Authors: Janet McNulty
Tags: #Mystery: Cozy - Paranormal - Ghosts - Vermont
|Janet McNulty - Mellow Summers 01 - Sugar And Spice and Not So Nice|
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|Tags:||Mystery: Cozy - Paranormal - Ghosts - Vermont|
Mystery: Cozy - Paranormal - Ghosts - Vermontttt
My name is Mellow Summers, and I am 26 years old. I was never one to believe in ghosts, but all that changed the day I decided to attend a university up in Vermont. I don’t know why I wanted to go to Vermont, considering that I hate the cold. I guess I just wanted to get away from my parents for a while, who had made it their mission in life to tell me how to live. Anyway, like I said, I never believed in ghosts. That is, not until I met Rachel. And my life has never been the same since.
Sugar And Spice And Not So Nice
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or location is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Sugar And Spice And Not So Nice
Copyright © 2012 Janet McNulty
Cover Illustration by Robert M. Henry
Cover Design by Robert M. Henry
Interior Text Design by Janet McNulty
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For any who have ever met a ghost.
Table of Contents
My name is Mellow Summers and I am twenty-six years old. I was never one to believe in ghosts, but all that changed the day I decided to attend a university up in Vermont. I don’t know why I wanted to go to Vermont, considering that I hate the cold. I guess I just wanted to get away from my parents for a while, who had made it their mission in life to tell me how to live. Anyway, like I said, I never believed in ghosts. That is, not until I met Rachel.
It was a beautiful September day when I drove into the apartment complex where I had recently signed a lease. I had no desire to live in the dorms with a bunch of teenagers who had just left home, and were busy living it up at the bars. With my own place, I figured I’d be able to study and have my peace and quiet.
I parked my clunker in the first available space in the parking lot.
“Hey, Mel,” yelled my friend Jackie as she ran up to me while I heaved my suitcase out of the backseat. Jackie decided to come to Vermont with me. She wasn’t attending classes, but insisted that she needed a change in scenery. I was happy to have a friend with me and an extra person to help with the rent.
“Mel,” Jackie said, “you made it. Mr. Carver is waiting for us upstairs.”
I followed Jackie up the stairs to the second floor where our apartment was. It was a simple two bedroom, two bathroom flat. I wasn’t about to complain since we were only paying $600 a month and it was already furnished.
“Ladies,” Mr. Carver greeted us at the door.
I dropped my suitcase, panting from the climb. I really needed some exercise.
“Mr. Carver,” I said, “did we forget to sign something?”
“No,” he replied. “I just wanted to make certain that you two got settled and to give you these keys.” He plopped the keys in my outstretched hand.
“Hey, Mr. Carver, doesn’t the average rent for a place like this run a few hundred higher?” asked Jackie.
“Are you complaining about the rent?”
“No,” replied Jackie, “I just wondered why you are so willing to rent this to us so cheap.”
Mr. Carver sighed heavily. I could have smacked Jackie for this. Why ask such a question when you get a great deal? “The former tenant who lived here was murdered,” said Mr. Carver. “Some believe that her spirit haunts this place. By the way, your lease is for one year and there will be no deposit refund if you choose to break it.”
“Geez, grouchy isn’t he,” said Jackie as Mr. Carver left.
“Did you have to ask him about the rent?” I asked.
“I was just curious,” said Jackie as we hauled our stuff inside.
The apartment was beautifully furnished. The entrance led us straight into the living room, which was filled with two fluffy couches and an entertainment set. To the right lay the kitchen, complete with dishes and pots and pans. To the left was the hallway, taking you straight to the bedrooms and bathrooms.
“I don’t care if this place is haunted,” said Jackie as she plopped down on the couch. “You couldn’t pay me to leave this place.”
Admiring the décor of the apartment, I shared Jackie’s sentiment. This was a nice place, and affordable. What more could a college kid want?
“Drop your stuff,” said Jackie jumping to her feet. “Let’s go for a drive around town and see what the locals are up to.”
I didn’t argue with her. Going for a drive seemed like a perfect idea for such a beautiful, sunny day. We moseyed along downtown, eyeing all of the small shops and cafes. Jackie became more excited with each new shop she found. She loved shopping. As for me, I only shopped when necessary.
We had been friends since we were in high school. Jackie was always the picture perfect model and very outgoing. With her long black hair and Asian features, she was gorgeous and she knew how to dress it up. Compare that to my shyness and typical outfit of jeans and a t-shirt. As for doing my hair, I usually threw it in a ponytail and called it good. But we became fast friends. Jackie always had my back. Her spunkiness helped me get rid of a few unfavorable boyfriends and some of it rubbed off on me. I was overjoyed when she agreed to come with me to Vermont.
“Oh, look at that shop,” exclaimed Jackie. She pulled into a parking space and we hopped out of the car. We strolled into the store. Jackie immediately grabbed a teal green jacket off of a rack and held it up to me.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Seeing if this fits you,” she replied. “The color matches your eyes perfectly. And it’s only twenty dollars. Now we need a new blouse and slacks to match. And don’t forget the shoes.”
“Jackie, I don’t have the money for this.”
“Don’t worry about it. I got it.”
“Where did you get the money?”
“I have my secrets.”
Reluctantly, I allowed Jackie to pull me from rack to rack. She found a purple blouse that complimented the jacket. Before we were done, Jackie managed to fit me into a pair of black slacks and ballet flats. Seventy dollars later I had a complete outfit to start off the new semester. I had to hand it to Jackie. The girl knew how to shop and she was thrifty about it. She could buy three articles of clothing and manage to get five outfits out of it.
We took our purchases and sat down at an outdoor café for some supper. By the time the sun had set, we arrived back at our apartment and that was when the trouble started.
“What the…” began Jackie as we walked through the door.
The place looked like it had been ransacked. The couch pillows had been thrown across the room. Our things were spread everywhere. In the kitchen, the cabinet doors hung open, which was odd since they had magnetic locks.
“What happened?” I breathed.
“Maybe the ghost did it,” joked Jackie.
“Don’t even,” I scolded her. “I’m calling the cops.”
The police arrived within thirty minutes. They took pictures, asked us if anything was stolen, and then left.
“Is that it?” I asked the uniformed officer as he walked out the door.
“There isn’t much we can do, ma’am,” he replied. “There have been a few burglaries in the area, but we haven’t been able to catch the guys. I’m sure it won’t happen again. Just keep the door locked.”
Thanks for the advice, I thought as I closed the door behind him. “I can’t believe he called me ma’am.”
“I know,” snickered Jackie. “You’re an old mammy ma’am.”
I smacked her with a pillow. “Help me clean this place up.”
We spent the next several hours picking everything up and putting it back. Afterward, we both crashed on the couch and fell fast asleep.
The next morning I woke with a start. Eight AM and I had an eight thirty class to get to. I jumped off the couch, knocking Jackie over.
“Hey,” she whined.
I ignored her and quickly changed into some clean clothes, grabbed my keys, and ran out the door.
Luckily, the college wasn’t far away and I was there in 15 minutes. I managed to squeak into the class just as the professor started speaking.
“Cutting it close,” said the guy next to me as I slipped into a seat.
I just smiled in response and pulled out a notebook and pen. “Yeah, well, my alarm never went off.”
“That’s the problem with alarm clocks. My name is Greg Dotherson.”
“Most people call me Mel,” I said. I couldn’t stop staring at the man. He was beyond good looking and had perfect teeth.
“Well, Mel, nice to meet you.”
“When you two are finished with your conversation, we’d like to continue.” The professor’s voice echoed through the room, effectively shutting us up. Apparently, we had interrupted his welcome to the class speech. Greg and I both turned toward the front, trying not to giggle. It was like being in high school all over again, including the stares.
The professor went on with his speech. His name was Professor Vincent. I just called him Vincent for short. For a guy in his forties, he was rather handsome as well. Hell, all these hot guys and I looked like I just crawled out of a garbage can. My self-consciousness made me miss most of Vincent’s speech.
“Hey, it’s time to go,” said Greg, nudging my shoulder. “You look like you were a million miles away.”
I gathered my stuff and left with Greg.
“You from around here?” asked Greg.
“No, I moved here to go to school,” I replied. “I worked at a diner after high school graduation to save some money for college. And now, here I am.”
“You live on campus?”
“I’m not trying to pry.”
“With all these questions,” I said.
“Okay. Maybe I was prying a little.”
“I live in the Alamont Apartments with my friend Jackie.”
“Really? That’s where I live.”
“Now you’re pulling my leg,” I said.
“No, I’m not. I swear,” Greg said. “I’m thirty and I finally got around to getting my college degree. I don’t care for the rowdiness of the dorms so I got an apartment at the Alamont. Second floor, number 215.”
I couldn’t believe it. He lived in number 215 right across the hall from me. What are the chances? “My apartment is 214.”
“The dead girl’s place?”
“You’re not going to tell me it’s haunted too are you?”
“No, it’s just that place has sat empty more often than it’s been occupied,” said Greg. “The landlord has had some difficulty renting it. Not everyone wants an apartment that was formerly occupied by someone who was murdered. And tenants in there never stay very long.”
“She wasn’t killed inside it!”
“No, no. Her body was found on campus. But people get superstitious.”
“Tell me about the girl,” I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me.
“Her name was Rachel. Nice girl, but she could get a bit wild. Anyway, come October it will have been a year since her murder. The police never found out who did it and so no arrests were made. It’s just become a cold case file.