Vampires and werewolves may rule the media these days, but ghosts will never fade away. Feel the emptiness, the presence, the sense that someone is looking just over your shoulder as you get into bed at night. What haunts will visit you in your sleep?
Ghosts are everywhere: they haunt the movies we watch, the dreams we keep, and the places we choose to visit or re-visit. Ghosts are history. They are searching for a way to repeat what they’ve done already, or to try things they have never done before. In these seductive stories, characters revisit, or are visited by, old friends who were dying to be lovers, or old lovers of family, or ghosts attracted to strangers.
Like a Chill Down Your Spine: Erotic Ghost Stories includes contributions by Pushcart Prize nominee Trish DeVene, Angela Goldsberry, T.C. Mill, Annabeth Leong, Kimber Vale, David Hubbard, and Cristofer Darius Arthur. Come experience the erotic thrill of the ghostly at the hands of these fiction maestros.
Look under the cut for a hot excerpt!
from Civil Unrest by Angela Goldsberry
“I hate to do this without your permission, Caleb,” she said softly, “but you leave me no choice.”
She walked over to the fireplace and jiggled free a loose hearth stone. Reaching into the void, she retrieved a key. She replaced the stone and climbed the ladder to the loft. In the corner sat an old wooden chest. She fit the key into the lock and opened it.
Inside were a variety of small pouches, vials, and other things. Dauphine’s things. Voodoo things. Posey gathered up what she needed and relocked the chest. Not that it would keep looting soldiers from busting it open, but she wasn’t about to make it easy for them. She bundled the items in her dress and climbed back down the ladder.
Settling in her rocker, she paused to take inventory of the items in her lap. Was she really going to do this? Dauphine had always handled the spells. Posey was just the apprentice. She let out a small sob as the memories suddenly came rushing back.
Posey had lost her husband, Claude, at the beginning of the war, almost three years ago, when he’d gone north to fight with the Union. After word got out that Claude Montaigne wouldn’t be returning to Avoyelles Parish, the local slave owners–who had no tolerance for abolitionists–branded Posey a voodoo witch, seized her plantation, and drove her into the bayou. She managed to escape with her life and her freedwoman maid, Dauphine. They were led by other escaped slaves to the abandoned cabin where she now lived. The women stayed alive by exchanging Dauphine’s voodoo for protection and necessities from anyone foolish enough to brave the bayou in search of La Petit Mambo. Posey spent the next two years learning the art of healing from the little voodoo priestess and eventually earned her own name–Sòsyè Blan.
When Dauphine died of pneumonia this past winter, Posey lost the only person left on earth who cared for her. She continued living in the bayou alone, her fearsome reputation as the White Witch keeping her mostly isolated–until two nights ago when the Caldwell brothers had either the good sense or the horrible desperation to seek her counsel.
Posey steeled herself. She could do this! Dauphine had taught her well. She took a black candle from her skirt, lit it, and sat it on the bedside table. Taking a vial of cypress oil, she poured a small amount into her palm and then rubbed her hands together. She made a cross with the oil on the candle, on Caleb’s forehead and lips, and over each of the bandaged wounds on his abdomen.
“Papa Legba,” she whispered, remembering the sacred names that Dauphine taught her, “Papa Gede, hear my prayer. Heal this man whom I have anointed in your name.”
She looked up at the ceiling as if an answer might be forthcoming. Receiving none, she tried to remember what to do next.
“The poppet,” she grumbled, realizing the oversight. “I have to make the poppet.”
But in order to make the poppet, or voodoo doll, as it was known to most people, she needed two relatively straight sticks to form the foundation of the body. She looked apprehensively toward the bolted door. Going out into the bayou at night was never wise, but it was looking like she might have to. She started to rise from her chair and then it came to her. The knitting needles!
She reached into the basket beside her chair and pulled out the wooden needles. Perfect! She wouldn’t be able to use them again as she would have to burn the poppet after the magic had run its course, but it was a sacrifice she was willing to make.
