Haunted House!

DSC07093

photo from davidstillman.blogspot.com

All I could think about was the sad face that haunted my dreams at night, and my thoughts all day. The face that was taking over my life. Why? I didn’t know her. If it was the old man’s daughter, she was long since dead. My day at work was painfully slow. Finally, eager to talk to the old man, I made and excuse to leave early.

January dusk soon fell, cold and uninviting. I was grateful for my heated car seat after being chilled to the bone walking across the parking lot. It was dark when I pulled onto the drive way of the ranch. There wasn’t a light to be seen in anywhere in the house either. Wishing I’d brought a flashlight I opened the car door. The breeze was no longer gentle.

Watching my step I walked in the direction of the huge shadow which loomed ahead of me. It’s all I could see of the house. I approached the front door and tapped on it nervously, feeling like an intruder smothered in a blanket of darkness.

The door swung open slowly, creaking as it did so. Doors always creaked in these situations.

“Hello, is anyone home?”

No answer, no movement. The air was deadly still. I took a step forward into the house. The temperature dropped several degrees when I did so. How could it be colder inside than out. My breath formed a cloud in front of my face.

“Hello.” I said softly.

A floorboard creaked. The sound came from above. I looked in the direction of the stairs, but thought the better of going up there.

What if he’s dead? 

Standing just inside the doorway I wondered what to do next. I had no business walking around the house uninvited. People did that in movies and it always ended badly. Turning around I pulled the door shut and walked back to the car. Should I leave a note?

Footsteps crunched on the gravel drive way and I looked up expecting to see the old man. The steps continued, but there was no one to be seen. Instinctively I locked the car door. Footsteps crunched past me, stepping onto the porch. Looking in my rearview mirror, I watched the front door open and close on its own.

Time to get out of Dodge! 

I started the car and floored the accelerator, pebble dashing the front of the house with gravel as I left.

Thank God I didn’t go upstairs! 

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

Walk in the Park – Chapter Ten – Indecent Exposure?

Back to my story.  This gives an insight of the British Squaddie in Germany and his sense of humor.  They really were good times.  Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have until we don’t have it anymore. Life has its ups and downs, it is how you handle the ‘downs’ that counts.  Enjoy the next installment and remember, comments always welcome. Lets start off with a ‘Scouse/Liverpudlian’ joke.

Why does the River Mersey run through Liverpool?                  

 If it walked it would get mugged.  

Bless em all!

Chapter Ten

I heard a car horn tooting downstairs and looked out of the window to see our little white Datsun parked there. It should have been renamed ‘the little car that could’.  It had been driven back and forth between Germany and England several times, at one point with a washing machine in the back.  It was a very small, very popular in the eighties though, it was called a 120y. It was sporty looking little car with a ‘go faster stripe’ down the side. Anyone who had a car in the eighties knew what one of those was. We loved that car, which I am sure we paid over the odds for, from a car dealership in Blandford, Dorset. He looked like a crook, and probably was, but we just had to have that car.

With a blue vinyl roof and a blue stripe - this could have been our car

I ran downstairs and jumped in the passenger seat, and gave Les a big sloppy kiss on the cheek, which he immediately rubbed off, not being the affectionate type. He looked bleary eyed and grumpy after his overnight guard duty, so it was a quiet ride to work.  Happy Monday World!  I hoped he was going to get a couple of hours sleep before he went back in or it wouldn’t be a very enjoyable evening. Oh well, it was what it was. The Monday morning traffic was awful, which made Les’s mood even darker. By the time we got to the Barracks where I worked, his mouth was tightly closed and I couldn’t even get a ‘Goodbye’ out of him.  I got out of the car and walked across the cobbles to work. My good spirits had gone and I felt quite sad.  It was funny how the only person in your life who made you happy, was also the only one who could bring you down, even without speaking. The kitchen at the YM was a hive of activity.  I was preparing food and drinks for my ‘NAAFI Wagon’ run and the rest of the staff were preparing food to serve at breakfast and lunch for those hungry solders that stayed on camp to eat.  Because of its convenience, this little canteen was popular, and over the lunch period, filled with laughing chattering Squaddies.  

I worked with a great bunch of girls who all came from different backgrounds with one thing in common.  They were married to someone in the British Army. We were a melting pot of Scots, Welsh, Liverpudlian, even the odd German (and believe me the German’s were pretty odd). We all laughed and joked while we worked.  

I loaded up my big yellow van with sandwiches, coffee and tea urns, and the latest magazines, and off I went on my daily route around the different barracks selling tea, coffee, and sharing stories and jokes.  The guys used to give me a hard time, just because they could, nothing too bad, but always jokes at my expense.  I remember one particular day, when the two doors at the back of my van opened and a guy jumped in and appeared to be ‘flashing’ his unmentionables.  I screamed of course, and threw something at him.  I looked behind him to see all of his friends laughing, some sitting on the parade ground,  tears running down their cheeks. The ‘unmentionables’ were fake, made from rubber, but looked so real at first glance.  I laughed too, it still makes me smile when I think about it. 

Remembering this lifted my mood a little, and by my very last stop of the morning, I was starting to feel a little more cheerful.  I parked my van and opened the hatch, while my customers wandered across to me, I shook the two urns to make sure I still had tea and coffee left, I did!  I straightened up the magazines and turned around to greet my first customer.  

It was that funny American guy, who always asked for a fat pill, or a jelly doughnut.  He made me laugh once I got used to him, and realized both a fat pill and a jelly doughnut were his interpretation of a jam doughnut.  I hadn’t met many Americans, who knew I would end up being one.

Royal Highland Gunners v. Brazil

The Royal Highland Gunners

Its been a while since I updated my ‘Walk in the Park’ story.  I hope you haven’t given up on me.  I love this chapter. I remember the evening well. I miss those days. Enjoy!

CHAPTER EIGHT

 I lay for a while, several thoughts going through my head. Eventually I relaxed and happy thoughts took over. I remembered one of the World Cup games we had watched a couple of weeks ago at an Army Social event.  I laughed out loud as I remembered the events of the evening. Whilst in Germany we were attached to a Scottish regiment.  We had friends in the Royal Army Pay Corps who weren’t Scottish, but not many. The Scots loved their football. On June 18th 1982 Scotland played Brazil in their qualifying round of the world cup.  I think this whole social evening was planned so the men could watch the Scotland v. Brazil game in the bar, and the ladies could sit and chat and drink, and leave the men alone. Those people who had kid, got babysitters, and enjoyed an evening out. In theory, it was a very good idea.  Personally, I would have much rather been watching the football than chatting with the ladies, but I had to try to fit in with this social network that the army encouraged.  I was having fun however, as the little group of ladies were good company.  Football came first and foremost for Les as he had played all of his life. He was pretty darn good too!  Everyone wanted him to play for them. Local teams, military teams, he played two or three times a week (hence the injured knee). 

The Boys from Brazil

 Les was watching this game with his Scottish friends and fellow soldiers, who also loved football. Even those who didn’t actually play the game had the same passion. Football ruled in Europe. Most red-blooded men lived and breathed football. In fact most women were huge fans too. Why wouldn’t you be?  It was football, if you were still breathing, you loved the game.  Les and his friend Graham were watching this game hoping that Brazil won. Brazil had talent and style, not to mention some of the best players in the world. This was not a wise move when you are in the company of a bunch of drunken Scotsmen.

The Scottish Fans in Spain

 I can’t remember the order in which the goals came that night, or whether Scotland or Brazil scored first. The highlight of the night was when the Les and Graham cheered as Oscar scored the second goal for Brazil. None of us ladies heard them cheer because we were chatting and giggling, the way only ladies can after several cocktails.  We didn’t know what was going on when Les and Graham sprinted past us, running for their lives and disappeared out of the door at the other end of the room, followed by a dozen or so drunken Scotsmen, who were as mad as hell because someone had the NERVE to cheer for a Brazilian Goal against Scotland.  The second Brazilian goal no less! The words coming out of the mouths of the angry mob were indistinguishable and guttural grunts rather than the English (or should I say Scottish) language. To us ladies it really was funny, and to me even funnier because I wanted Brazil to win too.  Of course, if Brazil did win that game Scotland would leave Spain and they would no longer be contenders for the World Cup.

Greame Souness for Scotland

 

We sat there laughing and wondering what would happen next, when the door opened and the angry mob returned red-faced and a little disheveled. They may have chased the two disrespectful black men for longer, but they didn’t want to miss anymore of the game. If Scotland scored, they wanted to be there to see it. It was harmless fun really, grown men playing games. Les and Graham sheepishly came back a couple of minutes behind them, and went back to watching the game. 

We heard lot more good-natured Scottish threats about what would happen if they “did no keep their mouths’ shut”, but the rest of the night passed without incident.  Les was very gracious when the game finished and Brazil won 4-1. He didn’t gloat until we got into our little car and drove home, and then we laughed about it all the way home. “I really thought they were going to hurt me”, he said.  A drunken Scotsman could be a dangerous thing, especially where football was involved.  I laughed and told him it was a good job he was so tall or he could have been the recipient of the famous ‘Glasgow handshake’ at the end of the night. For those of you who don’t know, a Glasgow handshake is when someone head butts you!!!  Good times! 

 

German Ghost Story

Dortmund - Borsigplatz

 I told you I was getting organized with a come back, and here it is. This is a story I am currently working on, not finished yet, but close. I was lucky enough to find a photograph of Borsigplatz (don’t you just love google) so hopefully this will give some perspective to my story.  This round-a-bout was just about three blocks from where we lived, it’s where the supermarket and restaurants were. I may go back and visit one day.

 I think I am going to call this story ‘A walk in the Park’, but that could change. I was not going to post this story on my blog, but it actually helps me with my first edit if I do.  This story brings back a lot of memories and reminds me of how exciting life was back then. Enjoy!

