Dead of July – Lingering Evil

Dead of July (Small)

Four years ago, when I self published Dead of July, I was SO very proud of myself. I received some very honest reviews. They weren’t glowing reviews, but they weren’t bad either. They were encouraging, said I had a talent for writing. Life kept me busy for a while, but two or three weeks ago I finished my second book Ghosts on the Sandwhich is now available on Amazon. Ghosts on the Sand is a collection of short stories and already receiving great feedback. I don’t think the book will make me rich, but that’s not why I wrote it. My pleasure is writing. I have two more stories on a back burner, The Engineer, which started life as a novella, but is evolving into a novel, and aeroporto, an idea that tantalized my brain while sitting in a small airport in Pescara Italy. However, I’ve decided to put both of those on a back burner to write a sequel to Dead of July.  There are things unfinished in Sheila’s life. A very evil woman lurks in the shadows, a woman who should be dead, a woman who wants revenge!

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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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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.

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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

 

 

Irish Colleen Seeks Revenge for the Dead!

Lindsay’s house was invitingly quiet, but Michael wouldn’t set foot inside.

“I’ll stay here by the back door. Get yourself cleaned up or whatever you need to do and let’s go.” He was jittery and nervous.

“What are you afraid of?”

“Just get what you need and let’s go, I’ll tell you about it later.” He acted like a cat on a hot tin roof.

What the hell have I got myself into? How did this happen? Lindsay washed her face and put on some lipstick. She looked at her pale tired reflection in the mirror. God I can’t go to the pub looking like this. She quickly smudged dark eye shadow on her eye-lids and applied blusher to her cheeks. That’s better! A little mascara and she was done.

“Come on, we need to get out of here.” Michael was getting more and more agitated.

“Okay, okay, I’m coming,” Lindsay yelled as she washed her hands. When she checked her face in the mirror the face looking back at her wasn’t her own. For a split second she saw a beautiful image with big dark eyes and long black hair. The room had become icy cold. Lindsay ran to the back door where Michael was waiting.

“Are you alright?” Michael asked, “You’re as white as a sheet.”

“This woman, Colleen, does she have long black hair? Is she in her late twenties, beautiful.”

“Yes, she’s dead though. Died in Belfast, caught in the bloody crossfire. Why?”

“She was just in my bedroom. Why would she follow me?”

“Come on let’s get a drink. I think its time I told you everything.”

Lindsay wasn’t sure if she wanted to know everything. She has a funeral to attend the following day, a funeral for the charred remains of her best friend. How much more can I handle?

They found a table by the fire in the little village pub. Although it wasn’t cold outside, the old stone building didn’t warm up inside until July. The fire was welcoming and cozy. Michael went to the bar and came back with two glasses of lager and two whiskey chasers.

“I figured you might want a stiff drink.”

“OK Michael, no small talk. Let me know what’s going on, start with Colleen.”

“She was married to my brother. Neither of them had anything to do with the IRA, or Sinn Fein, but they were visiting Colleen’s family in Belfast. The Queens Regiment was on duty, patrolling the street as they always did. There was often trouble in that part of Belfast. There was an ambush. Shots were fired. Colleen ran outside, worried because she didn’t know where her boys were.”

“Her boys?”

“Colleen and John had twin boys, they were four years old.”

“Oh God, were they OK?”

“Yes, a neighbor grabbed them and hid them in her house when she heard the shots. It was a regular occurrence, everyone watched out for everyone else. Colleen wasn’t so lucky. She was caught in the crossfire. One bullet through the heart!”

“Michael that’s awful. She was killed in front of her parent’s house. Did the bullet come from an Irish gun or the British Army?”

“British Army, but not on purpose. It was a horrible accident. A tragedy. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Both of the British Soldiers were killed. It was kept from most of the newspapers. People are tired of hearing about the casualties in Northern Ireland. The Irish are tired of it too, they just want peace.”

“So what does this have to do with me? Why am I suddenly part of this?”

“Colleen’s brother! He wants revenge, and I think Colleen is egging him on. John is trying to stop him. He may have been responsible for the fire last week.”

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Dead of July is my first novel and is available on Amazon. If you’re enjoying my blog, give my book a try.

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

 

 

 

Please note this story is purely fictional. I was married to a British Soldier in the seventies and the death and sadness related to the fighting in Northern Ireland touched my heart. So glad there is peace now. No one should die in the name of religion. My heart goes out to both the Irish and the British Soldiers who lost their lives. 

Let the Dead stay Dead!

fire-garden-wheelbarrow“Okay stop, stop now!” Lindsay yanked her hand out of Michael’s grasp and stood still. “What the hells going on? Who’s following you? Who was looking over my shoulder? I saw a face in the river. I saw someone running away on the other side of the river too.”

“Not now! Come on, I don’t want to be alone down here. Do you have café in the village, or a pub? I think we need people around us.”

“No café, I don’t want to go to the pub looking like this. I have no makeup on.”

“Lindsay, makeup should be the last thing on your mind right now. Come on, lets got get a drink. Do you know the people in the pub?”

“Yes of course I do, I live in a village, and everyone knows everyone else.”

“Good, I think you need to keep friends around you.”

Lindsay smelled burning. It was strong. She looked around for signs of danger. OK it’s my imagination, but it wasn’t her imagination, smoke billowed from the garden of one of the cottages that backed onto the lane. She couldn’t handle anymore fires.

“Hi Lindsay!” It was Mr. Hodgson. He was burning dead branches.

“Hi!” Lindsay replied, forcing a smile. Then she stopped dead in her tracks. Through the smoke she saw the figure of her dead friend. Mel raised her arm in greeting; flesh sloughing off it and sliding into the fire. Lindsay bent double, throwing up immediately. She almost collapsed into the pool of steaming puke. Michael grabbed her arm, steadying her before she fell. “What is it? What’s wrong?”

Lindsay pointed towards the fire, “Over there, by the fire, what do you see.”

Before he had time to answer she heard footsteps as another figure approached, “Oh God no.” Lindsay closed her eyes, terrified it was her dead friend.

“Lindsay love, are you alright, do you want me to call someone?” It was Mr. Hodgson, “You’re awfully pale, do you want to come inside and sit down a minute?”

She sighed with relief, “No, I’ll be alright. Something I ate I think,” Lindsay looked back at the smoke in the garden, but that’s all she saw, just smoke! I’m going crazy!

“I’ll make sure she gets home alright,” Michael said.

“What’s your name young man, I don’t think I’ve seen you before?”

“I’m Michael, a friend of Lindsay’s, I’ll watch out for her.”

Lindsay smiled weakly, “I’ll be fine, don’t worry.”

“Alright then, say hi to your mam and dad, they get back from France today don’t they?”

“Yes, later tonight”

“And Lindsay, I’m so sorry about your friends, it was horrible. You’re very lucky to be alive. Awful tragedy. Any idea what started the fire yet?

Lindsay shook her head.

“Well if you need anything let me know. I’ll let this young man take care of you. Do I detect and Irish accent Michael?”

“Yes sir, I’m from Dublin, I’m visiting family in Richmond.” Michael lied. “I met Lindsay the night of the fire. I was just checking in on her.”

“Oh, I thought you had a softer accent, not harsh like Belfast. Awful business with the IRA isn’t it! Sad that so many people are dying and blaming religion. I wonder if it’ll ever be sorted out.”

“I hope so sir. You’re right, too many people dying, British and Irish alike.” A cool breeze chilled everyone as Michael spoke. Lindsay shivered and Mr. Hodgson pulled his jacket closed.

Michael run away, these non-believers will get you killed. Come home! Where’s Johnny?

“Well take care of Lindsay, and yourself.” Mr. Hodgson turned and went back to his fire.

“What was that all about?”

“I’m going fucking crazy, that’s what that was all about. I saw Mel at the other side of the fire. Her skin was smoking and dropping off her body. Now I’m hearing voices. I’m totally losing it.”

“Come on, we need to talk. Maybe you should go home first and wash your face, you look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“I have seen a bloody ghost, and it’s not the first time. I truly wish I were dead. I can’t handle this much longer.”

I just can’t stop writing.  Dead of Julymy first novel is available on Amazon and will soon be joined by two short stories. 

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

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

 

The Visiting Dead!

Zombie-2-350How long is this going to last? Why am I being haunted by these images? What do they want from me?

All of these thoughts weighed on Lindsay’s mind as she sat clutching the warm parcel of fish and chips. She gazed out at the hedgerows and stone walls at either side of the road, thankful for the silence.

Who is the young man who visits me? Why doesn’t he speak?

“OK, which way now?”

“Oh sorry, I was lost in my thoughts. Right at the fork, and then the second right, just before the football field.” Pull up alongside the decaying teenagers on the left!

Lindsay closed her eyes tightly.

“Did you see something over there, by the front door?” Barbara asked.

“You saw it too?” she asked desperately.

“No, I saw the look on your face. You looked that way in the interview room too. What it is you think you see? What has you so afraid?”

“Lets go inside,” Lindsay said. “I’m not ready to talk about it yet.”

The young policewoman scanned the area, not really knowing what she was looking for. Something was scaring this poor girl badly, and it wasn’t the young man they’d seen in town.

Once inside, Lindsay locked and bolted the door, it wouldn’t keep out the dead, but it made her feel better. They sat at the kitchen table eating fish and chips straight from the paper, washing them down with cold beer.

“I shouldn’t drink on duty, but I don’t think one beer will get me fired.”

“What made you decide to join the Police Force?” Lindsay asked.

“Originally I was going to join the Military Police, my fiancé was in the army, but he was killed when a car bomb exploded outside his barracks in London.” Her voice cracked as she spoke. She swallowed hard and continued. I didn’t have the heart for the Army after that.”

“God I’m sorry. That’s awful. I’m sorry.”
“I think you know what if feels like first hand. Who else could be responsible for the bombing on Saturday night, if not the IRA?”

There was a gentle rapping at the front door. I daren’t answer it; I daren’t look out there.

“Do you want me to get that?” Barbara asked, “You look terrified.”

“Yes please.” I know the dead wouldn’t knock, but I just don’t want to look.

When Barbara returned to the room she wasn’t alone. The skinny young man with the haunted eyes followed her, and behind him was Mel, or what was left of her. Not much more than a skeleton with eyes now. Lindsay bit her lip until it brought blood; it was all she could do to stop herself from fainting. She knew she was the only one who saw her.

She pushed the remains of her fish and chips across the table. She’d suddenly lost her appetite. 

This is the first blog story I’ve done where the protagonist is not telling the story. It’s an exercise for me. I hope its working. My first novel Dead of July is available on Amazon. 

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

Car Bomb?

march1973-55dea336d78d7508b666ed24d6128c5ed01020cb-s400-c85Lindsay watched the car for a long time. Although she couldn’t see the faces of the passengers, or the registration number, something looked familiar. Why did its presence bother her? Eventually, after making sure the doors to her flat were locked and bolted, she went to bed, but sleep evaded her for a long time. She lay awake, staring at the ceiling and wondering what had become of her friends. The friends she’d damned all to hell, for leaving her alone again. The friends that may have burned in a fiery hell on the dance floor. Eventually sleep enveloped Lindsay’s mind and body, but not for long. She awoke as the first slither of light pierced the darkness. Opening her eyes, she immediately thought of the horrific explosions and flames. Oh my God, let it be a dream.

Slipping into her robe, Lindsay padded into the living room and peered through the curtains to see if the car with its sleeping occupants was still outside. It was gone. She sighed with relief.

Lindsay switched on the radio. Instead of the music that usually greeted her, two local newsmen talked about the tragedy at the local disco. They talked in low respectful voices. She sat at the kitchen table sipping tea and listening to the sickening news.  No survivors! Surely she’d heard wrong. There were at least fifty people on the dance floor when she left. How could there be no survivors. On automatic pilot, Lindsay made herself a cup of tea and sat back down at the table to drink it. When the phone rang she almost dropped the cup.

“Hello!”

“Lindsay, its Pam. Thank God you answered, you were at the disco last night, they said there were no survivors.

Lindsay couldn’t speak. She sobbed down the phone.

“I’m coming to see you right now.”

It was only minutes before the doorbell rang. Pam lived a couple of streets away and was breathless when she arrived. Lindsay, still sobbing, collapsed into her arms.

“What happened?” Pam asked.

“I don’t know. I left early. I was halfway home when I heard the explosion. If I’d still been there…”

“Shhh, you’re safe. Don’t think about what had happened if you’d still been there.”

The radio caught their attention.

News just in points to a car bomb, although no one has taken responsibility. Of course one has to wonder if the IRA were involved because the disco ‘Studio 2’ was close to an army camp. The IRA remains silent.

“The fucking Irish!” Pam said. “I knew they had to be involved, bastards.” She had good reason to hate the Irish since her brother lost both of his legs bombing in a London car bombing.

Car…..Lindsay thought of the car that raced past her after the explosions. Holy shit, the same car that parked outside last night. Could it be involved? She shivered. Should she call the police?

Dead of July is still for sale on Amazon…if you like my blog, give it a try.

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson