Haunted House!

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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! 

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The Restless Dead

bigstock-beautiful-woman-with-stone-lik-12160685Lindsay and Michael walked along a back lane to the banks of the river Swale. Other than the sound of birds chattering, it was peaceful, almost like being on another planet. The fire and it’s aftermath still tormented Lindsay’s brain, but the surroundings were soothing. Neither of them spoke as they walked along the well-worn track by the river.

“There’s a clearing up ahead with some big rocks we can sit on, the river is shallower there so if this is a ploy to drown me, you’d struggle.” Lindsay said.

“Why on earth would I drown you?” Michael asked.

“I don’t know. Why are you here?”

They continued in silence until they found the clearing, and found a couple of boulders to sit on. Michael made pebbles skip across the glassy surface. It irritated Lindsay. She was on edge and wanted to know why he kept following her.

“We’re not here to play, what is it you want with me? And who the hell is Colleen? I can’t believe I’m even asking. I must be losing my mind. If it’s not bad enough seeing images of my dead friend, now I’m seeing the ghost of some Irish woman I’ve never met. Is this your doing?”

Lindsay began to cry again, a sad hopeless sound. Michael said nothing until her sobs subsided. He knew she wouldn’t listen. They didn’t know they were being watched. Eventually Lindsay stopped crying.

“Sorry! Sorry for everything. You wouldn’t be able to see any of this if you weren’t tuned in to that sort of thing. I’m not making you see anything. I’d give anything to turn back the clock and not have you suffer like this. I can’t! I’m just trying to help.”

“What are you trying to help with? Do you know who started the fire? Do you know who killed my friends? If you do, why are you talking to me instead of the police?”

“It’s not that simple.”

“Nothing ever is with you bloody Irish. You try to blame religion for all of your hatred, but I don’t believe any of it. I thought God was about love not hate.”

Michael dropped his head into his hands and sighed.

“This has nothing to do with religion, or the IRA. It’s about me brother John. Colleen was his wife. She’s dead!”

“I’m sorry, how does that tie up with this….”

There was a loud splash in the water at the other side of the river. Michael jumped to his feet.

“Come on, we have to go.”

“Why it was just a fish jumping?” Lindsay stood up and looked into the water. Two reflections looked back at her. The head of a beautiful, but pale woman peered over her shoulder. Lindsay almost fell as she twisted around to see who was behind her. Michael was the only person there. She looked across the river to see the shape of a man disappearing among the trees. Michael grabbed her hand urgently. “Come on, we have to go now.” He said urgently.

Michael, Michael, where’s my Johnny boy. Why can’t I see him?

Dead of July Another book by Sandra Thompson. Buy it on Amazon.

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson