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Authors: Aiden James

The Raven Mocker

BOOK: The Raven Mocker
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The

Raven Mocker

 

by

 

Aiden James

 

 

 

Acclaim for Aiden James:

 


Aiden James has written a deeply psychological, gripping tale that keeps the readers hooked from page one.”


Bookfinds
review for THE FORGOTTEN EDEN

 


Not only is Aiden James a storyteller par excellence, but his material for his story is riveting.”


Huntress Reviews

 


The hook to this excellent suspense thriller is the twists that will keep readers wondering what is going on as nothing is quite what it seems. Adding to the excitement is that the audience will wonder whether the terror is an evil supernatural creature or an amoral human…Aiden James provides a dark thriller that grips fans from the opening.”


Harriet Klausner
, Amazon’s #1 book reviewer for THE FORGOTTEN EDEN

 


Aiden James writing style flows very easily and I found that CADES COVE snowballed into a very gripping tale. Clearly the strengths in the piece were as the spirit's interaction became prevalent with the family… The Indian lore and ceremonies and the flashbacks to Allie Mae's (earthly) demise were very powerful. I think those aspects separated the work from what we've seen before in horror and ghost tales.”


Evelyn Klebert
, author of A GHOST OF A CHANCE and DRAGONFLIES

 


Aiden James is insanely talented!”


J.R. Rain
, author of MOON DANCE and THE BODY DEPARTED

 

 

 

BOOKS BY AIDEN JAMES

Cades Cove

The Raven Mocker

The Forgotten Eden

The Devil’s Paradise

Solomon

Deadly Night

 

 

 

The Raven Mocker by Aiden James

Published by Aiden James at Amazon Kindle

Copyright © 2010 by Aiden James

www.aidenjamesfiction.com

Cover Art: R.C. Rutter, [email protected]

All rights reserved.

 

Amazon Kindle Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to Amazon Kindle and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

 


There are no haunted places, only haunted people.”


Robert Baker & Joe Nickell

 


It’s best to leave the ‘dead and buried’ undisturbed. Pray they stay at peace, sleeping in the bosom of The Great Spirit.”


Evelyn “Two Doves Rising” Sherman

 

 

 

 

The Raven Mocker

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

A sudden gust carried snow flurries into the anthropology department’s long corridor before the main entrance closed, the security latch re-locking itself. The entire building sat deserted, as did much of the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus. Most everyone, faculty included, had left earlier that afternoon for the start of winter break. Everyone, except Eddie Krantz and his fiancé Cynthia Towner.


We’ll be in here fifteen to twenty minutes, tops,” said Eddie, removing his scarf and brushing a thin layer of snowflakes from his coat.

Blond and handsome with serene blue eyes, he cracked a tense smile in hopes she would remain patient. Just as anxious to begin their trip to Miami Beach, it was imperative he complete the last minute task given to him by Dr. Walter Pollack. As a first-year archaeology intern, he could ill afford displeasing the professor. Let the boss down just once, and kiss any chance of better projects goodbye.


What does he want you to do again?” she asked, her tone impatient.

Cynthia removed her knitted cap and earmuffs. Her flowing dark brown hair no longer confined, it smartly framed her delicate features and emerald eyes within a soft oval face.

She followed him upstairs to the second floor, to a small lab at the end of the dimly lit hall. The echoed clicks from their shoes accentuated the building’s emptiness.


He needs me to double-check the tag numbers against the journal entries on some bones we removed from Cades Cove last month,” he replied, unlocking the lab’s door with a security card.

He pushed the door open and flicked on the overhead fluorescent light, allowing her to enter first before closing the door behind them. Spartanly furnished, the small room contained just two tables and a stool, along with a small wooden cabinet and stainless-steel sink.

On the table closest to the sink lay what looked like a complete human skeleton. The aged bones, darker than what one might normally expect to find, were covered with unusual grooves and the hands and feet grotesquely elongated in comparison to the rest of the skeleton. The overall massive size also unusual, the lower legs and feet lined up in neat rows next to the rest of the skeleton, indicating whoever the bones belonged to stood much taller than the six and a half foot table length.


Wow… so this is what you were talking about last month, after your team finished that dig, right?”

Unlike some females he’d dated, Cynthia seemed intrigued by the remains, especially the apparent deformities. That’s one of the things that endeared her to him. Nearly finished with her undergraduate studies in microbiology, she currently planned to attend med school within the next three years. It just depended on when he finished his graduate work.

