Where are you Juliet?

lake sunset

Gasping for breath, Jake sat up. He was cold! Where am I?
Are you okay?”
Juliet looked at him, concern in her big brown eyes.
“I must have fallen asleep. I had a weird dream.”
He put his arms around his new fiancée and hugged her close, kissing the top of her head. She smelled good. The mists of his nightmare faded as she lifted her face and kissed him again.
“What did you dream?” she asked.
“I can’t really remember, I think I was drowning!”
“Well there isn’t much chance of that happening is there”? You were the champion of the swim team in high school. No drowning for you Jake”
He smiled at her and kissed her again, pulling her close, feeling the warmth of her body close to him.
“When shall we get married. I want to wake up next to you every morning for the rest of my life.”
“Next June,” Juliet replied, “everyone loves a June wedding.”
She stood up and walked down to the lake, dipping her toes into the cool clear water. Jake shivered, but he didn’t know why. Juliet turned and reached out to him, here
come sit by the water for a while, it feels good. They sat with their toes in the water, the sunset and fading light turning the lake’s surface red.
It looks like Hell!
“I’ve never told anyone this before, but I got a bad scare down here one night. I thought I saw a lady in the middle of the lake.” Juliet said as she gazed into the distance.
“What, you mean in a boat or something?”
“No, it was weird and scary she was just hovering there. Half of her body was under the water. She had long hair. I know it was just the light playing tricks with me, but it scared the crap out of me. I thought it was a ghost.”
“Did you ever see her again?” Jake could hardly get the words out of his mouth as his dream flooded his brain. The sun was gone and the remaining light played tricks with the shadows. He began to shiver. He took hold of Juliet’s hand. It was as cold as ice. When he looked at their reflection in the still water he froze.
He was alone!

The Lady in the Lake – was it me?

lake sunset

A college grad! She couldn’t believe it. 22 years old!

“Mum, I’m home!”

SURPRISE!!!!!!

The quiet dark house exploded into a mess of bright light and excited voices. Juliet stood in the doorway as a sea of happy faces rushed towards her. She was pummeled with hugs and kisses. The party started in the early afternoon and didn’t ease up until after six. Finally she found a quiet place in the garden and sat down to catch her breath. A hand touched her shoulder. It was Jake, they’d been sweethearts since high school.

“Your parents did you proud, were you expecting this?”

“Are you kidding? I had no idea. I was sad they couldn’t come to see me graduate, but mum’s illness makes things tough. This was fantastic. Did you help?”

Jake smiled “A little. Lets take a walk by the lake. I want you to myself for a while.”

They walked hand in hand down the hill, the fading sunlight reflected on the distant glassy surface. Juliet shivered and stopped in her tracks.

“Are you cold? Shall we go back?”

“No, I’m okay, someone walked over my grave that’s all!”

“What a weird expression that is, I wonder where it came from?” Jake said as he put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer.

They sat on a bench close to the water and kissed. A romantic setting, the sort of setting that begged a proposal! Juliet said yes and they kissed again, softly, lovingly and then with unbridled passion.

Afterwards they walked to the edge of the lake and sat for a while, dipping their fingers into the shallow water, it was cool, clean. Jake turned his back for a moment, there was no splash, no scream for help, but when he turned around again Juliet was gone.

“Juliet, this isn’t funny, where are you?”

Silence. “Juliet?”

He looked at the water, its glassy surface was still.

“Juliet!”

She looked at him from the depths of the lake, a wicked smile on her face. I was lonely, but it won’t last forever. I’ll have you with me, I’ll catch you.

I’m the lady in the lake and I take what I want.

“Jake I want you!

Secrets of the Lake

Juliet was only LakeLadyfifteen the first time she saw the lady in the lake. She’s taken a short cut on her way home from theater class at school and stopped to rest under the shade of a Weeping Willow. With her back up against the trunk, she inhaled the sweet evening air.

The lake was a beautiful shade of sunset and she wished she had a camera to capture it.

At first she thought the shape in the middle of the lake was a log, but it was too tall. The lake was deep, very deep. Police divers had scoured it for a missing child a couple of years earlier and she’d heard one of them talking to her mam about it’s surprising depth.

Juliet stood up and walked to the water’s edge, hoping to get a better look. Were her eyes playing tricks with her? Clear as can be, in the middle of the lake, was a woman. She appeared to be waist deep in water, which wasn’t possible. Her face wasn’t visible because because she looked down into the water. Long black hair trailed on it’s glassy surface.

“Hey there, hello, do you need help? HELLO!”

No answer.

Shall I go for help?”

No answer.

There was a boat tied up by a little jetty on the far bank, but it would take a half hour or so to get there. The woman must surely be treading water, she’d be dead by then.

What do I do? I’m not a strong swimmer, if I tried to save her I’d drown!

She looked back at the lake, the empty lake, it’s smooth surface reflected the setting sun like a mirror. There wasn’t even a ripple in the water.

