Writers’ assistant Bettina Kershaw accompanies her glamorous but demanding novelist boss to Porte Rouge, a luxurious South Carolina plantation house to research a new book. Bettina expects hard work; she does not expect the handsome wealthy owner to be attracted to her, nor the ghost of the house to attempt murder. Old debts and rivalries simmer just below the civilized surface, and life at Porte Rouge suddenly becomes very dangerous.
I turned over and pulled up the duvet. The night was getting chilly. I hadn’t realized it was so cold last night, but then last night I had been totally knocked out with fatigue.
Still, I thought some thirty sleepless minutes later as my teeth started to chatter, if it was this cold last night surely I’d have noticed.
Even with the thick velvet duvet and my ugly but very warm flannel nightgown I was still cold. I certainly couldn’t sleep like this!
It was too much to expect a place this old to have central heating, and there was no fireplace in my room. There weren’t any closets, either - I had had to hang my clothes in a huge old armoire, and there hadn’t been an extra blanket on the shelves. Other than a spindly chair and small round night table - and the obviously hastily added computer table and ugly office chair - the only other furniture in the room was an ornate dresser, but while putting my things away I had opened every drawer. No blanket there, either.
Well, I would just have to get out of bed - brrr! - grab a sweater and then spread my coat over the top of the duvet. Teeth gritted, I rolled over, then all thoughts of just about everything, cold included, flew right out of my mind.
Between me and the door stood a... a... Thing. Though the shutters on the French doors were shut and the room almost totally dark, this Thing was clearly visible - misty white, opaque, and vaguely man-shaped. Worse, I could feel waves of anger coming from it flowing over me like weak acid.
The two columns that had to be the Thing’s legs seemed to move, but as they didn’t go all the way to the floor they couldn’t be what was propelling it forward, one arm outstretched, toward me. Now there was the beginning of a hand forming, with wispy white tendrils for fingers...