Halloween Flash Fiction Blog Event with Dianna Love

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Today we get to meet a character from Dianna Love‘s bestselling Belador series. It’s a secret, though… can YOU figure out who it is before the reveal at the end? NO PEEKING!

 

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winged_guardian_by_nixie04

 

HAUNTED MEMORIES: From the Belador world
by New York Times bestseller Dianna Love

I stared up at the menacing gargoyle carved into the corner of a mausoleum in Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery and questioned my IQ level. My last visit to a cemetery at night had left emotional scars that stayed with me for years.

Agreeing to a stupid bet with Vivian, my manipulative older sister, cost me a few intelligence points. At nineteen, I shouldn’t allow emotions to get the best of me.

Neither should I be terrified of cemeteries, but that fear had been earned honestly.

“What are you waiting on, Chelsea? Put the sack over your head.”

I glared at Vivian and her smarmy boyfriend, Sonny.

Vivian ragged on me for having no boyfriend, but hers was no prize. Her pack of eight friends that ranged from nineteen to twenty-three was present to witness my humiliation. Not a friendly face among them.

One of the girls started clucking like a chicken.

Another one called out, “Just admit you’re afraid and accept defeat.”

I couldn’t. I’d never live it down after betting my sister the use of her new car, a badass corvette, for a month. It would kill her to hand the keys over, which was how she’d sucked me in.

Of course, if I lost, I’d have to clean her apartment weekly for a month.

Swallowing, I took a breath. As a child, I’d gotten lost during a night tour in a New Orleans cemetery. When I thought I saw a ghost, I’d raced away screaming bloody murder.

This was a mistake.

“Never mind. You can’t do it,” Vivian snapped, dismissing me.

Oh, hell no. I lifted the black bag and yanked it down over my head.

That brought on the jeering and laughter.

Someone tied my wrists in front of me. My heart jumped around like it wanted to get out and run a hundred yard dash.

A strap dropped across the back of my neck. Then the camera for filming my terror was placed in my hands.

Sonny’s nasally voice ordered, “Hold this straight out. Keep the strap taut and it will film you plus a couple feet on each side. It’s my dad’s so don’t bang it against anything.”

I murmured, “I’ll try not to, but I have to run into things to find my way.”

“Bang up your knuckles, twit. Not the camera.”

Sonny and Vivian were a perfect, coldblooded pair.

My breathing picked up. I fought the urge to panic. Not in front of this bunch or I’d lose before I got started. Sure, I was scared, but I wanted to see Vivian hand over the keys to her precious car.

I’d been in this cemetery before, but in daylight. All those rumors about spirits showing up at night couldn’t be true. Right?

Icy fingers wrapped around my upper arm. Vivian whispered, “Feel free to cry or scream at any time to end this. I’ll send Sonny for you.”

That terrified me more than potential ghosts. “I’m doing this.”

I sounded confident. Amazing what I could do when working on a high dose of emotionally driven insanity.

I started forward and had made twenty steps when my hands bumped into something hard. Ouch. A headstone or a statue?

Laughter erupted far behind me and Sonny shouted, “Careful, twit.”

 

If not for fear of retribution, I’d scar up his camera just so he’d have to explain to his dad. I kept walking, turning left then right after each obstacle to hopefully continue toward a new guy in the group, Ed, who waited at the other end.

Something brushed across my arm and I jerked, but managed not to scream. Heart pounding, I stood still. Wind stirred and this time I recognized the next brief touch as a leafy branch.

Breathe. Okay, I had this. Just back away slowly and walk around it. But as I went to take a step, the air turned chilly and thick fingers gently cupped my upper arm. I couldn’t squeeze out a sound.

A smooth voice that sounded like Morgan Freeman playing the role of an old Southern man chided, “Don’t worry none. I’m not gonna hurt ya. I don’t like those idiots bein’ mean to you.”

My heartbeat hammered faster, but he hadn’t sounded dangerous. Would Vivian even care if someone attacked me in here?

