We Do Now

Well so much for that it’s Friday morning and walking through the hallway I’m looking at my boots while everyone is looking at me whispering and pointing. I feel like a sideshow attraction. So many different stories are being told I was there and I’m not sure what happened. Karen is walking next to me smile and waving like she just won a crown. I go to my locker. In a failed attempt to place my coat and grabs my books as fast I can Josh walks up.

“Uh hey how’s it going?”

I roll my eyes and close my locker. I attempt to make a break for it but Karen stops me blocks her arm so I can get through.

“So, is it true that all of your teeth got knocked out and you like have to wear dentures now?”

I shove Karen out of the way and walk to class. This was going to be the longest month ever. Why did this have to happen to me of all people? Why could this just happen to Karen she would have loved this. I take a deep breath and walk into Physics pretending like I haven’t been gone for two days.  I try to smile but sharp pain in my mouth forces me frown. I think I read somewhere that smiling gives you wrinkles anyway. I hear all the whispers and try to ignore them. I want to say something but what? Something big must happen before I’m forgotten about again.

“Jessica Staton you’re wanted in the office,” Mrs. Flanagan’s voice calls over the monitor.

I smack my hand against my forehead.

“Ooh,” Josh calls out and the whole class erupts with laughter. I want to scream and run out of the building to my house as fast as I can. I don’t I slide into the office where Mrs. Flanagan is on the phone and points to the office doors while she looks over top her very thick framed glasses. I walk into see Kevin, Coach Johnson and Principal Martin my knees are weak and head suddenly feels like there is a ten-pound weight placed on top of it squeezing slowly.  Take a seat at the farthest part of the room as all their eyes are focused on me.

“Good Morning,” Principal Martin says.

“Good Moring.”

“On behalf of everyone in this room we want to apologize on what happened earlier this week. How are you feeling?”

I look at all three of them Kevin looks afraid Principal Martin looks concern and Coach Johnson looks angry.  I need to choose my words carefully. My palms are sweating and I think of all the words I can say… Tired, Angry, Annoyed, Irritated, Perturbed.

“Sore,” I say.

All three of them smile.

“I just want to apologize again of what happened. We don’t condone rough housing in the cafeteria or any of the football players.”

I nod but not try not to say a word. Kevin still looks down like a kid who just got in trouble for throwing a baseball through their neighbor’s window. I guess in this case I’m the window.

“Therefore, we are suggesting that Kevin take you the Winter Snow Ball just to show how sorry that he is for what happened and it would help if you could lead a campaign on sport related injuries.”

“Wait…he doesn’t have to take me to the Ball I wasn’t even planning on going believe me. I don’t play sports, he does! Why can’t he just lead the campaign himself?!”

“Well we thought it would be easier if you two lead this as an united front. To show that it takes all of us to be responsible,” Coach Johnson added.

I look at Kevin he doesn’t look at me.

“We need you’re backing on this,” Principal Martin pleaded.

“Why? It was just an accident. Accidents happen every day!”

“People don’t lose teeth everyday Ms. Staton we need your support to make this work.”

I glance over at Kevin again. Please he whispers. I roll my eyes and lean back into the chair.

“What do I have to do?”

“We can’t talk about in our study hall,” Kevin says.

“We don’t have study hall together.”

“We do now.”

I place my face in my face in my hands in an effort to not faint.

I hope you enjoyed this there’s more to come

Peace and Stay Creative 

Trish

 

 

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Give It A Day

 

“The hell?! You killed your chance in like two seconds gone just like that! I can’t believe this!” Karen goes on and on. I keep looking out of the window confused. Being popular was her thing not mine. I mean I never experienced it like her. She briefly dated Spencer freshmen year she got her first taste of popularity then. She ignored me the first half of the year. I would watch them from the far table in the back as she sat with Spencer Kevin and the other football players. She left me behind I guess I wasn’t cool enough to be with them. This was true we had nothing in common I liked books they liked Instagram. I’m not a social media person, like at all. I had gotten used to eating my lunch alone in the back of the cafeteria unnoticed that’s until Rachel came along. Rachel was new but she was gorgeous. She was tall skinny long straight hair not to mention she got everyone’s attention. Especially Spencer’s. Slowly as the weeks went by Karen was getting less noticed. Not meeting her at locker so much, disappearing when they were supposed to walk home together until a week before Christmas vacation he was walking down the hall holding hands with Rachel and Karen was in my arms in the girl’s bathroom. I’m still not sure why I stayed there to comfort her she did leave me out in the cold for months. I guess the lesson is that I should probably get more friends in my life but her sobbing that morning made me feel sorry for her. I mean how long can relationship last freshmen year? Four months is a long time that’s almost forever.

I turn around to look at her and she looks the same way she did that morning in the girl’s bathroom two years ago, I guess these years she wanted to reclaim her rightful place or she wanted me to know what it was like even it would be short lived.

“Jess you gotta call him! You must go out for that ice cream! I’m going to message him if you don’t!”

She runs back upstairs and run after her not sure if I should stop her or not. The hall mirror stops me. I look at my swollen lip red and puffy and my creamy face. I guess a little lipstick or some blush or a highlighter. Maybe even put some curls in my super straight hair or struggle with contact lenses again. Half way through my junior year what could it do? Make me or noticed or laughed at not sure which one is worse.

“I can’t message him Jess we have to give it day! Make him stew in his guilt.”

I shrug my shoulders.

“Sure, give it a day,” I repeat.

She smiles in approval and starts to play with my hair. Yeah give it day maybe things will be easier. Maybe this will all go away and I can just disappear.

Hope you enjoyed this more of the story to come

peace and stay creative,

Trish

That Time When

I take a good look in the mirror at the fresh dental work that done a few hours before. My mouth still swollen kinda bloody. I close my eyes try to get the embarrassment out of my head but I can’t. I got hit in the face with a football in the cafeteria in front of everyone. All I remember is hey look…at curtains. Out cold woke up with Karen next to me explaining the story.” Kyle was right there throwing the football to Spencer and you were walking and next thing ya know BAM! It was epic I mean it almost in slow motion. You don’t remember?”

I shake my head. Still looking in the mirror at my newly implanted tooth. I wonder if people will notice. It’s not like anyone has noticed me until now. Why now? Why like this? I toss the mirror beside on the bed and lay backward looking at the stars on my ceiling. I get two days off from school so at least there’s that but unless something big happens between then and now I’m screwed. The butterflies dance in my stomach turning it into knots. I see Karen moving out of the corner of my eye but I choose to tune her out I can’t deal right now. After all this time of being unnoticed and to have this be my mark. I take a deep breath and close my eyes.

“Jessie?”

I open one eye and look at Karen her curly red hair covering most of her face, “You are going to be so popular now.”

I sit up in confusion “I’m going to be known as the girl whose tooth got knocked out in the cafeteria!”

“By Kevin and Spencer! It’s going to be amazing!”

I laughed despite my mouth throbbing. It’s not like either one of them noticed me before we’ve known them since elementary school, since kindergarten, since forever and they’ve never noticed me before. Jessica Who?

“They’re not going to care,” I mumble.

“They will just wait and see.”

I roll my eyes and look at the stars on the celling drifting off.

“Jessie, Jessie wake up!”

I wake up to Karen shaking me. “Guess who’s down stars? Guess who?”

I rub my eyes and shrug my shoulders in confusion.

“Kevin is down stairs! He came to see you!”

She grabs my brush from the knight stand and start brushing my hair like a mad woman.

“I wish you wore makeup,” she says.

I fan her away with my arms and slowly glide downstairs. Kevin was sitting there on the sofa with my parents rubbing patches our dog who has his head placed Kevin’s lap. Both of my parents were listening to his apology and story about how I got hit in the face with a football.

“I’m not sure what happened Spencer was supposed to catch it but he didn’t and Jessica came out nowhere. I’m sorry. How is she?”

“I’m fine,” call out.

They all turn to look at me surprised that I’m there.

“I’m fine,” I repeat.

“Uh, um that’s good. Um I mean everybody were worried about you that ball hit you pretty hard,” Kevin stammers.

My parents both tap each other and go into the kitchen giggling and chuckling like children. I roll my eyes. Kevin looks down at shoes and at patches I never seen him like this. I look at his massive muscles in his sweater perfect skin and six-foot frame that towered over me.

“Um I’m glad to see that you’re ok.”

“They had to replace my tooth,” I blurt out.

His face turns red. He keeps looking down at patches who is laying on the floor by the fireplace.

“I heard I mean I’m sorry about that Spencer is a terrible catch,” he laughs a little. I don’t laugh with him so he stops.

“Well I just came to say sorry and to see you were ok. I guess I’ll see you at school.” He proceeds to walk towards the door.

“I won’t be at school at for a few days. I mean I can’t because…”

“I can understand that,” he says, “If you need something…um like ice cream or something let me know.”

I nod. He walks out of the door to his black SUV it’s starting to snow damping his sweater a little I watch him drive away. I’m not sure why I stood there.

“Why were you so mean?” Karen shouts from the stairway.

I keep staring at the accumulating snow on the ground. I couldn’t answer the question.

(I hope you enjoy this story more to come)

Peace and Stay Creative,

Trish

 

 

 

…In The Woods

“Sean! Hey where were you today?” I ask. Not sure if I’m excited or relived as I seen walking toward me in his favorite blue hoodie. I smile gripping the straps on my backpack waiting for him to get closer. I rock back and forth on the heels on my tennis shoes.  My cheeks starting stinging I guess from smiling so hard. I drop my head and look down towards concrete. A soft scrapping noise hits my ear in a way makes me shutter out of instinct I cover my ears and look in Sean’s direction. The points of his shoes were scrapping the ground. There’s no way this can be real he was levitating towards me. I stand there paralyzed like a statue unable to move, unable to breathe. A part of me wants to shake grab him pull him from the ground and shake him. Shake him until he comes out of this. Then I can take him to a doctor so they do something to fix. He looks right through me as I jump in front of him. “Sean I know you see me,” I demand.

He takes his hand and shoves me down like a rag doll. “Ouch!” I look up a him hovering pass me he doesn’t see me at all. I’m not even there. Tears form in my eyes and I wipe them away quickly. Could this be that my friend is really gone? I force myself up and follow him. I make sure my steps are quiet enough for not to notices but something tells me that he wouldn’t notice to begin with. I follow carefully up the street and up the hill towards Shelly Woods.  The suns over the horizon in front of him almost blinding me. I shield my eyes with arm still keeping on my path. The tips of his sneakers still scaping the end of the concrete making a low scrapping noise. I follow the noise with precision one foot in front of the other since I’m blinded the orange yellowish glow of the sun. He disappears into trees I no longer hear the noise and I stand there staring into the trees the red, yellow and brown leaves block my view. Which way should I go? I can run back and tell everyone what I saw. Would they believe me? They haven’t thus far. They all think I’m making this up. This isn’t just in my head. I pull out my phone and charge up the hill. I need proof then I can get him the help that he needs. I force myself with all of the strength to make it up the hill it was steep and filled with leaves twigs and rocks. The sun is setting more and bright glow is becoming more faint.  I turn away and make my way back downhill. This is too much I can’t do this alone. I need someone to help me. Who? Names run through my mind but either their missing or don’t believe me.

