Fisher of Men

Perched upon a steep incline that reaches down to the promenade, a dozen houses stand. Their brick work is often dusted with the sands that carry up from the beach, and the paint upon their faces is weathered and worn. As it is the north sea that they face, the houses often feel cold; for the winds of the north are unforgiving and their breath chills not only the waters but the surrounding lands; and no buildings, however strong their timber or solid their brickwork can fully protect against the elements. It is folly to think otherwise, though no doubt the hands that raised the houses by the sea thought differently, and to their credit, after a hundred and twenty years the result of their work still stands; but in time the rain and the wind will win over. The cold has crept and seeped. Its touch has infected each nook and cranny; unseen it eats away at the timber and brick, until finally, the cement will crumble and like the men who laid the foundations and laboured upon their construction, all will be forgotten.

For now though, the houses are occupied. Here, at number 9, the house nearest the cliffs edge, a boy lays awake listening to the ocean. It is something he does often, even though, with his window slightly open, the cold permeates his room and causes him to pull his bed covers tighter around his slender frame. The chill is a small price to pay he reasons, for as the sounds reach his ears, his imagination stirs. He imagines himself walking upon the waves like Peter in the gospels, or sailing upon ships old and majestic, joining his shipmates as they sing of lands undiscovered, for such is the lure of the sea to a small boy. So attuned is his hearing to the sounds of the sea he has come to distinguish it’s moods. From the hush that comes as it breaths gently upon the shore when calm to the thunderous crashes of its anger as it throws its weight against rock and stone, the boy knows each well. Which is why tonight, he appears anxious – for there is a still to the air. And in the quiet an altogether different noise stirs him from his rest.

He leans his elbows upon the sill of his window and looks out into the night. The sky is black as though something as swallowed the heavens, the beach and ocean indistinguishable; for each is dark under the heavy cloud. The boy listens more keenly, and somewhere to his left the sound that stirred him comes again; it is a soft sucking noise, of a boot lifting from mud, or of fruit being pressed and bled. For some reason it unsettles him and for a moment it seems as though the ocean, joining him in anticipation, holds its breath, and the boy senses a presence, of something moving upon darkened shore. Then the breeze lifts, the waves move and the familiarity of the tides is resumed , and though he listens a while longer, the strange noise sounds no more.

Seaside towns are places of extremes. In the summer months they are filled with tourists and vendors, their like filling walkways and roads; shops bustling with trade take on more staff and hotels proudly display their ‘no vacancy signs’ as testament to their hospitality. These weeks are the life blood of the coastal destination, where the fortunate traders make enough to see them through the winter, and those that do not, are noticeable by their absence come the following year. The colder months though, bring desolation. The traffic of people diminishes, the hotels lay empty and the beaches, once full, become vast expanses of solitude. And, so it is of no surprise that come morning, the boy, Matthew, finds the beach empty.. His parents sleep late on weekends, and if truth be told he prefers to be free of their company, It gives him a sense of freedom, and allows him time to do the things that adults have little concern with. He spends a while combing the beach for trinkets and searching rock pools, then, with his pockets lined with shells, sits amongst the sea grass, looking out to the horizon. An oil rig sits far off to this left, it’s bulk made small upon the ocean, and closer to the shore, a small fishing vessel slowly bobs, cutting its way through the waves. The boat looks old; even from this distance, Matthew can see stains of rust weeping upon the hull and the white paint of the steering cabin, weather beaten and peeling revealing an earthy brown beneath. To the rear of the boat a net sways, suspended by an iron mast, and a tall figure, a man dressed in dark waterproofs is prodding the contents with a stick. Seemingly unhappy with his catch, the man releases the net back into the sea and then, just as he is making his way back across the deck, he stops and faces Matthew. The boy waits a moment then raises his arm in a wave but the man does not respond. Perhaps, he isn’t looking at me Matthew thinks. He rummages through his bag for his binoculars and raising them to his eyes,brings the boat and it’s passenger into focus. The man is hooded , but now aware he is being watched, lifts his arms and removes his covering. The man is bald and pale, his skull covered in brown patches that like the boat, seep with a dark unpleasant looking fluid. He stares at Matthew through dark eyes, black shark like eyes. There is intent there, Matthew feels, and that in catching the mans gaze he has somehow singled himself out for the mans intentions. A shiver passes through him and he lowers his binoculars. He looks down, returning them to his bag, a sudden urge to return home growing within him. By the time he looks up again, the man is waving.

