Through your Eyes!

Old-man-photo-by-Ahmet-DemirelThe old man stood in my living room, obviously uncomfortable, and so very vulnerable. He couldn’t look me in the eye.

“I don’t know why I’m here,” he said as he made for the door.

“Don’t leave, please sit down, I have to know why you came. Can I make you some coffee?”

He nodded his head and sat on the very edge of the chair, ready to bolt if necessary. “Cappuccino or Americano?” I asked, and then regretted it when I saw the look on his face. Obviously what type of coffee I made was the last thing on his mind.

“Which tastes better with whiskey?” He replied as he took a small bottle from the inside of his jacket. I looked at the clock, it was way too early to be drinking whiskey, but who was I to tell him what to do? I made us both an Americano and watched while he poured a large measure of cheap whiskey into his mug. He offered me the bottle, but I shook my head.

“Why are you here?”

“I think you know.” He said, sipping his hot steaming whiskey laced coffee.

“I know we have a connection, I felt it down in the bar on New Years Eve.” I knew what the connection was, but needed him to open up to me. He took another large gulp of coffee. His bloodshot eyes filled with tears and he looked at me.

“How old do you think I am?” he asked.

I considered this before I answered. Should I be complimentary or should I tell him the truth. I decided to be complimentary, he actually looked about ninety.

“I’m not great with ages, but I’d guess around seventy.”

He laughed a bitter laugh, no humor in it at all. “I’m fifty-eight.”

I was both uncomfortable and embarrassed. He looked and walked like an old man. Fifty eight wasn’t old at all.

“My daughter died twenty years ago when she was only 17, my wife joined her ten years later. I’m still here. I neither the courage to kill myself, nor the will to live. Its Hell on Earth.”

“God I’m sorry.”

“God, do you really believe in God, because I don’t. He took my daughter away from me, then he took my wife. God is supposed to be kind, I don’t believe in him anymore.”

“Why did you come to see me?” I asked.

“I think you already know.”

“Maybe, but I want to hear it from you.”

He finished his coffee and rubbed his eyes. It was difficult for him to tell me what was on his mind, but eventually he spoke. “On New Years eve, when I brushed past you, I saw my daughter through your eyes. I saw her reaching out to me. I saw her and I want to see her again. I want to be with her.”

I remained silent.

“You felt it too didn’t you?”

Before I could answer the phone rang. We both jumped. I picked it up quickly.

“Hey mum, can I call you right back?”

I put the phone down and turned around, but the room was empty. All that remained of the sad old man, was and empty mug and the smell of whiskey.

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

Clearing the Demons – A Ghost Story (Part 2)

As I walked slowly, but purposefully to the cemetery, the  old woman’s dry whisper echoed in my head Go and visit your mother! Old womanbrompton-on-swale-01

Why was I paying any attention to the ramblings of an old lady I’d met briefly in a pub? An old lady only I could see! Was I finally losing my mind? After the year I had just struggled to survive, it wouldn’t surprise me. What had the old woman meant when she said  I had called her? I pinched myself, just to make sure I was awake. I wasn’t sure of anything anymore.

Opening the wrought iron gate leading into the cemetery I walked through, wondering as always, if the gate were there to keep the dead from wandering into the village. Cemetery’s always made me uncomfortable. I imagined I heard whispers and saw shadows. I rarely attended funerals for the same reason. My parents funeral was different. At their funeral I listened intently praying thew would whisper to me. I had things I needed to say to them. It wasn’t to be.

My feet crunched on the gravel as I walked along the path, past the War Memorial. I paused  in front of it. When I was much younger I visited this cemetery with my Dad. He told me about the two World Wars and how his father served in World War I and he had served in World War II. My Dad proudly told me he had been a Desert Rat. “You were a Rat?” I asked him shuddering at the thought. He laughed. “I’ll show you the photos when we get home,” he said.

My eyes filled with tears as I continued my walk to my parents final resting place. My dad had been dead for over twenty years, but it felt like only yesterday. When I reached the small double headstone that marked where my parents ashes were buried and sank to my knees oblivious of the damp earth.

“Oh Mum, I miss you.” I said out loud “Why didn’t I spend more time with you? Why didn’t I heed your wise words? My life is a mess, I’m lost.”

A breeze whispered gently through the branches of the old trees that shaded the cemetery.

No pet, you aren’t lost, you have just strayed a little. 

Was that my mother’s voice? It came from behind me. I turned to look, but couldn’t move.

Shhhh, it’s going to be alright. 

I felt a hand touch the side of my face, another rested on my shoulder. The world as I knew it faded away……….

A German Ghost Story

My new novel is available from Amazon by clicking on the book cover.

Nightmare

 

hat_man

Cindy sat up in bed, she was sweating and gasping for breath. She looked around disoriented.

“Where am I?”

And then she remembered, and began to cry.

In situations like this she would talk to her cats, but one was dead and the other missing. She couldn’t talk to her dead husband because the last time she saw him he looked like a scarecrow version of Freddie Kruger. What could she do? Last night she’d had a nightmare, that was the only explanation for what she saw. It horrified her though.

“Dear lord help me escape from Kansas.” she prayed as she swung her legs off the bed.

I think I’ve lost my passion for storm chasing, she said to herself. She padded into the kitchen to start of some coffee, when there was a knock at the door. Cindy froze, almost afraid to answer.

“Hello, is anybody there?” shouted a normal sounding voice.

Pulling her robe tightly around her, Cindy opened the door to a jolly chubby lady.

“Oh sorry, I’m an earlier riser, I disturbed you. I’ll some back later.”

“No please come in, won’t you have some coffee with me.”

“Well if you insist” said the visitor, holding a pie out in front of her. “How about apple pie to go with it?”

