Death Rattle: Haunted Collection Series Book 9
Death Rattle: Haunted Collection Series Book 9
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A baby’s rattle sounds the final chime of death…
After months spent chasing down one haunted item after another, historian Victor Daniels is exhausted. His relentless battles with the sadistic Stefan Korzh have taken a heavy toll, and he longs to end their supernatural feud once and for all. But first, he must deal with one last cursed item released from Korzh’s collection.
With no time to rest or recover from their last paranormal encounter, Victor and his adopted son Tom travel to the shadowy streets of Groton, Massachusetts. There, they face a familiar enemy— a malevolent spirit Victor has fought before, and failed to defeat. This fiendish ghost haunts an antique baby’s rattle. Those who hear its chilling sound are faced with a ghastly death, and an afterlife of eternal suffering…
As they confront this vicious foe, Victor knows that Stefan still waits for him in the shadows. Their confrontation is inevitable. Everything has been leading Victor to this one final battle.
In the haunted depths of the Korzh’s ancestral home, Victor and Stefan must come face to face. And only one man will live to see the dawn.
Chapter 4: A Dangerous Discussion
“She is here for some dark purpose, and she is dangerous,” Carl continued. “Weak, but dangerous. She is not to be underestimated.”
“I won’t,” Shane reassured the dead man. “I would like for you to come in with me. If she is stronger than you think I’ll need help getting out of the room. And, if she’s that strong, I’ll want the dark ones to deal with her for a bit.”
Carl’s expression was one of surprise.
“Oh, don’t give me that look,” he said with a grunt. “If she’s as dangerous as you say then they won’t do too much damage.”
“And what if she damages them?” Carl asked.
“Then I’ll go upstairs, get my .45, and blow her brains out,” Shane replied. “I won’t take any chances. Now, are you ready?”
“What else would I be?” Carl retorted.
Shane grinned, walked to the study door and unlocked it.
The room was bright, filled with morning sunlight that streamed in through the windows. Near the fireplace, in one of the grand club chairs, the old woman sat with her eyes closed as she basked in the warmth of the sun.
Her dishes were stacked neatly on the tray that they had been delivered on and all the food had been eaten.
Shane’s eyes roamed over her wrinkled features, saw the cruelty stamped on her face, and knew in his gut that this woman was more dangerous than his dead friend knew.
I might have to kill her, Shane thought, walking to a chair across from the one she occupied. It might even be best to do it now.
Instead of turning around and retrieving his semi-automatic from the library, Shane sat down across from the woman and settled down into the comfort of the chair. He finished his cigarette, lit another off it and continued to wait. Another minute passed by and she opened her eyes.
The smile she gave him was predatory, and he grinned at her.
“Damn, but you’re a bad one, aren’t you,” Shane said, exhaling through his nose.
“You’re observant,” she replied, and he detected a New Orleans accent.
In Cajun patois, he asked, “So, what are you doing here in my house?”
A flash of surprise showed on her face, but only for a moment.
In the same patois, she responded, “You know how to talk.”
“Yes,” he replied. “Now, why are you here, in my home?”
“I’ve come to see you,” she answered.
Shane looked at her and asked, “And why is that?”
“You have something I need,” the woman said. “And it is also something I want.”
“Mind telling me what that is?” Shane asked. “If I don’t need it, well, maybe I can give it to you. Get you on out that door.”
“I need your power,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone.
“My power?” Shane shook his head. “Okay. I’ll bite. Why do you need my power?”
“Revenge.” The word came out harsh and brutal and had it been able to take physical form it would have struck Shane dead.
He lit another cigarette off the one he had been smoking and crushed out the butt in the ashtray, shredding the remnants of the cigarette. Shane let the smoke curl out of his mouth, and then asked, “Alright, one more question for you before we get down to the brass tacks on this deal. Who are you trying to get?”
She turned her nose up slightly and said, “That is none of your business.”
Shane looked at her and saw she was playing for time. Her eyes darted about, taking in every aspect of the room, planning her attack on him.
“Sure, it is,” Shane said. “You want my power. I think it’s only fair that I know who you’re hunting.”
“You don’t know him,” she snapped.
“Listen,” Shane said, pointing at her with the cigarette, “I’m not asking your age, so cough up the information. I can walk out of this room, and you can stay in here for another week and think about whether you want to talk to me.”
Her eyes narrowed, and he braced himself to fight. He had no illusions about the woman. Carl had been right. She was dangerous, and she seemed to gather strength as they spoke. In the few minutes he had been in the room, Shane had seen her back straighten, her shoulders square themselves, and her eyes become clearer.
She was preparing herself for an attack and every moment became more dangerous for him.
But he wanted to know.
The woman decided.
“His name is Victor Daniels,” she hissed, “and I will have his head on a wall.”
Shane chuckled and shook his head.
“Why do you laugh?” the old woman demanded.
“Victor and Tom Daniels?” he asked. “Hell, woman, they’re friends of mine.”
She shrieked and launched herself out of the chair.
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