Ghosts on the Sand

Ghosts on the Sand1

The sun slid behind a cloak of darkness while I cowered on the sand terrified and alone. A flaming ball of fire burned a path through the darkened sky tumbling towards me. Closing my eyes, I waited to die. An earth-shattering explosion rocked the beach. A volcano of hot gushing water erupted from the waves. Angry flames reached out hungrily, looking for something to devour. Strangers emerged from thin air, running towards the fire, shouting to one another in a language I didn’t understand. The watery inferno illuminated their fear stricken faces. Shadowy figures floated slowly towards the shore, bobbing up and down grotesquely in the shallow water. Trembling I closed my eyes and prayed. Was this a nightmare?

My new book is almost ready for the first round of editing. Here’s a small preview from “Ghosts on the Sand”

This story will feature in a compilation with three other short stories. I’m aiming to release it at the end of the year.

 

Trolls, Bridges and Billy Goat Gruff

billygoatIt was just past midnight when Toni approached the stone bridge that crossed the river by her home. She smiled, remembering how she’d been scared of this bridge when she was a child, scared of the nasty troll she believed to be hiding in the darkness beneath it. Glenn, her older brother was to blame. He told her the story of Billy Goat Gruff, changing it slightly to make her scared. He had her believe the troll hadn’t really died, but was roaming the country looking for naughty little girls, because naughty little girls tasted so good.

“But I’m not naughty,” she told him tearfully.

That was a long time ago.

Halfway across the bridge stopped and listened. What was that?

“Who’s tramping over my bridge?”

Sure it was her brother she shouted, “Glenn, I know its you, come up here, you’re not funny. What are you doing out at this time of night?”

A throaty evil chuckle echoed from the darkness, “I’m coming to gobble you up.”

“Okay you’ve had your fun, come up here right now.”

“Are you a naughty little girl?”

“Glenn?”

Confused and scared Toni leaned over the stone wall, thinking her brother was going to great lengths to play a prank on her. What she saw was a small, squat shape with white flowing, scrabbling up the bank as fast as it could.

Shit!

She sprinted along the short pathway to her house, surely she could outrun the twisted midget. Breathless and terrified she made it home, but the handle of the front door didn’t turn, it was locked. She ran around to the back, same thing, locked.

“Mam, mam, let me in, open the door!”

Footsteps from within.

“Thank GOD! Mam, hurry!”

The door opened slowly, too slowly. Toni barged through and pushed it closed behind her, locking it quickly.

“Mam, where’d you go? Someone tried to get me, call the police.”

Silence!

Then she heard the raspy voice again.

“I’m going to gobble you up Billy Goat Gruff.”

“I’m not Billy Goat Gruff.”

“You’re a naughty child though, even better!”

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Toni sat bolt upright in bed and screamed at the top of her lungs. “Help, MAM!”

The light went on in the hallway. Oh thank heavens, I’m in bed, I was dreaming.

The door opened and a small body with a wizened head stood where Toni expected her mother to be. It’s the last thing she ever saw!

 

Let me die along with my friends!

BodyLindsay hung onto the branch for dear life waiting for the mayhem to stop. Her ears were ringing as though someone had sounded a tuning fork in her head. She was hit in the face by an object she didn’t see coming. Blood dripped into her eyes but she felt no pain. Dear God let this be over. She thought about letting go, ending it all. The sole survivor of the hellish fire, she wanted to die. Death must be better than this!

“Who’s there?” Lindsay asked, feeling she wasn’t alone. The hairs on the back of her neck bristled and she felt a chill running down her spine. Her hands slipped a little and her toes hit the cold water.

Just let go Lindsay, join your friends. You deserve to be with them. You’re as guilty as they are. You bloody English thing you own the world.”

“What?” Lindsay looked up and saw a shadowy figure standing above her on the path. It was Colleen. Her terrible beautiful face was contorted in pain and anger, her dress red with blood. A shadowy figure formed by her side.

“Come on Patrick, let’s go now. There’s nothing for us here!”

Patrick? The shadows faded, merged with the breeze. Back on the water, shapes appeared, a shoe floated past, part of a backpack, a plastic bag, a glove with something trailing out of it.

Oh God, there’s a hand in there.

“Help, can somebody help me.” Lindsay shouted.

She was surrounded by silence, but not for long. Voices approached, shouting in panic, followed by footsteps.

“Lindsay, hang on. Bill, Steve, make a human chain get her off that branch, it’s not going to hold much longer.”

She looked up to see Barbara and two other police officers. They were reaching down to her.

“Take my hand love.”

Lindsay obeyed, but daren’t let go of the branch.

“I’ve got you. You can trust me.”

She did as she was told and felt herself being pulled to safety.  She collapsed weakly to the ground and looked back towards the river. The glove had floated out of sight. A human shape had taken its place. It floated lifelessly, face down in the deep dark water.

Patrick? Could that be him? Is he with his sister now? For a moment no one moved.

