Unforgettable Figment of my Imagination – Oh Baby thats what I Want

The room was warm and filled with blue cigarette smoke. Speakers screeched with feedback. One two, one two, and then the music began. It was music I’d heard before, long ago. I’d heard it on movies. The dance floor was alive with laughter. Ladies in tight pants with tiny waists danced to the sound of the Big Bopper. Where had I heard that name before?

“Oh baby that’s what I want”

It was dark, hard to see. Where was I? It was a different time, a different place, and a different world!

“Hey, you wanna jive with me?”

“What?”

“You wanna jive with me?”

A young man in tight jeans and a shirt with a thin black leather tie hanging down the front stood in front of me. His hair was slicked back, a curl falling over his forehead. Placed there carefully to look random. Is this what my mam had called a teddy boy? I thought teddy boys had gone out of fashion years ago.

“No, I don’t jive!”

He looked disappointed and walked away. He had more luck with the girl sitting across the room. I watched fascinated as he swung her in circles.

Where was I?

The jiving finished and the music slowed down. I knew the next song very well. Nat King Cole. Unforgettable! It was my mam’s favorite!

That’s when I saw him walking towards me, his head tilted to one side, his eyes shining with mischief. He stopped halfway across the dance floor and lit a cigarette, holding it as though it were a fashion accessory. It suited him! He must be hot in his leather jacket, but it made him look icy cool. I shivered as he approached. He took my hand and led me to the dance floor. Unforgettable, that’s what you are.

He stopped and swung me around to face him.

Where am I? Where did you come from?

My heart stopped!

I gasped for breath!

The smoke was gone, but I still tasted it. The music was a shadow in my mind, haunting the corners of my memory.

I’d dreamt it all? The dark stranger in the park, and then in the pub, had triggered my imagination. I could still feel his touch, smell his leather jacket. Who was he?

Is he real or am I imagining him?

Dead of July my first novel is available on Amazon from $0.99, yes that’s less than a pound or a euro if you live in Europe. I’m cheap! I want everyone to read my first attempt at being a writer. I’ve been writing since I was 12 years old. Some of my old stories will resurface soon, but for now, there’s Dead of July! A young army wife in trouble…not far from the truth, I always was! Enjoy!

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

Jimmy Dean – James Dean – Rock On!

James-Dean-Smile-150x150I couldn’t take my eyes off his reflection in the mirror. He was a handsome vision of good and bad all rolled into one gorgeous package, and he was looking at me. ME!

“Something wrong love?” It was the barman who spoke.

“What, no, I’m okay,” I said without taking my eyes of the face in the mirror. The crooked grin widened. I smiled back. I was under his spell. Who was he? Without knowing what I would say I took a deep breath and turned around. He was gone. Was he playing a game with me? The pub door swung shut and I ran towards it. I had to know who he was. I had to speak to him. The street was empty. Where did he go? A cruel game! Where are you, who are you?

I walked back inside, hurt and confused.

“Where’d you go?” Cindy asked, “Your foods getting cold. Are you all right? You look like you found a pound and lost a fiver.”

“I’m fine. I did lose something though. Did you see a guy sitting at the bar?”

“I saw a couple of guys sitting at the bar, anyone in particular.”

“Black hair, white tee-shirt, handsome?”

Cindy looked at me quizzically, “Not the same guy you claim to have seen in the car park this morning?”

I hung my head. “Yes, the same one.”

George began to laugh. “Are you conjuring up yourself an imaginary boyfriend?”

“Believe me, if I could conjure up someone who looked like him, I’d be happy for the rest of my life.”

The laugher lightened my mood. We ordered another round of drinks and enjoyed our food, but I kept my eye on the door, hoping he’d come back.

“Come on, we need to get out of here, I’d love another drink, but we’ve got another tough day at work tomorrow. I hope Jan comes in and does her share. Do you want us to walk you home?”

“No, I’m fine. Maybe I’ll run in to a handsome stranger.” I said hopefully.

There was no handsome stranger on my way home. I went to bed disappointed. Was I falling in love with a figment of my own imagination? I’d not dated anyone for quite some time, but wasn’t worried about it. My life was full of friends, travel, parties and work. I didn’t need a man in my life, well not until now. The song I’d heard in the bar was still ringing in my head, it lulled me to sleep. I dreamed of James Dean!

Hey did you rock and roll, rock on, oh my soul.

Hey did you boogie too, did you?

My first novel Dead of July is available on Amazon. A bargain at $0.99, yes thats less than a British pound.

Dead of July by Sandra ThompsonI’d love to hear from  you after you’ve it. A review on Amazon would be even better.

Stay tuned for the next installment of my blog story.  

Hey Did You Rock and Roll? Rock On!

The smoke ring faded and disappeared. Had it really been there?

“Come on let’s get on with those reports, it’s going to be a long day,” Cindy said, “I’m not best pleased with Jan taking the day off. Can you work late if I need you to?”

“Sure, I could do with the extra money.”

“I bet you could, you’re off to Rimini again this year aren’t you?”

I breathed deeply and smiled, “Yes, sunshine and sand for two weeks. I can’t wait.”

“You’re obsessed with Italy!” Cindy said shaking her head.

“Yup, I think I must have been Italian in a previous life.”

I sat at my desk and began thumbing through computer printouts, the smoking man was soon forgotten.The day passed slowly, but by six thirty we were done.

“Do you want to join George and I in the Black Lion? Can’t be bothered to cook tonight so we’re going to grab a bite there?”

“Are you sure you don’t mind?”

“No, I wouldn’t have asked if I did. It’s my treat too, you worked hard today, you earned it.”

The Black Lion was only a five-minute walk across the cobbled streets.

George was waiting for us at a table by the fire. It was cozy. He ordered gin and tonics for Cindy and I, and another half of bitter for himself.

“Not a bad way to end a Monday is it?” he said.

“No, it’s not. Wish it was Friday though. I’m going to put some music on the jukebox. Be back in a minute.”

I fed some money into the machine and thumbed through the tunes, picking out my favorites, David Bowie, The Kinks, Elton John, what else? That’s when the jukebox came to life and selected the fourth song for me. I was about to complain to the barman, but something caught my eye. I saw a face reflected in the mirror behind the bar. A handsome face, and it was smiling at me. Tantalizing eyes were framed by jet black wavy hair, a strand of which fell across his forehead. He wore a white tee-shirt and a crooked grin. I saw you this morning in the park. I could barely breathe, so powerful was his presence. That’s when the music started, a song I’d never heard before, a song I never wanted to stop.

Love bringing music into my stories, it sets the atmosphere. I think I’m going to fall in love with this guy, but who is he and where did he come from?

Check out my first novel Dead of July which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

The Smoking Man

I saw him first on a Monday morning. Why I paid attention to him I don’t know, well maybe I do. A striking figure, he sat on a bench the rose garden  smoking a cigarette. He wore a black leather jacket, open at the front. It was a cold morning in North Yorkshire. Spring hadn’t quite turned into summer and a slight frost glistened on the grass. It was much too cold to sit outside and smoke.

I hurried into the office, my breath making clouds in the cold air.

“Morning sunshine, I just put a cup of coffee on your desk” my bosses husband greeted me as he left to make his rent collecting rounds for the day.

“Morning, thanks, mind how you go,” I answered as the door shut behind him.

My boss, Cindy, met me in the door way of our office. “I’m going up to finance, I’ll be back in half an hour or so, Jan isn’t coming in. Tummy bug, or too much brandy over the weekend, see you in a bit.”

I grabbed my coffee and walked over to the window, enjoying the view of the hills and greenery that surrounded the sleepy little market town. I looked down to the park, a place I often sat in the summer, enjoying a sandwich from the local bakery. A thin wisp of smoke floated in the air. I’d forgotten about the smoking man.

The door opened behind me and Cindy appeared. “Hi, seems everyone’s late this morning, I’ll grab another coffee and try again in half an hour. What are you looking at?”

