Whispered Echoes by Anne Michaud
Whispers of death keep her sister alive.
Echoes of ghosts warn her danger is near.
Alyx lost everything in the fire, her family, her home, her freedom, but she discovered something, too: something lurking in the darkness. To protect her from harm, the ghost of her dead sister haunts the walls of the mental institution holding Alyx captive for the last 9 years. But even she can’t help when patients suddenly act possessed and turn against Alyx, who must find the strength and knowledge to rid them of evil and save their lives.
After a narrow escape from the institution, Transcend welcomes Alyx in with opened arms since she’s the daughter of a former star agent; her mother. They hope to teach her ghost seer abilities to help them keep the leaders of the world in check and give her a normal life. With her friends and newly acquired knowledge, Alyx prepares to battle against evil, but when facing her greatest enemy yet, everything she knows might not be enough to save the people she loves. No matter what her choices, the consequences will be paid in blood – maybe her own.
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An Excerpt from Whispered Echoes
A slither, a hiss like hot blood hitting the snow. I stare at their broken forms on the ground, and something dark leaks into the ground, looking very much like Shadowmen. It only lasts a few seconds, but I wait for more to come.
“The bad left, leaving their bones to dust.” Kat speaks close to me, like whenever we’re out in the open. Maybe she’s afraid the wind will take her away or the rain will wash her soul until nothing remains. “We should go. They’re gone too.”
“Just like that, one moment alive, then the next...” Swallowing hard, I turn away from them. These guys had families, people waiting for them to come back home tonight. Something I don’t have. “Rest in peace, for the little you had here.”
Together, we race to the back of the parking lot, where the garage stretches as far as the shallow woods circling the hospital. My sister’s light guides me to the hole in the fence—the same I’ve been using for two months straight trying to escape—and just as I reach it, the garage door clicks open by itself. I hide in the shadow of the wall, but no one comes out, no headlights either. My sister scares the shit out of me at times.
“Please tell me that electric trick of yours will get old soon?” I ask. Katrina stands by the garage door to lure me in, and when I won’t move from my spot, a car honk comes from inside. “Curiosity killed the damned, Kat. Stop playing games. Let’s go.”
Only the soft hits of ice falling on the tin roof next to me answer back, and so I go to the opened door to have a look-see. Last time we played hide and seek, I’d just come in the hospital. I’d just turned nine; she was forever sixteen.
“Surprise!” Kat glows next to a huge SUV, smiling so bright it’s hard to look at her. The driver’s door is opened, the vents throwing up so much hot wind inside that fog comes out in clouds outside. My sister invites me to step in, but it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth. Stolen property is much worse than just running away, no? Oh, and driving into people and cars and killing everything—much worse. “It’s Docteur Lise’s,” I tell her, as if she doesn’t know. I clutch my coat. The ceiling light almost warms me up just from looking at it. A car is faster than legs, but... “I can’t drive and I don’t have a license.”
“It’s too cold. You won’t make it alive to Close Falls.” Katrina never lies. She never plays pretend to get her way. She’s not like me. “And hurry, because the others have seen and they’re not happy about the massacre.”
Voices echo all the way from the second floor of the building, the door hanging open above nothing, the stairs twisting on the ground. From this distance, white lab coats flap in the wind, which means the nurses are back to themselves. Whatever that means, because frankly, they haven’t been themselves for a while.
“You’d be better at this driving thing,” I say to Kat, who brought me all the way in here when I could be running outside. Well, stuck in high winds and freezing pellets falling from the sky, but still out of here. “Oh wait, is that why you got me in here? You want to test it out?”
“Only if you let me in,” Kat says, getting ready to plunge into my body. “You don’t have to—it might not work, but we have to try.”
“OK,” I say, not fighting as her ghostly shape becomes mine.
It’s like sitting in the backseat, really. She moves my body and she guides my movements, with no struggle on my part. I trust her; she’s my sister—even if it does feel like I might vomit. The intrusion feels so weird.
“No wonder my friends are all possessed,” I whisper. “This is easy peasy.”
I sit down behind the huge steering wheel, and the letters BMW stare back at us. Then I watch my hands on the steering wheel, the motor roaring from within. OK, I’ll admit that my sister controlling electricity that easily is kinda cool.
“It’s wicked cool,” Kat says, her voice coming from inside instead of my side.
As the SUV rolls out in the rain, the pellets come down harder than before on the hood, and on the roof they sound like gunshots. A flash of white comes from the second floor and then nothing: they spotted our runaway car, so they know we’ll be harder to catch.
“What are you doing?” I ask my sister, as she turns the wheel to stay in the parking lot instead of racing out of here. Oh no, I think she’s losing control of our vehicle: she’s driving directly toward Nurse Ruth’s tiny red car. “Careful, you’ll wreck everything!”
“Quiet, sis.” I feel a smile cracking my cold skin as our huge SUV rams into the car and pushes it to the deep ditch at the end of the lot. A final slip and it’s gone from view. And a bit of Kat logic, “If they don’t have anything to follow us with, they just won’t.”
“Um, maybe the cops will?” I don’t need to fight my body to point at the boulevard below the long driveway of the hospital park. Red and blue lights glitter in the dark, far away, but still too close for my liking. “Step on it, Kat.”
About the Author:
Anne Michaud is an author of many talents, especially getting distracted by depressing music and dark things. She likes to write and read everyday, and speak of herself in the third person.
Since her Master’s degree in Screenwriting from the University of London, England, Anne has written, directed and produced three short films, distributed internationally after being shown on a selective festival circuit.
And then, after hundreds of hours spent on studying and making films, she changed her mind and started writing short stories, novelettes and novels. Some have been published, others will be soon enough.
Keep your eyes open, she’s behind you.
You can find Anne Michaud on: