Excerpt from ‘Embers’ (Book 2 in the Smoulder series) by Casey Carlisle

Embers BannerA small lizard ran in my direction before grinding to a halt a metre from the base of the rock where I perched before bolting in another direction. Maybe I was in his regular sunning spot? I smiled inwardly, thankful for the distraction. It was then I noticed the pattern of ants on the ground, some marching a straight line to where I sat, before shooting off in random directions. But nothing crawled inside the invisible bubble around my rock. Dread washed over me as the tiny hairs prickled along my arm. It meant one thing… one of the Hunters was close by.

Tara Oschler, the one who could compel.

My face and limbs blushed cold despite the outback heat. I prayed I was falling victim to an over-active imagination and searched for more evidence that maybe it was my ability at work in its passive state. Sadly, no flies clung to my back, and no other insects inhabited the circumference around where I sat. That would only happen if they had been compelled…

My brain sputtered to life hesitantly. Hadn’t Tara and the other Hunter run off? How could anyone find me out here? I was in the armpit of nowhere for goodness sake – they couldn’t have followed me.

I was in the middle of nowhere. Alone.


Oh shit.

Was Tara alone? Did I have time to make a run for the car?

As if answering my question, Tara emerged from the brush, quickly followed by man.

“That’s her. That’s the bitch that got my brother murdered.”  The pair of them shot intense hatred from their eyes. “Hey bitch. It’s payback time!”

I scrambled to my feet, balancing on the rocky protrusion, absently feeling for my phone. But my back pocket was empty. My one connection to help most likely sitting in the central console of the car.

Jumping down behind the boulder, at least gaining some cover and ground as the pair split, working their way to either side in attempt to cut off any escape route. My eyes quickly flicked to the ground in search of a branch, or rock, something to club with, or throw. Maybe I could temporarily blind one of them with a handful or dirt?

Realising I hadn’t said anything, I prayed there were words to buy me some time… but what could I say? It wasn’t me? You’ve got the wrong girl? Are you off your meds?

When I took a step in the direction of the car, they both stopped, crouching.

“You’re the one we can’t get to. But that’s okay there are other methods of taking down prey.” The man sneered.

“Andrew’s got pretty good aim. But don’t worry, we’re not going to kill you straight away. We have other plans for you.” The light glinted off a knife balanced in Andrew’s fingers.

What was with the storybook villain act? Seriously, who said things like that? Crouching and gnashing teeth at me was SO WRONG. This had to be a joke.

“You better back off. I’m not defenceless. Or did you forget what I did to you before?” I watched their eyes meet in consternation, yet they did not stop their slow progression to intercept any path back to my Volkswagon. “I’m not alone.”

That froze them in their tracks. It was like I could read a struggle playing out over their expressions, like they were being forced to do this. Grief makes you do some strange things. And this was just another symptom. I took the opportunity of their uncertainty. With nothing in reach. Nowhere to run to without getting tackled, and most probably stabbed. I did the only move I had left. I let the fear and stress wave through me, harnessing it with whatever mental pull from that involuntary place inside me. I hoped I was able to knock them out like before. Then I’d run like Hell itself was opening up under my feet!

But it felt vastly different this time. Almost like I had bile burning and gurgling up from inside me. Great, I was going to puke them into submission.

But just before I was about to double over and spill my guts, the air distorted around us. A gust of hot wind shot outwards. Grass caught fire. A pop and sizzle as the ends of Tara’s hair dissolved. Andrew’s pant leg turned black under an orange flame.

They screamed.

I must have been in shock. I wasn’t quite sure what had happened? Had I just set them on fire?

Smoulder series blurb

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Excerpt from ‘LONERS : Homeworld’ by Casey Carlisle

Something I was working on last week. I needed to take a break from second edits (of Smoulder and re-boot), This is from Book 3 in the LONERS series…

LONERS Homeworld Excerpt Title by Casey Carlisle

Turning, we began to navigate a path between what passed for trees on this planet, crumbling stone pillars with tufts of decaying organic matter. The further Derek and I descended into the forest, the taller and thicker these unusual growths got. The smell was worse than month-old rotting horses arse. Varying from sewage, to sulphur gas, to heavy ammonia. My head reeled, making it difficult to focus on where to put my foot next. I just hoped that breathing this air wasn’t going to slowly infect our lungs with an alien virus or bacteria.

