And the Cattails sway

The prequel to Down By The River

She sat side saddle on the wooden stool
Calf length cowboy boots
Ragged denim cut offs
White T shirt
Outlining her curves
Elbow resting on the bar
Glass three quarters full
Five rings marked the wood around it
Circles much like life
The chair legs scraped beside her
Jeans brushed against her thigh

She blinked slowly
Her expression ambivalent
Taking in his beauty
He smiled, teeth white as snow
A conversation started
Her speech slurred
She giggled as the words fell out
His hand touched hers
She didn’t flinch
Throwing back the last drop of liquid

They walked out
Her foot slipped on its side
He grabbed her upper arm as support and
She leaned into his strength
No one knew her there
A bar the back of no where
No one knew her name
Her head spun as the air hit

She sat next to him
The leather hot under her legs
Fumbling for the radio
Once more their fingers touched
Reassuring, calm telling her to relax
“We can cool off in the river”
She smiled so innocently
Closing her eyes listening to the music
Till the drunken sleep overtook
Thinking only of his eyes
His eyes of deepest green

My 1,000th Post


Feltone Castle – Part 7 – THE END


Hannah was angry, how dare they not answer her questions.

On her way to her room she heard the sound of water, but this time from a room to the top of the staircase, two doors down from hers, she hadn’t really taken notice of it before. The door was smaller than others.

Gingerly she turned the handle. She found herself standing mid calves in water, which just sat there like a layer of jelly, not pouring out of the door when she opened it, as it should, then again nothing would surprise her at this juncture.

She raised the lamp and gulped. Around the walls we’re pictures of herself, baby photos, child photos, adult photos, mingled with other portraits. Before she had a chance to really comprehend why her photos were there, the water started swirling around her legs, her head began to spin and she felt faint, it took all her strength to wade out of there as quickly as she could.

Within minutes all the doors in the house started banging, it was deafening. Hannah held her hands over her ears, yelling at them to stop it.

It was useless, they weren’t going to. She ran towards the staircase wanting to get out of the house, to escape  the incessant pounding.

“LEAVE NOW” they both screamed, Hannah thought of standing her ground, but they were making it impossible for her to do so. Before she knew it she felt a thump in the middle of her back and she was spiralling down the staircase.

When she came to, the doors were still banging.

“GO YOU SHOULDN’T BE HERE” they yelled in unison.

Hannah ran to the front door, it was pitch black outside, she looked around her, not knowing where to run, she was confused, scared out of her wits. Then fingers yanked the back of hair, she bolted around the back of the castle and found herself in front of the swimming pool.

She started crying, she couldn’t return inside and it was too dark and treacherous to make her way down to the village to get help and who would believe what was happening.

“You think you’re so beautiful don’t you?” a whispered raspy voice came from behind. Hannah froze, it wasn’t a child’s voice. She still couldn’t turn.

“He will be back soon, you know, but I won’t let him love you more than me”  Hannah tried to speak, but her mouth was so dry, the words wouldn’t come.

“He loved them too you know, too much, I stopped that, that bath is nice and deep. They tried to warn you, I must say you don’t scare very easily”.

Hannah realised this must be her aunt, the girls were warning her, not frightening her.

“I couldn’t get to you, so I got you to come to me, remember the letter, he leaves them in his desk, blank letterheads, I found them”.

“He always said how pretty you were and that I should invite you here, for a visit he said, why, so he could give you all his attention, like he did those brats”?

Hannah forced herself to turn around, there stood a small woman, a shock of white hair, dressed in a long black dress.

The wind picked up, the moon now not sheltering behind the clouds. Hannah plucked up courage to move, she started to walk slowly around Isabel, unknowingly Isabel stepped with her, till it was Isabel who had he back towards the pool.

A cry “GO NOW” and before she knew it Isabel seemed to have been pushed, her arms flaying in front of her. She fell hitting her head against the concrete edge till her white hair turned red and her blood dripped into the murky water below.

Thank you for reading everyone.

Feltone Castle – Part 6


Hannah woke, to the sound of rain splintering against the window pane, her limbs ached. She staggered bleary eyed to the bathroom and ran her bath, the sound reminded her of the water flowing down the stairs last night and she shudded. Wrapping the towel around her, she walked to the wardrobe and grabbed her jeans, jumper, coat and boots, wishing there was instant heating in this place.

Morning had come, there weren’t any sounds apart from outside. She managed to force a smile, as she peered through the glass, hoping her mission to the village would be fruitful.

She opened the door to the post office, no library existed, she couldn’t search records. The only stores were a butchers, a pub, a small grocery store, a hardware and home goods store and the post office. Finding someone who could impart some information may be a struggle. The butcher told her to head to Lily at the post office, she was the one to talk to, if she couldn’t help her, then to try the publican, Hugh. 

Lily stood behind the counter, an elderly woman of short stature, round dark rimmed glasses and a slightly too colourful paisley dress . Hannah approached her, introduced herself and began with her many questions. 

Firstly did she know of her aunt, the lawyer, the children who were haunting the castle. As luck would have it, Lily was the village gossip, well informed on the goings on of everybody and everything in the village. 

What Hannah found out shocked her. Lily told her that her aunt had not died, or not that she knew of anyway, that she had been placed in to a mental institution for three months, but then had been released. The lawyer was her husband, who was now overseas on a business trip and had been gone for over a month now. The children, twin girls had been adopted by them. 

Lily hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Isabel for months, or the girls in fact. Apart from coming down from the hill to purchase groceries once a month, she said Isabel kept pretty much to herself and even more so since they got the girls. 