During dinner the boy sits in silence picking at his food. At his mother’s insistence he finally tells her of the man on the boat and the thing he thought he knew to be under his window and both of his parents laugh. Their laughter makes him angry which in turn gives rise to their displeasure; dinner ends with him threatening to run away and they in turn wishing him to be a quiet, more gentle child. Neither of them mean the words they say. Even now as he sits upon his bed, his arms folded across his knees, tears drying upon his cheeks, he is readying his apology, just as they are readying theirs. As it is, it is his mother who speaks first. She knocks on his door and entering carrying a mug of tea and tray of biscuits (chocolate digestives, his favourite), sits down beside him, pulling him close. The tears came again, but this time they are good tears, healing tears and all thoughts of the man on the boat melt away in the warmth of his mothers embrace. ”No one man will harm you Matthew” his mother tells him ”Not here, not anywhere. Remember that”

”I will”


”I promise.”

By the time his last biscuit has began to melt at the bottom of his mug, his eyes are heavy with the promise of sleep.

He is standing by the shore again, though he has no memory of leaving the house. The sky is dark and the moon, full and watchful, bathes the beach in a blue incandescence which lends his surroundings a cold, sterile setting. Yet, even with this, he doesn’t feel the slightest chill upon him. He begins to ponder this when he sees the boat. This time it looks even more dilapidated than before. The shell of it now has holes so big as to let the moonlight through, it’s twin masts bent, the top cabin a crumbling ruin. Like a cancer that had lain dormant during the day and has now run rampant amongst it’s beams, spreading it’s disease throughout, the ship sits like tumour upon the sea. And here now is the captain, emerging from below deck, his head hooded once more, making his way from starboard to stern. The net he now inspects is full and heavy and Matthew wondering what the man has caught finds himself rising from his standing position, floating over the water until he is but a man’s height above the deck – the impossibility of which pays him no heed, so intent is he on watching the boat beneath him. The hooded man reaches to his left and pulls a lever. Gears are set in motion whirling loudly in the night air and the net moves from the ships edge over the deck, the dregs of it’s contents, seaweed and small fish spilling from the netting onto the boards. Something large moves in that net, Matthew can see, it squirms and wriggles trying to free itself, emitting a yapping noise in it’s extremities. Though the sound is distressing, the man appears ill-concerned, carrying on with slow deliberation, making his way under the netting to a large reel which he then precedes to turn, shifting the catch onto the slickened deck. The contents spill out, the stench rising into the air, foul and fetid, of things rotting and old, and there amongst a myriad of fish and crustaceans, lay something resembling a human form. The man leans down brushing away the scuttling crabs and weeds and resting his arm under the beings shoulder helps it to its feet. If feet they are, for it the creature looks more of the sea than of the land. Its skin is white, almost luminous in the moonlight, its flank lined with molluscs made fat upon its flesh and its fingers and toes are marked by webbing, thin and lined like that of a chickens. It is a horrid yet pitiful creature. It continues to yelp as the man helps it to the ships bow, its legs trembling as it tries to walk assisted , its limbs uncoordinated as an infants having been brought into the world from the warmth of a wet and comforting womb. Matthew feels his position move, now hovering to the left of the two figures. Though within feet of the fisherman, it appears he remains unseen, for the man carries upon his labours, sitting the creature down upon a wooden seat where he then reaches for a piece of hose, turning its end until a stream of water erupts. The creature sits silently now, its head down as the man goes about washing it, moving his hands over its limbs as he does so, removing the molluscs and barnacles from its skin, the weeds from its ears and nose. Strange as it seems, the water is removing more than just the filth of the ocean, the creatures flesh itself seems to melt as the water washes over it, congealing on the ships deck like a mound of fat until the form of it looks altogether more human. The fisherman moves again obscuring Matthews view and judging from his motion is now rubbing the creatures face, much as a mother’s would was a child’s – vigorously and thoroughly. The man then steps back, pleased, and looks down upon his handiwork. The creature, still seated, now has thick dark hair, wet it sticks to its scalp and rains down upon it’s brow, and now, slowly, it raises its head. Matthew lets out a gasp, and as he does so the fisherman looks towards him. The man smiles. It is a knowing, vindictive expression. It plays upon his thick features like an oil slick, stretching out until it escaped the confines of his face, and then growing ever bigger, blacks out the moon and stars until all is suffocated under it’s reach.

