20 short excerpts from the ‘other side’ of my blog!
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Three of us stood within a circle chalked on bare floorboards in an empty, abandoned house. Some said it was haunted, so people generally kept away. The cracked panes in the window were moonlit silver. Distant thunder rumbled. Sophie, Todd’s girlfriend spoke. “Hey, I don’t like this.” – A Labour of Magick (600 words)
Suddenly I was soaring, looking down from a great height at vast snow fields, blinding in the sun, and verdant valleys with canopies of exotic jungle foliage. I could smell and taste the tang of rushing air, fresher than I could ever remember. – A Personal Experience (200 words)
She gazed down on the mangled wreckage of two cars and a decapitated woman, bloody and spread-eagled on the empty carriageway. She could hear creaking metal and smell leaking petrol. – Ad Pacem (200 words)
“Long before you joined us, Featherstone, something very odd happened to me.” Old McMoneagle shifted in the heavy red leather armchair, his face flushed with the heat of the open fire before us. “Now I need to get it off my chest, d’you understand?” – Amid the Winter’s Snow (500 words)
Hannah smiled at her reflection, realizing that she could see herself for the first time when having her hair cut. With embarrassment she noticed a touch of silver along the parting of her straight black bob. – Copperwood (500 words)
We came upon an ancient shrine with a small stone horse. I stroked its weathered features and whispered, “we need water… Dhanybhaad!” I imagined it standing under the cold stars, desolate, longing to live and breath. – Dream of a Stone Horse(100 words)
The coach pulled up and we trouped out to gawp at an area of low cliffs with exposed basalt columns. Hundreds of hexagonal grey columns stood neatly in rows, five to fifteen feet high.
Gugga told us how visitors had once heard beautiful singing coming from amongst them. Elves it was believed. With her short orange hair and green trousers she looked rather like one herself.
“Is there a National Elf Service?” a plump German lady asked, smiling. – Elf Service (700 words)
Aspects of the house were curious; a winged gargoyle hung by a sign – ‘Haunted Cottage’. Full of optimism, Claire and I had come to buy a saddle.
An old woman with long, incongruously black hair led us into a conservatory. “Please sit. I’ll make some tea…I insist!” – If Two Witches Were Watching (200 words)
Once an imposing building looking over the vale, now broken staircases led to floors, half collapsed. Sheep grazed amongst the ruins and grass sprouted through stone flags. In one corner stood a rusty stove. Callum looked inside. “Hey Jed, come over here!” – Incident at Clibbon’s Farm (200 words)
Discontent among the lottery-playing public was at an all time high. Nick Naylor sat in front of the TV, clutching a lottery ticket sweatily. Following last week’s ‘fiasco’ he’d chosen five lines of ‘lucky dip’, £2 apiece, for the not inconsiderable sum of £10.
“It had to be a scam!” said Jude, his ‘other half’, toying with her dyed auburn locks. – Luck of the Devil (500 words)
Aspects of my death were interesting.
I’d gone to my granddaughter’s pub for a pint at lunchtime. “‘Ello ‘Enry,” says old Malcolm, a ‘regular’, whilst discussing spade design.
Soon I felt unusually tired. “Sorry Malcolm, I need a lie-down.” – Marley’s Spirit (200 words)
“Have any of you been to a demonstration of mediumship before?”
Most hands in the hotel’s comfortable bar area went up. Miranda’s and mine stayed down.
A young man, Peter someone, tall and slim with receding hair, smiled. “Well, I’ll be making contact with those who have passed over into spirit.” – Medium Rare (300 words)
An enormous crash jolted me awake. My heart pounded. Otherwise deathly silence. Surely I hadn’t imagined it?
With apprehension I took a carving knife from the bedside cabinet drawer. – Mirror Man (200 words)
Sometimes he’d see lights up there. Some said it was elves, others, teenagers fooling around. Once he’d climbed there with Scott, his collie, but Scott had whined, refusing to budge. Tom proceeded alone amongst tumbled chimneys and abandoned rooms, open to the sky. No-one there save sheep grazing in the dusk. – Orwyn’s Ring (200 words)
As was his custom he took a concave mirror, painted black, from a drawer, removing a silk wrap. He gazed into it, letting his mind quieten, ready to receive impressions.
He sensed himself at a Salzburg opera house, invisible, watching an audience dressed in finery. A quartet played the just-completed concerto. The listeners were enraptured. Good! – The Scrying Game (200 words)
Possible reasons for going up Thaxby hill were to stretch my legs or gaze out to sea. But today was different. Old Mark Bamber, who lived nearby, said he’d heard a dog barking up there every night for the past week. – Titus (200 words)
The attic was eerily dark, lit only by the occasional shaft of sunlight penetrating through the roof, in which sparkling dust particles gyrated. Draped furniture in the gloom seemed ominous and ghoul-like. The air smelt both musty and mouldy, like the decaying air-raid shelters she’d played in as a child, cold and silent even on a summer’s day. – Voices from the Ether (1000 words)
Sitting at the piano was a pretty little girl with blonde hair and a white dress, practising scales. She would play them perfectly going up but stumble on the way down. After a while she looked up at me and smiled. “Hello, are you from the future?”