Mary Hades

Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton

Book: Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Dalton
muddy footprints through the grass.
    “Wow, what a scaredy-cat,” Lacey says with a shrug.
    I could kill for a bath. Instead, I scrub myself clean under the pitiful excuse for a shower in the static caravan. The soap is a slither that escapes my trembling fingers every few seconds.
    Every frightening horror movie moment f lashes through my mind. Bathrooms are bad: women are hacked to death in shower scenes; they feel ghost fingers on the back of their skull. I daren’t close my eyes, not even when I wash the shampoo from my hair; instead I let it burn.
    My fingers linger on my neck. She left no bruise. It was like she had never even been there.
    A monstrous child with the strength of five men and the humanity of none.
    I shiver again.
    The shower turns off with a clunk. My feet slip a little as I step out, and I jump at my own reflection in the mirror. My soake d, straggly black hair is too reminiscent of the oil slick of tendrils around Amy’s head. Again, I shudder. That image will never leave me. Never.
    And now a new mystery. Seth saw her, and he knew her. He said that it was him she wanted. Why?
    That thought continues to plague my mind as I dress and leave the caravan. The air is clean and crisp. It smells like the end of a storm—fresh, but with the slight tang of wet soil. There’s a chill on the breeze which is pleasant against my clean skin.
    I don’t want to be out in the clean air. Every instinct is telling me to climb into bed, pull the covers over my head and pretend Amy isn’t real. But instead, I’m looking for answers. I’m forcing myself to dig deeper. So I’m going to the one person who might be able to help.
    Neil’s boyfriend is called Lemarr, and has little skulls threaded through his dreads. I’ve never met a mixed race gay Goth couple before, but they’re kinda cute together. Lemarr rolls his eyes at Neil’s lame jokes. They both gush over my “translucent” skin. Neither of them know a ghost is three feet away from them.
    It was Lacey’s idea to meet up with Neil again. After all, he’s the one who knew about Amy in the first place. Now we’re in the village, on a ghost walk . Yep, that’s right. After nearly dying at the hands of a ghost, I’m on a damn tour of the most haunted spots in the area, with a ghost . Lacey—obviously—finds it hilarious. I had to talk her out of the idea of jumping out of shadows at the other ghost walkers.
    It’s all a big joke . None of these people know what it’s like, and if they’d met Little Amy on the moors, they wouldn’t want to meet another ghost ever, ever again. They’ll never understand how my nightmares will forever be filled with tiny ghost hands against my neck and empty black eyes that search your soul…
    I recognise t he tour guide from the leaflets in the hotel. He’s the kind of guy you’d see treading the boards at the local amateur dramatic production of Dracula . He wears the full get up, tall Victorian black hat, coat-tails, black nail varnish… he out-Goths the Goths I’m with; shows them how to do it old-school, with class.
    Everything is a performance, from the way h e speaks, to the dramatic sweep of his arms. As we walk through the cobbles of the old streets, I discover the sordid history of the sleepy town, the opium dens and the arsenic murders, the mobsters hiding in the shadows, the organised crime that filtered all the way down to London from Nettleby; smugglers and wreckers who worked the nearby coastline; desperate men. He then goes on to talk about serial killers from the last thirty years and I can’t suppress my shudder.
    “You all right , love?” Neil whispers. “I didn’t peg you for the easily spooked.”
    If only he knew the truth. “I’m not. Serial killers give me the chills.”
    Lemarr leans forward. “Me too.”
    Our tour guide moves on. As we walk around the village, the isolation of the place hits me. I think of the way the moors stretch out on all sides, connected to the

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