Author: Clarissa Johal
Genre: Paranormal Psychological Suspense
Release Date: May 19, 2015Summary:
Sometimes the ghosts from your past…are real.
Moira Flynn is arrested for attacking a door-to-door solicitor with a knife. She claims a voice told her the man was intent on assaulting her. The trouble is, she was the only one that heard that voice. Moira strikes a plea bargain and is sent to a psychiatric hospital for voluntary treatment. Dr. Richard Cassano is hesitant to treat her as schizophrenic, as she does not show the standard symptoms. As their sessions progress, Moira confesses there are two voices—and they aren’t voices in her head, but the voices of ghosts. Are they imaginary? Or are they actual spirits, attached to her for reasons of their own? As Moira’s doctor uncovers more of her past, he begins to realize that her ghosts are real. And one of them is determined to drag Moira into the afterlife with him.
“I’m bored,” Isabella complained.
“You’re always bored.” Moira flipped the page of her sketchbook and started another drawing of the hospital.
Isabella flopped down on the bed. “Play a game with me, Moira.”
“I don’t feel like it.”
“You never feel like it. Ever since you got here.”
Moira sighed, exasperated. “Isabella, I can’t exactly play a game with you while everyone can hear and see me, can I? If I start doing that, they’ll never let me out.”
“I wish you’d never been sent here! I hate it!” Isabella cried. She sat up and glared at Jack, who had been standing by the window observing them. “Why did you make her attack that man?”
“I was protecting her.” Jack’s expression hardened. “I don’t need to explain myself to you.”
Moira made an irritated sound. “That’s bullshit, Jack, and you know it. You weren’t protecting me.”
“He would have left,” Isabella continued. “Moira said, ‘No thank you,’ I heard her!”
“He put his foot in the door,” Jack snapped. “You don’t know anything. You’re only six, Isabella. I know what he was thinking—”
“You told me you didn’t!” Isabella tilted her chin defiantly. “You said you were just getting back at her—”
“You lying little—” He lunged forward.
“Leave her alone!” Moira slammed her sketchbook shut. “Stop fighting, both of you. I can’t concentrate if you two are going to bitch at each other the whole time.”
Jack hovered over Isabella for a moment longer before he finally pulled back.
“It doesn’t matter anyways,” Moira continued bitterly. “I’m here now.” She stood and gathered her sketchbooks.
It would have been a grand exit, except for the fact that the both of them followed her to the door. That, and she practically ran into her nurse opening it.
“Afternoon, Moira,” Sheila said brightly. “You have a visitor.”
Adam leaned in from behind her.
“Hi,” Moira said, surprised.
She glanced behind her. Jack had retreated to the corner of the room. Isabella lingered beside him, seemingly unsure. “Not exactly.”
“Nurse Sheila,” Adam said as if he were talking to a child, “I know how much you love me, but may I have some private time with my friend now?”
“If you need me, Moira, I’m down the hall.” Sheila eyed Adam warily. “You have a buzzer too.”
“Nice place you’ve got here,” Adam said after the nurse left. “Looks familiar, oddly enough.”
“Yeah, it’s…home for now.”
“Didn’t see you in the dining room at breakfast.”
“I usually have breakfast in here.”
“Didn’t see you at lunch either.”
She glanced at her leftover spaghetti and hard dinner roll. “I was just finishing up.”
“You left me alone with all the crazies,” Adam said. “You okay?”
Hesitating, Moira picked up her plate and dumped the spaghetti into the garbage. “I’m having one of those days when I just want out.” She scraped the plate clean with a plastic knife.
“Want to go for a walk?” Adam asked.
A chill crept up her spine as she felt Jack’s presence behind her. Moira’s hand tightened convulsively on the plastic knife handle. “Around the hospital?”
“Unless you want to make a break for it?”
Adam approached her and Jack backed away slightly. Well, that’s interesting, she thought. Moira quickly dropped the knife into the garbage. “I’d love to go for a walk.”
“Let’s go, then,” Adam said. “Once we get past the station, I’ll strip naked to distract the nurse, and you knock her over the head. We’ll be out of here before they even catch us.”
Moira paused, torn between laughter and thinking he would actually do it.
“Kidding,” he grinned.
Clarissa Johal is the author of paranormal novels, THE ISLAND, VOICES, STRUCK, and BETWEEN. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing, taking pictures of gargoyles, or swinging from a trapeze. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters, and every stray animal that darkens their doorstep.
*Member of the Horror Writers Association