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.

View original 317 more words

River of Death!

riverside bombThey walked down the back lane in silence oblivious of the danger close by. An unstable deadly bomb was being built by a man with an unstable deadly mind. He talked quietly as he worked. “I’ll get the bastards who killed you. I’ll get them, and their friends. They’ll be sorry.”

****************

“How dangerous is Colleen’s brother?” Lindsay asked.

“I don’t know. He was all right until his sister was killed. Now he’s lost all reason. John’s suffering too, but his grief is private and not vengeful. I hope John finds Patrick and takes him back to Ireland.”

“Michael, Patrick killed my friends didn’t he. He made the car bomb that blew up the disco!”

“I don’t know for sure. John and I followed him to a pub in Richmond that night. He said he was going to the club. He was drunk and sad. He didn’t make much sense, but we thought the worst that would happen was he’d start a fight. We planned to meet him and go with him, just to keep him out of trouble, but he got away from us. We arrived just a the shit hit the fan and the car outside exploded.”

“Did you see Patrick at the fire? Was he there?”

“No, that’s why I can’t talk to the cops yet. I don’t want them to arrest him. If they do he’ll never get away because all of the evidence points at him. What if it wasn’t him?”

“I know you want to believe he isn’t responsible, but who else could it be?”

“Colleen!” Michael said quietly.

“Oh come on, you don’t really believe that. Colleen is a restless spirit. She’s a figment of our troubled minds.”

“Lindsay, you saw her at the window. You’ve heard her voice.”

“Yes, but ghosts can’t make bombs!”

“Quiet! Did you hear that?”

Lindsay and Michael stood still and listened.

“Its John.” Michael said. He ran towards the sound of John’s voice. Lindsay followed reluctantly. As she ran, she heard another loud angry voice. There was a loud splash and then silence.

Lindsay froze, something was wrong. She turned and came face to face with her dead friend. Mel was no longer burned and disfigured, but the vibrant happy young girl that Lindsay had grown up with.

“Mel?”

The shadowy figure in front of her smiled and disappeared.

“MEL!” Dammit, I’m seeing things.

Lindsay set off after Michael again, but didn’t get far. There was an almighty explosion.  The ground shook, knocking off her feet, throwing her backwards into the old stone wall. She bounced off it like a rag doll, banging her head as she was flung precariously towards the river Swale. Lindsay grabbed at trees and clumps of grass to stop herself from falling into the water and finally made contact with a low hanging branch. She clung on for dear life, her toes dangling just above the river. Branches and leaves hurtled past her like missiles. Helpless and afraid, Lindsay clung to the branch and prayed.

Dead of July – Amazon – My first novel “Dead of July” was released in December 2013 and is available for $0.99 on Amazon. Yes, it’s a bargain, but I’m a relatively unknown writer and would like everyone to get to know me. I’d love your feedback. 

Preview – Dead of July

 

 

Making Bombs by the River

plumpton01The Military Police arrived first. They screeched to a halt a couple of hundred feet away from the pub. A crowd had already gathered there. Lindsay and Michael sat on a fence a ways back from everyone else and watched.

“I don’t think there’s anything to worry about, if that had been a bomb it would have exploded by now.” Michael said.

“Are you sure you should be here? I mean with your Irish accent and all. You know they’re going to be suspicious. The Irish aren’t too popular in these parts at the moment.”

“If I leave now it will be even more suspicious.”

A voice came from the bushes. “Michael!”

Lindsay and Michael looked at each other.

“Over here, it’s me, John.”

Michael didn’t look over his shoulder. Instead he kept his eyes on the Military Police as he answered quietly.

“What are you doing here? Get away or they’ll think you did this.”

Lindsay froze! She wanted to look around, but daren’t. The MP’s were heading their way.

“I just want you to know this wasn’t me.”

“John I know, Patrick’s around, we saw him. Now go”

They didn’t hear John disappear, which is just as well. A local Police car pulled up in front of them and Barbara, along with another Policeman got out.

“I see you two have become friends.”

“Hi Barbara. Not exactly friends, we’re helping each other.” Lindsay replied. She looked at Michael, who looked uncomfortable and ready to run.

“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

“Yes, Michael has nothing to do with any of this.”

Barbara fixed her gaze on Michael. “What do you have to say for yourself? Do you deserve Lindsay’s trust?”

Michael looked up. “I hope so. I’m trying to help her. I need to get my facts straight before I talk to you. I don’t want to waste your time. I mean no harm.”

The Policeman accompanying Barbara looked at Michael suspiciously when he heard him speak. He put his hand on his radio. Barbara saw the movement. “Stuart it’s okay, we don’t need backup, and I know this kid. He means no harm.” Then she looked a Lindsay. “Mel’s funeral is tomorrow right? I’ll be there, in the background watching. I don’t think it’s a good idea for your new friend to be there do you?”

“No I don’t.”

“Dear God, do you think I’d really go? I have more respect for these families than you would ever know.”

Barbara looked at him suspiciously. “I want to see both of you in the Richmond cop shop before the end of the week. The day after the funeral would be good. If I don’t see you Michael, I’ll come looking for you. Do you understand?”

“Yes, I’ll be there.”

Barbara looked at them both. “Now get out of here before I change my mind.”

They both swung their legs over the fence and disappeared into the bushes.

Barbara looked at her colleague, “Not a word about this, I think letting them do their own thing for now will help us. Lindsay lost all of her friends in that bloody disco. She’s not going to hand out with a terrorist.”

“Okay, it’s your call.”

Down by the river, in a secluded place, Patrick sat alone. He had a Tescos bag between his legs. It was filled with everything he needed to make another bomb. Anyone watching him would believe he was talking to himself and give him a wide berth. In view of the plastic explosives he carried, that would be a good idea.

“Colleen my love, I’ll be with you soon, but not before I blow a couple more of these bastards to oblivion.”

A voice whispered through the trees. I can wait! I love you!

Patrick smiled!

Dead of July

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Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

 

Vengeful Dead – An Irish Tale

“So why are you telling me this and not the Police? This man may be responsible for the death of over a hundred people for Christ’s sake. He’s a bloody murdering terrorist.”

“I don’t know that for sure. I need to talk to John, but he won’t talk to me anymore, doesn’t want to get me involved. He’s still grieving his wife.”

“I can understand that, but what about his kids? He should at least tell the Police what he knows and let them take over. They’ve already lost their mother. They need their father now.” Lindsay picked up her glass of whiskey and emptied it in one gulp. She needed warming up on the inside. Michael did the same.

“Another?” he asked.

“Yes, and make it a double.”

Michael went to the bar and Lindsay pulled her chair closer to the fire to ward off the chill she felt in her bones. There was movement outside the big bay window that looked out onto the street. When she turned her head to look, two faces looked back at her. A man she didn’t recognize and the face that had become familiar to her as Colleen, the face of a ghost. I thought ghosts only appeared at night. This isn’t fair. Lindsay ran outside as quickly as she could, knowing full well Colleen wouldn’t be there, but she needed to talk to the stranger. Was this Michael’s brother? Or was it Patrick, Colleen’s brother. Someone had to be the voice of reason and she felt that was her role, but she was too late. The street was deserted. She walked back inside just Michael put two more glasses of whiskey on the table.

“What was that all about?” he asked

Lindsay downed her second whiskey in one gulp.

“Your brother John, is he kind of heavy-set with dark curly hair?”

“No, he shaves his head, and he’s skinny like me. Why?”

“I just saw two faces at the window, Colleen and a heavy-set man, probably mid thirties, curly dark hair.”

“Colleen’s brother, dammit. I have to find John.”

“You’re concerned about the living, but not the least perturbed about the dead Irish woman?”

“She can’t hurt us, she can scare us to be sure, but that’s all. Patrick can hurt us, and there’s a good chance he will.”

“Do you really think he could have started the fire?”

“In his mind Colleen was killed because of the British Army being in Belfast. He’s over here to make trouble for them in their own country. He wants revenge.”

“His sister was caught in the crossfire though, no one was to blame.”

“In his mind the British Army are to blame.”

“Where are the boys, John’s boys? Who is looking after them?”

