G is for Ghosts
Do you believe in them? I don't, though that doesn't stop me from writing about them. But before I go into that, let's take a look at some common beliefs about them. It is said that ghosts have no sense of time - in particular of time having passed but they retain memories and emotions from their physical lives and are drawn to certain locations which act as portals for their transportation between realms. They are attention-seekers and can communicate with the living in a number of ways. They can be mischievous and are often more active around young children because of the energy they give off. They have a strong sense of smell and are drawn to particular scents.
Spooked enough? My forthcoming release, Unworkers, is a modern ghost story which explores all of these beliefs and more, so if you enjoy spine-chilling tales, I hope you'll put it on your reading list.
Here is a brief excerpt from Chapter 4 in which Anne encounters the seventeen year old single mum, Paige, on the staircase and hears about her mysterious accident - which Paige insists was no accident at all.
Anne was about to turn away when a thought struck her. "You were right about these stairs being dangerous. I've almost tripped and fallen once or twice myself, you know."
Paige caught in her breath quickly. "I didn't trip," she said through tight lips. "I was pushed."
"What?" Anne raised her hand to her face in an involuntary gesture, as if to suppress her shock.
Paige advanced a step towards Anne, her eyes fixed on her face. "You think I'm mad, don't you? The police said it wasn't possible, but I know I was pushed. I felt someone push me! And I'm sick of pretending it didn't happen. I hate this house. Don't you hate it? I hate these bloody stairs most of all."
Anne's hand fell from her mouth to her throat, where it fingered a fine gold chain for a moment and then stretched gently towards Paige's left arm. "Yes, I know what you mean," she said, consolingly. "Will you show me where it happened?"
Paige used her stick to point to the top of the stairwell. "Right there. And I lay on that bloody landing up there for an hour and three quarters before anyone came to help me."
"That's awful. Were you unconscious?"
"I wish I was - it hurt like hell."
Anne inhaled slowly and quietly before asking her next question. "Did you...I mean, have you ever noticed a strange smell on the staircase?"
Paige caught her own breath much more sharply and blinked hard. "How did you know that? I never told no one that! That stink - it was nearly worse than the pain. I didn't know what it was. At first I thought it might be coming from me - it was horrible. But then I realised. It must of come from her."
"Her? Who do you mean?"
"The woman what pushed me."
"But...did you see anyone? You said the police claimed..."
"I didn't need to see her," Paige cut in vehemently. "But she was there all right. And all the time I was lying there, I could tell she was watching me, wishing I was dead, so she could get her hands on my Courtney. I hate this house. I'd do anything to get away from it!"