I turned back to the window “There’s a bloke sitting out there chain-smoking. He must be freezing.”

Cindy followed my gaze. “I don’t see anyone.”

I looked again. “He was there a minute ago.” I put my cup down and walked closer to the window, my breath clouding the glass. Sure enough the smoking man was gone, but not completely. A perfect smoke ring hovered above the bench, the only evidence he’d ever been there.

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Yes, another story has escaped my tormented brain, where’s this one going? if you know the answer you’re better than me. My stories enter my head in installments…..you could say I have episodes! Keep following, it may be a fun ride. Check out my first novel on Amazon. Bargain at $0.99. When I’m famous I’ll charge much more. Stephen King started cheap too. I write for fun, any profit I make is a bonus. 

Dead of July

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

The End!

EasbyStAgatha2Lindsay couldn’t remember if they gave her something to help her sleep, or if she was so traumatized she blocked everything out, but she didn’t recall getting in the ambulance. When she opened her eyes she found herself in a hospital bed with the worried face of her mam looking down at her.

“Oh thank God. I was worried you’d never open your eyes again,” she said as she planted a kiss on Lindsay’s cheek. “I had no idea what was happening or we’d have come back sooner.”

Lindsay smiled weakly. “It wouldn’t have changed anything.”

“I spoke to Mel’s mam at the funeral, she….”

“The Funeral! I missed the funeral? How long have I been in hospital?”

“Since yesterday afternoon, the funeral was this morning.”

“I wanted to go, I wanted to say good-bye.”

“You can say goodbye any time. It was a lovely service. Reverend Stegall made it very personal, he christened her you know, back in 1959.”

“He shouldn’t be burying her yet though, she’s too young, why did this happen?”

“It’s the bloody IRA, why do they do anything?”

“It wasn’t the IRA mam, the man who did this was grief-stricken at losing his sister. Cross fire with the British Army and the IRA. He lost his mind.”

“Yes, lost his mind and killed over a hundred people.” Lindsay’s mam said bitterly.

No one spoke for a while.

“There was a policewoman at the funeral, she asked after you.”

“Barbara? She was helping me.”

“Helping you with what?”

“Don’t worry about it now, I’ll tell you another time. You wouldn’t understand.”

Her mam’s eyes narrowed suspiciously. “You’re not in trouble again are you? Please tell me you weren’t smoking that cannabis stuff again. Didn’t you learn your lesson last time.”

“No mam, I haven’t smoked any cannabis, I told you I’m over that.”

A nurse walked into the room, saving Lindsay from a conversation that was making her anxious rather than soothing her.

“Hi Lindsay, the doctor’s coming in to check you out, he’ll probably give you the all clear to go home.” She looked at Lindsay’s mam. “Could you leave us for a few minutes please while we examine her.”

A young Indian doctor appeared in the doorway. “How are you feeling?” he asked.

“Tired,” Lindsay replied.

“It’s shock, you have been trough a lot in the last week and sometimes, in these circumstances your brain shuts down because it can’t cope with anymore. It makes you tired. Sleep blocks out the pain. Sometimes its a good thing.”

The doctor pointed a light into Lindsay’s eyes as he spoke. He checked her pulse, put a stethoscope on her back, took her temperature and asked her questions. Lindsay answered automatically, but her attention was focused on the doorway.

“Was anyone else admitted to hospital with me, did anyone else survive?” she asked.

The nurse hung her head as she answered, “No, sorry pet, were they your friends. Two young men died at the scene. There was an explosion, they were dead before they hit the water.”

Lindsay continued to stare at the doorway where Michael stood. No one else saw him. He smiled at her. It was a beautiful smile.

“Michael, I’m sorry.” She said.

Both the doctor and the nurse followed Lindsay’s gaze, but all they saw was an empty doorway.

“We may have to keep you in for observation.” The doctor said with a worried look on his face.

“Did you find anything wrong with me?” Lindsay asked.

“No but….”

“Then I’m going home.”

And another short story comes to and end. My head is full of them, so pretty soon another will begin. I hope they give you some pleasure, I certainly enjoy writing them. I’ve provided a link to my first novel below. It took me a couple of years to write and perfect, but I think it was worth it. It may be the best $0.99 you’ll ever spend, who knows?

Dead of July

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

Brompton on Swale – Where it all Began

Dead of July is my current novel. It was released in December 2013 and I’m proud of it. I’m not Stephen King, but being Sandra Thompson is just as much fun.

I was lucky enough to attend an evening with Stephen King in September 2013. He gave a talk in Boulder Colorado, where he lived when he wrote The Shining. The Shining, of course, is based on the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. I’ve visited the Stanley Hotel several times. It has a great bar. I could not, however, go anywhere near the elevator. No way, not just because of Stephen King’s book, but because that elevator is seriously haunted. How did I know? Thats another story!

Stephen King’s home is Maine, and he’s proud of it. Although I live in Colorado I was born in County Durham and raised in Brompton-on-Swale, North Yorkshire. My very first novel ‘Guy at the Bar’ was inspired by something that happened while I lived there back in the early seventies. I met a drunken stranger in my local pub. Unfortunately this man decided to follow me home. Have you ever tried running down a back lane in six-inch platforms? It’s not easy believe me. I did manage to escape, but not for long. He came back to haunt me.

I’m currently re-editing ‘Guy at the Bar’, along with my other short story, which is set in Blackpool. Writing is a hobby, which I hope to turn into a retirement career. Who knows, one day I may even make a profit. A girl can dream.

This is where it all started

This is where it all started

To Young to Die!

swale-at-sunset

“Someone help him, it’s Michael. He’s drowning.”

Without hesitation two cops rushed forward and jumped into the river. Lindsay tried to stand, ready to jump in the water herself, but Barbara pulled her back.

“Look, they’ve got him, what could you do?”

“Is he alive? He has to be alive.”

In a matter of minutes Michael was pulled onto the riverbank. The nurse went to work on him immediately, “Give us some space.” She yelled. “Back off.”

The crowd stood back giving Lindsay a clear view. She watched in fear praying Michael would open his eyes.  Did his eyelids flicker? Lindsay held her breath willing him to live. The crowd watched silently and when the nurse finally gave up, tears in her eyes. She looked back at Lindsay defeated.

“I’m sorry, there’s nothing else I can do. It’s too late.”

The sound of distant sirens broke the heavy silence; people drifted away, nothing more to see. Lindsay shuffled weakly across to where Michael lay and looked down at his lifeless body, tears dripping from her chin.

“No, this can’t be. Everyone around me is dying.” She laid her head on his chest and cried. No one spoke. No one moved. The sirens grew closer, but they were too late. Barbara put her hand gently on Lindsay’s back.

“Come on, leave him, you can’t do anything now.”

Lindsay didn’t move. “I should be dead, why am I still alive?”

“Hey! Stop where you are!”

Lindsay looked up when she heard Barbara shout sternly at someone. She couldn’t see who approached, but the other policemen ran towards him urgently. When Barbara stood aside she recognized the grief-stricken face.

“John, I’m so sorry.” She began to cry again.

John fell on his knees by his brother’s body.

“No, no! Dear God NO!”

Lindsay put her arms around him and they cried together, tears mingling.

John spoke, maybe to his brother, maybe to Lindsay, maybe to God. “It’s all my fault, I brought him to to bloody country. I should have left him in Ireland with the kids. I shouldn’t have tried to interfere with Patrick. It did no good. Now your friends are dead. It cost me my brother. ”

Lindsay held him tight. “You know Patrick was planning to kill again, who knows how many this time. Michael’s dead, but who knows how many people he saved. It could have been hundreds. How many more bombs was Patrick going to make?”

They clung to each other a little longer before Barbara helped Lindsay to her feet. A couple of paramedics approached. “Come on, let’s make sure you’re okay,” she said as she guided Lindsay to them.

“John had nothing to do with this. He was trying to stop Patrick.”

“We still need to talk to him, but not now.”

