Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, came into being via the Celtic festival of Samhain, a celebration of the end of summer and the bounty from autumn harvest. But the Celts also believed that once a year, from October 31st to November 1st, the spirits could leave their realm and interact with humans. It is with that in mind, that I wrote JOIN ME.
He walked along the corridor, with slippers slapping on the floor. The air was foggy, damp and cold. The man was tired, sad, and old. His friend was waiting down the hall. He moved with care. He must not fall. Just once each year, she came at night and stayed until the dawn’s first light.
She was his special childhood friend, but he felt he had caused her end. Although she was alive no more, she’d meet him by the kitchen door. Electric failed when she got there, and lavender would fill the air. But candles would provide the light. They’d flicker through the cold dark night.
She’d laugh and tell him she had come to play. She wanted to have fun. This night was special, Halloween! It was twelve months, since last he’d seen his faithful friend of many years. When she arrived, sometimes his tears still fell, as he remembered when she left him. She was only ten.
They’d been close to the railroad track. He often wished he could go back to that October thirty-first. That cold, dark night he made the worst decision of his early life. He let her walk alone that night. They’d talked of costumes, tricks and treats, and after dinner where they’d meet.
Renee was picking lavender. Having such fun, she never heard the train. It rumbled down the track and struck her squarely in the back. A momentary jolt of pain, her life extinguished by the train. Her spirit floated to his side and there she wanted to abide.
It happened sixty years ago. Since then he’d never truly known a peaceful day in all his life. Her death had filled it with such strife. She never blamed him for her death, but told him she could never rest without her friend and so she stayed in every place they’d ever played.
Rejecting the light’s brilliant ray, she said she would not go. She’d stay. He only saw her once each year, but every single day he’d hear her plea for him to leave the earth, to die, then join her in rebirth. He walked along the corridor to coax her toward the light once more.
If you enjoy unique stories of intrigue with a touch of romance, this author’s short story is for you. It is my pleasure to introduce Pat Garcia, musician, songwriter, and author of TURN THE LIGHT ON.
Pat is passionate about her writing, as is evident from the following essay and an excerpt from her book.
Writing is a craft that must be developed. I am not one of those writers who believes that everyone can write a book. I don’t think a well-written book falls from Heaven.
If a writer wants their work read, then they must know something about point of view, deep point of view, structure, sentence styling, and how to weave back story into their stories so that it doesn’t seem like they are just dumping words on the reader.
I have many craft books on writing, but I admit that I haven’t read them all the way through.
I choose what I need to read to help me write a specific chapter or even one or two paragraphs. When I was trying to grasp point of view, I picked up Sol Stein’s books: How to Grow A Novel and Stein On Writing. I have other books on the point of view, but Stein does an excellent job helping me.
The structure of a story was another thing that I needed to learn, and the book that I have sitting on my desk always is The Hero’s Journey by Christoph Vogler. I cannot tell you the number of times that I have studied this book until I grasped the essence of what Vogler was saying in a particular chapter. As I began Turn The Light On, I wanted to show Della in her ordinary world. Vogler says, and I quote him here, “If you’re going to show a fish out of his customary element, you first have to show him in that ordinary world to create a vivid contrast with the strange new world he is about to enter.” That is what I wanted to achieve with the opening. I wanted to show Della’s fear, curiosity, and inability to say no to a journey that would forever change her life.
Turn The Light On opens with a Bible Verse that mirrors Della’s dilemma and her fears. Her ordinary world has begun to tumble.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For you are with me. Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)
Della Cartwright sat in Macey Bergstein’s office in Frankfurt, Germany. She balled her hands into fists, flexing them, waiting for Macey, her boss, to express her opinion about the unexplained money transfers in Della’s private bank account. A plane flew over their building, and Della’s eyes followed its path as she gazed out of the window behind Macey. How she could have gotten involved with a man in a counter-terrorist group was puzzling. Downright despicable. Until now, she had made a name for herself as the Foreign Exchange Settlements department’s queen. Everyone in the department acknowledged her magical abilities. Her intuitiveness and her strong sense of discernment had caught errors and even settled deals, which would have cost dealers their jobs if she had not noticed the mistakes. Yet, she had managed to let a man whose name she didn’t even know wrap her in his web.
Fear engulfed her. What if he was not only a counterterrorist, but also using her to launder money? Her hands shook as she considered the consequences of the mistakes she’d made, and what could happen to her. She didn’t relish standing before a disbelieving judge trying to explain her stupidity.
Pat Garcia can’t remember a day when she didn’t desire to write. At the age of three, Pat wrote her first story. No one could understand it because she hadn’t learned to write. So, she read the scribble on her paper to whoever would listen. Born in Blythe, Georgia, (USA), she is also a musician, singer, and songwriter and has released five CDs.
Would you ever accept a dinner invitation to meet a stranger who never spoke one word to you during your time together? Would you accept that you could not even sit at the same table with them? How about, you don’t even know their name and you continue this “game” for months?
Meet Della Cartwright. A superstar at what she does professionally, but when the tall, mysterious, Italian stranger, Alessio Terracina, enters her world, she begins to question her judgment and everything about her.
In this short story which takes place over the course of one day, this otherwise savvy businesswoman is led into making decisions that could jeopardize her professional life and maybe even cost her her freedom. But the greatest danger…just might be to her fragile heart.
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For those who don’t know her, I am delighted to introduce Roberta Eaton Cheadle and her latest novel, A GHOST AND HIS GOLD. Roberta combines history with fiction and weaves a story that is educational as well as entertaining. Leave a comment below for a chance to win one of four copies of this historical fiction.
A Ghost and His Gold
The gun used by the Boers during the Second Anglo Boer War
Mauser Model 93/95
Prior to the Second Anglo Boer War, Imperial Germany supplied the two Boer Republics with tens of thousands of modern Mauser rifles. The most common of these was the Mauser Model 93/95 chambered for the 7x57mm cartridge.
This is how Tactical Life Magazine describes the Mauser Model 93/95:
“Paul Mauser’s first smokeless-powder, bolt-action, charger-loaded, magazine-fed rifle featured a tubular receiver that held a one-piece both with dual front-locking lugs. The bolt was drilled out from the rear to allow insertion of the firing mechanism. The cock-on-closing bolt, with its non-rotating extractor, prevented double-feeds and made bolt manipulations smoother. It also featured a staggered-row-style box magazine that could be reloaded and fed cartridges more smoothly, and because it was completely enclosed by the stock, it was hard to damage.” Source: https://www.tactical-life.com/firearms/second-boer-war-rifles/
The Boers treasured their guns. Here is a short extract from A Ghost and His Gold about Pieter’s Mauser:
Clambering out of bed, he stumbles across the uneven floor of the bedroom and down the passageway. By the time he reaches the front door, his eyes have adjusted fully to the darkness, and he can make out the shapes of the furniture in the voorkamer, a large room at the front of the farmhouse where Marta receives visitors.
Grabbing his loaded Mauser rifle from its hooks on the wall near the door, he hesitates for a moment to admire its smooth and shiny wooden length. The feel of the gun in his hands gives him confidence; he is an excellent marksman.
This gun brought me a lot of respect.
His ability with a gun had been his saving grace when, as a young man, his peers had been mystified by his interest in books and writing and had liked to share their derogatory thoughts in that regard.
The chilly wind strikes him as he opens the door in his nightclothes and bare feet, the gun raised cautiously, ready to fire. The wind blows straight through his clothing, leaving him feeling vulnerable and naked, despite his trusty weapon. The cold front that arrived during the night has dropped the temperatures below freezing.
I’m tired of winter and it’s only June. We still have the whole of July and August to get through.
He shivers as he peers into the heavy dark, searching for the owner of the voice. “Who’s there?””
After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summons a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.
Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?
After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.
Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.
Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has 2 published novels, Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy, and A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.
Roberta has 9 children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.
Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.
Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written 7 publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.
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