I ball my fist up take a deep breath and turn around. I hold my phone as tight as I can my finger is placed on the camera app. I need proof now it’s almost dark now and body starts shivering. It’s colder than it should be I march forward he has to be here somewhere he couldn’t have gotten far. I look around through the tress left and right, no sign of him. I move slower looking around when I hear a growling noise. We don’t have wolves or bears here a dog maybe but no dogs would be this far in the woods. I take a deep breath my body almost paralyzed I force myself to keep walking, I see a light peeking through the trees not sun light but something un natural. Fire? A Flashlight? I creep toward it shielding myself behind the trees.

It’s a ring of fire being I look around there’s no wood burning nothing to light it just a ring of fire. There are steaks shoved into the ground they have something on top of them but I can’t make what is on top of them Sean standing in the middle levitating. I crawl on the muddy earth to get closer I crouch down behind between the trees forcing myself to keep my hands steady as I record. I zoom in closer the view is blurry forcing my hands to become steady I focus on him. I hold my breath force my knees into the muddy ground. I want to scream but I can’t force air down my lungs.  See him lifeless hovering around the ring of fire I can’t help him I can’t fix this. I want to pray but I forget the words dig my knees into the mud burying myself he hoovers around faster and faster into the ring making the fire larger. His body dances to the movement of the fire he raises his head I shield myself behind the tree. Did he see me? If he sees why isn’t coming over here? I crawl from behind the tree I drop the phone covering my mouth forcing myself not to scream. There they are, the missing. Myra, Josh, DeShawn all of them standing around him his army Stacey standing behind them all guiding them. Wearing the same clothes that I last saw them in before they missing. They’re all torn and covered with mud. Have they been living out here?

I knew she was apart this there was no way he would change overnight like this. I knew she was evil but not dancing with the devil evil. I feel the cold wet ground for my phone I search frantically behind me, in front of me to the left of me not moving my eyes from the demonic sight in front of me. Stacey in a white sleeveless dress with black markings all of her arms speaking a language that I’ve never heard before. It sounds like an ancient language. I start to shiver to my bones fear takes over and I finally find my phone. I raise it slowly I can’t keep it focused my whole body is shaking now.  They all sway back and forth to movement of the fire her words guiding them. They form a tighter circle swaying all of them chanting the same ancient chant as Stacey. Then the ground begins to rumble I hold on to the tree forcing myself up when I see it coming out of the ground crawling toward them coming out of the ground a snake man with arms, his face covered by blackness he has no legs he slithers towards them. I can’t hold back I scream at the top of my lungs. They’re heads turn simultaneously facing me. I keep screaming as I turn and run away. I run down the hill as fast as I can. I grip the only evidence that I have for anyone to believe me.  I hear footsteps behind me I don’t look back I just keep running. My foot hits a rock and fall down I start to roll I tried to brace myself but I can’t my body loses control hitting every rock and tree trunk I can’t feel the pain but I know I’m going to be in pain but after I make it down the hill. If they don’t find me and kill me. I make it to the bottom my ankle is throbbing I can’t move my leg I tried to force myself up. I start sobbing. I’m going to die out here and no one is going to know what happen. I look down beside me to my cracked phone is laying next me and I sob even harder.

I see lights in front of me this is how it ends This is how I’m going to go I close my eyes. “Delilah!” Sheriff Miller yells.

I take a sigh of relief I’m safe at least for now.

Author Spotlight: The Good The Bad and The Ghostly

The Good, The Bad, and The Ghostly

What do you get when you combine cowboys and ghosts? A collection of eight (stand-alone) amazing stories from the Old West with haunts of every variety.

Get your love of alpha cowboys on and feed your addiction for the bizarre (and sometimes spooky) world when you purchase The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly.

Bestselling and Award-winning authors are pleased to save you more than 75% on this fantastic boxed set! (Price if books sold separately).

Buy link: http://mybook.to/GoodBadGhostly

***

Long A Ghost and Far Away by Andrea Downing

When Lizzie Adams returns as a ghost to a life she led in the 1800s, she is surprised to find herself on a ranch in Wyoming, but delighted to learn she was married to a handsome and loving man.  The reasons for her return become clear when she discovers how she died, yet the unresolved issues surrounding her death leave her unable to either live in the 1800s or return to her present life.

