Ghosts and Graves

Ghosts and Graves 




Also checkout my other works. Amazon Author Page

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Here is a sample Ghosts and Graves I hope you enjoy.  

Available for sale here:





How many more full moons will you see?

Prologue


              Hidden deep in what is now the southern United States stands a decaying, Victorian mansion.  It had once been the jewel of the south and had placed this small town on the map.  In its hay day it was nothing short of a southern style castle.  Roman like columns framed the front entrance.  Ornate crystal chandeliers lit your way through the corridors.  The prettiest green wall paper you had ever seen covered the walls.  This mansion was out in the colonies, so the latest modern conveniences had yet to make their way to it.  Houses of a similar ilk located in the city had in door gas powered lamps, with gas piped in.  However this house had something similar but it was closer to those lanterns you would take with you camping.  The master of the house was rather an ingenious inventor.  He had seen these new gadgets during one of his trips to England and decided to copy them as best he could.  Even the chandeliers had been rigged up with his gas system.  This house was a beacon that shinned cutting through the darkness until that night.

Just inside were the most beautiful seashell encrusted stairs.  The rainbow of colors was eye popping underneath the twinkle of the gas lit chandeliers.   That was long ago.  Now the place lies derelict, nothing more than a scar upon this land, a dark reminder of evil deeds past, it stands casting dark and dancing shadows.  Blowing in the wind hangs a single tire swing nestled amongst countless graves.  A single light burns in an upstairs room.

Today is a young man’s birthday he had just turned fifteen.  Instead of cake or friends and family surrounding him, he lays dying on the second floor of this once jewel of the south, now lying in ruins just a broken down mansion.  Next to him crouches a red headed girl, about his same age.  Dressed in a frumpy grayscale dress topped with a blue corset.   She however, is watching him with a maniacal sparkle in her eyes.  Instead of helping him she asks a single question.
“How many more full moons did you see Jack?”

              Her voice contained a hint of arrogance and superiority.  As more plaster fell from the walls the young boy, gurgled an answer as he scrawled his final message in his own blood.
“I didn’t count you demon bitch!   I have seen your end and left the bread crumbs for the next one to follow, may God have mercy upon your soul.”

              With those words said she embraced him; with one deep kiss his body fell limp and lifeless to the floor.  As his consciousness faded he heard her whisper a haunting old nursery rhyme.

"Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of Posies,
Ashes!  Ashes!
We all fall down."

"Ring-a-around the rosie,
A pocket full of Posies,
Hush!  Hush!  Hush! Hush!
We all tumble down."

            The years passed by and a new family consisting of a single father and son have moved into this sleepy little town.  This is the sort of place if you were to pass by on the road and blink you would miss it.  Time has clearly forgotten this little place, much of it has not changed in over a hundred years.  



Fateful encounters
1.


Once upon a dream I met a girl, this was no fairy tale.  Far from it, she was a little slice of Hell on Earth.  You see she was a ghost, a lingering tormented spirit here only to prey upon the living.  She had haunted a particular location feared by all, hidden away from the outside world in a little town time forgot.  This town was so small it barely registered as an ink stain on a map.  She was a dark living nightmare who stole time from me, but I gained so much more.

On that day my dad had told me to go have a look around at my new home.  As I left I noticed the town seemed to be filled with nothing but elderly people.  There were no children to speak of.  As I rode my bike I came across an old walking path on the far western edge of the town.  It tore off through a darkened wood; large and overgrown trees masked and shrouded the path.  The trees had grown into a natural archway so it was more like walking through a tunnel than a forested path.  I had read about places like this they mainly appeared in novels with a romantic twist.  So I was curious to see what secret place may lie at the end of this path.  Did this town have a hidden lover’s lane?  My imagination ran wild as I started down the path.  

The path itself was dark but not scary; it was a pleasant quiet walk.  After about a twenty minute walk however, the path forked.  You could continue on to the right or you could go to the left.  Let’s just say I should have taken the “right” path that day and not the one less traveled by.  That would have made all the difference.  In ancient Christian philosophy the left was considered evil the domain of the enemy.  The fallen one himself controlled it. 

Originally I was not from this town my Dad and mom had gotten divorced and he had moved away, at first to another city then to this forgotten place.  When I was about thirteen my mother fell ill and a little over a year later she died, so I naturally moved in with my dad.  I went from semi big city to the middle of country BFN.  All of the locals knew not to go near this place but I was new here and Dad told me to go have a look around “who knows you may make a friend” he said, right!  I had a bike and I decided to ride around.  However, this town mainly consisted of aging elderly people who were all happy to see a young man in town.  I wish I had known why at the time.  They all waved to me and wished me well I thought it was so nice maybe this place will not be so bad after all…

              I discovered the path around late evening, but I was so curious, I had to know.  The path was overgrown and too narrow for my bike so I chained it to a tree.  As I walked and limbo-ed my way through the trees the sun began to set, it felt as though I had been walking for an hour, when it was more like twenty minutes.  I soon came to the fork in the road.  From here the path was clear.  I was a huge fan of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and I guess at this point in my life I truly did not appreciate what they had to say.  In fairy tales things happen in threes and in other philosophies the number four is bad it can divulge the path of death.  It was here at the fork I met her, her name was Anna.  I wish I had listened to her then, but I was a big city guy too full of crap to care.  I had started down the path to the Left and she came charging up to stop me.   She yelled out to me.
“Hey, what are you doing?”

              My answer was tainted by anger and just a hint of sarcasm.

“I am going down this path, what does it look like I am doing?” 

On this day I had mistaken her concern for rude backwoods ignorance.  Again she yelled to me, but I was already ten yards or so down the path.

“Don’t go that way it’s dangerous!!!” 

Again I answered her with a hint of anger in my voice.

“phhh, dangerous it’s just an untraveled path!” 

I turned and walked quickly away with her crying and pleading for me to stop.  As I walked away her image lingered in my mind.  She had long Black hair that shimmered with blue and purple highlights in the fading sunlight.  She was about Five foot three inches.  Her face had a pale tone to it.  Her black t-shirt made her doll like appearance glow.  The one feature that stood out to me most of all were her grey eyes.  I have heard of people with the eyes of wolves but I had never seen one.  As I turned to look she was gone.  Thank god, I remember thinking, damn that was annoying, later I would be thankful she had gone…

As I walked a large southern style mansion began to poke out of the trees.  Clearly the design was Victorian; it looked like the kind of place you might see in a costume drama.  I had never seen a house quite like this one.  It was two stories tall at least that is what the windows suggested.  The place was so large I wondered how many rooms it had.  Whose home was it.  The front entrance was off to the left of the path and had the largest and prettiest marble columns I had ever seen.  They were intricately carved and etched from top to bottom, with a dull rose pink overtone.  The style looked to be Roman based, I had seen pictures of column like this in books. 

As I got closer I noticed the trees had formed a gnarled, impenetrable maze around it, it reminded me a little of Sleeping Beauty.  The place looked a little ominous and the closer I got the more and more it reminded me of the old fairy tales.  Lofty, isolated places were often never a good sign.  At the time my eyes were fixed on the mansion, I had not even noticed its grim surroundings.  Chunks of marble lay everywhere, adding to the fairy tale setting.

As I got closer I remembered much of the modern retellings of Stories like Sleeping Beauty and many others leave out details.  Lots of bad and terrible things occur in fairy tales.  As this thought crossed and left my mind I stopped dead in my tracks.  It was then I noticed the chunks of marble surrounding the house were graves and it hit me, how many princes had met their end trying to reach the sleeping princess in the story of Sleeping Beauty?!  The whole place looked out of place and time.  If I had only known time had stopped for this place.  I would have…I would have thought twice and run. 

