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!”

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

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!

 

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Barely Breathing!

flames_88__inferno_by_eris_stock“It looks to me like you’ll never have her.” I whispered. “I think the old hag has you beaten. She’s kept you away from her daughter for a long time now. Maybe it was never meant to be.”

I moved closer to him, the smell of his body was overpowering. He hadn’t breathed for a long time, but hot putrid air surrounded him.

Distract him; take his focus away from Mala. Give me a chance to set them free.

I heard her thoughts, what if Luca heard them too?

I looked into his eyes and smiled, it took all of my courage and energy, but I was convincing.

What if he kills me, what then?

He looked down at me, fascinated. “You’re awfully brave! How can this be? I usually have to fight to get my pleasure. Why aren’t you fighting?”

I was terrified, barely breathing, but something spurred me to play his game. You’re doing great, keep his focus. It’s working.

“Maybe I’m tired of life.” I said, my voice sounding stronger than I felt. “I get up and go to work every morning, but for what? Its time for a different, more exciting life. Tell me what you have to offer?”

The creatures behind him gathered close together as they watched me.

“You can ride the night skies with me” he asked. “You  can look down at the world of pathetic humans and see them, like ants, running around as they live out their futile lives?”

He moved closer to me, our bodies merged. I was terrified.

Although his hands didn’t move, I felt violated; I knew his intentions and felt him touch me.

“Ahh, lets play a while.” He said.

I have him, please do what you need to do and then help me.

My fear spiraled out of control. I was completely enveloped by evil. Terror paralyzed my body.

I’m dying! Help me!

The life was being sucked out of me. I was lost!

I’m barely breathing. Help me!

I was vaguely aware of a light, a light that grew slowly stronger and sent wispy branches shooting off towards the sky as the poor creatures that had been held captive escaped. Behind me I heard bells. The sort of bells you associated with Christmas, heralding the arrival of happiness.

I knew these weren’t Christmas bells, but Romany bells and I smiled. I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have smiled.

“You witch, you sorceress, you temptress. I’m going to squeeze the life out of you now.”

I looked up to see his face. I’d fooled him for a while and and he was full of lust for a live willing body. Something I wasn’t prepared to give and he knew that now.

He tossed me aside like a doll. I hit the ground hard, knocked senseless for a few seconds. When I opened my eyes I saw the old gypsy, she chanted and danced in a circle around the smoking man and his Romany love. They were wrapped in tender embrace for the first time since death claimed them. They faded to nothing, poof, gone.

“You old witch, you’ll pay for this.”

God please let him not be talking to me; I have no fight left in me.

I looked at the distorted face of evil and saw him focus on the old Gypsy. She smiled. “Come on then, make me pay, I’m old and fragile, but I beat you at your own game. You can take my life now, but you can’t touch my daughter anymore. You can’t go to the place she is now. She’s safe from you, safe forever!”

He was on her in less than a second. Moving around her, his face contorted in anger. She didn’t budge, but stood her ground and smiled. I wanted to help her, but I couldn’t move.

“Please leave her alone.” I whispered, but no one heard.

It’s all right; I’m ready to die. I’m old!

She put her arms out and started to chant again. I watched the evil presence of Luca shrink slightly. He became still. He looked confused, unsure of himself. The old gypsy’s head snapped back. She closed her eyes, opened her mouth and inhaled deeply.

Noooooooo!

The awful shape of evil disappeared into her mouth and down her throat. When there was nothing of him left her lips snapped shut and she exploded into a fiery mass. I saw them fighting in the flames, but he was lost, no match for a cunning old gypsy. His evil was no match for her love.

I watched until there was nothing left but calm.

Evil Dead!

evil faceThe silence didn’t last long. A strong wind blew. It was icy cold. A weak, fading glow danced in the darkness. The tinkling bells grew silent. I knew I had to do something, but I didn’t know what!

“Lucky Heather?”

The voice was close to my ear. I turned quickly, expecting to see another restless spirit, but instead I came face-to-face with the old Gypsy I’d seen a couple of days earlier. I touched her wrinkled cheek. It was warm. She was real. She grinned a toothless grin and pushed a sprig of purple heather into my hand. My skin tingled at its touch. I remembered the heather that filled my living room a few days earlier.

Was she trying to help me?

Looking into her eyes, I saw strength, and wisdom. I looked back at the fading glow of the young gypsy girl and my heart began to ache.

“Don’t go!” I pleaded in a voice that didn’t sound like mine.

The smoking man appeared behind her, reaching out his arms, trying to hold her, but she was barely visible.

Laughter bubbled from behind me. It was nasty and malevolent. I turned around almost losing my balance, and looked upon pure evil, in the form of a man. Horns were all he needed to make him look like the devil itself. I knew he was long dead, I could see it in his eyes, but he looked strong. The smirk on his face was terrifying.

“You can’t help them, they’re my playthings.”

I tried to speak, but my mouth wouldn’t open.

His laughter surrounded me.

