literature love is and has always been children's and young adult fiction.
Katy currently teaches middle school reading and high school English in southern Illinois, as well as children's church. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a bachelor's degree in English Education and a master's degree in Reading and Language Studies. She enjoys her life out in the country with her husband, her two sweet and rowdy young sons, and all her other “kids”: four dogs, three cats, and eight ducks.
She loves creating both realistic and futuristic stories about kids, tweens, and teens, and feels so fortunate to get to work with them every day as a teacher.