A Radio Possessed – Messages from the Dead!

Cindy arrived at work to find me on my knees mopping coffee from the floor with paper towels. The coffee was mixed with blood where I’d cut hand picking up the shattered pieces of my favorite coffee cup.

“Not a good way to start the day!” She said.

“Is it five o clock yet?” I asked, trying to make light of it.

“Oh you have a long way to go yet! We have a lot to do too. I’d have been here sooner, but there’s something going on at the building site up the road. Some sort of accident.”

I froze!

“What?”

“I had to pull over and allow an ambulance to pass me. It stopped by the entrance to the construction site…”

I dropped the cloth and ran. Dear God don’t let this be my fault. Wait a minute, why would it be?

Confused and scared, I walked as fast as the steep cobbled hill of Frenchgate would allow me. I saw the flashing lights of the ambulance, parked near the Ship Tavern. A nurse was fussing over a man sitting on the bench just inside. She looked up “Hello, can I help you?”

Her patient turned around to face me. “Mick, is that you?” His face was covered with blood, but it was a face I knew well. Everyone knows everyone in Richmond I suppose, but Mick and I had been pretty close for a while.

“Sheila?”

“You can come and sit by him if you want. I’m just dressing his wound. He’s lucky to be alive.”

Thank you God!

“What happened?”

“Damned if I know! I was on the scaffolding at the back of the house tossing debris into the skip below and out of the blue a radio started up. I was the only person there, so I wasn’t expecting it. Lost my bloody balance and the next thing I know, I was flat on my back on the ground. Luckily for me the landlord of the Ship next door saw me fall, he called 999.”

“He doesn’t know how lucky his is. He landed on a pile of insulation,” the nurse chirped in “if he hadn’t he’d be dead.”

“It was just delivered yesterday. I must have whacked my head on the way down though.”

“Yes, he needs stitches, and we’ll have to get his head x-rayed, but looks like he had a lucky escape.”

I tried to joke, “I always said you needed your head examining.”

Smashed

Mick laughed, but the nurse just glared at me. “This could have been much worse”

“Yes, I know, I’m sorry.”

The Ambulance driver appeared from the doorway of the house under construction. He had a transistor radio in his hand, my transistor radio. “I found this in the skip,” he said. “I don’t think this is where the music came from, bloody magical if it did, there’s no batteries in it.”

It burst into life again. “Will you still love me tomorrow?” He dropped it, shocked.

“Well I’ll be damned! It’s not magic, its possessed.”

Everyone looked at the radio, which now lay on the ground, its innards spewing out and rolling down the steep hill! The music was replaced by static, an ear-piercing, irritating noise that sounded like the television when you couldn’t get the antenna right. There was something else too,  through the static I swear I heard a motorcycle revving, followed by the screech of tyres.

The Ambulance driver looked perplexed. “You all heard that right, it wasn’t just me?”

I have to admit, I’m having fun with this story. It was supposed to be three of four blogs in length, but my imagination is running wild. Novels are fun to write, but these short bursts of imagination are an absolute BLAST! I hope you’re enjoying it too. Stop by again, love it when you do. 

Three days left for the ‘Old’ Guy at the Bar

I am counting down the time for ‘Guy at the Bar’ to remain on Amazon in its current format. I feel quite sad to be taking it down, but it really does need to be edited.

It served its purpose and got my writing career started.

If you are brave enough to read the unedited version, you have three days left to buy it for two dollars. After Friday, it will be gone, but not forgotten. If you want to read it when it had been edited to make it more readable (especially for the American reader) it will be back up in March or April.

Watch out for my next Novella, ‘Girl on the Beach’ it will be on Amazon very soon and I think you will enjoy it.

Thank you and Goodnight!

 

 

‘Guy at the Bar’ takes a short vacation.

 

Where it all started

 

 

If you have been following my blog, you know that ‘Guy at the Bar’ was my first short story. It is the story that gave me the writing bug. I published it as an eBook on Amazon, and to my surprise sold a few copies, enough to buy a bottle of champagne anyway.

I joined ‘Meet Up’ groups where I met seasoned writers, as well as beginners like myself. I am learning an awful lot from these people, and still have an awful lot to learn. One thing I do know though is I must re-edit my first story and make it more readable. A professional editor can help make a good story great. I think ‘Guy at the Bar’ is a good story and will remain on Amazon for $2 until the end of December.

