I have always been fascinated by all things from myth and legend. The first book I ever bought ( for 75 cents, which made considerable inroads in my allowance at age eight) was “Fifty Famous Fairy Tales,” and I skipped through numberous enclycopedias  for items about gods and goddesses, fairies and folk beliefs, and all things supernatural.

To alter  best-selling author Laurens van der Post’s comment about his desire to write about the Bushmen of South Africa, “I am compelled toward ( paranormal suspense/ magic realism) like one who walks in his sleep obedient to a dream of finding in the dark what the day had denied him.”

This desire led me, before I returned to fiction,  to be a foresnsic consultant in occult-related material, events, practised and beliefs.

Regarding  the  array of excellent range of stories about vampires and weres and zombies, I felt ghosts in particular, and other paranormal creatures  in general, were under represented.  I discovered through research, that wraiths and specters as misty, insubstantial being was a modern perception, in the distant past,  the unquiet dead– sometimes unquiet for reasons of murder or malice, sometimes from bewilderment–were corporeal.

So what if these paranormalities  for some reason began to invade and appear in our normal world? Most citizens no doubt would demand exorcism, but an exorcist like Lillie  should also strive for justice for the dead:

I sprawled on my behind on the grass. Johnny, on his knees beside me, busy with safety harness, said quietly, “That was damned risky, Lillie. Why did you do that?”

“Justice,” I said and toppled, down a tunnel of trubled voices into the dark.

Later, after a reviving whiff of oxygen and while I hunched in a blanket in the open doors of the second ambulance, I told him.

“Her sister pushed her. You’ll have to order them to dredge the well. Her bones are down there,” I said between chattering teeth while a paramedic, deprived of providing more substantial first aid and forced to cope with Johnny’s interference, cleaned and tut-tutted over the cut on my brow and applied fresh tape.

Johnny wrapped my shaking paws around a styrofoam cup. “Here, get this inside you…I spoke with the father. There was another daughter. She disappeared about fifty years ago. The woman we met, the eldest daughter, told everyone she saw her sister abducted, snatched off the sidewalk while the two of them played hop scotch. Bundled inot a car by a man who sped off.”

“What was her name? Names didn’t come up during our brief acquaintance.”

“I hear the mills of the gods grinding fine around you, St. Claire. He showed me her picture. Her name was Katie…But everyone called her ‘Kitten.'”

I couldn’t keep my mouth steady, so I gulped at my coffee and nearly choked. That accounted for the tears in my eyes when I raised my head.

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27 thoughts on “Paranormalities”

  1. Estella says:

    This sounds sooo good!

  2. Bernita says:

    ~beams at Estella~

  3. Angie says:

    I love how the sister took advantage of the “stranger danger” hysteria to get away with murder. I’m assuming no one questioned her story at the time? [sigh] This is much more realistic, though; the vast majority of murders/assaults/kidnappings of children are perpetrated by family members or close friends. And yet it’s the Scary Stranger people fear.

    Good one.


  4. Bernita says:

    Thank you, Angie.
    It is so hard for many people to imagine anyone they know capable of perpetrating such an act that it “must” be a stranger.
    That would be even more true fifty years ago.

  5. Pearl says:

    Wow! Great excerpt…and I really like Lillie already!

  6. Kaz Augustin says:

    I know I’m cheating because I have an advance copy of Bernita’s book but by the time I read the line: “The outfit coordinated beautifully with the circles under my eyes” … I was SOLD! LOL This book’s a keeper! (I’m now harassing her about Book 2.)

  7. Jennifer M says:

    I think we all wish that murderers, etc. would get their comeuppance somehow so the idea of an exorcist who strives for justice for the dead is very appealing. I’m looking forward to reading this.

  8. Bernita says:

    ~beaming at Pearl~

    The least I owed you, Kas,was an advance copy!

    Jennifer, Lillie is entirely hard-hearted when it comes to murderers.

  9. Beth Caudill says:

    Nice excerpt.

    And I’m with you on finding myths intriguing.

  10. Holly says:

    “but an exorcist like Lillie should also strive for justice for the dead”

    What any victim would pray for, and what any criminal – alive or dead – would fear. How delightful to have a character with a sense of humour, equal to her sense of justice, fighting evil as nonchalantly as meter-reader writes a ticket – and facing just slightly more risk.

    Am telling anyone who might listen about your book.

  11. Kristi says:

    Sounds interesting. Ghosts are a nice change from the vampires/werewolves/shifters that are so common at the moment!

  12. Sylvia says:

    Oh, I just can’t wait to read this! Another week? *sigh*

  13. Bernita says:

    Word of mouth is the best advertising, Holly! Thank you!
    The paranormal offers infinite possibilities, Kristi…
    Sylvia, I think we’re all going to be so broke. I’ve been drooling over every single title!

  14. laughingwolf says:

    damn… can’t wait for the hard copy version, bernita :D

    all this teasing has me breathless, wanting to get my paws on the whole tale! :)

    i know this will fly off the shelves in sales… and wherever ebooks are stored ;)

  15. Bernita says:

    Thank you, Beth! Aren’t they…so much potential!

    What a wonderful thing to say, Laughing Wolf. Thank you!

  16. Jacqueline says:

    Love, love, love…the premise, your voice, Lillie. You hooked me as easy as one, two, three;D

  17. Bernita says:

    Jacqueline, thank you…you make me feel so happy!

  18. laughingwolf says:

    gave you a shout out on fb this morning, and my blog page… :D

  19. That excerpt is wonderful. I really want to read this.

  20. Bernita says:

    Thank you, Fairy.
    That was really nice of you, Laughing Wolf, thank you.

  21. Maria D. says:

    This was great- can’t wait to read more!

  22. Bernita says:

    Thank you, Maria…June 28th!

  23. Fedora says:

    What a terrific premise and excerpt, Bernita! Thank you, and looking forward to June 28th!

  24. Bernita says:

    Thank you, Fedora! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  25. MaryK says:

    (I’m probably committing some kind of complementing faux pas here but I can’t help it. Just know that I mean it in a totally positive way.)

    I’m not fond of ghosts, exorcisms, or zombies. But I like your writing voice and characters so I’ll be venturing out of my comfort zone to read this one.

  26. Bernita says:

    Mary K,thank you! I’m probably committing a faux pas by spoiler by revealing that Lillie doesn’t like zombies either–she doesn’t DO zombies, it’s in her contract–or what she calls hocus-pocus ritual exorcisms!
    I hope you’ll try D&D in spite of your reservations!

  27. MaryK says:

    That’s good to know! And I’ll definitely be getting it. But I probably won’t be reading it before bedtime.

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