As I approached, I could see the place was in disrepair, like no one had lived there in years.  Something was glinting in the light from the setting sun, I quickly ran up to see what it was.  I was both intrigued and sorry I had on the right hand side near the front right corner were three graves, a husband, a wife and their young daughter who was sealed in glass perfectly preserved.  Just beneath the glass was the form of a beautiful teenage girl with bright red hair.  She was wearing a frumpy Victorian dress, with a blue corset, my god she was beautiful.  Clutched in her right hand were the couple’s wedding rings.  The headstones had nothing written on them besides Husband, Wife and daughter.  The whole thing, no this whole place struck me as odd if only I had run away then and there. 

  As I stood up and took a closer look at my surroundings.  I soon became aware that there were countless graves here the total amount was staggering.  I had seen the graves but had not really taken the scene in until I saw the girl under the glass.  One fact that stood out to me, they were all young men about my age.  You might even say it bothered me.  The three graves closest to me had dates that suggested the young men had only lived fifteen years.  I soon became aware of a creaking sound like that of something tied to a rope swaying in the wind.  Then I noticed something totally out of place there was an old tire swing.  It was just tied to a tree like it belonged there.   

The tire swing was hanging from a tree on the far left side of the front porch, above which was a single window which had a light on in it?  I thought to myself maybe someone does live here!  My curiosity got the better of me again; I guess that light to me was the equivalent of the white rabbit to Alice.  I had to follow it, I was a moth drawn to the flame.  That’s when I saw her she had this other worldly look to her a kind of forgotten beauty.  Skin as pale as moonlight and listless blue eyes with flaming long red hair, she was wearing a dull grey dress and blue top, which was not from this time period, but all this had not registered until…It was too late.  I had fallen victim to the siren’s call, when a sudden and unexpected voice sounded behind me.

“Young man, what are you doing!?” 

Startled by an aged husky voice, I whirled around to see an old man standing with the black haired girl; at this point I still did not know her name.  She was standing hands on her hips staring at me like “I told you so.”  Admittedly all I could think was you little tattle tale.  Her stance pissed me off a little too.  Suddenly the eyes of the old man grew about six times their original size and the girl had started to back away slowly much like you would if you encountered a wild bear.  The sun had set and as I turned there was the girl, her blue eyes were now blood red and it was here I realized it, she was translucent, a ghost!?  And, she was crouched on the window sill of the second floor glaring at me.  She continued to lean into her crouch until she was in a position that defied gravity.  She had this eerie glow about her it was pitch black, night had fallen, darkness surrounded us, but she was as clear as day.  Her hungry eyes burned my soul to ashes, as my courage faded and crumbled beneath her stare I began to shake and shiver.  My knees could have registered a magnitude ten on the Richter scale.  I was staring at the stuff of nightmares and worse yet she was staring back.  The temperature had dropped and I could now see my breath on the wind.  It was like all the warmth of the world had run away from this place out of terror.  If only this was a dream!

Tonight was the night of the new moon.  It was so dark not even starlight could penetrate this place.  Before I could blink she had dove from the window sill.  I turned to run and somehow I must have gotten that ____ tire swing behind me, I ran right into it.  As it swung upward with me tangled in it, I heard her hit the ground behind me, the sounds of cracking bones and squishing flesh, God!  It was a horrible noise, on the swing’s return I was sent flying through the air.  I slammed into the wall directly behind her broken remains and sunk into my own knees, whispering:

“This has got to be a dream…this has to be a dream…this must be a dream.”

              The tire swing looked like a demented pendulum as it swung back and forth counting down frozen time.  My eyes were fixed on a broken pile of human remains.  There was no blood, for a second I forgot she was a ghost and then to my utter horror. Her broken neck craned and her eyes looked right at me as I flinched in a flash I saw the glass coffin again and realized it was her.  This ghost was the woman in the coffin!  Her body began to contort and twist until her arms were under her.  Propped up on her palms she dragged her broken body toward me.  My feet clawed the dirt trying to gain momentum to run.  Before I could her hands were on my knees, they felt cold and lifeless.  Her blood red eye’s flames burned my remaining spirit to ashes.  Then she spoke in this airy condescending voice.

“I Caught You!”

              If there was ever a time in man’s life where pissing himself was allowable this was it!!  She cupped my chin with her left hand and pressed her lips to mine.  Her kiss was so cold and lifeless, I felt as though I was lying in my own grave. 

As she released me I fell over to my side.  She had stolen more than my first kiss.  As I lay there my consciousness fading I felt two hands on me, it was the girl with black hair dragging me to safety, and here in this situation she finally told me her name.

“Can you hear me, my name is Anna but please call me Anny.”

I could hear her but death was calling my name, he had come for me and I knew my time had come.  A cloaked hooded figure reached out his hand to me, my thoughts returned to her, the situation was grave and dangerous and this was the time she had picked to be cordial.  Even while dying I was still sarcastic, your typical jaded city kid.  Her entire demeanor had changed she was being so kind it was here I realized it; she had only been trying to help me.  At this moment I made a promise between me and God if I live I want to stay with this girl, even if we are only friends.  The delirium had begun as my life slipped farther away.  I heard her yell something but could not understand it; death was calling me too loudly.  Dark shadows had begun to swirl around me as his voice boomed all around me.

“Jack McCrae, I have come for thee.”

              Those echoing words were all I heard, for some odd reason sounds filtered through.  Like those of frogs and crickets, I could hear all of them so clearly but her voice seemed so far away.  I could swear I heard a loud church bell clanging in the distance.  Between the knell of my requiem bell, Death’s voice and the amalgamation of other sounds I could hear, her voice was the only one I wanted to hear, but I could not make it out.

“Gramps he wants to live I can feel him fighting!”

              I could however; make out the tone of her voice, even though she was yelling it was so sweet.  It made me want to stay.  It seemed so distant to me though.  It was like I was in the mountains and she was in the valley.  Her voice seemed so muffled.  I heard the whip of something flying through the air followed by a familiar whap as someone caught it.  Seconds later I heard the familiar sound of a cork popping out of a bottle.  Death’s voice grew louder welcoming me into his tender embrace.  Then something happened an audible voice pierced the veil.  It was the old man.

“Get him to drink it!”

              For some reason I understood what he had said, I wondered what the old man was talking about, drink what?  As that question crossed my fading mind…suddenly I smelled sage?!  Anny had my head in her lap as she opened my mouth I tasted it, tea made from sage.  I was too weak to swallow it by this point.  Anny decided to take drastic measures she gently placed my head on the ground took a huge swig of the bottle’s contents and kissed me forcing the contents down my throat.  I had been kissed twice within a matter of minutes, one wanted to steal my life the other wanted to save it.  Needless to say I was a little confused.  Anny had been right my spirit was fighting to live.  The effects of the tea showed themselves quickly, my mind became clearer and the hooded man faded, his last words haunted me though.

“Be seeing you Jack!”

I didn’t know at the time the sage tea was blessed, so the kiss was too, foretelling my future…  I managed to open my eyes slightly, my sight was so blurry.  The old man was holding a crucifix and was standing between us and the Demon, that’s right she was no ghost, that thing was a redheaded devil!  Her red hair now resembled the flames of Hell as she tried to close the distance between her and me.  Anny was cradling my head, she felt so warm to me.  The color had even begun returning to my face.  That is when I heard her voice for the second time; it was so harsh and condescending.


“You managed to save him; it will be to no avail just look around you.  That is his destiny he is mine!  I know you can hear me young man, tell me, how many more full moons will you see?”  

              With those words echoing in my head and her burning red eyes trapped in my thoughts, I passed out.  Slipping into a nightmarish sleep, moments later I found myself walking up to an old two story house.  With a tree off to the left, something was out of place; the tree had a tire swing hanging in it…?!

Available for sale now on kindle 
link below

Also checkout my other works. Amazon Author Page


Please Visit Me At:
hauntedcastlesbooks.com  The what I'm about section
Like Me on Facebook
facebook.com/ajphcbooks
Follow Me On Twitter or Google+
@ajphillips2401
google.com/+AJPhillips2501
Check out More Stories
hauntedcastlesbooks.blogspot.com






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