Derek had latched onto my arm, intently shadowing every move. Stepping into my footprints, a sheen of sweat condensed to heavy droplets drenching his tattered and stained business shirt. His eyes darted everywhere at once, wide and bulging like a skittish horse. I wanted to shake him off, force him to stop breathing down my neck. But worried he’d knock me off balance, or climb on my back at the first noise, I let him be… at least he was quiet.

Maybe Derek’s incessant drivel would have been better than some of the ominous sounds coming from deeper in the stink-tree-pillars ahead of us.

I crouched hearing movement close overhead. Staring up into the dim, unable to identify the source, my free hand unclipped the gun.

Before Derek could ask what it was, I pressed a finger to my lips. He nodded, swallowing loudly.

Two minutes passed.

Spikes whistled through the air, embedding into the ground five metres to our right. A slug the size of a small dog dropped onto a mossy patch a moment later, motionless. Spines matching the ones littering the ground jutted from its carcass. The instant the wet body hit the ground a mustard coloured cloud puffed from the bed of moss it had landed on. A frustrated shriek came from above, followed by rustles of movement, and clawing over the hard tree surface, which slowly faded. Whatever hunted from above, luckily, moved to another hunting ground.

But the slug, caught in the yellow gas began to dissolve.

Derek tugged at me.

“My guess is acid. That moss stuff probably feeds like a fly, discharging a stomach acid and absorbing nutrients through osmosis.” I explained.

“So if I puke I’ll be feeding the ground?” He turned an even sicker shade and rubbed at his midsection.

“Just don’t chunder on that brown leafy stuff. I like my skin.”

LONERS Homeworld by Casey Carlisle sml“It’s all brown and leafy.” Derek eyed the ground suspiciously.

“Then make sure you swallow.”

“We’re descending into a deeper level of Hell.”

Excerpt from ‘The Understudy’ by Casey Carlisle

Here’s a little snippet from another work in progress…
The Understudy by Casey CarlisleThe Professor located the spare key, exactly where Ricki had shown us it would be, and opened the door to a surprisingly posh apartment. A small scruffy terrier came bolting from another room to jump up and down in front of us like a kangaroo. Ricki cooed silently at the mutt as it continually attempted to reach the ceiling with each bound.

“What’s the dog’s name?” The Professor asked me.

“Muggles.” I repeated after Stacy joined Ricki in trying to get the canines attention.

I moved further into the lounge area while the Professor went to find the food bowl and give Muggles a meal. The place was spotless, no doubt Ricki’s parents had a cleaner making regular visits, or maybe a neighbour tidied things up when they stopped in to tend to the dog?

Sure the little buggar was cute and all, but I was much more of a cat person. At least cats didn’t demand your attention every hour of the day. To prove my point Muggles began sniffing and pawing at my leg.

“No.” I pointed at him. “Sit.”

Muggles turned his head and pawed one ear the way you see dogs on television acting cute. I bent down to scratch him atop his fuzzy little skull, resulting in a pink tongue lolling out one side of his doggy mouth in satisfaction.

“What exactly are we looking for?” I called out to the Professor, still rummaging around in the cupboards.

“You should be able to feel something… I always got a wave of nausea. Then you’ll be close.” Stacy gave up trying to get Muggles to answer her.

“And then what?”

“I’d release the energy.” Stacy replied matter-of-factly.

“Is that like farting or something?”

“You don’t feel anything?” Stacy ignored my comment.


“Try another room. Ricki died in hers. Let’s go in there.”

“You’re not creeped out or anything? Being in your dead friends house?”

“She’s not dead. She’s right here.”

“Says the ghost.”

“Just look around will you.” Stacy waved at the apartment.

The Understudy v 2            I wandered across the lounge with Muggles in tow playing at my feet, taking the few photographs on the Entertainment Unit. A few of Riki posing for school portraits and then a couple of her pulling faces at the camera were cluttered to one side of a large golfing trophy. On the other were two obviously modelling shots, but no evidence of her mother I noted.

“You look so cute in this one.” Stacy complimented her mute friend as they ogled over Riki’s pictures.

Check please! Narcissism for two. Our whole reason for being here began to lose its appeal.

“I don’t feel anything.” Snapped in irritation.

“You sure about that?” Stacy sniggered just as Muggles hugged my leg and began thrusting his hips.

Ricki fell backwards through a wall laughing without a sound.

Excerpt from ‘Smoulder’ by Casey Carlisle

Image            When we entered the Lab, Matthew wiggled his fingers at me in a goodbye gesture and took his seat in the front row.

“Miss Taylor!” Mrs Noble exclaimed happily. “I have the last spot just for you.”

She pointed across the room to the second-last bench towards the back, where an empty stool waited for me.

I recognised Theodore immediately. Raven black hair falling in strands across one eye. He hadn’t noticed me yet, busily flipping through a text book.

As I walked down the aisle to the empty seat a tingling sensation filled my head. I reached the desk and started to pull out the stool when he looked up. Expecting another dazzling smile I inhaled deeply to calm myself. Instead, his eyes widened in recognition and his forehead crinkled, an expression more worried than pleased to see me. I tried to hide the confusion from showing on my face – hadn’t he just smiled at me during lunch? It was understandable that he would change his mind now he could see me up close.

“Hi.” I quietly chirped, moving to sit down.

My face felt hot again, no doubt tinged with red. Not hitting the seat squarely, glancing painfully off the side, I stumbled and caught my head on the edge of the bench, tripping into the aisle. Great first impression.

“Are you alright?” Theodore bent down steadying me with his hands, both of us squatting between the rows of benches.

I was thankful that he had been the solitary witness to my ungracefulness.

“I’m sure I’ll live.” I pushed back my hair and met his eyes.

They were even more stunning up close, the lightest pale blue around the black centre, to a deep violet rimming the circumference. His irises did that reflective thing you see in photographs for a second. A little twinkle. I was suddenly aware of his hands on my shoulders and my breathing accelerated. Theodore’s hands were hot, maybe I made him nervous too?

“Here let me help you.” He stood, steadying me by grabbing an elbow.

“Is she okay?” I heard Mrs Noble ask over my shoulder.

My head momentarily dipped and I clumsily stepped into Theodore’s chest. Wow – he was more muscly than I had thought. His arms shot around me before I fell again. Boy he smelled good! I attempted to shake off the dizziness and felt Theodore stiffen. Was he preparing for me to topple again?

The sound of breaking glass exploded through the room followed by alarmed screams. I felt sharp pain on my left forearm. Looking up, I discovered that the beakers on the shelves above our bench had exploded, shards of glass littering the floor and the bench. My eyes shifted to focus on a glittering at Theodore’s shoulder, and the thick pointed wedges embedded there.

“Oh my goodness!” Mrs Noble fussed, signalling for the class to settle. “How did that happen?”

“You’re hurt.” Theodore’s husky voice breathed in my ear.

I knew it was my arm without looking, it stung and a warm stickiness dribbled towards my elbow.

“Mrs Noble, she’s bleeding.” Everyone wide eyed and excited, but Theodore’s voice was calm, as if unaffected by the event.

“Dear girl.” She stepped over splintered glass and inspected my arm.

Theodore’s hands left my skin, followed by the distinct tinkle of a few pieces of falling glass.

“Should I take her to the nurse?” Matthew suddenly appeared at the teachers side.

“Yes, that would be a great help.” Matthew wrapped an unnecessary arm around my waist and walked me up the aisle towards the door.

I turned to look at Theodore, knowing he’d been cut too, but something about the look on his face made me stop. Matthew tugged on me harder and got me out of the door.

© Casey Carlisle 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Teaser #2 from “Beecham’s Nightfall” by Casey Carlisle

The second installment of a side project… when wrapped up in the world of a novel and hit a roadblock, it helps to take a break and do something completely different. And thus Beecham’s Nightfall was born. It’s not perfect, unedited, just a quick diddy for amusement.

For the first part in this series click >here<


Chapter 2


Beecham's Nightfall by Casey Carlisle

          Lying in the steamy water, letting the heat draw tension from muscles, which was helped along by a glass of wine I delicately balanced on the rim of the bath tub. Recalling it had been six months to the day since being woken by the police banging at my door. With the sun setting behind a neighbors yard, the two constables were bathed in a golden light, and I instantly felt relieved – like a pair of angels reporting for duty. However the night quickly turned sour after they reported that the scene had been cleaned of any evidence to corroborate my story. They were here to take my statement. At first I panicked, imagining scenarios of B-Grade Horror Films where I’d be declared a loony and subsequently committed. Fortunately, both young men were sympathetic and eager to hear my version of events… well the version without my imaginative interpretation. Plus I had collected my own evidence: which they promptly confiscated.

          I’d received two follow up phone calls since, assuring that the matter was still under investigation, and checking to see if I had any further information. I remained tight-lipped about my supernatural version. The last thing I wanted to do was sully the investigation with fanciful theories.

          It was a Godsend when the police had taken the clippings, photos and samples I collected, for it enabled me to forget it all the quicker – convince myself that it was entirely a bad dream. Except for when I slept, it all replayed in my subconscious, the screams, the gut-churning snap of breaking bone, the shredded chunks of dog I’d had the unfortunate experience of slipping in. Each time those images flitted through my mind, it was accompanied with the sense-memory of the repulsive coppery, rotting, stomach acid fumes. I’d woken and chundered a number of times, caught with a full stomach; but lately the nightmares were having less impact.

          Any inclination to delve into further mysteries evaporated, and I flourished in the uneventful domesticity of work-home-eat-sleep routine. Finding there was nothing better than a mechanical and monotonous schedule to ease a troubled mind.

          For the first week after the police had paid me a visit I had agonized over the choice whether to take some accrued annual leave and get away, far away, like overseas – Venice, where I had always longed to go. Instead I had opted for the second choice, and spent my savings on increasing security around the house. Installing cyclone shutters, sensor lights, security cameras on the front and back doors, and converted the concrete storage space under the stairs into a make-shift panic room.

          Hearing a slight noise, I languidly gazed out the barred bathroom window to identify the tapping and scratching sounds of a tree branch flapping in the buffeting wind and rain outside, a shiver rippling up my arms, I slouched farther into the piping hot bubble bath. Every noise frightened me since that night trapped in a rusty furnace, terrified by the heavy breathing at the grill where I hid, followed by the most violent animalistic screams. Tomorrow I’d need to trim back the tree again.

          Arriving at Dawson and Associates early the next morning I was greeted in the small freshly painted lobby by the other two partners, Andrew Fancis and Steven Bast.

“Good morning Miss Rosenthall, you’re nice and early as usual.” Mr Bast greeted with a big smile.

“Morning Mr Bast, Mr Francis.” I nodded to each of them intending to continue to my desk.

“Can you check Errol’s diary to see if he can squeeze an appointment in this afternoon with Normanby Trucking. They are a potential new client that could bring in a lot of business for us.”

“Certainly. I’ll email out a meeting invite. Do you have the particulars?”

“Skye will have them.”

“And is there any background information so I can prepare for Mr Dawson?”

“I have a little, but could you be a dear and do a little more research?”

As easily as I got along with everyone at work, Mr Bast continually called me ‘dear’ which always felt condescending – it was an old man’s term of endearment, but coming from a thirty-something overweight man, it just felt wrong, even if it was unintentional.

