Tag Archives: serialized book

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)

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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)

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“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

Revealed – The Old Mill


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

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I napped for about an hour after getting home from the library.  It had stopped raining and the sun looked like it was attempting to come out.  I puttered around the house, and by the time I ate dinner, the clouds had long since vanished.  I felt restless and I knew I wasn’t going to talk to Lyndsey, so at about 8 PM, I went out for a walk.

After doing my normal route, I decided to swing through the “downtown” section of the village.  It was beginning to get dark so I figured nobody would notice if I crossed the trestle and went behind the old mill.

I was passing a little hidden cubby in the back of the mill when I heard someone call my name.  I turned and saw the black man that had been haunting the mill and my dreams for the past few weeks.  He motioned me over to him.

“Today is my last day here and I need to talk to you,” he said.

“What?” I asked.  I tried to clear my head.  Nothing made sense.  “This is a bit odd.  Won’t somebody see?”

“Not many will see me, and as for you, we have watchers that will warn us if anyone comes close.  If they catch you, say what you want.  You were urinating on the wall or reading the inscription over there.”  He pointed to a block on the wall.  It had always been covered in ivy, but some of the vegetation had fallen away revealing words.  I had never noticed it before and wondered if anyone else knew about it.  “But you’ll have plenty of warning if anyone comes.  The watchers will know.”

“Watchers?  I don’t see anyone.” Continue reading

The Library 3 – The Old Mill

Out of my window

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

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I wasn’t able to make down to the library for almost three and a half hours.  With the lack of sleep and the excitement of the discovery, I was a clumsy mess, but I finally made my way over.  It was still lightly drizzling as I waited for Mike to come to the door.

“Hey, I guess you’re the big news today,” he said as he let me in.

“Well, maybe not me, but what I discovered,” I said.  “Is Sean still around?”

“No.  He went over to visit Barbara and talk to her.  I’m sure she’ll be steamed about it all.  You may have lost a friend there.”  He started up the steps to the historic society rooms.

“I’m not too worried.  So, they know each other?  I thought when I first met Barbara that she told me she didn’t know who owned the mansion.”

“She’s Sean’s aunt, so, yeah, they know each other well.  I have no idea why she’d tell you she didn’t know who owned the Goode Mansion.  She must have been pulling your leg.”

I thought about it.  Did she actually ever say she didn’t know who owned it?  I couldn’t remember, I just remember that she said she wanted to buy it but it wasn’t for sale.  I Think her words were, “not for sale at any price.”   Continue reading

Discovered – The Old Mill


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

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A light misty rain started to come down as we went into the mansion.  I wasn’t really sure where to begin.  Martha had told me that I couldn’t miss it, but that wasn’t a very good clue.  I figured that there was some kind of rule in the ghost universe that made it so she couldn’t come right out and tell me.  But there were things about her body language.  I felt that I should know.

For a brief second I thought of Jessica giving me a sultry look and telling me to come look at the bed.  In my mind, Jessica turned into the young Martha.  They had both hinted about taking me to bed.  They had both winked.

“Uhm, let’s go up to the second floor,” I said.  “I want to take a look at Martha’s bedroom.  There’s something about that room.”

Sean shook his head.  “That room has been sliced, diced, dissected and put back together.  We pulled the walls apart and rebuilt it.  Even the floor came up, every single floorboard.  There’s nothing there.” Continue reading

Found – The Old Mill

Wilton Mill and water fall

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

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I walked across the parking area in front of the Goode Mansion to Bill’s truck as he was getting out.  He gave me a once over.

“You look like crap, Gill,” he said.  “I know how my no-good daughter is acting is getting us all down, but…”

“Morning Bill.  Yeah, she’s getting me down, but I think it’s more to do with the fact that I didn’t sleep well.  I was kept out until after midnight and then couldn’t sleep.  I spent half the night writing and the other half rolling over and over, not able to close my eyes more than a few moments at a time.”

