Janie and Miriam

JOY1690.0LI looked first at the rifle and then into his eyes. He had the look of crazy there, but not the kind of crazy that would shoot someone.

“You came to visit last night too didn’t you!”

“Yes, were you here? Why didn’t you come to the door?” Put the rifle down please!

“I was sick. You’d gone before I was able to come downstairs.”

“What are you doing with the rifle?” I asked, still a little nervous, unsure of whether to stand my ground or turn and run.

“Hobby of mine. I collect antique rifles, not for use, just because I like them. Sometimes I’ll sell one, just to keep food on my table.”

“You don’t work?”

“Odd jobs! Yard work. Minor home repairs.”

“Don’t you get lonely?”

“No, I have no time for people. Just biding my time until I join my girls. Nothing to live for.”

“You must have other family, brothers, sisters?”

“Not worth mentioning!”

My hand clasped around the locket. I knew it was significant. “Can I come in?”

He gestured to the door at the end of the hallway. “Coffee?”

Although I’d had more than my fill of coffee already, I nodded. The door led into a bright kitchen. Spotlessly clean, but dated. He pulled a chair out for me and I sat and watched as he prepared the coffee. Neither of us spoke until he sat down. It wasn’t an uncomfortable silence more of what my English teacher used to refer to as a “pregnant pause.”

“I’m Jack, don’t think I ever told you my name,” he said as he placed a cup of coffee in front of me.

“Sheila.” I said and smiled. “Funny how we’ve been thrown together.”

“Why did you come to see me last night, and why are you here now?”

Gazing into my coffee I wondered how much to tell this man. I didn’t want to scare him with my crazy dreams and premonitions. I put the locket on the table between us. “Ever seen this before?” I asked.

I watched a turmoil of emotions cross his face, sad, happy and finally confused. “Where did you get this?” he asked. His hands reached out to touch it, but stopped short, as though he was afraid to.

I didn’t answer, just opened it and pushed it across the table towards him so he could see the worn images inside.

At first his eyes remained focused on me. Finally he looked down at the open heart in front of him. He touched it briefly, and then put his head in his hands and sobbed.

“Where did you get this?” he asked.

Before I could answer, I felt a cool hand stroke my cheek. It wasn’t unpleasant, or scary. It wasn’t even unexpected. Someone was here watching. Jack felt it too.

“Janie, is that you?” he whispered. I feel you!

The smell of freshly baked bread filled the room. I heard laughter. The locket moved slightly on its own.

“Miriam?”

 

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The Haunting Begins

christmas-bauble_2399692kChristmas came and went, so did my family. It was lovely having them to stay, but nice to see them leave. I dearly loved my parents, but its hard to see them age. Every time I wave goodbye at the airport, I wonder if I’ll ever see them again. I don’t want to get old. 

Taking down the Christmas decorations isn’t nearly as much fun as putting them up. I was cranky and not much fun to be around. Music helped a little.Why am I so sad?

If you won’t let me help you I’m going to the gym.”

I didn’t even answer, just waved as Les disappeared into the garage. I wiped my tears and blew my nose. Whats wrong with me?

Carefully I took the old ornaments from the tree, wrapping each one individually and carefully. These may be old tat to my mum, but to me they were heirlooms, passed down through generations. I wanted to pass them on to my children one day, if I ever had any. I’d never really given any thought to starting a family.

When the last of the antique baubles were carefully packed away I taped the lid onto the box. Another year gone! 

But you breathe, you have life and love. You’ll see your child grow up.”

Who said that?

The room felt cold. The sun disappeared behind a cloud. A gust of wind rattled the remaining dead leaves on the Aspen tree outside.

“Who said that?” My voice sounded strange and distant.

I picked up my cellphone, intending to call Les, but it had no signal. How could that be?

There was movement behind me on the Christmas tree. Scared of what I would see, I turned around slowly.

A single bauble drifted down through the branches and rested, without breaking, on the velvet tree skirt. I sighed with relief. It was just a bauble falling, why was I so jumpy?

How did I miss that? 

