ABOUT THE BOOK
The Forresters have found their dream home… So has something else.
After years of moving from place to place, Andy and Tess are ready to settle down. But from the day they moved into the sprawling Victorian house, something just wasn’t right.
The power cuts out twice a day on a fixed schedule. Windows unlock and open on their own. Strange scratching sounds come from behind the walls.
As the bizarre occurrences continue to increase in frequency and strength, the true source of the extraordinary activity is revealed.
What started as an enchanting curiosity has become a danger to them all, and the Forresters are in a race against time to save their family from an enemy unlike anything they have ever known.
Andy escorted the brothers up the stairs to the attic. He pulled the chain and heard the familiar scratching right away. A prickle crawled up his spine, and it grew louder as he slid the ladder down to the landing.
“I want to go up alone, Mr. Forrester,” Dan said with a slight tremble of excitement or fear in his voice.
Andy hesitated at first, then relented to the request. If there was some way the boy could conduct an experiment up there and determine the cause of all this, it just might bring them closer to some sort of resolution. Wishful thinking for sure, but it was better than no thinking at all.
Once Dan was up, he peered down at Andy and Jason, and asked Andy to close the door.
“Dan, I don’t think that’s a very good idea. Tess got trapped up there, and the door got stuck.”
“Mr. Forrester, with all due respect, I am a professional. I have seen and heard more weird stuff than most people do in their lifetimes. Trust me. I know what I’m doing.”
Andy hated the superior tone of voice coming from the arrogant little snot. Instead of protesting, he slid the ladder into place and let the door snap shut in Dan’s face.
Tess came around the corner at the bottom of the stairs, shushing loudly. Andy looked down and shrugged at her. She walked away, shaking her head. The last thing she wanted was for the kids to wake up and see all this.
While standing beneath the attic door waiting for the signal to pull the chain and release Dan from his self imposed solitary confinement, Andy glanced into the bathroom. The shower curtain had been left open, and he became transfixed as the small window unlatched and opened itself. The cool breeze wafted out to him, caressing his cheek with cold comfort. He shivered.
After a few seconds, Andy heard the scratching through the closed attic door intensify. With his hand on the dangling chain, he waited for a signal to open it. Just then, the master bedroom door slammed shut, shaking the walls. He jumped, released his grip on the chain, and let out a yelp. That caused more shushing from downstairs, which he ignored.
The scratching grew louder, and Andy heard Dan’s muffled shouting from the other side. Sharp knocking made him jump again. That was followed by the soft, weeping sound of Dan begging to be let out. The knocking grew faint, and Andy jumped into action, pulling on the chain. Nothing happened. He pulled on it again, much harder, but it was no use.
He let go of the chain. He planned on jumping to grab it farther up, to use his weight to yank it down. But when he let go, the chain was snatched out of his reach and lay flat against the bottom of the door, preventing him from even attempting to open it.
The tingle of dread he felt turned into panic as Andy considered his options. There was nothing he could do unless he got a ladder or something else to stand on, and something to pry open the door.
Cupping his mouth with his hands, he yelled at the ceiling. “I’ll get help, Dan. Just hold on.” As Andy turned toward the stairs, he ran into an invisible barrier that threw him to the ground. He landed hard on his elbow, sending shockwaves through his nerves. He cried out in surprise more than pain. When he tried to stand, a force pushed down on his shoulder, making movement impossible. Andy began to hyperventilate.
Just as he was about to call down the stairs to Tess, he heard her shout out herself. Her scream was followed by a guttural cry from Sylvia, and the sound of something large crashing to the floor. Dan pounded harder on the attic door above his head, pleading to be rescued. Andy could not move, but was able speak. A single thought was planted in his head: the flashlight in the boy’s bag.
He yelled as loud as he could at the ceiling again, unconcerned about whether or not he woke Jonathan and Alexis. “Find your flashlight, Dan. Hurry!”
He heard shuffling from above. A muted, pathetic voice replied, “I can’t.”
“Yes, you can. Do it now, Dan!”
Before he could say anything else, something heavy and invisible struck Andy on the side of the head. His world went black, and he slumped to the floor. Even while unconscious, he could still hear the unbearable sounds of the scratching and the boy weeping.
After a few seconds, he heard Dan, Tess and Sylvia calling out his name. Echoes of their combined words bounced off the walls of his mind as he drifted back into a sea of darkness.