Ghosted Soul - Book cover

Ghosted Soul

Sapir Englard

When 3 Become one


My legs gave out from under me, and I collapsed back onto the soft earth of the cemetery.

I looked down at my hands, and nausea welled in my throat.

These aren’t my hands.

No, these fingers were long and slender. A small gold ring glistened on my left pinkie.

Not my pinkie. Chloe’s.

I wiggled that pinkie finger up and down.

That tiny movement pushed my stomach over the edge. I curled onto my knees and vomited weakly into the dirt.

Gross. Chloe’s voice echoed in my—her—head.

The world spun around me.

Claire! You’ve got to breathe! Chloe urged.

But I couldn’t. My chest hitched, and stars twinkled in my vision.

“I can’t— I can’t do this…” I managed to mutter, trying to stop the ragged tearing in my chest.

Everything went dark.


There was bright, buttery light behind my eyelids.


I opened my eyes, then bolted upright.

This was my childhood bedroom back in Texas.

I was home.

I looked around.

My old concert posters hung on the walls.

My acoustic guitar sat against one corner.

Everything was safe. Comfortable.

I collapsed back onto my pillows. It had all been some kind of horrible, surreal nightmare.

Maybe I needed to lay off the caffeine before bed.

“Think again, Claire,” came a female voice from the door.

My mouth went dry.

I turned to see an unfamiliar young woman standing in the entrance to my room. The door was closed behind her.

There are some women that, through no fault of their own, seem genetically pre-designed to make other women feel like crap about themselves.

This was one of those women.

She was about my age, with dark brown eyes and a wave of golden-blonde hair that fell to her waist.

Her skin was tanned, and her long legs rose to a slim waist and full chest.

She wore a simple black dress, and a string of pearls gleamed around her neck.

Luminous brown eyes and a pouty mouth completed the picture of a woman who could have been mistaken for a runway model.

Or a young, dark-eyed Scarlett Johansson.

I looked down at the old sweats I was wearing with dismay.

The woman folded her arms and gave me an appraising look.

“What the hell is this place?” she said.


What the actual fuck was going on?

One minute I’m floating around in a scary-ass black…thing, talking to some disembodied voice named Claire.

Then that bright light—and I swear I heard a voice echoing my name—and all of a sudden—I’m back in my body.

A body that was starting to feel more like a clown car.

I watched from a distance as Claire, using my body, puked all over the dirt.

And then poof, I popped up in this weird bedroom and was looking at some girl with mousy brown hair.

What happened before all of that, what happened that put me in that darkness…

I had no clue.

All I could remember was pain, a bitter rage simmering beneath my skin.

Every time I closed my eyes, I saw a swirl of red and black and sorrow and a horrible, metallic crashing…

I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself.

“What the hell is this place?” I asked the girl on the bed. I leaned against the closed wooden door of the bedroom.

I would not betray my fear. Not when I had no idea who this girl was or why she had invaded my body.

“You’re Chloe, aren’t you?” she said, her face falling.

“Yeah, you’re Claire?” I asked, accepting the obvious truth.

The girl who’s borrowing my body.

She nodded. “This is my bedroom. For a second I thought—I thought—”

“You thought it was all a dream?” She nodded dismally.

I looked around at the room, which was decorated primarily in little-girl pink and white.

“What are you, twelve years old?” I asked sarcastically, then winced at my harsh words.

I heard my mother’s voice in my head as I spoke.

Always criticizing.

Never taking the time to say a kind word unless she had something to gain from it.

That pulsing red and black anger rose another few degrees.

Claire flushed as she looked around. She peered over the side of the bed nearest the window, then cried out in alarm.

I moved to see what had scared her so badly.

Curled up between the window and the bed was an enormous wolf with silvery-blonde fur.

My wolf. I felt it instinctively.

She lifted her muzzle and whined softly. We’d been—severed somehow. Either during my time in the void, or when I was brought back.

How is this possible? My wolf was a part of me, connected to my very blood. I couldn’t imagine a world in which we were separated.

Now I was starting to become truly scared.

Something was really, really wrong here.

“There’s a wolf in my bedroom,” Claire said in a dazed voice.

She ran toward the door and raced out, leaving me alone.


Instead of exiting my bedroom and going out into the corridor that led to the kitchen, I opened my eyes to find myself lying on my side, still in the cemetery.

I had no idea how long I’d been lying there, but it was near dawn.

Chloe? Are you still there? I asked inwardly.

Where else would I go? I’m still in your bedroom. Nice yearbook photo!

I struggled to my...Chloe’s feet.

This is getting annoying.

I made a decision to refer to the body I was currently inhabiting as “mine.” Otherwise, the pronouns were going to drive me crazy.

As I stood, a lock of hair fell into my eyes, and I went to brush it back carelessly.

Then I stopped dead, staring at the thick, blonde hair that lay in my hand.