As I reached down to pick it up, it rolled away from me and settled on the hearth. Sunlight burst from behind the clouds and shone through the window, turning the bauble into a golden orb, so thin it was translucent. A face looked up at me from within, a sad face, smiling like the Mona Lisa. The face changed and the smile turned to a grimace. My beautiful antique bauble exploded and for a brief moment the face appeared again. This time distorted and then it was gone.

My first novel Dead of July is available on Amazon for $0.99. It’s a fun read and an introduction to my crazy life. Writing is my hobby, but when I retire, it may become my full-time job. I love to write. Support a new writer and check out Dead of July. It’s set in the early eighties in Dortmund, Germany. I was a young Army wife on my first posting abroad. See what happens to me!

Hey Shout Summertime Blues, Jump Up and Down in your Blue Suede Shoes – ROCK ON!

FairgroundCindy arrived mid-morning. “Still no Jan?” she asked.

“No, no phone calls either, maybe she’ll be in later.”

Cindy settled herself behind her desk. “You look tired, are you alright? You aren’t getting sick too are you?”

Shall I tell her about my dream? Will she think I’m losing my mind? I looked up, but she was already focusing on a computer print out, pencil in hand. The moment of confession passed by.

“I’m fine, just didn’t sleep well.”

“You ‘d better get as much sleep as you can tonight, the fair will be here by tomorrow. I don’t know which is worse, the noise they make setting everything up, or the blaring musing and screaming kids on the rides. I don’t know why they put it in the market place; it should be in a field out-of-town. It must damage the cobblestones.”

I smiled, “its tradition Cindy, the fair has been here over Whit Weekend for over a hundred years hasn’t it?”

“They didn’t have waltzers and dodgems over a hundred years ago though.”

Oh dear, she’s getting old! I hope I never get tired of things like the fair!

I put my head down and got on with my work. I don’t remember singing to myself; I don’t remember it at all. 

Hey kid rock and roll
Rock on, ooh my soul
Hey kid. boogey too, did ya
 

Hey shout, summertime blues
Jump up and down in my blue suede shoes
Hey kid you rock and roll, rock on
 

And where do we go from here?
Which is a way that’s clear?

Still looking for that blue jean, baby queen
Prettiest girl I’ve ever seen
See her shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean (James Dean)

“What is that song? I’ve heard it before. I really like it!”

I looked up to see Cindy staring at me. “What song?”

“The one you were just singing.”

Like a mist in my head, the tune hung there. I could hear it, but I didn’t know what it was. “I don’t know, I didn’t even realize I was singing.”

Then we both heard the song loud and clear. It came from outside.

And where do we go from here?
Which is a way that’s clear?

Still looking for that blue jean, baby queen
Prettiest girl I’ve ever seen
See her shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean
Jimmy Dean
Rock on

Rock on
Rock on
Rock on
Rock on…

I walked over to the window and looked out. The first of the huge lorries that would park in the market place and set up the equipment for the fair drove past. The music came from his open window. It was loud!

“Oh no, its starting! Peace and quiet shattered now.” Cindy said shaking her head.

I didn’t respond, I was too busy looking at the figure in black riding his motorbike behind the lorry. Was he looking back at me?

Hey kid rock and roll
Rock on, rock on
Hey shout, summertime blues
Rock on, rock on
Hey kid boogey too
Rock on, rock on
Hey kid rock and roll
Rock on, rock on

I was a child of the fifties and music ruled my life. Every memory comes with a tune. This is for those of you who remember David Essex when he was a young man. He melted my heart. This song still gives me the chills. 

The eighties were pretty good too! Dead of July is set in the eighties. 

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

Buy it on Amazon for $0.99.

I Heard it through the GRAPEVINE of my fantasies! Where are you bad boy?

BadboyIt took a lot of make-up to fix my face for work that day. Dark circles hung under my puffy eyes. That was one hell of a nightmare, but it wasn’t really a nightmare, nothing bad happened. It was a vivid dream. The bad boy from the car park and the pub triggered my imagination. I was fantasizing about him. Wait a minute; there was no bad boy! 

I bet you’re wonderin’ how I knew
‘Bout your plans to make me blue
With some other guy you knew before
Between the two of us guys
You know I loved you more
It took me by surprise I must say
When I found out yesterday
Don’t you know that I heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine
Oh I heard it through the grapevine
Oh I’m just about to lose my mind

I started singing along to Marvin Gay and turned the radio up, maybe it would erase the images of my fantasy man. I liked the images that played in my head, but they were way too strong. I needed a dose of reality!

The DJ on the radio station chirped in, “yes, it’s that time of year again folks, the fair is on its way to Richmond. Candy floss, burgers, and the brutality of the waltzers to eject those divine, but bad treats from your stomach. Good times!”

I smiled; I loved the fair when it came to Richmond. The older locals hated the noise it brought, along with diesel fumes and food, but it brought money to the town so they tolerated it. Feeling a little better I grabbed my bag and set off to work. It was a good morning to walk. No frost this morning, just a slight mist hanging over the town. Once that burned off it would be a beautiful day.

Misty Richmond

I had the office to myself. Cindy had an early appointment and there was still no sign of Jan. I made myself a second cup of coffee, and while the computer booted up, gazed out of the window and down to the car park. That’s where it all began, that’s where I first saw you smoking man. Are you real?

Cigarette smoke tantalized my nostrils. I turned around quickly, almost spilling my coffee.

No one was in the room but me.

Somewhere a motorbike fired up!

I love Saturday mornings, its my time. I enjoy a second cappuccino as I blog. Loving my bad boy story. It brings back memories of my teenage years in Brompton on Swale and Richmond, North Yorkshire. Of course this is all fiction…or is it?

Give my first novel Dead of July a try. Available on Amazon for a mere $0.99. If you love it, let me know. If you don’t love it, let me know why.

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

Unforgettable Figment of my Imagination – Oh Baby thats what I Want

The room was warm and filled with blue cigarette smoke. Speakers screeched with feedback. One two, one two, and then the music began. It was music I’d heard before, long ago. I’d heard it on movies. The dance floor was alive with laughter. Ladies in tight pants with tiny waists danced to the sound of the Big Bopper. Where had I heard that name before?

“Oh baby that’s what I want”

It was dark, hard to see. Where was I? It was a different time, a different place, and a different world!

“Hey, you wanna jive with me?”

“What?”

“You wanna jive with me?”

A young man in tight jeans and a shirt with a thin black leather tie hanging down the front stood in front of me. His hair was slicked back, a curl falling over his forehead. Placed there carefully to look random. Is this what my mam had called a teddy boy? I thought teddy boys had gone out of fashion years ago.

“No, I don’t jive!”

He looked disappointed and walked away. He had more luck with the girl sitting across the room. I watched fascinated as he swung her in circles.

Where was I?

The jiving finished and the music slowed down. I knew the next song very well. Nat King Cole. Unforgettable! It was my mam’s favorite!

That’s when I saw him walking towards me, his head tilted to one side, his eyes shining with mischief. He stopped halfway across the dance floor and lit a cigarette, holding it as though it were a fashion accessory. It suited him! He must be hot in his leather jacket, but it made him look icy cool. I shivered as he approached. He took my hand and led me to the dance floor. Unforgettable, that’s what you are.

He stopped and swung me around to face him.

Where am I? Where did you come from?

My heart stopped!

I gasped for breath!

The smoke was gone, but I still tasted it. The music was a shadow in my mind, haunting the corners of my memory.

I’d dreamt it all? The dark stranger in the park, and then in the pub, had triggered my imagination. I could still feel his touch, smell his leather jacket. Who was he?

Is he real or am I imagining him?

Dead of July my first novel is available on Amazon from $0.99, yes that’s less than a pound or a euro if you live in Europe. I’m cheap! I want everyone to read my first attempt at being a writer. I’ve been writing since I was 12 years old. Some of my old stories will resurface soon, but for now, there’s Dead of July! A young army wife in trouble…not far from the truth, I always was! Enjoy!

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

The End!

EasbyStAgatha2Lindsay couldn’t remember if they gave her something to help her sleep, or if she was so traumatized she blocked everything out, but she didn’t recall getting in the ambulance. When she opened her eyes she found herself in a hospital bed with the worried face of her mam looking down at her.