Matthew wakes up screaming, his pyjamas soaked, his bed wet. Within moments his mother is at his side, the light on, her words repeating over again ”It was just a nightmare Matthew, just a nightmare.”

Perhaps, but the face still hovers there in the corner of his vision. Like a ghost upon the air, invisible but to those who know of it’s presence, and it watches. The creature’s face, washed and reborn, with features Matthew recognises immediately, for just as on the boat in his dreams, he sees it as his own.

The morning is overcast with the promise of drizzle which is fine with him. He has no desire to visit the beach after the nights events; instead he sits by his window trying to read a Star Wars paperback though his mind continues to drift back to the diseased looking fisherman. Eventually, the words on the page became nothing but a jumble of indistinct phrases and he puts the book down, it’s spine opening upon the floor. He looks out at the sea, empty but for the circling gulls, clouds gathering in the distance. Perhaps the weatherman was wrong and it is a storm that is coming. He watches a moment longer, then satisfied there is no boat to be seen, goes downstairs to join his parents.

The day passes quickly. They watch films; one a comedy set on a camping site, the other a Sindbad epic, and by the time the evening comes thoughts of the mysterious boat and its occupant have began to fade. He sits listening to his fathers bad jokes, and wins at cards, and as a thank you for his mums concern over the previous night, helps with the dishes after dinner. ”Would you mind taking the rubbish out” his father calls poring himself out a drink. ”Course” Matthew answers.

He retrieves the bags from the kitchen and opens the back door; the cold air enters immediately, rain drops hitting his face. His walk to the bins will take him along the side of the house to an enclosed area at the rear of the garden. The rain is heavy, already the ground beneath his slippers is sodden and so he dashes now, cursing the weather as he goes, mud splashing his trousers. It is as he nears the compound that he sees the figure. It hunches amongst the bins, but seeing him, it now rises up, and steps from the shadows. The boy is naked, his skin wet with rain water, his hair hangs limply across his brow. Closer the boy comes, his features becoming more distinct as he nears through the downpour, and there, only as the boys eyes settled on his, does Matthew realise, what the fisherman’s intentions are.

He drops the bags he is holding and goes to let out a scream but a hand has now covered his mouth. An arm forces against his back, dragging him into the dark of the elm trees that line the garden. He kicks his legs, his slippers falling off as he does so, and now he is down on the ground, the fisherman stuffing a foul smelling rag into his mouth, placing a knee upon his chest, winding him, tears stinging Matthews eyes . The naked boy has followed and is now leaning down, pulling at Matthews trousers. They come off easily and the boy holds them for a moment, turning them this way and that until finding the front, he then eases his pale legs inside. Matthew raises his head again, terrified. The fishermans huge face looms close to his, his breath putrid, it smells of fish left in the sun, and ponds green and thick. And then the man raises his fist and the rain, the half naked boy and Matthews thoughts dissolve into blackness.

