I really hate things that I cannot control. I am, to an extent, a control freak. So ghosts scare me. Anything I can’t pick up a blunt object and defend myself against makes me nervous. Zombies scare me too, but I’m fairly confident I can bludgeon them away from me if I have to. That said, I still manage to use them in my fiction sometimes.
Well, now that I think about it, there are strange apparitions in most of my novels. Saboteur, however, had more of a “future ghost” thing going on and that was all dealing with magic. But my favorite ghost from one of my personal novels has to be Baldemor Delgora from the Witch-Born series.
For starters I love his name. Baldemor Delgora just rolls off the tongue in a pleasant manner. It sounds old, though the ghost is of a little boy and I find that contradiction fun. We only get to see him twice in Witch-Born, but the sequel Dead Magic has him turning up again. (Dead Magic is nearly completed, by the way. It should be done at the end of November.) He’s more active in this new novel and he has lost his friendliness — inasmuch as he was ever “friendly” but he does attempt to hurt three different people this time.
In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I might give a snippet of Baldemor in action. This is from Dead Magic, which is under contract and will be out sometime next year. For those unfamiliar with the novels, Witch-Born is set in the world of Magnellum, which is a steampunk/magic blend where Witches are nobility. The Witches use their magic to hold up the barrier separating Magnellum from what is known as the Wild — a primal force bent on killing everyone inside Magnellum.
Valeda had the disturbing sensation of something very cold sliding down her spine. The only sound came from the waterfalls crashing into the lake just beyond, though Valeda could swear she heard a low, deep humming from the boy in front of her. He hadn’t answered her yet and the House Witch had given no explanation, so Valeda kept quiet. If she was being honest, she was terrified.
There was something malicious about the boy, something intense and powerful that clung to him.
“In truth, Miss Quinlan, I’m not sure how to introduce you,” Elsie said at last. “The form before you is that of Baldemor Delgora. Baldemor, however, has been dead for centuries.”
Valeda swallowed down her fear. “Centuries?”
“Until recently he talked. Sometimes he would warn people away from the Lake. But he’s changed now. He’s more Wild than anything else.” The Witch tugged at her earlobe and frowned. “The Wild is coming, Miss Quinlan. Very soon, I’m afraid.”