Breaking Through!

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I’d almost given up on myself. I love to write, been doing it since I started High School. I wrote when I was unhappy. I wrote when I was happy. So much in my head! I’ve only published one novel I’m proud to admit is mine. It’s never going to be on the best seller list, but I’m not ashamed of it. It was my introduction to publishing.

Dead of July – Amazon

I have three more stories finished and ready to put into a compilation, “Ghosts on the Sand and other Chilling Tales”. Whats holding me up? My last story “The Engineer”. This story started with nothing but a title floating around in my head. At first it was set in Northern Italy, but it moved across Europe to North Yorkshire, before getting lost in my brain. The Engineer is back now, struggling to be free,  hammering at my temples, scratching the back of my eyeballs, fighting his way out. I need to get his story finished before he finishes me. I’ve heard he drinks blood!

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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.

Stuff Nightmares Are Made of

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Norah gasped and sat up! The pack of wild dogs stopped chasing her. She was safe in her own bed. It had all been a bad dream, but it was over. Lacie lay on the chaise under the window fast asleep.
Thank god! That was some nightmare.
The digital clock on the bedside table said 7:15. Time to get up and make some coffee.
I love Sundays.
She swung her legs off the bed and headed for the bathroom.
“Come on Lacie, rise and shine, time for breakfast.”
Lacie didn’t move.
Norah put some toothpaste on the Sonicare and walked over to her sleeping dog as she brushed her teeth.
“Come on lazy bones.”
Lacie felt cold and stiff. Something was wrong. Her dog stood up slowly, clumsily, as though drugged, she looked at Norah, a thread of blood and saliva dribbled from the corner of her mouth as she tried to growl.
Dropping her toothbrush Norah stared at her dog, then turned and ran.
“John, come quickly, there’s something wrong. I think Lacie’s sick, she may have rabies. JOHN!”
Her husband sat on the sofa with his back to her. He was wearing headphones and watching soccer on the television. He did that sometimes on a Sunday morning, so as not to disturb her, the European games were early. She ran in front of the television to get his attention. Then she froze.
Oh dear lord help me. Am I still having a nightmare. Wake up, please let me wake up.
Her husband stood up and smiled at her. It was a one-sided smile. The left side of his faces was missing. She saw movement over his shoulder. Janine, the teenager from next door limped clumsily out of the kitchen. She was naked from the waist up, her skin was torn and decaying. The once beautiful young girl looked at Norah and licked her lips. Then she hissed and stumbled towards her, arms outstretched. Norah willed herself to wake up, but this wasn’t a nightmare. She took a step backwards, but there was nowhere to go, she backed into the television. John took a step towards her. Norah turned to run, but pain pierced her ankle. Lacie sunk her teeth into Norah’s foot and pulled a chunk of flesh away. The noise was sickening.
Make the most of it Lacie, it’s the last breakfast you get from me!
Norah was thankful when her brain fogged into darkness. She’d had enough!

I hope you enjoy my short horror stories. Sometimes I have to empty my brain before I go back to my real writing. “Ghosts on the Sand” is a compilation of short stories, and I will be releasing it later this year. There are no zombies or vampires in this book, but it is a collection of chilling tales that I think you’ll enjoy. Watch out for it on Amazon. 

Lost Dog

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“Lacie, come on, Lacie. Here girl, where are you?”
Norah shouted in vain, there was no sign or sound of her puppy. She took out her cell phone.
“No signal, Damn”
Then she heard something, a slight rustling in the bushes ahead. “Lacie?”
A whimper.
“I’m coming!”
Nora ran forward, grazing her legs as she almost tripped over a tree stump. Then she stopped and listened.
Silence.
“Lacie?”
The moonlight cast a shadow, a long thin shadow. Thats not my dog!
Norah was nervous and prepared to turn and run, but the owner of the shadow appeared from behind a three. It was a young boy, he was hugging a small white dog close to his chest.
“Is this what you’re looking for?”
She ran forward and took the limp white bundle of fur into her arms, tears running down her cheeks. “Lacie, what happened?”
She buried her face in the familiar fuzzy mop of fur that was her beloved dog and smothered her with kisses. Lacie whimpered weakly, but didn’t move.
“What happened?” she asked the boy. There was no answer. When she looked up she was alone in the darkness.
“Come on pup, let’s get you home.”
Nora checked her cell phone again. She had a signal now and hit speed dial. After several rings she almost hung up, then she heard her husband’s voice. He sounded distant, distracted. Was someone there with him? No time to worry about that now.
“John, I’ve found Lacie, but she’s hurt.”
No response.
“John, did you hear me?”
The line went dead!

 

 

 

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.

The Engineer

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The Engineer lived just outside a small village in Lombardy, Northern Italy. He’d lived there all of his life. In fact, he’d lived there as long as anyone could remember. He never seemed to age.

“Dye’s his hair of course” my mum said.

“But he hasn’t aged, Phoebe, no wrinkles, no liver spots. He still looks the same as he did when I was a little girl”

Mum and Betsy sipped their tea silently. I was only seven and didn’t know the Engineer very well. He scared me a little bit. He was very nice enough, gave me sweets sometimes, but his eyes were dark and cold. His jet black hair and mustache showed no signs of grey. I guessed his height to be a little under six feet because he was a little shorter than my brother, and my brother was six foot two. Words weren’t his thing and he used them as little as possible. A tight smile was his only humorous expression, but the smile didn’t touch his eyes.

“Has he ever been married?” Betsy asked mum.

“Not that I know of, I think he dated once, for a year or so, but the she disappeared. Never saw her again.”

“Maybe its a good thing, not sure he’s make a good dad if kids came along. I wonder if he wears make-up. His eyebrows are perfect.”

