Now, Tali Cates and her best friend, Cherilyn have gone to the old Rayburn house and been driven inside because of storm. The storm isn’t the only scary thing in the old house. Remember to read Privy to Murder then the wait to snap up Bloody Murder on the 7th won’t seem nearly so long.
Excerpt 3 Bloody Murder Book 2 in the Tali Cates mystery series.
“Shit, shit, shit. We’re going to have a tornado, and it’s not much after noon. They’re not supposed to hit until afternoon or evening.”
“Tell that to those clouds overhead.”
I scanned the kitchen and saw a door on the opposite side from the one outside. “Quick, in here.”
“If it’s a cellar, I’m not going to be trapped inside a death trap.”
“Oh, don’t be a baby. It’s just a pantry but it should protect us.”
She pulled back. “But it’s dark and old and there’s no telling how many critters are in there. Besides, how do you know it’s a pantry?”
I shrugged and pulled open the door, then looked around for light. In the middle of the pentagram on the floor stood a large candle. Plucking that from its resting place might not be good but it was better than being in the dark. I grabbed it, attempting to ignore the energy washing through me.
We barreled through the pantry door and closed it. Now we were in the pitch dark with an unlit candle.
“It’s noon in October, not late afternoon in May,” I shouted. “We shouldn’t be having this strong a thunderstorm.”
“Did you tell that to the weather gods? I don’t think they’re playing by the rules,” Cherilyn yelled back. “How about some light?”
“Do you have a lighter or something?” An abrupt flare of light blinded me as the wick of the candle I held burst into flame. I barely managed to hold onto the wax when I jumped. Thank God I’d dropped the sack of grass at the last thunderclap or I’d have a bag of flame.
“Okay. That was just plain weird. I know you have some gifts, but lighting things with your mind?”
“It wasn’t me. Not on purpose.”
Shelves held the usual things for an abandoned house—dust, cobwebs, more dust, spiders, a discarded, dented can of corn. The hail, wind, and rain had stopped, or else we simply couldn’t hear them, which made no sense. Was this the eye of the storm? I didn’t remember that tornados had an eye; they came and went so fast.
The pantry was enormous, as were Cherilyn’s eyes. She wasn’t looking at me, but above my head somewhere.
“What? What’s wrong?”
She pointed to the wall behind me. “Look.”
I turned. Symbols covered the wall. Most pantries had shelves on at least three walls but this one was as large as a living room, and one wall was covered with hundreds of drawings crammed together, one on top of each other. They glowed with a light of their own—or took the light from the candle. I moved closer to try to identify the drawings but an immediate chill shot through me.
My hands shook, my entire body trembled, sending the candle flame jumping like a demented firefly, throwing shadows in odd shapes all over the wall. I swore the shadows moved on their own. More than anything in the world, I didn’t want to see the things that made those shadows. Fear also moved on its own, pushed into me, froze my blood, stopping all movement, including my heart. Unreasonable fear that made me want to claw my way out of the room took over.