Genre: YA Mystery
Word Count: 55,000
There are ten rules to ghost hunting and seventeen-year-old Ivory Jack knows them all.
Being a medium means two things for Ivory, the living avoid her in school halls and the dead sit on the end of her bed. Instead of hiding her gift, she starts Jack & Sprat Incorporated, a paranormal investigative group specializing in sending ghosts back where they belong.
When Ivory gets a bite for her first paid job, she jumps on it, even though it’s to the most haunted house in Central Illinois. As if listening to local rumors about baby sacrifices aren’t enough, the job takes a turn for the creepy when a powerful ghost traps them inside the house.
Rule Number Nine: ghosts always attach themselves to an object. If Ivory can find the object and torch it, they’re free. The only problem is, she doesn’t know which spirit is the primary haunter extraordinaire. To make matters worse, Ivory’s ex-best friend, Roger, gets his stupid self stuck inside with them. The last thing Ivory needs is Roger being an ass while she is trying to save everyone else’s. The closer Ivory gets to uncovering the mystery of the house, the more violent the ghosts become. If she doesn’t find the who behind the haunting, the entire group could be the manor’s next victims.
I ignore the dented ‘No Trespassing’ sign and step over the low chain fence blocking the back access road. Everyone and their dog (and I literally mean their dog) knows that Mr. Tompson doesn’t care who walks down the gravel lane near his field. A massive combine looms ahead like a metal monster with enormous teeth. If I wasn’t used to seeing dripping corpses at the end of my bed, I might think it was kind of scary.
Harvest season has suddenly become my least favorite time of year. Now that people at school know I can talk to ghosts, they all want me to do some pre-Halloween investigation. So instead of baking pumpkin pie and watching scary movies, I’m up until the ass-crack of dawn trying to find somewhere haunted around Charon so my classmates can throw a Halloween kegger at a genuine haunted house. Not exactly my idea of fun, especially since I know I won’t be invited.
“Are you guys coming or what?” I ask.
“Jesus, Ivory, don’t rush us. We don’t want to damage any of the equipment,” my youngest sister, Vi, says.
“I just stepped in dog shit. Freaking disgusting,” my other sister, Addie, groans and lugs a heavy camera case over the fence.
I shake my head, looking down the long road. Rumor has it the devil himself haunts the lane. Somehow, I very much doubt that’s true, but the biggest stoner in school paid me fifty bucks to check the lane for ghosts and demons. I didn’t bother mentioning ghosts can’t haunt roads.