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What haunts the house on the hill?
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Brona lives with her husband Liam in an isolated house on the cliff’s overlooking the sea. She arrives home to find the door ajar when she knows she had locked it. She can’t find her sister, who is staying with her while her husband is out of town.
Blood stained floors appear and disappear, low whispering voices greet her and the storm outside rages, causing the lights to flicker. Brona must put her fears behind her and unravel the mystery that haunts the house before it’s too late.
The fierce wind shrilled as blue arms of rain reached down from the clouds, drenching everything in its path. Brona shivered as she fought her way up the walk and away from the crashing waves that threatened to flood the beach. Lightning cracked the sky apart, illuminating the house with an eerie backdrop. She pulled her windbreaker tighter around her.
She berated herself for her stupidity. She had noticed the threatening storm clouds when she started out this afternoon. “Oh, but you had to ignore them,” she sarcastically spit out not caring in the least that she was talking to herself. “You had to walk along the cliffs as if you’ve never seen the ocean before today. Soaked to the skin, you are and looking like an eegit for the effort.” She knew her dark strands were plastered to her head and her makeup all but washed away. It was good thing she hadn’t put on mascara this morning or she’d have streaks of black running down her face.
She hurried up the porch steps and to some remnant of cover. She needed to collect the firewood and light the fireplace or the house wouldn’t be warm tonight. She wished her husband would hurry home. “I miss you, Liam.” He had been called away on business and she didn’t expect him home until the end of the week. She sighed. “Ah Liam, a welcoming hug and your warm lips on mine, is what I be needing this night.” Instead, she had her sister, Tara for company. She loved her sister and they would probably talk into the wee hours of the night, but it wasn’t the same as having her husband there to keep her warm. She liked to snuggle near the fire with him on nights like this. They would sip hot chocolate with marshmallows as they talked about their dreams for the future.
She glanced up as the lightning shot across the sky. She hoped she wouldn’t lose electricity as they had the many times before with lesser storms. She shook some of the water off of her and walked over to the front door. Her hands were frozen and she fumbled with the key, only to realize the door stood slightly ajar. Brona hesitated at the threshold, listening, but the only sound she heard was the bawling winds and the rumble of thunder behind her.
Her sister, Tara was napping when she left the house. That’s why she had taken her keys to lock the door. Her brows furrowed. Did I forget to lock it in my haste to be near the sea? It wouldn’t surprise her if she had. How many times had Liam come home to find the door unlocked and she nowhere to be found?
Their rugged house stood hidden in a lush forest near the edge of a cliff. From the porch they could see the ocean meet the horizon, an endless view of blue and green water. A hike down the cliff brought them to a private beach with areas she had yet to explore. She sighed. On a clear night the sunsets were breathtaking. She loved that they lived far off the beaten path. They didn’t have much traffic up here, but Liam was from the city and insisted that locks were placed. She looked at the open door. Now he had her paranoid that someone had broken in while she’d been gone. “Don’t be silly. I forgot to lock the door is all there is to it.”
“Tara,” she called as she entered the house. She flipped on the living room light. “Tara, I’m back and cold to the bone.” Her chuckle died in her throat. A confusing rush of anticipation and dread whirled inside of her. Why wasn’t her sister answering? No sounds came from within as if she entered a tomb. Goose flesh moved up her spine, making her shiver.
Lightning crackled in the sky and thunder shook the windows, causing Brona to jump. She whirled around to shut and locked the door behind her. She headed for the stairs with a thought: What if she had locked the intruder in with her? She stood at the bottom of the stairs and looked up at the inky blackness waiting for her.
She had to go up there. She had to make sure Tara was okay.
She’d only taken a step when a guttural cry of terror rose above the storm’s violence. “Oh my God, Tara!”
"A Hauntingly Chilling Tale with aTwist!"
In a rugged house standing hidden in a lush forest near the edge of a cliff, lives Brona with her husband Liam. While her husband is away, Brona's sister Tara is staying with her to keep her company till her husband comes home. After an afternoon spent walking along the cliffs, Borna comes home to find her front door ajar. Not thinking anything is amiss she enters. When her sister does not answer her calls, she goes looking for her. After hearing a terrified scream coming from her sister's room, she runs frantic to help her. Only to find the room empty and blood staining the floor. Swearing the scream came from her room, she searches to no avail. Once more turning to look at the blood, she is startled to realize there is no blood on the floor. Not knowing what else to do, she continues her search of the house for her sister. Thus begins Brona's decent into nightmarish fears; hearing whispering voices, and seeing shadowy glimpses with no one there. Brona can't help but wonder if she is losing her mind, or is there something more sinister going on?
This is my second paranormal horror read by Ms. Nutt, and I enjoyed this one every bit as much as the first! From page one, Ms. Nutt leaves you clues as to what is going on, and I still did not get them. I was surprised by the end, for it was the one thing I did not guess! Shattered Illusions was well written and thoughtfully plotted out, to a satisfying end. Well done, I can only seeing Ms. Nutt's game getting better, can't wait for more!
Reviewed by Missy Brown
Posted July 16, 2009
Coffee Time Romance
July 15, 2009
Rating: 4 Cups
Brona loves to walk along the cliffs by the ocean. Today there is a fierce storm however, and by the time she reaches the house she is drenched. It also looks like an intruder has been in the house.
Liam is Brona’s husband and he is always warning her to be careful along the cliffs. Tara is Brona’s sister who is missing. Did the intruder take her?
With a storm raging outside, the thought of an intruder scares Brona. If only she can find them before anyone gets hurt.
Shattered Illusions is a good read for when you want a quick read that is enjoyable. It has its surprises and mystery. It truly is a mystery right until the very end.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
Ghost Writers Literary Reviews
Brona enjoys going out for a walk on the cliffs that overlook the beach, as she does all the time. So why is this time different? Her sister is staying over with her and her husband Liam, but when Brona comes back from her walk; her sister is nowhere to be found. Something doesn’t feel right.. She catches what she believes, is her husband and her sister fully engulfed in an affair, but when she thinks she's ready to confront them, they act as though she's not there, like they can't see or hear her… and maybe they can't...
This is a haunting story, in every sense of the word. I'd love to see it expanded into a fuller version. Great Job!
Reviewed by Summer
SWAMP DWELLERS REVIEW
Rating: 4 chills
Reviewer: Dianne Pearson
Brona misses her husband dreadfully while he’s away on a business trip. As she searches their house for signs of a mysterious intruder, a frightening secret is revealed.
While Shattered Illusions isn’t a real horror story, it’s definitely got some tense moments and a very creepy atmosphere. The main character, Brona, is terrified of the voices she keeps hearing in her house, and the disappearing pool of blood. At first, she fears someone have broken in and hurt her sister, Tara, but upon further investigation, she recognizes the voices as Tara’s and her husband’s. Are they having an affair? What secrets are they keeping from her?
Ms.Nutt’s vivid descriptions and firm characterization bring this ghost story to life. While the twist isn’t entirely unpredictable, Ms. Nutt pulls it off very well. Shattered Illusion is a great read for those dark, lonely nights!
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