Authors: Holly Hudspeth
Book One in the Skyy Huntington Series
By Holly Hudspeth
Book One in the Skyy Huntington Series
All rights reserved
Copyright © 2013 Holly Hudspeth
Cover design by Alexandria N. Thompson
Cover images © Can Stock Photo/Choreograph
Publisher: Holly Hudspeth
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system(s), copied in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise transmitted without written permission from the publisher. You may not circulate this book in any format.
This book 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 any persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
This book is dedicated to my mother and best friend, Laura. Without her love and continual support this never would have been finished. Thanks for being my biggest fan Mom!
Books by Holly Hudspeth:
The Lie – Book One in the Skyy Huntington Series
The Countess – Book Two in the Skyy Huntington Series
Table of Contents
My name is Skyy Huntington, I’m twenty-eight years old, live in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and I’m pretty sure I've lost my mind. Let me back up to a week earlier so I can explain why I have come to this conclusion. Recently I moved from Boston to Marblehead into a house I inherited when my grandfather passed away last year. Coming from a pretty small family, he left a good deal of money to my parents, and also to my Uncle Garen, my cousin Cate, and myself. Grandpa left me his house, and Cate got his ‘69 Mustang we helped him rebuild over the summers when we were younger. I think I got the better end of the deal, but seeing how Cate already had her own apartment in Boston (a very nice one I might add) there wasn't much left for him to leave her but a nice chunk of change and the Mustang.
I'd been living in the house for a little over six months now. It was a beautiful little home right on the water with amazing views. I had quit my job as a restaurant manager when I moved to Marblehead. The money Grandpa had left me was enough that I could probably live modestly for the rest of my life if I played my cards right, but I had decided that I would try to look into opening a business of my own when the time was right. A few nights a month I would drive over to the cemetery where my grandfather was buried, I'd take my camera with me snapping pictures and hoping to find something spooky in them. He was buried in St Mary's Cemetery in Salem which is pretty much a stone's throw from Marblehead. I've always been kind of odd in the fact that I find cemeteries peaceful, and this one was no exception. The grounds are beautiful, well-kept, and some of the headstones are amazing. It is well laid out with little streets that you can drive through, and if you go far enough into the back you can even see some graves from the 1600s.
On the particular night I began questioning my sanity, I arrived at St. Mary's around 8 p.m., and I had my backpack with a book, flashlight, my camera, pepper spray, and book light inside. Sometimes I drive my car into the cemetery but usually I park it out by the street and walk in, which is what I did this night. I sat and visited with Grandpa for a good twenty minutes or so, before heading over to a simply beautiful grave that was on a corner of one of the intersections. It was raised up on a small mound that had a huge angel who was reaching up to the sky for the headstone. It was mid-February, the moon was shining really bright and it had just snowed two days earlier, so even without a flashlight the night seemed illuminated with the moon reflecting off the snow. It was chilly out and I'd decided I'd just sit and read for a little while, so I leaned up against the huge cement headstone base, flipped open my book and attached the book light to the top of it. After fifteen minutes of reading and snapping the occasional picture, I began to hear voices, so I figured it was time to wrap things up and start to head to my car. The cemetery is open to the public at all hours, and there are a few entrances on the main avenue to get in and out. Some nights other people would drive through, usually kids looking to hide out and drink, or mourning family members dropping off flowers to their loved ones, but I usually had the place to myself because let's face it, not many people like to be in cemeteries at night, so I suppose it was just a matter of time before something weird happened.
The voices weren't very far away and I soon saw a flashlight as well. I didn't necessarily want them to see me, especially since it appeared to be three males. I turned off my book light and hoped they'd pass without seeing me. As they got closer I could tell it was three younger guys, probably college kids, who had been drinking. I put my book into my backpack and pulled out the pepper spray and my keys quietly. I sat still and quiet but unfortunately since the grave I was sitting on was at the intersection of two streets I was afraid they might see me, so I scooted towards the back of the huge angel headstone. Just as my luck would have it, I heard footsteps coming close to me, one of them was walking up the little mound! I held my breath and sat totally still, I could see the outline of legs in the dark just behind me and to the right, and then I heard a zipper. ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ I thought to myself. The guy was peeing, right on the gravestone, inches from me! I started to scoot the other way but the guy saw me.
“Holy shit!” he exclaimed as he jumped back a few steps. His two friends started to come up the mound towards us then.
“What’s up Mark?” one of them called.
“There’s some psycho sitting up here watching me take a piss!” he replied. I grasped my pepper spray, ready to shoot if he came any closer.
“I’ve got pepper spray and a gun,” I bluffed, “so I suggest you guys just walk away, I don’t want any trouble.” I stood up, keys in hand, when the one guy called Mark took a step closer to me, his friends just behind him. I could actually smell alcohol on his breath.
His one friend said, “Come on dude, the liquor store closes in fifteen minutes, let's get out of here.” Yeah, that seemed like a good idea, go get more booze.
