Age Range: 12 and up
Approx. Length: 7,515 Words
Two unlucky individuals find themselves trapped in a haunted house, where the spirits are more than restless. They’re very disturbed.
A man learns that his family’s fortune is cursed when his grandfather sends him to an old manor on a pretense. A black cat curiously enters the same house through a window. They will soon meet the resident spooks, generations of ghouls who are as stuck there as them . . . and even more unhappy. The man and the cat are used to feeling unwelcome, but this place is downright hostile! There are more than just termites lurking within these walls, and getting out alive may require some sacrifice.
Lori R. Lopez is the author of Leery Lane, The Dark Mister Snark, An Ill Wind Blows, Darkverse: The Shadow Hours, Old Bogey, The Devil’s Irony, The Sea Spirit and more. Look for her ghost collection Spooktacular Tales, featuring Spooked!
The door fell in, stirring layers of dust and soot. Coughing, fanning the air, he faltered on its threshold. He should just take off.
~ from Spooked
HE CREPT THROUGH a half-open window, springing to a dusty floor, silent and cautious as a cat. Until today he had skirted this drab and treacherous domain, relying on instinct as cats tended to do. But he was curious, as cats could be, what interesting wonders might lie within. And so he entered — for curiosity will overrule instinct, as any cat can tell you.
Right away he regretted the decision. Stupid cat! The window guillotined down and he was trapped — eyes mournful, round as milk saucers, peering up from a shadowy cell. There was no choice other than to explore.
It appeared a typical playground of clutter. No need for apprehension. There could even be a mouse in store. A stray, the slender creature ached with hunger during the famines between meals. He comforted the fiery pit by seeking amusement along with sustenance. Poking his stubby snout into each mysterious ratty corner, he stalked with the avidness of a born snoop. His stomach was more impatient. Food food food! it clamored.
Cobwebs adorned whiskers both beside an alert nose and above the feline’s inquisitive orbs as he investigated a noise, fur bristling. It was nothing. Agile feet bounded up a tangle of chairs stacked in a ray of glare from the street. The sculpture shifted and he yowled, then landed on his toes amidst a swirl of dust-motes.
“Casper Bledsoe was challenged by his grandfather Horace to restore their ancestral home. Not that Casper needed his approval any longer, but he most certainly wanted a part of the inheritance and he thought this was the way to get some. However, Horace actually has a sinister plan. To make things more terrifying, Casper gets trapped in that house with the ghost of his namesake and great-grandfather, among many other spirits. Meanwhile, a black cat in search of food winds up getting trapped in the mansion, too. Spooked by Lori R. Lopez reveals the experiences of Casper and the black cat through their own narration.
The way Spooked is written is beautiful. It’s an art itself. Lori R. Lopez has a distinctive way of writing that can become her trademark. It’s fluid, appealing and rich in context. I was already interested the moment I started reading the first sentence, and I couldn’t stop because I might have missed a beat. That’s the effect. The story just makes you want to go on reading to find out what’s happening, what will be the next move, where will this lead, will this have a happy ending for the characters or… what? One can’t simply just put it down and leave things hanging. The twists and turns of the story line will affect you in every way. Despite all these, the plot isn’t so complicated that it leaves you scratching your head in bewilderment. It is straight to the point but still really interesting. You’ll feel spooked, definitely. It’s one for your shelves because Spooked is really a must-read paranormal story!”
Reviewed by Trisha Dawn for Readers’ Favorite; Barnes & Noble Review
“Thought Provoking Story
Spooked is a tale of the uncomfortable. It blends a cat and a man into a horror story about dwellings, family, life, and what comes after. It is a beautifully crafted vignette, I enjoyed immensely.”
Bernard Lee DeLeo
“I have read many of Lori’s works, and this might be my favorite one yet. Some readers claim that Lori’s stories are difficult to get into. I think this is due to her writing style, which isn’t for everyone, but I consider it a thing of beauty. Lori is a talented poet, and this comes across in her prose writing as well. She has a great feel for imagery. As far as the story goes, we are presented with two viewpoints as the tale unfolds — one being a black cat named Mister Whiskers or Jinx (just a couple of his nicknames) and a young male named Casper Bledsoe. These two characters eventually cross paths, one ultimately aiding the other in a time of need. Dark family secrets come to light and human and feline both find themselves fighting for their lives. It’s a nice mixture of horror and humor, and I thought the cat scenes were cute, especially the unexpected — but perfect — ending.”
Kevin M. Hopson
DARKNESS ABOUND BLOG; Amazon Review
“It appears that LRL talent has now transcended to another species! As she gets inside the head of a cat at the beginning of this tale. On the flip side of this story is Casper Bledsoe, a “bad’un” according to his family; yet to fulfil his destiny. The staccato pace of this story really lends itself to the rising anticipation and tension. As the abused puss, with such a sad back story, runs terrified through the house poor Casper must face his family history and try to live up to their expectations of him. As two angry predecessors fight it out, crockery goes a flying! Both cat and Casper come to a timely end, just not the one I expected! Another brilliant twist in the cat tail from the great LRL.”