Matthews parents never really knew what caused their son to change so quickly. One day he was fine, they would say, the next…well, he was never quite the same after that night. He was quieter, slower; his speech somewhat garbled. They loved him though, as only parents can love, and in time the boys speech improves and he becomes more like the son he was, only dare they say it… better. There were no more nightmares, no more screams in the night. By all accounts the son they had always hoped for.

There is an old fishing vessel seen off the coast of Cornwell not long after Matthews parents are first wondering what has happened to change their son. It is old, and rotting looking. On it’s deck a hooded man walks along with what observers take to be his son, though the boy appears unhappy to be there, his face turned to the shore, seemingly searching for something on the land. As the years past the boy will began to forget the life he had before, the memory of his parents will fade just as his skin will grow pale until the sea is all he can remember. Now and then, the old fisherman will walk ashore and select children to be replaced by things of the sea, and Matthew will help, for the old man tells him he will not be long for this world and it will be Matthews duty to carry on his work. Sometimes the children they take will be thrown overboard, their stomachs slit and weighed with stones. Other times they will be allowed to join the ship and learn off the things that wait to be lifted from the waters. Perhaps, in time, Matthew will dream of a place where the sheets of his bed were once clean, and he had a mother who brought him sweet tea. But, on waking he will shrug off such thoughts as mere fancies and return to his work; scrubbing the red from the deck, pocketing trinkets from the clothes of small dead things.

For such is the lure of the sea.


boat moon


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Wash the sins

The forest is not half a mile from our house. The area is unsuitable for cultivation, or so I am told. So, the trees continue to grow and the moss gathers ever thicker, continuing the trend that has perhaps lasted centuries; and if secrets are kept there, they remain hidden under heavy canopies of leaf and darkness.


There have been tales. Stories recited from the mouths of parents as they gather in the fading light of day. From my vantage point on the stairs I have heard them speak of children lost to the woods, and of the mothers and fathers spending the remainder of their days calling out the names of their loved ones as they search as methodically as they can amongst the elms and oaks; for no man can truly claim to know the depth and breadth of such a land. I hear claims that the children were lost to the many bogs that litter the terrain, or, in mores hushed tones, that the woods themselves stole each child, and that is the blood of the young that causes the forest to grow so tall, the foliage so lush.

I listen. But, I know these things not to be true.

Yet, for all this talk, there is an undeniable beauty to such a place. On warmer days the denseness of the branches gives the promise of a cool place in which to retreat for the sun, the many streams and brooks dance with flickering light, and the fauna, colourful and abundant, has long been the inspiration of artists and poets, their number creating bodies of work that have been pored over by scholars and academics alike. It is these summer days which draws it’s many visitors, each eager to take in the forests splendour, to paddle in it’s cool waters, to walk amongst it’s branches, and for some, to experience the wonder that drew the poets to tears, the painters to frustration. And although, on these days, the stories of lost children are almost forgotten; for there is nothing to fear in the light, the fathers and mothers instinctively keep their offspring in sight, and each feels a weight lifted from them as they leave the cool confines of the trees, and step back into the light.

Today, though, it is the midst of winter. The morning has brought a light snowfall, with more, perhaps much more, forecast for later. It is something on an inconvenience, but I shall make good on my promise. I retrieve the thickest jumper I own, along with a scarf and my boots. I take my Parker from off of it’s peg in the hallway, and on opening the back door of the house, step into the chill morning air.

I then walk to the forest.

I feel their gaze as they watch me walk across the open field that leads to the trees. I have come to know that they often observe from a distance, only showing themselves to the young, the least threatening, that they look and evaluate, take measure of the those who venture near. Even now, with it being more that a year since they disclosed their presence to me, they are guarded. Wary of my actions, of their secret being revealed. And so, I approach slowly, with my palms facing outwards. It is a simple gesture: I mean you no harm. And in the still air between tree and grass I hear them whisper ‘He is coming’.

The bracket is thickest by the woods entrance, but I have taken the trail many times and manage to step through without snags or tears to my clothes. The air is cooler here, moist. I stop for a second, taking a deep breath, forming a steam of mist upon the air as I exhale. It’s something that I know they like to watch; it magical, one once told me. I found that amusing. I don’t know why.

A stream runs eastwards, and it is this that I follow. The trees are at their thickest here, the roots gaining substance from the waters. I watch each step I take, for the ground here is treacherous and eager to trip the unwary, the forest floor sodden and slippery with mulch. It cakes my boots and dampens the bottom of my jeans, and more than once I have to pause for a branch to grip or bank to ascend. In time, I reach the clearing.

The fallen tree is, of course, still there. I have no idea when it fell, though it’s bark has long been stripped by the creatures of the forest, and if one was to take the time to count the rings that run through it’s centre, a number of 122 would be reached. So, I have been told. One day, I intend to see if that is indeed true. But, not today. Today, is for other matters.

I sit down, the Parker I wear a barrier between myself and the rotting wood. Usually, I find the coat too large for my frame and am not inclined to wear it, but it cushion my bottom, here upon the tree, and for once I am glad of the size. I rub my gloves together and then survey my surroundings. The light above cuts through the softly swaying branches and dances particles upon the air, I watch them for a time, following their slow descent, mesmerised by the simple beauty of it all. It is only when I feel a chill to my neck that I realise that I am not alone.

She is sitting next to me. Her tender frame modestly covered by a dress once white, now browned and threadbare. Her fingers, pale as to be almost translucent play at the hem, she is looking down, her face obscured by a storm of dark hair, it rains down her shoulders, the flow ending at the middle of her back. I notice she isn’t wearing shoes, her toes are muddied, her ankles stained.

She moves her arm and I feel a coldness as her hand envelopes my own. An icy chill spreads through my body and I instinctively shiver which draws a look from her. Her face is very pale, her lips colourless which makes her black hair seem all the darker. Her eyes I can’t help but notice are completely grey, like the colour has faded over a long period of time. She reminds me of a black and white illustration from one of my many comics. One where the artist having coloured the background became tired of his work and left the character unfinished. She is out of picture, I think. Separated from her surroundings and forgotten. I want to ask her her name, but I don’t. She will tell me in time, and I am afraid of saying the wrong thing. Especially, when it has taken me so long to gain her, and the others, trust.

As it is, it is she that speaks. Her voice is soft, quiet, and I find myself holding my breath just to catch her words. ”Are you ready?’ She asks.

I nod and she releases her hand from mine. As she stands I see marks upon her legs,she pats down her dress, then begins walking back towards the tress. ‘Wait” I say, and she pauses. She mummers something that I can’t quite catch then moves once more. The pale of her form darkens, and then there is only the tress, the clearing and I. A boy alone in the forest. Cold from the touch of a girl who no one thought to finish.

The snow is reaching through the branches now. It gathers upon the clearing, spots of white laying a blanket before me, making the tress heavy, the air colder still. I do not know how long it has been since the girl left, only that I am to wait. Are they watching me? I think so. Perhaps, they are testing my resolve. Making certain that I am true to my conviction. They need not do so. I decided long ago the path I wish to take. And, so I sit and I wait. Pulling my Parker tighter around my body, pushing my hands deeper into my pockets. And the snow continues to fall; a bed of cotton suppressing all sounds but the breath that now labors in my lungs.

It is perhaps this that allows him to move in close without my knowledge, only signalling his presence with the removal of the rag from his pocket that he now pushes into my mouth. I struggle… an instinct that proves useless. He is too strong.  Too practiced in his role. I kick the ground, making dirt of the snow as he grips me tighter. Now stars appear where there were none, the last light triggered by a lack of oxygen to my brain. And, then, they too are gone. Replaced by a darkness so absolute that in extinguishes the all of me.


