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QUEEN OF THE DEAD
by Stacey Kade

Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult

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On television, ghost-talkers run antique stores, solve crimes or stand on a stage in a nice suit giving the teary-eyed audience a toothy, yet sympathetic grin.

I, however, was entering my second hour of hiding in a prickly tangle of brush with an increasingly cranky spirit guide, all for a ghost who might not even show up.

The Gibley Mansion in Decatur’s historic district had been falling down for years. But it was officially scheduled to be torn down tomorrow morning, which meant tonight was Mrs. Ruiz’s last chance to make peace with the place where she’d served as a housekeeper for most of her life. So, we were waiting (and waiting and waiting) for her on the east side of the house, in the former rose garden, where she’d keeled over twenty some years ago while digging a hole for a new bush.

Unfortunately, ghosts don’t always do what you expect.

“Can we go now?” Alona nudged me, sounding annoyed. “I have to pee.”

Case in point.

I just looked at her. Since she hadn’t had anything to eat or drink in well over a month, I seriously doubted that was a genuine concern. Besides which, I hadn’t ever heard of any ghosts visiting a bathroom, unless of course, they’d died there. (No, I’ve never met Elvis, but it’s an educated guess.)

Alona tried again. “I’m cold?”

That was at least possible, especially given what she was wearing. Alona Dare, former Homecoming Queen, varsity cheerleading co-captain, fashionista and mean girl supreme of Groundsboro High, had died in her gym clothes—short red shorts and a cheap white t-shirt. If you don’t believe in karma, that alone should give you cause for reconsideration.