Excerpt The Revenge by David Chappuis & Michael Klinger

Thursday, May 17, 2018
Title: Midnight's Edge: The Revenge
Author/s: David Chappuis & Michael Klinger
Series: Midnight's Edge (Book 4)
Genre: Paranormal/Supernatural/Occult/Mystery/LGTBQ
Publisher: Melange Books, LLC
Release Date: Jan 23 2018
Edition/Format: 1st Edition / Formats ~ eBook & Print
Blurb/Synopsis:

Shelly Hawkins-Wickcliff is trapped in an unfamiliar realm with strangers from the past, desperate to protect her son, Freddy, from the clutches of Jeremy Wickcliff’s deranged sister, Rachel.

Meanwhile, Jeremy’s plans to manipulate his son, Jason, into allowing his spirit to live on in Jason’s body are thwarted by Kasey Menze’s father, Damon Shields, who plans to vanquish Jeremy’s spirit from the mortal realm and Kasey, allowing Kasey to reclaim his life. In the spirit realm, Kasey anxiously awaits to return to the mortal realm with unexpected results, as Jeremy and Damon square off in an encounter that only one of them will survive.

The Wickcliff ancestors plot with the help of Reed Withers to bridge the gap between the spirit realm, where they are held captive in the family cemetery, and the mortal one, to seek sweet revenge against the town that once banished them. The citizens of Sleepy Meadows soon realize they are running out of time, as another dark force emerges from the past, a secret that may be worse than the Wickcliffs.
Purchase Links 
Midnight's Edge:The Revenge - Book 4



“Midnight’s Edge, or ME as the witches call it, a time of the night when the veil between the living and dead disappears...”

Chapter 1

Out of the darkness, I saw a bright light forming an open door. It was a sharp contrast to the void that had surrounded me for days. I was inside Jeremy Wickcliff’s painting, made with his blood, and created as a portal to other realms.

I had to go towards the opening. Where it would lead, I didn’t know. I was hoping it would lead me to what was called the ghost realm, a realm closest to the mortal one, where I could make contact with the living. It was a risk leaving my husband, Rory, and half-brother, Kasey, alone in the spirit realm.

Setting all my thoughts aside, I shielded my eyes with my arm and walked into the blinding light, feeling a fierce blaze that singed my skin. Although it burned, this was a better situation than being surrounded by darkness. Once I passed through the door, the heat dissipated, and I heard an unfamiliar voice of a man. “Bonjour, Michelle.”

I lowered my arm and realized I couldn’t see. “Who’s there?”

He laughed. “I’ve been waiting for you.”

“How do you know my name?”

“I know many things.”

“No one calls me Michelle.”

“Oui, my sincere apologies. Shelly, correct?”

I blinked several times, trying to adjust my eyes to the bright light. It took several moments for them to adapt to the surroundings. Everything around me was like the screen of a TV with the contrast turned up. The colors were vivid, and all material things seemed to have a glow about them. I squinted at the man before me. “Where am I?”

“Bienvenue dans l'univers fantôme,” he said in French and then complemented in English, “Welcome to the ghost realm.”

I’d made the right choice in entering the painting. The ghost realm was exactly where I’d hoped to be, and a sense of relief enveloped me. While my eyes adjusted to the light, I scanned the room, realizing that I’d been here before. This room was spacious and painted white with tall, small-paned, floor to ceiling windows lining every wall. This room was the art studio on the second floor of the east wing of the house. Much to my chagrin, this meant I was still in the Wickcliff mansion, the place I’d been prisoner to in both the mortal realm when I was alive and in the spirit realm after I’d died.

The smell of turpentine, linseed oil, and oil paint surrounded me. Rather than appearing old and abandoned, as the room had become in the mortal realm, long forgotten and closed off, the space was quite the opposite, with natural light streaming through the windows, as if it were part of the mortal world.

I should’ve felt relief that I’d found myself in familiar surroundings. That wasn’t the case. I felt only dread. My only relief was that at least if I were still in the house, I would see Freddy, my son, maybe even be able to appear to him, which was my only desire.

The stranger who greeted me stood by an open window. He wore a condescending smirk on his face as if delighted by my confusion. The attitude reminded me of Jeremy though they looked nothing alike.

His appearance was almost polar opposite to my nemesis. Jeremy was blond, fair skinned, with piercing green-yellow eyes (the Wickcliff’s trademark) and a more muscular, thick stature; this man before me was tall and slender and wore tight black leather pants and a flowing white shirt ruffled around his neck. It was open down to his navel, showing off his olive skin, glistening in the sunlight, and black hair on his chest. His curly hair appeared wet and stopped at his shoulders. His eyes were so dark they were nearly black, and his eyelashes were thick, features that were both exotic and sexual.

I remembered the story Rory told me in the spirit realm about the artist who had mixed Jeremy’s blood with the oil paint to create his portrait. It was then that it hit me. “You must be—”

“Cyrus Morel,” he replied quickly and confidently.

Rory had warned me of him. There was more to Cyrus than his good looks and charming accent. He was Jeremy’s mentor in the dark arts.

He gestured to the canvas behind me. “You’re a lovely young woman Mademoiselle Hawkins-Wickcliff. You are merely a quarter century old, in the prime of your life. I’m not sure I captured your essence on canvas. How do you Americans say, do you justice?”

As he directed, I rotated around to see a portrait of myself that had replaced the blank canvas I’d passed through. It looked just like me: my dark hair fell over my shoulders, and I wore a mysterious smile framed with crimson lips. My eyes, several shades of blue, were sorrowful and melancholy, a reflection of my current state. It was as if he knew what was happening inside me.

I turned to face him. “When did you paint me?”

“I’ve been watching you for a long time. I know every intricate detail of your porcelain skin intimately.”

“You can’t know everything.”

“I know many things about you. I’ve watched you for years from this realm.”

I looked around the room again, noticing a subtle difference. In the spirit realm, I felt as if my surroundings were more ethereal as if everything of substance could disappear at any moment. Here, everything that surrounded me was more vibrant. I could only think that it was because I was closer to the mortal realm. I wanted to know more and Cyrus was the one to ask. “Tell me about the ghost realm?”

He chuckled. “I’m sure you have many questions, and I will answer them in time. Why don’t we have a drink, oui?”

“Don’t patronize me.”

He raised a brow. “Excuse me?” 

“I came here to reach my son, and that’s what I’m going to do. He needs me. I don’t have the time to waste.”

“Yes, your precious Frederick.”

“Freddy. What do you know about my son?”

“As I said, I know everything about you. I’m acutely aware of your desire to reach him.”

“I need to speak to him.”

“This realm is closer to the mortals than the spirit realm where you’ve been. However, just because you’re closer to them doesn’t mean you’ll make contact.”

My heart sank. “Will he be able to see me?”

“Possibly.”

“If I’m closer than I was before, then there’s a chance.”

“A chance for what? You’re not alive. You can’t expect to make physical contact. You died in this house as I did. We are merely spirits who can never touch the mortals again.”

I could see the animosity in his face. There had been a time where Cyrus must have wanted the same thing, to be closer. “How did you die?”

“I died many years ago, long before you came to live here. It was tragic and shocking, to say the least. I’ve been entrapped here ever since, just like you, just for far longer. Time has given me a chance to study and revel in the thoughts and lives of those who live here. Let’s just say we have a lot in common. We’re trapped here, prisoners, ghosts for as long as the house and painting remains in existence.”

“You created the painting, didn’t you?”

He nodded and grinned. “That’s true, but that doesn’t mean we can touch the mortals again.”

He strode towards another blank canvas and sat on a stool. He dipped his brush into the paint and placed the tip on the canvas as if he was done talking to me. I inhaled through my nose swiftly. “Is it true that I’ll never be able to move on?”

“You’ll be trapped here as I am, doomed to roam these halls forever.”

I shook my head, refusing to let him poison my thoughts. “I have to focus on getting to Freddy. I need him to see me.”

“Nothing you do will save him from his legacy.”

I cocked my head. “What do you mean?”

He turned to look at me. “He’s not just any little boy. He’s a Wickcliff. Jeremy’s great nephew. He has psychic abilities, just as you have. That’s part of the reason Jeremy was able to get to you. Do you think Freddy will care about you once Jeremy has influenced him, and once he realizes the power he has with Wickcliff blood in him from both sides?”

“You know about that too?”

“Like I said, I’ve been observing. It’s been enlightening, to say the least.” He mumbled a few words in French, which I couldn’t understand.

I clenched my fist. “Quit your babbling! My son and I have a bond that you’ll never understand, that Jeremy will never break, and it’s called love.”

“Will Freddy appreciate that when he finds out that you offed yourself and left him an orphan?”

“When he’s old enough, he’ll understand that it was Jeremy who forced me to it.”

“Jeremy was right. You’re a pathetic thing.”

“I don’t care what you think. He has no hold on me anymore. Neither do you.”

“Don’t be so sure about that.”

“I don’t have time for this. I’m going to find my son.”

He waved his hand to dismiss me. “As you wish, go find him. I do hope you’ll come back though. I’ve been quite lonely here, waiting impatiently for someone exciting to show up. It was a delightful surprise to have a visitor, but rather disappointing. Maybe you’ll have something more exciting to share the next time you visit.”

I turned my back to him, saw the door and walked out into the hallway, hearing his sharp laughter echoing behind me. I was disturbed that he’d been watching me and knew so much about me. I realized it wasn’t important right now.

I traveled through the house, passing through walls and doors until I was inside his bedroom. I was able to see him in the mortal realm, sitting on the floor playing with a toy truck. I knelt down near him and wanted to touch and feel him again. I hoped that he could hear me.