          I swept past the chatting gentlemen and headed to the reception desk which was still empty, leaving a sticky note on Skye’s computer screen asking for the details of Normanby Trucking. Continuing to the rear of the building where my cubicle was situated outside Mr Dawson’s office, I booted up the computer ready for the day’s tasks. Completing a small folio profiling the transport company before my boss tenderly walked up the hallway, always quiet and respectful, carrying what I guessed was another bag with a tupperware’d meal.

“Ah, Ida. Good to see you this morning.”

“Morning, are you well?”

“As much as these old bones can be. Here’s something Kathleen made for you. She’s trying out a new recipe which I’m afraid is a little too spicy for me.” He handed me the plastic bag.

“Let her know I’m very greatful.”

“She wants to know what you think, she want’s to use if for a dinner with friends next month.”

“I’m sure it will be sublime.”

Mr Dawson leant on the top of the partition signifying he was more in the mood for a chat than attacking the piles of work littering his desktop.

“You know my nephew is visiting this weekend from Melbourne, maybe if you are not busy, you’d join us for dinner. I’m afraid Kat and I will bore the poor lad to death.”

“Mr Dawson, I hope you are not trying to set me up?” I gave him a cheeky smile.

“Goodness no, you’re much too nice for him. Kat has been asking to see you again, and you work so hard, we thought it would be a nice break from the routine.”

“In that case, I’d be delighted.”


“I’ve forwarded your messages to your inbox; and Sue from Mendlesons wanted you to call her back quite urgently. Also Mr Bast and Mr Francis wanted to schedule a meeting with you and a new client this afternoon. I’ll email an invite shortly, but here’s a dossier for reference. I’ll need to schedule your four o’clock with Mr Ceder if you approve?”

“That sounds fine Ida.” He flipped through the folder I handed him. “Did you prepare this yourself?”


“Great work. We might have to think about promoting you sometime soon, if your interested? I was thinking about having you manage some of our larger client accounts. Give it some thought will you?”

“Uh.” I stuttered, taken completely by surprise. “Sure.”

That effectively ended the conversation as my face turned a shade of beetroot and Mr Dawson cleared his throat several times before retreating to his den.

          Saturday was upon me before I was ready, and presented to Mr Dawson’s doorstep in heels and a dress, it was the first time I’d bothered to dress in anything other than my work clothes or sweats in months. The anticipated awkwardness throughout the evening was nowhere to be seen; in fact I had a marvelous time. Mr Dawson’s nephew, Jacob, was hilarious company. A good five years younger than myself and still possessing that glassy-eyed exuberance and optimism for life, he amused the table with anecdotes of adventures in the big city. I couldn’t remember the last time I had laughed so much. I retired for the night with a full belly and a kiss on the cheek. Failing to notice the darkness, or imagine sinister eyes watching me, I unlocked the front door and made my way to bed.

          The night out had broken a ritualistic spell that consumed my life over the last six months, my routines began the falter in which I had placed so much asylum. Although I still dead-bolted the doors and windows, tucked away indoors before the sun kissed the horizon of an evening – my bravado returned as I tenuously checked over the news for any further animal mauling. No missing persons. No dead bodies. Appeased to find a vacancy of such stories in the bulletin, convinced that my fears were mere fantasy. No more would I become statuesque, like a kangaroo caught in the headlights of a semi-trailer, entranced and wide-eyed at small sounds. The adrenaline soaked synapses of my brain matter connected noises to their harmless sources: branches in the wind, a passing car, a party down the block… everything was explainable. No longer was I going to remain a neurotic; locked in an old house with the ghost of a garroted teen.

          The remission of my over-cautious nature was noticed by those around me, even Skye Merrick, our receptionist, invited me to lunch with her frequently.

“So tell me, who is he?” She asked, while masticating a mouthful of salad.

“He who?”

“The guy who’s put a skip in your step.”

“There’s no guy.”

“A girl?” Skye leaned in excitedly.

I rolled my eyes. She was always so animated, her head stuck in the latest rag mags, wore way too heavy foundation and hair hot ironed straight like brittle yellow straw. A victim of name fad’s from the 80’s, Skye epitomized every blonde joke. She had a heart of gold and dreamed of leaving our small community for the active nightlife and club scene of a city. Maybe Mr Dawson should have introduced her to Jacob?

“No girl either.” I replied dryly.

“Well what is it then?”

“I got offered a promotion.” I grasped, not wanting to re-tell a story that would have her thinking I was schizophrenic.

“No shit! You gonna be a fully-fledged accountant? Is he grooming you as a new partner for the firm?”

“No, Mr Dawson asked if I’d be interested in managing a few accounts for the firm. That’s all.”

“Well congratulations. You deserve it.” She finally swallowed the mouthful of food before continuing. “We should celebrate!”

“I don’t know. I haven’t even accepted it yet.”

“Are you stupid. Of course you’ll take it. And we are having a girl’s night out!”

I was more concerned if I objected Skye would end up spraying her food to convince me as she chomped another all-too-large bite full of her lunch. Besides, what could it hurt? It’s about time I reclaimed my life.

          As my social life re-emerged – with the assistance of Skye setting me up with Chris Sturgess on our evening celebration – a couple of lunch dates later I escaped from work Friday afternoon as she and Mr Dawson began to prod me for details. I wasn’t the type to discuss my personal life with anyone, and the thought of divulging any part of my dates, or feelings, turned my stomach.

          Ensconced back in my familiar four walls I deliberated over phoning Chris to ask him out on what would be our first official date… maybe at Flinders Restaurant for dinner?. It wasn’t too fancy but had an intimate enough atmosphere.

Time to stop being a coward.

Refusing to fade into history like Nanette, I picked up the phone. And then promptly put it back down.

Maybe after a bath… and some dinner.

          Falling back into my nightly routine I ate, bathed, and checked every window and door. Unencumbered by any further excuses, I made a second attempt to dial Chris’s number. It was already late, the sky past the purplish bruise of a sun long gone. Scrolling through my contacts I suddenly felt the familiar prickle of hair along the back of my neck, sensing something with claws and teeth watching through the half closed shutters in the dining room window.

Just ignore it! You’re nervous, that’s all. No need to succumb to your over-active imagination.

I found Chris’ name in the list on the touch screen of my mobile phone.

Don’t look. Don’t look!

The window beckoned to me.

I pressed ‘Call’ listening to the dial tone. He didn’t answer, instead redirected to his voicemail. I searched the wall desperate for an invitation that sounded casual and cool. Then I stared out the window.

Another set of eyes were staring back.

That reflective eye-shine that cats have. Clear and close. I took a deep calming breath.

It’s not real!

And then they blinked, moved ever so slightly.

Just an animal. A dog, a possum. Nothing sinister.

Was I having a panic attack because I had to ask a boy out on a date?

­Be brave.

I took a few steps towards the window, fixated on the twin yellow-pearl glowing orbs following my movements. I was safe behind iron bars and locks. At the glass pane, unable to make out an outline of whatever animal had me under surveillance. With my free hand I reached up slowly towards the external light switch. The motion sensors should have lit up the yard like the midday sun, so, more than likely this was nothing.

I flicked the switch.

The yard was immediately illuminated – and empty. But the eyes remained fixed upon me. They were further back, in the scrub behind the house. Now that I had some perspective on the distance of whatever was watching, I realized it was big! The eyes were far apart at that distance, and up high. Six, maybe seven foot tall.

I gasped.

And then they blinked out.

          Finally snapping out of my reverie, I ducked behind the wall.

Realizing I’d just left a five minute message to Chris consisting of heavy breathing, I hung up. Running about to re-check the security system, the locks, turning off the interior lights as I went, I refused to let paranoia consume me. My hands trembled and I could barely hear a thing over the blood pounding in my eardrums.

I curled up on my bed for hours, mind buzzing. I was safe. This house was a veritable Fort Knox. No matter what it was that I thought I saw, the house would light up like a Christmas Tree, alarm blaring and a reinforced panic room for me to escape to, counter-measures before dissolving into a pathetic, cowering child. Reassured, I lay a while longer, restless, before resorting to a sleeping tablet and relief in a chemically induced slumber.