“Come on now. We gonna get you to the end where you can show them you got grit.”

Sounded good, but could I trust him? “Who are you?”

“Just someone who don’t like mean people.”

While I made up my mind on the old guy, he tugged me forward, then gently pulled me side-to-side, guiding me in what seemed like the right direction as he gave encouragement. “You doin’ good.”

“Thank you.” I debated calling this off right now, but what if he was just a Good Samaritan? Plus, the camera had to be filming him.

Something about his voice soothed my fears. Still, this was too risky. I prepared for defeat when I heard Ed call out, “This way, Chelsea.”

The old guy said, “See? You’re almost through. Keep goin’ ten steps and you’ll be done.”

He released my arm. I said, “Wait. What’s your name?”

“I’m called Grady.”

“Do you live here?”

“I stay near Grady Hospital. You go on now, and don’t let that nasty sister of yours mess with you again.”

“I won’t. Thank you.”

”You’re welcome.”

I kept walking forward until Ed said, “Whoa, hot shot.”

He pulled the sack off my head. I looked around for Grady while Ed texted the group that I’d won the bet. While we waited for everyone to arrive, Ed replayed the video.

I stared at each frame, right to the end when Ed stepped up next to me on the same side where Grady had walked.

There was no one on camera except me, carrying on a one-sided conversation.

Ed shocked me by brushing a strand of hair behind my ear. “Good job, Chelsea, but who were you talking to?”

 

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So… I know Dianna has sent her fans here to try to guess the surprise character in this story… did you figure it out?? Here’s an extra little bit about Grady:

Grady is a Nightstalker in the Belador series. Nightstalkers are ghouls that will trade intel (ghoul informants) about the supernatural world for a handshake with a powerful being.  That quick handshake allows the Nightstalker to take corporeal form for ten minutes.  Grady is special because he once had an extra long handshake and can occasionally turn solid for brief periods on his own.

Now… for a chance to win an ebook (for amazon, nook or ibooks) of WITCHLOCK (book 6 in the Belador series) plus a set of signed Belador cover cards and swag snail-mailed to you (international)… talk to me about scary places and haunted houses. Do you like them? The “real” ones, or the ones set up for holiday festivities. Do you like to be scared? Don’t forget, you can come hang out with Dianna, and a slew of other awesome Featured Authors, at the (totally NOT scary) 2016 Coastal Magic Convention!

 All giveaways this week last from their posting date, through November 1st. Winners will be chosen and notified by email on Monday, November 2nd. All giveaways will be fulfilled by the author. You can find the kickoff post for this year’s Halloween Flash Fiction Blog Event HERE, for a listing of all of this week’s participating authors, many including giveaways. Good Luck, everyone!!

52 Comments

  1. Comment by Candace Fox:

    I had an encounter when I was in the 9th Grade in Charlotte, NC. We just graduated Middle school and a bunch of us when to a house that was reportly haunted. OH My was it. Stair disappearing before your eyes, bloody ice skates hanging from the tree one minute the next minute gone. Not a fan of being scared but that day I was frightened beyond belief. Crazy Day it was… Love the story Dianna, do not put me in the drawing, I have all of you books, printed and ebook, so let someone else discoved the beauty of Dianna Love books. Huggs, Candi

  2. Comment by Suzette Henderson:

    Awesome story I am speechless. Haunted house not my style, my children tease me all the time.They have tried for years they are adults with children, that now try to get grammy to the haunted houses. Not happening 🙂

  3. Comment by Kimber Mirabella:

    Never crossed my mind that would be that character, but I love it!! I’m too be a chicken to have a scary tale of my own though! PS…don’t put my name in for the prize. Just wanted to say awesome story!! 🙂

  4. Comment by Shinsuke fusushi:

    Ah grady,!!! I should have known! Why didnt i know!? Lol. Im disappointed in myself, greatly. But very nice! That was a pretty interesting read! I hate mean people too, it makes no sense to be mean to others. I was always told to treat people the way you want to be treated!

  5. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Wow, what a story, Candi!! Thanks so much for reading and posting. 🙂

  6. Comment by Dianna Love:

    LOL, Suzette – I have never gone looking for haunted things, but they’ve found me, which I’m sure inspired me to write paranormal. 🙂 Thanks for visiting today!

  7. Comment by Dianna Love:

    I got a chuckle out of all the different guesses on our Street Team page, Kimber. 🙂 Thanks for visiting.

  8. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Ah, Shinsuke, you and I think alike. I have no time for mean people and am so glad you enjoyed the story. Thank you for visiting!

  9. Comment by Dorinda Domanick:

    Awesome story…Grady has always been a favorite character of mine. Dianna Love goes to show you that you can take a small character and weave an excellently written big story about him. I was never one for short stories but I loved this one *****

  10. Comment by Sher Giambra:

    Excellent short.. never guessed it would be Grady..And haunted houses? no..lol

  11. Comment by Anita Taylor:

    As soon as I read about the voice I knew who it was! To be honest, I never even thought about Grady and now I feel bad…lol. He really is one of my favorite characters from the book and I am beyond thrilled Diana chose him to write about. Not surprised at all he was there to help the girl out 🙂

  12. Comment by Donna A:

    Love Grady. NO freekin way for haunted houses and me. I am a big ol scaredy cat.

  13. Comment by Mary M.:

    I am a big scardy cat. I do not like scary or haunted places. Love Grady!

  14. Comment by Miss Betty:

    I thought for sure Feenix would put in a Halloween appearance, probably as a scardiee-gargoyle, with a bonding scene with Storm. (hint hint, Dianna! lol)

    Anyway… Cute lil blurd. Yes, I’m a card-carrying believer of things that go bump in the night. I have spirits in my house. I adore, respectfully, haunted houses and do occassionally attend the local seasonal haunts. I find them amusing mostly, but my Boo loves checking out the competitions’ make-up work.

    Scariest real-life one – well, with a ghost – when the wordprocessor floated from the office to slam at my ex’s feet when he sais he “wasn’t doing any more paperwork”. He spent the next 10 hours typing….

    ❤ my Beladors, Dianna!

  15. Comment by DebMarie:

    LOVED IT { <3 }
    Dianna did an AMAZING job with this, Grady is one of my favorite characters in the Belador world. This story shows the depth of his heart.
    THANK YOU DIANNA

  16. Comment by Sherry Arnold:

    Awesome story as always! Scary places? I’ve lived in a few and had more than one conversation with a ghost, if you want to call them that. Some were scary and some not so much. Still, I’d go again and look for places that that seem ‘interesting’.

  17. Comment by Lisa kulow:

    Great story ! Dianna Love, I would be happy to say I guessed it but I didn’t. I love you picked Grady this just adds more dimensions to a character she depends on. Loved it.

  18. Comment by Heathercm2001:

    Dianna thank you for giving us this great Grady story. He’s a great character, and I sometimes forget that with all that excitement happening in your books. 😉

    Apparently, here in Ohio, we have the most haunted houses anywhere. However, I don’t do those. The fright factor does nothing for me. I prefer the really historical places with crazy stories. I’ve done a couple haunted tours, and loved learning the interesting facts and folklore about different places.

  19. Comment by ktomlin8@gmail.com:

    The old State Hospital was a place that was as familiar as it was spooky growing up, at least to my friends. On certain nights lights would appear in a few of the windows. It was accepted as normal until one extremely hot summer with nothing to do and curiosity drew us to the place. The days were too hot to outside, so we spent the nights hanging out until early morning. Seeing the lights we went to check them out. The two rooms on the bottom floor were empty, but the room on the third floor was occupied by an old couple dressed in clothing from the early 20th century. That was enough to send almost everyone home. The five of us that remained stood there watching the couple in their rocking chairs, he was reading the paper as she sat there knitting. At least we assumed he was reading since all we saw was his arms, feet and legs. We never ventured any further into the room as we stood there staring at the woman instead. She was headless. Did we go back? Most definitely. Our next trip we discovered rows of cots neatly made up in the basement, my sister and her bff decided to strip the beds to see what happened. When we checked an hour later, the beds were once again neatly made up. We went back during the day as well. It was 117 degrees F and the outside water pipes had ice on them. We also discovered that all utility services and meters had been removed almost 30 years before after inspecting the rooms to notice that all the wiring had been ripped out of the walls and none of it was connected to a light bulb anywhere in the building. The originally building is now gone thanks to a family who had no idea what they were buying. After building a fabulous three story house on the site, they didn’t last a week there. The house is still for sale 12 years later. When my niece heard the stories, my sister took her to see the house. As my sister pulled up in the circular driveway, the front door opened waiting for her to enter as if she was expected. Did I mention that the door was pad locked from the outside by the realtor company? My sister just waved and drove away. My niece turned around to watch the door close. No one else that has gone to look at the house has had that happen. It wasn’t until my niece was telling me about it that it dawned on me – twenty years later – to wonder why and where the bed linen in the basement had come from. There were no other linens or even curtains in the original building since it was closed and abandoned in the 1950’s. Maybe I’ll be able to return home one of these years and get a chance to enter the new building to ask the questions I should have years ago. After all, the dead do appear and talk to me on a regular basis and have since I was a small child.

  20. Comment by Traci Lecheler:

    I love Grady! No haunted houses since I was about 5 and had the pants scared off me in a tiny carnival one. I’m not much for scary stuff either, except for the original Freddy Krueger movies, which I watched thru my fingers. His wit struck me funny at times.

  21. Comment by Jessica Mobbs:

    Oh I love ALL scary things! Real haunted houses and fun, fake ones during Halloween! My mom raised me on scary movies! The cheesy ones (now to my adult eyes), the gory ones, any and all!
    Thanks for the chance!!

  22. Comment by Mary-Anne M.:

    I never really liked haunted houses but I went with my friend in high school. I was just as scared as the rest of them but I got elected to go first. I still don’t know why I agreed. One of my friends that was with us, got super scared, was hanging on to me from behind so hard she was practically strangling me with my shirt. After someone jumped out and scared her, she screamed my name. So for the last half of the house, all of the people in the house were calling out my name. Every spooky person, was calling my name. It was horrible, I was as close to being in an actual horror movie as someone can get. When we got out of the haunted house, they all thought it was so funny that they were calling my name. I didn’t. On my way home, someone called out my name on a dark street and I jumped. Turned out it was an old friend. That was the last time I went to a haunted house.

  23. Comment by Lyn Martin:

    I lived in a haunted house . . most ppl do not believe me, however, we used to hear someone walking the hallway upstairs, late at night when everyone was asleep and I was in the basement. I also have had the tv turn on and off, channels change, the remote moved from one place to the next when I wasnt looking. Our ghost was a man that used to live in the house who committed suicide in the basement. His spirit stayed. Then 5 years ago my dog Mysti died in the house, her spirit stayed with us. I think she kept the man company because after she died we didnt hear or see as many things but I could always feel Mysti near me. funny thing is we moved to a new house and I still feel her with me. I think she came with me.

    I love Grady, he is a great character in the series. I figured it was him as soon as she felt a presence in the cemetery!

  24. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Hi Dorinda – I have not written many short stories, so I really appreciate the compliment. 🙂 Grady is one of my favorites too. thanks for visiting.

  25. Comment by Dianna Love:

    LOL, Sher – I thought that might surprise a few. Only a couple on our Street Team guessed Grady. Thanks for stopping by!

  26. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Hi Anita and thanks for reading the Belabors. Grady is such a fun character to write. Thanks for coming by!

  27. Comment by Dianna Love:

    I don’t go looking for haunted houses either, Donna! They have found me though in the past. 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

  28. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Hi Mary M – Grady has his own fan club… that scares me, knowing how demanding he can be. lol Thanks for visiting.

  29. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Thanks for sharing that story, Miss Betty. Love that you co-exist with your spirits. They must just love you. I hear your hints on Feenix and can only say… you’ll see more of him and Storm in Rogue Belador. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  30. Comment by Dianna Love:

    ah, Thank you, Deb Marie!! I get so attached to my characters that I’m staring off sometimes and my husband asks what’s on my mind? I have to admit I just realized I’d been listening in on a conversation between Evalle and Grady. He just smiles and hands me a pen because he knows I need to write it down. Thanks for visiting.

  31. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Aha, I knew you were an adventurer at heart, Sherry. That makes for an interesting life. Thanks for coming by!

  32. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Hi Lisa – Yep, I chuckled over the guesses on our Street Team page and thinking if I had shown everyone the “inspiration” picture you would have all picked. Feenix. He was an early thought then I remembered seeing carved gargoyles on a mausoleum in the cemetery and the idea hit me. 🙂

  33. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Hi Heather CM – Glad you enjoyed it. I enjoy ghost tours in each city, but the haunted houses I’ve been in have been by accident. My husband and I were in New England once on a motorcycle trip (think we were in Maine) and ate a wonderful restaurant that had been in this old house for a long time. They had to deal with things being tossed around and dumped on the floor a lot, because it was haunted. There was one very cold area I walked through but no spirit came out to visit, thankfully. 🙂

  34. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Hi KTomlin8 -Thanks for sharing that wonderful story. I’m so glad the spirits were not aggressive over outsiders disturbing their resting place. Sounds like the uninformed family found out quickly about them. That’s happened in more than one place. I recall a huge old mansion on Ponce de Leon (major road through old parts of Atlanta) from back when I first moved here. I asked around about why no one bought it. The place was getting a bit run down looking but it was beautiful architecture. I finally found out the house had been haunted for a long time and the family gave up trying to sell it. They had too difficult a time just showing it. I never got the entire story but now I’m thinking I may make that one of my research trips. Thanks!

  35. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Hi Traci – I can’t believe after being scared at a carnival you can watch Freddy Krueger! I avoid those movies for the same reason I can’t read Stephen King’s horror stories. I have so much respect for his ability that I know I would never sleep again. 🙂 I’m too afraid what my creative mind would do with that kind of input. Glad you came by.

  36. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Hi Jessica – Usually when I hear someone say they love all things scary, they were raised on it so it fits that your mom introduced you to it. You’re the person they create those very real Halloween events for. Thanks for visiting.

  37. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Hi Mary-Anne M – Whoa, that would do it for me too. I think I’d start plotting their demise after something like that. lol As I mentioned earlier, I don’t go looking for scary things, but they tend to find me on their own. Thanks for visiting.

  38. Comment by MichelleMB:

    Loved the short story. Grady is such a sweetie underneath the exterior he shows.

    Scary is not really my thing. I’ll vist the haunted house at Hallowe’en, but I know that’s not real so it’s ok. We have a reportedly real haunted house in our city, the Marr Residence, and the cemetary which I only live a block away from but would never go at night. “Woodlawn Cemetery is another popular place for stories about hauntings. The cemetery was established in Saskatoon in 1905. A ghost of an old woman has been spotted floating through the cemetery between graves at night. The cemetery is also home to a malevolent presence. This presence materializes as a man with a long, dark ponytail and eyes that glow either green or red.” Just reading that is scary enough for me without trying to see it LOL.

  39. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Oh, Lyn, what a sweet story about your house ghost and your dog. It’s nice to show different types of spirits through relating these encounters. Thanks for sharing.

  40. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Thanks, MichelleMB – Grady is just marshmallow when it comes to watching out for those he cares about. Wow, that’s quite an active spirit area in your town. I can appreciate the ‘just tell me about it, I don’t need to see first hand’ feeling with malevolent spirit involved. Thanks for visiting!