Cindy made coffee while listening to the cheerful chatter of her visitor. She turned around to put the cups on the table and screamed, dropping them on the floor, scalding her legs as she did so.

“Oh dear god this can’t be happening.” she said as she looked a the painted face of a scarecrow sitting at the kitchen table.

Scarecrow face

 

“Am I having a nervous breakdown?” she asked herself.

Her visitor didn’t move, just sat at the table smiling.

Cindy picked up her phone and dialed 911, not knowing if she needed and ambulance or the police. No one answered. How could that be?

The scarecrow sitting at the table stood up and floated towards her, arms outstretched. Cindy fled, snatching the car keys off the counter top as she went. She didn’t look a the back yard for fear of what waited for her there?

She opened the car door and thrust the keys in the ignition. Thank god, it started first time. She reversed out of the garage, not looking behind her, not seeing what bounced off her car and crunched under her wheels. She didn’t want to know. She just wanted to get away.

 

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Watch out for my first novel ‘Dead of July’, which will be published for human consumption in the fall.

Dead of July (Small)[4] Color 1

 

Thanksgiving Visit!

Bonnie was 83, and fit as a fiddle. Her social life was more active than that of a 30-year-old. She was sharp too. She didn’t need assisted living or retirement homes and lived in a huge sprawling mansion in Louisiana. It had been her home for over fifty years. Bonnie’s late husband Arthur built their home. They never considered themselves rich, and really they weren’t. They lived well, but not extravagantly. Bonnie and Arthur often had guests to dinner, but never called them dinner parties. The only help Bonnie had with her home, was a maid who cleaned her house, not because Bonnie couldn’t do it, but because she just didn’t like to clean. Rose had been with Bonnie for 25 years. She was part of the family.

Arthur died on Thanksgiving day in 2005 after having a sudden and unexpected heart attack. It was a sad day for Bonnie and Rose, but life went on.

Every Thanksgiving morning, rain or shine, they both visited Arthur’s grave. They took fresh flowers and sat at the grave side sipping sweet coffee and eating beignets, talking to him as though he were still alive. It was a happy occasion, not a sad one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At eleven am on the morning of Thanksgiving Day 2011, Bonnie was sitting in front of the mirror, putting on lipstick in preparation for her visit to Arthur’s grave. She wanted to look nice for him. She was almost finished when her bedroom door opened revealing a shadowy reflection. She turned around to see her husband, large as life and twice as handsome, standing in the doorway. “Arthur” she said “We were just coming to see you, couldn’t you wait?”.

They embraced. “Let’s sit a while” he said as he led her to his favorite chair by the window. He held her hand as she sat down, and then sat opposite her. They had sat there often in years gone by, looking across their beautiful garden.

“Bonnie, I am taking you home.” He said “It’s time.”

Bonnie smiled at her husband, the only man she had ever loved. “Why did you leave it so long?”

Rose came bustling into the bedroom “We gonna be late Miss Bonnie. Arthur likes you to be punctual. Eleven thirty on the dot. He’ll be turning in his grave if you aren’t there.”

She stopped dead in her tracks. Bonnie was sitting in the window with a smile on her face looking out at the garden, something wasn’t quite right. Rose walked to the window and looked out. The iron gate at the end of the garden opened and swung shut again. She heard laugher.

“I guess we don’t need to be visiting Mr. Arthur today” she said as she turned around and looked at Bonnie. Rose wiped a tear from her eye, sad at losing her friend, but happy that Bonnie would no longer be lonely.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

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Eyes of the Dead

Photograph provided by Robert Santafede

Eyes - Photo by Robert Santafede

The rain had stopped, but the night was heavy with moisture. It was just after midnight and the road was deserted. Dan’s headlights cut through the night and were the only relief from the dark. He yawned and rubbed his eyes. He should have spent the night in London with friends, but he was eager to get home for the Summer. His final exams at University had left him drained.

His journey was almost over and he sped along the A66 knowing that within an hour he would be home. Something ran across the road in front of him and he braked, almost hitting it. What was that? It wasn’t a deer, it looked like a man! Dan pulled over and stopped the car. He turned off the engine and rubbed his eyes.

“Almost home”

Dan opened the window allowing the cold night air to penetrate the car. After taking a couple of deep breaths, he tried to start the car. The engine was dead.

“Damn” he said as he hammered on the steering wheel. Exhausted and frustrated he picked up his cell phone. No signal. “Damn” he said again.

Dan got out of the car and looked around him. He could see a house in the distance, a house he had never noticed before. Hardly surprising as he usually traveled along this road at over seventy miles an hour. Lights shone from the windows giving him hope as he walked along the road. Less than ten minutes brought him to the driveway and as his feet crunched on the gravel, the huge building loomed in front of him.

Lights shone dimly from the leaded glass windows of the gothic structure. Dan approached the door slowly. It was awfully late to be knocking on a stranger’s door and asking for help. He tried his cell phone again. Dead!

As he walked up the steps to the front door the lights went out. He was rooted to the spot for a few seconds. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. Was someone watching him? He turned around trying to find those unseen eyes. His imagination was getting the better of him. He heard a sound behind him, a low growling, what was that? He ran forward and hammered on the huge wooden door.

It opened slowly and he stepped inside, into the darkness.

The Carlisle Police found Dan’s car the following morning, but there was no sign of Dan. They searched the area for several days in vain. A couple of weeks later a hiker found a cell phone in the ruins of an old building just off the A66. There were several missed calls from his parents, and a photo he had taken of an old house with windows that looked like eyes.

My new novel ‘Dead of July’ will be released later this year. For updates keep following this blog or  Follow me on Facebook

I started my writing career with two short stories, which although not perfect, have received great reviews. Once people stop buying them I will take them back off Amazon and have them re-edited.