Things always look better in the morning… in daylight­.

          It was noon by the time my drug fueled and drooling coma wore off. I felt a little foolish about last night. Petrified by some innocuous mammal in the bush, and leaving an ominous sex-pest voicemail on Chris’ phone. How embarrassing! Maybe I can shrug it off saying that I must have pocket dialed him? Brushing my teeth and throwing on my regular weekend uniform, grey sweats and sneakers, hair wrapped up in a twisted knot atop my head. Skipping any breakfast I ventured outside to inspect the yard, determined to prove that I was in fact, a complete idiot.

          Examining the tree line first around where I had seen the mysterious holographic irises taking in my house, I uncovered a section of ground compacted and disturbed. Small twigs and under brush were bent and snapped leading a trail away into the hills. But the track also continued right into the back yard. Whatever over-sized rodent it was, had made its way to the house.

          I checked the bins first, but they yielded no results. Retracing my steps and inspecting the perimeter I discovered scuff and trample marks in the ground at several places along the wall, just under the windows. Something was casing the house, peering in. I couldn’t make out any foot or paw prints. But thank heaven I’d had the forethought to install security measures.

          Just as I was about to return indoors I noticed part of the wall glistened with a water mark, now dry, its crystalline residue coloring the render with a yellowish hue. I bent closer and caught a spicy, definite uric scent. Checking the rest of the walls, each corner had the same discolored patch. Something had marked this as its territory. My house, me, firmly locked in its cross-hairs.

          If I’d eaten breakfast, I’m fairly sure I would have thrown it up. Suddenly, the six months since my night in the abandoned church seemed like yesterday. And I knew in my gut – as inconceivable as it seemed – that there was something out there, be it animal or animal-like, which had hunted me down.

 © Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Here’s another excerpt from ‘Smoulder’ by Casey Carlisle

Also, check out another of the ‘Craptastic Covers’ for this novel…

Image            When I finally heard the lunch bell, I raced to the cafeteria. Bernie and Rebekah were quietly involved in a passionate discussion, careful to keep their voices quiet so no-one would hear, head’s ducked low and close together. None of Teddy’s group were lounging in their regular secluded spot away from everyone else. Instantly, I ached to see him, watch a smile broaden across his face. Find some comfort in his cautious eyes. This would not do!

None of the other group had come to the lunch table yet, and to distract myself, I decided to put a little notion to the test.

I concentrated on a blonde girl two tables over, recognising her from my Biology class. I think her name was Jane. Focusing my will power to listen in, hear her thoughts…


Trying a different tack, I quietened my mind, opening it up to whatever was floating about in the ether. Waiting for something to pop in, reveal someone’s inner thoughts…

Still nothing. So mind reading was out.

Next theory. I stared at a screwed up wrapper on the table next to me, imagining it moving of it’s own accord off the table, falling to the floor. Nothing else existed, darkness crept around the edges of my vision until only a circle of light existed around the crinkled plastic wrapper. No sound, not even my own breathing could be perceived.

Move! I thought.

Then suddenly it did.

“Is this yours?” Matthew had picked up the discarded rubbish I’d been staring at and held it out to me. “You look like you want it pretty badly.”

“Huh?” I blinked at him, the world around me flooding back into focus.

“At first I thought you were going to get up and thump Jane, although I don’t know why you would, she’s a nice girl. Then you turned your anger towards this innocent screwed up piece of plastic. So either you’re starving, angry or constipated. Nonetheless your expression is extremely unpleasant.”

“I was just thinking.”

“Of what? Me?” Matthew sat leaning forward with a silly grin.


“You forgot to turn off the gas?”

“Matt!” I warned.

“You’re in a mood tody. It’s not one of those lady things is it?”

If I had the power to compel anyone, it would have worked now. Every cell in my body was wishing Matthew would stop talking and leave. Even Bernie and Rebekah had stopped their intense whispering to stare at me.

“You know what? I think I’ll eat lunch somewhere else.”

© Casey Carlisle 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.