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Streets of Anger: Tormented Souls Series Book 5

Streets of Anger: Tormented Souls Series Book 5

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Dan Tate’s tortured past returns to haunt him…

Scarred by both mental and physical strain, Dan Tate struggles to control his feelings of panic and despair. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Aiding the ghosts of Coffin Cemetery has given him a purpose. And his budding romance with Diane Wright has brought him peace.

But Dan soon finds his life turned upside down. Corrupt medium Janet Ladd has unleashed a diabolical new spirit to plague the town. He finds himself haunted by the living as well, when someone from his past makes a surprise visit. Someone Dan thought was buried years ago…

Faced with darkness and pain on multiple fronts, Dan and his supernatural companion must call on the spirits of Coffin Cemetery for help. But will it be enough to defeat Janet, and the sinister power lurking behind her schemes?

Or will this be the battle that sends Dan spiraling into madness?

185 pages

Chapter 3:

Janet Ladd was on a back road, returning to Anger after having checked on one of her safety deposit boxes in a Manchester bank. The roads were plowed and salted, the rock salt popping loudly beneath the weight of the vehicle's tires. She sang along to an older song on the radio, driving at the speed limit and making sure she wasn't going to catch the eye of any State Trooper. After the death of Detective Evan Coffin, she wanted to keep a low profile. She didn't want anyone in law enforcement remembering she even existed.

Her idle daydreaming was cut short when she turned onto a side street and had to stomp on the brakes. Twenty or so cars lined the street, significantly cutting down on her ability to maneuver. Anger crept up within her as she watched people in dark, somber clothes make their way toward the various vehicles, and then Janet understood they were going to a funeral. A man in his late twenties, carrying a sleeping baby, staggered along with the expression of someone who had just been gut-shot. Several older men helped him get into the back of a limousine, and as Janet watched, curious as to who had died, another person caught her eye, but no one else's.

A girl, waif-thin and clad in an old nightshirt, wandered along unseen among the people. She stuck out her tongue, made faces and generally grinned at those who were oblivious to her presence.

The girl looked sickly and pale, and Janet grinned, knowing full well that the girl was dead. Chuckling to herself, Janet shifted her car into park and let the engine run as the people finished getting into their cars. In a few minutes, everyone was settled, and the long caravan of mourners exited the street.

The dead girl stayed for a moment longer after the last of the cars had driven away, and Janet watched which house the ghost went into. She pulled the car off to the side, then got out and hurried toward the building, pretending to be a frazzled mourner in case someone was watching. She doubted anyone was, but she didn't want to risk it. The dead girl had made a point of watching the gathered mourners, and Janet thought she knew why.

Reaching the house, she went around to the driveway and saw a side door. She stepped up to it as though she had every right to be there, then crouched down as if tying her shoe. Janet checked under the doormat, then beneath an old coffee can full of snow and cigarette butts. It was beneath the old Folgers can that she found what she had been looking for.

She stood up, spare key in hand, and tried it on the lock.

A grin spread across her face as the door opened for her. She stepped into a small kitchen and closed the door. Janet waited, and her patience was rewarded a moment later.

The dead girl entered the kitchen.

Janet remained where she was, tapping her chin with her forefinger as if trying to remember something. The dead girl grinned as she fixed her attention on Janet and stepped forward, brazen.

Why wouldn't you be? Janet thought, repressing a smile. You've never had anyone who could see you, I bet. Sure, maybe a couple of kids here and there. Maybe a dog or a cat. But not any adults. We're few and far between, and you know that.

Janet sighed and shook her head. She gave an exaggerated shiver as the room cooled noticeably, and the ghost smiled. The dead child moved until she was about a foot away from Janet and stuck out her tongue while making an ugly face.

"It'll freeze that way."

The ghost jumped back, her eyes wide with shock, and Janet let out a laugh as she locked gazes with her.

"You can see me!" The dead girl's voice was high with childish indignation.

"Of course, I can see you. Goodness. If you hadn't been doing the same thing to those people out there, I probably wouldn't have noticed you."

The dead child's eyes narrowed, and her brow furrowed. "You broke in."

"No, I found the key and let myself in. Big difference." Not that the police would see it that way. Janet kept the thought to herself.

"What do you want?" The ghost took a step back and eyed Janet warily.

"Who did you kill?"

The dead girl smirked. "The mother. She was stupid."

"How so?"

"She thought I was alive." The dead girl shrugged. "She tried to help me."

"How did you kill her?"

"I suffocated her, but only a little." The ghost wagged a finger at her. "Just a little. She was going to be dead from the cold anyway. And it didn't look like she was breathing too well. So, I was just helping her."

"You don't seem too happy about it."

The dead girl frowned and stomped her foot. "I'm not! I wanted to kill the baby after I had fun with its mother, but the police were here before I could do anything. Now, now they're talking about moving away, and the father won't let the baby out of his sight!"

"You won't go with them?"

The dead girl shrugged.

"Do you like to kill things?"

The ghost looked at her. "Why do you want to know?"

"Because there are times when I need people killed," Janet explained. "Times when I need people hurt. It helps to have a strong ghost with me to do that."

The dead girl smirked. "You do?"

Janet nodded.

"Do you ever need children hurt?"

Janet thought for a moment. I think this could work. I could have the child hurt Dan's kids, and then, when I get called to task for it, I can blame the ghost. Not my fault, Bev, she's just a little girl. She got carried away.

Smiling, Janet nodded again. "Yes. In fact, I have two children in mind. A boy and a girl. Their father is difficult."

The dead child laughed. "I want to go with you."

"I'm Janet. What's your name?"

The ghost gave a curtsey. "I am Kristine Finch, and I am pleased to meet you."

Janet grinned. "Tell me, Kristine, what are you attached to?"

"Follow me." The dead girl turned and led the way out of the kitchen while Janet followed.

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