Halloween Story

 

Well it’s almost Halloween again and I wanted to share a short story that I wrote for the occasion. Hope you enjoy spending a little time in a different realm.

Disconnect

 “It’s indefinable at times; this anxiety that seems to permeate well just everything.”  Her hands hesitated as they brushed the keyboard of her laptop. It was true; her hands seemed to tremble with it, her skin. It felt as though it wrapped around her like a large band that was tightening around her shoulders. It sounded like insanity, if she voiced it aloud. She breathed out and again let her fingers rest on the keyboard. “I feel nervous for no discernible reason except that I do.”

And then she hesitated and typed slowly, “Is this madness?”

“No,” she glanced up and frowned. That certainly didn’t come from her mind. “Ellie,” he said her name slowly.

“Go away,” she murmured out loud. Because now this conversation was no longer introspective, it had become quite tangible.

“But I can help.”

“You don’t exist.”

“Not exactly accurate,” murmured the figure that now filled the shadowed corner of the room.

“I’m trying to sort and you’re not helping.”

“I never said I would help.”

She sighed deeply staring at the very random sprinkle of words on the computer screen. This wouldn’t do, not in the least. “Why don’t you go bother someone else?”

“If only it were that simple my dear.”

And then she typed, “But nothing, nothing can ever be simple.”

And there was soft laughter, “Well that is the most honest thing you’ve said tonight.”

 

Perhaps it was madness, or perhaps just imagination. Perhaps both, but the question became did it matter, matter at all.

“What are you going to do with your life?”

That was someone else, not her question to herself but rather a question at her.

“I’m writing a book.”

“That’s not exactly practical, is it?” That was her mother, or maybe her sister. Hard to tell, they seemed to be merging a bit these days.

“Why don’t you go back to school? Use the money and–”

She’d probably exploded then. She so hated their interference.

“What about mine?”

“That’s different, you’re not real.”

“Certain of that are you?”

“No, not really certain of anything.”

 

Atmosphere, atmosphere was key. She’d rented a room, a room in an old house, historic sort of house not so very far from the ocean. It was a pretty, rambling house, with a lovely wide porch wrapping around the side.

“Is everything alright dear?” That was Mrs. Garvey, Viola Garvey, the landlady, so to speak. She lived on the first floor and there were several other tenants. A middle-aged woman, a widow, whose name eluded her, and a man she’d never seen.  “He’s actually rarely here. I don’t know why he keeps the rooms.”

Well that was accurate it was rooms, not one, several rooms, and a small kitchenette built in, so she really didn’t have to socialize with anyone else, if she didn’t want to.

 

“Come on dear, I know that was all a nasty shock and all, but you can’t run away from life.”

“What qualified as life?” she wondered, oh yes a practical job that everyone else deemed respectable.

“I have to go now.”

“You could do something else. You don’t have to go back there.”

“I am, am doing something else,” she murmured before she hung up. It was best not to let these conversations drag on. It only infuriated her.

“They’re worried about you.”

Feels suffocating.

“Understood, but they don’t really understand.”

She sighed deeply. “I don’t understand.”

 

It was October. And she headed outside for that long walk down to the beach. It was exactly four blocks from the old rambling Ainsworth House.  She couldn’t live on the money forever. Fortuitously there had been a land sale in the family just at the right time, so she’d turned in her resignation at the high school at the end of the semester and didn’t look back, didn’t want to look back.

“It was random, random violence.”

It hadn’t felt random. It felt personal, intently personal.

“He had no real connection to the school, just targeted it. It could have been worse.”

Two faculty killed, several students injured. Yes, there had been worse shootings elsewhere but it felt worse.

There was the slightest chill in the air, but it was morning and she knew it wouldn’t last. “You could do something else.” Her mind swirled; what did that look like, something else? She’d been an English teacher at that school for six years but the thought of walking back through the doors nauseated her. She pushed it all away and stretched her legs, picking up the pace.

Finally, she cleared the final row of houses and stepped past the road onto the periphery of the beach. The edge was more like a park, cemented with benches just before you reached the sand. But she bypassed it all just to get closer to the water, to breathe it in all in deeply. The cool air hit her throat as she breathed. Ellie March, you could start a family. She was thirty-two. She supposed it was possible, but she hadn’t met anyone, no one she could imagine having a family with. And she wasn’t sure if she really wanted one. Hers, well hers had been filled with such discordance.

“And you couldn’t make things different?”

She squeezed her eyes shut. There it was again that voice that she wondered if strong anti-depressants might drive away.

“I’m not the figment of some neurosis.”

She kept her eyes shut, because she would see him sometimes. And while it felt perfectly natural to her she realized that it boded some deep psychosis on her part, hallucinations and such.

“Yes, bury your head in the sand my dear that always solves problems.”

She opened her eyes, turning to her side angrily. There he was standing there, staring out at the water. A tall, sort of thinnish man, with brown hair, longish brushing his shoulders dressed in some sort of antiquated black suit that looked like it came from another century. Of course this was all her imagination, but the problem had become that her imagination was completely eluding her control.

“You really should calm down. You will work yourself up into a hysteria.”

“I wish you would go away.”

“Yes dear, well I wish a great many things that will never come to pass.”

She stared at him frowning. If she told anyone about this–

“They would lock you up in an asylum somewhere and throw away the key.”

She crossed her arms, now staring out at the calming flow of water ahead of her. Except that it didn’t feel calming, not in the least. “You see that proves it that you are simply coming out of my mind, the way you flow right out of my thoughts.”

“Read your mind?” he chuckled. She was so pleased she was amusing this manifestation of her insanity. She did note standing nearer him or it or whatever that he was a bit pale, a bit on the unhealthy side.

“Yes, I suppose. Are you sick or something? Oh never mind you’re not real,” she sputtered a bit.

“I spend or spent a lot of time indoors, did suffer with a bout of consumption in the end.”

Her eyes widened and there was that odd headache that felt like it was drumming in her head. Maybe she had a brain tumor or aneurism brought on by that terrible shooting, but then she swept it away. The whole incident she was more than happy to sweep out of her mind. “What does that mean, the end?” She shouldn’t have asked it. It was one of those doors that one shouldn’t open, not even take a peek through. But as it was one of her failings was that she was curious, curious in a way that had led her places that perhaps she shouldn’t be.

He turned away from the turbulent ocean, because it was a windy, overcast day and the waves simply responded to that reality.  He moved in a bit closer and his eyes she saw were a curious mixture of green and blue. “Do you really want to know Ellie?” he said slowly and deliberately. His speech was very clipped, formal in a way, not lazy and imprecise like so many of those in her generation.

“I asked,” she answered equally as clipped.

He smiled slowly, and then reached out and lightly touched her cheek with his fingertips. Her eyes widened. She’d felt that. How indeed could she feel something that was born out of her own delirium? “You really think you’re imaginative enough to conjure me?”

She stepped back and murmured shakily, “I have to go.”

No smile now, just staring at her intently. “I haven’t answered your question.”

She didn’t wait. She simply turned and walked quickly away or was she running. She wasn’t entirely sure.

 

By the time she returned to the Ainsworth house, she noticed that Mrs. Garvey and Medora Ross were seated up on the side porch at the white wrought iron table. Mrs. Garvey smiled broadly as Ellie ascended the stairs. Medora glanced up at her with dark eyes. That’s right her name was Medora. Viola had said something about her family being killed, killed in a train wreck. She said nothing just raised the delicate china cup to her lips.

“We’re just having a spot of tea my dear. Would you care to join us?” Viola had just traces of an English accent and she wore. Ellie paused for a moment staring at her nearly incomprehensibly. She wore a long dress whose hem brushed the wooden floor of the porch. Ellie breathed in deeply that sharp pain in her head pounded. Maybe they were dressing up, because it was the same with Medora, a long black dress, looked like mourning, mourning from another century.

She felt dizzy. Maybe she was sick, more sick than she thought. “No, no,” she muttered. Then suddenly she heard footsteps behind her, heavy footsteps ascending the wooden stairs.

Viola stood up, smiling widely. “Oh Mr. Dupre, we had no idea when we would see you around here.”

Ellie didn’t turn around. She wasn’t curious now. She felt the pressure of a hand on her shoulder. “Ellie and I need to speak about a few things Mrs. Garvey,” he said slowly. It was that voice, his voice. The man she’d been speaking to moments before out on the beach. She pulled away and ran into the house, ran up the creaking staircase until she reached her rooms and could slam the door behind her.

 

“You could do something else.”

“How could I?”

“You seem unhappy, darling.”

“I don’t know maybe, maybe I will change things.”

“You could have a family of your own.”

“Maybe,” she’d answered indefinitely, then let life swirl around her again. Day to day and making no change until–

She pulled the pillow closer to her head. Pounding, pounding in her head. All of that was before, not after as she’d thought. She didn’t change anything and then —

She heard the door in the other room swing open. She hadn’t locked it. Why hadn’t she locked it?

And then he walked into the bedroom. He’d never used doors before. Why was he bothering with them now?

He stood there in the doorway just staring at her intently. “Sorry,” he murmured.

“I’m losing my mind,” she said but he had no reaction.

“You’re adjusting, not exactly the same thing.”

She sat up in the brass daybed. She hadn’t thought about how antiquated it had seemed when she moved in. She hadn’t thought about her other apartment and what she’d done with all the furniture there and who was paying the bills. “What’s wrong with those people? Viola and that woman Medora, she doesn’t speak. And the way they’re dressed. And you?”

“They’re comfortable that way. And me well I’ve always been partial to this suit. Even when I got sick.”

She swung her feet down on the floor. She didn’t want to ask, but as was her nature she did. “Sick?”

“Consumption, I was a writer, mostly a poet; then I got sick, terribly, really a difficult, well way to go.”

Her heart was racing, but she pushed onward. “Are you trying to tell me you died?”

“Yes Ellie March. I died, Viola died, and so did Medora in that terribly train accident. This place, this lovely old house is sort of a halfway house for those who need more time to make the transition.”

“The transition?”

“Yes, it’s difficult for some of us. The end was too difficult or there are things we feel we need to finish of a variety of other reasons. It’s a soft place to fall.”

She bowed her head. “Then why am I here?” — Another question she shouldn’t have asked. Why didn’t she just wait, slink away not knowing?

He smiled slowly, “You won’t be here too long will you Ellie March?”

“The shooting?”

“Would you like to take a turn with me on the grounds? They’re really quite lovely, flowers blooming even in October.”

“I suppose,” she murmured. She should be upset but she wasn’t. Instead she was intrigued as was her nature.

Copyright© 2015 by Evelyn Klebert

 

house

 

The Breslin Family Tales on Sale at Kindle Halloween Week

 

breslinpromo2

 

Enter the world of the paranormal with The Breslin Family Tales of the Supernatural. All three books are on sale at Kindle for 99¢ Halloween Week (10/27-10/31).

Psychic Max Gravier answers a cry for help out of his dreams that draws him into a fierce battle for a young woman’s soul in Gravier’s Bookshop.   KINDLE LINK

In The Hotel Mandolin, Cassie Breslin taps into an unexpected connection with a tragic ghost from the turn of the century. And the more she uncovers the more dangerous and malevolent the mystery becomes.
KINDLE LINK

With the help of her family, the very psychic Breslin clan, Elise is about to embark on a wild rescue mission into another dimension that will land her squarely somewhere she doesn’t expect, right back into her past. Right back to a childhood home whose memory still haunts her to this day — The House at Pritchard Place.  KINDLE LINK

New Interview

quillpen

 

Check out my new interview!! With the recent release of The Breslin Family Tales of the Supernatural (Boxed Set), I was interviewed by romance author Audrey King on her blog The Writing Closet. We talked about the book set as well as a gambit of other thought-provoking aspects of the writing process. Hope you give it a look 🙂

 

Interview Link

 

 

The Breslin Family Tales of the Supernatural Boxed Set

Wrap up your summer with some spine-tingling adventures set in the grand old city of New Orleans. The Breslin Family Tales of the Supernatural has been released as a boxed set. Three paranormal novels by Evelyn Klebert at one low price. Now available at Kindle.

KINDLE LINK

breslinboxsmaller

 

In this collection of three paranormal novels, Evelyn Klebert explores the often terrifying supernatural adventures of New Orleans’ Breslin family.

Psychic Max Gravier answers a cry for help out of his dreams that draws him into a fierce battle for a young woman’s soul in Gravier’s Bookshop.

In The Hotel Mandolin Cassie Breslin taps into an unexpected connection with a tragic ghost from the turn of the century. And the more she uncovers the more dangerous and malevolent the mystery becomes.

With the help of her family, the very psychic Breslin clan, Elise is about to embark on a wild rescue mission into another dimension that will land her squarely somewhere she doesn’t expect, right back into her past. Right back to a childhood home whose memory still haunts her to this day — The House at Pritchard Place.

Featured Book – The Witches’ Own

Given that I’m on the path to releasing most of my books in an audio edition I’ve decided to take some time to focus in on each of the books individually. The Witches’ Own was always what I considered a departure from my usual style of writing. Ostensibly it belongs in the horror genre, but I always liked to believe it stepped beyond that particular classification. It was clear to me when I wrote it that I was struggling with some of my own demons; some that I have put to rest and some perhaps not. But the central idea I suppose is that all of us within have the propensity to become a monster and it is only choice that holds us back from that precipice.  Here is a blog that I wrote on that very subject when I first released The Witches’ Own:

Monster or Victim?

A bit over twenty years ago I had a terrible nightmare — the kind that wakes you up in the middle of the night and you carry it with you into the morning and perhaps onward into the next few days. Well as it was this became a nightmare that I’ve carried with me for over twenty years. Of course not always in the forefront of my mind, rather tucked away somewhere in memory, dormant, to be jogged alive every once and awhile.

Then came the experience of penning Ghost Soldier for The Ghost Files series. For me Ghost Soldier was an experiment, writing a story, yes a horror story, but within the confines of a pretty formulaic framework. What it did for me, however, was put me in a tangible frame of mind, heading toward the shadows and exploring that aspect of the human psyche.

Once the Ghost Soldier book was completed, something did nag at me, a feeling that things were incomplete. Again I remembered the long ago dream and knew it was important now at this time to flesh out the story of Lucy Bonner and the painful nexus of her journey. Was she victim or monster or both?

When I consider this question, the most natural place for me to gravitate back to was Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein. Her “monster” who was created then rejected by its creator is a stellar example of the genesis of this dilemma. As is so clearly vocalized by Dr. Frankenstein’s creation in her novel, “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!”

It is the monster’s rejection within that masterpiece which drives him to his evil behavior. So again the question becomes: Are monsters simply born or are they created?

What I remember clearly from my dream was that horrifying feeling toward the woman that I later named Lucy Bonner, a mixture of fear and compassion. Now I’ve come to think that perhaps the lesson of the dream was to look deeper than what is on the surface and explore the causation behind behavior. And hopefully, hopefully that will be the message of the novel as well.

 

Witches'Own two picfinal smallerOn the surface things seem quiet and serene in the picturesque coastal village of Kilmarnock, Virginia. But something unseen roams its lush forests as the past and present collide and the unthinkable begins to wreak its vengeance. Young Lucy Bonner is executed for witchcraft in the town’s distant and brutal past. Her death triggers an unholy chain of events which grasp at the restless heart of novelist Peter McQuade, spurring him towards a quest to uncover the dark and terrifying truth.

Available at CORNERSTONE BOOK PUBLISHERS, AMAZON,  KINDLE, BARNES AND NOBLE, THE NOOK, AUDIBLE.COM, and other on line retailers.

The Witches’ Own Audio book

Ready to mix a little Halloween in with your summer? Some secrets just won’t stay buried. The Witches’ Own is now an Audio Book available at Amazon, Audible.com, and ITunes.

Witchaudioamazon

 

On the surface, things seem quiet and serene in the picturesque coastal village of Kilmarnock, Virginia. But something unseen roams its lush forests, as the past and present collide and the unthinkable begins to wreak its vengeance.

Young Lucy Bonner is executed for witchcraft in the town’s distant and brutal past. Her death triggers an unholy chain of events that grasp at the restless heart of novelist Peter McQuade, spurring him towards a quest to uncover the dark and terrifying truth.

$5.00 Cornerstone Book Sale

booksale (1)

Cornerstone Book Publishers is doing a bit of Summer Cleaning of some older editions of their print books. They are now offering these books for $5 a piece. But take advantage now because quantities are limited.

Some of my titles that are available include Sanctuary of Echoes, An Uneasy Traveler, Dragonflies, and Treading on Borrowed Time. Be sure to scroll down to the Fiction and Literature section to find them.

$5 Book Sale Link

The Broken Vow audio book

From the streets of New Orleans to the dazzling heights of Montségur join the enigmatic werewolf, Ethan Garraint, as he hunts arguably one of the most insidious villains of all time. The Broken Vow: Vol. I of the Clandestine Exploits of a Werewolf is now an audio book narrated by its author Evelyn Klebert.

Available at Amazon, Audible.com, and ITunes.

Brokenvow audiblelg

 

In the heart of every man there is a history. In the heart of every monster there is a story. In this first installment of The Clandestine Exploits of a Werewolf, Ethan Garraint is on a vendetta that begins in the heart of the Pyrenees with the fall of Montségur and leads him to the streets of New Orleans nearly 500 years later. But the person he chases isn’t really a man anymore and Ethan has been a werewolf for almost a millennium. With the aid of a gifted seer, he is on a blood hunt that will culminate in a journey that crosses the line between heaven and earth and ends somewhere in between.

Dragonflies Audiobook

Dragonflies: Journeys into the Paranormal has just been released as an audio book narrated by ME on Amazon, I Tunes, and Audible.com. Hope you check it out 🙂

AMAZON    AUDIBLE.COM   I TUNES

A powerful wizard, love-crossed ghosts, a mysterious dark warrior, and an enigmatic time traveler – a mystical wordsmith entices you into the world of the paranormal with a collection of inspired stories. Each tale takes the journey of the dragonfly, imbued with the momentum and energy of change, following a winding path that ultimately will lead you to find the truth buried beneath perception.

 

dragonflylgamazon