Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Late Night Arrival, Write...Edit...Publish

Halloween already. One of my favorite times of the year. Write...Edit...Publish has a great blog hop and it's not too late for you to work some magic and whip up a tale inspired by childhood fears, real or imagined. I'm posting a day early, so hop over to Write...Edit...Publish and add your name to the linky or at the least visit the other writers who are participating. Here's the link.

Thank you, Denise Covey, for creating this fun blog hop.

Before you read my story, I'm being interviewed by Crystal Collier today, here's the link.

A Late Night Arrival

Linda finished washing her face in the master bathroom sink. The kids were asleep and Bill was driving their oldest, Mary, back to her college dorm room. Slipping into her pajamas, Linda turned off the lights and snuggled down under the covers, 4 a.m. would come soon. Tomorrow would bring another eleven-hour shift at the hospital.
            Money was tight. Too tight. If only Bill would get a job. He was a great salesman. But instead of finding work he’d come up with another business idea and had rented a table at the mall, for too much money, to sell stock in his new company. The thought turned Linda’s stomach. She knew the company would never be realized and the company stock was just a scam. Bill would rather lie and steal than work for an honest company.
            How did her marriage come to this impasse?
            She sighed and hit her pillow, rolling over, trying to get comfortable, trying to go to sleep. A moment later Linda heard the car pull into the driveway. Bill was home. When the front door shut she heard the unmistakable sound of his limp as he walked down the hall toward their room.
            Exhaustion dulled her dread. She didn’t want to talk to him. He’d changed from the loving husband she’d married into an alcohol driven abuser who took out his frustrations on Linda and the kids. Should she divorce him? After 24 years of marriage, she hated giving up but none of them deserved Bill’s rage.
            The bedroom door opened. Linda didn’t move. She’d avoid his confrontation by pretending to be asleep.
            Bill sat on the foot of the bed removing his shoes and socks. Linda could tell by the way the bed wobbled along with old experience that he was taking them off. When he finished he went to the bathroom, closed the door and turned on the light. A faint glow illumed the room from around the edges of the door. A moment later Bill turned on the faucet, Linda heard the water running. She lifted her head slightly to peer at the bathroom door just past the foot of the bed.
            As she waited, unable to sleep, Linda wondered what was taking Bill so long. From where she lay, she could see the alarm clock. Five, then ten minutes and the water still ran. Was he sick? As a nurse, her thinking always hovered close to imagining an illness or accident. Concern began to replace her misgivings. Bill might start in on something, but she had to make sure he was okay.
            Pulling back the covers Linda went to the bathroom door and knocked. “Bill.”
            No answer.
            She knocked again. “Honey, are you alright?”
            No answer. The water was still running. Linda opened the door a crack, then wider. Bill wasn’t in the bathroom. No one was and…the water was still running.
            Fear shivered along Linda’s spine and she was suddenly cold. She turned off the water, left the light on and the door open before going toward the hall and turning on the overhead light. The hall light was next and then the living room light. At the picture window, Linda drew back the drapes. No car in the drive. Bill wasn’t home.
            Who walked down the hall and came into her bedroom? Who sat on the bed? Who…who went into the bathroom, shut the door and turned on the light and water? Who?

Word Count: 579

Did this story creep you out? What if I tell you it is absolutely true. When I was twelve we lived in a haunted house in Arvada, Colorado. A little boy died of leukemia in this house and my mother used to see him propped up in a chair looking out the front window. I personally saw a grown man walk through the hall bathroom door and then through my brother’s bedroom door. I marched down the hall, opened the door and told it to leave my baby brother alone. Of course, I couldn’t see it anymore but I still ordered it out as if it were there.
            The story I told you happened to my mother. I changed the names of my parents. Not only did this happen, but while we lived in this house, my father tried to kill my mother with arsenic poisoning. She almost died, and yet, the doctors didn’t call the police. Times have changed since the sixties.
            So, if I ever sense a ghost lingering around me I tell them to get lost. And they do.

Once again, Crystal is interviewing me about my new e-book, Halloween Collection 1. Here's the link

Halloween Collection 1,  is FREE on Amazon IF you are a member. Or you can read for Free as a member. I had intended to offer it free to all but Amazon won't let me. 99 cents to buy. If you do, please leave a review.

Click here to order.

Have a spooky day.


Laura Clipson said...

This is a great story, it's amazing that it actually happened.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Laura

mshatch said...

That is sooo creepy. And so wrong that the police didn't do anything.

N. R. Williams said...

You're right.

Denise Covey said...

Nancy, I thoroughly enjoyed your story, then you tell us it's real! EEK! What a horrible experience...and your poor mother. Thankfully, domestic violence is finally being taken seriously, but women are still dying at the hands of lovers, husbands, partners. Your post script really brings this home.

Congratulations on your Halloween series. I bought it as soon as it came out. Well done you. I've not quite finished it as I've been busy, as I, too, finally published my first paranormal in a series.

Thanks for participating in the WEP October Halloween challenge! And all the best for your book!

Denise :-)

Denise Covey said...

Oh, and you forgot to link or it didn't take. You're all good now. :-)

Yolanda Renee said...

Congratulations on your Halloween release! How exciting that so many of us are releasing at the same time. Smart minds think a like. :)

I loved your short, and then to find out it's a true story. Wow! I've had some amazing dreams where I could have sworn someone was chocking the life out of me. Three different dreams, but during one I awoke and my husband's arm as across my neck. Coming out of two of the dreams, I touched the 'entity' and remember the feel of it. I even slept with the lights on for several evenings when this was happening, that's how frightened I was. You're brave to be able to chase them off like that! A no nonsense woman!

Great story! Thanks so much for participating in the WEP Halloween Challenge.
Happy Halloween!

Elephant's Child said...

Truth is so often stranger (and more frightening) than fiction. This story of yours has the hairs on the back of my neck prickling.
I am so very glad to hear that you have found a way to banish ghosts.
Domestic violence (hate that sanitised term) kills two woman a week in my country - and damages so many more.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks for fixing the link Denise. Glad you liked my story.

Hi Yolanda
How scary are your dreams, ugh.

Hello elephant, an intriguing name. Glad to meet you.

dolorah said...

Yay, the malware warning is gone. HooRah!!

I lived with a ghost for a year. It felt like an old man; lonely old man. He walked around, took showers, would come in the bedroom and sit on my bed after my husband had gone to work in the m ornings. A little creepy, but never anything sinister.

Loved the ghost story, really great. Lots of tension :) Excellent pacing and character building. Well done Nancy.

I'll pop over to Crystal's for the interview. Good luck with the sales.

N. R. Williams said...

That's good news Donna. Glad you loved the story.

Anonymous said...

Made all the more creepier as it actually has truths in it! Wow!

Crystal Collier said...

Chilling. That's crazy! I think the best ghost stories are based on real life events.

N. R. Williams said...

Yes it does Madilyn.

I agree Crystal.

Deborah Drucker said...

That was quite a story and gives me the creeps. I would not be able to stay in that house with all the goings on you describe.

D.G. Hudson said...

Don't they say truth is stranger than fiction? Yikes living in a haunted house. I used to suspect my childhood home was haunted but mostly the fear came from the stories the old folks would tell when they got together. I wrote about that last year for Halloween. Very interesting! Good luck with your books! I've liked everything I've read at your blog in last years WEP as well as the reboot!

Olga Godim said...

This is a scary story, and it's even scarier to think it might happen in real life.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Horrific in several ways: that this is based on reality and that domestic violence was so ignored by the police in years past as my own mother learned for herself. Great scary story, shivering because of the truth within it.

Nilanjana Bose said...

That was a great story till you said it was true, and then it just blew me away! Living in a actual haunted house how scary is that! Very brave of you to go up after the ghost too. Horrifying what women had to endure in earlier decades and still do, though things are infinitely better now.

Truth is always stranger and sometimes better than fiction.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Deborah
Yes, it is and when my mother told me I got angry.

D. G. Thanks for the compliment.

Hi Olga
Thrilled that I scared you.

Hi Roland
People are far more scarier than ghost. Domestic violence is a sad reality.

Hi Nilanjana
Almost every house I've lived in has been haunted. I suppose I a bit on the psychic side but I have no desire to engage with spooks.


Samantha Redstreake Geary said...

Holy crap! That gave me chills! If that happened to me, I'd be packing my bags less than a minute later *the abuse and the ghost*. You should join the 'Independent Women Anthology' benefiting the 'Pixel Project to end Violence Against Women'.

desk49 said...

You ask if I believe
no way I do not
on my bed too I've
had ghost plop

wet feet in the hallway
closed doors slamming tight
pulling on my toe
now that gave me a fright

I've talked to and feared them
some rooms we know to stay out
in my sleep I touched one waking
others with a screaming shout

Do I believe it's true YES
I can only answer for me

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Samatha
I am glad times has changed for women and men who suffer abuse.

Hi 49
A poem just for me. Thanks.


Sally said...

Wow, your story gave me goosebumps even more so because it was a true story. Domestic abuse is horrible but ghosts are the unseen fear.

Robyn Campbell said...

ACK! REAL? As in it actually happened? Your poor mother. Your writing is fabulous. But I'm so sorry that this actually happened. I would have left that house in one minute flat. I could never stay there.

Arpan Ghosh said...

Wow, that was a really creepy story, made even creepier by the background you provided in the end! Really sorry about what happened to your mother, but I'm glad to know she survived.

That was just an amazing entry.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Twice as spooky since it's true! I'd have gone for a fictional ending had the police show up to tell Linda that he just died in an accident- so now he is the ghost. Just an idea though.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Sally, Robyn, Arpan and J.