Not of all of me.

Just the finishing touches of my being.

The essence is here still. A pencil drawing that cannot be fully erased. And I can move, yes. I move now. Walking, like an imprint upon the page of a painting of the world. Unseen, but for those who look beyond the brush strokes.

I am sitting once more upon the log in the clearing. I feel little, though my clothes appear to be made for one larger than I. They hang upon my frame and the breeze makes flags around the bottom of my legs. The Parker I wear is no longer blue, but it doesn’t bother me. Little bothers me now.

We play in the forest, the girl and I. Sometimes the others join us, but mainly we chose to be alone together, for I enjoy her company and she mine.

For a time there are those that come to search the forest. They call out my name, and on odd times I try to tell them that I am here, and that I am not alone, but whatever road passes between us is untravelled by the foot of men, and so they move without interruption, searching in vain, until even in time, they appear no more.

It was many months before my parents stepped into the woods. Perhaps, they thought people were wondering why they hadn’t searched for their offspring and decided to quash the rumours of beatings and other violence forced upon their boy. I watched them for a while as they pushed bushes aside and prodded bogs and streams with the broken branches in their hands. It was all for show, I have no doubt. Even as they searched I could not hep but notice the smiles upon their faces, they were as fixed as the bruises upon my body, and just as ugly.

During the summer months we watch as families once more appear in the forest. We witness the love between parents and their children, and then we observe the others, the children who sit further away, who are quieter, nervous. It is these we observe more closely. We see the darkness in the father, perhaps the cold that emanates from a mothers heart, and when their backs are turned, we learn towards their child and whisper. We tell of how to stop the pain. And whilst many close their ears, there are those who listen. The ones broken, those that fear the night, and what it brings. And we watch as they walk behind their parents, tugged this way and that. And we know we shall see them again.

And we tell the one who walks the forest. And he nods and folds rags to his pocket.

The girl and I play. And over time our bruises fade. The colour washed, until finally…..

We are clean again.


Art by Irene Shpak

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The apartment

When I first moved into my present home, the building wasn’t actually complete. I always thought there was a story there, but like so many other ideas it sat at the back of my mind, gathering dust, waiting for the moment when like a forgotten gift it is retrieved once more. Yesterday, I had a clear out, and there, dusty and buried under notes about this and that, discovered the tale of the apartment. I quickly jotted out the little piece that you will find below and found that it could be worked into a larger story. I doubt the scene I share here will find it’s way into the finished product (it’s rough, having been written in half an hour or so), but I do think it raises a little chill. And I do so like to shudder in company….

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A tearful visitation

I was a quiet child, and like many quiet children my days were spent alone. Perhaps, it was this loneliness that saw me turn to books for company, that in the lives of others I would find the companionship I silently yearned for. And so,  days were spent brooding over the contents of my parents shelves, seeking out adventures to partake in, characters to enjoy, and then, alone in my room, with a lamp by my bedside, I found the friends that I sought. Continue reading

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The Black Fairy


My vigil is showing upon me. It etches lines upon my face, it fades my once dark hair to a sullen grey; eyes once eager to see the world now no longer want to view it’s wonders, for they have seen enough. And know what hides in the dark. Yet, still I sit, fighting against the sleep that entices me with release. For it is an empty promise. There is no comfort to be found behind closed eyes. A momentary escape perhaps, but that is all, and that too demands a price, one that my heart could not bare. So, my hair greys, my face ages and I sit. Sit in the wooden chair in the corner of my son’s room. Watching over him throughout the night. Keeping him safe. Safe from what I know to be also be waiting, there in the dark.

