Ghosts on the Sand

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Ghosts on the Sand  (Art by Kara Boulden)Strangers emerged from thin air, running toward 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 toward the shore, bobbing up and down grotesquely in the shallow water.

Trembling, I closed my eyes and prayed. Was this a nightmare?

Kara Boulden is an exceptional artist and she has agreed to produce a fabulous book cover for me. This is where we are so far. What do you think? I LOVE it.

Juggling work, home, chores and life with my next book release is tough, but I can do it.

Ghosts on the Sand (and other chilling tales) will be released late 2017 or early 2018. It will be a compilation of three or four short stories at the bargain price of $99 for the eBook.

I’m excited for you to read my next venture, and encourage feedback (good or bad), its how I become a better writer. As I head down the road to retirement I realize I’ll never truly retire, so writing will be my new and very pleasurable job.

Toodles, pop back soon!

Legacy of the Lake

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The pregnancy hadn’t been a good one. Juliet had been bedridden for most of it. The birth was a struggle too.  Afterwards she barely found strength to hold Sacha. The beautiful baby girl was named after Jake’s grandmother.

“Do you want me to go? I can leave you to get some sleep if you like.” Jake asked.

He worried as he looked at her exhausted pale face, and the dark rings under her eyes.

“No, stay. Dad will be here soon, stay until he leaves. Talk to him for me. I’m just so tired, but I want him here, I want him to see Sacha.” her voice trembled, “Wish mum was still here.”

Jake reached out and put his hand over Juliet’s. “She’s here, she’s watching you.”

“But I don’t feel her. How do I know?” She shivered. “It’s so cold in here.”

Jake took another blanket from the closet and tucked her in. There that should keep you warm. “I’ll be back in a second,”

He found a nurse “Whats wrong with her? Why is she so weak? It’s 24 hours since she had the baby, shouldn’t she start to feel better? I’m worried, I don’t want to lose her.”

“We’ll watch her, she’ll get better everything looks fine, but she’s exhausted. The trauma of losing her mother isn’t helping. Did the police ever figure out what happened? Was it suicide?”

Jake hung his head. “Can’t see she’d kill herself, but why would she get so close to the lake in her wheelchair? Tragic accident is what they’re saying.”

The shadows in Juliet’s room gathered unseen around the crib. Sacha slept, swaddled in blankets as a dozen eyes looked down at her. She’s perfect they whispered she’ll be ours soon. The keeper of the lake.

Juliet didn’t hear them, she was slipping away into a drug induced haven, blocking out a terror she didn’t yet know, just like her mother before her. The family legacy continued and Sacha was next in line.

 

Nice Day for a Wet Wedding!

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Juliet discovered she was pregnant a month before the wedding. It wasn’t a problem, unless morning sickness spoiled the big day. She was happy, and so was Jake. Pregnancy meant no wild hen party (or bachelorette party as her American friends called it), but that was OK, she could put it on hold until after the baby was born, something to look froward to.

Then the big day came. May 15th. She was awoken by someone tapping on her bedroom door.
“Is the bride ready for breakfast?”
“Come on in dad, I’m awake”
He dad carried a tray laden with goodies. Fruit, coffee, brioche, jam.
“You’re the best dad in the world!”
“I just want to spoil my little girl while I can. Why are you crying? Don’t cry. You still want to get married don’t you?”
“I’m crying because I’m happy!”
The quiet moment didn’t last long. The doorbell rang constantly after that as caterers, family, friends and neighbors showed up to help prepare for the big event. Juliet drank her coffee and nibbled some fruit, but was far too excited to eat more. She was marrying the man she loved. Life was good.

Stretching she slid out of bed and walked across to the window. The large marquee was set up out front and was bustling with activity. There were flowers, balloons, lights, tables, ribbons. Everything a girl could ask for and more. The sky was a perfect blue.
I’m so lucky, nothing could spoil this moment.

Juliet was wrong!

As she slipped into her beautiful white wedding dress thunder rumbled, and it wasn’t in the distance, it was right overhead. She shivered! Please don’t rain on my wedding day! By the time the bridesmaids had fixed her veil the first big drops of rain splattered on the ground.
“I hope the marquee is waterproof.” she joked, but she wasn’t laughing inside. Something bothered her. When she saw Jake waiting for her in the marquee, she stopped worrying. The sight of him filled her with happiness. His hair was cut shorter than normal and made him look like a school boy again. She remembered their first prom together and smiled and walked towards him.

As the ceremony began, the intensity of the rain increased. By the time they exchanged vows they had to shout to be heard.

The happy couple said I do, kissed and then turned to face their guests. They were finally man and wife!

