- Series: Moving In Series (Book 4)
- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (June 7, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1533055033
- ISBN-13: 978-1533055033
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#4,571,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #13070 in Ghost Fiction
The First Church (Moving In Series) (Volume 4) Paperback – June 7, 2016
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"Author Ron Ripley deserves a wide audience and more acclaim, for truly his imagination never ceases. [Japanese soldier ghosts, in life practitioners of Shinto, housed in a New England Congregationalist Church!?! Strictly surreal!] This novella is fourth in the MOVING IN series, a series I hope never ends" - Mallory Heart Reviews
"A WONDERFUL, MOVING SUPERNATURAL MYSTERY you will truly enjoy. I RECOMMEND!" - Reader
"Horrifying wonderful! Each book in this series just keeps getting better!! Compelling characters that stay true throughout the series. Great writing. Love!" - Diane D.
"Creepy and very scary!" - Reader
"An Excellent And Unique Ghost Story! What transpires in the pages ahead is a very suspenseful ghost story. The chain of events are scary, spooky, tense and violent!" - Paul C.
"A gripping story about ghosts and the people who have to deal with them." - Sue
"Love, love this series. Read these books. You won't be disappointed." - Holly G.
"Great story.love this series. Can't wait for the next one." - Tammy B.
"Scary interesting." - Reader
"On a scale of one to five this entire series deserves a six because it's just that good!" - Brenda C.
From the Inside Flap
Chapter 1: Doubting Thomases
"Are you sure you heard him say 'ghost'?" Matt asked.
Carlton nodded. "I know I heard him say ghost."
They stood in the alley to the left of Sam's Smoke Shop. The two boys, in spite of only being fourteen, had managed to get Matt's sister to sell them a six pack of Budweiser, but the plan to drink it had been put on hold.
Reverend Joe, it turned out, had to leave the office earlier than usual.
Mrs. Staples, who was supposed to clean the Church, had gotten an emergency call from her pet sitter. One of her cats was stuck in a wall again.
The Church would be empty.
"How did you hear him?" Matt asked, keeping an eye on the Church office. The Reverend's car idled in its parking spot. Their religious leader would leave at any moment.
"It was last night," Carlton said. "I was helping my mom clean up after youth group. She was pretty upset about something and was talking to Dan's mom. When I passed by the Rev's office, I heard him on the phone."
"What did he say exactly?" Matt asked, looking away from the Church, for a moment, and at his friend.
Carlton brushed a stray lock of blonde hair out of his eyes and said, "The Rev said, 'I've got a headless ghost running around the Church.'"
"Who was he talking to?" Matt said, glancing back at the car. It remained where it was. Exhaust slipped out steadily from the tailpipe and into the cold afternoon March air.
"Don't know," Carlton answered. "He said 'thank you' and I had to make like I was texting when he came out. He went right over to talk to my mom and Dave's mom. It was weird. All of them were acting strange."
"Hell," Matt said, "if I'd seen a headless ghost, I'd be pumped up."
"Right," Carlton said with a grin.
"Reminds me of the movie Sleepy Hollow, you know, the one with Johnny Depp," Matt said. He smiled. "Maybe he's looking for his head."
Carlton laughed. "Think he'll try to take ours?"
Matt scoffed and shook his head. "Nah, ghosts can't hurt anybody."
"True," Carlton said.
"Oh snap, the Rev's leaving," Matt said. He and Carlton turned their attention to the man's little black Prius. They watched it back out of the parking space, go in reverse, and head down Main Street.
"So," Carlton said, looking at his friend. "You still have the key?"
Matt grinned. "Yes, I do. Mrs. Staples still thinks Jim lost it after he fixed the broken window in the kitchen for her."
Carlton rolled his eyes. "Kid annoys me."
"Kid annoys everyone," Matt replied. He slapped his friend's thick shoulder. "Come on, we'll cut around behind the Hurlington House."
The two teenage boys moved quickly out of the alley. Matt broke out the beer from his back pack, took a pair and passed one to Carlton. As soon as they crossed the street and made it to the safety of the old, run down Hurlington building, they paused so they could open them.
Each of them winced at the first few gulps, but then, excited smiles all over their faces, they made their way to the back of the Church.
