As she posted in the headline for me, my name is Jack Dahlgren. Jack, not Jackie, like my dad calls me. Geesh, I’m almost 13 and he still treats me like a baby. I’m the main character from C.K.’s ghost story for tweens, GHOST DOG OF ROANOKE ISLAND.
Dad moved us to this beach house on Roanoke Island about two months ago. I wasn’t too happy about it. I’d rather be in Ohio. That's home. Had lived there my whole life. But after Dad got laid off last year, things got pretty bad. I heard Mom and Dad whispering about the bank and someone taking the house. Then we got news my Great-grandma Ellis left us this house on Roanoke Island. I didn’t know Great-grandma very well. She’d had Alzheimer’s for as long as I could remember. She didn’t even recognize my mom the last time we'd visited her at the old folks home. Funny thing though, my mom didn’t know about the house on Roanoke Island. Guess Great-grandma had kept it a secret.
Anyway, Dad went to scope the beach house out. He found a job in nearby Manteo and that was all she wrote. He up and moved us, not even asking if it was okay by me.
Dad made stupid comments about how cool it would be to live on an island off the coast of North Carolina, like he thought he would change my mind about Ohio. Won’t happen. It’s not like Ohio at all. I don’t have any friends or anything. None of the kids at school want to have much to do with me. They’re always teasing me about our creepy house, saying it’s haunted. The beach house is pretty run down and Dad is either at work or repairing the house. Never has any time for me. He won’t even let me go exploring the woods or the bluff...especially since Kimmy’s accident.
(Sigh) Kimmy’s my little sister. She’s six. She fell off the bluff next to our house three weeks ago and is in the hospital. The bluff's not that high but she hit her head on a rock and has been unconscious ever since. Dad blames me for her fall. But I didn’t know she’d followed me up there! I’d do anything to take it back. Guess he’s got a right to blame me. I wasn’t supposed to be up there either.
Mom’s been with Kimmy at the hospital since she fell. I wish she’d come home. Seems like I’m always in trouble with Dad. He’s so mad at me. He promised I could get a dog when we moved to the island. Except now he won’t talk about…not since the accident. But I’ve got to find a way to make him let me keep that big Mastiff I found on the bluff. He’s a cool dog! And he must need a good home. He’s a great dog to have around. Already saved me from whatever that thing was I came across in the cave.
Dad would kill me if he found out…but I went back up the bluff. See, the hurricane was coming and I thought I’d heard Dad calling. But it wasn’t him, it was the dog. I followed him up the bluff to try and rescue him, but I was the one that needed the rescusing. I fell over the side of the bluff just like Kimmy. Didn’t fall onto the rocks like she did though. I managed to hang onto the vines and then this cave appeared. I jumped in it not knowing there was something else already in there. As I was trying to find another way out of the cave, this creepy monster thing came after me. It was really big and ugly and scary. But like I said, the dog saved me. Pretty brave for a dog.
Then I met this guy named Manny. He’s really cool even if he is an adult. He's a Native American Shaman. Said he'd teach me how to whittle. He also seems to know what this thing in the cave is and said he’ll help me figure out how to stop it. Manny says it’s an evil creature conjured up a long time ago, from when the first colonists landed on Roanoke Island in 1587. My history book said 117 colonists disappeared back then...disappeared without a trace. I think this creature has something to do with it.
Manny says I’m the only one who can stop it. I don’t understand, but I have to find out why. First I have to figure out what it is though and why it’s here. It’s scary but if I don’t stop this thing, it will continue to haunt the island and hurt or even kill people. I can’t let it get my family. I promised Kimmy I wouldn’t let anything bad ever happen to her again.
Plus, if I can stop it, maybe Dad won’t be so mad at me anymore. It could show him I’m responsible enough and he’ll let me keep the dog. Man I want that dog! But first, I’ve got to stop this monster thing...before it stops me.
I hope you’ll visit me in September when my book comes out. It’s one heck of a ghost story, with lots of action and adventure. Thanks for stopping by.
Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island, by C.K. Volnek. Coming September, 2011 by MuseItUp Publishing.