Mark stood there looking at me for a moment before he kicked snow all over me and started laughing. His friends had already walked back down to the street. I decided now was a good time to get the hell out of there, but when I turned to run back towards the exit he shoved me really hard from behind which made me tumble forward losing my balance. I fell into the snow and my keys which I held tightly in my left hand, cut into my hand and I felt a sharp pain shoot up my arm in response. I still had the pepper spray in my right hand, and Mark came up behind me, grabbing the back of my hair, yanking my head up. Just as I got ready to spray is when “it” all began.
I saw a blur of shadow move so fast I couldn’t even tell what it was. Mark went flying several feet away from me, falling onto the snow covered grass like a rag doll. His two friends started to run, but were too drunk to really make a getaway. I saw them fly in two different directions and hit the snow. Within seconds I was picked up off the ground and moving so fast I couldn’t even see what was going on, it was like driving three hundred miles per hour and everything was a dark smear flying by. Suddenly I was sitting in my car, and saw the bottom half of a man, dressed in jeans and a dark grey sweater through my window, I couldn’t see his face but his hand was touching my head and he was saying something I could not make out. “What?” I said, confused and shaking. “Who are you?!”
“Go home!” was his reply, with an accent of some sort. British perhaps? And just like that he was gone, I saw the shadow move so fast, back into the cemetery and disappear. I looked down at my left hand, the streetlight dimly lighting the inside of my car. It was bleeding pretty bad and hurt like hell. I jumped out of the car and ran back into the cemetery. I didn’t go very far, I didn’t know what or who just saved me, but I was certain of one thing…it wasn’t human. At least the kind of human I knew anyway. And I was pretty sure that it was either long gone, or could hide itself from me.
I ran back to my car and decided to drive by and see if Mark and his buddies were still there. Smart people would get the hell out of there, but I guess this all ties in to the whole sanity thing again. I cranked the ignition of my Mustang GT and it roared to life, switched the headlights on and flew into the cemetery. No sign of the three men at all. All I could see were the footsteps in the snow, and there were plenty of sets of them so I knew I had not imagined it all. I could see the lump in the snow where Mark had landed. I drove around the cemetery scanning as much as I could with my eyes, but didn’t see anything else. Disappointed, I drove out shaken up and still bleeding. On the main road a few blocks down I saw Mark’s two friends walking along the sidewalk. One was limping, the other one clutching his arm. No sign of Mark though. I wondered if the shadowy figure had killed him when he threw him. It all happened so fast I didn’t have time to even look back. I had a million questions running through my mind. My hand was killing me and I knew one thing: I didn’t want to be home alone tonight.
I picked up my cell and dialed my best friend Christian Vane’s number. He picked up after three rings “Hey Skyy, I just got home, was about to call you actually. What’s up?” I wasn’t about to speak a word of what just happened, to him or to anyone. I just wanted some company and someone with a strong stomach to be able to help me bandage up my hand.
“Hey Christian, you busy tonight?” I tried to sound normal, though inside I was shaken up.
“Nope, not at all, was going to ask you the same thing,” came his reply.
“Well…I uhhh, kind of hurt my hand, and was wondering if you wanted to pick up some beer, maybe a movie and come by tonight, help me out and we can hang out for a bit?” I was an infamous klutz and Christian knew it. We had been friends since high school, and he has been there more times than I can count for broken bones or trips to the ER for stitches. He laughed on the other end of the line
“Hurt your hand you say? We talking Band-Aid hurt or ER hurt?”
I sighed out loud over the phone, “I think it is just a Band-Aid hurt, can’t really tell in the dark though. I’ll be back to my place in about thirty minutes so just come on by whenever, use your key I might be upstairs.” I could tell he was already getting his shoes on and ready to jet out the door.
“Ok, see you in a few,” he replied and hung up.
I was checking my rearview mirror nonstop on the drive home. I knew the smart thing to do was to tell Christian the truth about what happened but for some crazy reason, I felt like whatever this thing was that helped me out tonight wasn’t going to hurt me. Deep down inside I was excited. I had been reading horror and vampire novels since I was a young teen, and always wondered what it would be like to come face to face with a ghost, werewolf, vampire or something supernatural. I guessed there were several different ways this could play out: I might never encounter it again, or it might try to hunt me down and kill me, which I found highly unlikely seeing as it already had that chance once. Or, my curiosity always getting the best of me, I could try to find it and make contact again. There is a reason why I have had so many injuries over the years, some of it just bad luck, and some of it due to me being, as some may call it, very “adventurous”.
As I pulled up to my house, I took one last deep breath while getting out of my car. Putting the key in the door I could already hear my dog, Cupcake, waiting on the other side to greet me. As I stepped inside the house I did a mental scan, to see if anything was out of place, but everything looked just like it had three hours earlier when I left the house. Walking to the back door to let Cupcake outside, I flicked on every light in my path. The heater had not been on since I had left and the house was chilly. I let Cupcake back inside and gave her a quick pat on the head before filling up her bowl with some dry food and running upstairs. I knew it was best to try to get the wound on my hand at least rinsed off before Christian came over and made a fuss about it.