With quick steps, they slipped into the Old Burial Ground, settled down behind the Hanover monument and carefully watched the Church's back door. They waited until they were finished, quickly drank another pair and then left the empty cans in the dirt.
No one came out of the office. The lights remained off.
Matt fished the key out of his pocket and nodded to Carlton.
Together, they stood and walked leisurely to the exit. One last glance around showed they were unobserved. Matt unlocked the door. They slipped inside and locked out the rest of Rye, New Hampshire.
The air smelled heavily of the Rev's spiced tea, and the cleaning supplies Mrs. Staples constantly scoured the whole Church with. There was enough light from the afternoon sun to fill the office.
Matt looked around. "So, do you think we'll be able to see a ghost, even though it's daytime?"
"Don't know," Carlton said, shrugging. "Maybe we'll have to wait?"
"Maybe," Matt said. He went and sat in the Rev's seat and put his feet up on the desk. "Carlton, we should totally drink the last ones in here."
Carlton laughed and shook his head. "Nah. I'm pretty sure Mrs. Staples would figure it out, she'd smell the beer and then she'd hang us from the rafters."
"True," Matt said, grinning. "Anyway, did the Rev say where he saw the ghost?"
"No," Carlton answered. "I mean, maybe he did, but it would have been before I heard him."
"It's just weird," Matt said after a minute. "No one's ever talked about seeing any ghosts before."
"I thought the same thing," Carlton said, leaning up against a filing cabinet. "You figure someone would have talked about it."
"Yeah, exactly," Matt said.
A creak sounded outside the door which led into the hallway.
Carlton and Matt looked at one another, their eyes wide.
The doorknob twisted to the left and then to the right.
Carlton glanced at the back door, wondered briefly if they had enough time to make it, and then froze in place as the noise stopped.
He risked a glance back and saw he and Carlton were still safe.
A form slipped through the wall and stood on the old rug in front of the desk.
It was short, even without its head. A man's body clad in a uniform of some sort. The hands opened and closed, and a question was asked in a language neither of the boys understood.
Both Carlton and Matt, however, took their phones out, pressed the camcorder icon, and recorded the ghost.
Another question was asked, again the words completely foreign, but louder.
"Dude," Matt said, laughing, "this is crazy!"
"I know!" Carlton said. His own laughter joined his friend's, and he stepped back as the ghost advanced towards him. "Man, this is just like Call of Duty! Only, he's headless, and not a zombie!"
"Right," Matt said with a laugh. "This is like the best special effects ever!"
"I am so putting this up on YouTube when we're done," Carlton said. "This thing is definitely going to go viral. We'll be famous! Maybe we can even get our own show on the Travel Channel."
"Careful," Matt said, grinning, "I think he likes you."
Carlton couldn't answer. He tried not to laugh too hard so he could keep the camera focused.
The ghost lunged at him, and its hands found Carlton's head. He dropped the phone as the dead thing's thumbs found his eyes and plunged into his sockets.
Carlton screamed and collapsed to his knees.
Matt realized he wasn't able to run. His legs wouldn't respond, even though he wanted them to move, to get him away. But he remained where he was, watching, as he kept the hideous image of his friend being blinded centered in the lens.
The headless ghost let go of Carlton, and then turned toward Matt and raced at him.
Matt's screams soon joined his friend's.
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[MOVING IN Book 4]
Author Ron Ripley deserves a wide audience and more acclaim, for truly his imagination never ceases. [Japanese soldier ghosts, in life practitioners of Shinto, housed in a New England Congregationalist Church!?! Strictly surreal!] This novella is fourth in the MOVING IN series, a series I hope never ends. Poor Brian Roy, the accidental ghost hunter, is called in on what turns out to be a seriously nasty, violent, and dangerous case (the "lucky" victims only suffer heart attacks--which is a real threat for Brian because of his cardiac history). These soldiers are mean!! Just because they've been deceased seventy years doesn't mean they're not both really, really sadistic, and terribly violent. So yes, a fair amount of blood and grisly and "not for the faint of heart" moments; but to be fair, some of the scenes, in other hands, would have been a whole lot more splatter-y. So I won't call this "extreme." However [rare event] the ending made me tearful (twice).