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Excerpt from the novel HAZEL HOUSE

Someone was tailing Phina and she could feel it in her soul. She quickened her pace, but the person walking behind her along the barely lit hallway mimicked every move she made. Afraid to look back, she called out to Isabel, hoping to get an answer. Receiving no response got her adrenaline pumping, so she shrieked, “Stop Isabel.” Still, no response.

She continued but could sense that there was undoubtedly a being behind her. This being was determined to catch up with her and do her harm. Knowing this convinced her it wasn’t Isabel she had to contend with. Gripped with fear and unable to find her voice again, she took a quick look behind but saw no one. A second later, she hastened and felt the person following her do the same. Her heart pounding, she decided to run the entire length of the hallway which ended with the Victorian living room on the right. Hopefully, there she could call for help, or better still her assailant would give up pursuing her.

As she started to make a break for it, she felt a heavy hand grab her shoulder. She let out a piercing scream, but a hand went across her mouth muffling her cries of agony. When she felt a tight grip on her neck, she kicked and flailed her hands in every direction before she drifted out of consciousness.

Later, when she opened her eyes, she saw Isabel looking down at her. With her head cradled on Isabel’s lap, she looked around in confusion. Simon was standing nearby and beside him were the butler and the housekeeper. 


Isabel was the first to speak.


“We have notified the police.”


“Why? What happened?” Phina asked, trying to recover her senses.


“You were attacked,” Simon answered, helping her to the chair provided by the housekeeper.


“By whom?” she asked exasperatedly.


“We were hoping you’d know,” Isabel responded, shaking her head. “Did you see anyone? Do you remember anything?”


Phina squinted her eyes and looked from left to right.


“No. The last thing I remember was someone grabbing me from behind. At first, when I heard the person following me, I thought you were pretending to be Martin just to give me a fright,” she said pointing at Isabel, “but next thing I knew, I was getting choked. I didn’t get the chance to see the person.”