Hannah returned to the castle totally bewildered, where on earth was her aunt, why was she institutionalised, why would her husband send her a letter saying that she had passed and that Feltone was now hers? The children that she heard, that she only heard at night but she hadn’t seen, were they Isabel’s?

Another storm was rolling in, the cloud pattern had moved from broken strips to a bulbous mass. Hannah was fed up with the weather and dreading another night of broken sleep. Hopefully they won’t come out tonight.

Night fell quickly, too quickly, Hannah made herself something for dinner from the vast array of food in the pantries, which since she arrived thought very odd. if her aunt had died, why would there be food in the house still? 

Hannah walked the stairs, some lights thankfully worked, upstairs some worked spasmodically. Oil lamps were the only forms of lighting otherwise, as she walked the stairs, lamp in hand, she heard the scream.


She stopped on the staircase and for the first time yelled back “Why, why should I leave, who are you, the twins, why are you trying to scare me away”?

There was silence.

…to be continued



Feltone Castle – Part 5


Hannah froze, her muscles clamped, though the lamp shook uncontrollably in her hand.

She turned her head slowly, remembering the scene from the Exorcist, not knowing what would be behind her. She held her breath, felt her stomach go hard. Nothing, there was no one, just the empty corridor she had walked down.  The door had ceased banging. The water had stopped flowing. 

Hannah went back into her room, locking the door this time. She placed the lamp back, but let it burn as she climbed into her bed, pulling the covers over her head now. She did not worry that her breathing was stifled with the lack of oxygen, she didn’t want any part of her exposed.

As she lay there, hoping sleep would come, she was determined to go into the village in the morning to try and find out what she could about Feltone. What had happened here, who were these children?

Her great great Aunt, the letter from the lawyer. She had no family to ask, surely someone who had lived in the village could give her some information, any information. Hannah wasn’t going to be frightened away that easily.

The wind outside had started up again, thunder cracked.

Her eyelids closed, when she heard the sound of heavier footsteps in the room above her.

……to be continued


Feltone Castle – Part 4


Hannah’s hands trembled as she held the lamp. Slowly she tiptoed and lent her ear against the door. She heard nothing. Her fingers grasped the ornate metal handle, the rippled design imprinted her skin she held it so tight. Opening it, her breath shallow and fast, relieved that the door didn’t squeak.

Out in the corridor, the blackness enshrouded her, shadows cast along the picture frames. Each step cautiously taken. Convincing herself that nothing would harm her, she had been at Feltone for two weeks and no harm had come to her so far.

From above she heard a door banging, not once but repeatedly. Then the sound of water, she held the lamp at arms length. She looked at the staircase and couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Water was springing from the floorboards pooling on each step before it toppled as a waterfall to the next.

She stepped back two steps, before she felt fingers on the back of her neck and a whisper of “get out”.

…to be continued


Feltone Castle – Part 3


Hannah was too frightened to reach for the oil lamp that sat beside her bed. She did not want any part of her body to be vunerable. The cries and footsteps continued, she hesitated before quietly drawing her legs from under the covers so she could light it. Her legs were unsteady, her feet shook as they touched the floor. What if they saw the light? Could she risk it? She knew she had to, she couldn’t lie in the darkness any longer.

She knew nothing of these children, that is all she did know, that they were children, from the sound of their cries. Were they evil? She hadn’t experienced ghosts before or any form of the supernatural.

Feltone was in her family for generations, she knew of its existence and as a young girl had dreamt of what it was like, but spending her life in another country, with no other family to call her own, she assumed she would never walk within its walls. This remained the case until one day a letter arrived from a lawyer, informing her that her great great Aunt, a woman whom she’d never met, had died and left the castle to her.

Even she hadn’t lived in Feltone, too grand, too large for just one woman to maintain. It was left for years, abandoned, unoccupied, or had it?

…to be continued

Feltone Castle – Part 2


She crawled into her bed, pulling the heavy blankets across her shoulder. Listening to the branches, the crows it seemed now settling as the wind slowly lost its power.

She was tired, but knew it would be hard to sleep. She scrunched her pillow hoping by pummelling the fibres she could rest her cheek within its walls and she’d be safely cocooned.

Her eyelids grew heavy, closing in intervals, the sign that sleep would soon wash over her. It was minutes before her breathing started to slow, her body heat shielding her from the cold.

Her body jolted so badly she felt as if she had been split in two, part lay on the warm sheet, the other huddled, shaking against the cold corner of the room. The cries were loud and piercing, the footsteps hurried, seeking.

There were two of them, this is all she heard and as she lay there, she sensed sadness in their cries.

….to be continued

Feltone Castle – Part 1


Feltone, almost faded into insignificance, shadowed by the sky that was thick of storm. There would be no moon this night. A rolling mass of greys and black, folded together like casulaties of a artists palette knife, whilst above the ravens cawed louder as the wind gathered strength beneath them.

The frosty night air bit against the stippled glass window. There was hesitation before opening it, only doing so because of the screams. She shivered as the gush of icy wind cut at her skin, the hair on her arms rose. She peered down to the ground below, shadows of the pets tombstones, crumbling like the bones that lay beneath them. Trees in the distance fought madly against the wind, she quickly bolted it shut once more.

This place had changed, not only did it allow the cold to seep inside her rib cage , but there was a sense of foreboding. It seemed to breathe through the walls, creep out from torn wallpaper, circle through the balustrades. It frightened her.

The cries were heard when the moon rose high, or shadowed by the clouds. Footsteps heard along the oak panelled corridors, or running up the grand staircase.

Who were they, why were they here?

….to be continued.