CHAPTER ONE

It was July 4th 1982 and the weather in Dortmund was so hot it was almost unbearable.  There was no air conditioning and we lived in the Penthouse (so to speak), well at least it was the very top floor of an old building that had been turned into apartments. Heat rises of course, so it felt hotter than hell.  There was no balcony, the window in the living room was actually in the sloping roof, and opened up to the sky.  This window was wide open, but only let in hot air and little particles of silver that shimmered in the sun and although very pretty, I can’t be sure if it was good for the lungs. The shimmering silver shower was courtesy of the huge chemical plant that was less than a mile away.  I probably shouldn’t mention the name of the plant in this litigious society, but it was one of the largest suppliers of pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial chemicals in Europe, the US and Asia. I have to say, I have suffered no health issues from my proximity to the chemical plant, nor has anyone else to my knowledge, but the shower was certainly a spectacle. On that particular day I sat in that rooftop window and with my legs dangling over the ledge and watched the street below. It was a Sunday afternoon and there weren’t many passers-by. I am guessing that people were staying in their homes and away from the heat of the day.  Those people who did pass by were both amused horrified at my position, half in and half out of the window on the third floor of the building.  Those people who looked up either laughed at me and waved as they passed by, or yelled up at me with alarmed voices.  I had no idea what they were shouting about of course, I had only been in the country for a few months and not quite mastered the language yet. Maybe they thought I was about to jump.  My meager knowledge of the German language could get me by in bars (beer and wine was easy to order), or shopping and I could even get around on the local trams, but someone shouting up at me in German?  I just waved down at them and smiled causing most to continue walking shaking their heads as they did so. 

            Let me tell you a little bit about where I lived. The street was called Robert Strasse, and the area was Borsigplatz.  I am sure that spelling is wrong as it’s been a while since I had to write or talk in German.  I loved living there though.  Borsigplatz was an Italian area on the outskirts of Dortmund. Les was in the British army, and due to the lack army housing at the time, we were given what was called ‘overseas rent allowance’ to pay for an apartment.  Luckily Borsigplatz was only a short drive, or tram ride to the both the military base where Les was stationed and the military base on which I worked. We were very happy to find this place, which had been recently renovated.  With the help of a German-speaking friend we negotiated a good price and moved in with our scant furniture.  It really was my dream apartment and much nicer than the army accommodation!  It was on the top floor of a three-story L shaped building and ours was the only door on the top floor so we had some privacy. The living area was beautiful, up in the attic with a sloping ceiling. Stained beams divided the living area and eating area. There were two small bedrooms, a very small kitchen and a small modern bathroom. The living room itself was snug and was just big enough for our typically English overstuffed three-piece suite, a coffee table and our TV. Of course back in the eighties we also had two video recorders, a VHS and a Betamax.  Does anyone still know what a Betamax is??? I swear those machines were way better than the VHS recorders, but VHS were the ones that survived.  Now they are a relic of the past as we use DVD’s and Blu Ray.  How quickly times change. 

 

 

Websites and stuff!

If you see anything weird happening on my blog, be patient, bear with me, I am designing a website that will be linked to my blog. Yes me, a website…..stop laughing.  Eventually, when I am organized I will sell my books there, yes books. I will have four ready soon.  If you have already been reading my stories, you may even want to take a look at my new adventures.  The biggest adventure for me is designing a website!  Have a happy Memorial Day, and remember those who made it possible.  Good night!

My next story and Me!

As you know already, my stories are all about me, and will remain that way until I run out of experiences to talk about! I really did get into a lot of trouble in my past. There was the obvious teenage trouble, and then there were unexplainable happenings. The ‘unexplainable’ happened to me often. Try getting yourself out of trouble when you have no idea what sort of trouble you are in. I am really enjoying writing about my little mishaps, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg, an aperitif, just to whet your appetite.  The real stories are to come.  I am just warming up. Keep reading, I will try to delight you.

Stephen King – Under the Dome

Yup, talking about a book I didn’t write!  Did anyone read ‘Under the Dome’ yet? I started it, but haven’t picked it up in weeks because of my own writing projects.  I am about to take a break and pick up where I left off (easy with a kindle).  I enjoyed the beginning!  He is pretty brutal, but does it in that ‘Stephen King’ way, so it’s what you come to expect from him.  Any views?  Which is your favorite Stephen King book?  ‘The Stand’ has to be one of my favorites, along with ‘Salem’s Lot. I really enjoyed Duma Key too.  Love his short story collections!!!!  Been reading Mr. King for the last 30 years.  He is my favorite without a doubt!

Plane Reading!

Aren’t we all happy we are at home and not at work! Tomorrow I am posting the last chapter of my ‘girl on the beach’ story. It’s quite emotional!  I would like to thank everyone so  much for all of the  feedback and encouragement you have given me. Writing is something I love and want to continue doing for a long time. I hope to start posting chapters of ‘Flat Country Snow’ in June, but need to re-read it first as it is a little different. Remember ‘Guy at the bar’ is available on Amazon.com for anyone who wants to download the whole thing and read it on their kindle, iPad or iPhone. ($2) I am trademarking my stories under the name Plane Reading, because most of them are just the right length for the average flight within the US.  ingenious right? Well I thought it was, just trying to make a living.  Things to do, people to see, places to go……busy Saturday!  Keep reading!