And here it is, finally! I don’t think writing is ever going to make me rich, but it sure makes me happy. If you’d like to share my happiness, click on the link below and give it a try.
Ghosts on the Sand is almost ready to publish. Its been in the works for four years because its hard to be a part-time author. Do you like the book cover? I love it and I hope it’s the first of many from Kara Boulden! This book is a collection of four stories.
Ghosts on the Sand is the first story in my new collection. It’s about a young girl (Sheila) and her mother on holiday in Blackpool. They’re spending time together to heal after escaping a violent, angry man, Sheila’s dad. Things don’t work out quite as planned.
I Love you Neil is a super short story about two brothers. Can’t reveal anymore or I’d spoil the plot.
Guy at the Bar is actually the first story I wrote (in my adult years anyway), and is based on an experience I had in the King William IV pub in Brompton on Swale. I have fond memories of this pub, but this isn’t one of them. It’s a story about a nasty drunk who had no respect for women. (There is a bit of a twist of course)
Camera starts on the road from Richmond to Brompton on Swale (near the turn off to Easby Abbey). A broken down car and a camera swinging on the fence. What could go wrong? You’d be surprised. One of my hobbies is photography, but I hope I never come across a camera like this one.
I really want you to enjoy these stories, and review them on Amazon for me. I’m and “old gal” but I feel my writing career has just begun.
The King Bill was a friendly welcoming place where all the locals hung out. It was an old stone building with big bay windows, low ceilings, and whitewashed walls. During the cold winter months, a fire burned in the bar and another in the snug. The snug was a small room where the women would gather and enjoy catching up with the latest gossip. With its comfy chairs and carpeted floor, it was a home away from home
My disturbing encounter in the King Bill happened on a Saturday night in spring of 1975. It was almost closing time. I sat alone on a tall bar stool enjoying a quiet drink, when I heard a noise in the hallway by the front door.
“Are you all right, mate?” an unseen voice asked.
“Stupid damn doormat.”
At that point a stranger entered, brushing himself down. Based on his comment, he’d fallen as he came through the door from the street. He made himself comfortable on the stool next to mine, and ordered a pint of bitter with a whiskey chaser. Liz, the landlady and owner of the pub, was serving behind the bar, and was about to call last orders, so he was lucky to get a drink at all.
He was a tall, skinny man—gangly, almost—with a mop of unruly, dark curly hair. A pair of very thick heavy spectacles covered most of his face. The lenses magnified his eyes, making them look huge and out of proportion. He downed half of his pint in one gulp, wiped the froth from his mouth, and then drank his whiskey. He turned to me with a silly drunken smile on his face.
Sonia’s eyes almost popped out of her head. She cut me off mid-sentence and in a high-pitched voice that hurt my ears, she yelled,
“Your mam was in Blackpool with her fancy man, and you were there, too. Your mam is nothing but an old tart!”
Although I was only seven, I knew exactly what an old tart was.
Gripping my brown leather satchel tightly, I used all my strength, and swung it toward her. It was heavy with my reading books and the remaining sticks of Blackpool rock, and it flew through the air like a missile, whacking the side of her face. My anger gave me strength I didn’t know I had, and when it made contact with her head, her eyes rolled back and she sank to the ground, where she lay like a beached whale.
Yes, I write about ghosts and haunting, but I am who I am and every story has a little “ME” in it. That means there is a lot of truth and a little humor. Hope you enjoyed this small excerpt from Ghosts on the Sand, a story about a young girl who sees ghost and has unwelcome premonitions.
Watch out for “Ghosts on the Sand and other chilling tales” coming out soon on Amazon.
I lived in Brompton-on-Swale from 1967 – 1977. My teenage years were spent in this small northern village, and they were good years. I think I had my first alcoholic drink (legally) in the King Bill, which is no longer open for business. “Guy at the Bar” is inspired by events that happened in this public house. It was a scary evening for me, but I survived, and lived to tell the tale. I’m working as hard as I can (while still holding a full-time job) to get this story along with one or two others into a compilation of short stories called “Ghosts on the Sand and other Chilling Tales.” Be patient, it’s coming.
“Run while there’s still time!”
“You’ll die if you stay here.”
“Die? What are you talking about?”
“The flood, it’s coming.”
I looked around for approaching waves. “Where’s this water going to come from?”
“You’ll see soon enough. I’m heading for the hills!”
“There’s no water close enough to us to cause a flood.”
Our soon to be ex next-door neighbor, glared at me as though I was the crazy one.
“The river Swale, it’s going to wash the village away. You’ll be sorry if you stay here, mark my words.”
“Don’t listen to her Sheila,” my Mam whispered, “she’s lost her marbles. I’m glad she’s moving out.”
“I can hear what you’re saying. You think I’m not right in the head,” she persisted, “but I’m telling you, the village is doomed.”
