To visit the haunted house or not
By Maggie Toussaint
In Doggone It, amateur sleuth Baxley Powell reluctantly agrees to visit June’s Folly, a haunted house, with her reporter friend, Charlotte. I say reluctantly because Baxley has a bad history with the place. The last time she went there, the energy of the place shorted her circuits, she passed out, and her father had to rescue her.
That was over ten years ago and she’s learned tons about shielding herself since then. Besides, Charlotte will go out there whether Baxley accompanies her or not. Baxley doesn’t think it’s safe for her friend to be out there alone, so they head out there together at dusk. Charlotte’s sure her feature on haunted houses will land on the front page and further advance her rise to fame and fortune.
When Baxley says her expertise is in spirits from beyond, Charlotte tells her “tough” and suggests her dreamwalker friend change her frequency so she could talk to earthbound spirits. Baxley has no intention of tapping into any spirit frequency in the swamp. She’s along for moral support.
It should have been so easy. Drive out there. Snap a few pictures, peek in the windows of the abandoned mansion, and scoot back home. Baxley does her part, shielding herself from the bad juju at June’s Folly. Even walking up to the house, she still feels strong and in command of her senses.
Not so, Charlotte. She sinks down on the steps and can’t manage to move at all. When Baxley touches her friend’s hand, she discovers Charlotte is ghostly cold. Somehow, non-sensitive Charlotte has found the ghost at the haunted house. Charlotte is none too happy about the occurrence and demands her friend’s help.
Baxley is in a jam. If she doesn’t help her friend by sussing out the ghost, she’ll be a wimp forever. But for her to access the ghost, she has to lower her paranormal protection. She’ll be vulnerable to a psychic attack, just like she was as a teenager. At 28, she’s too old to call her dad to come get her.
The longer she deliberates, the more anxious her friend becomes, and the guiltier Baxley feels. Why does this haunted house have to be smack dab in the middle of a swamp?
Charlotte wants the real story of June’s Folly, but Baxley never planned to do more than chaperone this adventure. Getting involved in the ghost assessment was not on her to-do list. It topped the list of items not to do.
You’ve met and overcome all manner of baddies on the spirit side of the veil, the logical side of her brain insists. But this place is like kryptonite to you – you should be scared, whines her inner child.
Usually Baxley relies on her intuition to guide her, but her senses are locked down so tight that she can’t tell if her fear is warranted or a remnant of a childhood mishap. There’s no way she would ever consider abandoning her best friend, and it’s tearing her up to see her friend out of commission.
What to do? Save her friend? Risk a similar or worse fate for herself?
Share your advice for Baxley, and be sure to enter the drawing.
BIO. Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes mystery, suspense, and dystopian fiction. Her work won the Silver Falchion Award for best mystery, the Readers’ Choice Award, and the EPIC Award. She’s published fifteen novels as well as several short stories and novellas. The next book in her paranormal mystery series, Doggone It, releases October 2016. Maggie serves on the board for Southeast Mystery Writers of America and Low Country Sisters In Crime. Visit her at www.maggietoussaint.com.