I created this place for some of Lady Euphoria Deathwatch’s stories to reside. In August of 2008 I started to go to a writer’s workshop. I had been writing stories for my own amusement for years and I’d been blogging since the May before. I was ready to take the next step. I wanted feed back for my fiction. As the classes progressed I challenged myself to write using different styles of writing and using different types of story categories I hadn‘t really used before. When I wrote a piece in the Horror group my life changed. Kissed by this muse I have been writing short stories in this vein since then. If you are looking for blood and gore just for shock value, please look elsewhere. You’ll not find it here. That said, they are not all devoid of blood completely. Blood, death, ghosts, and odd happenings do have a place here.

Feel free to add your two cents, inform me of needed corrections, or let me know what you thought about any of my stories. Any comment is appreciated.

Did you feel a Shiver or a Thrill?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ghost of a Dream

I woke up the other night with a ghost in my bedroom. At least that is what it felt like when it was happening. I knew that I was still dreaming because I had been trying to wake myself up in my dream and there are no such things as ghosts, right? So if I wasn’t going to wake up I decided I was going to go with the dream just to see where it went.

This ghost in my room was named Henry, and he was looking for a person that used to live here in my place. A woman named Deidra.

I couldn’t help him much, but I tried. It was the middle of the night, and nothing was open in town after two in the morning.

In this dream of mine I went to the library and looked up the old records for him. The library doors just unlocked and opened up, you know how dreams can be. I told Henry what I found in the records there, that this Deidra had gotten married after he had died. She had three children and was buried in the church cemetery some fifty years after that. And that her death was a good fifty years after the marriage.

What you need to know about me is I’m not the helpful type. I don’t open doors for people, or pick things up that others have dropped, or give to the poor. So I’m feeling quite silly in the library of all places looking up information for a ghost in the dead of night. I hadn’t once stepped into a library since my school years.

Henry had never learned to read and he asked me to read him her headstone, so we walked over to church yard cemetery. And this was where the dream started to get creepy. We were standing, or I should say I was standing with my small pocket flashlight and he was floating in the middle of the cemetery, we were reading headstones, and some of the other occupants came up out of their graves and they came over to see what we are doing.

As dreams often are surreal it didn’t bother me in the least that I was now surrounded by ghosts and they were all chatting and catching up on history while I was reading headstones out loud for this Henry.

I won’t pretend that I wasn’t surprised when some of the specters rose soon after I read their names. If I was standing too close they would go right through me with a cold shivery feeling. Apparently saying their name out loud over their resting place causes them to rise. If only I had know that before I read the stones out loud to Henry I wouldn‘t have done it.

I was ready to give up when I finally spotted her grave. I mean how many Deidra’s do you know? I read it out to him and he sighed waiting for her to rise. We waited for her to come to him and when she didn’t he started to weep, so I called to her on his behalf.

After a while I said to him, “Maybe she isn’t buried here. It doesn’t say how she died.”

The others insisted, “No, she’s there!”

Deidra finally rose up after the whole group started in calling her name.

She admonished all of us for disturbing her, and with the fun over the other ghosts headed for their own graves.

Deidra said to Henry, “I never have been in love with you. You just have to move on, and Please! stop coming to my grave each year on your death day night trying to talk to me. I am not going to talk to you ever again. So Henry, stop bothering the living and the dead with all this hubbub."

As she sank back into the earth Henry tried to pull her back up to be with him. I told him, “Now cut that out, or I will make it my mission to haunt you when I die if you don’t leave her be!”

This Henry ghost was now so distraught I would have worried about him killing himself if he was alive. So I walked him back to his own grave in the public cemetery a few blocks away. I wanted to make sure he was down under the earth again and not about to follow me around. But I didn’t tell him that.

The next day was Saturday and I was at my local coffee place reading my emails when the police came up to me and asked me to come to the police station with them.

They had an odd tale to tell me. It was about me walking around town in my pajamas with a ghost and my breaking into the library, then going into the church yards in the middle of the night. They had me on various cameras around town with a non descript glowy thing floating along side of me, and it appeared that I was talking to it.

Since I didn’t harm or take anything, the caretakers of these places weren’t going to press charges, this police interview was just a warning.

