Do You Believe in Ghosts?
“Do you believe in ghosts?”
It was a simple question, asked by a girl as we waited for the jalopy that would transport us to our middle school.
I shifted nervously, well aware the other kids at the bus stop lingered impatiently for my response. I was the new kid, having just moved in the middle of my eighth grade year from an impoverished and crime-ridden city to a middle class neighborhood where my family and I were the only minorities. I felt the need to make a good impression. Should I wow them with my knowledge about the supernatural? I thought. Would that make me look cool?
Being of Latin descent, I had more tales than I could count racing in my head about dead beings who made their way back among the living. The first story that came to mind was the night the spirit of Death had come to claim my father.
My father was thirteen, homeless, and struggling to survive in El Salvador. One night, his older sister took pity on him and told him he could sleep in the hammock on her patio. The road leading to my aunt’s house was nothing more than a wide dirt path with only the illumination of the moon to guide my father’s way. Each side of the road was lined with miles of rusted barb wire fencing to keep the farm animals in, and intruders out. My father walked in the middle of the road. He knew very well that the center of the road was always the safest place to walk once the sun disappeared and darkness claimed the land. Creatures of the shadows could not lure him into the clutches of the devil if he stayed in the middle. He knew that, and so did any self-respecting, God-fearing, El Salvadorian.
As he walked, sheep followed him along the fence―sheep that cried like wailing infants and whose eyes glowed red as fire. My father hurried ahead, keeping his focus forward and away from the sheep that scampered on either side of him and taunted him with their frightful bays.
My father’s terror and the persistence of the terrorizing sheep made him race faster and faster until he rounded the bend and onto my aunt’s property. The haunting cries of the sheep ended almost the moment his foot touched my aunt’s land. The silence should have comforted my father. Yet it didn’t. He knew he was being watched. And the sudden silence of the crickets and the toads in the nearby stream told him that what sought him was more terrifying than what had lurked behind the barbwire fence.
The lights were off in my aunt’s house, signaling those inside had retired for the evening. Despite my father’s fear, he did not wake his sister, worried that the disruption would anger her and he would be forced back onto the dark road and to his end.
The only sound was my father’s rapid breathing and the growls of my aunt’s vicious dogs as he passed them. He slipped into the hammock and waited, at first too terrified to close his eyes. Eventually, his malnourished and exhausted body claimed him and he fell asleep, only to be awakened by the howls and whimpers of the vicious dogs that guarded my aunt’s home.
My father’s eyes shot open. A man my father described as made of malice and shadows lurked beneath a palm tree, watching my father as the dogs trembled and whined, terrified to approach the being without a face and without a soul.
“Who was he?” I remembered asking.
“Death,” my father had answered. “Death had come to claim me.”
My father prayed hard and fast, as quickly as his quivering lips could move. And still Death watched, and waited, feasting on my father’s terror. My father closed his eyes, begging God to help him. He opened them and found Death had moved closer. He shut his eyes again, his blood turning to ice as he continued his prayers. Once more, Death advanced closer. My father persisted, calling to God and beseeching the Holy Spirit to save him from the dark one that now stood on the patio, mere steps from my father.
He prayed, one last time, with the last breath he thought he would ever take. When he opened his eyes Death was gone.
My father’s face had paled and his voice shook as he spoke, remembering. I believed I trumped his pallor, and I only didn’t tremble because you need a pulse to do so and I could swear my heart had stopped beating.
“Do you believe in ghosts?” the girl asked once more, interrupting my thoughts.
I looked her square in the eye. “Nope,” I answered.
Interview with Cecy
Conducted by Carolyn
Hi Cecy, thanks so much for answering our questions today – it’s wonderful to have you as part of our All Hallows Eve event.
Thank you for having me, Carolyn. I’m excited. If I were a werewolf, I would be wagging my tail right now.
You have a new urban fantasy coming out, SEALED WITH A CURSE. Can you tell us a bit about the book, the characters and what’s in store for us?
SEALED WITH A CURSE is my debut novel about four unique sister who’ve obtained their powers as a result of a backfired curse placed on their Latina mother. Celia is the eldest and the family’s protector. She can change into a golden tigress and shift underground like sand through a colander. Although physically strong, unlike a werebeast, Celia cannot heal. A mortal wound can kill her and loss of limbs is permanent. Taran is the siren and the hothead of the group. She can release her power in the form of fire and lightning and influence humans to some extent. Her actions and mouth usually land the sisters in trouble. Shayna is a master of weaponry with the rare talent of manipulating alloys. She can also transform pieces of wood into razor sharp weapons so long as she’s holding or wearing a metal. Emme is a powerful telekinetic with the ability to heal. Fatal wounds or beings near death are beyond Emme’s ability to save.
