Publication date: September 22nd 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, New Adult
I left the United States to find inner peace. Instead, I find myself confronting a malicious ghost.
Astyr Salt is a spiritual and emotional empath who moved to England with the intent to forget about a traumatic, supernatural event that occurred during her freshman year of college. However, when she takes a spiritual cleansing assignment in a haunted country home in Essex, she is isolated with all her own pent-up emotions.
These emotions energize the ghosts inhabiting the country home, helping them draw their own tragedies to the surface. Searching for the truth, Astyr is forced to relive the past. And the deeper she dives into the country home’s horrific history, the more the intertwined memories place her in the path of an evil and demented predator.
A blend of contemporary fantasy, horror, and mystery, Bly is inspired by Henry James’s classic novella, The Turn of the Screw.
My dream from the past several nights continues to haunt my every waking moment. My mind recalling the few details I can remember of the strange, old mansion. The structure consists of unusual hallways that lead to lavish rooms and staircases that dead end at the ceilings or lay sideways along the walls and floors. It reminds me of the Winchester Mystery House in San José, California combined with a M. C. Escher print. In the dream, I wander aimlessly, searching for Nolyn. I never really see Nolyn in the dream, except a glimpse at the very end, where he looks like a ghost. Meanwhile, a presence hovers around my shoulders and neck, hindering my search until I finally reach a dead end. A dark room.
For most, this would just be a repeating nightmare. Many blowing it off as an indicator of stress or anxiety over a possible budding relationship—like my friend and business partner, Kenya. Not for me. Dreams like this tend to be prophesies, and eventually, manifest in the real world. I had a dream repeatedly back in the United States, while I was working at my old job. Three months after I met my office crush, I started having dreams about him. In the dreams, we were sitting at one of the break room tables, trying to get away from the office Christmas party. He was talking about his baby girl and how he was trying to talk his wife into having a second child. At some point, his words became nothing but noise. Yet the words “you’re a great friend” still echoed vividly in my mind. Six months later, in real life, he’d married another woman in our office. And just recently, he announced the birth of their first child on Facebook—a baby girl.
At least those were happy dreams of a happy future, even if it didn’t involve me. As for my current dreams involving Nolyn, I’m concerned. In them, Nolyn is lost, and some force is preventing me from finding him. I wish I had more details. Anything to pinpoint a time or place of the event. Yet, like a labyrinth, it’s all muddled. I can’t find a clear path or any clues that might reveal Nolyn’s location. I’ve tried my seeing bowl, tarot cards, and my psychic tea blends. Nothing has helped.
Only time holds the key.
Returning to reality, I check the clock on the barren, brown wall of the office suite. It’s been an hour since I sat down in one of the stiff, cherry-red upholstered chairs. Half an hour since Mr. Hellings’s administrative assistant, Ms. Poole, placed some tea on the solid oak coffee table. Twinings English Breakfast. Steeped for five minutes in a warm tea pot. No milk. Just a hint of sugar to mellow out the robust flavor. Nolyn would’ve given me that seductive snicker of his if he heard the thoughts in my head right now. He knows I have a passion for tea, which amuses him. But knowing tea is a part of my business. Only my tea blends are meant for the promotion of emotional and spiritual healing, as well as other aspects of life: love, success, psychic awareness. As a practicing witch, the tea pot is my cauldron and the herbs are my special ingredients. Yet Nolyn, as much as he humors me, doesn’t believe in magic. Nor ghosts. Nor spiritual energy. In fact, Nolyn would think this meeting a joke and a waste of time. Especially, if my potential client causes me to be late for my lunch date with him.
Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist and Data Analyst. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.
For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.