One of the Police Officers sprung into action, pulling off his shoes and jacket. “I’m going in, I’m a strong swimmer.” He plunged into the cold water and made short work of reaching the shape, pulling it easily to dry land. Lindsay was aware of a gathering crowd, some of whom helped pull the lifeless body out of the river.

A woman pushed her way through the crowd. “I’m a nurse”, she said and tried in vain to resuscitate the man. Someone else bound the stump of his arm, where his hand used to be.

Lindsay knew it was too late. Patrick had joined his sister.

“Who is this, do you know him?” Barbara asked.

Lindsay opened her mouth to speak, but screamed instead. A second shape appeared in the water. It was Michael!

Oh the stories that rattle around in my brain. Check out my first novel Dead of July is available on Amazon for $0.99. Give it a try. 

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

 

 

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

 

 

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. 

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

 

Death in the Shadows

ColleenMichael gently backed Lindsay away from the door before closing it. He held her tightly until the tears subsided. It took a while. Eventually, when she was calm, Michael pulled away and gently lifted her head so he could look into her eyes. Lindsay wouldn’t look at him.

“Oh God, I’m so sorry,” she said.

“It’s alright, I guess I came just at the right time. You needed someone.”

Lindsay took a deep breath and let Michael go.

“I’m not sure if there will ever be a right time again.”

Michael led her to the sofa and sat down next to her taking both of her hands in his.

“Living through something like this isn’t easy. Believe me, I know.”

“I lost all of my friends,” she whispered, “that’s bad, but there are other things happening. It’s getting worse, much worse. I think the dead are coming back for me!”

She sobbed again, her whole body shaking. “Maybe it’s a good thing. Why should I be the only one left alive?”

Michael put his arm around her “Come on now, you are alive, and you should be grateful.”

“Michael I think I’m losing my mind. I keep dreaming about my best friend Mel, and when I wake up the dream lingers, I see her. Her awful burned face haunts me. I saw her in the interview room at the police station.”

“It’s stress and nerves. You feel guilty because you survived. It’ll pass.”

“No, I don’t think it will.”

“Lindsay, it will, I’m sure. Let me tell you something about my brother, he….”

“I don’t want to hear about your goddamn brother right now. I’m scared and I haven’t finished,” she spat the words out and Michael jumped, alarmed at her ferocity.

Lindsay picked up the pad from the floor and dropped it on his lap.

“Barbara, the young police woman, told me to write down my fears and emotions because I refused to see a shrink. Go on, read them.”

“Okay, this seems reasonable, I’ve heard of people doing this before, it usually helps.”

“Michael read the last line.”

HELP ME

“You’re asking for help.”

“I didn’t write that.”

“Who did?”

“I had another visitor, a young woman with an Irish accent.”

“What, just now, before I came? Who was she?” Michael asked.

“I don’t know, I never saw her face, only heard her voice.”

“What?”

The room grew colder again and the shadows deepened.

The whispering began, it surrounded them “Michael, Michael, Michael. I see you……Michael where is he, where’s your brother. Where’s John, where’s my Johnny boy?”

Michael froze.

“Colleen?”

Try my novel Dead of July. Available as an ebook or paperback on Amazon.

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

Fire and Darkness

Fire and Darkness, is almost ready for my copy editor. This book was originally published back in 2009 as Girl on the Beach. It was my second short story, but the first one I released. Now, it is completely re-edited and I think attractive to a much wider audience. If you like Ghost Stories set in England, this book is for you. It doesn’t fall into any particular genre, but I think would be a light enjoyable read for almost anyone, young and old alike. Have you ever been to Blackpool? Let me give you a taste of my book.

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Alone and terrified I watched the beach come to life. Strangers appeared, born from thin air. They spoke quickly in a different language as they ran towards the water. I looked in the direction they ran and saw something burning ferociously, flames emerging from the waves.

“Hey, what’s happening?” I shouted to a young man close by, but he ignored me. People gathered at the water’s edge, some wading towards the flames, but not getting far, it was too hot. A tiny hand slipped into mine and I looked down to see the tearful dirty face of a young child looking up at me.

And now let me give you a taste of Blackpool.

Blackpool Beach and Tower

Blackpool Beach and Tower

A 99 and a lime-split please

A 99 and a lime-split please

My current book is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Dead of July – A German Ghost Story (Amazon)

Dead of July – A German Ghost Story (Smashwords)

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

Hallelujah – The Sun Sets on the Girl on the Beach

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Just in time, one day before my Fiction Writers Conference, I managed to finish the final edit of the final re-write of my first book Girl on the Beach.

It will be a while before its published because the next step is the content edit, followed by the copy-edit, followed by the lay out, then the front and back cover and finally the proof reader. It’s such a great achievement to get this far though. I am so excited. I am re-launching this book in the genre ‘Young Adult’. Are there any young adults out there who would like to be my beta readers?

Exhausted, but happy, I’m going to bed.

My novel Dead of July is available on Amazon and sells at $3.99 for the Kindle edition and $9.99 for the print version.

Girl on the Beach, should be available around Christmas time. Watch out for it.