by Candy McMudd
Youth Novel (age 8 to 14)
Quarter Castle Publishing
Published: December 14, 2010
ISBN (Paperback; Standard; 175 pages): 978-0-9868089-0-6
6 x 9 inches
ISBN (eBook; approximately 32,082 words): 978-0-9868089-2-0
Prim, Ellis, Henry and Shona stumble onto the biggest mystery in Cranberry Cove. Together, they must face their fears to save their beloved island and find their missing uncle. But the ghost in Prim’s dream threatens to become real, and a mysterious neighbour turns up when they least expect him. Is he there to help? Or is the creepy man behind their uncle’s disappearance and the mystery light haunting Cranberry Cove?
Darkness swallowed Prim. If not for the sound of crashing waves, she’d have forgotten she stood on the shoreline of Cranberry Cove.
Where was Ellis? Her heart beat faster. Her cousin had been standing beside her when the warm rush of murky air blew over her, stealing the afternoon light.
“Ellis!” Prim waited for an answer, but heard only wind and water. She was about to cry out again when she felt a coolness pool around her bare feet. She jumped back, slipped on seaweed and fell hard on her butt. The impact shook her bones and created a white cloud that swirled in the darkness.
Prim scrambled to her feet. Again she cried out for her cousin. She peered into the white cloud, hoping to find him. When she didn’t, she frantically pushed the cloud aside, but the more she waved her arms, the faster the cloud turned. When she looked down, the water was up to her knees.
“Ellis, where are you?” She noticed a shadow coming out of the spinning cloud. She forced a smile. At least she wasn’t alone anymore. “Ellis? I thought you were lost.”
She reached out to him, but jerked her hand back; it wasn’t Ellis! A ghostly figure stared down at her with black hollow eyes. White flowers fell from the pockets of its baggy shirt and drifted down to float on the water.
The ghost reached for her. Prim rushed backwards, stumbled and fell. Salty water washed over her, filling her mouth. She spit and sputtered as she tried to rise to the surface. The waves tumbled her across the sand and seaweed as if she were a plastic bottle, bobbing in the surf.
Prim slammed into a boulder. A wave heaved her over the top. She clung there, waiting to catch her breath. She looked for the ghostly figure, but it was gone. Something touched her arm. She whirled around; it was Ellis!
“What are you doing?” Her cousin looked at her strangely.
“I was . . .” Prim looked around. The dark fog had disappeared. The shore was brightly lit with afternoon sunshine. “I was looking for you.” She sat up and took a deep breath. “Did you see him? Did you see the ghost?”
“Ghost? I didn’t see anything. Why did you run from me?”
Run from you? . . . “Did you see the darkness? The white cloud?”
Ellis raised his eyebrows and gawked at her. “Did you bang your head?”
Prim jumped off the rock and flung her arms in the air.
“The ghost! It was right there!” She pointed to the spot on the shore where the ghost had stood. She wasn’t crazy. She knew what she saw. “It scared me. I fell. I got caught up on the water and . . .” She felt her T-shirt; it was dry. “But . . .”
“Maybe we should go home.”
“Yeah . . . I don’t . . .” She looked up at him. “You’re sure? You didn’t see anything?”
Ellis shook his head. “Nothing.” He reached out and held her hand. “Do you think you can make it, or should I run and get your mom?”
“I’ll be fine.” Prim replayed the scene in her mind. What had happened to her? Why had she believed the sky had gone dark and a ghost had appeared? Why didn’t Ellis see it? She looked back as he led her away from the shoreline. What was that in the water? White foam? She ran to it.
White flower petals floated on the water. They were the same as those which had fallen from the ghost’s pockets. Her heart began to beat fast. The ghost had been real!
Prim shook herself awake. She sat upright in her bed, gripping her chest. It had been a dream . . . only a dream. A nightmare. She searched the small room of the cottage for any signs of a ghost. In the darkness, there was nothing to see. She heard the steady breathing of her younger brother, Henry, and her cousin, Shona. They were both sleeping in their bunks.
Prim pulled open the window curtain by her bed and looked outside. A slither of moon twinkled on Cranberry Cove. For several minutes, she searched the calm water and the shoreline, but nothing moved.
Satisfied there was no ghost, Prim snuggled beneath the warm blankets and closed her eyes. She was tired from travelling all day and needed sleep if she was to enjoy her first day in Cranberry Cove.