“Colleen’s ma, she moved to Dublin to be away from danger. The boys are safe. John lives there too, but when the Queens Regiment moved back from Ireland Patrick disappeared and John knew it meant trouble. He followed the regiment hoping to catch Patrick before anything happened. Neither of us expected anything like the fire that killed your friends. Patrick’s a good man, but his sister’s death tipped him over the edge. He drinks too much and…”

Michael never finished his sentence. A brick hurtled through the window and bounced off the table, landing in the middle of the room. Everyone in the bar ran. In the seventies, near an army camp, if something was thrown through a window it was usually exploded.

queensreg_a

When I start writing I don’t really know where my story is taking me. It’s an adventure, an escape, and I enjoy every minute. Try my novel Dead of July. It’s set in Dortmund in the early eighties and follows the adventures of a young Army wife and the trouble she managed to get into. It almost killed her. 

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

 

Irish Colleen Seeks Revenge for the Dead!

Lindsay’s house was invitingly quiet, but Michael wouldn’t set foot inside.

“I’ll stay here by the back door. Get yourself cleaned up or whatever you need to do and let’s go.” He was jittery and nervous.

“What are you afraid of?”

“Just get what you need and let’s go, I’ll tell you about it later.” He acted like a cat on a hot tin roof.

What the hell have I got myself into? How did this happen? Lindsay washed her face and put on some lipstick. She looked at her pale tired reflection in the mirror. God I can’t go to the pub looking like this. She quickly smudged dark eye shadow on her eye-lids and applied blusher to her cheeks. That’s better! A little mascara and she was done.

“Come on, we need to get out of here.” Michael was getting more and more agitated.

“Okay, okay, I’m coming,” Lindsay yelled as she washed her hands. When she checked her face in the mirror the face looking back at her wasn’t her own. For a split second she saw a beautiful image with big dark eyes and long black hair. The room had become icy cold. Lindsay ran to the back door where Michael was waiting.

“Are you alright?” Michael asked, “You’re as white as a sheet.”

“This woman, Colleen, does she have long black hair? Is she in her late twenties, beautiful.”

“Yes, she’s dead though. Died in Belfast, caught in the bloody crossfire. Why?”

“She was just in my bedroom. Why would she follow me?”

“Come on let’s get a drink. I think its time I told you everything.”

Lindsay wasn’t sure if she wanted to know everything. She has a funeral to attend the following day, a funeral for the charred remains of her best friend. How much more can I handle?

They found a table by the fire in the little village pub. Although it wasn’t cold outside, the old stone building didn’t warm up inside until July. The fire was welcoming and cozy. Michael went to the bar and came back with two glasses of lager and two whiskey chasers.

“I figured you might want a stiff drink.”

“OK Michael, no small talk. Let me know what’s going on, start with Colleen.”

“She was married to my brother. Neither of them had anything to do with the IRA, or Sinn Fein, but they were visiting Colleen’s family in Belfast. The Queens Regiment was on duty, patrolling the street as they always did. There was often trouble in that part of Belfast. There was an ambush. Shots were fired. Colleen ran outside, worried because she didn’t know where her boys were.”

“Her boys?”

“Colleen and John had twin boys, they were four years old.”

“Oh God, were they OK?”

“Yes, a neighbor grabbed them and hid them in her house when she heard the shots. It was a regular occurrence, everyone watched out for everyone else. Colleen wasn’t so lucky. She was caught in the crossfire. One bullet through the heart!”

“Michael that’s awful. She was killed in front of her parent’s house. Did the bullet come from an Irish gun or the British Army?”

“British Army, but not on purpose. It was a horrible accident. A tragedy. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Both of the British Soldiers were killed. It was kept from most of the newspapers. People are tired of hearing about the casualties in Northern Ireland. The Irish are tired of it too, they just want peace.”

“So what does this have to do with me? Why am I suddenly part of this?”

“Colleen’s brother! He wants revenge, and I think Colleen is egging him on. John is trying to stop him. He may have been responsible for the fire last week.”

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Dead of July is my first novel and is available on Amazon. If you’re enjoying my blog, give my book a try.

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

 

 

 

Please note this story is purely fictional. I was married to a British Soldier in the seventies and the death and sadness related to the fighting in Northern Ireland touched my heart. So glad there is peace now. No one should die in the name of religion. My heart goes out to both the Irish and the British Soldiers who lost their lives.