Haunted Halloween Spooktacular: Gryphon's Passing by Krista M. Carlson
Title: Gryphon’s Passing
Author: Krista M. Carlson
Publish Date: March 23, 2015
Genre: Supernatural fiction
Synopsis: When her older half-brother unexpectedly commits suicide, Crystal is devastated.
The only thing she thinks will take away the pain is understanding why he did it. What she doesn't know is the danger her search will create for her family when she dabbles in magick and calls something forth from the grave that wasn't what she intended.
If she can learn how to control and subdue the supernatural, she may find the answers she seeks. If not, the thing that led her brother to commit suicide is going to continue picking off her family members one by one.
Fortunately for Crystal, her brother left behind a friend who may be willing to give her some much-needed guidance.
ExcerptCrystal walked to the river in the moonlight, amazed as always by how she could see as well in the dark when it was like this as she could in broad daylight. She hadn’t checked the calendar, but it seemed to be a perfect full moon. She was always drawn to a full moon like a lover. On nights like this, she could feel how charged the air was. The energy felt electric, like she could pull it into herself and do anything with it. The night held expectation and promise and vibrated with life. She could hear the frogs croaking and the sounds of night creatures around her in the distance. She had heard reports of mountain lions in the area and her parents didn’t like her walking alone in the dark because of what might be out there, but she didn’t care. She loved to slip out of the house in the dead of night and go for a run in the oak canyons, miles from anything where no one would ever find her if she disappeared. There was a thrill in being that free, and probably some thrill in the danger of it.
She walked through the cottonwood trees and stared at the water. It had rained hard the night before and the water was deep and churned up, muddy with debris. It would be three or four days before it would be all right to swim in it again. As she stood watching, she thought she saw a body floating in the water, face down and blue. She stifled a scream and walked closer to see it, but it was gone. She rubbed her eyes and wondered if not getting enough sleep was making her hallucinate.
The wind picked up just then and caused last year’s dead leaves to swirl around her. “Crystal.” She heard her name but couldn’t hear where it was coming from. “Crystal, where are you?” She felt the goosebumps on her arms and couldn’t answer through her fear. “Crystal.” It was ahead of her, and then she heard it behind her, just the slightest whisper on the breeze.
“Crystal, I’ve been looking all over for you.” Mike said, coming up behind her. Max had come down to the river with Mike, and he nuzzled his wet nose into Crystal’s hand.
She wiped Max’s slobber off her hand and onto her shorts. “Christ, Mike, you scared the hell out of me!”
“Well, who else is going to be out looking for you in the dark?”
“I–I don’t know.” She stammered. “It’s just that I thought I saw something in the water just now.”
“What was it?”
“I don’t know. Nothing, I guess. Just for a minute, it looked like a body or something. I’m sure it wasn’t. I’ve just been a little spooked lately.”
“You’re not the only one, Sis. Come on, let’s go back.”
“Is Joe still here?”
“No, he’s gone. Mom said he’s leaving for Colorado tonight. I guess he doesn’t want to be in the house anymore. I can’t say as I blame him.”
“Me neither.” Crystal said. She was thinking that made going through Nick’s things easier.
“He’s not coming back, Crystal—at least not for a while. Mom said we could have what we wanted from the house and that he’s going to put it up for sale.”
“D**n. I wonder what it’s been like for him living there since it happened. It had to be hell. Do you think it’s haunted now?”
She shrugged, and they walked back to the house in silence, the question hanging in the air. Mike kicked at clumps of dirt along the way, and Crystal was lost in her thoughts. A bullfrog bellowed in the distance, and the horses ran and nipped at each other in the pasture. The night still seemed charged with electricity, like right before a storm.
Signed copy of Gryphon’s Passing by Krista M. Carlson and a necklace with a quartz crystal
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About the Author
Krista Carlson was born in South Dakota, in 1980, to a farmer and a librarian. She grew up in Ord, Nebraska with an older brother, and they were homeschooled, which meant that they spent a great deal of their time riding horses, swimming in the river and anything else they could think of to avoid studying. She did rather enjoy books though, especially literature and history, and so, after having her first son a young age, she began to pursue her education seriously. By the time she was seventeen, she was married with two sons and had a year of college behind her. She later graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor's Degree in History and then went on to graduate from law school with distinction in 2008. Upon graduation, she became a civil defense attorney with a firm in Lincoln, Nebraska. While studying History at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, she began to explore her interest in magick and spent the traditional year and a day with a local Wiccan coven. This interest prompted her to write her debut novel, Gryphon's Passing, which was released in March of 2015.