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Excerpt from Marley Parker: A Rumor of Ghosts

The following is an excerpt from the new young adult novel Marley Parker: A Rumor of Ghosts by Maria Sigle. Look for Marley Parker: A Rumor of Ghosts on sale now in paperback or ebook at; www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.smashwords.com, and www.kobobooks.com. For more information go www.marleyparker.com or www.mariasigle.com.

A Rumor of Ghosts by Maria SigleAll seven of us were seated at a large oblong table in front of the window that overlooked a lovely pond with a quaint dilapidated wooden dock. Two mallards floated gracefully among the green moss and fallen leaves. We wasted no time getting down to business. Glen had some complimentary appetizers sent over, as he managed to Bogart my dad’s time; discussing his zoning issues. Weenie took a seat next to me, so I had a view of the photos up close and personal. I watched how the well-crafted muscles in his forearms seemed to jump a little each time he flipped to the next photo. If only he didn’t wear those stupid black sweatbands around his wrists…I could probably be attracted to someone like…wait a minute…I could fill an entire book with ‘if only’ when it came to Weenie Watson. Concentrate!

“There’s your ghost Miss Marley.” Weenie said smugly, the only member of the group not even a little surprised about the cloudy figure on the screen before us. “A full blown apparition. Beautiful.” Weenie seemed enamored with the image before him. “Mo, I want this up on the site, like 5 minutes ago.” Mo was already typing fastidiously on her laptop, transmitting the picture for the whole world to view.

“Addy. Her name is Addy, we’ve met before.” I said smiling back at Weenie, equally smug. I could hear my dad over my shoulder drawing a deep breath, as if he simply could not take any more of this today. Weenie shot me a morbidly flirtatious glance, as if the subject matter at hand was somehow a turn on for him.

“What do you mean? Addy?” Weenie was becoming overly excited as he tilted his body closer to mind, suddenly I was the center of his attentions.

“She whispered something in my ear, the only other time that I was here. I had sort of…put it out of my mind. It kinda freaked me out, to say the least.”

“Do you mean to tell me that we have a ‘Reciprocal Apparition’ on our hands?” Weenie stared at me in disbelief, then Zed reached across the table to give him a high five. Both Tones and I looked at Weenie in utter confusion, unsure of what exactly was happening.

“Oh, sorry. A reciprocal apparition is totally rare.” Weenie paused for dramatic effect and swept the shaggy chin length black hair behind his ears. I was once again distracted by all of the silver rings on his fingers and his black nail polish. Was that a Rolex watch? I guess the ghost hunting biz was lucrative after all. “It’s a type of spirit phenomenon when both the ghost and the human can communicate.” Weenie then nodded to Mo, signaling her to include this finding on their website alongside Addie’s picture.

Maria Sigle, Author of Marley Parker: A Rumor of Ghosts

Maria Sigle, Author of Marley Parker: A Rumor of Ghosts

“Oh, come on. We weren’t communicating, per say. She spoke, I did not speak back.”

“It looks like she’s pointing out the window.” Zed, the quiet obese one with the crossed eye chimed in. It was the first time I had heard him speak all day.

“We just recently renovated that suite, this last summer.” Glen’s voice cracked like a twelve year old boy, he stood fidgeting nervously. Adjusting his glasses, crossing and uncrossing his arms.

“That could be the problem, right there.” Weenie said. Sometimes renovating or changing something familiar, will cause the spirits to become…angry and they might all of the sudden decide to make themselves known.”

“Well, I think the most important question here is; what exactly is she pointing at?” I piped in, urging along the business at hand.

“Let’s see here, that’s the North east corner of the building, which faces the pond.” Glen cleared his throat after his voice cracked yet again. “So, you’re looking at it.” He pointed meekly through the window to the pond in front of us.

“Hold on, why don’t we take a listen to the EVP recordings before we do anything else?” Weenie suggested, a man who insisted on being in charge after years of abuse from his more mature classmates. He wasn’t fast enough to make the soccer team, he wasn’t tall enough for basketball or strong enough for football, IQ not high enough for honor roll, but he would be the authority on ghost hunting. I guess somebody had to do it. He retrieved the EVP machine, fast-forwarding it to the end of the tape.

“I figure, this is one of the very last rooms that we reached. So, if she did try to communicate with us, it would probably be at the end of the tape.” He stopped the tape and I heard what sounded like loud static. We listened for a while longer and when our food arrived, Weenie let the EVP tape continue to play, so we could listen as we ate. The appetizers that Glen had sent over contained a wide array of fried food; onion rings, cheese sticks, hush puppies and shrimp. There was also a plate of chocolate chip cookies. Life in the Midwest, I thought as I stared at the trays of diabetes and heart disease sitting in front me. We all watched as Randy and Zed dove in first. Wasting no time diving in and sampling each fried item, one tray after the next. Randy took a bite of a cheese stick and streak of grease dribbled down his chin, I handed him a napkin.

I couldn’t eat, my stomach was uneasy from the smell of grease as my mind reeled from the picture of Addy. Weenie, Tones and I seemed to be the only people still listening to the white noise. There was a sudden mumbling of words spoken in a soft voice. Weenie pushed a button, stopping the tape and rewinding it back a little. The three of us exchanged wide eyed glances and I sat up a little taller in my seat, bracing myself for what we were about to hear. Weenie played it again and turned up the volume louder. I heard a voice of what could only be Addy. It was difficult to understand at first so we listened to it at least 10 times more. “Can”, was the only word we were able to clearly understand. We listened again. There was a clear C sound that began the first word, followed by second clear ‘Ba’ sound…’ At first it sounded like, Can..bee or Cat-breeze. Weenie made a few more adjustments to his fancy machine and we listened again.

“Can’t be,” I shouted out.

“Maybe,” Weenie said. “It’s this second word, I’m having trouble understanding. Let me just make one more adjustment here.” He turned another knob and played the nebulous sound yet again. My heart raced a little more with each playback. The first word was definitely can’t. This time it sounded like Can’t-bre.

“CAN’T BREATHE!” I yelled and jumped out of my seat, which caused the other patrons to stare curiously over at our table, like we weren’t weird enough already. “CAN’T BREATHE! That’s it. Get it? She’s pointing out the window, down to the pond and telling us she that she can’t breathe because she’s trapped under water!” My voice made a funny, whiny sound at the end of my sentence, I couldn’t sit still. What did this mean? What was the next course of action?

Weenie looked over at me in a way that was difficult to discern between annoyance and excitement.

I looked up at my dad and I could tell he was thinking the same thing I was. Tones made a fist and held it under his chin, a pensive look he only made when he was deep in thought; heavily analyzing the options laid out before him. He looked over at Glen, “Well Glen, how do feel about draining that pond?”

See how it ends in the new book Marley Parker: A Rumor of Ghosts by Maria Sigle!

This excerpt was printed with the expressed permission of the author & publisher. It is copyright Maria Sigle, 2015.

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