“Every year they suffer. It’s what they deserve. He took her from me. He took her from the Romany way of life. Stole her. Common thief that he is.” He spat on the ground. The grass died around him and the air turned putrid. “I’m going to take you too. Every year I add a wonton creature like yourself to my collection. Young girls who fall under his spell, all too stupid to resist his pathetic charms. I get them all in the end.”

There was movement behind him. A dozen or more young girls huddled together. Some naked, all unhappy! Snatched from life and made to suffer by this evil, restless spirit. I didn’t want to be one of them.

“Why do you want me? Let me go. What good can I do?” I whispered, trying to sound brave.

“I don’t want you, I didn’t want any of these pathetic creatures,” as he spoke he turned around. They all cowered away from him. Could he still hurt them in death?

“I want her! I’ll give them all to him, in exchange for her. ”

I looked back at the fading light that was the beautiful young gypsy girl. I could barely see her now.

Another voice came from the darkness. I’d forgotten about the old woman.

“She’ll never be yours Luca. She didn’t love you.”

Her voice brought a look of fury to the ugly face. A bird fell to the ground at his feet.

“I didn’t want her love. I wanted her body! Love is nothing. I needed her beside me to bear my children.” His voice boomed like thunder. He smiled an awful smile and licked his lips, “I wanted to play with her a little too.”

“People like you should never be allowed to breed. If you’d given her a child it would have died in her womb.” The old girl cackled. Her voice was strong.

“I’d have torn it from her body before that happened.”

More birds fell to the ground behind him. I could smell fire. Maybe it was the fires of Hell. Somewhere close by a tree fell smoldering to the ground.

The heather I held tightly in my hand became so warm I wanted to drop it.

A voice from deep within my head whispered to me.

Make him angry now. Distract him! Let Mala escape. Let him focus his anger on you and me.

“I’m scared.” I answered. “He’ll kill me!”

A pain ripped through my skull.

“Be quiet you old Hag, I hear you”

 

Dead or Alive – she’s mine!

headlight in the darknessThe temperature dropped. Icy fingers tightened their grip on my heart.

“You’ll never have her. You couldn’t have her in life and she’s not yours in death. She was promised to me. She’s mine.”

Surely they’re not talking about me! I strained my eyes trying to see through the darkness. It was thick and dense, a black fog.

“You killed her!” The voice was harsh, evil.

“No, you did, you killed her when you messed with my brakes. You ended her life.” This voice was full of sadness and love.”

“You should have died alone. You took what was mine.” The evil voice boomed through the darkness. It scared me.

“Mala wasn’t a possession. She didn’t love you.” It was almost a whisper.

The darkness was penetrated by the sound of a horn. It was loud. Rushing towards me.

A single beam of light pierced the darkness from another direction.

A truck roared towards the crossroads. Oh God, slow down, won’t someone slow down. Screeching brakes and burning rubber filled the air.

The truck tried to stop.

The motorcycle swerved.

For a fleeting moment I saw the face of the beautiful gypsy girl riding behind the smoking man. She closed her eyes, and hugged him tight.

Her lips moved, “I love you.” I wondered if he heard.

The impact was deadly.

Then there was silence.

“Why am I here?”

The sound of my voice hung in the darkness.

The Icy Grip of Death!

I hit the ground hard. Gasping for breath I sat up. Help! Where am I. I heard the screeching of brakes and smelled burning rubber. Glass shattered. Where am I?

I was light-headed and my vision was blurry. A nebulous shadow hovered in front of me.

And then I saw smoke rings.

smoke rings

The smoking man looked down at me and smiled. I shivered as I felt his love overpower me.

“Its time to come with me. I’ve waited so long.”

He sad eyes filled with longing. This man’s life had ended a long time ago, but he couldn’t rest, he was waiting for someone. Surely he wasn’t waiting for me. I didn’t know him.

“I don’t know you. Why do you want me?”

I was cold, shivering, but I knew I was still alive and I wanted to stay that way. I tried to stand, but I was weak and oh so tired. Fight it, come on, fight it now.

The tinkling of bells seemed far away, but I heard them. Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, from where she comes, nobody knows…

The beautiful face of the young gypsy girl filled my thoughts. I smelled roses and lavender! My body was light. A tingling started in my chest and radiated through my body. It was a happy feeling. Can this be death? Am I dying? If I am I like it!

Then a dark oppressive presence overshadowed me. The tingling stopped. The smoking man looked behind me. Anger spread across his face and for the first time I heard him speak. His words were angry.

“Leave us be, its time to leave us be!”

Icy fingers surrounded my heart. It was more than fear, it was death!

To read my first novel go to Dead of July

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

Dark Thoughts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve been a little off my game lately. It happens from time to time. It’s not a permanent thing. Life gets in the220px-Atrax_robustus way  of creativity. My brain has been a quagmire of problems, but its clearing. Dark thoughts are returning, thoughts that will fester into something evil. Thoughts that will overflow onto my keyboard as poisonous spiders. It won’t be long now!

Dead of July my first novel is available on Amazon and its full of Dark Thoughts and Evil!

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson