Author(s): Jody Kihara
Category: Fiction Other
Publisher: Star Magnolia Publishing
Product Description: Paul VanDerMere is looking forward to a summer of canoeing, swimming, and hanging out with his dad at their lakeside cabin in the woods. At first, the only thing getting in the way of his enjoyment is his stepbrother Jasper. But when Paul and Jasper are canoeing back from a small, uninhabited island on the lake, Paul glances back and sees a young girl staring back at him. He's not even sure if he saw her в was she real, or an apparition? He's soon drawn in to the unsettling mystery of a strange girl who randomly appears and disappears from the island. When he hears a local ghost story about a young girl just like her, he begins to wonder if he's dealing with a real personв or something entirely different. EXCERPT As I pushed away from the island, I turned around to take one last look, and almost dropped the paddle. Sticking out from the thick foliage was a girlвs head and shoulders. She looked about eight or nine years old, with shoulder-length, brown hair pulled into braids at the sides of her head. Her eyes were dark and fierce, and they glared at me as she held her finger up to her lips. The message was clear: вDonвt tell.в And then she disappeared. My whole body jerked. I blinked a few times, letting the canoe drift around. вHey, Paul?в Jasper asked. вUh, I think weвre drifting...в My heart beating in staccato, I gave myself a shake and began to paddle again. Had I really just seen that? I looked back one more time. There was nothing there. But then, after a second or two, the face poked out once more, eyes still intense and glaring. This time, she pointed: you. Me, what? She disappeared again. Dumbly, I turned and paddled away, like Iвd been ordered to leave and was obeying like a zombie. Well, a zombie with its heart going like a jackhammer. As I slid the paddle through the slippery water, the reason I gave myself for not going back to investigate was that then Iвd have to explain it to Jasper, whereas the girlвs message had been clear: donвt tell. But really, I think the reason I paddled away so quickly was that I was completely spooked. The girl was creepy-looking, almost surreal. What had I just seen?
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