Monday, September 24, 2012

The Ghosts of Gifford Hall

By Silby Grant
Young Adult Suspense ● 398 pages ● Cover art by Richard Stroud
After losing the family fortune, Sir George Gifford and his wife Winifred have been tied to their home until it can be restored. They are overjoyed when the new heir arrives with his family and a sizeable fortune.
If only life were that smooth! Embezzled ledgers, crooked agents and a malicious wraith all have to be dealt with before they can finally move on. What would they all do without Annika? A recent brush with death has left her with the capacity to see beyond the veil, and she uses it to the best of her ability!

Meggie gave a tremendous, sighing yawn and leaned over to snuff out her candle. In the dark William heard her snuggle down for the night.

Presently his eyes adjusted to the faint light and he watched as Meggie slept. As far as he could tell they were alone in the room. He rather thought he would be able to detect Oliver Merrick if he were present. The memory of that night in his room in the west wing was still vivid. He had clearly felt Oliver’s presence then. Tonight he felt nothing.

Unfortunately William was an inexperienced spirit. He had no way of knowing that over the decades Oliver Merrick had perfected many tricks. He could conceal his presence, or make it known at will. He could make a person feel happy or sad without them knowing why. He could enter minds and influence actions. The easiest trick of all was to enter the unguarded subconscious mind of one who slept and cause nightmares.
Oliver Merrick had been in the room all along. The sight of Meggie sleeping so peacefully enraged him. She lay on her side, like a child, with her legs curled up. One hand held the covers and the other rested by her head. Her hair, normally arranged so tidily, was loose about her, spilling in a dark wave over the snow-white pillows. His rage intensified until he wanted to cause her pain. He glanced over to where William sat on duty. What kind of guardian was he who could not detect the foe when it stood before him?

He turned back to the sleeping girl and decided to have some fun. He knew he must be careful. He no longer had any wish to destroy her; he merely wanted to terrify her. The very thought gave him unspeakable delight. With practiced ease he entered her mind and began to manipulate her dream.

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