Instead of an interview with a Strangely Funny II author today, we thought you'd like something a little different: a taste from the book itself!
Our featured author today is Columbkill Noonan, who has an M.S. in Biology and teaches Anatomy and Physiology at a university in Maryland. An avid history buff, much of her writing, which could be best described as “supernatural historical horror”, combines historical events with elements of paranormal fantasy.
In the excerpt below, young Anfernee Antonius Abercroft III is a new ghost who desperately wants his body to be found so he can travel to the Other Side. Unfortunately, each ghost only gets one power, and our hapless haunt's power is the ability to say "Groch" aloud. He's about to learn the disadvantages of dying at a Catholic school.
From "The Ghost of Our Lady of Peace", by Columbkill Noonan:
He stuck his face right up against Sister Agnes’ ear, and yelled, “Groooooooooch-ahhhhhch-ahhhch!” as loud as he could, just as several other nuns entered the office through the front door.
Sister Agnes jumped, then fainted dead away onto the ground. The other nuns screamed, and clung together like frightened hens. Father Marion, eyes wide, pulled himself together and went to stand over Sister Agnes. He waved his hand in front of her face, and shook her by her shoulders.
“Urk”, said Sister Agnes. Opening her eyes and sitting up, she shook her head groggily, then gripped Father Marion’s hassock. “A demon, Father Marion! You heard it too, didn’t you?”
“I heard it!” chimed in one of the nuns by the door.
“Me too!” echoed the rest.
“Indeed, I heard it too!” said Father Marion. “A voice most evil and foul!” He whipped out his crucifix, and wielded it aggressively in front of himself. “I exorcise thee!” he shouted. Anfernee, stunned at this unexpected turn of events, and quite insulted at being called evil and foul, stood there uncertainly. “In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiriti Sancti, I compel thee. Begone!”
As the priest spoke, a wind began to dance about Anfernee. A mere tickle at first, it built in strength until at last, when the priest cried, “Begone!” the wind became so strong that, with a mighty blast, it blew Anfernee right through the door. He landed in a heap in the corridor, and looked up to see Spencer standing over him, shaking his head in amusement.
“Groch!” Anfernee cried, and rushed towards the office door, thinking to try talking to them again, to make the nuns and the priest see who he really was. But the door repelled him like the wrong sides of two magnets, and he bounced backwards to fall ignominiously again and again. He screamed in frustration, and beat his fists in futility upon the floor.
“Ah, brother,” said Spencer sympathetically. “Your first exorcism! And it was a fine one, too. Quite dramatic!” Spencer began to giggle. “And I must say, you looked quite funny, flying through the door like that, your face all surprised and such.”
“But why can’t I go back in?” wailed Anfernee. “I need to talk to them!”
Spencer clucked, shaking his head. “Yeah, you gotta be careful with that. Once you get exorcised from a place you can’t ever go back. You get exorcised from enough places in here, you’ll end up like poor old Harry.”
“Why, who’s Harry?” asked Anfernee.
“Well, he got exorcised one too many times and now he can’t go anywhere. He’s stuck in a locker on the third floor. Got exorcised from the hallway up there, and had nowhere to go but into that damned locker. Now he’s just trapped in there. Can’t do a thing about it. It’s even more terrible because his ghost power is to open drapes. There aren’t any drapes in that locker, let me tell you,” said Spencer, shaking his head ruefully.
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