After years of being ostracized by human society, the sisters move to the mystical region of Lake Tahoe—an area densely populated with preternaturals and one in the middle of a dangerous bloodlust epidemic in SEALED WITH A CURSE. There’s a sneak peek at my “weird” world in THE WEIRD GIRLS, my prequel novella, in which the sisters take on a clan of witches in order to earn their right to stay in Tahoe.
What do you think is unique about your heroine, Celia Wird?
Celia is not your typical kick-ass heroine. She doesn’t spew snarky remarks nor does she enjoy being the center of attention. Most of her ROTFLMAO comments occur in her head or the way she tells her story. She will take on anyone and anything that threatens her family, despite her fears. That being said, she is disastrous with males and spends most of her Saturday nights shoving ice cream down her throat while watching old TV shows.
How much of your personality bleeds into your characters?
Each carries a bit of my personality, though none of the sisters are exactly like me. Emme mirrors my shyness. Shayna’s perky side reminds me of my own. Taran is that part me that wakes up swearing. And Celia . . . Celia carries my heart.
What’s your favourite snack while writing?
Since I’m a “picker” I usually like to keep grapes on hand. Usually, though, I end up eating popcorn sprinkled with chocolate-covered raisins.
If you hadn’t become a writer, what would you have done for a living?
As a debut author, I don’t make a living writing—yet. Currently I’m a labor and delivery nurse.
If you could be ANYONE for just one day, who would you want to be and why?
I actually like being me, despite my growing list of imperfections. : D In my fantasies, however, I’m Natalie Portman in the THOR movie. Chris Hemsworth can’t get enough of me—in my dreams, I mean.
What was the last book you bought? Did you love it or hate it?
Gunmetal Magic was the last novel I bought and read. I LOVED it. I just purchased Breed, but I haven’t started reading it yet.
What’s your favourite TV show right now?
Teen Wolf on MTV. Can you sense a theme here?
If you could be a supernatural creature, what would you be?
Oh, what a fun question! Hmmm, I guess something fierce with the ability to fly—like an avenging angel or a sexy gargoyle. I tell you, Carolyn, I could do with some six-pack abs.
And of course, as it’s All Hallows Eve month, we can’t end the interview without asking, do you celebrate halloween? If so, how do you celebrate – do you dress up, eat lots of candy, go trick or treating? ;D
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I celebrate by going trick or treating with my kids. I enjoy dressing up. My favorite costume—although embarrassing at the time—was the year I went as a dragon and my husband was a knight. I had to squeeze into a kid’s Jurassic Park T-Rex costume and my dog attacked my tail.
Thanks so much, Cecy, and best of luck with your debut
Thank you, Carolyn. I appreciate you having me!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cecy (pronounced Sessy) Robson is a full-time writer, registered nurse, wife, and mother living in the Great Northwest. She attributes her passion for story-telling back to the rough New Jersey neighborhood she was raised in. As a child, she was rarely allowed to leave the safety of her house and passed her time fantasizing about flying, fairies, and things that go bump in the night.
Her dad unwittingly encouraged Cecy’s creativity by kissing her goodnight wearing vampire fangs. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, she began writing her first urban fantasy series, Weird Girls, in May 2009.
ABOUT THE PREQUEL eNOVELLA: The Wird sisters are different from every race on earth – human and supernatural. When human society is no longer an option for them, they move in among the resident vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region. Could this be the true home they’ve longed for? Um, not quite.
After the sisters accidentally strip a witch of her powers in a bar brawl, they soon realize the mistake will cost them. Because to take on a witch means to take on her coven. And losing the battle isn’t an option. Includes a preview of the first full-length novel in the Weird Girls series, Sealed with a Curse—as well as introductions to the Weird World, and a letter from the author.
ABOUT THE BOOK: Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other 20-something girls—with one tiny exception: they’re products of a backfired curse that has given each of them unique powers that make them, well, weird… The Wird sisters are content to avoid the local vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region—until one of them blows up a vampire in self-defense. Everyone knows vampires aren’t aggressive, and killing one is punishable by death. But soon more bloodlust-fueled attacks occur, and the community wonders: are the vampires of Tahoe cursed with a plague?
Celia reluctantly agrees to help Misha, the handsome leader of an infected vampire family. But Aric, the head of the werewolf pack determined to destroy Misha’s family to keep the region safe, warns Celia to stay out of the fight. Caught between two hot alphas, Celia must find a way to please everyone, save everyone, and oh yeah, not lose her heart to the wrong guy—or die a miserable death. Because now that the evil behind the plague knows who Celia is, it’s coming for her and her sisters. This Wird girl has never had it so tough.
BUY THE BOOK