THE SPOOKS APPRENTICE EPUB
1 The spooks I am grimalkin · 2 The spooks apprentice 8 The spooks nightmare · 9 The spooks sacrifice 11 The spooks slither tale · favorite. The Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney. 'You, apprentice to a spook! How can you do a job like that when you still can't sleep without a candle?' I laughed at his joke but he had a point. I sometimes saw .
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Spook's Destiny (Wardstone Chronicles). Home · Spook's Destiny DOWNLOAD EPUB The Spook's Apprentice: Book One (The Wardstone Chronicles). The Spook's Destiny Wardstone 7 – The Spook's Nightmare The Last Apprentice Complete Collection: Revenge of the Witch, Curse of the Bane, Night of the. Wardstone Chronicles / Last Apprentice has 58 entries in the series. Joseph Delaney Author (). cover image of The Spook's Apprentice.
Thump, thump, nearer and nearer, came the sound of heavy boots. Who could have been digging down there in the darkness? Who could be climbing the stairs now? Maybe it was a question of what I heard the cellar door open and the thump of boots in the kitchen. I pressed myself back into the corner, trying to make myself small, waiting for the kitchen door to open. And open it did, very slowly, with a loud creak. Something stepped into the room. I felt coldness then. Real coldness. I lifted the candle, its flame flickering eerie shadows which danced up the walls and onto the ceiling.
There was no answer. Even the wind outside had fallen silent. Again no reply, but invisible boots grated on the flags as they stepped towards me. Nearer and nearer they came, and now I could hear breathing. Something big was breathing heavily.
It sounded like a huge carthorse that had just pulled a heavy load up a steep hill. At the very last moment the footsteps veered away from me and halted close to the window. I was holding my breath and the thing by the window seemed to be breathing for both of us, drawing great gulps of air into its lungs as if it could never get enough. Just when I could stand it no longer, it gave a huge sigh that sounded weary and sad at the same time, and the invisible boots grated on the flags once more, heavy steps that moved away from the window, back towards the door.
When they began to thump their way down the cellar steps, I was finally able to breathe again. My heart began to slow, my hands stopped shaking and gradually I calmed down. I had to pull myself together. It went with the job.
After about five minutes or so I began to feel better. It was faint and distant at first - someone knocking on a door.
There was a pause, and then it happened again. Three distinct raps, but a little nearer this time. Another pause and three more raps. Somebody was rapping hard on each door in the street, moving nearer and nearer to number thirteen.
When they finally came to the haunted house, the three raps on the front door were loud enough to wake the dead. Would the thing in the cellar climb the steps to answer that summons? I felt trapped between the two: something outside wanting to get in; something below that wanted to be free.
And then, suddenly, it was all right. A voice called to me from the other side of the front door, a voice I recognized. Open the door! Let me in! I was so glad to hear her that I rushed to the front door without thinking. Remembering what the Spook had said, I took a deep breath and tried to think. Why would she have followed me all this way? How would she have known where we were going? My dad or Jack would have come with her. No, it was a something else waiting outside.
Something without hands that could still rap on the door. Something without feet that could still stand on the pavement. The knocking started to get louder. Mam was strong. Mam never cried no matter how bad things got. After a few moments the sounds faded and stopped altogether. I lay down on the floor and tried to sleep again.
The wind began to rattle the windowpanes even louder, and on every hour and half hour the church clock chimed, moving me closer to midnight. The nearer the time came for me to go down the cellar steps, the more nervous I became.
And then, just after the clock had given a single chime - half past eleven - the digging began again Once more I heard the slow thump, thump of heavy boots coming up the steps from the cellar; once more the door opened and the invisible boots stepped into the front room.
By now the only bit of me that was moving was my heart, which pounded so hard it seemed about to break my ribs. They kept coming. Coming straight towards me. I felt myself being lifted roughly by the hair and skin at the nape of my neck, just like a mother cat carries her kittens. Then an invisible arm wrapped itself around my body, pinning my arms to my sides. I tried to suck in a breath but it was impossible. My chest was being crushed. I was being carried towards the cellar door.
I was going to be carried down the cellar steps into the darkness and I knew that a grave was waiting for me down there. I was going to be buried alive. I was terrified and tried to cry out, but it was worse than just being held in a tight grip. Suddenly I was falling I found myself on all fours, staring at the open door to the cellar, just inches from the top step.
In a panic, my heart thumping too fast to count the beats, I lurched to my feet and slammed the cellar door shut. The candle had gone out As I walked towards the window, a sudden flash of light illuminated the room, followed by a loud crash of thunder almost directly overhead. Rain squalled against the house, rattling the windows and making the front door creak and groan as if something were trying to get in. I stared out miserably for a few minutes, watching the flashes of lightning.
