YA Ghost Story
When Reuben Hall was eleven he killed a girl -- not with a rope or a knife, but with a dare. Now eighteen, Reuben is still haunted by that day, and by the little girl ghost of Mikaela Patterson. Reuben and his ghost have a complex relationship: She is his burden, his tormentor, and quite possibly his only friend. But after years of self-flagellation, all Reuben wants is to be left in peace. When each of his experiments to make Mikaela leave fail, he is left with one last plan: take her back to the place where she drowned and force her to face up to the reality of her death.
But Mikaela isn't the worst thing that haunts the mountain town of Norah's Pass. The locals are full of stories of freak drownings and mysterious illnesses, and Reuben soon realizes his arrival has awoken a long-slumbering darkness. As the faceless monster begins to stir, possessing townspeople and leaving bodies in its wake, Reuben must face up to his own guilt and earn Mikaela's friendship if he is ever to find redemption and leave the town alive.
First 150 Words:
I was eleven when I killed Mikaela Patterson. Not with a rope or a knife, but with a dare.
"Swim to the middle of the lake," I told her. "I bet you can't do it. I bet you're too chicken."
I could lie and say I didn't think she'd go through with it, or that I thought she was a better swimmer, but the truth was I really didn't care. All I wanted was to be left in peace to read my Star Wars novel, and I got what I wanted. As I fell asleep on the dock, my book shading my eyes, Mikaela crept into the freezing water. I imagine she would have been proud to face her fear like that. I imagine the further she swam, out of the clutches of the reaching lake weed, the more confident she became. And when she looked back she would have been surprised at how far she'd swum.