“And in that delusional state you call me at the crack of dawn, huh?  I’m sure you know what you’re doing, but I just hope that you weren’t pushed over the edge by Lynds or decided to take Jess too seriously…”

“Proud father, yeah.”  I winked.  “I don’t think I’m insane, but…  Oh, can you do me a favor while we’re waiting for the others to show up?”

“Sure.  What’s up?”

“If I remember correctly, there’s a crow bar, about three-foot-long, in the equipment shed.  Can you grab it for me?”

“Of course.  Any clues for me?”

“Nope.  Well, OK, I will tell you that I’m acting on something some ghosts told me.  Other than, well, you’ll have to wait to see if I lost my marbles.  If so, maybe you can help me find them.”

“Ghost stories, right.  Those marbles might be gone forever.  I’ll be right back.” Continue reading

The Carriage-house – the Old Mill


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

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I stopped at the threshold, my heart pounding in my ear.  In front of me was the blackhole of the interior of the carriage house, sucking out all light and warmth of everything around.  I could feel all of the color of my life being drained, leaving no memories of happier places.  And yet something did escape this collapsed star of a building.  Cold malice streamed out, radiating hate and evil.

I stepped past the event horizon, into the carriage house proper. The door slammed closed behind me.

I spun around, but my eyes could take nothing in.  I knew the only way out was to go deeper in, towards the center, towards the heart of evil.  I let myself be pulled, stepping carefully. Continue reading

After the Ball – The Old Mill


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

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“I have no idea what you are talking about,” Abigail said.

“You broke my trust,” Thomas said.  “They were his children.  His!  You thought I wouldn’t know?  You broke…”

“I broke nothing.  We had an agreement.  We’ve had several and you are the one who has broken each one in turn.”

“Liar!  You have been an unfaithful bitch and have lied and cheated since the beginning.”

“Me?  Take a look in the mirror, sir, if you want to see the one who has lied and cheated.  We had our agreement and I upheld my end from the beginning.”

“Shut up.  You are the one who started it by cheating on my brother, Johnathan.”

“I never cheated on Johnathan, not once.  Yes, I did fall in love with Samuel the minute I laid eyes on him, but I was willing to live my life as a loving wife to Johnathan.  I had promised him.  I did not lie or cheat, and I did love him in my way.  We would have been very happy together and I would have eventually forgotten Samuel.  I did love Johnathan.” Continue reading

The Ball – the Old Mill

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

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With a look over my shoulder, I entered the mansion. I let the door close naturally behind me.  The hall was empty when full of light, but as the light faded with the shutting door, Martha became visible.  When the door was completely closed, she looked full and solid, the middle-aged version of Martha.  She was wearing the party dress, I realized that Mike was right, that the dress custom tailored for the 15-year-old Martha fit the middle aged one very tightly, making her look both a little ridiculous, and slightly sexy at the same time.   We walked towards each other and stopped a little more than an arm’s length apart.  I pulled out my invitation.

“I’ve returned, but this time with invitation in hand,” I said.

“And you are just in time, Mr. Baxter,” she said.  “The ball has begun.”  I grew aware of the faint music from above us.  “I need to say a few words so you truly understand what you are about to witness.”

“Sounds good to me.”   She turned old for a flash, then returned to middle-aged.

“First, understand that you can see our world more than most of the living, so we can see you better than we can see most of the living.” Continue reading

Invitation – The Old Mill


(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Amy and Jessica (Part 2).  The Table of Contents is here)

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I had just finished my dinner and was trying to decide how I’d handle the evening when I heard a loud knock on the door.  Walking to the front of the house I couldn’t see anybody in the drive or parked on the road.  Nobody had driven away either.  I assumed that whoever had knocked must have walked to the house.

I stood for a minute, looking out the window, but there was nothing.  As soon as I turned my back on the door, the knock came again.  I spun around and opened it, yet there was nobody on the doorstep or any place else that I could see.  I walked onto the porch and then down to the drive.  I looked around.  Not a living soul was around.

Going back into the house I discovered a card on the porch by the door. I picked it up and read it. Continue reading