Lies

Jean hovered on the outskirts of the crowd and watched. Some folks left in cars, some returned to their rooms. Finally just a handful remained. They  were helping the police with their inquiries. She listened to Bill’s lies as he spoke to them.

Wiping his eyes, he put on a good show, “I just buried my wife, and couldn’t face going home, couldn’t face the house without her,” He looked distraught. His eyes were bloodshot, but from smoke not tears. “I’d not been in my room long, and was about to take a shower when I smelled smoke.” (he stopped and faked a very effective coughing fit)

Jean looked at the bulging pockets of his robe, and then back at his lying face. She willed the WPC to see past his lies, but is was useless.

“Sir, can I take your name and address, we’ll talk to you later. Get yourself checked out and go home. Where are your clothes?”
Bill stumbled over his first few words, but it the police officer didn’t notice.
“I er, I was getting into the shower, which is why I’m wearing this. Then I ran to the next room  to help the young lady…oh god, she’s dead isn’t she.” He began to cry.
The officer waved someone over, “Can you make sure this gentleman is okay to return home. Do you need a ride sir?”
“No, my car is here and I feel fine.”
Bastard, lying cheating bastard! You should be dead.
“Lets get you some clothes, you can’t go home in a robe”
Bill pulled the hotel robe around him tightly. The last thing he wanted to do was hand it over.
“I’m fine with this, I don’t live far away, and can pull straight into my garage. Please don’t trouble yourselves.”
“Well only if you’re sure.”
A paramedic came and talked to Bill, checked his vitals. He nodded to the Police officer.
“Off you go, get cleaned up at home, we’ll be in touch.”
Bill turned his back on the scene and walked away. He was smiling.
Do I take my Audi, or do I take the Alfa Romeo?

In the back of the ambulance, Sofia’s body was covered and zipped into a brown plastic body bag. Plastic couldn’t hold her angry spirit though. She sat up and watched the scene play out.

The bastard was married. I gave him my heart, but all he wanted was my money.

In a flash, she was next to Jean. They watched Bill walk towards the car, and then joined him. There was more room in the back of the Alfa Romeo, not that they needed it. Jean sat next to Bill in the front, Sofia sat in the back.

Bill was about to have the ride of his life!alfa-romeo-guilia-6.jpg

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Red Hot!

 

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As they approached the hotel Jean’s anger flared. Her aura was red-hot. She felt it and worried that Bill would see her. He glanced in his rear-view mirror, a confused look on his face, as if something were wrong. Tugging at his tie, he loosened it and undid the top button of his shirt.
Perspiration prickled his face.
Jean smiled. He couldn’t see her, but she knew he felt her. The sweet little Catholic girl was going to release a world of pain on this man.
Bill wiped his brow with the sleeve of his jacket and switched on the AC.
With one glance Jean switched it off again.
Bill punched the button again, she left it on for thirty seconds, and then smiled and switched it off.
“Goddamn fucking AC, maybe I should have gotten the BMW after all”
Jean smiled and switched on the heating. Her aura calmed, she was no longer red-hot, but Bill was!
Driving erratically, he ran a red light, almost hitting two pedestrians.
“Shit, shit, SHIT!”
He slowed down a little.
“The last thing I need right now is another death!”
Then he smiled and relaxed a little. Jean hadn’t been rich, but they had a house together with at least $200,000 in equity. Jean’s parents had given them a chunk of money as a wedding present. Then there was the jewelry! He’d make a tidy sum when he sold that. He opened the car windows and breathed deeply. In the back of the car, Jean’s aura was red again. She could hear his thoughts. Closing her eyes she resisted the urge to kill him. She moved effortlessly into the passenger seat and remembered how she’d loved sitting next to him in the car. He’d slip his hand onto her knee and stroke her inner thigh while the drove. She shivered as she remembered…but the moment soon passed!
How long did it take for you to tire of me Bill? Did you ever really love me?
Bill pulled into the hotel parking lot. His head was full of his mistress, and her money. Parking the car, he walked quickly into the hotel lobby and climbed the stairs two at a time. Anticipating the rest of the afternoon, Bill was already aroused. Money and sex did that to him. He opened the door. The drapes were closed and scented candles burned. The room smelled of roses, and expensive perfume. Bill was right about the champagne, but wrong about her skimpy expensive attire.

Sofia was naked!

Wild Garlic

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“Roberto is that wild garlic?” Mum asked, looking at the white pungent bunch of flowers he held.

“Yes, Phoebe, it is, I picked them along the path by the river on the way here.”

He turned around to look directly at me menacingly.

“I hear it keeps vampires away!”

He smiled at me hungrily licking his lips, which were no longer dark against his perfect milky skin, but blood red. I knew it was my blood he wanted, not my mum’s. Terrified I fled the living room and slammed the door to the stairs; I shut my bedroom door too. My so-called Uncle wanted to hypnotize me. He wanted drink my blood.

I knew Garlic wasn’t going to protect me.

Brompton-on-Swale

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I’d planned to have this book released by Christmas 2017. I know, it didn’t happen. I love writing so much I don’t have time to publish, and I certainly can’t afford a publisher. Oh well, when it eventually does get released later this year it’s going to be a bargain book for those of you who love England, especially the north-east. The stories packed into this book include;

Ghosts on the Sand (set in Blackpool)
Guy at the Bar (set in Brompton-on-Swale and Richmond)
Camera (set in Brompton-on-Swale and Richmond)
The Engineer (set in a fictitious village in County Durham)

Why are most of my stories set in the North East? Because it’s the best part of England. Northerners are genuine, down to earth and fun!

I was born in Bishop Aukland, lived in Shildon until I was 4 years old. I then fled with my mam to Etherly and Butterknowle to escape my violent dad. Mam finally found a job and house in Summerhouse, county Durham, where we lived until 1967. When she remarried we moved to Brompton-on-Swale, the village that shaped my life. Even though I live in the United States now (well until I retire to Italy), Brompton-on-Swale is on my mind a great deal. I wish I could become a famous writer. If I did I’d make sure to let everyone know where I came from. I’d tell them about that down to earth little village, where everyone knew everyone else and looked out for their neighbors. Many folks were born there and never moved away. They are the lucky ones. My wandering spirit won’t let me stay in one place too long. I pop back every now and again. Yes, it’s changed, but I still think of it as home.

Eventually

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Monica stomped along the road in her expensive Italian boots. The evening hadn’t turned out as she planned.
“It’s New Years Eve and I was supposed to be enjoying myself with James. Dinner, Dancing and then…”
Things catch up with you eventually
She stopped and turned around “Who said that?”
Silence, nothing moved. “God I’m talking to myself AND hearing things. Someone is going to pay for this.”
Someone always pays eventually
“OK, not funny. I know you’re out there. Did James’s wife put you up to this? He was going to leave her anyway, nothing to do with me. He told me the marriage was over. He’d be with someone else if it wasn’t me.”

The frigid night air was still and silent. “Where the hell am I?” Nothing along the dark misty lane looked familiar.

Monica had been at the Royal Charles hotel, waiting in reception for James, her lover. A handsome and very rich business man who’d made his money in the fashion world, backing and funding new designers. She’d been seeing him for almost six months. Her goal was to entice away from his shrew of a wife and snotty nosed kids by the end of the year. It seemed to be working until tonight. Monica waited for him for over an hour. He wasn’t answering his phone so she decided to just check into the room and wait for him there.

“I’m sorry, but there must be some mistake, there isn’t a reservation under that name.”
“Alright, I’d like to reserve a room now please.” Monica said, trying not to be annoyed.
The receptionist didn’t even bother to check availability. She just shook her head. “We’ve been fully booked for months. New Years Eve is popular here. I’m sorry.”
“I’m in the middle of nowhere, what am I supposed to do?”
“If you drive down to the main road, and then head towards town, there’s a B&B on the right, just before the farm. It’s called the Charles Inn, sometimes people get the two places mixed up. Maybe your reservation is.”
“Seriously? A B&B? I highly doubt it. I didn’t drive, I took a taxi!”
The receptionist looked nervous, she didn’t want a scene on New Years Eve while dinner guests arrived. “Let me call you a taxi now.” She frowned as she dialed different cab firms.
“I can’t get anyone here until 8:30” She said apologetically.
Monica looked at her watch. “What, it’s only six o clock!”
“You could always sit in our lounge and enjoy a cocktail while you wait.”
“I don’t drink alone,” she snarled.

Monica picked up her Gucci overnight bag and headed out into the darkness. A five-minute brisk walk put her in on a narrow dark. The only thing that moved in the darkness was a damp luminous mist!

“I wish I’d had that drink now.” She said softly to herself. There was no sign of civilization along the dark country road, but Monica kept walking, what choice did she have. Taking her cell phone out of her pocket, she tried to call James again. “No signal, great!”
She saw headlights approaching and hoped it was him. No luck, the approaching car was battered red Nissan. James drove a silver Maserati. In the distance Monica saw lights, they were smudged by the mist, but she could make out a large dimly lit building. “At last, maybe this is the B&B, if it has a bar I’m going inside. To hell with everything, a drink or two would be wonderful.”

She paused for a moment when she reached the gate. There was nothing indicating this was a B&B. Music and laughter floated temptingly from the open door. Live jazz, lazy, lovely and full of promise. She was mesmerized!

“Sounds like a classy place, maybe I’ll spend the night.”
She took a compact from her purse and re-applied her lipstick. “This face needs a man to appreciate it, a man with deep pockets. I was bored with James anyway.”
Monica took a deep breath, puffed out her chest, opened her coat to show her perfect (implanted) breasts and walked to the front door.
The scene in front of her was warm, exciting, and full of promise.

Ghosts on the Sand

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I opened my mouth to speak, but something was wrong. My lips wouldn’t move. I couldn’t even swallow. The wrinkled face seemed to be a long way above me. It turned fuzzy and started to fade like an old photo.

What was wrong with me?

It took every ounce of energy I possessed, but I forced myself to speak.

“A lime split and a 99, please,” I whispered. But no one heard me. The ice-cream van had disappeared, leaving me alone on a desolate beach.

Falling to the ground, I gasped for breath. My chest was tight and my head throbbed. The air around me was heavy and oppressive. Except for the drone of a single plane, the world was completely silent.

The sun no longer warmed the earth. It had been replaced with a blanket of darkness.

Where am I?

Watch out for my new compilation of Chilling Tales. Coming soon!
Book cover by the amazing Kara Boulden 

 

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.

Where are you Juliet?

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Gasping for breath, Jake sat up. He was cold! Where am I?
Are you okay?”
Juliet looked at him, concern in her big brown eyes.
“I must have fallen asleep. I had a weird dream.”
He put his arms around his new fiancée and hugged her close, kissing the top of her head. She smelled good. The mists of his nightmare faded as she lifted her face and kissed him again.
“What did you dream?” she asked.
“I can’t really remember, I think I was drowning!”
“Well there isn’t much chance of that happening is there”? You were the champion of the swim team in high school. No drowning for you Jake”
He smiled at her and kissed her again, pulling her close, feeling the warmth of her body close to him.
“When shall we get married. I want to wake up next to you every morning for the rest of my life.”
“Next June,” Juliet replied, “everyone loves a June wedding.”
She stood up and walked down to the lake, dipping her toes into the cool clear water. Jake shivered, but he didn’t know why. Juliet turned and reached out to him, here
come sit by the water for a while, it feels good. They sat with their toes in the water, the sunset and fading light turning the lake’s surface red.
It looks like Hell!
“I’ve never told anyone this before, but I got a bad scare down here one night. I thought I saw a lady in the middle of the lake.” Juliet said as she gazed into the distance.
“What, you mean in a boat or something?”
“No, it was weird and scary she was just hovering there. Half of her body was under the water. She had long hair. I know it was just the light playing tricks with me, but it scared the crap out of me. I thought it was a ghost.”
“Did you ever see her again?” Jake could hardly get the words out of his mouth as his dream flooded his brain. The sun was gone and the remaining light played tricks with the shadows. He began to shiver. He took hold of Juliet’s hand. It was as cold as ice. When he looked at their reflection in the still water he froze.
He was alone!