Revelation Tin

christmas-cookie-tin-vintage-green-fruit-bells-nutcracker-wreath-on-gold-lid-8a91ef866b8eb3bbe6a19b6dd17f3778We waited in silence for the cab to arrive. Silence wasn’t a good thing in a motel like that. The noises from the rooms on either side didn’t leave much to the imagination. I tried hard not to put Janie’s face in one of those rooms. Although we’d waited no more than five minutes, it seemed like an eternity and when the cab finally arrived I fled. As I left the room I looked behind me. Larry was rumpling the bed covers. “we have to make it look like we slept here at least”

I shivered, “whatever!” The thought of sleeping in that bed gave me the creeps. “Where to?” the driver asked as Larry slid in the back seat beside me.”

“Stagecoach Salon, Franktown.” Larry replied.

The cab pulled out onto the main road. “Thats a long way man, you good for the money?” Larry reached over and waved a hundred dollar bill in the guys face. “That should cover it. Keep the change.”

The city lights disappeared in the rearview mirror and the soft darkness of Douglas County swallowed us. “I hope Jacks OK”

Larry was silent. I looked at him. “He will be OK won’t he?” I asked.

“I don’t know, he’s an old guy, may have had a heart attack.

It seemed to take an eternity to get to the bar, and when we arrived, it was in darkness. I looked at Larry, he pointed to a dark shape in the gloom by the fence. It was the van. “You sure you want to be dropped off here?” the cab driver said. “Looks like its closed.”

“Yea, we’re good, thanks man.”

We watched the cabs tail lights disappear in the distance. “OK, let’s go.” Larry said. We turned to the van and the lights came on, temporarily blinding me.

“Everyone OK,”Larry asked as we slid into the front seat.

“The old guy’s a bit shook up, but I think he’ll survive.”

“How about Janie?” I asked.

“She ran, don’t know where she went!”

“What, when?”

“When we got back here, she took off!”

Larry looked at me. “Great, we went through all of this for nothing.”

In two minutes we were at Jack’s house. He sat at the kitchen table, his face ashen. Larry’s three friends were drinking whiskey. Jack was drinking tea. I pulled a chair alongside him. “Jack are you alright?”

“Yes, I will be, got a weak heart, too much excitement for an old man.”

“You’re not that old!”

“I feel it!”

“Where’s Janie?” I asked, trying not to stress him any further.

“I’m here!”

She stood in the doorway, the passage light framing her slight figure. She held a bundle wrapped in a blanket. At first I thought she was carrying a child, my heart missed a beat. Jack made to get up, but I put my hand on his should and made him sit.

“Where’d you go?” he asked.

“Back to the barn, I wanted to grab this stuff before anyone else found it. Those guys came searching for me down here once. They might come back!”

She dropped the bundle on the floor, but held onto a small tin, the sort you got cookies in at Christmas. She placed it on the table in front of Jack. He looked up at her.

“Open it!”


Wanna Join my Girls?

I was nervous when I climbed into the front seat of the shabby old van, but I was also excited. As an amateur writer and budding novelist I wrote about
Gilded Lilyall sorts of weird and crazy things, but never anything quite like this. If I survived the night it would certainly give me material for my next novel. What do you mean if you survive the night?

I heard my gran’s voice, she was back at last.

Where have you been?

“I’ve been here, watching over you. You’ve been doing just fine without me.” 

With all of the doors shut and the engine running noisily, it really was an old rust bucket, Larry looked at me.

“Are you ready for this?” He asked.

“As ready as anyone can be.”

“Sheila, you don’t have to do this. We should just call the cops. Larry, let her out.”

There was silence in the van for about ten seconds, eventually broken by a husky voice from the darkness.

“You call the cops man, you’ll never see this girl again. She’ll just disappear. You aint messing with amateurs here. This is serious shit. We’re this girls only chance.”

“How do you know? You don’t know her!”

“I know who owns her. She’s money to him, nothing else. Get the cops involved and she’s worthless. She’ll be sold on, or worse.”

“Why do you care?” Jack asked, “Why do you want to help us?”

“Got a score to settle with this guy. An eye for an eye and all that!”

Larry pulled slowly onto the main road. The old van rattled and shook. I hope we don’t have to make a quick getaway ‘cos this van won’t do it.

We drove through the darkness in silence. It was thirty minutes or so before the skyscrapers of Denver lit up the horizon ahead of us. I should have been scared, but I wasn’t. I felt warm inside. Gran you’re there aren’t you? “Yes hinny, and I brought friends.” 

I closed my eyes and for a brief moment I saw my Gran’s face. Her piercing blue eyes looking into mine. She did indeed have company. I recognized their faces from the locket we’d found in the bar. I looked over my shoulder at Jack. “I think we’ve got company,” I said. He didn’t reply, just sat with his head in his hands. I think he was crying.


What happens next? Follow my blog and find out. I’m a budding (late starting) writer. I published my first book ‘Dead of July’ back in 2013. There’s been a gap, where life has been to busy for me to write, but I’m back in the saddle and writing up a storm. Stay with me and enjoy the ride. 

Dead of July – A Ghost Story with a difference

Help ME!

131286-aaa-tests-shine-high-beam-headlight-limitations.2As I walked home, my temples began to throb. Goddam this day! Why don’t I feel good about helping this girl? 

“Give it time!”

It was my Gran’s voice. I was comforted to hear it. Gran who is this girl.? There was no reply. The phone rang as I walked through the front door. I ignored it. After taking a couple of aspirin, I lay down on the sofa and slept. My dreams were a troubled mess of sirens and anxiety. When I finally woke up it was dark and cold. I was disoriented. Where am I?

Looking around, I focused my eyes and thoughts. At home of course. I’d slept for six hours. It was almost time to meet up with Jack and Janie again. Was that really her name? I doubted it. More likely she’d done her research on a poor lonely old man and chosen the name to take advantage him. But why do I feel the presence of his dead wife and daughter?

I washed my face and changed my rumpled clothes. The phone came to life again.

It was Les, “where have you been? I’ve been calling you at work and at home.”

“I stayed home, had an awful nights sleep and just couldn’t face work. I heard the phone ring once here, but I didn’t answer because I was trying to sleep.”

“Once, I rang about six times.”

Maybe the sirens I heard in my dreams was the phone ringing. 

“Well I never heard it.”

“Good news, I will be home this weekend after all. The system isn’t going live until next week.”

“Great,” I said, not sounding the least bit enthusiastic. “Look I’m not feeling well, I’ll call you later.”

I was becoming more agitated by the second. My heart was beating fifty to the dozen. I grabbed my coat, and jumped in the car, almost forgetting to open the garage door before I drove out. Something felt wrong!

Jack’s house was lit up like a beacon, porch light, bedroom lights, and the door stood wide open. As my car crunched along the driveway Jack appeared.

“She’s gone!” he said

“Is anything missing?” I asked without thinking.

He looked hurt. “I didn’t check and I don’t need to. We have to find her.”

“OK, jump in, we’ll go to the barn first.”

“No need, I already checked there, no sign of her.”

I closed my eyes and tried to collect my thoughts. Had she ever really existed? Was she something I’d conjured up? No, Jack has seen her too.

I started to speak, but my words were drowned by the noise of a truck passing by, music blaring from the windows.

“Help me!”

Icy fingers closed around my heart. I looked at Jack.

“Did I imagine that?”

He shook his head and jumped in the passenger seat.

“Go!” He yelled.


Dead of July  is my first novel and its available on Amazon for $0.99. It’s set in 1982 in Dortmund, Germany. If you’re enjoying my short blog stories, give it a try.



image0012I watched, hypnotized, as Janie and Jack warmed to each other. Janie didn’t say much, but her fear melted away. I became suddenly drowsy, all I wanted to do was sleep. My eyelids were so heavy I could hardly keep them open.

“Are you alright?” Jack asked. “You look exhausted. You can go upstairs and lie down if you want.”

I thought of the voices I’d heard in the bedroom, voices from the past, from the long dead. I wasn’t afraid of them, but I didn’t want to share a room with them. I wanted to be alone. I was tired and confused and I wanted to rest and think. Who was this girl? What was happening. “I’ll go home if it’s all the same to you. I’m tired, didn’t sleep well last night.”

My voice sounded unnatural and distant. It echoed around the room and seemed to hang in the air. Jack wasn’t paying attention anyway. He was focused on his new guest. Did he think she was his daughter? Surely not! His daughter was dead. “Janie do you want to come home with me?” I asked. “You’re more than welcome. You can take a shower and I can find  you some fresh clothes.

She shook her head.

“OK then I’m going.”

Jack walked me to the door. “You know this isn’t your daughter right!” I said, “This is some poor kid living rough, you need to be careful.”

“I know that, but this girl has been sent to me. She’s here to give me a second chance. I know we’re connected somehow. I have to help her. When she’s here I feel Janie, my Janie. I feel Miriam too.”

“Do you hear them or see them?” I asked.

“No I don’t, but I know you do, I’ve seen you looking upstairs. I’ve seen you listening. My family is here and you know it. I wish I could see them too, but I can’t. They are reaching out to me through this girl instead.”

Jack looked unsure of himself, vulnerable. “I don’t know your family Jack, but there is certainly a presence in your home. They’re here for you not me. What if they’re here to warn you about her? Just be careful OK! You know nothing about this girl.”

“I know nothing about you either,” he said, “but I trust you.”

I looked over Jack’s shoulder and saw Janie stand up. She she stood alone in the empty kitchen. A couple of the stairs creaked from the weight of unseen footsteps. A chill passed though my body. Footsteps crunched on the gravel behind me. I turned around, no one was there.

“I’m going home to take a nap, I’ll be back later though, maybe we can grab dinner in the Stagecoach, I’ll drive!”

“Sounds good,” he said, “Stop by around six.”

I walked along the drive way, my legs barely supporting me.

Who is this girl? 

Where did she come from?

What comes next?


Janie’s Home

JOY1690.0LJack and I stood still, holding our breath, thinking she’d turn and run at any moment. She kept coming though. When she was a few paces away from us she stopped and looked around frantically as though she’d suddenly remembered something.

“Walk, I’ll follow you,” she whispered.

“Your house or mine?” I asked Jack.

“Mine,” he replied, “It’s closer.”

I wanted to hurry. I wanted to get her inside to safety. She was afraid of something or someone and looked like she could turn and run.

“Do you think she’s in danger?” I asked Jack.

“Not sure, but somethings wrong.”

The footsteps behind us stopped, Jack and I continued walking slowly, hoping we’d hear them again. We did! When we approached Jack’s front door I was smothered with emotion. Not sure what was causing it, but it was overpowering. Maybe it came from Jack’s wife and daughter. Their presence was all around us. It felt good. I stepped onto the porch and turned to gesture Janie into the house ahead of me. She was smiling, her face was glowing. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. “Mama!” she said.

Jack was already inside and didn’t hear her, but I did.

The wind chimes hanging from the porch, whispered  gently in the breeze. The sound comforted Janie. She looked like a different person as she stepped inside the house. I stood on the porch and watched her walk into the kitchen. She pulled out a chair and sat down as though she’d lived there her whole life.

Jack beckoned me to join them, he was smiling too. “Come on in Sheila. Janie’s home.”

I joined them, greeted by the smell of coffee and fresh bread.

“Mama brought me here,” Janie said, “She brought me home.”

Janie clutched the locket to her heart. “Mama and Granmama.”


Death by Rifle?

Death by RifleJOY1690.0LI knew the old guy would most likely be at work, but I had to check. Someone was trying to make contact with me and I had a feeling it was his daughter. Why? Who the hell knew. Maybe I was the only person in the area who was open to her. I needed it over with. I needed my life back. Grabbing my coat, and stepping into my shoes, I set off up the road purposefully. I hadn’t gone far when my cell phone rang, it was Les.

“Hey, you didn’t call me back last night, still mad at me?”

“No, just tired, I went to bed. Not feeling great. I took the day off work.” Silence!

Ok say something! Ask me why I’m not feeling well! Give me some sympathy at least.

“You’re in the middle of another episode aren’t you?”

“Episode? What do you mean episode? You sound just like my mam.”

“I didn’t mean to. Are you going to be OK? It’s just hard to get my head around this stuff.”

“Why? When you’re mam died you knew it was going to happen. Explain that! You’ve seen things in this house that you can’t explain. Why is it so goddamn hard for you to get your head around this?”

“I know, I’m sorry. Just be careful OK!”

“I will!”

“Got to go, conference call starting. I’ll call later.”

With that he hung up. I ended the call and stuffed the phone back in my pocket. My fingers touched something cold. The pendant! I pulled it out and looked at it. I thought I’d left this with Bonnie in the Stagecoach! I opened it up and looked at the photos inside,they didn’t change the way they had last night. One side of the heart showed a young couple, and the other side was the face of a little girl, she was as cute as a button, her face beaming with happiness. I didn’t recognize any of them, but if I had to guess, I’d say the young couple were the old man and his wife. The little girl had to be his daughter. I choked back the tears. What a tragedy. Mother and child gone, and the old man wishing he were with them. It made me want to call Les back and tell him I loved him. Who knew what tomorrow held?

I walked along the driveway to the ranch, the neglected yard like a wilderness at either side of the rutted driveway. I approached the door cautiously, remembering what had happened the previous evening. The porch steps creaked as I mounted them. The door swung open slowly as a knocked. With a strong sense of deja vu, I stepped inside.

“Anyone home?”


Then just like the previous evening I heard a noise from above. I was about to turn and flee when the old man appeared, he was carrying a rifle.

“I was expecting you!” he said.

The Ghost of a Pendant!

JOY1690.0LThe Stagecoach was less than a five-minute drive, but walking was out of the question on a dark monday evening in winter. There was no sidewalk on the busy road and no lights on the dirt road that led to my house! Country living has its drawbacks!

When I arrived I was greeted by familiar welcoming faces. I didn’t know everyone’s name, but they were regulars, I felt safe there. A glass of Chardonnay was waiting for me when I sat at the bar. They knew me well. No English pub had ever been so welcoming.

“We don’t usually see you on a Monday night”

“I know, Les is Ohio and I wasn’t in the mood for being alone.”


“No thanks, not tonight”

Bonnie was a star act in the Stagecoach. She was quick and witty, but also drop dead gorgeous with her blue eyes and black hair. She rode a crotch rocket, and not in a girly way.

She bantered with one or two other customers and then came back to me.

“Its quiet even for a monday, everyone’s probably recovering after Christmas. That old guy was in earlier, the one you were asking me about on New Years eve. He looked worse than usual. Kept putting his hands over his ears like he was trying to block something out. He sure has some daemons to deal with.”

Well now I know why he wasn’t home! Someone was in his house though, I felt it. I hope they hadn’t followed me.

The door opened allowing a freezing gust of cold January air into the bar. Bonnie looked over, prepared to greet someone, but no one entered.

“Maybe I didn’t shut the door properly before I came in,” I said, noting the question mark on her face.

“It’s heavy and shuts on its own. You don’t need to shut it. That’s the third time its done that tonight. The folks sitting at the table near the door moved because of it. Weird!”

Yup, it’s a freaky Monday for sure. I drank my first glass of Chardonnay in no time at all. Bonnie placed another on the bar without being asked.

The wine did its trick, finally I relaxed. I glanced around the saloon to make sure I wasn’t ignoring any one I usually talked to, and noticed a young girl sitting alone at one of the tall tables by the dart board. She had no drink in front of her and sat with her head in her hands, long matted hair covering her face.

“Hey Bonnie, who’s that? She wasn’t there a minute ago.”

Bonnie followed my eyes. “I never saw her come in either. She looks like she’s been dragged through a hedge backwards.”

“Ha, you’re starting to use British phrases, you’ll be using my accent soon.”

Bonnie laughed as she walked over to the table to serve the young lady, looking back over her shoulder she shouted, “No, you’ll be talking like me soon.”

By the time she got to the table, it was empty. The young girl had disappeared into thin air. Bonnie shrugged and then picked something up.

“Did you see her leave?” Bonnie asked.

“No, maybe she was a ghost!” I wasn’t joking.

“She must be in the bathroom!”

Bonnie dropped a heart-shaped pendant on the bar in front of me.

“She left something behind.”

“The pendant was easily opened and revealed a worn photo of a child, cute as a button and laughing for the camera. The image changed before my eyes. It became a solemn young girl, then a serious looking teenager. Finally I couldn’t see the face that looked back at me, it was covered with long matted hair. I dropped the pendant on the bar and ran outside, looking for the young girl who’d dropped it. A bitter wind chilled me to the bone, but there was no one out there.

“Who are you and where did you go?”

The cold darkness revealed no secrets.

Isn’t it Ironic!

The garage door closed slowly but I watched it go all the way down, still sitting in my car, headlights shining. I wanted to make sure nothing had followed me home.

The air in my house was alive with whispers.

Maybe I should go and grab dinner at the Stagecoach! It seemed like a great idea, but I’d still have to come home afterwards. The phone rang and I almost screamed. OK, pull yourself together!


Nothing, just static. “Hello, who’s there?”

“Its me, whats wrong? You sound on edge.” It was Les. I must have sounded bad because my husband lived in his little high-tech bubble and didn’t usually notice what was going on around him.

“Bad day at work.” I replied. “I’ll be OK after a glass of wine.” I didn’t want to tell him what was really wrong. We’d already been down that road.

“Well I hope I’m not going to make it worse. Looks like I’m not going to be home this weekend. Things aren’t going smoothly here and we can’t hand off the project Friday as planned. Its going to be next week instead.”

To be honest I wasn’t really listening. Although there was nothing to see, I knew I wasn’t alone.

“Hey, are you listening to me? There’s nothing I can do about it.”

“Yea, I know, it never is.” I answered, not even thinking about the words that came out of my mouth. I don’t remember hanging up the phone, or how long I stood by the door. The phone rang again. What just happened?


It was Les again. “Do you want to fly out here for the weekend? I’d be working, but you could shop during the day and we could have dinner together.”

“A weekend in Columbus, Ohio in January doesn’t really appeal to me. I’ve got stuff to do at home, a weekend alone will help me take care of it.”

“What stuff?”

“Les, I have to go, I’ll call you back later.”

The air had become electric, literally, small sparks were igniting, lighting up the darkness.

“Show yourself! I know you’re here, just show yourself.”

I head musicWhere was it coming from.

“Isn’t it Ironic, like rain on your wedding day……”

Was it outside? I walked towards the patio door, but before I even reached it, it slid open. How could that be? It was locked. The music came from outside, maybe the Stagecoach? I only heard their music in the summer when live bands on the patio.

Maybe I will go for a drink after all. “Hey I’m leaving, want to come for a drink with me?” I shouted into the darkness.

The house remained silent!

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.