Spotlight Event: About The Heroine

About the Heroine of The Screaming Season

The Screaming SeasonI really admire Lindsay Cavanaugh, the main character of the Possessions series.  A lot of really scary things happen to her—life-altering things—and she’s not sure she can even trust herself:

“Hey, sweetie,” Julie said, squeezing my hand. “Welcome back.”

I want to go home, I thought, wobbling and weepy. If I make a wish and tap my heels three times, all this will have been a dream. Three, two, one…

I opened my eyes. And I saw… “Oh, my God!” Julie shouted, jumping to her feet and leaping away from my hospital bed. Her chair slammed on its side and she tripped over one of the legs, slamming hard against the wall. “Lindsay, stop! Stop, it’s all right!”

Tongues of orange flames whooshed up around the bed. Ebony smoke billowed toward the ceiling, fanning out and rolling across the light blue surface like rushing water.

Searing heat slapped my face.

Flashes:
Dead blackbirds in the snow.
Splatters of blood.
Claw marks in the trees.
Shadows in the forest.
The lake house.
The Ouija board.
The white head.

The fog rising from Searle Lake, where the dead drifted, waiting for one of us to look into the water and see…

That horrible, horrible face, laughing at me, pushing me back against the bed, showing me the ice pick and the rubber mallet and whispering, “Do as I say, and it’ll be all over.” His words were a whisper that echoed around the burning room, ricocheting and bouncing off Julie’s sobbing and my screams. His ssss’s were hisses of steam, and everything I saw morphed into his bloodshot eyes and the gleaming tip of the ice pick. One jab, one thrust.

“Get him away!” I shrieked.

I wailed and shouted. I could hear myself, but I could also hear him, and I heard Julie whimpering. My focus snapped back and I saw her hugging herself as she pushed against the wall with her back, as if she couldn’t get far enough away from me.

“Calm now, Lindsay, calm down now,” Ms. Simonet ordered me. The middle- aged nurse sounded angry, scared, impatient. But of course I wasn’t going to calm down when he was going to shove an ice pick into my eye socket, twitch it back and forth like a cat’s tail, and split my brain apart. What sane person would?

He’s not there, he’s not, I told myself—but he was. Just because they couldn’t see him didn’t mean that he existed only in my imagination.

I knew better.

At Marlwood, the enraged dead possessed the living and made them do horrible, unspeakable things. Made them torment, and torture, and kill. Spirits, ghosts, whatever
you wanted to call them, could hurt you. He was really there, in the blazing infirmary; he wanted to shut me up. I knew the terrible secrets of Marlwood. I knew that dead girls roamed the halls and spied on us, and sent bothersome, nosy girls to drown in Lake Searle, or pushed them over the edge into insanity so no one would believe them, no one would—

“He’s here!” I shrieked, trying to push the nurse away. And that was when I realized they had tied me down. There were leather cuffs lined with felt around my wrists, attached to my bed.

They think I’m crazy.

They know I’m crazy.

“Lindsay, I’m here too,” said the ghost of Celia Reaves, the dead girl who had possessed me on my first day at Marlwood.

But Lindsay doesn’t give up. She discovers that despite all the dangers from without and within, there is a core person, a Lindsay, who can save not only herself, but people she cares about.  She finds herself, trusts herself, and most importantly, loves herself, warts and all…and she wins.  And I really love her for that!

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