The Wardstone Chronicles

Book No: 07 of 13

The SPooK’S NigHTMaRE

War ravages the County and the Spook, Tom and Alice must flee. They become refugees on the Isle of Mona, to the northwest.

But they are in great danger there because the island is in turmoil. Suspected witches are being tested and, if found guilty, fed to the buggane, a daemon that haunts a ruined chapel near Greeba Keep. They also face the wrath of Lord Barrule, a powerful shaman who is in league with the buggane. But then the real terror begins. Bony Lizzie is at large once more and vows vengeance on the Spook, intent on repaying him for the years she’s spent imprisoned in the pit in his garden.

Extract 1

“So a real County witch came ashore,” said the Spook. “One or more?”

He shrugged. “Who knows but there were two men dead and it gave the Ruling Council just the excuse they needed to authorise the testing. As for returning the rest of the refugees to the County, you can hardly fault that either. The last thing they want is to be invaded too.”

“And thumb-bones were taken, you say?”

“Aye, and both fishermen were dead and drained of blood. Their throats had been cut.”

Extract 2

“Me and Tom are good friends,” Alice retorted. “Friendship’s something you know nothing about. Eating rats and killing people – that’s all you’re good for. Why did I have to have a mother like you?  Couldn’t get a man worth having, could you? So you settled for the Fiend!”

Lizzie’s expression hardened and she glared at Alice. “I’ve had men but none of ‘em have lasted very long. They like pretty young girls, they do. Girls hardly out of their teens. Know why? Because they’re scared. Scared of a real woman in her prime. They look at me, see what I am and run back to their mothers. Know how old I am, girl?”

Alice shook her head and squeezed my hand again.

“I turned forty, just a week ago. A witch comes into her prime at forty. Inherits her full power. Now I’ve got the strength to deal with anybody. You, daughter, could be even stronger one day.” She gave me an evil smile staring straight into my eyes. “Know what Alice is, boy? She’s my gift to the County…”

Author’s Comments:

Once again, the unexpected has happened. Lord Barrule, the shaman, was meant to be the main villain but then Bony Lizzie escaped from her pit and took over.