“Oh thank God. I was worried you’d never open your eyes again,” she said as she planted a kiss on Lindsay’s cheek. “I had no idea what was happening or we’d have come back sooner.”

Lindsay smiled weakly. “It wouldn’t have changed anything.”

“I spoke to Mel’s mam at the funeral, she….”

“The Funeral! I missed the funeral? How long have I been in hospital?”

“Since yesterday afternoon, the funeral was this morning.”

“I wanted to go, I wanted to say good-bye.”

“You can say goodbye any time. It was a lovely service. Reverend Stegall made it very personal, he christened her you know, back in 1959.”

“He shouldn’t be burying her yet though, she’s too young, why did this happen?”

“It’s the bloody IRA, why do they do anything?”

“It wasn’t the IRA mam, the man who did this was grief-stricken at losing his sister. Cross fire with the British Army and the IRA. He lost his mind.”

“Yes, lost his mind and killed over a hundred people.” Lindsay’s mam said bitterly.

No one spoke for a while.

“There was a policewoman at the funeral, she asked after you.”

“Barbara? She was helping me.”

“Helping you with what?”

“Don’t worry about it now, I’ll tell you another time. You wouldn’t understand.”

Her mam’s eyes narrowed suspiciously. “You’re not in trouble again are you? Please tell me you weren’t smoking that cannabis stuff again. Didn’t you learn your lesson last time.”

“No mam, I haven’t smoked any cannabis, I told you I’m over that.”

A nurse walked into the room, saving Lindsay from a conversation that was making her anxious rather than soothing her.

“Hi Lindsay, the doctor’s coming in to check you out, he’ll probably give you the all clear to go home.” She looked at Lindsay’s mam. “Could you leave us for a few minutes please while we examine her.”

A young Indian doctor appeared in the doorway. “How are you feeling?” he asked.

“Tired,” Lindsay replied.

“It’s shock, you have been trough a lot in the last week and sometimes, in these circumstances your brain shuts down because it can’t cope with anymore. It makes you tired. Sleep blocks out the pain. Sometimes its a good thing.”

The doctor pointed a light into Lindsay’s eyes as he spoke. He checked her pulse, put a stethoscope on her back, took her temperature and asked her questions. Lindsay answered automatically, but her attention was focused on the doorway.

“Was anyone else admitted to hospital with me, did anyone else survive?” she asked.

The nurse hung her head as she answered, “No, sorry pet, were they your friends. Two young men died at the scene. There was an explosion, they were dead before they hit the water.”

Lindsay continued to stare at the doorway where Michael stood. No one else saw him. He smiled at her. It was a beautiful smile.

“Michael, I’m sorry.” She said.

Both the doctor and the nurse followed Lindsay’s gaze, but all they saw was an empty doorway.

“We may have to keep you in for observation.” The doctor said with a worried look on his face.

“Did you find anything wrong with me?” Lindsay asked.

“No but….”

“Then I’m going home.”

And another short story comes to and end. My head is full of them, so pretty soon another will begin. I hope they give you some pleasure, I certainly enjoy writing them. I’ve provided a link to my first novel below. It took me a couple of years to write and perfect, but I think it was worth it. It may be the best $0.99 you’ll ever spend, who knows?

Dead of July

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

River of Death!

riverside bombThey walked down the back lane in silence oblivious of the danger close by. An unstable deadly bomb was being built by a man with an unstable deadly mind. He talked quietly as he worked. “I’ll get the bastards who killed you. I’ll get them, and their friends. They’ll be sorry.”

****************

“How dangerous is Colleen’s brother?” Lindsay asked.

“I don’t know. He was all right until his sister was killed. Now he’s lost all reason. John’s suffering too, but his grief is private and not vengeful. I hope John finds Patrick and takes him back to Ireland.”

“Michael, Patrick killed my friends didn’t he. He made the car bomb that blew up the disco!”

“I don’t know for sure. John and I followed him to a pub in Richmond that night. He said he was going to the club. He was drunk and sad. He didn’t make much sense, but we thought the worst that would happen was he’d start a fight. We planned to meet him and go with him, just to keep him out of trouble, but he got away from us. We arrived just a the shit hit the fan and the car outside exploded.”

