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When a team of paranormal investigators set out to research the McAllister Estate, they expected to find a ghost or two and maybe to find out if this new, young medium is the real deal. Instead they find themselves trapped with the ghostly imprints of unimaginable evil, and now it’s after them. Will their combined years of experience be enough to save them, or are they doomed to be the newest inhabitants of the Estate?

Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Extreme violence/gore, Rape, Torture, Violent death)

 

Restless by Joshua (J.E.) Dyer is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.

 


 

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1

Summary

When a team of paranormal investigators set out to research the McAllister Estate, they expected to find a ghost or two and maybe to find out if this new, young medium is the real deal. Instead they find themselves trapped with the ghostly imprints of unimaginable evil, and now it’s after them. Will their combined years of experience be enough to save them, or are they doomed to be the newest inhabitants of the Estate?

Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Extreme violence/gore, Rape, Torture, Violent death)

Original Author: Joshua (J.E.) Dyer

Flickering flames. Dancing shadows upon the high walls. A great room, like a cave. Our circle joins. Everyone’s here, hand in hand around a massive round table. My heart’s beating out of my chest.

Mom. The lies. Hope this works for both our sakes.

Cameras roll from their hidden perches.

“When you’re ready,” Doug says. The ghost hunter’s brown glare seems disquieted. His black hair concealed beneath a matching knit beanie. Summit Paranormal Investigations.

My palms are cold and wet. Donna turns a perturbed eye down on me. Probably grossed out by my sweat.

“If you please.” Dr. Benson’s low voice reeks of impatience on my other side.

A psychologist. Figures.

All eyes turn to me. My stomach spins into nauseated knots.

I can’t help it. I’m only sixteen! I didn’t ask for this. No one asked me if I wanted this gift.

The stale coldness of this once elegant estate closes in all around my skinny body. Should’ve worn a heavier jacket for this.

I clear my throat and close my eyes. My senses assure me the others have followed suit. Deep breaths – in through the nose and out the mouth. My muscles release.

The doctor’s mellow voice finds my ears. “Subject has begun. Entering trance.” His words bounce around in my slipping consciousness. “Breathing appears normal. No signs of distress.”

All of this is his idea. Some experiment, doc.

Dark forces. Too many to count. One shoves its way forward into my body.

“Trespassers!” The distorted male voice spews out of my mouth. “All of you. Common criminals!”

All I can do is watch. I stand frigid beside my body while these entities have their way.

“Leave my house!”

I sound demonic. Unnatural.

Donna jumps at my body’s side in her chair. My limp arm falls. Her squeal betrays her disbelief. College girls.

The dark man passes. My torso convulses at the arrival of another.

“No, daddy. Don’t!” It’s a little girl. Seven at most.

The scent of daisies and –

“Do you smell that?” The college girl, Donna. Her button nose searches the area. “Cinnamon rolls?”

I sense it too, hot stuff. Sorrow and misery overwhelm everything. An older presence jars me.

“Henry, please.” Now, the girl’s mother. “You don’t know what you’re doing.”

My terrestrial arms fling out over the tabletop. “Give me our child, Henry!”

I’m out of my body. Floating over the table.

“Sweet Christ,” Doug mutters.

This will put you on the map, Dougie boy. Benson’s bald black head drifts closer. His little red light blinks.

“Subject now speaking in various voices. Male, female, and young female child. Note: research split personality disorder later tonight.”

Dumbass. You don’t have a clue.

“Oh, my God!” Mrs. Benson’s thin hands clamp down over her open mouth. Interracial couple. A big deal for this little town.

My voice. So strange.

The good doctor again: “Subject is now wailing like a newborn baby. While humanly possible, the likelihood is low.”

My head lulls from side to side. Eyes clamped shut.

Dougie boy: “Jake. Please tell me you’re still rolling on this.”

The camera jockey grumbles.

A wild sensation of flying. Weightlessness. My whipping arms slap Donna on one side and Benson on the other. Cold water everywhere. Daylight twinkles on the rippling water. Sinking down.

“He’s turning blue!” the doctor screams.

Doug: “Sean! Sean, snap out of it.”

Dr. Benson’s slender hand connects with my cheek.

My body is my own again. A watery bulge plugs up my throat. Soon, a small fountain erupts from my maw. My torso reels forward onto the polished oaken table. More fluid spews out into a large puddle.

Donna shrieks and backpedals, knocking over her chair. “This – this is fucked up.”

Stinging musty air gets to my lungs. My vision returns. Watery, but there.

Doug’s hand slaps me between the shoulders. “Hey. You all right, pal?”

I heave my dead weight up on both elbows. I try to speak, but my throat is dry as a bone. I nod.

Benson: “Medium has recovered from trance. Spewed water all over himself and the Dining Hall table. Uncertain of its origins. McAllister Manor, 9:15 p.m. End session one.”

 

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2

The putrid reek of fresh coffee hits me like a ton of bricks at the bottom of the left staircase. Its twin sets in silence on the other side of an indoor fountain.

This place is humongous. I run my right hand along the wooden banister. No dust after all these years. Peculiar.

The large kitchen at the back of this mansion buzzes with chatter. Last night left an impression all right.

“See it?” Doug says, pointing to the screen of their small tablet.

Jake nods. You could drive a semi through his mouth.

Doug scratches his frazzled black hair. “EMR waves all over him.”

Jake: “Ghost activity?”

Doug takes another hit from his Styrofoam cup. From the saddlebags under his eyes, I’d say Dougie’s been up most of the night.

“I’ve never seen magnetic distortions of that magnitude on one person before, man.”

His cameraman lowers his bloodshot green eyes into his freckled palms. “We’ve gotta call in the rest of the team, Doug. This is legit.”

They’re both staring at me like I’ve grown a third arm. “What’s going on?”

Doug waves me over. “Come here. You’ve gotta see this.”

Their high-end tablet screen shows me contorted in a large dining chair. Everything’s in shades of gray except for a bunch of twitching bands of color around me.

“See those?” Doug asks. “They represent the change in the magnetic field surrounding your body.”

I nod my head.

Doug: “We all have a little of it around us at any given point in time.”

Jake’s stubby finger traces the colored lines. “Those are changes the magnetism around you.”

“Can the Earth do that?” There’s gotta be a reasonable explanation.

Jake’s head shakes in silence.

“Someone or something evoked those shifts in the field,” Doug says.

“Proof?” Seems like the answer to me.

Doug nods. He tilts his head toward the small table near the bay windows. “They aren’t of the same mindset, though.”

Dr. Benson, his wife, Patty, and Donna huddle around a stack of textbooks and loose papers. I overheard him yelling her name in the middle of their spat last night.

“Patty, you’re just overreacting,” he had said.

For such a huge house, it has thin walls.

“The hell I am,” Patty had screamed back. “You spend all of your time with her!”

Something thumped on their floor on the other side.

“Donna’s my Grad. Assistant, dear. This is a part of her thesis.”

On and on, they went for the better part of an hour. I had given up and buried my head under my pillows around one.

Now, they sat in peace. At least, it looks that way.

“Why do you say that, Doug?” I watch the trio with mild amusement.

“The good doctor is a parapsychologist, Sean. He believes that your condition has more to do with your mind than external forces.”

Me: “Then, what about that?” (points to the tablet screen)

Doug: “The lines?” He chuckles. “Benson thinks I’m wasting my time.”

I walk over and pluck a doughnut from its little white box next to the sink. Glazed. Nice. “If the lines aren’t ghosts, then what are they?”

“Your body’s distortions, camera tricks, video editing.” He minimizes the window on the screen. “The list goes on and on.”

A small tan envelope icon flashes on the lower taskbar. Doug opens his message. Whoever Emily is, she’s really excited at the recordings of my EMR waves and will be here tomorrow afternoon.

“Sweet!” Doug says, clapping his hands. He leans closer to the screen as his hands fly over the keys. ‘Bring all of the usual gear. Don’t forget the extra-long extension cords!’

Jake: “They comin’?”

Doug nods and closes the email. “Em and Dylan will be here tomorrow afternoon.”

He snags a small notebook from his satchel and scribbles down something. “We need to scope out this place and plan a full investigation for tomorrow night.”

“Yeah!” Jake’s in his element now. “I’ll do a little more digging in town on McAllister and see what I can uncover. There’s more to this guy than we’re finding on Google.”

“Nice,” Doug says. “I’m gonna walk the house and figure out where the hot spots are.”

I swallow the last bite of my breakfast and lick my fingers clean. “Can I come, too?”

Jake shrugs.

“Why not?” Doug says. “Meet me by the fountain in twenty. I’ve gotta drop a deuce first.”

“Okay.” I scuttle past Patty’s outside shoulder at the table.

She glances up at me for a fleeting moment, smiles, and goes back into a pile of papers.

“There has to be a logical explanation,” Donna contests. She sounds like she’s been backed into the corner of an argument.

“Two full liters of water, Donna.” Dr. Benson clacks something onto his laptop. “You saw it as well as the rest of us.”

“He could have chugged it prior to the whole charade.”

“Forcing one’s self to regurgitate is possible, of course.” His tone is level and cool. “The human stomach can’t hold that much fluid at once, though.”

It would appear as though the session challenged the good doctor’s skepticism last night.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

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