The Engineer

Two young women drinking tea --- Image by © SuperStock/Corbis

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.”

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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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I’ve been working so hard on finishing my book, I’ve been a hermit, but its done!

 

The manuscript has been sent for lay out. 

 

I’m exhausted and brain-dead, but happy.

Watch out for it. Hoping to go to print and eBook in mid to late November.

 

I’m almost there!

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Evil in the Mid-West

Saturday Full Moon Setting Over Kansas FinishedCindy had three beers that evening and soon felt relaxed and at home. The nervous cats ventured as far as the doorway, but didn’t come outside. “Oh you silly cats, it’s so nice out here. Come and join me why don’t you.” she said and patted her lap. ‘Meoooow, ow ow” was the only response she got. As she finished her third beer, Cindy yawned. It had been a long tiring three days. “Oh well, time for bed” she said as she took one last lingering look at the beautiful Kansas countryside.

It was still fairly early, but Cindy was tired. She got ready for bed, talking to her dead husband while she did so. “Jeff, why do I feel so close to you here? I doubt you have ever been to Kansas, but I feel you beside me. Maybe it’s a sign that I should stay here. Orange County is for young people. Could it be Kansas is where I belong? Who needs to chase storms? The thought of chasing them brought me here, but maybe the beauty and tranquility of the countryside is what will make me stay.”

Cindy read for a little while before turning the light out and going to sleep. Noodle and Twister sat in the window and watched the ‘Dance Macabre’ in the cornfield. They didn’t like the images the silvery moon illuminated. They watched with eyes wide open, keeping a vigil all night long, well Noodle did.

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Cindy was awoken the following morning by the howls of her youngest kitty, Noodle. The howls were loud and sad, echoing throughout the house. “What ever is wrong with you” she said as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. Cindy sat up and looked across the room to where the soulful sound came from. Noodle stood over Twister, who lay motionless on her side, her cat eyes wide open, gazing into space. Cindy got out of bed quickly. “Twister, Twister, what ever is wrong with you.” Noodle looked at Cindy and howled again. Twister would never howl again.

“Oh no, oh my poor baby. The journey was too much for a thirteen year old. Oh my poor Twister, I killed you.”

Cindy stroked her furry companion and cried. She picked up the bewildered Noodle and held her close, tears soaking her fur. Noodle hissed as she looked out of the window. As dawn broke, the three scarecrows took their place in the field, their evil done for the night. One of them smiled and looked at Noodle and whispered.

“Your turn next”.

I am a budding author, a late bloomer, and my first novel ‘Dead of July’ will be released in the fall. Watch out for it. A crazy Brit, moved to the US, becomes a crazy author. I aim to please, thrill and amuse. 

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STOP TALKING TO ME

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A Reason to Celebrate!

I finished my first novel today, quite an achievement. After three long years of writing and re-writing, its done. Well almost. My manuscript is with my new editor and I’m sure I will have a few changes to make,  but I can handle that.

After re-reading my manuscript three times I am finally happy with it and that’s something to celebrate.

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Badly Beaten and Afraid

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COMING SOON…….

‘Dead of July’

The girl on the bench stopped crying immediately and froze before looking at me with a terrified expression. I took a couple of steps towards the path, which gave me a clear view of the gate. A very angry-looking man stood there. He had dark disheveled hair and a thick mustache. He looked directly at me and I knew I didn’t want an encounter with him, especially here in a park. Impulsively I grabbed the girl’s hand, “Anna?” I asked.

“Yes he looking for me. I make him mad” She said. I saw the fear in her eyes.

“Lets go.” I said and we turned ran towards the other gate. We slipped through silently. The angry voice was still raging behind us, but it didn’t seem to be getting any closer. When we stopped to catch our breath I turned and looked at Anna. She pulled her hand away from me and said Danke, I must go. Him cannot see us together. He will be angry with you too, she said.

 

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Dead of July

Why ‘Dead of July’?

When I started writing this story I named it ‘A Walk in the Park’ because the story started when a young English girl, married to a British Soldier took a walk in a small park near her home in Dortmund, Germany. A pleasurable afternoon of sunbathing, reading and enjoying a beer and a bratwurst, turned into something sinister.

This is a thrilling story of drugs, guns, and human trafficking with a paranormal twist. There are a few laughs along the way because you can’t be around the British Army (especially off duty) without having a little fun.

This thrilling story with its twists and turns starts and ends in July, so my friend Jennifer Candee Zaharewicz, suggested I call it ‘Dead of July’. A perfect title. When will it be released? In the dead of July of course.

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The Balance between Good and EVIL

I write, I read, I breathe!

If I watch a movie, I need to be thrilled, dangled in suspense, scared and immediately hooked. What I don’t need is to be disgusted with blood and gore.

Sixth Sense

Sixth Sense

 

Who didn’t love this movie. I may have to watch it again it’s been a while.

 

 

 

 

 

SAW

SAW

 

I would NEVER watch this movie again. The plot was great and it was full of suspense, but it was way too graphic. It’s not entertaining to watch dismembered bodies flailing on the floor in agony as they slowly die.

 

 

 

 

So herein lies my dilemma. I write. How do I find my writing balance?

My first two short stories were fairly amusing ghost stories, I didn’t want to scare everyone away. I wrote from my heart.

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My first story ‘Guy at the Bar’ is based on an event that happened to me when I was 18 and a drunken stranger followed me home from my local pub. As I fled, terrified, I wished him dead. In the story my wish comes true and he comes back to haunt me…..or does he?

This book was on Amazon for a while, but I have taken it down for editing. I see mistakes that I didn’t see when I first published it. Nothing obvious, but I am more particular now.

 

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Girl on the Beach is still for sale on Amazon, although I may re-edit it next year.

Girl on the Beach (UK)

Girl on the Beach (US)

This is a story about a seven-year old girl who has disturbing premonitions and sees people after they have passed.  I have received some very complimentary reviews on this story.

My upcoming novel is called ‘Dead of July’, and is set in Germany in 1982. It tells the story of a young Army wife who gets into trouble the Russian Mafia, both dead and alive. What would you do if you were being chased by an Evil Cossack who showed up in impossible places? Who would you turn to for help if you were being haunted?

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Dead of July will be available on Amazon in March, watch out for it. 

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My next novel, after ‘Dead of July’ is set in London in the 1940’s. It is a bit of a challenge as this is a book my late father started whilst on active duty with the British Army during the London Blitz. I am finishing it in his honor. 

 

Where does the balance between good and evil come in? I want my stories to be thrilling, but not awful. I want them to have a touch of Evil, but in a good way. I don’t want blood and gore, but I don’t want to write something that could become a ‘Chick Flick’.

 

It’s a tough life being a writer, but I am enjoying the ride. 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS