Carson here to welcome you to paranormal month! During this month you will find books with all things paranormal and that go bump in the night! Ghosts, goblins, angels, devils to name a few. Stick around! You may see something from one of you favorite authors, or better yet. You may fnd a new favorite. Enjoy!
Jaxx Steele here to share my ghost story, Ghost of a Second Chance. A few years ago I had the chance to visit the lovely city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Beautiful place with fantastic food and a rich exciting culture. I went for a training session for work, but let me tell you, I got so much more out of it than I expected.
Not that New Orleans needs a reason to dress up or party, but being close to Halloween time gave them one. As I walked around the city looking painfully like a tourist with my eyes bulging and my jaw gaped, my friend, a local to Louisiana and I passed a beautiful house. I stopped doing my ooh and ahh thing over its incredible architecture and a woman sitting nearby encouraged us to enter. I was all for it going to her like she had me on a string. The chance to see a house that old just off the French Quarter in one of the most well-known tourist spots in the world…hell yeah! My friend however completely freaked dragging me down the street in the opposite direction. She insisted that house was filled with bad spirits I’d end up taking back to Indiana.
The writer in me was intrigued by such a notion. As we sampled the many fantastic dishes native to Louisiana I thought about the concept. Before I left the state two weeks later I found out how addictive etouffée was, that I liked eating crawfish so much better when it’s not looking at me and that ghosts aren’t half bad when you know how to handle them! Enjoy!
Carter McDaniel inherited a house in New Orleans from a relative. His plan was to go there, claim the home and the sell it as soon as he could to get back to his life in Indiana. While there he was asked to complete a ritual to help free a ghost that had been trapped for over two hundred years. Carter didn’t believe in ghosts, but the more he learned the more he wanted to help. Could believing in ghosts change his destiny?
Carter took a few deep breaths. “Are you a cheater?” he blurted out.
Priscilla’s brow rose. “A what?”
Carter pressed his lips together as he thought. “A treater? Teeter? Trimmer? No, wait, that’s not right. I’m still saying it wrong. Treemer?”
“Treetar?” she suggested.
“Yes!” he shouted pointing at her. “That’s it. A Treetar. Are you a Treetar…whatever that is?”
Priscilla sat erect with her hands flat on the desk. Her features remained neutral as her eyes seemed to scan Carter’s face. “Yes, I am, but how do you know that?” she asked with an arched brow.
Carter swallowed loudly. “Well, umm, someone told me,” he answered in a small voice.
Her head tilted. “Someone?”
Priscilla stared at him for a while longer before she spoke again. “You’ve been contacted by a ghost, haven’t you?”
Carter was suddenly afraid, but he didn’t know why. He gripped the arms of the chair and pressed himself back. Priscilla was a beautiful, and so far, nice woman. He had no reason to fear her, but he had been feeling an abundance of strange emotions since his first visit to the Ledux House. Forcing himself to relax, he nodded.
“Yeah. How did you know?”
Priscilla smiled. “Well since you have only been in town a day or so, it was safe to assume no person told you, for very few know that I am. Ghosts usually send people to Treetars for help, Carter. We use our magic to help those in need. Do you know who the ghost was?”
“Yeah, he says his name was Jean-Pierre. He used to work in this house for André Ledux.”
His statement caused her eyes to widen. “Really? Then you must have encountered him here on your last visit.”
“That’s what he said.”
“Tell me, has he said anything else to you?”
“Yeah, a bunch actually. He said he and André were lovers and that he didn’t die from a fall. He was beaten by three men and died on the steps from his injuries. Jean-Pierre thinks some woman had him attacked because she found out about them. He died on the back steps trying to get back into the house.”
Priscilla’s mouth fell open. “That would have been a major scandal had anyone found out about Mr. Ledux and Jean-Pierre. No wonder she had him killed. If anyone had found out that Mr. Ledux was gay it would have ruined his reputation thus shutting the door on what she could get from him.”
Carter jumped back with a scoff. “What? You can’t possibly—”
Priscilla raised a hand. “No, no. Of course I don’t agree with her decision. I’m just saying I understand it. Money and power has always corrupted people. Clearly this woman didn’t care that she killed the love of André’s life. It’s also obvious that she didn’t love him. She just wanted him for his money and status.”
“The love of his life?”
“Yes, don’t you remember? I said Mr. Ledux was inconsolable at the death of his butler? Now we know why.”
“Oh yeah.” That also explained the sadness in André’s eyes in the last picture. By then Jean-Pierre was already dead.
“I have just the spell that will send Jean-Pierre’s spirit to where he is most needed. And you’re just the person to help with it.”
Carter sprang to his feet. “Whoa. Hold on, Priscilla. I didn’t agree to help with any voodoo or anything crazy like that.”
Priscilla eased her chair back letting it bounce on its hinges as she eyed him. “I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard time believing all of this ghost stuff,” Carter said, shaking his head.
“A nonbeliever is needed in a situation like this.”
“A situation like what?”
She sat her chair upright. “Jean-Pierre is not supposed to be here, Carter. He’s trapped here because his life was stolen from him. He sent you to me in hopes that I have a spell that will give him a second chance at life and I do.”
Carter palmed the desk glaring at her. “Jean-Pierre is dead, Priscilla. You can’t come back to life when you’re dead. You go to Heaven or Hell or something!”
Priscilla rose to meet his stare. “If that is your belief, that’s fine. You are entitled to it, but there are things that operate outside of what you are prepared to believe. Jean-Pierre didn’t just die.” She poked the desk accentuating each word. “He was killed. He didn’t live his life out to its end. Someone else ended it and needlessly I might add. His soul needs to be freed.”
Carter pushed away from the desk with a groan. He paced the floor quietly. “But why me, Priscilla?” he asked, palming his chest. “I don’t even live here. I’m just passing through. Thousands of people must have come through here since he died. Why did he choose me?”
Priscilla shrugged. “I don’t know, Carter. Perhaps he senses a kindred spirit in you. It could simply be because you’re Mr. Ledux’s descendent, or maybe there is something special about you that drew him to you. Your strength, your courage—all of this is conjecture on my part. I don’t know really why, but he did. The question now is will you do what it takes to help me free him?” Priscilla asked folding her arms.
Carter’s heart raced. Sweat beaded on his forehead as his fingers gripped the back of his seat. Rocking his head back and forth, he played devil’s advocate with his conscious. He closed his eyes against the spinning sensation threatening to overtake him.
What am I involving myself in? Is this really happening?
Just get up and leave, man.
I can’t just leave. Jean-Pierre needs my help.
Jean-Pierre isn’t real! He can’t ask for help.
But he has asked.
I’m going home tomorrow. I can’t be doing whatever this woman has in mind to help a ghost. What if I get hurt doing it? Who will help me?
Carter’s inner thoughts silenced and then his eyes popped open. He straightened his head to look at Priscilla.
“I’ll do it.”