Colby Gates misses the wife he loved, yet a ghost is a poor substitute. Re-married to a woman he doesn’t care for, and with outlaws searching for buried gold on his ranch, the spirit of his wife is a further complication.

Perhaps if the questions surrounding Lizzie’s death can be answered, the two can be together.

For all time.

* * *

Wild, Wild Ghost by Margo Bond Collins

Blurb:

When Ruby Silver traded in her demon-hunting rifle for a badge at the Tremayne Psychic Specters Investigations, she didn’t want another partner—losing the last one was too traumatic. But when a new case in the Texas Hill Country pairs her up with the slow-talking, fast-drawing Trip Austin, it will take all their combined skills to combat a plague of poltergeists in this German-settled town.

* * *

Comes An Outlaw by Keta Diablo

When a tragic accident claims her husband’s life, Jesse Santos must find a way to keep the ranch, the only home her 12-year-old son has ever known.  The ranch hands have abandoned her, a gang of cutthroat ranchers want her land and an ancient Yaqui Indian insists a spirit has taken up residence in the house.

 

After a fifteen year absence, her husband’s brother, Coy, returns to his childhood home. He doesn’t plan on staying, and he certainly doesn’t intend to settle down with a widow and her son…no matter how pretty she is.

 

He’s an outlaw, after all, and made a decision to put an end to his gun-slinging days long ago. Will his conscience let him walk away from family, or will his heart overrule his head?

 

* * *

* * *

A Ghostly Wager by Blaire Edens

Even a skeptical detective needs a little otherworldly help.

 

Nineteen-year old Annabelle Lawson hops a train to Reno to escape a marriage to a man twice her age. Alone and nearly destitute, she spots an employment advertisement that might change her life. If she can use the dreams that have haunted her for the last four years to land a job with the mysterious Treymane PSI Agency, she might be able to buy a train ticket home to Kentucky.

Agent Cole Swansby is an up and coming detective for Tremayne PSI. There’s only thing that can sink his career: if the boss realizes he’s a skeptic. He’s solved dozens of cases using old-fashioned logic, but he doesn’t believe in the paranormal. Now he’s under tremendous pressure to solve a new case before the president of Midas Mining shows for a week of R&R at The Blade Saloon.

Cole can’t solve this case without some otherworldly help, though, and Annabelle is just the woman for the job. As the two of them are drawn deeper into the mystery of the woman in green, they may not be able to banish the ghost without losing their hearts. To each other.

 

 

How the Ghost Was Won by Erin Hayes

 

From orphan to saloon girl to ghost whisperer, Hattie Hart has been and seen a lot of things in her time. Her new job as a detective with the Tremayne PSI Agency takes her out to the remote town of Carolina City, Nevada on a vague assignment to investigate the disappearance of a US marshal.

 

Except, when she arrives, she meets the devilishly handsome Grant Madsden, a US marshal who is alive and well. Certainly not missing, but certainly the man of her dreams. So why did her boss send her out to this small boomtown when there’s nothing for her to investigate?

 

She soon discovers that in Carolina City, there are strange happenings from the afterlife that threaten to kill her or worse. She’ll have to race against time to save her life, the town, and the US marshal she was sent to find—and maybe, if she’s lucky, her heart.

 

McKee’s Ghost by Anita Philmar

 

His fiancée called off their engagement after being accosted by a ghost in his house. Now, a beautiful ghost detective has shown up at his ranch, saying his brother has hired her to take care of the unwanted spirit.

Konnor McKee is more than happy with P.S.I Agent Ruth Oliva Wilson. One look and he’s hooked. Now, if he can only get some help from a ghost, he might be able to secure himself a bride after all.