My dad joined us
“What’s all this about a flood?” he asked, clearly irritated at the thought of having bought a house in a flood zone.
“Old Mother Shipton. She warned us. The flood is coming, I can feel it.”
My dad laughed, clearly relieved,
“For a minute I thought you were serious. Don’t worry girls; Mother Shipton is a legend in these parts. She lived in a cave in Knaresborough hundreds years ago. Many people believed she was a prophet, but others claimed she was a Witch. I’ll take you to visit the caves if you like. We’ll take a picnic and make a day of it.”
My Mam looked relieved and continued to unload the van.
No one enjoyed taking the elevator to the morgue. It was silent and depressing. A journey to a very cold hell, hidden in the bowels of the hospital! Dr. Lou Green was no different. He escorted detective Lorraine DeMarco to the gloomy dungeon. In normal circumstances he’d flirt with such a beautiful woman, but even her stunning looks and bright personality couldn’t lift his mood!
“Hi Lou, whats with the long face? Come one give me a smile.”
Lou looked at her. She was an olive-skinned beauty, unmarried, except to her career. Her perfect red lips curved in a smile and her eyes shone with mischief and humility.
“It’s the morgue. I feel defeated every time I come down here. A wall full of drawers, filled with dead folks defeats my purpose in this world.”
“You can’t save them all Lou! If their time’s up, they’re gonna go!”
“And tell me, why would the time be up on a 25-year-old girl? Who decided she should die?”
The elevator doors whooshed open and they stepped into the silent corridor that led to the room of the dead.
“I know, not good, but that’s why I’m here right? To find out what happened to her. You have the post-mortem results don’t you?”
“Not personally. You know I don’t do that, I’m just bringing you down here because Jack was called away. I couldn’t work on the dead, whats the point?”
Lorraine laughed, “Come on Lou, cheer up. A post-mortem helps us find the bastard that killed them.”
Lou opened the door to the morgue and shivered.
“I couldn’t work down here, I’d freeze to death.”
“It does seem colder than normal today,” Lorraine responded pulling her jacket tightly around her.
They walked along the wall of drawers until they found the one labeled Rosa Rosso. Lorraine chuckled.
“Death isn’t funny detective!”
“Oh come on, Rosa Rosso. She sounds like a stripper, where’s your sense of humor?”
Lou couldn’t find humor in the morgue and glowered at her as he slid the oversized drawer open.
The drawer was empty.
“Great, one’s escaped!”
They both turned towards the sound of the door at the end of the room closing, then ran towards it.
On the floor lay a toe tag. Detective DeMarco picked it up and read the name out loud.
“Rosa Rosso, dam Lou, one really did get away!”
Sofia and Jean rested on the bed with Bill between them. He drifted into a guilt free sleep and dreamed of women, money and sex. It was his life, all he thought about. Sofia caressed his upper thigh and watched him grow. Jean breathed into his ear. He smiled in his sleep. In his dream his was back in the hotel, straddled by his now dead mistress, enjoying her attention, her body, her money. His dream felt real.
The door opened and his dead wife stood there, naked, pale, beautiful. Jean had been a good-looking woman. He beckoned her. She joined Sophia on the bed. Bill watched them kiss and caress each over. Two naked beautiful naked women. Overcome by lust, he pulled them down beside him.
“Shhh, wait, don’t rush it.”
Sophia opened the drawer where the pendant lay, the gift he’d chosen to lure his next mistress. She slipped it over her head it sat between her perfect breasts as she mounted him again. Bill closed his eyes and drifted into ecstasy, the like of which he’d never experienced before…nor would again.
When Bill didn’t show up for work his colleges assumed he was grieving. Jean’s parents were lost in their own grief and days slipped by. Days turned into weeks.
Three weeks after the hotel fire a young police detective called Maria, knocked on the front door of Bill’s home. When there was no answer, she assumed he was at work. As she turned to leave a neighbor approached.
“I think he’s home, I saw him come back on the day of the funeral. I haven’t seen him leave.”
“The funeral was two weeks ago wasn’t it?”
Maria knocked again. The house was silent.
“He was driving a different car, fancy Italian, my husband said it was an Alfa Romeo.”
“Was he alone?” Maria asked
“I think so, but there was a lot of noise in his house that night,” she lowered her eyes, “It came from his bedroom.”
“What sort of noise.”
The neighbor’s face turned bright red, “You know, bedroom noise. Not the sort of noise you wouldn’t expect to hear after a funeral. I never liked him. I saw him once, in a restaurant, a woman draped all over him. It wasn’t Jean! I have a key if you want to go inside. Jean gave it to me so I could water the plants when they were away. Sweet heart she was. Can’t understand why she’d take her own life.”
Maria waited while the nosy, but helpful neighbor to fetch the key. Something wasn’t right. It wouldn’t hurt to take a peek inside.
The smell hit them as soon as Maria opened the front door. Lou, the neighbor took a couple of steps back. “Oh my!”
“Stay here,” Maria hissed. She walked quickly through the clean, tidy house and then returned to the front door to get a mouthful of fresh air. Slowly she walked up the stairs. The first door on the landing stood ajar. Maria didn’t make it past the doorway.
The bedroom was warm and steamy, as though someone had just stepped out of the shower. The stench of decay was overwhelming. The naked corpse lay tied to the bed, eyes bulging in terror. Expensive jewelry adorned the dead man’s purple bruised neck. He’d been strangled.
Something moved in the bathroom. Did Maria hear a voice? Did someone moan in pleasure? Was that the sound of gentle laughter?
She fled downstairs, and called for backup.
Two spirits hovered in the bedroom for a little while, and faded into the atmosphere. Their work was done.
The garage door took an eternity to open.
Bill sat in the car tapping his fingers on the steering wheel impatiently.
He pulled into the garage and closed the door. He stood beside the beautiful Alfa Romeo and admired it for a few seconds. It was a beautiful machine.
He’d get a cab back to the hotel and pick up the Audi later, after things had died down. He didn’t want to answer anymore questions. He hadn’t done anything wrong, but the fire had started in his room. Sofia had arranged the candles around the bed, if anyone were to blame, it was her.
“You can’t arrest a dead woman.” he said out loud, then he smiled.
Sofia and Jean looked at each other. They weren’t smiling at all.
Bill still wore the hotel robe, its deep pockets bulging with Sofia’s jewelry. He laid the exquisite pieces on table by the bed. Beautiful, she loved rubies and diamonds. They glittered in the early evening sunlight. Selecting a simple ruby pendant on a gold chain, he held it up to the light.
“I’ll sell the rest, but keep this one for my next mistress!” He said out loud. “Something to make her feel special.”
I’ll find another rich vulnerable woman. Someone starved of love, and sex, someone I can play with for a while. Maybe this time I’ll marry her, secure my fortune and never have to work again.
Sophia and Jean heard his thoughts.
Bill placed the necklace safely in Jean’s underwear drawer and chuckled to himself.
“Buried my ex-wife today, and amassed a little money from my mistress! Not a bad days work.”
He turned on the shower and dropped his robe at his feet. He admired himself in the mirror. The radio burst into life.
You’re so vain, I bet you think this song is about you!
Startled, Bill turned around.
“What the hell! Hello, who’s there?”
He turned back.
Two shapes stood in the shower.
Holding his breath he rubbed his eyes.
The radio went silent.
Screw the shower, I need to rest!
Bill closed the drapes and crawled under the covers of king size bed, the one he used to share with Jean. The one he’d shared with Sofia when Jean was away. He smiled as he anticipated sharing it with his next conquest.
He wouldn’t be smiling for long!
Bill used his thumb to push the button on the steering wheel that controlled the radio. Silence, and then the music started. An old tune began to play, sounded like it was from the sixties or seventies, sounded like it was a long way away. Sophia smiled and hummed along!
“Prepare yourself you know it’s a must
Gotta have a friend in Jesus
So you know that when you die
He’s gonna recommend you
To the spirit in the sky”
“Did you have a friend in Jesus Bill?”
Bill couldn’t hear her, but he felt something.
He looked in his rear view mirror, it clouded over as though there were a fog in the car.
Maybe I banged my head, or have smoke in my lungs, I don’t feel right. This weird old tune, is creepy.
He used his thumb and changed the radio station. Silence, then the same tune played over again.
“So I know that when I die, he’s gonna recommend me to the spirit in the sky”
Bill felt something on the back of his neck. It felt like a spider, he slapped at it. Sophia blew gently into his ear. He felt it. He liked it, and relaxed again.
Jean ran her fingers up his inner thigh, stroking it. He felt that too. He opened his legs wide and smiled. Whispers all around him. Evocative whispers. Sensual pleasure enveloped him and he closed his eyes.
Sirens, loud and urgent got his attention. Flashing lights directly in front of him, on a collision course. Bill tugged at the steering wheel and swerved to safety, he’d been driving on the wrong side of the road. Two police cars and an ambulance sped past him, their horns screaming. The spell was broken, the radio station changed.
Hey Soul Sister – Train blasted from the radio.
Bill pulled to the side of the road and got out of the car. He bent over and threw up.
“Yes, it’s definitely shock, I’ll go to the doctors tomorrow and get checked out”
Sophia and Jean stayed in the car and watched him. This slimy, cheating human life wasn’t going to be easy to extinguish, but it would be worth the wait. He’d suffer! Revenge was worth waiting for.