When it returns in April, it will have a facelift. As well as being professionally edited, it will have a fancy new cover, and will probably be available in paperback too.

Thanks to everyone who bought my first book and gave me the confidence to continue. You will be hearing a lot more from me next year.

 

 

 

 

Finding Christmas – Part Two

I woke up this morning, and laid quite still,

And listened

The lights on the pine trees shone through my window

A light frost glistened.

Outside the sun was starting to rise, on the first day of December

It was crisp and raw,

The sky was orange and deep, dark blue, such a dramatic hue

Incredible in its beauty, no Christmas yet though!

Sheila’s Story – The Brick!

 

Hanging out the washing

This is just another snippet of a memory. Sheila was still about four years old (give or take a couple of months).

In the late fifties, early sixties, the only source of heating was the coal fire, which was usually lit in one room. Sheila was asleep on the sofa, probably because it was too cold to go to bed. She had on a long thick nightie which came right down to her toes. It had a belt around the waist which Sheila like to tie in knots, I think it was her version of worry beads. She worried about her mam all of the time.

Sheila’s mam sat on the end of the sofa, by Sheila’s feet, keeping them warm. Sheila’s dad was sitting in the arm-chair. Sheila’s brothers weren’t home often, but this cold November, Bobby was home. He had been out for the night with friends and Sheila woke up as the back door closed, and Bobby entered the room.  Sheila opened her eyes and smiled. She loved it when her brother was home. She couldn’t have foreseen what was about to happen.

As Bobby entered the room, Sheila’s dad catapulted out of the chair and started yelling at him like a crazy man. Sheila didn’t move, she felt her mam’s hands on her feet. Her mam probably didn’t even realize she was clutching Sheila’s feet, but she was. Bobby looked stunned, and asked what he had done. “You woke your sister, she was sleeping, you woke her”.

Sheila had made no indication to her dad that she was awake, and she was happy to be awake. He mam didn’t move, but hissed “Bobby, go to bed”. Bobby started to walk up the stairs and his dad stood at the bottom yelling at him. “Leave me alone” Bobby shouted, but it didn’t do any good, just made his dad more angry.  Bobby was nineteen and a tall young man. If he had wanted to, he could have turned around and knocked his dad to the floor, but he wasn’t violent and he just wanted to go to bed. Sheila’s mam was crying.

What happened next will be stamped in Sheila’s mind forever. He dad went out into the cold dark back yard and picked up a brick.  For a while he threw it from hand to hand, goading Bobby to come outside. Doors open from neighboring houses, but no one dared to come and tackle the angry (and probably drunk) man. After about five minutes there was a loud bang, and the yelling and goading stopped. Sheila’s dad came back inside, grabbed his coat from the hallway and left. He was probably going to the ‘Workingmans club’ to top up the alcohol in his bloodstream.

Bobby came downstairs to make sure we were OK and then everyone went to bed and if they weren’t asleep when the drunken man returned, they pretended to be.

The next morning Sheila’s mam was hanging out washing in the back yard. Sheila was watching out of the window, and she saw her mam drop the washing basket on the floor and go over to something on the ground, although Sheila has tried to block it out of her mind, she saw what her mam found. Sheila’s brother went outside, he was going to the corner shop, but instead he knelt down by his mam. They were out there for a little while. When they came back in they looked very sad and told Sheila what she already knew, that her kitten was dead, they said a ladder had fallen on top of it while it was playing in the yard.

Sheila knew different. The stepladder was in the shed and her mam had found the fluffy mangled bundle on the ground in the corner of the back yard, with a brick on top of it.  She knew because she had been watching out of the window.

Sheila stopped loving her dad for good!

Crying in the Park

I heard crying

Welcome back! Below is the fifth installment of  ‘Walk in the Park’. You can read this story from the beginning if you go to the earlier posts on my blog. For those of you who have been following me from February, and have read my other stories, I really hope you are enjoying this one. This story is my longest yet and I am still writing it.  Feed back always welcome.

 

Thanks for staying with me and enjoy chapter five

I really wasn’t sure what to do next because of my lack of understanding of the German language.  I had not been in this situation before. I didn’t know enough German to help an extremely distressed girl. I had intended to attend German lessons which were bein given by the British Army, but never got round to it.  Same old excuse, never enough time, always something else to do. I was debating what I should do when I heard an angry shout from the direction of the gate I had just entered. “ANNA” someone was yelling, there was a lot more yelling too, but I didn’t understand the rest of it, all I heard was “ANNA”. The girl on the bench froze! She immediately stopped crying and literally froze. 

I could see she was afraid of the person with the angry voice. He hadn’t moved from the gate but was yelling loudly enough to scare us both.  Impulsively I ran forward to the bench and grabbed the girl’s hand, “Anna?” I asked. She nodded her head and looked very scared. I took her hand and we ran, she needed no persuasion to come with me. We ran to the other gate and I opened it quietly. We slipped through silently.

We opened the gate and quietly slipped out of the park

The angry voice was still raging behind us, but it didn’t seem to be coming any closer. I felt pretty uncomfortable running with two beers and a bratwurst not quite digested in my tummy, so we ran a little further and then stopped. I turned and looked at Anna, who had stopped crying and seemed a little more composed. 

I let go of her hand and she looked up at me “Danke” she said, and then tried to talk in English, which didn’t really work, so she used hand gestures to try to make me understand. “Betrunken” she said as she made a drinking gesture.  She obviously wasn’t drunk so I knew she was talking about the man with the angry voice. She tried to smile, but I could see it was hard.  A bruise was beginning to form around the eye socket of her left eye and she had brutal hand prints on her right arm.  She saw me looking at them. “Com sie mit” I said to her, I think that meant come with me.  She shook her head. “Nein Danke” she said and started walking along the road, which ran parallel with the park. I walked with her for a few feet, and then stopped when she increased her speed to get away from me. “Anna” I called after her, but she just walked faster still.  I watched her until she turned the corner at the next street disappearing from sight. She had turned the opposite way from the park, and the angry man, but I still felt uncomfortable for her.  He would find her eventually, and who knows how many more bruises she would end up with.  I walked slowly back to my apartment.  It was starting to get dark now, I looked at my watch, it was approaching eight o clock, where had the day gone?

German draft beer and bratwurst

 

Beer on a hot day

After four brutal days back at work, here I am again. It was definitely tough trying to get back into working and blogging and writing after a month off and two wonderful weeks in Rome, but I am starting to get back in the swing of things. Here is the next installment of my ‘walk in the park story’, short and sweet, but hopefully enough to keep  you interested.  Thanks for staying with me, you are all my first, and most faithful readers. Enjoy! 

  

CHAPTER THREE 

I wandered along Robert Strasse, looking for a park.  I had packed my bag with a towel to sit on, sun tan lotion and a book to read so I was all prepared for a couple of hours sunbathing. All I needed now was a quiet park, or garden to relax in. I walked to the end of the road, and crossed over, finding myself in a peaceful residential area. I passed a couple of little bars, and small restaurants.  Oh I loved the smell of the rotisserie chickens and bratwurst that wafted out of these establishments, but it was too hot to eat.  The Germans loved their meat, and it was always cooked to perfection.

It looked like the road came to a dead-end at a big black wrought iron gate. Could this be a park?  I was lucky as I had indeed come to a small park, with a little pond and fountain. I would say it wasn’t much bigger than a couple of acres, but nicely set out with lots of weeping willow trees, a few benches to sit on and a lovely array of flower beds.  I spread out my towel near one of the trees, in a spot that gave me a little privacy.  I rubbed sun tan oil (yes oil, it fried you quicker, we weren’t too worried about skin cancer back then) into my exposed areas, pulling my top up so my middle could get tanned too, and then lay on my back for a while, enjoying the sun and tranquility.  I couldn’t hear any traffic, or people, it was perfect.

I am not sure if I dozed off for a while, but I suddenly realized I was incredibly hot.  I sat up and dabbed the sweat off my face and wondered if there was anywhere I could get a cold drink.  I made myself look presentable and scanned the park for another gate, closer to where I was sitting.  There was a smaller gate which looked like a back entrance, so I headed off in that direction. Just through the gate was a tiny neighborhood bar, with a table outside just beckoning me.  I sat down and immediately a young girl came out to serve me. I used my very best German “Eine mal beer bitte, und eine bratwurst mit senf”.  I think I was asking for a beer and a bratwurst with mustard.  I really wasn’t good at German, but I was trying.  I got it right because the girl came right back out with both the beer and the bratwurst. The beer came in a tiny glass, which meant it would be strong and full of flavor. I loved real German beer. The bratwurst came with a tiny piece of bread and German mustard. Heaven! I sat there with my local thick frothy beer and my bratty, and felt very content.  I had been in the park for a couple of hours, although it didn’t seem that long, I must have dozed.  It was almost four o clock and starting to cool down a little. I ordered another beer, I wasn’t in a hurry to get back home as Les would be on guard duty all night, and I didn’t know anyone locally so I might as well sit here, in the sun and read Cujo by hero ‘Stephen King’. I just couldn’t get enough of his books, some of which I had read twice. 

From where I was sitting I could hear the little television in the bar, World Cup Fever was rampant.  The German team was looking like it was a very strong contender to win the trophy. Every minute of every day someone reminded you that the Germans were “Going to vin of course”.  The German machine!  Great scorers, big and intimidating, and hard to get a goal past, but I was never a big fan. I know, after England, Germany should have been my next choice because I lived there, but Italy was my team, passionate, unpredictable and exciting!  Football was meant to be played with emotion, not like a machine, even if it was well oiled.  There had been lots of exciting games, but the game which was to be played the following day was the one that Les and I were looking forward to.  Les would be home of course, we would both leave work early to see this one. Italy were to play Brazil, that should be one heck of a game.  Both teams lived for the sport.  I couldn’t wait! I was a four-year football fanatic! The world cup just captured my imagination.  I loved it! I liked the FA Cup Finals, and European Cup Finals, just because those final games were nail-biting and there could only be one winner, but the FIFA World Cup, that was in another class, I had been watching it as long as I could remember, even in the day of black and white television. 

In my teens I  had been quite a football fan, most teenagers in England had a favorite team and covered their bedroom wall with posters of them. One Saturday night I had waited outside a ‘The Scotch Corner Hotel’, along with my friends, to get the autograph of the late great Sir. Matt Busby. During the evening I  got stuck in the revolving door with the legendary George Best and I was so smitten with him at the time, that I was speechless and unable to ask for his autograph! I remember looking up at him and how he had smiled and me. He seemed like such a nice guy, shame he couldn’t handle success. I did end up getting his autograph that night, but the signature was nowhere near as memorable as standing in the revolving door looking at him.  I think I was thirteen when this happened, but it is as clear in my head now, as it was on that night. There I go again, getting off track, that happens when you have a beer and start thinking about things. 

  

 

Flat Country Snow – Chapter Four – Breakfast

So here we are again, after many distractions, back to my story.  Look at that delicious breakfast.  They call it a ‘Full English’, eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans and of course……black pudding. This would be served with fried bread and toast. Not sure if I could eat all of that now, but I used to love waking up to a breakfast like this. I know back pudding (or blood pudding) is hard for some people to stomach, but I loved it. I hope you enjoy chapter four of my story.  This is romance with a twist. I do believe in love and romance, but in my stories it is a secondary factor. This story still makes me smile when I read it. Not sure why, maybe it just brings back a lot of young and innocent memories, reminding me of how I was when I was 17.  I hope this makes you smile too. 

Chapter Four

Steven (I kept trying to call him Steve, but it just didn’t fit) was still fast asleep on the bed beside me, fully clothed, and looking as if he hadn’t moved all night.  I was very relieved that I had woken up first because I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I looked awful.  Mascara all over my face, dress crumpled from sleeping in it…Yuk! I grabbed my bag of toiletries and my dressing gown and headed down the hallway to get a bath and make myself presentable.  The big grandfather clock at the end of the hallway said 8:30, so we had managed to get a good night’s sleep, and I actually didn’t have a hangover, maybe I should make champagne my regular tipple. I wish I could afford that luxury.  That stuff had been about fifteen pounds a bottle, and we had three bottles last night.  In 1974, that was enough to feed a family for a week, or enough to keep you in booze for a month. 