It was a bad night, but even though lightning scared me, I would have given anything to be out there walking the streets; anything to have avoided going down into that cellar. In the distance the church clock began to chime. I counted the chimes and there were exactly twelve. Now I had to face what was in the cellar. It was then, as lightning lit the room again, that I noticed the large footprints on the floor.
Back to the cellar. Down into the dark where I had to go! Forcing myself forward, I searched the floor with my hand for the stub of the candle. Then I scrabbled around for my small bundle of clothes. Wrapped in the centre of it was the tinderbox that Dad had given me. Fumbling in the dark, I shook the small pile of tinder out onto the floor and used the stone and metal to strike up sparks. I kindled that little pile of wood until it burst into flame, just long enough to light the candle.
Little had Dad known that his gift would prove so useful so soon. As I opened the cellar door there was another flash of lightning and a sudden crash of thunder that shook the whole house and rumbled down the steps ahead of me. I descended into the cellar, my hand trembling and the candle stub dancing till strange shadows flickered against the wall. I imagined my shame at having to tell Mam what had happened.
Eight steps and I was turning the corner so that the cellar was in view. Small pieces of coal and large wooden crates were scattered across the earthen floor and there was an old wooden table next to a big beer barrel.
I stepped around the beer barrel and noticed something in the far corner. Something just behind some crates that scared me so much I almost dropped the candle.
It was a dark shape, almost like a bundle of rags, and it was making a noise. A faint, rhythmical sound, like breathing. I took a step towards the rags; then another, using all my willpower to make my legs move. It was then, as I got so close that I could have touched it, that the thing suddenly grew. From a shadow on the floor it reared up before me until it was three or four times bigger.
I almost ran. It was tall, dark, hooded and terrifying, with green, glittering eyes. Only then did I notice the staff that it was holding in its left hand. Something used to climb up out of the cellar. It would have been the same for you. Am I right? The Spook shook his head sadly. He spent his days and nights coughing and struggling for breath and his poor wife kept them both. She worked in a bakery, but sadly for both of them, she was a very pretty woman.
One evening she was very late home from work and he kept going to the window, pacing backwards and forwards, getting more and more angry because he thought she was with another man. Then he left her there, dying on the flags, and went down into the cellar to dig a grave. She knew what he was going to do. I even felt sorry for the Spook.
Imagine having to spend your childhood in a house like this. It looked as if it was gradually changing, as if he was growing a snout or something. I woke everybody up, and in a rage my father lifted me up by the scruff of my neck and carried me down the steps into this cellar. Then he got a hammer and nailed the door shut behind me.
Probably seven at the most. I climbed back up the steps and, screaming fit to burst, scratched and banged at the door.
But my father was a hard man and he left me all alone in the dark and I had to stay there for hours, until long after dawn. After a bit, I calmed down and do you know what I did then? His eyes were glittering very brightly and he looked more like a wolf than ever. Then I took three deep breaths and I faced my fear.
I faced the darkness itself, which is the most terrifying thing of all, especially for people like us, because things come to us in the dark. They seek us out with whispers and take shapes that only our eyes can see. But I did it, and when I left this cellar the worst was over.
Can you stand it? Are you fit to be my apprentice? I imagined him on all fours, wolf hair covering his face, his teeth growing longer. Only then did I give him my answer. It was something my dad always said when he had to do something unpleasant or difficult. It was short and to the point and it was written in Greek. Your mother sent it. Do you know what it said? His name is Thomas J. Train him well.
Above all, v? Do you understand? As the Spook closed the front door, I noticed for the first time what had been carved there in the wood. The Spook nodded towards it. The cross on the lower right is the Roman numeral for ten, which is the lowest grading of all. Anything after six is just a ghast. Remember, the dark feeds on fear.
We left the village and continued south. Right on its edge, where the cobbled street became a muddy lane, there was a small church. It looked neglected - there were slates missing off the roof and paint peeling from the main door.
His hair was white and it was lank, greasy and unkempt. His dark clothes marked him out as a priest, but as we approached him, it was the expression on his face that really drew my attention.
He was scowling at us, his face all twisted up. And then, dramatically, he made a huge sign of the cross, actually standing on tiptoe as he began it, stretching the forefinger of his right hand as high into the sky as he could. An anger that seemed directed towards us.
So I just followed him south, carrying his heavy bag and thinking about what my mam had written in the letter. She was never one to boast or make wild statements. Usually she just got on with things and did what was necessary.
But I knew there was something else that made me different. As we walked, the last of the morning clouds melted away and I suddenly realized that there was something different about the sun. The Spook must have been thinking almost exactly the same thoughts because he suddenly halted in his tracks, looked at me sideways and gave me one of his rare smiles.
Did he always go to Chipenden on the first day of the spring, and if so, why? So I asked him. We winter on the edge of Anglezarke Moor and spend the summer in Chipenden. We lived there until my father moved us to Horshaw. Without further delay we changed direction, heading north-east towards the distant hills. They always looked to me like huge sleeping beasts, but that was probably the fault of one of my uncles, who used to tell me tales like that.