And unlike me, it’s eyes are always open. Continue reading

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The butterfly brooch


There is a path not far from where I live. To the uninitiated it is by all accounts, a path like any other. It’s flank is lined by trees, which though bare in winter, bloom greatly in the spring, locking overhead to create a canopy from which one can take shade from the sun. The route of three miles or so follows the river Nene, which itself runs from Northampton through to Peterborough before branching out to the nearby town of Wellingborough, On summer days it is indeed a pleasant walk, but we are not passing through those months at present, and it is the winter days, and more particularly nights that concern me here. For it is during these times that the path draws me.

To understand it’s power I must go back a little. Twelve years in fact. A time when I was renting a small one bedroomed house a stones throw away from the Peterborough city centrer. The house itself has little baring on this story, only to say it was located in a small cul-de-sac in which 6 flats were situated at the entrance, with my house and one other at the rear. The two houses were joined and the builders of the properties, wanting to save money, had skimped on materials. The plumbing and heating was inadequate and the walls, made from plasterboard, were paper thin. One could hear just about every word that passed between their neighbour if they so wished just by pressing an ear to the wall. The rest of the time brought a muffled background noise consisting of television noise and footsteps on stairs. Quiet was not an option. Continue reading

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The witch and the paperboy

I recently offered to help friend of mine deliver some Thomson Direct books. They, in what I can only surmise as a moment of madness, took the job of posting some 3000 books through doors up and down the city in exchange for payment, and I owed them a favour, so why not?

How hard can it be right? Exactly.

Yet, it has caused me sleepless nights. I’m to deliver the books this Saturday. I shall be working during the day, the sun will hopefully be shining and it may even be fun. But, for all this, the thought of doing it is causing me some concern. And here’s why. Continue reading

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The town that ended

Some of you may have seen me write about a number of re-occurring dreams that I have had.  Some may have not. For the latter, know this: One such dream involves a dark haired woman who has frequented my sleeping worlds on and off for a great many years. To this day, I have no knowledge of her name, whether she actually exists or is just a phantom of my imagination. Only that she haunts me, and that we have a shared bond. We are connected in some way. Today, she made her presence know once more… Continue reading

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Magic : A true story

Great Yarmouth, a town thirsty for miracles. Thriving in the sixties it had drank deeply, gorging its self on new home owners and holiday camps, but now, just six years into a new decade, it’s glamour was fading. And quickly. The home owners had moved, the camps closed; unemployment was rising and the town was only spoke of by those who wanted to leave it. Perhaps, it was precisely because of this that events like the circus were so popular. That people needed a bit of colour to brighten lives darkened by lay-offs and power cuts. That they, like the town had pallets dry and looked for something to quench their appetites. The carnivals sensed such desperation and even with the summer season over, some still endeavoured to travel to the sea-side town. If not to make a fortune, to at least ease the harshness of winter trade, and so it was that the people of Keruul loaded their wares and stowed their animals, and made their way eastwards. Just as eager for custom as the townsfolk were to slake their thirst.

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Ghosts: My experiences and thoughts

I spent new years eve re-watching the 1973 film ‘The Legend Of Hell House’. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s a haunted house picture based on a novel by Richard Matheson (Incredible Shrinking Man, Twilight Zone.. Etc), which is in turn based on the classic ‘The Haunting Of Hill House’ by Shirley Jackson, which was brought to the screen as ‘The Haunting. LEGEND is a great spooky film. Lots of lingering shadows and empty corridors and fog filled exteriors with great performances from Roddy McDowell and Pamela Franklin, a wonderful actress who never really achieved the fame and recognition she deserved.

Anyway, watching it made me think about ghosts, spirits and all other manner of supernatural occurrences. Mainly, ones that I have experienced first hand. Funnily enough, I had one such ghostly encounter but days ago, which I shall recount later, but for now, allow me to express my thoughts and views on what is commonly referred to as ‘ghosts’. What they are and why we see them. I do, of course, have no evidence to back up my observations or theories, but that’s half the fun of theorizing. With that in mind, first let me begin with some examples of strange occurrences I have bore witness to. Do you have a cuppa? Yes? Good. Here we go then. Continue reading

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