When I first decided I wanted to write a book about ghosts, I toyed with the idea of writing it from a ghost’s perspective. I thought it would be interesting to visualize what the world would look like through the eyes of a spirit. Would it be like walking through a dense fog, or would everything appear normal? Would a spirit be able to hear the voices of the living all the time, or only when addressed? Could they see us as clearly as we see ourselves, or would there be this veil cast over their eyes that limits their vision?
I didn't end up writing my book this way, though I did include one brief scene from the perspective of a spirit. Today I want to explore how that spirit, a young child named Sally, would see the world and the main characters from my ghostly romance So Fell the Sparrow as they fight to save her from the evil spirits that plague the house and threaten her existence. This is a key scene from the novel shown from Sally's perspective instead of the main character, Grace. It is how I imagine it feels like to be a ghost.
The humming noise had returned again, vibrating over her skin in tiny fluctuating bursts of energy. It followed no distinct pattern, it never did. Instead it ranged fast and slow and loud and quiet, sometimes punctuated by a sharp zap that sent shivers down her spine. In the darkness, the noise was comforting to her. It brought with it shifting shapes and patterns of light, always flowing as though consumed by an intense whirlwind.
If she got close enough, the shapes formed into bodies. The humming noise translated into words, though often it was reverberated so much that she couldn’t understand what was being said. Sometimes she heard her name, and it was those times that she sought out the shapes the most.
Sally liked the shape the others called Grace. She had a pleasant hum, just the right pitch. It reminded her of her mother’s voice, though it had been an eternity since she’d heard it. Was her mother even alive? Would she ever know?
Though the stairs of the old house were a safe haven, Sally let curiosity get the better of her. The desire to be close to Grace and the other shapes overwhelmed her young mind, despite the danger she knew lurked in the darkness. The monster that hunted her and tormented the shapes. Her greatest fear was that the monster would scare the shapes away and then she would be left alone with him. Unlike before, she had no bed to hide under now. All she had were the stairs.
It took no effort to glide from the stairwell to the doorway of the kitchen. In fact, it happened in the blink of an eye. She stood there, solitary and still, as the shapes glowed with bright white light through the perilous blackness that cloaked the house like death. She watched the shapes shift and move, the four of them paired off in twos. When she zeroed in on one of the pairs, she was at last able to make out full, echoing words amidst the constant humming.
“I wonder if Ray knows that we’re on to him.”
Sally shut her eyes tight at the instant shock of hate that flew throughout the house at the mention of Ray’s name. She crouched down low and covered her head with her tiny arms, fearing the wave of black that shuddered through the air around her. The shapes had made a big mistake, Sally sobbed silently. They’d spoken the name of the hated one. The dark one. The evil one.
“He most certainly knows.” Another shape murmured through the haze of cloudy white light. Sally opened her eyes and looked up, knowing this was the shape that sometimes looked right at her. The shape that seemed to know she was there. This shape was as afraid as she was.
A sound like footsteps exploded upstairs in the beyond, startling Sally. The earth around her shook from the force of it, her very frame trembling from the vibration of sound and energy. It meant only one thing. The monster was coming.
When the sound died a strangled death, she felt the dank, cold wet that meant he was near, could smell the rotted scent of evil. One look over her shoulder proved her fears true.
The monster towered over her, so tall he curved in an arc over the ceiling and bowed his black shadowy head close to her. There was no face, no features, only the shadow of an impossibly thin man. Spindly black hands reached out to grab at her, all the while sharp, fierce laughter punched through the air and sliced at her skin.
Panicked, she thought only of her stairs and ran. Vaguely in the distance, she heard hollow screams of pure fright. Were they her own?
“She’s being chased! He’s going after her!”
The shapes came closer, bringing their light with them. It blinded Sally as she forced her energy to move, wanting the protection of her stairs. The monster was a whisper behind her, fingers snaking over her shoulder and breath igniting a fire on her neck.
Run, run, RUN.
She felt it the moment the monster gave up the chase, and turned instead to the shapes. Mortified, Sally stole a look over her shoulder yet again to see the hulking black shadow making a dive for the shape that could see her. The shape the others called Jackie.
The humming sound jolted into a violent pitch as the other shapes tried to cover and distract for Jackie. Sally reached the safety of her stairs, pressing herself into the wall. It cloaked her like a comforting wool blanket, and she buried within to escape the danger and chaos.
Sound and light fled from view as she slipped into the fabric of the home, hidden from the clutches of the monster. With it, all knowledge of what had befallen the shapes left too.
Had he killed them?
When the shadow monster dove suddenly into the basement, Sally felt the house around her groan and shudder in pain. It absorbed the wicked energy and suffered.
If tears existed for her, she would have cried. Instead, all she could do was hover in nothingness and hope the monster had not harmed the shapes.
Closing her eyes, she began to hum softly to herself. The sound filled the void surrounding her and brought comfort. Maybe, just maybe, if she hummed long enough the shapes would hear and they would hum again, too.
Maybe they would call her name. And if the monster wasn’t around, maybe she would answer.
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So Fell The Sparrow is available in eBook and print on Amazon!
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After the tragic death of her parents, Dr. Grace Sullivan inherits more than she bargained for. An empty house she's never heard of, a nosy neighbor, and the restless spirits of a violent, century old murder.
A hard-nosed skeptic, Grace refuses to believe in ghosts despite hearing sounds and seeing things that can't be explained.
When she unearths antique furniture from the basement, the spirits become agitated and dangerous. Ian Black and Alex Gallagher, a team of ghost hunters, come in to investigate.
Still denying the paranormal events in her home, Grace can't bring herself to take the ghost hunters or the psychic medium who teams up with them seriously. As Grace struggles with her grief and the feelings she's developing for headstrong Ian, the disturbing mystery of the house deepens. Now she'll have to face the unbelievable before the spirits claim her for their own.
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Meet Katie Jennings…
International Bestselling Author Katie Jennings is the author of eight full length novels, including the popular fantasy series The Dryad Quartet as well as the bestselling family drama series The Vasser Legacy.
She lives in sunny Southern California with her husband and cat, who both think she’s the biggest nerd ever. She’s a firm believer in happy endings and loves nothing more than a great romance novel.
You can find out more about Katie on her official website, www.katieajennings.com.