“Could be gay! That would explain the marriage thing!”

A loud rapping on the door startled us all.

“Its him!” Mum said.

“Don’t be silly Phoebe. Why would he be knocking at your front door?”

“My boiler is playing up. Sometimes we have no hot water.”

“Did you call him” Betsy asked.

“No! I never call him, he just seems to know when something needs fixing.”

Mum’s voice was quiet, she sounded scared. Her hand shook slightly as she put her tea-cup down. “Betsy, come to the door with me.”

I watched as they opened the door. The engineer stood on the step, a tight-lipped smile on his face. He wore jeans, perfectly pressed with a crease down the front and a blue denim shirt. His fashionable shoes were highly polished. A draft blew in from behind him, or perhaps it came from him. I shivered.

“Good Morning Ladies, Phoebe I understand you have a faulty boiler.”

All about me!

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I’m the one in the middle. Always ready to laugh, always ready for fun. As a kid I was ALWAYS in trouble. I turn every situation into a story.

Other than my family, the important things in my life are writing and visiting Italy. I  finally realized my Italian dream and bought a house in the small village of Colledimezzo, which is in the Chieti province of Abruzzo. I’m just as pleased as punch. I have another dream to fulfill now, to make it as a writer.

I’m still working on my next book, “Ghosts on the Sand” and I have one last short story to write before it’s done. Each story is based on events in my past. “Guy at the Bar” is a tongue in cheek thriller based on a man who tried to hit on me back in the seventies while I was having a quiet drink in “The King Bill” which was a pub I frequented in Brompton-on-Swale, where I used to live. “Ghosts on the Sand” was written about five years ago and it is based on my tumultuous childhood. My dad (by blood) was a bully. Mean, lazy and extremely scary. He beat my mam regularly. I have no good memories of him. This story starts after we left him for good. It talks about a little girl who had premonitions. I do still have premonitions, very accurate ones.

There are also two very short stories in this book.They both just popped into my over active brain. “Camera” is total fiction and set in Brompton-on-Swale and Richmond, North Yorkshire. Its a short, fast paced thriller. My editor couldn’t stop reading it, which meant it was edited super fast. I think that’s a good thing. My final story “The Engineer” isn’t written yet, but it is set in Italy. Total fiction and a kind of black comedy.

Hoping to release this novel for public consumption before March. Can’t wait to hear what you all think.

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Shadows on the wall

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Sam teased Dirk, but he didn’t seem to mind. He was distracted, excited and even a little giddy. Sam enjoyed seeing his old friend look so happy, but he was afraid it would end badly. The old witch had obviously drugged him and made him believe things. Could she really still be alive?

Sam sat alone in front of the fire in his little two up two down home. The home he’d lived in for fifty years. He’d bought it just after he and Sadie were married, raised the twins there. He didn’t want to be young again, not without his wife, life was lonely without her. Cancer had taken her ten years ago and now the only thing that kept him going was her memory. His heart ached when he thought about her, he was ready to leave this world and join her on the other side. Maybe then they’d both be young again and live in eternal bliss.

Sam, Sammie, wake up

“What? Who said that?”

Sam shivered, the fire had died and was nothing but glowing embers. It was dark. He was disoriented, sure he’d heard his wife’s voice, she was the only person who ever called him Sammie.

“You’ve had too much to drink old man.” he said to himself as he climbed the stairs to his bedroom, “and that old fool filled your head with witchcraft.”

He got into bed and pulled the blankets tightly around him, he was cold, deathly cold. Shadows danced on the wall. Shadows that looked like long bony fingers. Fingers that wanted to reach out and probe him, delve into his parchment thin skin.

Take a life, give a life! 

“What, who said that?”

Sammie, Sammie…

Sam closed his eyes and thought of Sadie, he missed her.

Witch in the Wood

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Sam and Dirk sat at a table by the window in the White Swan, or the Mucky Duck as they lovingly called it. Sam looked a Dirk’s face, his blue piercing eyes were full of excitement. He’d seen that look before, but not for a long time.

“You really believe the old hag is a Witch?” Sam asked.

“Old Hag? There’s nothing old about her, and she’s not a hag, she’s a vision of beauty?”

“I haven’t seen her since we were kids, I’m surprised she’s still alive.”

Dirk sat back in his chair. “I was mushrooming a couple of days ago. I wandered into the woods, better mushrooms in there, best I’ve ever seen. Didn’t realize how far I’d gone. Thats when I saw here. She was out gathering herbs.”

“How do you know it was her?”

“I didn’t think at first, she was a mere slip of a girl, long black hair. I was quiet as a mouse, watching her. I could see the old witches cottage in the distance, smoke coming from the chimney. I thought it was the old hag’s granddaughter. Don’t know how she knew I was there, she didn’t even turn around, just spoke.”

Hi Dirk, I haven’t seen you in I long time. 

Sam started laughing, “I think you were picking magic mushrooms, how many did you eat?”

Dirk continued,  “I took a step closer to her and she turned around and looked at me. She was a vision. If only I was 20 years younger?”

“That would make you fifty, still too old.”

Derek seemed not to hear Sam mocking him, “She looked me in the eye and I felt young, alive. She smiled at me.”

Not scared of me anymore? You used to run when I looked at you. 

“She took a step closer and I could feel her breath on my face. It smelled of the forest. She stroked my cheek and my skin tingled.

Dirk turned his face, “Look Sam, look at my cheek.”

Sam’s vision wasn’t what it used to be, so he took his spectacles out of his top pocket to take a closer look. Sam’s cheek appeared to have a scar on it, only it wasn’t a scar, it was a strip of perfectly soft, clear unwrinkled skin.

“Do you see it Sam, do you see what she did?”