Last year I introduced you to Tony-Paul de Vissage and his book Essence of Absinthe. Today Tony returns with a sneak peek into book 3 of his trilogy, Absinthe Eternal so please welcome him back!
It’s said the spirit of Absinthe, accursed son of the original owner, haunts the mansion, with his lover, but David’s a skeptic. He doesn’t believe in ghosts, curses, and any of that ‘supernatural hogwash.’ He’s only in the ghost-hunting business for the money.
Once inside Nouvel Espoir, however, David’s skepticism rapidly disappears. There are too many odd things happening, things he can’t ignore. When his cameraman arrives, the two will be forced to face whatever walks the mansion by night.
Absinthe wants something from them…but what…?
As I arrived at the top of the stairs, however, I saw that the door to what I’d already begun to think of as my bedroom was ajar.
Hadn’t Kathy pulled it shut as she followed the others out? I remembered…every room they went into, she entered first but was always the last to leave, shutting any doors behind her.
“Maybe it didn’t close properly.” I spoke aloud, one of my defenses against latent creepiness. Some people whistled in the dark; I talked to myself. Loudly.
Crossing to the door, I stopped, then looked back.
“Something’s different. What…?” It took me a moment to realize I’d walked through the cold spot on the landing, only now, it wasn’t cold. Hurrying back, I stood where I’d experienced that frosty breath and icy shiver. I exhaled, blowing out loudly.
Nothing. Not even a wisp of vapor.
An episodic cold spot. Never seen that before. I didn’t like that.
Abruptly, I got that someone’s-watching-me feeling, that little prickle of the skin. I spun, pushed the door wider and hurried inside…and skidded to a halt, staring at the figure sitting in the chair.
The Absinthe mannequin reclined in the hearthside chair, exactly as it had before.
“Well, now.” To my own ears, my voice sounded forced, too loud. “How did you get back in here?”
I was certain Kathy had been with the group as we went downstairs. Did she linger behind, going back into Étienne’s bedroom and retrieving the figure, replacing it in the chair before she joined the others?
Possibly. I couldn’t say definitely she was with them every minute. All I remembered was watching her guide everyone to the front door.
Maybe she had orders that the mannequins had to stay in their assigned room, and she’d removed it only to placate that one uneasy tourist, and then had to put it back.
“Unh-uh.” I held up a finger, waggling it back and forth as if the mannequin were about to offer some excuse for its return. “None of that.”
It remained silent, of course, staring at me out of those remarkable green eyes.
I asked myself what I would’ve done if there had been a sound just then, even the creak of a beam…
What the hell’s the matter with me? I never get spooked like this. Anger rose at that. I’m David Varine, GSI’s chief investigator, and scary stories don’t frighten me. Besides, I don’t believe in this stuff.
Stooping, I wrapped an arm around the figure’s waist and lifted it as Kathy had. It was remarkably light. Carrying it across the hall, I opened the door to the other bedroom, and with the barest hesitation, stamped inside.
I dropped the figure unceremoniously into the chair, Damned if it doesn’t resemble the portrait. The face was framed by black, shoulder-length hair. It had the thickness and texture of real hair. I wondered if it was. Had some human’s flowing locks been purchased for this artificial being?
Thinking back to what Kathy had said about Absinthe, I realized if he’d actually looked like this. If so…oh, the boy must’ve been a beauty…the killer handsome kind.
I rummaged mentally for my college French. “Bon nuit.” With a jerky bow—and why did I do that?—I hurried to the door and went out, slamming it behind me.
I was stepping across the threshold into my own room when I heard the faint creak. I glanced back.
The door to Étienne’s room slowly and gracefully swung open.
My...oh my!.....if you're into Sci-Fi, fantasy, horror and thrillers this sounds like your kind of read! Absinthe Eternal can be purchased in paperback exclusively from Class Act Books! Also available on Kindle.
TP currently has 22 novels published with Class Act Books. His novel The Night Man Cometh was voted one of the Top Ten horror novels of 2011 by the Preditors & editors Readers Poll for that year, and in 2013, the first entry in his Second Species series, Shadow Lord, was awarded the same honor. The Last Vampire Standing placed second as Best Paranormal Romance of 2012 by the Paranormal Romance Guild.
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