  41. Comment by Melissa:

    Grady! So awesome!!! I’ve never been to a haunted house before but as much creepy stuff I’ve experienced, I wouldn’t want to. Let me share my experience at my local cemetery in my hometown in Mexico….. After burying my beloved grampa, we can hear groans coming from his vault. When my gramma would visit his grave, my sister would clearly hear his voice say her name.:( she just passed away this February and I haven’t gone back since then

  42. Comment by Teresa Hubbatd:

    Verdon Manor in Terrell Texas. They chain saw a and the house itself decapitated someone in a convertible. Lance Pope the owner was found dead at the kitchen table in his home working on new attractions for the Haunted House. My youngest daughter dated Lance so that how we got to know him and the story.

  43. Comment by Cheryl Abeyta:

    I have never been to a “real” haunted house and the set up ones aren’t too bad. I enjoy walking in cemeteries, love looking at the head stones and engravings

  44. Comment by Adria Kovaly:

    Grady’s awesome! Thanks for sharing him with us!

    As for scary, it’s not exactly my bag. I like suspense, but I hate being scared and I can’t stand gore. Once in a blue moon I’ll watch a scary movie (GF and I are planning on going to see Crimson Peak, wherein I will be hiding in her shoulder the whole time.) That said, though *insert Cowardly Lion voice* I do believe in spooks, I do believe in spooks. I’ve had a couple of encounters in my house where I’ve heard people who weren’t there calling my name in the middle of the night (when everyone else has been asleep). Nothing more than that, but still, firm belief that we’re not alone over here.

  45. Comment by Teresa Kleeman:

    Hi Dianna,

    I love the story about Grady. And it sounded so much like him. He doesn’t ever like mean people. You know I coordinate the charity event for the Vampire Ball every Halloween. So usually I spend my Halloweens there. New Orleans is one of the most Haunted Places in the world. They are ranked second in one of the travel guides.
    A bunch of friends and I decided to do the Vampire tour. While we go to this house in the quarter to a suppose accursed Vampire. I decided to take a picture of the house. In front of me the only people that was there was my friends. Our guide was telling us how this man jumped from the 2nd floor balcony and escaped when people came to arrest him. When the mob burst in the house he was over a victim drinking her blood.

    It’s believed he went to London, and not long after that Jack The Ripper was notorious. They said this man was Jack The Ripper for he was a doctor. Now the picture I took I went to develop it. When it was processed I’m looking at my friends backs in the picture, however theirs another person in the picture that wasn’t originally in my picture when I snapped it. This was a lady dressed in Victorian clothing she had a green hat on with ostrich feathers decorating it. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. I realize this person was a ghost. I a little scared but more excited by catching her on my film.
    Please don’t enter me in the contest. Just wanted to have fun and check out the story. Happy Halloween everyone.

  46. Comment by Dina S:

    hi Dianna, I do not like to be really scared, esp if it could happen in real life, I do however like paranormal stuff, so I am strange 😉

  47. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Hi Melissa – Whoa, what a heartwarming, yet spooky, tale to relate. That’s one for the grandkids for sure!!

  48. Comment by Dianna Love:

    HI Teresa H – Yikes, that would turn your hair white. It’s amazing who we meet and find out more about later. Thanks!

  49. Comment by Dianna Love:

    I love walking through cemeteries, too, Cheryl, but I try to do it during the day. It just seems to me like the spirits move around more at a night. thanks!

  50. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Thank you, Adria. Grady is such a fun character for me to spend time with and he surprises me all the time. I wish I could read horror like Stephen King’s but my mind would keep up all night coming up with new scenarios. 🙂 So I don’t watch it either.

  51. Comment by Dianna Love:

    Hi Teresa K – You should post that picture on our Street Team page!!! We’d love to see it. Yes, the Big Easy is loaded with spirits. I’m looking forward to going there in Jan for Karen Marie Moning’s event. She and her asst Leiha are dear friends. I’m really tickled my hubby is going. I may look into a ghost tour for then, too. thanks!!

  52. Comment by Dianna Love:

    LOL, Dina – you’re not strange. You’re my kind of people. 🙂 I don’t go looking for scary things, but they tend to happen to me at times.

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