Old Tarts and Blackpool Rock

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Sonia’s eyes almost popped out of her head. She cut me off mid-sentence and in a high-pitched voice that hurt my ears, she yelled,

“Your mam was in Blackpool with her fancy man, and you were there, too. Your mam is nothing but an old tart!”

Although I was only seven, I knew exactly what an old tart was.

Gripping my brown leather satchel tightly, I used all my strength, and swung it toward her. It was heavy with my reading books and the remaining sticks of Blackpool rock, and it flew through the air like a missile, whacking the side of her face. My anger gave me strength I didn’t know I had, and when it made contact with her head, her eyes rolled back and she sank to the ground, where she lay like a beached whale.

Yes, I write about ghosts and haunting, but I am who I am and every story has a little “ME” in it. That means there is a lot of truth and a little humor. Hope you enjoyed this small excerpt from Ghosts on the Sand, a story about a young girl who sees ghost and has unwelcome premonitions. 

Watch out for “Ghosts on the Sand and other chilling tales” coming out soon on Amazon. 

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The Irritated Spirit

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No one enjoyed taking the elevator to the morgue. It was silent and depressing. A journey to a very cold hell, hidden in the bowels of the hospital! Dr. Lou Green was no different. He escorted detective Lorraine DeMarco to the gloomy dungeon. In normal circumstances he’d flirt with such a beautiful woman, but even her stunning looks and bright personality couldn’t lift his mood!
“Hi Lou, whats with the long face? Come one give me a smile.”
Lou looked at her. She was an olive-skinned beauty, unmarried, except to her career. Her perfect red lips curved in a smile and her eyes shone with mischief and humility.
“It’s the morgue. I feel defeated every time I come down here. A wall full of drawers, filled with dead folks defeats my purpose in this world.”
“You can’t save them all Lou! If their time’s up, they’re gonna go!”
“And tell me, why would the time be up on a 25-year-old girl? Who decided she should die?”
The elevator doors whooshed open and they stepped into the silent corridor that led to the room of the dead.
“I know, not good, but that’s why I’m here right? To find out what happened to her. You have the post-mortem results don’t you?”
“Not personally. You know I don’t do that, I’m just bringing you down here because Jack was called away. I couldn’t work on the dead, whats the point?”
Lorraine laughed, “Come on Lou, cheer up. A post-mortem helps us find the bastard that killed them.”
Lou opened the door to the morgue and shivered.
“I couldn’t work down here, I’d freeze to death.”
“It does seem colder than normal today,” Lorraine responded pulling her jacket tightly around her.
They walked along the wall of drawers until they found the one labeled Rosa Rosso. Lorraine chuckled.
“Death isn’t funny detective!”
“Oh come on, Rosa Rosso. She sounds like a stripper, where’s your sense of humor?”
Lou couldn’t find humor in the morgue and glowered at her as he slid the oversized drawer open.
The drawer was empty.
“Great, one’s escaped!”
They both turned towards the sound of the door at the end of the room closing, then ran towards it.
On the floor lay a toe tag. Detective DeMarco picked it up and read the name out loud.
“Rosa Rosso, dam Lou, one really did get away!”

Greed and Lust!

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The garage door took an eternity to open.
Bill sat in the car tapping his fingers on the steering wheel impatiently.
“Finally!”
He pulled into the garage and closed the door. He stood beside the beautiful Alfa Romeo and admired it for a few seconds. It was a beautiful machine.
He’d get a cab back to the hotel and pick up the Audi later, after things had died down. He didn’t want to answer anymore questions. He hadn’t done anything wrong, but the fire had started in his room. Sofia had arranged the candles around the bed, if anyone were to blame, it was her.
“You can’t arrest a dead woman.” he said out loud, then he smiled.
Sofia and Jean looked at each other. They weren’t smiling at all.
Bill still wore the hotel robe, its deep pockets bulging with Sofia’s jewelry. He laid the exquisite pieces on table by the bed. Beautiful, she loved rubies and diamonds. They glittered in the early evening sunlight. Selecting a simple ruby pendant on a gold chain, he held it up to the light.
“I’ll sell the rest, but keep this one for my next mistress!” He said out loud. “Something to make her feel special.”
I’ll find another rich vulnerable woman. Someone starved of love, and sex, someone I can play with for a while. Maybe this time I’ll marry her, secure my fortune and never have to work again.
Sophia and Jean heard his thoughts.
Bill placed the necklace safely in Jean’s underwear drawer and chuckled to himself.
“Buried my ex-wife today, and amassed a little money from my mistress! Not a bad days work.”
He turned on the shower and dropped his robe at his feet. He admired himself in the mirror. The radio burst into life.
You’re so vain, I bet you think this song is about you!
Startled, Bill turned around.
“What the hell! Hello, who’s there?”
Silence.
He turned back.
Two shapes stood in the shower.
Holding his breath he rubbed his eyes.
The radio went silent.
Screw the shower, I need to rest!
Bill closed the drapes and crawled under the covers of king size bed, the one he used to share with Jean. The one he’d shared with Sofia when Jean was away. He smiled as he anticipated sharing it with his next conquest.
He wouldn’t be smiling for long!

Spirit in the Sky – The clouds are Gathering!