The light began to fade fast and Juliet knew she wouldn’t get home before dark. She shivered, eager to be away from the lake and its secrets.

She burst through the front door of her house, happy to be enveloped in warmth and light. Her dad sat in his favorite chair, watching television, he looked up when she walked in!

“Whatever’s wrong pet? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”

In 2013 I published my first novel Dead of July – Amazon. Life has kept me pretty busy since then, but I’m writing again and soon hope to release a compilation of short stories – Ghosts on the Sand and other Northern Tales. I love writing stories about the North of England, its where I was raised. 

Ghosts on the Sand

Ghosts on the Sand1

The sun slid behind a cloak of darkness while I cowered on the sand terrified and alone. A flaming ball of fire burned a path through the darkened sky tumbling towards me. Closing my eyes, I waited to die. An earth-shattering explosion rocked the beach. A volcano of hot gushing water erupted from the waves. Angry flames reached out hungrily, looking for something to devour. Strangers emerged from thin air, running towards the fire, shouting to one another in a language I didn’t understand. The watery inferno illuminated their fear stricken faces. Shadowy figures floated slowly towards the shore, bobbing up and down grotesquely in the shallow water. Trembling I closed my eyes and prayed. Was this a nightmare?

My new book is almost ready for the first round of editing. Here’s a small preview from “Ghosts on the Sand”

This story will feature in a compilation with three other short stories. I’m aiming to release it at the end of the year.

 

Not Alone!

candle-in-darkA solitary figure walked through the deserted streets. With every turn plunged he was plunged into deeper, darker shadows as he walked into the bowels of the city, but he wasn’t alone.

“Where are you leading me?” he said to no one.

He came to a dead-end, a courtyard.

“What now?” he asked.

Looking around him he felt hopeless, lost, but he didn’t feel alone. A candle burned in a small grimy window. The only light in the gloom. No wait, there was a door. A slither of light escaped beneath it.

The hinges creaked as he pushed it open and entered a tiny room. He stood for a while as his eyes accustomed to the darkness. The room was empty, but he heard whispers, was someone praying? Following the sound he walked carefully through a darkened archway. A woman sat in the far corner, next to a bed. She turned as he entered.

“Father, how did you know?”

She was holding the hand of an old man. His breath was uneven ragged.

“He’s ready to leave us.” she said. “Bless him Father, help him move on.”

The good father crouched down beside them and held their hands. Eyes closed, they prayed together.

Father Rafferty stood up, his old knees crackling as he did so. The ragged breathing had stopped. He turned to the old lady to offer her comfort, but she was gone. Was she ever there?

The smell of roses tantalized the air and Father Rafferty looked around. A beautiful young woman stood behind him. Her eyes sparkled with life and happiness. She held her hand out, not to him, but to the old man in the bed beyond. A cool breeze passed by him as a young man rose from the old body on the bed.

The young couple embraced and faded into the night.

All that was left was candle light and the smell of roses.

Its all in the eyes.

reptilian_eyes_by_spartans_99-d4h3bed.fw_

The were only two people in the waiting room.

“Mr and Mrs Liddle?”

“Yes, are you going to take us to our daughter, is she okay?”

The Dr. ushered them to sit down, talking to them as he did so.

“It’s not a good time to see her right now. She’s unconscious and we still haven’t figured out whats wrong with her. I was wondering if you could tell me anything about her current health.”

June’s parents looked at each and shook their heads before answering.

“Fit as a fiddle! She’s on the school running team, she swims, she’s in a dance group. Really she’s fine. Why are you asking, whats wrong with her?”

“She’s very sick right now. Did you notice any change in her weight, or any stomach problems?”

June’s mum replied. “What? no! She eats like a horse because of all the exercise she does. I went shopping with her last weekend, to get a new outfit for her cousin’s wedding. She’d actually dropped a dress size, she’s down to a size 8. In fact I wish she’d put some weight on. Why are you asking?”

The Dr. didn’t have time to answer. A nurse ran into the waiting room.

“We need you NOW!”

He ran after her, back into the room where June lay. She was covered in blood. One of the nurses had a bundle of blankets in her hand.

“What the hell is going on here?” The Dr. yelled.

“Emergency C-Section! We had not choice, this little fella would have clawed his way out if we hadn’t.”

The doctor looked at the bundle she was holding. A perfect baby boy looked back at him.

Meanwhile, at the other side of the world, a baby girl was born after a very short pregnancy. She was cute as a button. She was normal in every way, except for her eyes.

 

 

 

 

The Vessel

ambulance2“What wrong with me?” June’s whispered as the ambulance sped along the road to the hospital. Leslie, the WPC, squeezed her hand. “It’ll be okay love, we’re almost at the hospital, you’re in good hands. There’s all sorts of weird bugs going around, you probably have stomach flu or something.”

The first responder looked at Leslie and shook her head. June didn’t see!

The ambulance barely stopped before the door burst open and a team of nurses and doctors swooped on the barely conscious passenger.

“She’s fading fast. Something is sucking the life right out of her. Her stomach is swollen and……”

“And what?”

“Well it looks bruised, but the bruises seem to be coming from the inside. Hard to explain.”

“Come on folks, lets see what we have here.” The doctor spoke urgently!

Within seconds they had her in a room in the hospital, talking vitals looking into her eyes, talking to her. Before fading into oblivion June spoke once. In a weak voice that was barely distinguishable she whispered, “It’s crawling around in my stomach.”

The doctor pulled up her sweater. Everyone froze! June’s abdomen had taken a life of its own. It was swollen to four times its normal size, but even with the swelling you could see a shape in there, almost like it was vacuum packed.

“Is she pregnant?” The doctor asked. The nurse looked at the notes taken in the ambulance.
“Says here she had stomach pains, maybe a bug or stomach flu. Vomiting, dizziness, nothing about being pregnant. She’s only a kid!”

“Are her parents here?”

“Yes, in the ER waiting room.”

The doctor took off his gloves and went to find them.

“Don’t do anything until I come back.”

Hidden in the clouds, the whole scene was being observed.

“Our vessel looks strong. She’s doing well. You all know what to do don’t you. We’ll soon have a new queen among us.”

 

Hovering

“Don’t let my uniform scare you love, my name’s Andy, you’re going to be okay! I’m staying with you until we can get you some help.”

“I want to go home”

“I know, but we have to wait until Leslie arrives, You can’t drive right now.”

“Who’s Leslie and how long will she be, I feel sick and I want to go home. What time is it, my mam and dad will be worried.” June whimpered.

“I can see you aren’t feeling well. Are you sure you weren’t drinking? You’re not in trouble or anything. I just want to know why  you’re so sick.Leslie is a female Police Officer, I think you’ll feel more comfortable with her than me.”

“I need you to call my dad! He’ll be out looking for me.”

“We’ve let him know you’re OK. He called the station last night when you didn’t make it home.”

“I tried to call him, I wanted him to pick me up, because I daren’t drive in the fog, I couldn’t see. I’ve just passed my driving test. I tried to walk home. Don’t know how I ended up back in my car again. I don’t remember. What time is it?”

“Four o clock, you’ve been gone a while. Was anyone else with you?”

“No! I didn’t see anyone anyway, but I think there was someone. I felt someone!”

June threw up again.  She shivered so badly her teeth chattered. The young Police Officer was concerned and ran to his patrol car and came back with his jacket. He placed gently around her shoulders.

He spoke into his phone again, “How far away are you Leslie? I’m calling an ambulance. She’s sick, really sick.”

Slumped in her seat, June was barely conscious, her hair stuck to her ghostly pale face. The phone buzzed again, Andy picked it up.

“PC Andy Webster here. Yes, I’m with her now, she’s sick! I’ve called an ambulance and a WPC. Meet us at the hospital in Warrens Heath.”

The ambulance raced along the road sirens blaring. Far above, not visible to the human eye, a spaceship hovered. June was carrying something important, something they needed. No harm could come to her, they wouldn’t allow it.

Spaceship

Fingers

floating“Hello, who’s there”

June was afraid, but only mildly. She lay on something so soft it could have been a cloud. Invisible fingers caressed her body in places she didn’t know existed. It was alarmingly pleasant. She was naked!

She’d never take drugs before, so had no idea the calm she felt, was sedative induced. It just felt good.

Her body moved so she faced downwards, there was nothing beneath her, nothing holding her. I’m floating. Gentle warmth enveloped her, starting between her thighs and moving across her skin like an invisible blanket. She tingled with pleasure. This must be heaven. 

June closed her eyes and drifted into ecstasy…….

A noise close to her head startled her, she smiled, hoping for more fingers on her body.

“Hey, are you alright, Miss?”

What? June opened her eyes and came face to face with a young man, a Police Officer. Where am I? 

“Your door’s locked! Are you okay?”

She looked around confused. She was in the driver’s seat of her car. It was daylight! Opening the door, she got out, bent over and threw up. The police officer stepped back just in time. He spoke into a radio that was clipped to his jacket.

“The car fits the description. I have a young girl here, looks to be 17, and matches the photo. Throwing up. May have had too much to drink. Is Leslie close, a female police officer would be nice right now.”

June sat in the car, but kept the door open.

“Hi, I’m hoping you’re June, your dad called us because you didn’t come home last night, were you drinking?”

“What? No! I don’t drink. I pulled over because I was scared to drive in the mist. I couldn’t see the road. Then my car wouldn’t start. Cell phone was dead.” She began to cry.

“Don’t cry.”

Her cell phone vibrated on the passenger seat. It was her dad calling her. How can that be?

If you’re enjoying my short stories, give my first novel Dead of July available now on Amazon.