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 Girl in the Bushes!

pine trees“This photo doesn’t look odd to you?” I asked.

“No, it’s faded, but it’s as familiar to me as the day I took it. So much love, so much happiness.”

I handed the locket to him, “Here, it’s yours Jack, I’ve a feeling I was supposed to give it to you anyway.”

He took the locket from me without looking, his eyes focused on something over my shoulder. I made to turn around.

“No, don’t move, just keep talking to me, I don’t want to alarm her. She’s not hiding anymore, she’s watching us.”

Jack smiled and raised his arm in a wave, “I don’t want to hurt you,” he said.

I turned around slowly. The girl was closer, and no longer hiding, but she didn’t move. “Hey, I’m Sheila, I saw you in the Stagecoach the other night. You left something behind.”

Jack held up the locket, “Is this yours?”

She still didn’t move, just watched us from a distance. Although there was no breeze the bushes around her rustled and moved. She turned her head as though she was listening to someone close by.

“Jack, do you feel that?”

“Yes,” he answered, “what is it?”

The dead January grass moved in front of us, as though making a pathway to the girl. “Someone is showing us the way,” I replied.

He took a step forward, the young girl tensed, ready to run. Jack stood still again.

She cocked her head to the side, listening to words only she could hear, and then relaxed again.

I took two steps forward, Jack followed. We stood still for a few seconds and waited, expecting the girl to bolt. She didn’t.

“Come on Jack,” I whispered, “lets keep going.”

Slowly and carefully we walked forward until we were close enough to see her face. Her eyes were huge and frightened, her hair matted, straw on her clothes from sleeping in the barn. She was painfully thin, her well-worn clothes hanging on her body.

The world around us became silent, the air still, almost like we were in a vacuum. We were in the eye of the storm.

Finally Jack spoke.

“I think someone sent you to find me.”

He held his hand out, the open locket lying in his palm. “Did you lose this? It belonged to my daughter. I don’t think you knew her because she died long ago. Did someone give this to you?”

She darted forward a couple of steps and snatched the locket out of his hand. I expected her to run, but she didn’t, she backed away a few paces and then looked at Jack, and then at me.

“Why are you living in a barn?” I asked

She looked down at the ground, as though ashamed.

“Are you hungry?”

She looked up at me and nodded.

“Come with us, just for a hot meal, you need to eat.”

“Do you have a name?” Jack asked.

“Janie!” she whispered and then turned and ran.

Jack stared after her as she disappeared into the barn.

“Janie,” he whispered, “My Janie!”

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My First Novel is available on Amazon.

Dead of July – A Novel by Sandra Thompson

 

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!

The Little Ghost of Christmas

Baby in the hayHad I put too much Rum in the Apple Cider? I rubbed my eye and peered at the shiny bauble. The footsteps had disappeared of course, and my distorted face looked back at me once again.

“What are you looking at?”

“Oh nothing, just thinking about my Grandma!” I said as I turned around.

The TV show had finished and Les sat with the remote in his hand and a look of hesitation on his face. “Did you say something about going out for a drink?” he asked.

“I thought it might be a good idea, but don’t worry, it’s started snowing again, lets stay home.”

The look of relief on his face was obvious. Les wasn’t a socialite and preferred the company of the television. He immediately began looking for something else to watch. “Anything you fancy watching?” he asked.

“No, I’m going outside to take photos of the Christmas lights.” I answered putting on my coat.

“It’s freezing! Why would you do that?” I didn’t answer because I knew he wasn’t listening. He’d found a Karate Cop movie and was already distracted.

I stepped out onto the porch, wondering if he’d even notice I didn’t bring my camera. It was bitterly cold, but beautiful. Huge snowflakes fell slowly from the heavens, turning the world into a silent white wonderland. Christmas lights glittered like jewels on the pine trees. Fairly lights, when I was a kid I called them fairly lights.

I pulled my hat down over my ears and walked purposefully along the drive way to the dirt road. Why I wanted to go back to the barn I wasn’t sure, but I was drawn there. There were only a couple of houses along the half mile that let to the barn so I switched on my flashlight to make sure any passing cars saw me. I needn’t have worried, none passed by. When the moon wasn’t hidden behind snow clouds, it shone brightly, guiding my path, showing me the way. There were no footprints in the snow, but I didn’t need them. I knew where I was going.

After climbing to the top of the hill I paused for a moment to catch my breath. I looked towards the barn. Dim light shone through ill-fitting door. Some one was in there. What am I doing? Why am I here. Why didn’t I tell Les where I was going?

I crossed the virgin snow and stood silently outside for a while, contemplating what to do next. This is a bad idea. Shall I turn back.

Thats when I heard it. The sweet sound of a lullaby. A mother singing to reassure her child, lulling her to sleep. It was enchanting, hypnotizing.

I enjoyed it for a minute or so, until it was replaced by deep heartbreaking sobs. I gently opened the barn door, just a crack and peered inside.

A baby lay sleeping, snuggled tightly on blankets in the hay.

Back from the Dead!

“Want to come round to my place?” I asked Mick.

“Are you going to play Nurse Maid and take care of me?” he said with a hopeful look in his eyes.

“I can’t promise that, but at least you’ll have some company, for the weekend anyway.”

“I won’t be in the way will I?” he asked, more to Pete that me.

“No, we’re not an item, I’m just helping her out with something, you won’t be in the way.” Pete replied.

“There’s something weird going on isn’t there!”

“You know me Mick, always something going on.” I said and reached out my hand to him. “Come on, let’s get away from here.”

Mick made to stand, but took a deep breath and sat back down quickly.

“Ribs?” Pete asked.

“Yea, I’m sore!”

Pete put his arm around Mick, helping spread the weight, and we walked slowly back to the car. The field was emptying as the patients were taken elsewhere by ambulance.

“This could have been a lot worse,” I said, my voice breaking as I spoke. Pete just nodded.

“I hope some one is going to tell me what the hells going on,” Mick said, “because you obviously aren’t telling me everything.”

“When we get to my place,”

No one spoke as Pete drove us home. As we approached Richmond we heard loud music, the noise of the fair. Fire, I’ll teach you to burn!

Pete looked at me, “Not really the music I want to hear right now.”

“I heard that just before the explosion!” Mick piped up. “Unless I was hallucinating. It’s the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, isn’t it? Weird trippy music! Don’t like it much.”

As soon as I walked into my apartment I felt it. Exactly what “it” was I couldn’t explain, I just felt something.

Mick shivered, “It’s chilly in here, is there a window open?”

I walked into my bedroom, which was even colder. No windows open though. I gazed across to the market square, where the evening fun was in full swing. A ghostly haze hung over the town. Or was it my imagination?

“Do you guys want tea, or something stronger?”

“Something stronger!” They said in unison.

“OK, I need to pop down to the Off License. Anything in particular?”

“Maybe a six-pack of Special Brew and some Brandy.” Pete said, and Mick agreed. It had been a hell of a day.

They both gave me some money. “Fish and Chips too, I haven’t eaten today. I’m bloody starving.” Mick said.

I hesitated at the door.

Should I tell them how I felt about my apartment? Did they feel anything? Would they be okay?

Then I continued down the stairs. I wouldn’t be gone that long.

I stepped outside into a cloud of cigarette smoke, motorcycle fumes with a little leather mixed in. It was intoxicating.

Ohhh, I heard it through the Grapevine.

Marvin Gaye beckoned me and I turned and walked towards the fair.

The he sound of a motorcycle close by tantalized me. I could barely breathe.

I’m coming, wait for me!

Bells jingled with every step I made. Bells that decorated the hem of a gypsy skirt. The noise was coming from me. The smoking man appeared at the end of the street. Handsome and cool. He leaned against the wall, a crooked smile on his face. He lit another cigarette and blew smoke into the air. Without hesitation I ran towards him and fell into his arms. Nothing else in the whole world mattered. I was back with my love!

“Johnny,” I whispered, “I’ve waited so long.”

I climbed onto the back of his motorbike and we wound our way through the fair.

Richmond, North Yorkshire, steeped in history and Ghosts! A perfect setting for any story. Dortmund, Germany has a few stories too. Visit Amazon and buy my first eBook for $0.99 at Dead of July.

Smoke Turns to Fire – I’ll Teach you to Burn!

Close to the hospital the smoke was dense. Neither of us spoke. Emergency vehicles were parked on either side of the road. Pete slammed on the brakes, almost hitting a police car, invisible until we were almost too close to stop.

“You can’t go any further mate! Only allowing ambulances and fire engines past this point.”

“My brother was in the hospital.” Pete lied.

“Park to the side and walk through. They’re treating everyone for smoke inhalation over in field behind the pub. The fires almost out. Its smoking bad though.” The cop pointed in the direction we needed to go.

This all started with smoke…

After a few steps I stopped and looked over my shoulder. “Did everyone get out okay?” I yelled back at the cop.

“Far as I know, haven’t heard of any fatalities. I think someone’s missing though.”

Please let Mick be safe!

We walked downhill to the field where nurses and doctors busied around patients. I couldn’t’ see Mick.

“Over there,” Pete said.

Mick sat alone on a pile of stones in the far corner of the field. When he saw us approach he smiled.

“Not my day is it?” he said.

I flung my arms around him and gave him a hug.

“Hey, careful, my ribs are a little sore from the fall.”

“What happened?” Pete asked.

“What, earlier when I almost fell to my death, or later when the hospital exploded?”

“The hospital!”

Mick looked me in the eye as he spoke. “The incinerator exploded apparently.”

“Anyone badly hurt?”

“The guy driving the ambulance is the only one with any serious injuries.”

“The nurse?” I asked.

“She’s fine, she took me to the examination room. Reggie, the driver, went off with the radio. Said he was going to throw it in the incinerator. Said it gave him the creeps. I swear I heard music coming from it as he walked away. That’s not possible is it?”

“Shit!” Pete said, “This is all my fault.”

“How can this be your fault, what’s going on? Was the radio a bomb or something? This isn’t an IRA issue is it? Do we need to talk to the Police?”

“No Mick, the Police couldn’t help with this.”

“Shh,” I said as I saw the nurse from this morning approach.

“You can take your friend home if you like, he’s fine. He’ll be better off at home than in this chaos.”

“How’s Reggie doing?” Mick asked.

“Reggie’s going to be fine!” she said, obviously relieved, “it looked worse that it actually is. His ankle is either sprained or broken, can’t tell till we get the results of the x-ray. There was a lot of blood from his head injury, but it’s not serious. Needed a couple of stitches, that’s all. He’s very lucky, the explosion must have thrown him a long way. Someone dragged him away from the flames. He’s in Catterick General until we know if his ankle needs surgery.”

“Oh, that’s good.” Mick said.

“Can we go and visit him?” I asked. I wanted to know what happened, he might have remembered something.

“Not today, pop in tomorrow if you want. Check with the hospital first though, if it’s just a sprain they’ll probably let him go home in the morning. We’re more worried about the other guy. We can’t find him.”
“What other guy?”

“Reggie kept mumbling about a young bloke in a leather jacket standing next to the incinerator. The firemen are looking for him now.”

 

Some where in the distance we heard music, weird music.

Dead of July is still available on Amazon for $0.99. I make take a stab at creating a Screen Play with my current short story, the one your reading on my blog….what do you think?

Fire, Smoke, Fear and Death – Time to Face it!

Its time to face you smoking man. Its time to see what you want from me. I’m afraid, but not terrified! Who are you looking for? Surely it’s not me. I think it’s a young beautiful gypsy girl with rings on her fingers, and bells on her toes.

Where she goes now, nobody knows!

Do you want me to help you find her?

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The Smoking Man – Death by Radio?

moorfire04We stared at the radio, unable to speak. The Nurse broke the silence. “Come one Reggie,” she urged the ambulance driver, “Lets get this gentlemen to the hospital for x-rays.”

Reggie looked at me, and then at Mick, “Weird,” he said and shrugged his shoulders. He found a bag in the ambulance and nervously scooped the remains of the radio inside. We expected it to burst into life again at any minute, but thankfully it remained silent.

“I’ll get rid of this when we get to the hospital. I think I’d like to incinerate it, make sure it doesn’t start up again. Bloody things possessed!”

I smiled weakly, if only he knew.

“Want me to come to the hospital with you Mick?” I asked.

“No, I’ll be OK. I can get a cab home. You should get to work anyway.”

The nurse shut the back of the ambulance and it rolled down Frenchgate and out of sight. Thank god he wasn’t killed. It would have been my fault.

Cindy greeted me at the front door when I got back to work.

“I was just coming to see where you’d got to. What’s going on?”

“I don’t think you want to know!” I said.

“Come on, let’s get inside.”

I was jittery all day, just waiting for something to happen. Thankfully the day was uneventful. I wanted to call Pete and tell him what’d happened, but I didn’t have a number for him, other than his parents’ house, and I didn’t want to call there in case his mum read something into it and thought we were an item again.

Five o clock finally came and I was relieved to find Pete waiting for me at the front door.
“It’s Friday, lets grab something to eat and go to the fair.”

“Pete, the radio, it came began to play again in the skip.”

“What? That’s not possible, no electricity, not batteries, and I smashed it up pretty good.”

“It came on! Nearly killed Mick McMichael!”

“What?”

“He was working up on the scaffolding, on his own. The radio came on when he was throwing something down into the skip below. He lost his balance and fell.”

“Holy shit! How bad is he?” Pete turned pale, “its my fault I put it there.”

“He’s alright, landed on some insulation or something, broke his fall. It’s not your fault. It’s mine for involving everyone in the unholy mess.”

“It’s no ones fault. Who could expect a shattered radio to play? Where is it now?”

“In the hospital incinerator hopefully.”

Pete stood still, “Cottage hospital?”

“Yup, I guess that’s the closest.”

He sat on a wall at the side of the road. “You haven’t heard the news have you?”

“What news?”

The smell of smoke hit me. I looked across the valley. Cottage Hospital wasn’t visible from where we stood, but the smoke pouring out of it was.”

“NO!”

“It started an hour or so ago,” Pete said.

“NO! no, no!”

“Come on, let’s get your car and go over there, make sure Mick’s alright.”

I was too dazed to think, or argue. Pete led me home, got my car keys and drove. I dreaded what we might find there. I can’t take much more of this.

Its not funny anymore is it? Someone is going to get killed. What is it with the Smoking Man? The handsome exciting elusive dead stranger. What does he want?

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.