Ghost Boy of Mackenzie House

Free Ghost Boy of Mackenzie House by Patti Larsen

Book: Ghost Boy of Mackenzie House by Patti Larsen Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patti Larsen
the first step.
    She could feel Marsh right behind her, his breath on the back of her neck. She paused on the third step, her light wobbling as she got her balance. They both jumped as the window at the top of the stairs came alive with a flash of lightning, followed in close succession by a rolling chorus of thunder that rattled the windows and Chloe’s nerve. It didn’t help that Marsh let a small shriek escape him. She shot him a glare before continuing on. He was so close now it felt like he was pushing her and she knew it was necessary. If she had been alone she would have turned and run.
    By the time they reached the top, the tension was almost too much. Marsh tripped and bumped into her, forcing her up the last step and face-first toward the window.
    â€œSorry,” he whispered. Chloe giggled and realized then that she was having fun. She felt like a character in a book, just like her new favourite, Anne. She knew that this was the type of adventure that the red-haired girl would love and tried to imagine Anne was right there with her.
    The rain was much louder in the little room, drumming so hard her ears felt numb. Side by side, they examined the entire empty room. Chloe could see where flat wooden beds had scarred the floor and found a paler spot where perhaps a rug had sat. Aside from that, however, they came up empty.
    â€œWho do you suppose he is?” Marsh asked.
    Chloe didn’t have an answer. “You tell me, Island boy.” It came out harsher than she had meant, so she smiled at him to show she was kidding.
    â€œWell,” he spun, light making its way around the bare walls, “he could have been murdered, maybe? His bones buried under the floorboards?”
    They both shivered. Chloe was grinning, thinking of her book and the dramatic Anne. “How about an orphan? Somebody made him a slave and worked him so hard he died.” Chloe shuddered at the idea, only then remembering she was an orphan now, too. Thankfully she had her Aunt Larry. Neither she nor Anne had to face such a harsh fate.
    Marsh was nodding, getting into it. “I know! How about a ship boy lost at sea who swam all the way back to die on the shore.” Chloe laughed at Marsh as he pretended to die, falling to the floor.
    â€œBe serious,” she said. “How could he swim so far?”
    â€œHe came off the Phantom Ship, of course.” Marsh shone the flashlight under his chin, making his face look very spooky.
    â€œWhat’s that?” Chloe asked.
    â€œBig burning schooner,” he told her, getting to his feet and dusting himself off. “Been sailing back and forth between us and Nova Scotia for, like, hundreds of years or something.”
    Chloe snorted, but loved the idea. “Really?”
    Marsh was nodding fast. “Really. My Grandpa used to tell us stories about how his dad would take him out to see it when he was a boy. Guess it doesn’t happen much anymore. You can look it up, if you want.” He was getting defensive. Chloe didn’t want to lose the moment.
    â€œCool, I will.”
    Marsh immediately relaxed. “I have another idea,” he said.
    This one hadn’t turned out so bad, so Chloe decided to risk it.
    â€œNow what?”
    â€œI think you should talk to him,” Marsh said.
    Chloe backed up a step. She had kind of been thinking the same thing since the boy had appeared when she spoke to her parents. But she hadn’t told Marsh about that. He didn’t notice her concern, however, and went on.
    â€œSee if you can get him to show, you know? Maybe if you talk to him he’ll try to talk back or something.”
    â€œMaybe,” she said, happy he didn’t know her secret after all. “What should I say?”
    Marsh shrugged his thin shoulders, light dancing in his hand. “Dunno. Whatever you think he’d like to hear, I guess.”
    Chloe thought about it for a minute before stepping closer to the

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