Tuesday, January 23, 2018

New Book Excerpt: DORM RATS, A Neighborlee, Ohio book

Mum said everyone just stood there, looking up at the ceiling, waiting for something to come through. She waited a few seconds, then asked them what was wrong. Mrs. Guttersnatch declared that was proof the building was haunted by the spirits of children who had died there when it was a pauper's prison. Mr. Wimbly said it was the spirit of a schoolteacher who had been driven insane by the imbeciles he had to pound learning into, and who had committed suicide by hanging himself. Let it be noted that she was an advocate of prison reform as well as a believer in life communicating from the Great Beyond, while he was a former schoolteacher who had suffered a nervous breakdown and had been retired for his own good. Miss Wilson-Smythe countered them with her firm belief that the rats had come back and she was going to recommend the village demand its money back from the rat catcher who had assured them the rat problem had been eliminated.

Mum nearly laughed aloud at that, because she knew if I had heard I would have screamed. I'm all right with rats if I have warning they're there, so I can look for and avoid them. Let me know when I'm already in a dark, dusty, spooky place that there are rats around, and that's a recipe for trouble. Even my ability to hover doesn't protect me from the oogies and shivers, because my imagination shows me rats taking running leaps and dropping on me from holes in the ceiling. Think of that scene in The Last Crusade where the rats are fleeing the fire in the catacombs, get into the holes in the stone coffin, and climb all over Elsa. Not that she didn't deserve it, the twitchy witch, but…ugh!

Honestly, if I had heard what Miss Wilson-Smythe said, I would have screamed, and probably lost my mental grip on Harry, sending him through the fragile pseudo-ceiling, and probably right on top of the visitors. I wonder how they would have explained his sudden appearance from a part of the building they didn't even know existed.

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