“Freddy, it’s Mommy.”

He didn’t react. He couldn’t hear me.

“Freddy, please, it’s me.”

Still no reaction.

I was closer than ever, and he wasn’t responding. I scanned the room and noticed a small porcelain figurine of Mary holding a baby Jesus on his mahogany dresser. It was his favorite thing. I’d given it to him on his fourth birthday.

Cyrus had admitted that I had psychic powers. Although I’d come from a family with special abilities (my mother was a witch and my biological father a shaman), I’d never really thought of myself as someone who had that kind of gift. It was time to harness the abilities handed down to me.

Many times, when I was alone in the house, I’d read about telekinesis, moving objects with thoughts. I concentrated on the figurine and thought that if I could get it to move by itself on the dresser, the movement would remind him of me and let him know I was here.

I couldn’t move the figurine with my hand, so I began to focus my mind on it and to visualize it moving across the dresser and falling to the floor. After a few moments of complete concentration, the figurine moved, making a squeaking sound as it slid across the shiny finish of the dresser. Although it only moved about an inch, it was enough space for him to notice.

He looked up for a second, befuddled, oddly curious, and then got up off the floor and headed for the door.

I followed him quickly. “No. Freddy, don’t leave.”

He still couldn’t hear me. With all my inner strength, I focused my will on the figurine once again. It began to move, this time, a little more. The squeaking sound caught his attention and he turned towards the dresser.

“Yes, that’s it, baby. Watch mommy!”

With one last exertion of inner will, the figurine fell to the floor. He went over to where it lay, stood and stared and then looked around the room, puzzled. “Mommy, are you here?”

I tried to touch him, hoping he could feel me. “Yes, I’m right here.”

He shuddered and looked around the room wide-eyed. “Where are you?”

“I’m right here with you.” I began to tear up. “You can feel me, can’t you?”

My emotions made the lights flicker, and then a single light bulb slowly dimmed in the lamp that sat by his bed. He stood in front of me and noticed my holographic reflection in the mirror standing behind him.

“Mommy?” He turned to me and smiled with eyes wider and brighter than I’d ever seen. “I can see you.”

“You can really see me?”

He nodded, and his face brightened even more. “I can hear you too.”

“Oh, Freddy, I miss you so much.”

His smile faded. “Mommy, why did you leave me?”

“I didn’t want to leave you,” I replied, almost unable to speak because of my emotions. “I can’t explain why I had to go, just know I’m close and always with you.”

Tears appeared in his eyes. “I wish I could hug you.”

I put my arms around him, although we couldn’t really touch. “Can you feel that?”

“Kinda. It feels funny. It feels like you’re tickling me. Mommy, that bad lady that looks like you is still here and pretends that she’s you. I know she isn’t because she smells awful. Like that time we were walking behind the house and found the dead rabbit.”

I almost chuckled because I remembered it well. “We buried it in the back yard together. It really was putrid, wasn’t it?”

He laughed. “It stunk like rotten garbage, worse even.”

We both laughed together and then he got serious again. “Mom, she needs to be buried too. She’s mean, and she wants to hurt me. Do I still have to pretend she’s you, like you and Daddy said?”

“For just a little while longer. You don’t have to be afraid, I’m not going to let her hurt you. You’re going to be able to leave here very soon, but until then I need you to be brave and continue our little game.”

“I am brave.”

“Yes, you are. She mustn’t know that you know about me. It would be dangerous if she knew. Do you understand?”

He stepped back to look at me again, and wiped the tears from his eyes. He stiffened his bottom lip and straightened his back. “I’m a big boy, Mom. I can do it.”

My little man was growing up. It took every ounce of strength I had to restrain myself from weeping in front of him. “I can see that.”

“I love you, Mom. I’ll do whatever you want me to do.”

“I love you too, Freddy, more than anything or anyone else in the whole world. Always remember that.”

I closed my eyes, relishing this time with my son. When I opened them moments later, the room seemed to darken around me. I wasn’t with him any longer.




Midnight's Edge Series
All Links Go To AMAZON
Midnight's Edge: The Secrets of Sleepy Meadows  Book 1
Midnight's Edge: The Possession Book 2
Midnight's Edge: The Spirits of Sleepy Meadows Book 3
Midnight's Edge: The Revenge Book 4

About the Authors

David Chappuis was born in Waterloo, Iowa and grew up on a farm in Madrid, New York. He received a bachelor’s degree in English/Writing and Art/Studio from Potsdam College. He has made a living as a professional web designer and resides in southern Virginia.

Twitter  @davechappuis 

Michael Klinger was born in Niagara Falls, New York. He received an associate’s degree in human services from Niagara County Community College and a bachelor’s degree in human services management from the University of Phoenix. He currently resides in southern Virginia.

Twitter @Mikeklinger80



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