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Kevin Shaw thought that he had lucked out when he inherited the big old house filled with valuable antiques. He soon finds, however, that the place is not only haunted, but is possessed by demons. His troubles really start when he falls in love with one of the ghosts
When I first saw the house, it was against a backdrop of cheerless sky, which promised nothing except more of the chill rain that had marred my morning arrival on the bus from Boston. So this was what I had come so far to claim.
I stood by the massive iron gate, peering through the bars like a timid child on the first day at boarding school. What I saw was not encouraging. The grounds on which the house stood--several acres of tree-studded clearing surrounded by dripping forest--had obviously not seen grooming of any sort for a very long time. Fallen tree limbs were scattered about like skeletons. Mats of last yearâ€™s leaves lay on the ground in moldering clumps, repressing, for a time, the growth of the long grass and rank weeds that had once owned this plot and were now trying very hard to reclaim it. The bushes, mostly laurels and rhododendrons, loitered like vagrants along the front of the house. Badly overgrown, they thrust out errant branches in all directions.
But it was the house that daunted me the most. Set on a hill, it dominated the scene. Built of somber gray stone, three stories high and perhaps a hundred feet wide, it was bigger than a lot of museums and public buildings I had seen.
I supposed the old man had been too ill to care for the place near the end and hadnâ€™t been willing to pay someone else to do it, but still the sight of all this neglect was depressing. Who knew how much more decay waited for my discovery within the house itself? I made a gloomy estimate of how much money it would take to get the place cleaned up enough to sell. A small fortune, probably, and I didnâ€™t have a fortune of any size, only this rotting house that a crazy old man had left me.
Sell it? Who was I kidding? Nobody would buy this place. It was too big, for one thing--an enormous white elephant. Who would need all those rooms? Who would want such a huge, drafty, cost-a-million-to-heat-and-maintain place? Maybe some big company might be interested, but I knew I shouldnâ€™t count on it.
I picked up my single small suitcase--I wasnâ€™t planning to stay any longer than I had to, a couple of days at the most--and pushed at the big gate with my free hand. The ease with which the gate slid open belied its size and appearance of disuse. I closed the gate carefully behind me, for some reason hesitant to make any more noise than necessary. I hesitated again, looking at the house doubtfully. Then I began to make my way up the uneven flagstone path that wound up the hill. It was like negotiating an obstacle course. At one point a large tree limb had fallen across the path. I had to walk around it and, in the process, stepped into a hidden mud puddle that soaked my practically new cross-trainers and made me "say a swear," as my mother would have put it.
The Offering is Bill Calabreseâ€™s seventh published book since he retired seven years ago from the information services field. All seven have been published by Wings ePress. Bill promises to pick the pace in the next few years. He presently has five novels at various stages of completion. He vows to keep on writing until Somebody in Authority tells him to stop. In his spare time, he produces a regular column, titled "Just Faith, a Hunger for Justiceâ€, for the quarterly magazine From the Heart published by his church Sacred Heart of Southbury, Connecticut. He lives in Southbury with his wife, Roberta, and their Tortoiseshell cat, Scheherazade.
Like a story to chill, to tantalize, and to make you look over your shoulder at least twice during your reading of it? Then youâ€™ve come to the right place! William J Calabrese takes us back to those tales that chill, with the expertise of a connoisseur of Weird Tales.
So sit back, get comfortable, and be ready to be unnerved in the way we should be--when atmosphere and imagination packs enough of a wallop to leave you with goose bumps, and things that go bump in the night have you wondering exactly what is out there! -- Angela Verdenius, Heart of the Forsaken
This collection of smartly written vignettes slyly seduces the reader into other realms made believable by this crafty storyteller. Told with perfect timing and ironic humor, TALES FROM SOMEPLACE ELSE is not to be missed by those who enjoy intelligent and unique horror. -- Rayne Forrest, The Skies of Mahdis, When the Night Comes
Bill Calabrese introduces his readers to many strange and ghostly lives in this fantastic collection of eerie stories. From android runaways to apparitions with an appetite for love, Tales From Someplace Else grabs its readers and refuses to let them leave.-- Stephen Gambuti, Center Moon: Stone of Cordova
"I must say that The Amazing Adventures of Nicholas Noodle is fantastic! It is very adventurous and different from many other books that I have read. Some of the characters that Nicholas meets are odd but friendly and others are gruesome and mean. There were many cliff hanging moments where I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. This book was really exciting and fun to read because there is a lot of action and adventure!â€ --John James Brindisi, Age 10, Middlebrook School, Trumbull CT
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 184
Paper Weight (lb): 11.2
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