Who is Undine, the mysterious, wild maiden who swims at midnight to hear the fish sing? When Lord Huldbrand first meets her on a lost and haunted promontory, she seems utterly beautiful and pure. But gradually he begins to wonder just how much he really knows about his bride. He fears her murky past and her mystical powers. And worst of all, he fears that the faceless demon that stalks them through the woods and castle, cackling with laughter and howling with rage, could be coming to claim her. A love story with a horrifying mystery at its core, Haunted Waters tests its young hero’s commitment to a heroine who sparkles and changes like water.
About the Author
Date of Birth:May 20, 1949
Place of Birth:Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Education:B.A., University of North Carolina
Read an Excerpt
I ran after Undine. But when I came to the main hall, a servant told me she had left the palace. I grabbed my sword and ran outside. Shouting her name, I made a frantic search of the castle yard. When my watchman reported seeing a figure in a white gown running through the meadow, I grabbed my horse and galloped away from my castle.
Charging toward the meadow, I saw no sign of Undine. Bats were flapping in the twilight. A black cloud hovered overhead. A mighty storm seemed to be gathering, as thunder rolled in the distance.
I abandoned my horse at the edge of the cedar woods and headed down the path toward the river. The wind was bending the trees and whistling malevolently. As I came close to the water, I saw a figure lying on the bank: Undine. Her white gown spread about her, she looked like a gull with broken wings.
Her face was hidden as I ran toward her. I reached out to touch her, and suddenly the phantom's screech split the twilight and I found myself reaching for nothing at all. Undine had evaporated into the air! I fell back in horror. Then I started scrambling through the woods, back the way I'd come. I ran like a madman, slipping, crawling, clawing my way through the marsh reeds. My mind reeled with terror - was Undine now a demon? Had the monster taken her shape?
As I came out of the woods into the meadow, the sky broke open. A blinding rain began to fall. As a flash of lightning lit the field, I saw the figure in white again lying near the trees.
I approached Undine's body with dread. Then I went down on my knees and touched her. She did not move; she was unconscious. Her face was scratched, her dress torn and muddied. But I felt great relief - this time it truly was her, not a ghost.
I scooped her up from the ground and tried to stand with her against the windy rain. I stumbled toward my horse, but I could not get near him. He whinnied and stamped the ground, as if a host of spirits were attacking him.
I lay Undine down, then sank beside her. Black night had fallen. The wind blew hard through the meadow as the cold rain battered us.
Then came a deep rumbling noise. It grew louder and louder. I held Undine tightly and waited for this new horror to reveal itself.
HAUNTED WATERS by Mary Pope Osborne. Copyright © 2006 by Mary Pope Osborne. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.