By: Rachel Rust
Publication Date: May 6th, 2019
All her life, seventeen-year-old Chessie has had recurring dreams about a little white farmhouse. Quaint? Not quite. The house is the site of the unsolved murders of Villisca, Iowa, where eight people were slaughtered in 1912. With her parents on the verge of divorce, Chessie is stuck spending the summer with her grandparents in Villisca—right across the street from the axe murder house.
She’s soon hearing voices calling out for help and begins unraveling a link between herself and the town’s bloody history. And when she falls for a cute boy harboring a big secret, the pieces fall into place as she at last discovers the truth of Villisca’s gruesome past…
I can’t move, pinned down as though gravity has increased one hundred-fold.
Heat creeps across the back of my neck, under my left ear. Something nudges my earlobe and I flinch.
“Chessie,” a girl’s voice whispers into my ear, so close the hot breath tickles my skin.
My hands fly up over my ears, but it doesn’t do any good. It’s as if she’s speaking from inside my ear—inside my head. I shake my head rapidly, as though that could expel her.
“Help,” she says.
“Help with what?” I whisper. I don’t mean to respond; it’s more of a random thought that escapes my head.
“Help,” she whispers back.
“Please stop!” I plead. My next words have to break through a barrier of fear, because I don’t really want to know. “Who are you?”
The closet door slams shut.
I bolt to my feet and am out the door in two strides. I fly down the stairs and curl up under the quilt on the sofa. The heat is gone from my neck. The downstairs is calm. Nothing but the sound of CNN on the TV, the faint tick-tock of the clock—and the rapid pace of my heart.
Rachel Rust is a YA author who loves all things mysterious, romantic, and thrilling. Her favorite stories have twisty plots, and if it’s a whodunit, she’s all about it. When not making up stories, Rachel can usually be found with her family and their two dogs — a pug and a chug (chihuahua/pug).
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