Bill used his thumb to push the button on the steering wheel that controlled the radio. Silence, and then the music started. An old tune began to play, sounded like it was from the sixties or seventies, sounded like it was a long way away.  Sophia smiled and hummed along!

“Prepare yourself you know it’s a must
Gotta have a friend in Jesus
So you know that when you die
He’s gonna recommend you
To the spirit in the sky”

“Did you have a friend in  Jesus Bill?”
Bill couldn’t hear her, but he felt something.
He looked in his rear view mirror, it clouded over as though there were a fog in the car.
Maybe I banged my head, or have smoke in my lungs, I don’t feel right. This weird old tune, is creepy.
He used his thumb and changed the radio station. Silence, then the same tune played over again.
So I know that when I die, he’s gonna recommend me to the spirit in the sky”
Bill felt something on the back of his neck. It felt like a spider, he slapped at it. Sophia blew gently into his ear. He felt it. He liked it, and relaxed again.
Jean ran her fingers up his inner thigh, stroking it. He felt that too. He opened his legs wide and smiled. Whispers all around him. Evocative whispers. Sensual pleasure enveloped him and he closed his eyes.
Sirens, loud and urgent got his attention.  Flashing lights directly in front of him, on a collision course. Bill tugged at the steering wheel and swerved to safety, he’d been driving on the wrong side of the road. Two police cars and an ambulance sped past him, their horns screaming. The spell was broken, the radio station changed.
Hey Soul Sister – Train blasted from the radio.
Bill pulled to the side of the road and got out of the car. He bent over and threw up.
“Yes, it’s definitely shock, I’ll go to the doctors tomorrow and get checked out”

Sophia and Jean stayed in the car and watched him. This slimy, cheating human life wasn’t going to be easy to extinguish, but it would be worth the wait. He’d suffer! Revenge was worth waiting for.

TV Zombie

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Norah whispered softly to her pup as she carried her home.
“Please don’t die on me. You’re my baby, you got me through college, and law school. I need you.”
Lacie’s breathing was shallow, she no longer whimpered, and her little body was limp.
“Almost home baby, almost safe.”
Why aren’t the lights on along the driveway?
She thought of calling John again, but changed her mind. As she stepped onto the asphalt driveway, the lights came back on, dimly at first, slowly growing brighter.
Must have been a power cut.
Then lights became abnormally bright and one by one, as she passed them, the bulbs exploded. Holding Lacie close, she continued slowly towards the house.
Somethings wrong here, very wrong.
A strange blue light spilled from the open drapes in the living room window. She left the path and walked across the lawn to see what it was. Peering into her own house she saw the silhouette of her husband John. He was standing in front of the television, staring at a screen that showed nothing but blue static. Norah watched him for thirty seconds or more. He began to speak, but not in his normal voice. The words were monotone and in a language she’d never heard.
What the hell is going on here?
Her husband turned around and walked towards the window. Nora held
her breath.
Don’t let him see me!
Why was she suddenly afraid of her husband? His face was blank, expressionless.
Did he see me?
He closed the drapes, shutting her out. The static grew louder, it surrounded her. Norah became dizzy, she wanted to throw up.
I have to get Lacie to the vet.
A loud pulsing buzz erupted from Norah’s hom. It made the air feel heavy and oppresive.
Lacie whimpered weakly, spurring Norah to take action, but two steps were all she managed before her legs gave way. Norah’s brain switched off moments before her body made contact with the soft wet grass.

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.

The Lady in the Lake – was it me?

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A college grad! She couldn’t believe it. 22 years old!

“Mum, I’m home!”

SURPRISE!!!!!!

The quiet dark house exploded into a mess of bright light and excited voices. Juliet stood in the doorway as a sea of happy faces rushed towards her. She was pummeled with hugs and kisses. The party started in the early afternoon and didn’t ease up until after six. Finally she found a quiet place in the garden and sat down to catch her breath. A hand touched her shoulder. It was Jake, they’d been sweethearts since high school.

“Your parents did you proud, were you expecting this?”

“Are you kidding? I had no idea. I was sad they couldn’t come to see me graduate, but mum’s illness makes things tough. This was fantastic. Did you help?”

Jake smiled “A little. Lets take a walk by the lake. I want you to myself for a while.”

They walked hand in hand down the hill, the fading sunlight reflected on the distant glassy surface. Juliet shivered and stopped in her tracks.

“Are you cold? Shall we go back?”

“No, I’m okay, someone walked over my grave that’s all!”

“What a weird expression that is, I wonder where it came from?” Jake said as he put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer.

They sat on a bench close to the water and kissed. A romantic setting, the sort of setting that begged a proposal! Juliet said yes and they kissed again, softly, lovingly and then with unbridled passion.

Afterwards they walked to the edge of the lake and sat for a while, dipping their fingers into the shallow water, it was cool, clean. Jake turned his back for a moment, there was no splash, no scream for help, but when he turned around again Juliet was gone.

“Juliet, this isn’t funny, where are you?”

Silence. “Juliet?”

He looked at the water, its glassy surface was still.

“Juliet!”

She looked at him from the depths of the lake, a wicked smile on her face. I was lonely, but it won’t last forever. I’ll have you with me, I’ll catch you.

I’m the lady in the lake and I take what I want.

“Jake I want you!

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.