TALES OF SUPERNATURAL MYSTERY & HORROR
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Emily Darkwood is already resisting Victorian society’s expectations of her as a woman of the upper classes, when she receives a strange and life-changing inheritance in the wake of her missing parents. A stone of amber that draws her into mysteries, supernatural, cosmic, and criminal. Armed with this guide stone, her wits, revolver, sword-stick umbrella, and faithful servant-companion, the young, streetwise, and scrappy, Jack Hobbs, she determines to challenge the mysteries and threats she encounters in her search to understand the power of the stone, its connection to her parents, and their fates. Yet dark forces conspire against her, and her drive for answers and her fight against the darkness of the world risks her friends, family, her fought for studies in medicine and surgery, and herself.
The City of the Drowning
Hobbs has been sent away from the Darkwood house without explanation. In the care of Inspector Duggan, he faces a life without Darkwood, but danger remains. Great sums of money are being left in the streets of London, creating rich from the poor. Who is doing it, and why? Duggan and Hobbs determine to find out.
The Darkwood Mysteries is a non-linear episodic series of short-stories, novellas, and novels enjoyable as standalone tales of horror and adventure, or together as part of a deeper mystery.
Miss Reuben would find what she had experienced would not be so easily dismissed.
Another figure, dusted white and grey through powder, stood as alien in the room.
This time, it was a man. Crumpled frock coat. Dented top hat. Face a grey mask of holes for eyes, nose, and mouth. A death mask, but one of decayed, mummified flesh. It stood apart, but advanced upon us. Miss Reuben knew, from its eyes of shadow fixed upon her, it intended to visit itself upon her.
The sound of footsteps above renewed themselves, this time in a scuffing, racing, shamble. They encroached upon her, above her—then suddenly they skipped to be footfalls before her! She went to retreat and found she couldn't move from the spot. While her legs moved and tugged at her feet, they remained fixed in place.
Her horror was evident to us, as some supernatural force singularly closed in upon her, but we could see nothing of the cause of her distress. We watched the woman hitch up her dress to her ankles for no observable reason and look imploringly into each of our faces for help. Stricken, but with no apparent tormentor. We could not see what she could—that wrapped around her velvet boots were grey, dry, knob-knuckled fingers on hands that reached out of the very ground itself.
Our friend let out a whine of despair and wriggled on the spot to wrest herself free, but to no avail. The tall man had appeared before her and held her in place with bony fingers upon her shoulders. She could only watch as the ground cracked. Pebbles and shattered rocks of concrete leapt out of the floor, and a skull face, surrounded by wisps of grey hair, jerked its way up through the hole as the creature wriggled bony elbows and a body of tattered rags and bared ribs free of its grave at her feet. Another pair of mummified hands grabbed at Miss Reuben, and the two children crawled from the hole and scaled her body as though a tree.
Miss Reuben screamed and flailed—and while to us, she fought at nothing—a dusty skull of parchment flesh nuzzled to the side of Reuben's face. Its hinged jaw snapped open and closed, teeth gnashing close to her soft ripe cheek as a rustling voice issued from a throat as dry as leaves.
"Find. Us. Find us. Fiiind usss. Fiiiiindusssss!"