If they hadn’t shown me the tapes I wouldn’t have believed it myself.

I move right out of that old place. Didn’t stay there another night in fact. I moved to the other side of town into a new apartment building. But to this day I am helpful and whistle past the graveyard. I even give to the poor. I’m not taking any chances ever again of bumping into a ghost in the night.

Edit for typo on 11-14-11

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Redneck's Car

Butch was working on his car again. He was always working on that car. It was the same car he had been working on since he was in high school and now his kids were there. It was his pride and joy up on cinder blocks and rusted jacks in the side yard of the house. This was Butch’s 1957 blue and white Ford Fairland convertible.

It looked like rain so he was under the car to do some work on the frame. With only his lower half sticking out of the side of the car his feet could almost touch the neighbors fence as he was working today. It made for a lot of wiggling to get under there so he didn’t want to have to stop what he was doing if it only started to drizzle.

Butch had been out there for a long time without interruptions this Saturday. The kids were elsewhere at their friend’s houses and his wife was busy shopping for the weekly groceries with a friend of hers. The ball game was on the radio and a cold beer was within reach. This was the male equivalent to the bliss of shopping his wife talked about.

He finally found the wrench he had been feeling around for and started on the rusted nut he had coated with lubricant earlier in the day. He has gone to work on the other nuts and bolts while it soaked in and he was back to give it another try. This one particular nut was the rustiest of all of them so far and the wrench kept on coming off as the rusty coating flaked away. Butch’s knuckle was bleeding and it dripped into his eye. After cursing and sucking on his rusty dirty finger he got back to working on that nut. This time the wrench stripped it completely and he had gotten his finger pinched hard in the bargain. Since no one was around to hear him curse he threw the offending wrench full force as he cursed loudly to make himself feel better.

The wrench hit the cinder block so hard there was a spark and he sighed with relief because Butch had taken out the gas tank for more room under the car for him to work in. He was shifting his weight so he could wriggle out and get another beer while retrieving the wrench when he heard the cinder block crack and the car came down on top of him.

When he came to, he found that the car had knocked the wind out of his lungs and it felt like he had broken a few ribs, but he was alive. Butch was pinned so that he couldn’t move and he couldn‘t even reach anything to bang on the car to attract attention from the neighbor‘s. Now all he was able to do was wait for the family to come home and call for help. He tried not to panic.

Butch thought about a lot of things while he waited. Like how his cigarettes were now crushed in his T-shirt pocket and he couldn’t even have a last smoke before he got to the hospital and had to give them up until they let him out again. He thought about how he had to pee from the two beers he had before he crawled under here. He thought about how he was going to miss the card game with the boys tonight and miss out on making a few bucks for beer from the new guy, Len’s cousin, who hadn’t perfected his poker face yet. He thought about how he was going to have to buy a new radio because the one he had been listening to was now smashed to smithereens and he was missing the end of the game. He thought about his car and wondered if they would damage it any when they lifted it off of him.

After what felt like hours, but was really only about thirty minutes, he felt a tickle in his throat and knew a cough was on the way. He tried everything he could think of to distract himself from the feeling, but the more he tried the worse it got. It started small, but once it got started it wouldn’t let go. He coughed until he lost consciousness again.

Butch woke up hearing his wife talking to her friend about him as she brought in the groceries. “He’s probably over Ralph’s by now.” She said. “If he was here that radio of his would be on.” She couldn’t hear him try to call out to her with what little air he could get into his lungs. She just went into the house with the last bag and started putting the food away and then started to make supper. Junior came racing in on his bike and bumped into the other side of the car using it as a stop, and the car came down a little more. Junior then high tailed it into the house saying, “What’s for supper?“ And he didn’t come back out to put his bike away in the garage like he was supposed to.

Now Butch knew it was getting serious. His breathing was taking most of his concentration. He stopped thinking about the blond down the street that likes to sit on her front steps in a thin night gown to drink her morning coffee and he started to tell God he wouldn’t look at her anymore on his way to work. Butch would even take a different street to avoid the temptation, if the good Lord would only send someone to come and get him out from under his car. He even threw in a plea for forgiveness for watching that porn film at the bachelor party a couple of years ago.

His daughter came home from her girlfriends house and Butch hoped that this meant he was saved. The girl’s father dropped Sissy off, but Carl didn’t stop to see what Butch was up to. He probably thought Butch was at Ralph’s house too since the hood wasn‘t up on the car today. Sissy went into the house by the front way. It was raining a little now and she didn’t like to get her hair wet. Hopefully someone would come out to get him for supper when his wife called Ralph and found out he wasn’t there and then they would find him. There was no note telling them he was gone and he hadn’t forgotten to do that since he was missing with his hunting buddies when Sissy was born. But when the door opened his wife just called his name and went back inside because it had started raining a little harder. Why wasn’t Junior coming out to put his bike away?

The rain cooled off the day and made him a little chilly along with wet from the waist down. He peed himself because now that he was getting all wet he couldn’t hold it in any longer. It started to pour buckets and he figured no one would know with all the rain washing over him anyway. And once he let it go he could breath a bit easier. That more than anything was a relief as the moment.

Butch hadn’t put the tarp back onto the car and since he had taken the top down the interior was getting wet. Butch was glad he had taken out the seats and put them in the garage. After a while drips started to trickle through the frame and onto him making him wetter still. The weight of the water added to the car itself and it sunk a little further onto Butch as the cinder block crumbled further.

His breaths came in gasps. Butch thought about all the times his wife wanted him to go to church with the family. He told God he would go every Sunday from now on instead of working on the car. He told God he would stop cursing in front of the kids. He’d even give up the hunting trips that were really only drinking weekends with the boys. He told God he would get rid of this darn old car like his wife had wanted him to for so long.

Butch’s head was pounding and felt like it was going to burst from the need for oxygen. He felt like he was drowning and was seeing stars and his brain was screaming for help as he lost consciousness for the last time still begging God for help.

The funeral was a nice affair and Butch’s wife sold the car to the junk yard the day after he was put in the ground. But she still hears Butch tinkering and cursing out there every time she sticks her head out of the back door and cans of cold beer can be found out by where the car used to be in all sort of weather, but especially when it rains.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Castle Tour Guide

The old castle hallway was cool and dank, such a difference from the heat of the day outside. Ruth Bradford was enjoying the coolness. It swept up the long skirts of her embroidered tunic covered garb as she walked, cooling her after talking in the sun at the castle entrance a few moments earlier. This little tingle of a chill was refreshing at the moment. Of course in a few short months it would be the cold she would be shying from, but that didn’t stop her from enjoying it now.

How many times Ruth had walked down these halls, stepped into these rooms, and still a shiver went up her spine that had nothing to do with the cool in the hallway. It happened every time without fail, no matter the warmth. Would today be the day she would see the ghosts again?

Ruth would tell the tour, “I’m told I look an awful lot like one of the Grand Dames that used to rule here.” as she showed the tour goers the painting. They always agreed.

That was why she had gotten the job. She didn’t have any experience in conducting historical tours then. But for the last five years she had been studying and perfecting her adaptation and taking over the main tours of the castle as the Lady herself.

That was also when the hauntings started in earnest. Grand Balls in the great hall with the music filling that wing of the building. Everything would disappear once anyone came through the doorway. But you could stand in the hallway and watch the festivities for almost a half an hour if you liked. Once the tour had seen the Lord of the castle himself, sitting on the dais holding court. He had been sentencing someone they couldn’t see to beheading at dawn, who it was they never found out, but then the ghost seemed to notice Ruth standing there and everything just disappeared.

There were also cold spots in the rooms on the days when the fires were merrily heating the rest of the space and oddest of all, was the locking and unlocking of the doors, along with items being moved from room to room of seemingly their own accord. But as nothing bad had ever happened, all the tour guides just made the best of it.

In those first days Ruth was often left feeling ill after one of those strange occurrences. She’d have headaches and couldn’t remember things well. She would find herself on the tour talking about things she had no knowledge of and saying it with an air of one that had been there herself.

The people on the tours liked it, but Ruth knew that she was supposed to stick to the facts that they could verify from the historical records, letters and papers in the archives. That had been a while ago, now she just kept the tour going as if nothing unusual was going on.

Ruth didn’t like the strange things going on. But jobs were not easy to come by in their rural community around the castle. It was down to being a tour guide or a maid in one of the Bed and Breakfasts in town. She liked being a tour guide better and the money was steady. Because Ruth did the tour every day whether the groups she guided were large or small. Maids were laid off in the slow season.

The letter Ruth had been waiting for came in the morning mail:

Dear Miss Bradford,

We at the Historical Tour Guide Association would like to congratulate you on winning this year’s scholarship for a year’s tuition to the college or university of your choice as a freshman history major. Etc.

Ruth had been saving her earnings for all these years so she could afford to go away to University and now to have the first year fully paid for was like a dream come true. She could start this very next semester now. A whole year earlier than she ever thought she would be able to. She couldn’t wait to tell everyone at work and thank Mr. Donewell for the recommendation. She also couldn’t wait to spread her wings.

After Ruth left for school Cathleen took over in the ‘Lady of the Castle’ tours and the spooks grew quieter once again. Cathleen did an excellent job, but it just wasn’t the same. Cathy was a perky blond and Ruth was a brooding brunet with more dignity in her walk then Cathy’s bouncy gate.

Ruth worked day and night to finish school in three years instead of four. The whole town was so proud of her that there was a party planned for her arrival home. It was in the grand hall of castle itself.

Everyone was in costume of the middle ages. The feast on the banquette table made it almost groan from the weight of it. It looked like they all had gone back in time together. And it just so happened to be on the eve of the day that the lady that Ruth looked like had died.

The local coral group sang madrigals and a jester roamed the hall making silly faces at people and telling jokes until they laughed. Mr. Wilson played on his mandolin in turns with the singers so everyone had a chance to eat. And the food was eaten with the hands, with ale and wine in tankards and goblets. It was high fun.

Dancing started after the feast. A band of players was hired for the night and they kept up the lively music of the times. The pipers and drummers helped the people attending out of their seats and onto the dance floor. At one point a jig contest was started to the delight of the crowd. The town’s folk started talking in ‘Olde English’ making it feel all the more real.

Ruth was crowned as ‘Lady of the Manor’ and carried on the shoulders of a few of the young men in the room. Everyone cheered. The fun was still going on until way past midnight. Some people walked their weary body’s home, but most stayed on.

As the party was wearing itself down a man dressed like the grand Lord of the Manor jumped up and accused Ruth of being unfaithful with one of the young men at the party. Others join in thinking it was more of the fun in the night and that they could be part of the game.

They took off Ruth’s crown, garland, and party robes, tied her hands behind her and stood her before the Lord of the castle. He pronounced sentence of “…death in the tower at dawn.” They marched Ruth off to the tower room singing and cheering finding themselves in the play. After they threw her into the empty room and shut the door they laughed and jeered through the door for a few minutes. Then with the fun at an end they tried to open the door to let her out.

The group thought that Ruth was now playing a game on them and had locked it from inside, but she called from the other side, “My hands are still tied and there is no lock on my side of the cell door.”

“Wait while we call a locksmith.” Someone said as another was already on his cell phone.

Some of the people stayed to talk with her through the door as they waited for the situation to be resolved. The rest went down the stairs to make room for the locksmith to work when he arrived.

False dawn was lighting the road as the locksmith drove to the castle. He collected his tools and climbed the many stairs to the top of the tower. Huffing and puffing he sat on his tool box until he had caught his breath. “These old locks can be tricky sometimes.” He said. He tinkered about and oiled the hinges. He picked away at the lock for a few more minutes before saying, “I have to get a few more tools for this job. I don’t want to break anything old here.”

Ruth had been quiet on her side of the door while the man worked. But all of a sudden they all heard her scream. She didn’t answer them any longer when they called out to her and the crowed grew nervous. They egged on the locksmith to no avail. Soon he left to get the other tools from his shop, but before he got back the door flew open on its own.

The scene they saw was a gruesome one. Ruth body lay hands still tied behind her in the middle of the floor. But her head was not with it. That was across the room under the small window staring up at them with a look of horror.

The man in the Lords clothing was never found. But everyone there that night thought they knew who he was. It was the Lord of the castle seeking revenge once again from the Lady who looked so much like Ruth Bradford.