A Sky Full of Stars

Shay and her Mum have moved to a small English village to look after Shay’s Grandad, who was injured in a car crash.

His house is huge and hundreds of years old…

And something’s weird about it.

As Shay learns more about the house, and her family’s history, she discovers a long-hidden secret.

A secret which explains the odd noises she hears at night, and the mysterious drawings she finds in her sketchbook.

A secret she is determined to put right…

Formats: ebook $2.99

Genre/s: urban fantasy

Audience: young adult, middle grade

Length: short story

Available from your favourite retailer here.

Excerpt:

I said to Mum the first time I saw the house that I reckoned it was haunted.

She didn’t believe me. She said I was judging the house on its looks and not what it was like inside.

I said, ‘If there’s a ghost in there, it won’t care what the inside looks like.’

Mum told me to hush and grab our suitcases from the taxi while she paid.

Long story short; Mum’s parents were in a car accident, and Gramma died. Grandad was injured pretty badly – his legs were crushed and he needs a wheelchair most of the time now, which he hates. We raced over here to England from Australia when it happened, then Mum decided to move us over here permanently to look after him. Him being old and crusty and not wanting to move from his ancestral home. And us being me and Mum, since Dad disappeared years ago and barely remembers to send Christmas cards.

The house has been in Mum’s family for generations. Thomas Manor, it’s called, in Thomas Village, which is on the River Thomas. Get the idea my family used to be seriously important way back when? All news to me. Mum grew up here, along with Uncle Barry, who lives with his wife and two sets of twins (count ’em, one set of boys and one set of girls) over in America. Mum and Uncle Barry are twins too. And Grandad had a twin brother. That stuff I knew. The stuff about the house, and Grandad’s twin, who died sometime in World War Two, I didn’t know until a month after we’d moved in.

Seems like Mum’s family is riddled with twins, five generations of them. Until me, the lone single birth.

Way to feel both unique and inadequate at the same time.

Anyway, the house was old and woody and ornate. The floors went up and down and sometimes the doors jammed and unexpected creaky and squeaky noises made me jump until I got used to them. Grandad said it was the house settling. The ceilings were works of art, with mouldings around the walls and intricate designs around the light fixtures, and there was real wood panelling on some of the walls. There were bay windows in the lounge, you know those ones that sort of poke out in a flat triangle and have padded benches built into them, and some of the second-storey rooms had tiny little balconies of their own. The kitchen, thank goodness, was modern, as were the bathrooms, although the outside loo was still visible out the back. There was a chairlift winding up the side of the stairs, and Grandad had a little wheelchair up the top, or he just used crutches.

He refused to let Mum make the ground-floor dining room into a bedroom for him.

My room was on the second floor at the back corner, with its own little balcony. Grandad let me choose, and after walking into all five bedrooms besides his, that one felt the most peaceful. It was about twice as big as my room at home, and had huge windows with views across paddocks (they call them meadows here) and across to the Border Hills in the distance. From the other window I could see the red and grey roofs of Thomas Village nestled among the green of crops and dark green lines of windrow trees.

So, back to the ghost.