He nodded in response, watching her fascination and pleased that the ticking-timer for him to hurry had been paused. Still, he knew he needed to take care of Dr. Pollack’s directive quickly. He moved over to the cabinet and opened it. The professor’s journal sat on the top shelf. Eddie grabbed the journal and returned to the table, opening to the ledger pages for this particular specimen.

The only skeleton left to confirm, two-dozen others had already been verified and taken elsewhere for safekeeping. Like them, this one would be moved to a cold storage unit set up in the basement of an abandoned dormitory near the McClung Museum. Eddie had been charged with verifying the bones, carefully wrapping the skeleton, and then placing it inside a steel travel case that waited beneath the table. Another of the professor’s assistants would be here tomorrow morning to pick it up and take it to the storage unit. He set out in earnest, while Cynthia continued to study the remains.

Suddenly, she frowned.


What do these belong to?” She pointed to a pile of sharp jagged teeth located near the bottom edge of the table. More than a dozen in total, each tooth curved slightly along its two to three-inch length.


Some animal, Cyn,” he replied, curt, barely looking up from the ledger. When he felt the heat from her glare, he looked up again, his smile apologetic. “Our preliminary findings were that the teeth belonged to some kind of big cat no longer around here.”


You mean extinct? And that would make it prehistoric, right?” she persisted, waiting for an answer that didn’t come. Meanwhile her gaze followed the skeleton’s length, settling on its skull. “It’s got a head bigger than Shaq’s.” She shot him a wry smile, to which he responded with another brief glance.


Do you remember anything else I told you about, before the Indian activists closed the site?” he asked, not immediately catching her allusion to the star basketball player.

He regretted his smugness that slipped through unchecked. But hoping this time she’d let him finish his task uninterrupted, he tried to ignore the sting from his latest barb on her face, her lower lip quivering, likely in sullen anger.
Well here’s something not so endearing.
Jesus, she better learn to not be so damned sensitive if she’s ever going to amount to anything in the medical field.


This is the most unusual specimen recovered from the dig,” he continued. “Dr. Pollack’s really excited about the skull, since the cranial capacity is bigger than modern man, even rivaling that of
Cro-Magnum
. Remember now?”

She nodded weakly that she did, and then looked back at the bones. The skull’s lower jaw curved to a point, a very unusual feature for any human, and the entire skull lacked teeth, except for several worn molars. Where the incisors and canines should be were only empty sockets.


Where are
its
teeth?”

Her sarcastic tone needled him. He looked up again from the ledger, this time sharply.

Did she really
need to go there?


Well,” he began, frowning as he watched her gaze shift from the animal teeth to the skull and jawbone. “We might’ve lost them when we separated this skeleton from the girl’s remains I also told you about.”

The look on his face not so apologetic, imploring her silently to please let him finish the rest of his verification undisturbed. After all, he lacked just half a page and then it was on to packing up the bones and getting the hell out of here.


The murdered girl from the early nineteen-hundreds who was reburied right after Thanksgiving?”

He confirmed this with a nod.


Did you ever read the story about that?” She waited for his response, which was simply a negative headshake.


It was in both the Knoxville and school papers, as well as the TV news,” she said. “The girl’s remains were reburied in one of the churchyards in Cades Cove and the service was a Scottish-Native American ceremony….”

She didn’t go on when his only response a tepid grunt. To get his attention, she picked up a handful of the animal teeth. When he still ignored her she moved over to the skull and placed the teeth inside several of the empty sockets. A slight gasp escaped her mouth when all but one fit perfectly, and the other just slightly loose. She added one of the longer teeth to a matching socket when he noticed what she was doing.


Stop
that!”

She withdrew her hand, wounded by his rebuke.

He glared at her for a moment, and seemed poised to say something else. But instead, he turned his attention to the skull, prepared to carefully remove the sharp canines from the skull’s mouth. He hesitated, pulling his hand back.

My God, that’s creepy!


This is really going to be bad if you jammed them in there,” he told her, determined to find a distraction from thinking about how the teeth looked so…so natural in the skull. For some crazy reason, the teeth made the thing look alive, like if his hand ventured too close, he might lose a finger or two. “Dr. Pollack told us this past week that advanced carbon dating proves this one is the oldest human remains ever found in North America. He’ll have my ass in a sling if I can’t get the teeth out.”


I’m sorry—I didn’t mean to mess anything up.”

This time, she did look like she’d cry. He wondered if the thing creeped her out too.


It’s okay, Cyn,” he assured her, forcing himself to sound compassionate while he gently removed the first tooth. The thing looked less sinister, and he moved on to the rest of the teeth. “Just give me a few more minutes, and I’ll hurry to get this finished.”

BOOK: The Raven Mocker
11.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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