Brenna Yovanoff is here today as we continue with the Spooky Legends event. Brenna’s recent release is The Replacement, which is her debut novel.
You can read an excerpt from The Replacement here. The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs urban legend story is told from the viewpoint of Mackie Doyle. You also have a chance to win a copy of THE REPLACEMENT. As always, details are listed below.
I’m good at soccer, violent video games, and making very flaky pie pastry.
I’m bad at dancing, making decisions, and inspiring confidence as an authority figure. I suspect this is because I am short, and also terrible at sounding as though I have any idea what I’m talking about.
I was homeschooled until I was fifteen, which has probably affected my world view in ways I can’t fathom.
Also, I really, really like parentheses. (Really.)
**Visit All Things Urban Fantasy today for her Spooky Legends Guest blog with Jess Haines and a chance to win NOCTURNAL**
The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs
by Mackie Doyle
It’s funny about scary stories. They mostly seem to exist so that big kids can try and scare the hell out of littler ones.
My sister Emma told me a lot of stories, but she never told me this one. Not because she’s too nice to try and scare me (even though she is). She never told me because . . . well, because it’s way too close to a lot of complicated stuff we never talk about at my house.
Never mind. If you know anything about me, you’ll see what I mean in a minute.
Anyway, you’ve probably heard it already—or else something like it. It’s got all the standard features: it’s late, the kids are in bed and the babysitter is just sitting around, waiting for their parents to get home. She’s watching TV and the phone rings. The guy on the other end totally sounds like a sicko, a real heavy-breather. He tells her to go upstairs because she needs to check on the kids.
“Who is this?” she says.
But he just hangs up.
She’s kind of weirded out, but something good is on TV and anyway, she just put the kids to bed half an hour ago and they were fine—why should she check on them because some anonymous pervert tells her to? She figures she should just forget about it, but five minutes later, the phone rings again and this time, her heavy-breathing friend isn’t too happy. He tells her that she needs to go upstairs check on the kids right now, or else.
She tells him to go to hell and hangs up the phone. Then she settles down on the couch and turns up the TV.
I know that right about now, you’re saying “what kind of babysitter is this, anyway?” But I think her lack of concern is kind of the point. She’s sixteen and a nice person. It’s a nice neighborhood. And that’s the thing about nice people—she doesn’t think that anything could possibly be wrong.
After he calls three more times though, she does what any reasonable horror-story babysitter would do. She phones the police.
They agree that the whole thing is pretty freaking weird and figure they should look into it. They want to trace the number. The next time he calls, they’ll need her to keep him talking.
Five minutes later, he’s back on the line, and this time he’s out of his mind with rage, really angry, telling her that she’s a terrible babysitter, that she doesn’t care about those kids at all, she’s careless and irresponsible and selfish. She doesn’t freak out or hang up, though. This time, she lays into him, telling him that he’s lost it, that he has no business telling her what kind of person she is, that he’s a complete psycho and the kids are just fine.
When she says that, the caller starts to laugh. “That’s what you think,” he says, and in the background, there’s this wet, squelching sound. Then he hangs up on her.
Right away, the phone rings again. It isn’t the guy though—this time, it’s the police. The officer on the other end says, “Miss, you have to get out of that house right now.”
“What?” she says. “No—I mean, I can’t leave the kids.”
“Miss, we traced the call and you need to leave right now. He’s calling from the upstairs line.”
This is the part where you’d think she’d book it out the door. But she doesn’t. Instead, she heads for the stairs, all set to grab the kids and get them outside. I don’t know, maybe she’s not such a bad babysitter after all.
But halfway up, she stops. There’s a man standing at the top of the stairs. He’s tall and slumped, holding a butcher knife. He’s covered in blood. The hall light is shining behind him and she can’t see his face, but when he speaks, she can tell that he’s smiling.
“You should have checked.”
Synopsis (Product Description):
Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement—left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is slowly dying in the human world.
Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with an oddly intriguing girl named Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.
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3. Entries for all Spooky Legends giveaways must be received by Midnight EST on November 6th. All the giveaways winners will be announced on November 7th.
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