            I ran a nice hot bubble bath, and lowered myself into it.  It felt good, I allowed myself to relax for a few minutes before washing my hair and getting dried.  The bathroom was getting pretty steamy so I opened the window, but only a crack. Burr, it was cold, it was very cold. It wasn’t snowing heavily, but I could see ice particles glistening in the air.  It did the trick though, the steam escaped out of the window and I was able to clear the mirror enough to see myself.  I towel dried my hair to get most of the wetness out and then headed back to my bedroom.  Steven was no longer sleeping on the bed, so I quickly got dressed before he showed up again.  I sat on the stool in front of the dressing table and put on my ‘face’, I still smiled about putting make up on. My mum always used to sit and put her ‘face’ while I watched her.  She never wore much make up, but always sat there and applied it under my watchful eyes.  I missed those days. Life was much easier when you were young. I had just finished putting on my makeup and was spraying myself with perfume,( j’reviens by worth) when there was a tap on the door. I was about to shout “Come in” and then thought the better of it, just in case it wasn’t Steven. I opened the door to find one of the hotel staff standing there with a trolley loaded with food, some of which was covered with big stainless steel domed lids.  Wow, breakfast in my room, I did feel special.  I ushered him in and he laid out breakfast for two on the table by the window.  He uncovered two plates of egg and bacon, with fried bread and mushrooms. There was a pot of tea, orange juice and also a dish of strawberries. My tummy started rumbling at the sight of it. Just as he finished setting it out on the table my weekend fiancée appeared. He was a wonderful sight, standing there in the doorway in jeans and a big bulky sweater. Clothes just looked good on him, they probably looked good off him too, but I didn’t think I was ever going to see him minus clothes.  He was going to make some man very happy some day, when he found the courage to ‘come out’ anyway.  The porter left the room and Steven and I sat down and had breakfast together.  I thought the morning may be awkward, but really it wasn’t.  We chatted about the night before, and he thanked me for making the evening such a success.  I kept telling him that I hadn’t really done anything, just enjoyed a pleasant evening, with good company.  I had actually been a pretty spectacular evening, but I didn’t want him to know that. We lingered over breakfast, both of us knowing that we would probably never see each other again.  It was a shame really because we were enjoying each other’s company, but it was always going to be a friendship, nothing more. Finally after spending way too long over breakfast, Steven stood up and told me we should get going. His flight was at three o clock that afternoon, so he needed to be back at the army camp by noon, and I really needed to get on my way back home as the snow would definitely slow me down. Steven went back to his room and collected his belongings and I did the same thing. I hadn’t really unpacked anything, so there wasn’t much to put in my case, but I certainly didn’t want to leave anything behind.  I put Steven’s beautiful ruby and diamond ring back in its case ready to give to him.  I checked the room again and stepped out into the hallway.  Steven’s door was open so I went into his room, he was standing looking out of the window in deep thought.  “Penny for them” I said and he turned around and smiled.  He grabbed his green army overnight bag checked around the room again, and then came over to the door. I held the ring out to him, and he shook his head. “No, you keep it” he said “My grandma would have liked you, so you should have it” “I can’t, it’s worth way too much” I told him, it really was an antique.  He looked troubled, as if he didn’t know what to do and then said “OK, well you hang on to it for now, it seems only right, then you can give it back to me when we meet up again, we probably will you know, so just hang on to it until we do”.  I almost felt like singing the old Vera Lynn Song “We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day”. I really wasn’t sure we would ever meet again, but it would be nice if we did. Steven actually looked like he may be about to cry.  I walked over and gave him a big hug, and he hugged me back, very tightly and then we turned around and left the hotel.  I stopped at the front desk to pay, but the bill had already been taken care of. I really had been treated to a wonderful week-end. It was all a little overwhelming.

Guy at the Bar – Back to Books

Well I have goofed around long enough, time to get back to books.  ‘Guy at the Bar’ will be coming off Amazon soon.  If anyone wants to buy the $2 version of it, you have a limited time to do so. I will be getting it tidied up, edited and will re-publish it very shortly.  ‘Girl on the Beach’ will be available on Amazon and other eBook sites soon. I may also put this in print in a month or so, depending on finances, sales etc.  ‘A Walk in the Park’, if that indeed remains the title, will be finished pretty soon.  It is my longest book yet. This weekend I will be posting the second chapter of ‘Flat Country Snow’, the story that makes me smile. Stay tuned and enjoy my journey.  I am in no great hurry, but one day, I will make a living at this.  Have a great weekend and get your fill of wonderful World Cup Football.  Be Happy!