Title: Troubled Spirits
Author: Teri Lee
Genre: YA Paranormal
Ghosts aren’t real.
That’s what Annie Waters believed before she snuck into the abandoned Caldwell School. Before the dark presence followed her home. Before she realized, her only hope was to believe.
Annie stepped into the room and stood before the portrait. The woman was beautiful, and she looked exactly as Drew had described her, with straight black hair and pale skin. She couldn’t see if her teeth were perfect, because the woman’s lips were pressed together and her green eyes filled with a deep sadness.
Annie moved over to the table and touched the cover of the book, leaving behind a streak in the layer of dust. She glanced back at the portrait. Those sad green eyes seemed to be looking directly at her. Without taking her eyes off the painting, she moved around the room. No matter where she stood, the eyes followed her. “Drew,” she whispered.
He hurried to her side. “What’s wrong?”
Annie nodded toward the painting. “She’s watching me.”
“Creepy, isn’t it?” Drew stared at the painting for a second. “Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it after a while.”
Annie forced herself to look away from the painting and back at Drew. She kept her voice low. “What else do you know about her?”
Drew shrugged. “According to my grandmother she was old, as far back as anyone could remember, she’d always been here.”
Annie snuck a glance at the painting. “She doesn’t look old.”
“That’s the thing,” Drew said. “She never changed. Never aged. And then one day, she was just gone.”
“Gone where?” Annie walked back to the table.
“Don’t know.” Drew followed her. “People said she could change herself into the shape of about any animal. Maybe that’s what she did.”
Annie jumped back as mouse darted out from under the bed and scampered across the room, disappearing under the cupboards.
And suddenly she was aware that she was standing very close to Drew. She could feel him just inches away. Her skin tingled as goose bumps covered her back and arms. They were good goose bumps. She turned to him.
He stood perfectly still, his arms held stiffly at his side, his face turned down toward her. She raised her eyes to meet his and stared into them for a long second. In those eyes she saw tenderness and compassion and then a hint of laughter as his lips turned up into that half smile. His hands rose, as if to hold her, but then he stepped away from her, letting his hands fall back to his sides. “It’s just a little mouse,” he said, his eyes never leaving hers.
Growing up in Maine, Teri Lee spent most of her time reading and exploring in the woods. And that hasn’t changed. When she’s not writing, you’ll still find her lost in a book or out hiking. And if she’s not there, try the ER. But don’t worry, she’s the nurse, not the patient. Teri has three grown children and still resides in Maine with her husband.