Tuesday, April 02, 2013

From Beyond The Grave

Carol Weekes and I co-wrote a story that was published recently in the Grinning Skull Press anthology From Beyond the Grave edited by Michael J. Evans.

For some, death is not the end. There are those who are doomed to walk the earth for all eternity, those who are trapped between one plain of existence and the next, those who, for whatever reason, cannot or will not let go of the lives they left behind. These are the vengeful spirits, the tortured souls, the ghosts that haunt our realm. Welcome to FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE, a collection of 19 original ghost stories

Our story, entitled "Face in the Window" involves increasingly annoying nocturnal visits from an old neighborhood drunk which seem to only get worse even after the old man dies.

Here is a brief scene from the opening of the story:

The dog usually barked at strange sounds in the night, but this time she simply sat up, the hair on her back bristling, and bolted up the stairs toward the bedrooms. Ron Nathan listened as her nails slid over the hardwood floors.  Judging from the direction of the sounds, she was scrambling under his bed.

    "Casey?" he called out to the terrier.

    She let out a mournful bark, then went still.

    "What the hell?"  He snapped his paperback closed and placed it on the coffee table, glancing at the clock on the wall.  It was a few minutes after midnight.  He became aware of just how quiet the house was when the refrigerator clicked on in the nearby kitchen, making him jump.

    Casey’s actions had raised goose bumps on his arms because she never acted this way.  Clearly, something significant had frightened his companion of five years.  He understood that a dog’s acute hearing could detect even minute changes well beyond the human auditory system, and he fought the urge to soar up the stairs after her and join her under the bed.

    "Casey!" he commanded, hoping to entice her back downstairs so that he could pick her up and carry her outside and show her that nothing was wrong.  The only times he’d seen her this frightened was when powerful summer storms shook the house with their crashing thunder.  It was autumn now, the storm season long past.  Occasionally someone would trek through his property, which cut a wide expanse between the woods and the road, or an animal would come sniffing around for food; raccoons mostly, sometimes foxes or coyotes.   It wasn’t an unusual thing around here. His house, what had been a neglected bed and breakfast Victorian affair dating back to the late 1800s, sat by itself on almost ten acres of land, most of it consisting of thick forest and a rambling field, one edge of which terminated at a robust flowing river.

    Ron thought about the most regretful incident that happened a few nights ago—but that was over now.

    He went to move towards the stairs and bedrooms when a crash from the back of the house made him issue a short, high scream.  Casey emitted a low, rumbling snarl that carried all the way downstairs.  He ran into the kitchen and onto the back porch to stare out across a yard that, despite the porch lamps, was swept in shadows.

    Leaves drifted down from the maples and oaks festering in the yard.  A harvest moon illuminated sections of the yard in long, gold slashes.  A gust of wind whistled, picking up the leaves, breathing life into them once more and giving them one last ride before they began their slow decay and return to earth. It was a moist, but cool early November night, as if the season could not decide if Indian summer was over yet.  For a moment he thought he saw a face forming in the swirl of leaves and grass.  He blinked and it was gone.

The eBook, which contains 19 full length ghost stories and can be purchased for $4.99 at the following websites.

Kindle (Amazon)
Nook (Barnes & Noble)

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