As she walked away Lindsay looked back over her shoulder and saw Barbara kneeling on the ground next to John, her arm around him soothing him. Oh dear God why Michael? 

She take no more, her legs gave way and she sunk to the ground.

Yes, another short story almost over, sorry its so sad. Life doesn’t always have a happy ending so make the most of every day. If you enjoy my writing, check out my first Dead of July on Amazon http://amzn.to/1aXh4Md.

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

Let me die along with my friends!

BodyLindsay hung onto the branch for dear life waiting for the mayhem to stop. Her ears were ringing as though someone had sounded a tuning fork in her head. She was hit in the face by an object she didn’t see coming. Blood dripped into her eyes but she felt no pain. Dear God let this be over. She thought about letting go, ending it all. The sole survivor of the hellish fire, she wanted to die. Death must be better than this!

“Who’s there?” Lindsay asked, feeling she wasn’t alone. The hairs on the back of her neck bristled and she felt a chill running down her spine. Her hands slipped a little and her toes hit the cold water.

Just let go Lindsay, join your friends. You deserve to be with them. You’re as guilty as they are. You bloody English thing you own the world.”

“What?” Lindsay looked up and saw a shadowy figure standing above her on the path. It was Colleen. Her terrible beautiful face was contorted in pain and anger, her dress red with blood. A shadowy figure formed by her side.

“Come on Patrick, let’s go now. There’s nothing for us here!”

Patrick? The shadows faded, merged with the breeze. Back on the water, shapes appeared, a shoe floated past, part of a backpack, a plastic bag, a glove with something trailing out of it.

Oh God, there’s a hand in there.

“Help, can somebody help me.” Lindsay shouted.

She was surrounded by silence, but not for long. Voices approached, shouting in panic, followed by footsteps.

“Lindsay, hang on. Bill, Steve, make a human chain get her off that branch, it’s not going to hold much longer.”

She looked up to see Barbara and two other police officers. They were reaching down to her.

“Take my hand love.”

Lindsay obeyed, but daren’t let go of the branch.

“I’ve got you. You can trust me.”

She did as she was told and felt herself being pulled to safety.  She collapsed weakly to the ground and looked back towards the river. The glove had floated out of sight. A human shape had taken its place. It floated lifelessly, face down in the deep dark water.

Patrick? Could that be him? Is he with his sister now? For a moment no one moved.

One of the Police Officers sprung into action, pulling off his shoes and jacket. “I’m going in, I’m a strong swimmer.” He plunged into the cold water and made short work of reaching the shape, pulling it easily to dry land. Lindsay was aware of a gathering crowd, some of whom helped pull the lifeless body out of the river.

A woman pushed her way through the crowd. “I’m a nurse”, she said and tried in vain to resuscitate the man. Someone else bound the stump of his arm, where his hand used to be.

Lindsay knew it was too late. Patrick had joined his sister.

“Who is this, do you know him?” Barbara asked.

Lindsay opened her mouth to speak, but screamed instead. A second shape appeared in the water. It was Michael!

Oh the stories that rattle around in my brain. Check out my first novel Dead of July is available on Amazon for $0.99. Give it a try. 

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

 

 

A walk in Verona

Originally posted on Bagni di Lucca and Beyond:

Verona is a perfect town to walk in. It is not too big, it is flat and it is full of beautiful things…come for a walk through the lovely streets.

A good place to start is Piazza Erbe with its stunning fountain and beautiful frescoed buildings.

Piazza Erbe Verona

Piazza Erbe Verona

Our next stop was Juliette’s balcony, possibly the worst bit of Verona.

Juliette' balcony Verona

The balcony was built in 1936 to cash in on the story of Romeo and Juliette, a fictional tale. It has become extraordinarily tacky, with walls covered in scrawling signatures. Last time I was in Verona there was actually a wall covered in bits of chewing gum with notes stuck on. There has been some attempt to remove this, but it has not been entirely successful.

Juliette's balcony zverona

Juliette's balcony Verona

Now people push and shove to touch the breast of a statue of poor Juliette in the hope it will bring them luck and possibly romance.

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