Description: She’ll seduce you … to death!
The quiet little town of Tollet’s Mines is becoming even quieter lately. Like a tomb. Young men and boys are disappearing or turning up dead. Cause of death remains a mystery, but witnesses reported seeing the victims in the company of a beautiful girl before they died. How can they know that she’s been dead for years? With each ghastly death, the spectral seductress comes one step closer to realizing her nightmarish goal—a vengeance that has stretched from beyond the grave.
Excerpt: Copyright © 2012 Nile J. Limbaugh
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
George Kratzer stepped out of the woods, stood still for a moment behind a large tree and looked at the house. It was obviously empty and would make a good overnight shelter from the snow and cold. He blew on his hands and walked across the clearing keeping an eye out for anybody who might spot him and run him off. For some reason he couldn’t fathom, those who still had an income seemed to have it in for those who did not. George had left Dubuque that morning and crossed the Mississippi headed for Milwaukee or Chicago with the hope he could find some kind of work. During the summer he had been able to find work on some of the farms but now, with the onset of winter, he knew he wouldn’t survive with no place to stay and no means of making a dollar.
He had trudged along the road, raising a thumb to the occasional car or truck. He had no luck at all and was resigned to walking all the way across the state. But several hours out of Dubuque, when he reached the railroad crossing, he felt compelled to stop for a moment. The wind from the north had increased and the early darkness promised a repeat of the previous day’s snowstorm. George looked to right and left and determined that it had been quite a while since any trains had traveled these rails. He stepped forward to cross the tracks and stopped once more. He hesitated and stared at the point where the old rails disappeared into the woods. It was almost as if something was calling him. At first he resisted the urge, but gave in when he realized he didn’t have any urgent commitments. George set off along the old tracks. The forest had shielded the railroad right of way from the heavy snow, and he found it wasn’t as hard to walk as he thought it would be. The tracks had led him up a hill to the top of a ridge where this big empty house stood.
George walked around the building but found no signs of life. He returned to the front of the house and surveyed the landscape. A small village lay far below at the foot of the ridge upon which the house sat. A narrow river, its surface a solid sheet of ice, ran through the village. There weren’t many people moving down there but George wasn’t surprised. The last time had seen a thermometer was on his way out of Dubuque. It had indicated 27 degrees.
The clouds were moving closer to the earth and the weak daylight was rapidly fading. He returned to the house, mounted the stairs and pushed on the front door. It protested with rusty hinges, but swung open to allow him into the foyer. Apparently whoever had left the house had done so in a hurry, and a long time ago at that. There was a great deal of furniture still in evidence. It appeared to be from the 1800s and, for the most part, ready to collapse. George shoved the heavy door closed and sighed with relief at being out of the sharp wind. It didn’t take him long to find the kitchen. There was a large wood-burning stove against one wall, but when he lifted the lid to the firebox, he found it stuffed full of rocks, probably put there by some of the local kids. A fire in the stove wouldn’t have done much good, anyway, as both windows were broken out and the wind drove straight into the room. The third door he opened revealed a butler’s pantry. It was quite large and had no windows. So much the better. If there were any neighbors they wouldn’t see his fire.
George went in search of something to burn.
Twenty minutes later he was leaning against the wall, eating his last sandwich and drinking melted snow from the tin cup he always carried. He had found a marble top on one of the dressers on the second floor. It seemed to weigh at least a half-ton, but he managed to drag it downstairs and drop it close to the doorway between the butler’s pantry and the dining room. Then he built a small fire on it using pieces of some broken chairs he had found in the drawing room. Comfort is relative. Before another 15 minutes passed, George was asleep in the corner.
And then he dreamed.
He dreamed that a young girl stepped into the pantry and dropped to her knees before him. She wore only a thin white dress, and he wondered why she hadn’t frozen to death in it. Her skin was so white it seemed almost translucent, and her watery blue eyes were sunk deep into her head, as if she hadn’t eaten in months. She took his face between her hands. They felt like two chunks of ice. She smiled slightly.
“I’m so cold, George,” she said. “Can I sit with you near the fire for a little while? I promise not to be any trouble.”
She cuddled up next to him and kissed him gently on the lips. The dream was one of those in which the dreamer knows it’s a dream, and George wondered who this girl was that he was dreaming about. She reminded him of a woman he had known in Kansas City. But then she kissed him again, a bit more urgently, and it wasn’t important any more.
George sighed and wrapped his arms around her to shield her from the terrible cold. He sank deeper into sleep and slowly slid down to rest full length on the floor. She followed him down, lips pressed to his. Her leg moved across the fire and her stocking began to smolder. The flames leaped higher and licked at the doorjamb. Her dress burst into flame. She hugged George tighter.
About the Author: Nile Limbaugh is a native of southeast Missouri. This makes him either a hillbilly (while living near Chicago) or a Yankee (where he now lives near Chattanooga TN). Between these locales he has lived in Virginia, New Jersey, Germany, Texas and Georgia while being employed as, at various times, an auto mechanic, car wash manager, soldier, illustrator, draftsman and machine designer. He has acted in a variety of community theater stage productions and once landed a small part in an independent movie. When not writing or reading he can usually be found in the garage working on his antique car.
Check it out on Amazon here: Daughter of Evil
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