Looking down, I saw that I was wearing the same simple black dress, black pumps, and pearls that Chloe had been wearing in my bedroom.

Except it wasn’t really my bedroom...more like a mental safe place that I could go to talk with this stranger whose body I now inhabited.

Like a panic room for my brain.

This was going to take a lot of getting used to.

Why am I in charge of this body? How did any of this happen?

I needed answers.

Do you have any idea where we are? I asked Chloe.

I think we’re in Houston.

Why Houston?

Because my family is from Houston, so it makes sense that I would be buried there. And because I can see the billboard that says “HOUSTON JUNIOR COTILLION.”

The knowledge that Chloe could see out of my eyes gave me the willies, but at least her information was helpful.

I headed out of the cemetery on shaky legs, brushing the graveyard dirt off my hair and dress as I walked.

As I headed down the street, I became increasingly aware of the desperate situation we were in.

I was alone in an unfamiliar city, in a dead werewolf’s body.

With no phone, no money, and no way of knowing who or what had brought us back.

My heart thudded in my chest.

So, what now? Chloe asked.

We couldn’t go to the police, what the hell would we even say?

Hi! I’m alone and newly resurrected in a dead werewolf’s body! Didn’t seem like the best way to go.

Which also ruled out the hospital. Who knew what kind of freaky stuff they’d find.

Can we go to your family? I asked Chloe.

NO! Came her immediate answer.

A different idea came to me.

Any idea where we can find a library?


The librarian had barely unlocked the doors when I entered the quiet space.

My stomach was a knot of anxiety as I sat down at one of the public-access computers.

The monitor flashed to life. I opened a search engine.

Then I froze, my fingers hovering over the keys.

What if I don’t want to know? I asked.

We have to figure out what is going on here, Chloe’s voice piped in. ~Woman up. You got this.~

I swallowed hard and typed in my name and the word “Amarillo,” my hometown.


My heart plummeted all the way into my shoes. Missing? For six months!

I clicked the link.

“Twenty-two-year-old Amarillo woman Claire Hill is being officially presumed dead after a six-month search has turned up no evidence of her whereabouts…”

I began reading, but then I saw the timestamp. And compared it to the date at the bottom of the computer screen.

“Three years!” I cried out loud.

Three years. I was lost in that void for three years.

My parents. They must have been devastated.

But why did it say I was missing? I’d been killed in that coffeeshop.

I typed in the name of the cafe, the date I died, and “Amarillo.”

Several links appeared, and I clicked a blog, Howling for Truth.


A flash. Screaming. Spilled coffee. Glowing orange eyes across the street.

I shuddered.

Holy shit, I remember hearing about that! Chloe said. ~It was horrible. You were there?~


“…Thought to have been brought about by notorious anti-werewolf terrorist group, the Divine Hunters. In recent years this violent group has gained notoriety by calling for increasingly violent measures against what they see as an overreach of power by the Millennium Wolves.”

I continued scrolling, reading more about the massacre.

Four of the sixteen dead were human. But three were men, and the fourth was a woman in her sixties.

There was no mention of me. Not a word about Claire Hill.

Have you heard of these Divine Hunters? I asked Chloe.

Not really. Sounds pretty nasty though. Oh my God, wait! Go back! Click that link!

I clicked the back button, and then an outside link that led to a Houston-based celebrity blog.

The article was something about the upcoming wedding between two high-ranking members of the Texas Pack.

We don’t have time for this, Chloe.

Shut up. My mom is the wedding planner for this mating ceremony! It’s like…the party of the year. She did not sound enthused.

I sighed. We needed to think of a plan.

What plan? I thought to myself.

I couldn’t exactly turn up on my parents’ doorstep after being missing for three years and announce that I was their daughter trapped in another body.

Three years. I shivered again at the thought of how much time I had spent in that empty blackness.

I would do anything to avoid returning to that terrible place.

I can’t do this.

I couldn’t pose as someone else. I’d be found out in an instant, and then what?

We could run away to Canada… And have the same problems as we currently did… only with more snow and grizzly bears.

The nonsense wedding article was still pulled up on the computer, and I glanced at the photo of the blushing bride-to-be surrounded by her enormous wedding party.

One of the men standing beside the happy couple caught my eye. A tall black man with a closely shaven head and broad shoulders.

He looked strangely familiar, like I’d seen him in a dream about a dream.

Wait? Back up a second. Your parents are influential in the Texas Pack?

Yeah, they’re a bunch of rich assholes. Why?

Because they could help us! I insisted.

I don’t want to go back to my family. Things are kind of—rough with them right now.

Would you rather run away to the Yukon and live in the forest?

No. Chloe relented.

Do you have any better ideas?


Then I’ll make you a deal. You agree to go back to your family, and I agree to pretend to be you until we sort this mess out.


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