Quickly, Posey assembled the poppet exactly as Dauphine had taught her. She bound the needles together in the shape of a cross. She wrapped the cross in some dried Spanish moss, sprinkled the moss with some herbs, and then wrapped that in some strips of cloth from Caleb’s tattered shirt. Finally it was time for the pins. She opened a tin of long straight pins with colored glass heads. One by one, she stuck them into the abdomen of the poppet: green for tranquility, red for strength, white for energy. Then she stuck three black pins into the poppet where the wounds were to relieve Caleb’s pain and speed healing. When she finished, she placed the poppet under Caleb’s pillow.
“Papa Legba, Papa Gede,” Posey called, “hear my prayer. Heal this man. He is not ready to cross over. Give him more time in this world. Don’t let him die… please.” Her voice cracked. She didn’t know why, but she wanted very much for Caleb to live. She wiped away a tear on her cheek and put away the voodoo things.
Before she knew it, it was bedtime. Posey considered this dilemma thoughtfully: where was she going to sleep? Caleb occupied–no, consumed–her featherbed. Even if she were daring enough to lie down next to him, propriety be damned, they would never both fit in the modest structure unless they were practically on top of one another. She looked dubiously at the rocker. Her stiff neck told her she couldn’t tolerate another night there. The loft was out as well; she wanted to be near Caleb in case he regained consciousness and… well, just because.
“I guess that leaves the floor,” she muttered.
Posey gathered up a few quilts and made herself a little nest on the wooden boards. She checked Caleb once more before taking up residence next to him. He was burning with fever and tossing restlessly beneath the covers. Every now and then, she could hear him mumble a few words, none of which she could decipher except for “Jonah.” Most likely he was reliving the horrific episode that landed him here.
“You poor man,” Posey whispered, snuffing out the lamp on the bedside table. Snuggling down into her quilt, she watched Caleb as he slept, his profile visible in the firelight of the hearth. She wished there was more she could do for him, wished she could find a way to ease his suffering. At a loss, she did the only thing she could. She reached up and gently took his hand in hers. She smoothed her thumb back and forth over the rough knuckles and tried to will peace and health upon him. Sooner than she expected, the exhaustion of caring for Caleb caught up with her and she was asleep.
Sometime in the middle of the night, Posey thought she heard a voice talking to her. “The floor is no place for you,” it said.
Posey was certain the voice was quite real, but she was so tired that she couldn’t be bothered to be alarmed or to even open her eyes. Instead she answered as if she were not at all surprised. “Can’t both fit…” she murmured. “Caleb’s too big.”
“I’m sure I’m just right for you, Miz Posey Montaigne,” came the reply.
Through her sleep, Posey could feel the heat rise to her cheeks and pool between her legs. She knew the voice was Caleb’s and she also knew exactly what he was insinuating. And even though it was highly improper, Posey relished the thought. Then it occurred to her that Caleb Caldwell could not possibly be speaking to her. He was unconscious, in the throes of a raging fever. She must be dreaming! That’s it, she realized, this was all a dream. And if she were dreaming, she reasoned, then playing along would be perfectly acceptable. No one would ever be the wiser.
“Yes,” she agreed sleepily, “just right.”
Posey had a sensation of floating and then coming to rest on a fluffy cloud of goose down. The mattress sank under the weight of another body and she felt herself being wrapped in a pair of strong arms. She melted into the chest pressed against her back and, feeling safe and content, drifted back into slumber.
(To read the rest, buy the book today!)
A well-told ghost story should send a chill--or a thrill--to your very core. In the erotic landscape of the supernatural, who better to bring that thrill than ethereal spirits, the shades of unfulfilled lovers, or the poltergeists of mischief? Stories by Pushcart Prize nominee Trish DeVene, Angela Goldsberry, T.C. Mill, Annabeth Leong, Kimber Vale, David Hubbard, and Cristofer Darius Arthur.