At night, he said, they started to move, and by dawn whole villages had sometimes disappeared from the face of the earth, crushed into dust beneath their weight. The wind was getting up as well, tugging at our clothes as we gradually began to climb and hurling birds all over the sky, the clouds racing each other east to hide the summits of the fells.
So it was late in the day when we approached Chipenden, the light already beginning to fail. By then, although it was still very windy, the sky had cleared and the purple fells were sharp against the skyline. There were names such as Parlick Pike, which was the nearest to Chipenden; others - some visible, some hidden and distant - were called Mellor Knoll, Saddle Fell and Wolf Fell.
When I asked my master if there were any wolves on Wolf Fell he smiled grimly. I like to keep my distance from the folk who live there.
The Spook's Apprentice: Book One (The Wardstone Chronicles)
They prefer it that way too. It was a lonely life. You ended up working by yourself. There were a few stunted trees on each bank, clinging to the hillside against the force of the wind, but then suddenly, directly ahead was a wood of sycamore and ash; as we entered, the wind died away to just a distant sigh.
It was just a large collection of trees, a few hundred or so maybe, that offered shelter from the buffeting wind, but after a few moments I realized it was more than that. Far above, I could hear the distant breath of the wind, but within the wood the only sounds to be heard were our boots. Everything was very still, a whole wood full of trees that were so silent it made a shiver run up and down my spine. It almost made me think that they were listening to us.
Then we came out into a clearing, and directly ahead was a house. It was surrounded by a tall hawthorn hedge so that just its upper storey and the roof were visible. From the chimney rose a line of white smoke. Straight up into the air it went, undisturbed until, just above the trees, the wind chased it away to the east.
The house and garden, I noticed then, were sitting in a hollow in the hillside. It was just as if an obliging giant had come along and scooped away the ground with his hand. I followed the Spook along the hedge until we reached a metal gate. The gate was small, no taller than my waist, and it had been painted a bright green, a job that had been completed so recently that I wondered if the paint had dried properly and whether the Spook would get it on his hand, which was already reaching towards the latch.
Suddenly something happened that made me catch my breath. Before the Spook touched the latch, it lifted up on its own and the gate swung slowly open as if moved by an invisible hand.
Comes in quite useful in our line of work. There was a steep staircase to the right and a narrow flagged passage on the left. I like my food piping hot! Herbs were growing in big pots on the wide window ledge and the setting sun was dappling the room with leaf-shadows. In the far corner a huge fire was blazing, filling the room with warmth, and right at the centre of the flagged floor was a large oaken table.
On it were two enormous empty plates and, at its centre, five serving dishes piled high with food next to a jug filled to the brim with hot, steaming gravy. I helped myself to large slices of chicken and beef, hardly leaving enough room on my plate for the mound of roasted potatoes and vegetables that followed. Finally I topped it off with a gravy so tasty that only my mam could have done better.
I was full of questions but I was also tired, so I saved all my energy for eating. I nodded, almost too full to speak. I felt sleepy. Wondering who could have moved them, I climbed the stairs to bed. This new room had space for a bed, a small table with a candle, a chair and a dresser, but there was still lots of room to walk about in as well.
And there, on top of the dresser, my bundle of belongings was waiting. The bed was pushed right up along the wall beneath it, so I pulled off my boots, kneeled up on the quilt and tried to open the window. Although it was a bit stiff, it proved easier than it had looked. I used the sash cord to raise the bottom half of the window in a series of jerks, just far enough to pop my head out and have a better look around.
I could see a wide lawn below me, divided into two by a path of white pebbles that disappeared into the trees. Above the tree line to the right were the fells, the nearest one so close that I felt I could almost reach out and touch it.
I sucked in a deep breath of cool fresh air and smelled the grass before pulling my head back inside and unwrapping my small bundle of belongings. As I was closing it, I suddenly noticed the writing on the far wall, in the shadows opposite the foot of the bed. It was covered in names, all scrawled in black ink on the bare plaster. Should I add my own name or wait until the end of the first month, when I might be taken on permanently?
For a few moments I wondered what Billy was doing now, but I was tired and ready for sleep. The sheets were clean and the bed inviting, so wasting no more time I undressed, and the very moment my head touched the pillow I fell asleep.
When I next opened my eyes, the sun was streaming through the window. I thought it was probably the breakfast bell. I felt worried then. Had it really been the bell downstairs summoning me to breakfast or a bell in my dream? How could I be sure? What was I supposed to do? So, deciding that I probably had heard the bell, I dressed and went downstairs right away.
On my way down I heard a clatter of pots and pans coming from the kitchen, but the moment I eased open the door, everything became deathly silent.
I made a mistake then. In fact the kitchen was chilly and, worse than that, it seemed to be growing colder by the second. My mistake was in taking a step towards the table. No sooner had I done that than I heard something make a sound right behind me. It was an angry sound. There was no doubt about that. It was a definite hiss of anger and it was very close to my left ear. So close that I felt the breath of it. The Spook had warned me not to come down early and I suddenly felt that I was in real danger.
As soon as I had entertained that thought something hit me very hard on the back of the head; I staggered towards the door, almost losing my balance and falling headlong. I ran from the room and up the stairs. Then, halfway up, I froze.
There was someone standing at the top. Someone tall and menacing, silhouetted against the light from the door of my room.
I halted, unsure which way to go until I was reassured by a familiar voice. It was the Spook. He was wearing a black tunic and grey breeches and I could see that, although he was a tall man with broad shoulders, the rest of his body was thin, probably because some days all he got was a nibble of cheese. He was like the very best farm labourers when they get older. Some, of course, just get fatter, but the majority - like the ones my dad sometimes hires for the harvest now that most of my brothers have left home - are thin, with tough, wiry bodies.
Let that be a lesson to you, lad. Next time it might be far worse. Some never learn that. We walked east, squinting into the early morning sun, until we reached a wide lawn. There were gaps in it, and directly ahead was the wood. The path of white pebbles divided the lawn and vanished into the trees.
The grass was longer at the edge of the lawn and it was dotted with bluebells. I like bluebells because they flower in spring and always remind me that the long, hot days of summer are not too far away, but now I hardly gave them a second glance.
The Spooks Destiny
The morning sun was hidden by the trees and the air had suddenly got much cooler. It reminded me of my visit to the kitchen. There was something strange and dangerous about this part of the wood, and it seemed to be getting steadily colder the further we advanced into the trees. They were about as musical as my dad, who used to start singing as we got to the end of the milking. If the milk ever went sour my mam used to blame it on him.
The Spook halted and pointed to the ground about five paces ahead. The grass had been cleared and at the centre of the large patch of bare earth was a gravestone. It was vertical but leaning slightly to the left. On the ground before it, six feet of soil was edged with smaller stones, which was unusual. But there was something else even more strange: across the top of the patch of earth, and fastened to the outer stones by bolts, lay thirteen thick iron bars.
I counted them twice just to be sure. What is it? Got it first time. Notice anything unusual? So I just nodded. He smiled and patted me on the shoulder. They buried her on unhallowed ground outside a churchyard not too many miles from here.
The Spook's Apprentice: Book 1
But she kept scratching her way to the surface. It makes people feel better.
That way they can get on with their lives in peace. My heart was hammering away in my chest, threatening to break out any minute, and I was trembling from head to foot. What could be worse? I wondered, but I knew he was going to tell me anyway. Just keep well away after dark. All witches are different but some are really stubborn. Still bound to her bones, a witch like that tries hard to get back into the world. Human babies sometimes have the same trouble.
So stay well away. Let me hear you say it There are worse things than getting your ears boxed. Far worse. Still, he had other things to show me so I was spared more of his scary words.
He led me out of the wood and strode towards another lawn. He halted about ten paces short of a large stone which lay flat on the ground, close to the roots of an oak tree. It covered an area a bit larger than a grave, and judging by the part that was above ground, the stone was very thick too.
I tried to appear confident. Iron usually does the trick. But the thing under there could slip through iron bars in the twinkling of an eye. Look closely at the stone. I nodded. Bottom right is the Roman numeral for one.
As I mentioned, we use grades from one to ten. Remember that - one day it might save your life. A grade one could easily kill you. Cost me a fortune to have that stone brought here but it was worth every penny. The Spook smiled. A small fire had been made up in the grate and two plates of bacon and eggs were on the table.
There was a freshly baked loaf too and a large pat of butter. Then the Spook leaned back in his chair, tugged at his beard and asked me an important question. The breakfast had been well cooked. It was only when we were outside that the grin finally faded. Gets them every time.
It was a surprise, to say the least. Who would have credited that he had one cooking and cleaning for him? I felt the difference right away. The birds were singing and the trees were swaying slightly in the morning breeze. It was a happier place. Remember the Blood - Vicki Pettersson. The Harvest - Vicki Pettersson. Yvette Saldivar pinned post 17 Apr at 3: The Scent of Shadows - Vicki Pettersson.
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Just Imagine - Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Heaven, Texas - Susan Elizabeth Phillips.To contradict him would have got us off to a bad start. I climbed back up the steps and, screaming fit to burst, scratched and banged at the door.
The door creaked open on rusty hinges, the bottom juddering towards her over the flags as she dragged it open. Jot that down. I faced the darkness itself, which is the most terrifying thing of all, especially for people like us, because things come to us in the dark.
He was scowling at us, his face all twisted up.
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