Something caught Julia’s eye at by the entrance at the side. A woman stood dripping with water. She was dressed in black. A dark veil covered her face. Juliet stopped smiling when she saw her. Something was wrong, something tugged at her memory. Who is that? The woman lifted her veil revealing her face.

Juliet’s face.

Jake tried to hold onto his bride, but she fell to her knees.

Juliet fainted.

Ghosts on the Sand

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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.

 

The Vessel

ambulance2“What wrong with me?” June’s whispered as the ambulance sped along the road to the hospital. Leslie, the WPC, squeezed her hand. “It’ll be okay love, we’re almost at the hospital, you’re in good hands. There’s all sorts of weird bugs going around, you probably have stomach flu or something.”

The first responder looked at Leslie and shook her head. June didn’t see!

The ambulance barely stopped before the door burst open and a team of nurses and doctors swooped on the barely conscious passenger.

“She’s fading fast. Something is sucking the life right out of her. Her stomach is swollen and……”

“And what?”

“Well it looks bruised, but the bruises seem to be coming from the inside. Hard to explain.”

“Come on folks, lets see what we have here.” The doctor spoke urgently!

Within seconds they had her in a room in the hospital, talking vitals looking into her eyes, talking to her. Before fading into oblivion June spoke once. In a weak voice that was barely distinguishable she whispered, “It’s crawling around in my stomach.”

The doctor pulled up her sweater. Everyone froze! June’s abdomen had taken a life of its own. It was swollen to four times its normal size, but even with the swelling you could see a shape in there, almost like it was vacuum packed.

“Is she pregnant?” The doctor asked. The nurse looked at the notes taken in the ambulance.
“Says here she had stomach pains, maybe a bug or stomach flu. Vomiting, dizziness, nothing about being pregnant. She’s only a kid!”

“Are her parents here?”

“Yes, in the ER waiting room.”

The doctor took off his gloves and went to find them.

“Don’t do anything until I come back.”

Hidden in the clouds, the whole scene was being observed.

“Our vessel looks strong. She’s doing well. You all know what to do don’t you. We’ll soon have a new queen among us.”

 

Fingers

floating“Hello, who’s there”

June was afraid, but only mildly. She lay on something so soft it could have been a cloud. Invisible fingers caressed her body in places she didn’t know existed. It was alarmingly pleasant. She was naked!

She’d never take drugs before, so had no idea the calm she felt, was sedative induced. It just felt good.

Her body moved so she faced downwards, there was nothing beneath her, nothing holding her. I’m floating. Gentle warmth enveloped her, starting between her thighs and moving across her skin like an invisible blanket. She tingled with pleasure. This must be heaven. 

June closed her eyes and drifted into ecstasy…….

A noise close to her head startled her, she smiled, hoping for more fingers on her body.

“Hey, are you alright, Miss?”

What? June opened her eyes and came face to face with a young man, a Police Officer. Where am I? 

“Your door’s locked! Are you okay?”

She looked around confused. She was in the driver’s seat of her car. It was daylight! Opening the door, she got out, bent over and threw up. The police officer stepped back just in time. He spoke into a radio that was clipped to his jacket.

“The car fits the description. I have a young girl here, looks to be 17, and matches the photo. Throwing up. May have had too much to drink. Is Leslie close, a female police officer would be nice right now.”

June sat in the car, but kept the door open.

“Hi, I’m hoping you’re June, your dad called us because you didn’t come home last night, were you drinking?”

“What? No! I don’t drink. I pulled over because I was scared to drive in the mist. I couldn’t see the road. Then my car wouldn’t start. Cell phone was dead.” She began to cry.

“Don’t cry.”

Her cell phone vibrated on the passenger seat. It was her dad calling her. How can that be?

If you’re enjoying my short stories, give my first novel Dead of July available now on Amazon.

Headlights?

headlights-1449254_960_720OK, I’m gonna be brave!

She edged her way forward, keeping her left foot close to the grass that marked the edge of the road.

Don’t want to be wandering along in the middle of the road in this fog.

June prayed for headlights! Prayed for a car to come. If it did it would be traveling slowly and she’d be able to stop it. All she needed was company! She tried to walk fast, but her pace was sluggish. The mist was holding her back. She might as well have been walking through molasses. It was sucking every ounce of energy from her.

Dad, why aren’t you looking for me, I’m late home, I’m lost. 

What was that? A shape moved quickly across her path. June stopped dead in her tracks.

“Hello!”

Something touched her shoulder and she spun round.

“Not funny! Who’s there?”

The mist began to glow. She felt a weird warmth from behind. She turned around and looked into a pair of dazzling lights. Shielding her eyes with her hand she smiled and slowly walked towards them. At last! 

“Can you help me? My car broke down.”

The lights blinked and a door slid open between them.

Somethings wrong here. This isn’t a car, what is it?

June turned to run, but it was useless, she was pulled backwards. She tried to get some traction. She tried to escape. It was impossible. A strong magnetic force had taken hold of her. It pulled her toward the lights.

“Help! Somebody help me.”

She was sucked into a cavernous space. The lights went out. The door slammed shut and she was enveloped in a murky green darkness….

EYES ON ME!

one-sunday-morning

She tossed and turned, but sleep wouldn’t come. The bedroom was cold! She could see her breath, the bed was cold too!

The furnace must have broken!

Pulling the covers tightly around her, Lou burrowed into them. They felt damp and icy!

Dammit whats wrong. 

Reluctantly she got out of bed and grabbed her robe. Her fingers touched something gelatinous. She screamed and recoiled! Fumbling in the dark, she looked for the light switch.

Found it. 

Frantically she switched it on. Nothing. She reached for the bedside lamp, it didn’t work either. Pulling back the drapes, she looked out of the window. The world was engulfed in fog. Heavy, dark and thick. Swirling like clouds.

I feel eyes on me!

Carefully, slowly and trying not to panic, Lou made her way downstairs and into the kitchen. Pitch black, hard to move, hard to breath.

She found the flashlight in the cupboard next to the sink.

Thank god!

She switched it on, it worked. Shining it into the darkness of her home gave her some relief, there was nothing to see.

I need to get some heat in here.

Lou made her way down to the basement and the furnace.

Somethings wrong!

She opened the basement door, letting out a cold stench. It came from something unfamiliar, something terrifying. She didn’t want to look, but couldn’t help it. A dozen distorted, decaying faces looked back at her, their mouths open in a silent scream.

Oh dear God in Heaven!

She fainted!

Halloween – The Scent of a Woman

lakePenny lifted her head and sniffed the air! She stood up and growled, then whimpered. Jane closed the door and came back inside.”Hey, don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere without you. Penny stood rigid, staring at the closed-door.

“You want to go for a walk? Come on the, let’s get your leash, don’t want you to get lost do we?”

Usually when the W A L K word was mentioned Penny barked, excited to be outside. Today that word terrified her, she hid under the bed.

“OK, I guess that’s a no!”

Jane poured another glass of wine and walked to the window. The view was hypnotic. Maybe I should have become a painter, or photographer. She thought to herself. Tired and frustrated she sat in front of her computer again.

The lake was still and deep, she wrote, a single canoe was moored by a boat house. The night was silent. Somewhere, deep in the forest, evil waited. It wouldn’t have to wait long.  

The words began to flow, so engrossed was she in her writing that she never heard Penny’s pathetic whining as the dog cowered beneath the bed.

An hour passed before Jane came up for air. She’d written almost a full chapter. Yes, we have liftoff!

Pleased with herself, she stood up and stretched, her creative juices flowing. All is not lost!

“Penny come on, let’s get some fresh air, you need to pee.”

Penny whimpered and backed further under the bed. She could smell danger and wanted no part of it!

“Penny what’s wrong with you?” Jane asked as she grabbed a dog treat and crouched down to coax her companion from the shadows. Dogs can be smart at times, but not when there are treats involved. Penny scuttled forward, licking her lips in anticipation. As her mouth closed on the treat, Jane grabbed her.

“Gotcha!”

With Penny tightly secured under her arm, she headed to the front door. Penny wriggled and whimpered, but Jane held her tight.

“Look, nothing out here to be scared of, it’s a beautiful night.”

She placed the dog on the porch, “Now go do what you have to do, its cold.” Penny walked back inside and poured another glass of wine, pleased with herself. Her head was full of words and evil images. She was inspired.

The cold air worked on the dogs bladder. She ran down the porch steps and sniffed until she found a place to pee. She looked into the darkness with wide eyes. Something bad was lurking, she felt it. The scent was strong, Penny whimpered, but not for long.

A huge six-fingered hand grabbed her belly, a second-hand grabbed her head. She didn’t feel the teeth sink into her back. The quick twist of hands broke her neck in seconds.

When Jane walked back onto the porch she couldn’t see her dog, but she could hear her, or so she thought.

“Penny! Penny come on, its cold out here. Don’t stray. Where are you?”

Great, just when I’m inspired!

Grabbing a flashlight from the table by the door, she pointed the beam into the darkness, towards the sound.

“Penny!”

What she heard was the sort of sound Penny made when she ate wet dog food. Oh god, she’s found a dead animal.

“Penny, put it down! Penny! Oh my god!”

The strong beam rested on a horrendously disfigured face. A pair of huge deformed hands held the remains of her pet. Blood dripped from the creature’s chin. Penny’s blood!

The grin grew wider as it took another bite before dropping the remains to the ground. He looked at Jane and sniffed. She’s woken a different type of hunger inside him. One he hadn’t felt before!