Justin covered his mouth, halting the scream that was about to erupt. The yellow eyes kept looking at him, its eyelids widening in an inhuman way. The stare appeared hateful and terrifying. The silence that now entombed the house only intensified the situation. Justin stood, frozen to the spot, unable and unsure whether to move. The yellow eyes kept staring.

Then the sound of the door's lock snapped Justin out of his petrification. The door unlocked and began to open slowly. Justin darted as fast as he could for the door, sprinting down the steps and across the front hallway. His entire body slammed into the door and it closed. The letterbox still remained open and the eyes remained in their place. Being so close to them melted the skin off Justin's bones.

He started to back away from the door when the eyes quickly vanished and an arm reached inside and grabbed Justin's pyjama shirt. He had no time to scream before he was pulled head-first into the door. The strength of the ghost was surprising, slamming the living boy against the door he fought to close just seconds before.

Justin's arms flailed around, trying to cushion each agonising blow against the door. After a couple of tries, he managed to place his hands flat against the door and pulled away from it. The ghost held on as much as he could, but Justin could feel his grip loosening. Just when it looked like the hand was about to slip, a swirl of mist encased the letterbox. In a flash, the ghost entered and stood in front of Justin, towering over him.

The sight of the ghost right in his face was enough for Justin to lose consciousness, but it felt like some strange power kept him from doing so. The man in front of him was missing his lips and throat, and his eyelids were hanging from his face. Blood flowed endlessly from his eyes – eyes that did not match the man that was staring into the letterbox. The choppy skin around his eyes appeared as though someone tried to cut off his eyelids but the ghost put up a fight. Maybe that's how he died.

Justin felt pity for this man's suffering, but the fear of what the ghost could do to him was his overwhelming response to the situation.

The man pulled Justin towards him. Justin flew straight through the man and was about to land on the door when it swung open. The boy landed on the threshold. His hands slammed against the porch, absorbing the shock of the fall and preventing his head from colliding with the wood. The surprising thing to Justin was that the air outside didn't feel any different to the air inside the house.

Stumbling to his feet, he ran down the porch steps and onto the grass. With no idea where to go, Justin knew he couldn't get back into the house with the ghost blocking the entrance. The ghost wanted him outside, he knew it, and Justin didn't want to give him what he wanted. Unfortunately, he had no choice. He wasn't strong enough to overpower the spirit.

Once Justin reached half-way down the front garden, the ground began to sink. Justin's feet became buried in the dirt as translucent hands reached out and grabbed his legs. The boy could barely move anymore, his body slipping through the earth like quicksand. Various hands popped out from beneath, not just around Justin but in the entire garden. Justin screamed out for help, hoping his parents would wake up and help him. He knew the neighbours would only watch.

The dirt reached Justin's stomach. His legs were paralysed and his arms tried desperately to stop him from sinking any further. All attempts to save himself were futile. Justin didn't know what else to do but yell out.

Like a guardian angel, a man pulled Justin out from the ground. At first struggling with the weight of a hundred ghosts pulling down, the saviour managed to wrap his arms around Justin's chest and pull him up. Dirt flew everywhere as he kicked around. The yelling stopped.

Once some normality returned to him, Justin looked at his hero. He recognised him instantly as Logan Fabray.

"Are you alright?" He asked, his brow creased in concern. Justin didn't realise how tightly he was holding onto Logan's arms. He slowly released his grip and let his hands fall.

Ashes of the Innocent (Abyssal Sanctuary #2)Read this story for FREE!