Its all in the eyes.

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The were only two people in the waiting room.

“Mr and Mrs Liddle?”

“Yes, are you going to take us to our daughter, is she okay?”

The Dr. ushered them to sit down, talking to them as he did so.

“It’s not a good time to see her right now. She’s unconscious and we still haven’t figured out whats wrong with her. I was wondering if you could tell me anything about her current health.”

June’s parents looked at each and shook their heads before answering.

“Fit as a fiddle! She’s on the school running team, she swims, she’s in a dance group. Really she’s fine. Why are you asking, whats wrong with her?”

“She’s very sick right now. Did you notice any change in her weight, or any stomach problems?”

June’s mum replied. “What? no! She eats like a horse because of all the exercise she does. I went shopping with her last weekend, to get a new outfit for her cousin’s wedding. She’d actually dropped a dress size, she’s down to a size 8. In fact I wish she’d put some weight on. Why are you asking?”

The Dr. didn’t have time to answer. A nurse ran into the waiting room.

“We need you NOW!”

He ran after her, back into the room where June lay. She was covered in blood. One of the nurses had a bundle of blankets in her hand.

“What the hell is going on here?” The Dr. yelled.

“Emergency C-Section! We had not choice, this little fella would have clawed his way out if we hadn’t.”

The doctor looked at the bundle she was holding. A perfect baby boy looked back at him.

Meanwhile, at the other side of the world, a baby girl was born after a very short pregnancy. She was cute as a button. She was normal in every way, except for her eyes.

 

 

 

 

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….

The Alien – Which Planet am I From?

Carlos sat up in his bed and stared out of the window into the darkness. Tears rolled down his cheeks! He was five years old andsky-at-night-1342446211_b a happy care-free child. Until today that is!

Carlos lived with is parents in Frisco, Colorado. His papa told him they’d moved to Colorado from Mexico City when he was a baby. He liked his home, and his friends, and looked forward to going to school with the big boys. Now he didn’t think it would ever happen. He’d learned a secret. A secret that meant at any time he may have to leave and never come back.

He slid off his big boy bed and went to the window. It was a cold, wet, cloudy night, his papa said snow was coming. Carlos stared into blackness above the earth and wondered where he really came from. Superman came from the sky too, but that was just a story.

Shivering, he got back into bed and pulled the covers tightly around him. Gently he patted his face and head, then ran his fingers over his body looking for some sign that he wasn’t human, but found nothing.

The words of the mean old lady in the doctors waiting room echoed in his head. He was terrified. As she pushed her way to the front of the line, his momma had to hold onto his him to stop him from falling over.

“Hey, be careful,” his momma said, “you nearly knocked over my son.”

The old woman didn’t care, but looked at them both and said.

“Get out of my way. I won’t stand in line behind an Alien.”

Carlos knew his momma wasn’t an alien, so the old lady must be talking about him. He was an alien? Did other people know he was from another planet too? His grandma, who lived with them, looked liked she could be an alien, but she hadn’t been with them in the doctor’s office.

**********************

The moon appeared from behind the clouds, lighting up the sky, shining into his room. Carlos hid under the covers, what if someone out there was looking for him, waiting to snatch him away!

Horror on the Lake

8A tranquil cottage perched on the edge of a lake, far from civilization. A writer called Jane lived there. She was a recluse. Occasionally Jane took part in radio interviews and podcasts, but never interviewed live. One of her novels, “Hidden Horrors” became a best seller, but she declined book signings.

“Jane, your book sales would go through the roof if you appeared in person. Don’t you want to be a millionaire?” her agent asked, but Jane remained in her cottage by the lake. Her vast garden made her almost self-sufficient. A new cell tower gave her mobile phone a signal. She submitted all manuscripts electronically. The royalties from her novels more than provided for the rustic life she lived. Her mail was delivered weekly, along with dried goods and meat.

Jane watched the late morning sun dancing on the ripples in the water.

“Mummy look, who’s that over there?”

Jason was six years old now, he was a slow developer, but could talk well. Jane looked across the lake to where he pointed and saw the bulky shape of his father. The shape retreated into the shadows.

“Its nothing to worry about sweetie, maybe just a bear or something. I’ll keep my eyes on it. The bears don’t bother us.”

“Maybe we should get a dog mummy, to scare the bears away.”

Jane shivered as she remembered what happened to Penny. “Yes, maybe one day we’ll get a dog.”

Jason turned round and looked at her. From the back her child could have been any other six-year-old. His face told a different story. His huge green eyes almost met over the bridge of his nose. His mouth was wide, way too wide, and those huge teeth! Jane shuddered. She should have never given birth to the child, but she didn’t have a choice. Her pregnancy lasted only three months, and it was painful. The creature who raped her, never left her side until the abomination was born. He was gentle, and tended to her, but only as a vessel to continue his dying legacy. Now he sat across the lake and watched, making sure nothing happened to his offspring.

Jason ran to her on all fours, looking more and more like his father every day. He jumped up and hugged her. At six years old he so strong he knocked her on her back, bruising her face. She was terrified of him! Felt no love or affection, but needed to play the role of loving mother in the hopes that one day she’d escape.

Ghostly Guidance

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Larry and his wayward friends left, pleased and excited with the way the night had turned out leaving Jack, Janie and I at the kitchen table, where we talked long into the night. Photos from the old tin were spread out in front of us. The faces on them were now familiar to me. Everything made sense now, well sort of.

“My mom and dad were killed in a car accident when I was twelve years old. I was home alone when the police knocked on the door. They took me with them and arranged for me to go into foster care.”

“Why? Did you have no more family?” I asked.

“No, I didn’t even have a birth certificate.”

“Where was your home?” Jack asked.

“Colorado Springs, it turns out my parents weren’t my birth parents, but took me in when I was a baby. There was no legal documentation. No way of knowing where I’d come from.”

“How do you know they weren’t your parents?”

“A neighbor told the police when they were trying to track down family. She’s known my mom a long time, knew she couldn’t have kids.”

Jack shook his head, “You were so close, less than an hour away from me for all of these years. How did you end up on here? How did you get involved with the scumbags on Colfax?”

“I ran away when I was fifteen. My foster parents were awful, I was nothing more than an unpaid child minder to their spoilt kids. The man tried to abuse me several times, he’d hit me and threaten me. It was a nightmare. His wife didn’t believe me, she hated me for telling her.”

“How did you come by the photos, the ones you’ve just showed to us?” I asked.

Janie’s eyes filled with tears. “I found them in my mom’s room when the cops took me back there to collect my belongings, I’d never seen them before so I snatched them, hoping they’d help me find my real parents.”

“You know the girl in the photos is my daughter Janie, don’t you!”

“Yes, thats why I’m here, I recognized you when I saw you walking down the road one day. You were younger in the photos, but I knew it was you. I figured out you were my grandad. I was happy, but scared to talk to you because I’m a no good drifter!”

Jack covered his face with his hands, rubbed his bleary eyes and then spoke in a weak trembling voice, “Don’t ever say that about yourself. I can see you mother in you. I knew the first moment I laid eyes on you. I don’t care about your past, what you’ve done, or where you’ve been. I want to make your future better, I want to make up for everything you’ve missed. Your mother died giving birth to you. I let her down, I miss her and I can never fix that, but you are going to have the life she never got chance to live!”

I could see it was time for me to leave.

“I’m going to let you two talk and figure out your future, I’ll see myself out.”

Jack looked up at me. “Thank you for everything!”

“Hey, don’t thank me, thank Alice Hobson, she’s my grandma and the one who pushed me to help. I suspect your wife and daughter conspired with her to draw Janie to the barn, and close to you. Its got to be more than coincidence”

I felt my gran smile inside my head, she liked it when I talked about her.

“You’re different that for sure,” Jack responded, “but in a good way I guess.”

I looked back towards the kitchen before I opened the front door. Jack and his new-found grand child sat opposite each other, holding hands across the table. Behind Jack, and probably only visible to me, stood his wife, she smiled across at her daughter Janie, who stood behind her namesake. They were there for a few seconds and then they were no more.

The kitchen was filled with the smell of fresh bread.

 

She worked hard for the money

We sat in silence, the car engine idling. “Where did it go? How can a truck just disappear?”

“It was a dark color Jack. All they had to do was pull off the road and switch off the lights and it would just blend into the night. What shall we do?”

“Drive slowly back up the dirt road as far as my house, maybe its prostitute_in_newyorkone of the driveways.”

I did as Jack told me, but worried what we’d do if we actually found it. “If we see the truck what do we do? We don’t know who’s driving it. I’m guessing we’d be no match if it came down to a fight.”  I needn’t have worried. The truck was gone. I pulled up on Jack’s drive way again, thinking we’d maybe wait in his house, hoping she’s find her way back.

“Lets go to the Stagecoach! She’s expecting us to be there.” Jack said.

“Great idea. All of those big burly bikers! They’ll look out for us.”

Jack laughed. “I think the big burly bikers are only weekend visitors. On a week night its full of locals who stop for a drink and a bite to eat on their way home from work.” He was right of course, but at least we’d have witnesses if anything did happen.

There weren’t many cars outside the Saloon when we arrived, but there were a few. Jack and I found a seat at the bar.

“Want anything to eat?” Jack asked.

I shook my head, food was the last thing on my mind.

Bonnie appeared from the kitchen. “Hi, I was thinking of you. Someone was in here earlier asking about a young girl. They showed me a photo. It looked like that girl we saw the other night. The one who lost the pendant. Have you seen anymore of her.”

Jack and I froze!

“Who was looking for her?” Jack asked.

Bonnie looked from me to him. “It was a guy. Maybe in his forties, rough looking. Big! Had a young girl with him, probably late teens. She was bruised up, swollen lip.”

“How long ago?” I asked.

She looked at the clock behind the bar. “Maybe an hour, maybe a little more.”

“Damn!” Jack put his head in his hands.

“Whats the deal” Bonnie asked.

“Long story, but I think the young girl is homeless. We don’t know her story yet. She was living in the old barn. Have you seen this guy before? Would you recognize…..” I didn’t finish my sentence.

“I’ve seen him before!”

I looked around. It was one of the old guys I’d seen many times in the Stagecoach. “He hangs out at a bar on Colfax. Sleazy place. I play poker there every once in a while. Rough place.”

We all looked at him. “Whats the guy do there?”

“Not sure you want to know.”

Jack and I looked at each other. “What now?” I said.

“Could you show us where this place is?” Jack asked.

“I could take you there, but I don’t think you should go alone.”

“Hey guys, think about this.” Bonnie said. “Doesn’t sound like a good place to be.”

“We have to help her. We can’t just turn our backs on her now.”

“Lets call the police!” I said.

“And tell them what? What can we say? We met a stranger, tried to help her and now she’s gone. I don’t think they’ll do anything.”

I said nothing. He ordered a shot of whiskey. I sipped a glass of wine.

The old guy sitting at the bar spoke again. “Do either of you play poker?”

“I do.” Jack said.

“OK, I’ll try to get a game down there tomorrow night. You need to keep your mouth shut though. It’s a rough place. I want to leave by the front door, not feet first in a fucking coffin!”

 

Confusion!

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?

 

The Girl in the Bushes!

pine trees“This photo doesn’t look odd to you?” I asked.

“No, it’s faded, but it’s as familiar to me as the day I took it. So much love, so much happiness.”

I handed the locket to him, “Here, it’s yours Jack, I’ve a feeling I was supposed to give it to you anyway.”

He took the locket from me without looking, his eyes focused on something over my shoulder. I made to turn around.

“No, don’t move, just keep talking to me, I don’t want to alarm her. She’s not hiding anymore, she’s watching us.”

Jack smiled and raised his arm in a wave, “I don’t want to hurt you,” he said.

I turned around slowly. The girl was closer, and no longer hiding, but she didn’t move. “Hey, I’m Sheila, I saw you in the Stagecoach the other night. You left something behind.”

Jack held up the locket, “Is this yours?”

She still didn’t move, just watched us from a distance. Although there was no breeze the bushes around her rustled and moved. She turned her head as though she was listening to someone close by.

“Jack, do you feel that?”

“Yes,” he answered, “what is it?”

The dead January grass moved in front of us, as though making a pathway to the girl. “Someone is showing us the way,” I replied.

He took a step forward, the young girl tensed, ready to run. Jack stood still again.

She cocked her head to the side, listening to words only she could hear, and then relaxed again.

I took two steps forward, Jack followed. We stood still for a few seconds and waited, expecting the girl to bolt. She didn’t.

“Come on Jack,” I whispered, “lets keep going.”

Slowly and carefully we walked forward until we were close enough to see her face. Her eyes were huge and frightened, her hair matted, straw on her clothes from sleeping in the barn. She was painfully thin, her well-worn clothes hanging on her body.

The world around us became silent, the air still, almost like we were in a vacuum. We were in the eye of the storm.

Finally Jack spoke.

“I think someone sent you to find me.”

He held his hand out, the open locket lying in his palm. “Did you lose this? It belonged to my daughter. I don’t think you knew her because she died long ago. Did someone give this to you?”

She darted forward a couple of steps and snatched the locket out of his hand. I expected her to run, but she didn’t, she backed away a few paces and then looked at Jack, and then at me.

“Why are you living in a barn?” I asked

She looked down at the ground, as though ashamed.

“Are you hungry?”

She looked up at me and nodded.

“Come with us, just for a hot meal, you need to eat.”

“Do you have a name?” Jack asked.

“Janie!” she whispered and then turned and ran.

Jack stared after her as she disappeared into the barn.

“Janie,” he whispered, “My Janie!”

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My First Novel is available on Amazon.

Dead of July – A Novel by Sandra Thompson