Christa Carmen On All Hallows’ Eve, the door between the physical and spiritual worlds dissolves, and the past quite literally returns to haunt Eve. Before this Halloween is over, she’ll wish that door had stayed shut, and the ghosts of boyfriends past had stayed dead and buried."> Frith Books - Four Souls of Eve by Christa Carmen
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Four Souls of Eve by Christa Carmen

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Four Souls of Eve by Christa Carmen

On All Hallows’ Eve, the door between the physical and spiritual worlds dissolves, and the past quite literally returns to haunt Eve. Before this Halloween is over, she’ll wish that door had stayed shut, and the ghosts of boyfriends past had stayed dead and buried.

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Description

It is the night of All Hallows’ Eve, a time for spooks and ghouls. It’s also the night before Eve’s wedding, and she is surprised to find herself visited by four spirits: the ghosts of ex-boyfriends past. Each man wants something from Eve, and she must weigh the choices before her, as she reflects on the things she has lost… and the new perspective she’s gained.

As the spirits cause her to confront her own bad habits, Eve realizes that her most disagreeable relationship may not be dead and buried after all.

 


 

Four Souls of Eve will also feature in the anthology, All Hallows, coming soon from Frith Books.

 

Christa’s Author Page

Additional information

Writer

Christa Carmen

ISBN

978-1-907623-61-5

Kindle ASIN

B01M340K7O

Length

30 .pdf pages / 6985 words

Format

.epub, .pdf

Cover Design

Anna Reith (original art by Tithi Luadthong)

Read an excerpt


FOUR SOULS OF EVE

© Christa Carmen. All rights reserved.


EVELYN JACOBS KNEW HOW THAT OVERDONE, overblown Ebenezer story went. The Muppets, other holiday specials and parodies aside, last December she’d found herself in the third row for a local theater group’s take on the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future and, while the acting had sucked—the arrogant, morbidly obese kid she’d gone to high school with now owned the company and had cast himself as Ebenezer—it had gotten the story across well enough.

Eve was not only skeptical of the existence of ghosts; she found the prospect of an apparition visiting you with the intention of saving your soul while you were in your nightgown unlikely. Hell, her grandfather was a real-life Scrooge and Eve would have bet the equivalent of the man’s fortune that, if a ghost proposed he share his wealth and promote good cheer or be cast into an early grave, the old man would have knocked the spirit right back out of whatever window it had gained admittance through.

So Eve thought that Dickens’ old penny-pincher was a fine morality tale to tell the kiddies, but that there was no more truth to three specters appearing to change the fate of the protagonist than there was to a Jedi Knight, a Wookiee, and a few droids saving the galaxy from an evil empire. But then how did one explain the four ghosts that would come to take up residence on Eve’s balcony to argue over the fate of her soul?

Alas, we are getting ahead of ourselves on this All Hallows’ Eve, and patience you must have.

* * * *

It was Eve’s wedding eve, and her stress level was approaching code red. Sure, she had tackled the most important details, but there were a million little tasks that she didn’t trust her maid of honor to attend to. Her sister would do her best, but Eve’s wedding was the first time Layla had been back to their hometown since dating her post-divorce beau, and showing him off to friends and family who’d gathered for Eve’s ‘big day’ had preoccupied the younger woman.

The first of November didn’t feel like it was shaping up to be a big day. There was heavy rain in the forecast, and already several guests had contacted Eve to rescind their RSVPs. But, bigger than the weather or the inconsiderate guests, the knowledge that she and Jack had been at odds for more than six months now consumed her. At first she’d thought the strain of planning the wedding was to blame but, as time went on, Eve had begun to suspect this was only the tip of an iceberg comparable in size to the one that had gouged out the underbelly of the Titanic.

Jack had been lashing out at her over her career or, to be more specific, that she’d decided to change it without asking his permission first. Eve maintained that she had told him—she’d alerted him to every occasion of hitting the send button on a new job application—but he hadn’t been listening.

She had always regretted her decision to play it safe after college, to sell out as a marketing specialist rather than pursue her dream of running her own graphic design company. At this juncture, she wasn’t even proposing forging ahead with entrepreneurship; all she wanted was to trade her tedious management position with Cisco Systems for a chance as a graphic designer with a more intimate company. Jack had accused her of being selfish for even considering such a thing.

Eve loathed marketing. She believed that her passion for design and for pitching in with the underdog would give her an edge in working with less established companies. Even starting small, it would be impossible for her not to succeed. She’d told Jack that, but it always meant the discussion fracturing into frenzied talk regarding the dreaded ‘f’ word: the future.

Eve didn’t think Jack was any more concerned with starting a family, paying off the mortgage, and planning yearly vacations than she was, but they never seemed able to even talk about it. Jack despised his own job. He seemed so jealous at the thought of Eve moving into an enjoyable career that he might have been viewing her through a pea-colored patina, but she knew that he’d never put any effort into getting out of his own dead-end career. Could he really fault her if she’d done the leg work to escape?

But he did fault her. He faulted her so much that, in an attempt to save their marriage that was not yet a marriage, Eve was considering rejecting the job offer that she had recently landed. She’d spent six months searching for a company that balanced her prerequisites with a salary Jack could stomach… but then Jack had told her he couldn’t stomach it. She had until Friday to give the Human Resources department her decision; the wedding was on Tuesday.

The ceremony and reception—at a mid-sized hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean—were not on par with any huge or lavish affair, but it had still taken an extensive amount of planning to work out all the kinks.

Tonight, as Eve went through the venue contract, menu, and seating chart for the hundredth time, she got caught up in another endless game of strategizing. She directed the moving pieces back and forth until three hours had gone by, and she was pretty damn sure the guests’ placards were all in the same place as they’d been when she’d started.

Frustrated, Eve decided that if something were to go wrong tomorrow it was too late to fix it now, and she went upstairs to draw herself a bath. She lit a pumpkin spice candle, poured herself a glass of wine, and lay across the end of her and Jack’s California King while the tub filled. She thought of calling Jack to say hello—he was staying at his sister and brother-in-law’s for the evening, due to the whole ‘not seeing the bride before the wedding’ superstition—and decided against it.

It was almost eight o’clock, but Jack would likely stay up until at least midnight, his wedding not an excuse to get a good night’s sleep. Like any good introvert, Eve reveled in an opportunity to recharge her batteries. She could call Jack later.

She reached for the remote and flipped on the TV. A movie was just beginning; the guide identified it as All Hallows’ Eve.

“Damn,” she said aloud, remembering the holiday for the first time since that morning.


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