Tag Archives: Urban Fantasy

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)

— —

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

barn-willow

(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)

— —

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

loading_dock_bw

(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)

— —

“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

Sean (Part 2) – The Old Mill

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Sean (Part 1).  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note – this is part 2 of a two part chapter.  Part 1)

— —

A hand fell heavily on my shoulder.

“Hey Gill, having trouble finding them?”  It was Bill’s voice.

I was looking into an empty black space, no people were visible, no woman and no children.  I turned to look at Bill.  There was only him there, no other men.

“Uhm yeah, Bill.  Coming in from the bright outside my eyes just didn’t want to adjust.  I’m still a bit blinded.”

“Here they are.”

Several garden rakes, a hoe, a spade and a yard rake were leaning against the wall just inside of the entrance to the main building.

“Oh, I must have walk right past them.  No wonder I didn’t see them.  I was looking over there.”  I pointed past were the woman and children had been, into the dark far corner of the building.

“Here, I’ll grab a couple,” he said.  “You take the rest.  Let’s go, the air in here is unhealthy.” Continue reading

The Spell (longer version)

eyes-green

My anxiety rose with the elevator.  I had no idea what I’d find once I landed on the 42nd floor and entered Esmerelda’s apartment.  Was I the lover on the way to a tryst or a fly heading into a spider’s web?  It didn’t matter, she had cast her spell and I was hooked.

I had met Esmerelda just a couple of days before.  Actually, that’s wrong, for I should say Esmerelda met me.  The coincidence that brought us together, the coffee I bought to make it up to her, everything, seem to be part of her design, her scheme.  I know, I was being paranoid, it was just a coincidence.  There is no way the unforeseen can be planned. Continue reading

Robert

First Day Out

“I need to let you know again that the procedure is very experimental and, well, very illegal,” Dr. Hale said. He could tell by Robert’s expression that he wanted, no needed, to go through with it.

“The animal tests, while promising, were also inconclusive,” Dr. Hale continued. “In almost 25% of the cases the subject was worse after the procedure and in 12% of the cases they died. This for a success rate of only 47%”

Robert blinked twice for “yes”. Dr. Hale sighed. Robert’s organs were failing. He didn’t have much longer and was desperate to try anything. Dr. Hale cursed himself for even mentioning the procedure, but now that Robert had some hope he didn’t want to deny him.

He reminded himself that he should never have taken a friend on as a patient. Continue reading

Blood Hollow

Common Grackle

“Uhm, could you explain that again?” Mike asked. He let out a little laugh. Mike had obviously had a little too much to drink.

Barbara, ignoring the rude tone of Mike’s question said. “It’s pretty simple actually. The world of the living and the world of the dead are very close, perhaps just nanometers apart. Some of the dead easily bridge this gap. We call them ghosts. Some of the living can too. Politely we call them Mediums, but some call them crack-pots.” Everyone looked at Mike.

“Periodically the worlds merge, but usually it’s one sided,” Barb continued.   “Almost yearly the world of the dead approaches the land of the living. Typically this happens in late October or early November, but it doesn’t follow a human calendar. As the world of the dead approaches, more make that transition and they are usually a little more substantial, less the shadow and almost solid. Thus we get the day of the dead in many cultures. The world of the living sometimes approaches the land of the dead, but it follows its own rhythm that few have learned to fathom. When this happens, more people can see into that land of the dead, even enter it. They can interact with those on the other side. Most people aren’t ready for it, so we see an upswing in murders and suicides. There are also more what some would call psychotic events. You know, people seeing things or hearing things, believing strange events. Our Western science has no explanation so attributes it to mental illness.”

“Yeah,” I said. “I have heard stories like this. By why is tonight special?”

“This will be the first time in a thousand years that the two coincide, that the world of the dead approaches the land of the living as the world of the living approaches the land of the dead,” Barbara said. “Not only that, this is the first time in almost three millennia that it will happen on Halloween.” Continue reading

Wendell

fres

“Great.”

“What’s up?” Sheila asked.

“Oh, nothing bad, just a Face Book friend request from Wendell Steele,” Vince said.

“And the problem is?” Sheila asked.

“Oh, it’s another one of those high school ‘friends’ that I never really knew well or liked much,” Vince said.

“So? I mean, how many are you Face Book friends with now? Dozens? What’s one more?”

“Maybe you’re right. It’s just, well, I don’t know, there was something about Wendell, that, I can’t put my finger on it, he just rubbed me so much the wrong way,” Vince said. “His eyes, those eyes, seemed to see through me and seemed to always be on me. I used to think he was stalking me, always talking to me in his irritating voice, wanting to join in whatever I was doing, staring with those eyes. And it wasn’t like I was popular. In fact, he was much more popular than I was; far, far more popular. I don’t know.” Continue reading

Break the Cycle (Again)

Beam

The girl at once looked out of place and yet perfectly natural as she stood in front of my house. Her colonial attire was flawless and matched the colonial houses of the neighborhood.   Being a bit of an amateur historian I placed her costume at late 17th century, not too different from a classic picture of a Pilgrim girl at the first Thanksgiving. Perhaps, I thought with a laugh, she looked more like a witch’s apprentice in the Salem trials.

When we first moved in the kids used to play pranks on the old ‘haunted house’ and its new inhabitants, particularly at Halloween. As the kids got used to us living here the pranks and whispers slowly died out. Nobody had pulled a stunt like this in ages. I had to wonder what this girl heard. She couldn’t have been more than a baby when we moved in 16 years ago.

As I was closing the front door a man said, “Break the cycle.” I turned but nobody was there. Continue reading

First Day Out (Frank 1!) – (Again)

First Day Out drawn by Trent P McDonald

This morning the doctor surprised me by saying I could go outside.  At last!  I long ago thought I was well enough to go out.  It’s been depressing to just sit looking out the window, but he does know best.  It’s possible I’ll be a little unsteady so he said he needed to chaperone me “for our mutual protection”.  I felt great and was able to give him the slip right away. Continue reading