With the return of his ex- fiancé, his life is turned upside down by an angry ghost, a vindictive woman, and a sexy medium. Konnor doesn’t know which way to turn.

Can he get everyone out of this alive and marry the P.S.I Agent? Or has he lost all hope of a happy future because of the ruthless ghost of one of his ancestors?

 

A Ride Through Time by Charlene Raddon

 

Ghosts. Murder. Love.  P.S.I. Agent Burke Jameson travels to Eagle Gulch, Colorado to investigate a report of ghost activity at a house where a murder took place in 1881. When his vehicle carrying his P.S.I. equipment dies, and a riderless mare appears, he mounts up, hoping the horse will lead him to her fallen rider. What he finds is a whole new life beyond his imagination.

Clorinda Halstead believes she’s a widow. After all, she was the one who shot her husband, Horace, on a violent night in 1881. He deserved it, the jury concluded. Living with the town marshal and his wife, all Clori wants is to be left alone. Then a stranger, Burke James, joins the household and nothing is ever the same again.

How did Burke find his way through time to the year 1881, and who is haunting the lovely but distant Widow Halstead? Can Burke find the ghost of Eagle Gulch without his P.S.I. equipment? And how will he ever choose between going home to his own time and a life of love and happiness with Clorinda?

 

The Ghost and the Bridegroom by Patti Sherry-Crews

 

Life is looking rosy for Abbott Foster when he brings his new bride to his ranch in Arizona. But when he is unable to consummate his marriage due to a malevolent spirit in the bedroom, he is forced to call in Psychic Specters Investigations.

Agent Healy Harrison doesn’t want to accept this case. She has her own demons and likes her quiet life, lived in the anonymity of St. Louis. But Tucson is where she finds herself—with instructions to “Have an adventure! Have a romance!” Things get interesting when she meets handsome Pinkerton detective, Aaron Turrell. Is this the romance she’s meant to have, or when their two cases intersect, will it drive him away?

 

Excerpt from The Ghost and The Bridegroom:

The air burned as hot as a fever out here on the porch. The windmill in the yard creaked and creaked. Tumbleweed rolled past, carried on the same breeze turning the windmill. The porch smelled like hot, old wood.

Healy pinched the bridge of her nose, dislodging her glasses. Over the layer of perspiration covering her face, a fine coating of gritty dust stuck to her skin. She’d gone so parched; she had to work her lips off her teeth—where they were stuck—to utter a word.

“Yes, we’ve already established that fact, and as I’ve already had this conversation with the ranch hand you sent to fetch me, I’m finding this conversation about my gender rather tedious.”

He studied her with his gray eyes. “You’re a woman.”

“Oh, my…now that we’ve ascertained I’m not a man are we going to have to now go through this whole process again, establishing I’m a woman. I suggest we move on from this topic and talk about your problem, Mr. Foster.”

He ran a hand through his sandy brown hair. “I can’t talk to you about this. I thought you’d be a man. This is a delicate matter.”

“Mr. Foster, I assure you I’ve seen everything. There isn’t anything you can tell me I haven’t heard before. What is happening to you has happened to many before you.”

“That’s just it. I’ve heard about it happening to other men, but it’s never happened to me before.”

“Ah, I see. Well, this too is a common reaction. Many don’t believe in ghosts until they experience the phenomenon themselves. You’re not alone.”

He looked down. “I’m not talking about ghosts.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I can’t talk to a young lady about this.”

“You can! Nothing you say will shock me.”

“Are you a…spinster?”

Healy huffed. “I don’t see how my marital status is relevant, but yes, I am not a married woman.”

“So you don’t have experience….”

“Please, I have traveled a long way under the most trying circumstances to help you. You’ve already paid the agency, and here I am!  Let’s just start at the place where you encountered the haunting?”

Abbott sighed. “In the bedroom.”

“You’re lucky in that sense. Some ghosts follow people around and make all kinds of mischief.”

“Naw, you ain’t catching my meaning.”

“Enlighten me.”

“Aw, all right.” He took a long pause, studying his boots before he looked up again. “I’m a newlywed….”

“Congratulations.”

“Yes, but here’s the crux of the matter. The ghost will not allow me to…consummate my marriage.”

Healy felt her face burn red. “Oh, I see. Well, that is a new one on me. Never heard of that one before. How is it that the ghost has power to stop…the act?”

“Ever since I brought Erline—that’s my bride—home, things don’t work right.”

She put a hand on his arm. “Are you sure you’re consulting the right expert? Have you talked to your doctor?”

His face went beet red with frustration. “It’s having a ghost in my bedroom gumming up the works.”

“You have to be more specific. I need details.”

He shuffled his feet in the dust on the boards of the porch. “I think about Erline all day. She’s so pretty. I can’t wait to go to bed. I get in next to her all cocked and ready to fire—and she’s eager too–I can tell, but then when I put….”

Healy put up her hand. “I don’t mean those kinds of details. Tell me about the ghost.”

“Oh, well, it always starts the same way. First there is this god-awful odor like rotten flowers.”

“Olfactory manifestations. Very rare. Interesting. Go on.”

He looked proud of himself for a minute for having a rare haunting. “After I smell the odor a shape appears in the corner. A big, black shadow.”

“Oh, this is bad. Very bad. Black shadows are extremely malevolent.”

“It gets worse.”

“Worse than a black shadow? You’re wise to call in a professional.”

“The shadow moves. It walks, or floats–or whatever those things do–and comes and stands right next to the bed, and the creature points at me! Things shrink up down south at that point, if you know what I mean.”

“And your wife, does she see the ghost?”

“No, she don’t! I’d think I was going loco but the dog knows the ghost is there too. It ran away and won’t come home. Stays with the neighbor.”

“Interesting. Animals are sensitive. Does your wife believe you?”

“She does not entirely believe me. At first she did, but now she thinks it’s her. She is beginning to think I don’t desire her.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll sort this out. I have a high success rate. May I come in?”

“Yes, pardon my bad manners.”

He stepped aside and opened the door for her. The minute she walked through the threshold, Healy felt cooler—and not just because she was out of the sun.

“You, Mr. Foster, have a ghost in your house all right.” She ripped off her glasses. “Let’s get to work.”

The rancher’s boots clacked on the hardwood floors behind her as he followed her into the interior of the house.

“But, it ain’t in here. We have to go to the bedroom.”

Healy held up her hand to silence him, her heart humming like it did in the presence of spirits. “Its presence is all over. May I sit down? I have a few questions for you.”

He indicated a small cane-bottomed maple chair set at a side table. She sat down and he took a seat across from her, wincing with pain as he did so.

“Are you all right, Mr. Foster?”

“Got a little indigestion.” His eyes opened wide. “You look different without your glasses.”

She waved him off. “I need to ask you some questions. How long have you lived here?”

“Ten years.”

“And no hauntings up until this time?”

“Not a thing.”

“Has anything changed recently—aside from bringing home a wife? Like have you been…?” She tried to remember what Cato said. “Have you been doing any digging? Possibly in an Indian burial ground? Or mining?”

He looked at her with a puzzled expression on his face. “I’m a rancher. I’m not digging mineshafts or anything like that. Just move cattle around. That’s all I do.”

“Bear with me; I’m trying to eliminate the obvious. Any recent deaths here?”

“Not recently, but….” He stood up. “Miss Harrison, my wife, Erline.”

Healy turned in her seat to see a pretty blond in a bright blue satin dress, Healy thought too fancy for daywear on a ranch.

Erline tilted her head back and looked down her nose at Healy. To put things on a different level, Healy stood up. She had a head over the rancher’s wife, so now Erline had to look up at her. Healy extended her hand and the other woman gave her the briefest touch. Healy almost recoiled from the chill coming off her fingers. “I understand congratulations are in order. Congratulations on your recent nuptials.”

Erline spoke without a hint of warmth. “You’re welcome. I’m a lucky woman.”

“It sounds like you’re not from around here.”

“No, I’m from Ohio.”

“Really? Your accent sounds more southern.”

Erline narrowed her eyes.  “I’m from southern Ohio.”

“Of course, that explains it. You do understand why I’m here, don’t you?”

“I’m not sure I believe in all this, but if Abbott thinks it’s necessary….”

“It is necessary. Even in this room, I can feel a presence in the house. And now that you’ve joined us, perhaps I can see the bedroom.”

Erline and Abbott exchanged looks before the woman spoke. “If you think that’s necessary.”

“I do think it’s necessary.” This woman sure doesn’t want to do anything unnecessarily.

Healy followed the couple down a long hall. The plaster walls stretched out devoid of decoration, so when Abbott flung open the door to the bedroom, it surprised Healy to find a room looking like a lady’s boudoir. “Nice room,” she commented.

“I made a few changes,” said Erline.

Before even stepping into the room, Healy felt a cold, invisible fog surround her. She shivered. A foul scent filled the room. She and Abbott looked at one another other. He raised his eyebrows.

“Yes, I smell it too,” she said.

“I never smelled it during the day before.”

“Perhaps the ghost doesn’t like you,” Erline said looking at Healy.

“You don’t smell that?” she said to Erline.

Erline threw her a contemptuous look. “I do not.”

Abbott looked at her with concern. Healy realized she was shaking harder. Hostility poured off the walls in this room, and despite the chill in the air, sweat bathed her body.

“There is a mean-spirited presence in this room. I may need to….”

Healy’s knees buckled and her eyes rolled back into her head. The last thing she was aware of was Abbott Foster grabbing her around the waist before she hit the floor.

About the Author:

Patti Sherry-Crews lives in Evanston, IL with her husband and two children. She writes both contemporary and historic romance. Under the name Cherie Grinnell she has written a series of steamy romances set in Dublin and Wales. She likes to include armchair travel with her books.

Patti studied anthropology and archeology at Grinnell College and the University of North Wales, UK. After college she opened an Irish and British import store, which gave her an excuse to travel to the British Isles for the next fifteen years.

Now she works from home and devotes much of her time to writing.

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Preparing Vs. Reacting

Most of us red blooded working adults have been told that we must prepare for the unexpected things in life such as a flat tire, maybe a break in, or an unexpected job loss. I’ve had all of those things happen to me at any given time maybe one or two I unexpectedly been able to fix but the others was unexpected and totally unprepared for.  After having a conversation with a friend I realized that we react to what happens to us in life mostly because we can’t predict the future and most things are a surprise to us. I get it I can’t know obviously know that I’ll hit pot hole on the way to work and put a giant hole the size of Texas in my tire. This is why we have an emergency fund right?

(even though sometimes it ends up a shopping spree find which is definitely not good)

Well what if I got an invitation to somewhere I always wanted to go for instance like Hawaii…Would I have the time? Would I have the funds?  Or would I just go just like that a knee jerk reaction not worrying about the consequences after coming home probably penniless with a mailbox filled with past due bills. I reacted quickly but I wasn’t prepared for it. Many times I have a pass up opportunities simply because I wasn’t prepared or had a knee jerk reaction to what was presented to me.

Learning  lessons

1. I would have had a better chance if I had prepared more, leaning as much as I can about what I wanted to do would have stopped a knee jerk reaction.

2. I started to create mini bucket list that way it will help focus on one or two things instead of 10 things like saving for that random trip to Hawaii…Hey I would even take Florida anywhere with a beach 🙂

3. Instead of focusing on doing a better job…I’m focusing on my career goals…life goals and learning more about what I want to do.

Has anyone else had an issue focusing let me know by commenting….

Until next time,

Peace and Stay Creative,

Trish