My Words: Exorcising My Sister

Welcome to Amazing Words Wednesday, the day we enter the labyrinth of language and see what we can discover. The first Wednesday of each month, I share some of my own words (you know, being a writer and all 😉 ).

This fall, I took an online short story course from the young adult chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America). During this class and beyond, I wrote, edited, and polished a teen paranormal tale titled Exorcising My Sister. I plan to compile several paranormal shorts and self-publish the stories in 2014.

Today, I’m sharing a teaser (chapter one) from this 9,300-word short story.

Chapter 1: Today’s the Day

I burrow under my fleece purple blanket, not yet ready to face this day. Wednesday the 16th — the only calendar day not marked for my parents and Nickie to visit a physician, psychiatrist, principal, juvie court judge, or some other authority.

All futile attempts to knock my big sister back from raging lunacy to her normal — still annoying — self, the self she was four months ago, before this hell started.

“Okay, okay . . .” I mumble to the alarm clock, the repeated buzz feeling like fists punching my ears. My feet slide through the warm sheets to the cool tile, and my hands rub my eyes to coax them open. A shove to my back tells me Biggun, our oversized tabby cat, is also awake.

He crawls onto my lap and bats at my hands with his nose. I scratch his ears, and Biggun purrs. Since my sister freaked, his affection demands are all on me. He won’t get within ten feet of Nickie.

Apparently, the cat and I are the only ones wise to Nickie’s real problem. It’s not an emotional breakdown, a delinquent phase, or some deep-seated cry for help.

My big sister Nickie is possessed.


With a demon.

I give Biggun a few more pats, then walk to the mirror and stare at my disheveled self. Prickles electrify my scalp and travel down my arms and legs. “Courtney Pater, this is it.”

My voice sounds hard and determined, like a drill sergeant inspiring troops, and my body stiffens. I may be fifteen years old, a nerdy misfit at school, and 110 pounds holding a watermelon, but I’m my family’s only hope.

While my parents explore logical explanations for Nickie’s deviant behavior, I’m doing the truly reasonable thing — the only thing to prevent her from eventually ripping our family to shreds. And with the mischief, violence, and criminal record growing daily, we’re out of time.

“Yep,” I say, “today’s the day to exorcise your sister.”


Here’s the blurb for the story:

Girl illustratedSome teens think their older sibling is possessed. Courtney’s sister actually is. No one else gets the real reason for Nickie’s recent personality change, so it’s up to 15-year-old Courtney to save her big sister and exorcise the demon.

What paranormal creatures or subjects do you like to read about? What short story authors do you enjoy? And have you ever exorcised a demon — like from a family member?

18 thoughts on “My Words: Exorcising My Sister

  1. Sounds cool. I’m not a huge paranormal fan, although I do read the occasional paranormal romance. Usually witches are easier for me to digest than vampires or werewolves. Getting rid of a demon I could probably get into.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Thanks! My novels are contemporary YA, but I’m enjoying trying my hand at paranormal with short stories. I hadn’t even considered a story about witches. Hmmm.

    1. Thanks, Catie! I used to want to sound all brilliant and literary in my writing, but I have too much inner snark and it often ends up on the page. LOL. Which is perfect for teens anyway, right?

  2. Sounds like an interesting story. I agree with Catie’s comment. I used to read Sue Grafton’s alphabet series; this reminds me of her Kinsey Millhone character. Hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving. BTW how can I get a copy of your book, Grace and Fire? It sounds like a good story. Have a great week, Jerry

    1. I’ve never read Grafton. Can you believe that? Now maybe I’ll pick her up! 🙂

      And thanks so much for the compliment on Grace & Fire, Jerry! I need to run it through a little more editing and polishing to have it ready for publication. I’ll let you know when it’s out. 🙂

  3. Nice job! Sounds like it will be a fun short story. At times I wanted to exorcise the demon out of my annoying sister when we were younger. Or just wring her neck!

    1. It was wonderful, Jenny. You, and a few others, convinced me of the beauty of RWA, and I’m wallowing in its marvelous benefits — this online course among them. 🙂

Comments are closed.