“Did you see Patrick at the fire? Was he there?”

“No, that’s why I can’t talk to the cops yet. I don’t want them to arrest him. If they do he’ll never get away because all of the evidence points at him. What if it wasn’t him?”

“I know you want to believe he isn’t responsible, but who else could it be?”

“Colleen!” Michael said quietly.

“Oh come on, you don’t really believe that. Colleen is a restless spirit. She’s a figment of our troubled minds.”

“Lindsay, you saw her at the window. You’ve heard her voice.”

“Yes, but ghosts can’t make bombs!”

“Quiet! Did you hear that?”

Lindsay and Michael stood still and listened.

“Its John.” Michael said. He ran towards the sound of John’s voice. Lindsay followed reluctantly. As she ran, she heard another loud angry voice. There was a loud splash and then silence.

Lindsay froze, something was wrong. She turned and came face to face with her dead friend. Mel was no longer burned and disfigured, but the vibrant happy young girl that Lindsay had grown up with.

“Mel?”

The shadowy figure in front of her smiled and disappeared.

“MEL!” Dammit, I’m seeing things.

Lindsay set off after Michael again, but didn’t get far. There was an almighty explosion.  The ground shook, knocking off her feet, throwing her backwards into the old stone wall. She bounced off it like a rag doll, banging her head as she was flung precariously towards the river Swale. Lindsay grabbed at trees and clumps of grass to stop herself from falling into the water and finally made contact with a low hanging branch. She clung on for dear life, her toes dangling just above the river. Branches and leaves hurtled past her like missiles. Helpless and afraid, Lindsay clung to the branch and prayed.

Dead of July – Amazon – My first novel “Dead of July” was released in December 2013 and is available for $0.99 on Amazon. Yes, it’s a bargain, but I’m a relatively unknown writer and would like everyone to get to know me. I’d love your feedback. 

Preview – Dead of July

 

 

Making Bombs by the River

plumpton01The Military Police arrived first. They screeched to a halt a couple of hundred feet away from the pub. A crowd had already gathered there. Lindsay and Michael sat on a fence a ways back from everyone else and watched.

“I don’t think there’s anything to worry about, if that had been a bomb it would have exploded by now.” Michael said.

“Are you sure you should be here? I mean with your Irish accent and all. You know they’re going to be suspicious. The Irish aren’t too popular in these parts at the moment.”

“If I leave now it will be even more suspicious.”

A voice came from the bushes. “Michael!”

Lindsay and Michael looked at each other.

“Over here, it’s me, John.”

Michael didn’t look over his shoulder. Instead he kept his eyes on the Military Police as he answered quietly.

“What are you doing here? Get away or they’ll think you did this.”

Lindsay froze! She wanted to look around, but daren’t. The MP’s were heading their way.

“I just want you to know this wasn’t me.”

“John I know, Patrick’s around, we saw him. Now go”

They didn’t hear John disappear, which is just as well. A local Police car pulled up in front of them and Barbara, along with another Policeman got out.

“I see you two have become friends.”

“Hi Barbara. Not exactly friends, we’re helping each other.” Lindsay replied. She looked at Michael, who looked uncomfortable and ready to run.

“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

“Yes, Michael has nothing to do with any of this.”

Barbara fixed her gaze on Michael. “What do you have to say for yourself? Do you deserve Lindsay’s trust?”

Michael looked up. “I hope so. I’m trying to help her. I need to get my facts straight before I talk to you. I don’t want to waste your time. I mean no harm.”

The Policeman accompanying Barbara looked at Michael suspiciously when he heard him speak. He put his hand on his radio. Barbara saw the movement. “Stuart it’s okay, we don’t need backup, and I know this kid. He means no harm.” Then she looked a Lindsay. “Mel’s funeral is tomorrow right? I’ll be there, in the background watching. I don’t think it’s a good idea for your new friend to be there do you?”

“No I don’t.”

“Dear God, do you think I’d really go? I have more respect for these families than you would ever know.”

Barbara looked at him suspiciously. “I want to see both of you in the Richmond cop shop before the end of the week. The day after the funeral would be good. If I don’t see you Michael, I’ll come looking for you. Do you understand?”

“Yes, I’ll be there.”

Barbara looked at them both. “Now get out of here before I change my mind.”

They both swung their legs over the fence and disappeared into the bushes.

Barbara looked at her colleague, “Not a word about this, I think letting them do their own thing for now will help us. Lindsay lost all of her friends in that bloody disco. She’s not going to hand out with a terrorist.”

“Okay, it’s your call.”

Down by the river, in a secluded place, Patrick sat alone. He had a Tescos bag between his legs. It was filled with everything he needed to make another bomb. Anyone watching him would believe he was talking to himself and give him a wide berth. In view of the plastic explosives he carried, that would be a good idea.

“Colleen my love, I’ll be with you soon, but not before I blow a couple more of these bastards to oblivion.”

A voice whispered through the trees. I can wait! I love you!

Patrick smiled!

Dead of July

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Preview my latest novel – Dead of July

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

 

Vengeful Dead – An Irish Tale

“So why are you telling me this and not the Police? This man may be responsible for the death of over a hundred people for Christ’s sake. He’s a bloody murdering terrorist.”

“I don’t know that for sure. I need to talk to John, but he won’t talk to me anymore, doesn’t want to get me involved. He’s still grieving his wife.”

“I can understand that, but what about his kids? He should at least tell the Police what he knows and let them take over. They’ve already lost their mother. They need their father now.” Lindsay picked up her glass of whiskey and emptied it in one gulp. She needed warming up on the inside. Michael did the same.

“Another?” he asked.

“Yes, and make it a double.”

Michael went to the bar and Lindsay pulled her chair closer to the fire to ward off the chill she felt in her bones. There was movement outside the big bay window that looked out onto the street. When she turned her head to look, two faces looked back at her. A man she didn’t recognize and the face that had become familiar to her as Colleen, the face of a ghost. I thought ghosts only appeared at night. This isn’t fair. Lindsay ran outside as quickly as she could, knowing full well Colleen wouldn’t be there, but she needed to talk to the stranger. Was this Michael’s brother? Or was it Patrick, Colleen’s brother. Someone had to be the voice of reason and she felt that was her role, but she was too late. The street was deserted. She walked back inside just Michael put two more glasses of whiskey on the table.

“What was that all about?” he asked

Lindsay downed her second whiskey in one gulp.

“Your brother John, is he kind of heavy-set with dark curly hair?”

“No, he shaves his head, and he’s skinny like me. Why?”

“I just saw two faces at the window, Colleen and a heavy-set man, probably mid thirties, curly dark hair.”

“Colleen’s brother, dammit. I have to find John.”

“You’re concerned about the living, but not the least perturbed about the dead Irish woman?”

“She can’t hurt us, she can scare us to be sure, but that’s all. Patrick can hurt us, and there’s a good chance he will.”

“Do you really think he could have started the fire?”

“In his mind Colleen was killed because of the British Army being in Belfast. He’s over here to make trouble for them in their own country. He wants revenge.”

“His sister was caught in the crossfire though, no one was to blame.”

“In his mind the British Army are to blame.”

“Where are the boys, John’s boys? Who is looking after them?”

“Colleen’s ma, she moved to Dublin to be away from danger. The boys are safe. John lives there too, but when the Queens Regiment moved back from Ireland Patrick disappeared and John knew it meant trouble. He followed the regiment hoping to catch Patrick before anything happened. Neither of us expected anything like the fire that killed your friends. Patrick’s a good man, but his sister’s death tipped him over the edge. He drinks too much and…”

Michael never finished his sentence. A brick hurtled through the window and bounced off the table, landing in the middle of the room. Everyone in the bar ran. In the seventies, near an army camp, if something was thrown through a window it was usually exploded.

queensreg_a

When I start writing I don’t really know where my story is taking me. It’s an adventure, an escape, and I enjoy every minute. Try my novel Dead of July. It’s set in Dortmund in the early eighties and follows the adventures of a young Army wife and the trouble she managed to get into. It almost killed her. 

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson