Tag Archives: ghost story

Encounter with Martha – The Old Mill

The following is a clip from my WIP, The Old Mill – this is NOT a finished draft!

They had been planning the adventure for months. It was a rite of passage in Amesbury, one that had been going on for decades, though every generation thought it was original.

The Five Inseparables were going to visit the Goode Mansion after dark.

Amy Lancing was able to borrow her parents’ car for the evening. Although the quiet one of the group, she reveled in the control that being the driver gave her. And this wasn’t just any night with the car. It was special and she would do everything in her power to make sure their adventure was perfect.

The traffic up the hill from Amesbury was light. Great. Amy took the left onto Miller Road, as she’d practiced a dozen times. She slowed down as she passed the driveway into the mansion and began to scan the woods on the left. Just down a small incline and across a bridge and perhaps another hundred yards there was a turn off into the woods. It was supposed to be secret, but even in her headlights she could see that were many tire prints in and out. Right, the worst kept secret in the county.

Amy turned and pulled the car into the woods as far as she dared. She turned off the lights and shut off the engine.

The five 17-year-old girls piled out of the car, all giggles and trying to “shush” each other.

Amy looked at the other four: Jess, Lauren, Stacy and Kath. She shook her head. They had no clue and would be lost without her. Continue reading

Transition #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

I dream of open spaces and sunlight.  I dream of freedom. I dream of adventure and romance.

I dream of her.

This transition has not been easy.  I was always a wild one, forever on the move, forever starting a new adventure.  To be locked away with no hope of escape doesn’t suit my nature.

And the cruelty of it all!  Just across that small courtyard that I can glimpse through an opening that I can never pass pass, just there, always in sight but forever out of reach, is where she is.

If only I could see her one last time, catch a glimpse of her smile.  If only I could hear her melodious voice one last time, I’d be content to settle here forever in my personal prison.  But no! She is kept just out of reach.

It was a dark night.  We had a rendezvous and she was late.  Impatient, I went to her abode to find her, to find why she hadn’t met me as promised.  Stupid, yes, but I was young and in love.

I thought I had entered the gatehouse unobserved.  I thought I had been sly.  I thought I had been crafty.  But he had been craftier, that jealous husband. He was waiting as patiently as I was impatient.  He would catch me.

Before I knew he was there, my throat was slit with the same knife that had taken her life.

I dream of open spaces and sunlight.  I dream of freedom.  I dream of adventure and romance.  I dream of her.

Although 300 years have passed, the transition from living to dead, from physical body to ghost, has not been an easy one.

***

Written for Sue Vincent‘s #writephoto challenge.  This weeks challenge, Transition, is here.

No Longer Fun

bonfire-anshu

PHOTO PROMPT © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

“I got it, let’s tell scary stories, the way we did when we were kids!”

Sue gave Derek a dirty look while Bob just stared into the fire.

“Come on guys, you are just so boring.”

“What are you going to do, tell the one about the Claw?” Sue spit the words out.

“I’m sorry, I’m just so tired of sitting here doing nothing I thought you might want to try something different.”

“Those stories were more fun when we were kids, back in ’52,” Sue said.

Bob looked up, “Yeah, before the Claw killed us, before we were ghosts.”

**

Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo PHOTO PROMPT © Anshu Bhojnagarwala.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

Swift’s Hollow, aka Gore Orphanage #Haibun #Etheree #DoubleEtheree

Storm-Clouds

Swift’s Hollow (Gore Orphanage)

It is a cold October night and I am walking through the woods at the bottom of this valley, Swift’s Hollow.  There is a strange noise, just beyond perception.  A muted sound, as if heard from a million miles away.  Is that the snap and crackle of a fire burning?  Do I smell smoke?  Are there screams of pain mixed in?  The children locked into this cruel prison for no other reason than their parents have died are trying to get out.  And now they are trapped, trying urgently to get out, to escape their grisly fate.  Do you hear them?

Flames
Children
Dull rumble
Behind locked door
The valley glows red
An orphanage on fire
Apparition of the past
Visit the empty foundation
Souls lost in a conflagration
They speak to us as midnight approaches

Why visit this bloody spot of gore?
Why listen to the loud screams of pain?
Can you stand to hear babies cry?
A local right of passage
Communing with the dead
The poor children burnt
Meaningless death
Lost spirits
Empty
Gone

** Continue reading

Another Ball – The Old Mill

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  To Kill a Ghost.  The Table of Contents is here)

— —

The steps up to the third floor of the Goode Mansion seemed longer than ever.  I could hear the music drifting down the stairs, the murmur of people.  Each step was harder than the last.  It wasn’t just the pain.  Yes, there was still a bit of pain left over from the four broken ribs, the broken right arm, bruises and a bruised bone on the left arm, bruises and a bruised bone on my left leg and, well all of those other injuries from being struck several times by a heavy iron bar.  For the most part, they had healed, but there was still a bit of pain and tightness when I pushed it.  But, no, it wasn’t just the pain.

It was as much the fear.

Fear?  OK, maybe nervousness would be a better word.

I stopped at the landing on the third floor and took a few deep breaths, ignoring my complaining ribs.  In some ways this took more courage than entering the carriage house on that dark April night.

The ballroom was filled with people.  I walked to the front, the area were Abigail kept court, and turned.  I smiled at my parents, who were up from their retirement home in Arizona.  I nodded to my sister and a few friends.  I noticed Kunhal and other work colleagues. Continue reading

To Kill a Ghost – The Old Mill

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Where’s Lyndsey?.  The Table of Contents is here)

— —

“Hold on a minutes there,” Sean said.  “I was playing along with this, but it was all a bluff.  I can’t kill anyone.  I mean, I’m a good shot and all, but I’m not a killer.  I don’t even kill the mice in my house, I use live traps.”

“What do you think we were doing here, then?”

“You told me that once Jessica was in the mansion, Martha would have to leave her 100% alone.  She’d be vulnerable and we could kill her then.  That’s Martha, not Jess.  Martha’s dead already and she has been a pest.  I’ve known Jess since she was a little girl.  I can’t harm a hair on her head.  Or any of them, for that matter.”  He holstered his gun and turned to us.  “Sorry you guys.  I played along thinking it was just to scare you, but you know I wouldn’t hurt you, don’t you?  Sorry.  Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening.”

He turned and ran out of the building.

I took Jessica’s hand and grabbed Lyndey’s elbow and started to pull them towards the door.  We took three steps when Galvin came in.  He had a gun in one hand and an iron bar in the other.

“Point that gun at them,” Barbara said.

“I don’t like these toys,” Galvin said.  “I think cold, hard iron is a better solution.” Continue reading

Where’s Lyndsey? – The Old Mill

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Lyndsey Again (phone call).  The Table of Contents is here)

— —

Tuesday seemed to stretch on forever, but there really wasn’t much happening.  Sure, there was work and all, but the reason it seemed to stall was the anticipation of seeing Lyndsey on Wednesday.  We did text back and forth a dozen times and talked on the phone in the evening, but it only made the wait a little more bearable.  In fact, I said as much to Lyndsey, making a joke about our foreplay lasting 48 hours, so it had better be a good climax.

Wednesday started out little better.  I texted Lyndsey for the first time when I got to work and we talked for a few minutes at lunch.  But after that, she didn’t answer me.  The minutes stretched forever as I anticipated her call.  The clock came to a stall.

In the early afternoon, Lyndsey texted that she was behind and wouldn’t be able to make my house by 5 PM.  She thought 6 or 7 more likely.  And then she disappeared again.

It was around 5:45 PM when I received the next text from Lyndsey, “I’ll be up at the mansion soon.”

“What are you talking about?” I texted back.  No answer.  I tried her phone, but it went straight to voicemail.

A few minutes later, maybe around 6, I received another text, “Looking forward to seeing you and Jess in a few.”

Again, she wouldn’t answer my calls and texts. Continue reading

Lyndsey Again (Phone Call) – The Old Mill

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Izle Again.  The Table of Contents is here)

— —

“Hey Gill, what’s up?  Your text sounded a little…”

“Hi Lyndsey.  I hope I didn’t worry you too much, but I wanted to tell you that there was an accident and that Izle died.”

“Oh.  Izle?”

“Yeah, Isabel Parker.  Here’s the thing.  She said she had something to warn me about, something big.  I blew her off and said I’d meet with her on Monday, today.  I planned to see her about the time she died, but was delayed by work and traffic.”

“Oh.  That’s…”

“Wait, there’s more.  One of the ghosts told me that it wasn’t over, that there would be deaths and I needed to be vigilant.  Even Amy’s dad, Bob Lansing, sent me a message that it isn’t over and to be careful.  I think Izle’s death is related to all of this.  And If I had been home on time…”

“Now Gill, don’t go blaming yourself.  You are not responsible.  Maybe I do need to get you out of that town for a while, if not for your safety, for your peace of mind.  As I said, she was not your responsibility.  OK?”

“Yeah, I know.  It’s just that with all of those warnings, well, I’m a little concerned.  Also about Jessica.  But, yeah…”

“I get it.  It sounds like you had an odd day.  Do you want to know about mine?”

“Of course.  I… Wait.  Damn, how could I forget!  Yes, please tell me.  I’m sorry I went on so long about this.”

Lyndsey laughed.  “I guess you must have been upset to forget.  Or wasn’t it that important?” Continue reading

Izle again – the Old Mill

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  A Phone Call.  The Table of Contents is here)

— —

A lot happened at the office and so I was about an hour late getting home on Monday.  In Amesbury, as I turned off Main Street, I was surprised to notice that part of town appeared to be blocked off.  I could see flashing lights, but couldn’t make out what was going on.  I went out for a walk almost immediately after getting home.  First, I wanted to find out what was happening.  I’ll admit it, it’s a small town and we are all slightly nosy.  But also, I had promised Izle that I would talk to her.  Despite it being Izle, I was very curious.  She said she wanted to want to warn me about something.  I had wondered if it were similar to Alexander’s warning.  On the other hand, she had mentioned Galvin.  I couldn’t imagine him being involved in anything, but he could be a stooge, just like when he was a lookout for the kids exploring the mansion.

As I walked, I thought a little about Alexander and his issues.  Mike from the historic society had written back that after thinking about it, he was about 90% certain that I was correct that Alexander was a black man.  It explained so much about his life.  He was a business genius and a good man in most ways, but something always held him back.  And no matter how polite he was, people took an instant dislike to him.  Seeing an issue with racism made all of the pieces of the puzzle fit neatly together.  Mike said that he was amazed that it had never been brought up before.  Later he wrote back and said that after a bit of research, he was 100% sure Alexander was black.  He was wrong and found that it had been brought up, at least in Alexander’s lifetime, but for some reason the historians missed it.  I wondered if the historians were as racist as the people 200 years ago, thinking that only a white person could be so successful and never entertaining the idea that Alexander wasn’t white, despite the fact he was often referred to as “the black devil”.  From what Mike said, it was even more than that, that people called him black all of the time, but people had taken it to mean his personality.

Walking into the center of the village, I discovered that Mill Street had been blocked off and the traffic rerouted.  I could see emergency vehicles down around the large mill building that housed Cooper’s Scientific Instruments.  I knew I couldn’t go down there, so I decided to do the next best thing and headed to Strickland’s.

I wasn’t too surprised that most of the usual guys were there, hanging out. Continue reading

A Phone Call – The Old Mill

Old Mill on two Rivers

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Revealed.  The Table of Contents is here)

— —

“Hey Gill.”

“Lyndsey!  I can’t tell you how great it is to hear your voice.”

“Don’t I know it.  I missed you so much it hurt.  And from what I hear, it wasn’t just you I missed, but the most excitement Amesbury has seen in decades.  I can’t leave you alone for a minute, can I?”

“News travels fast.”

“Ha!  News this big travels at the speed of light.  Or at least radio waves going to my cell phone, and perhaps light in a fiber cable.  Yeah, my dad called me.  I just got off the phone with him before I called you.”

“Ah yes, he was an eyewitness to some of it.  There was, of course, a lot more.”

“I’m sure there was.  I received your text.  So, Martha finally sent you that invitation, huh?  My guess is the ball wasn’t sexy at all, but a bit morbid.”

“The ball was great, it’s what happened afterwards that took a turn towards the dark side.  And the scene in the carriage house… I don’t want to talk about that over the phone.  You have to be sitting here so we can cuddle and tell each other that it will be alright.”

“I can imagine.  Dad was creeped out just by the old bones in the foundation.  I’m sure if you witnessed it, even if it was just a ghostly shadow.” Continue reading