I heard a voice calling out my name from inside the house, and when I opened the door…
No one there, the room empty, the furniture gone.
The voice called again, ‘Margaret, you don’t live here anymore, you must go home.’
I don’t understand, I was born in the house. I will die in it.
‘That’s the problem, Margaret, you already have… You are haunting an old space that belongs to new tenants. Soon, the empty rooms will be filled with new life. Please come home, Margaret, your loving husband is the voice you hear. I am waiting when you are ready…’
© AnitaDawes 2021
While you sleep I walk through shadows, shaped like clouds I feel the substance inside. My skin cools I hear the whispers drag at my mind We live in the air, water, fire. The very earth you live on I am often there when you sleep When you wake at night, you see shadows in the darkness of your room You wander, you shuffle through old photos trying to press Their image in mind We don’t want you to grieve, to hope that for one hour a year You might see us again. That’s not how it works Life is for the living, the dead can be remembered Often, they invoke the help you were looking for during daylight hours. Here, you may see a flicker of colour from the corner of your eye That too may be someone you remember It’s best to leave the dead to their own business Crossover contact doesn’t always go well In extreme cases, it can cause death That’s the clever way to bring new souls over When it goes wrong, many are left paralysed Their minds taken. An empty husk left behind For some souls it’s anger against the living Jealousy, a desire to be where you are For the others it’s a need to see their loved ones To be near them for a while They cannot stop themselves from visiting When they should know better They are draining the life from the very ones they love When you feel a loved one near Wish them well. No more is needed They in turn will leave a blessing when they can…
© Anita Dawes 2021
It was the perfect night for Halloween.
The air was crisp, with just the right amount of dampness. It smelled earthy, like freshly dug soil.
Wisps of mist from the nearby moors found their way into the deserted town, curling around the lamp posts and chasing stray cats away.
The pale moonlight cast an eerie glow on the small figures that silently began to appear. The ghosts of yesterday shuffling through the streets.
No light shone from the windows, for these dwellings were empty.
No living soul there anymore…
© Jaye Marie 2021
She doesn’t exist. She can’t exist.
‘A uniquely gothic tale about grief, belonging and hiding in plain sight’ Jess Kidd, author of Things in Jars
’Those who live in the walls must adjust, must twist themselves around in their home,
stretching themselves until they’re as thin as air. Not everyone can do what they can.
But soon enough, they can’t help themselves. Signs of their presence remain in a house.
Eventually, every hidden thing is found.’
Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.
Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists?
And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite in?
When I began to read Girl in the Walls, I wondered why anyone would want to live in a house without anyone knowing, or it was even possible. I knew all about hollow walls and the spaces in the attics and cellars, but how would someone survive, having to eat and drink in secret?
I loved how Elise listens to everything and how she finds comfort in knowing what is going on around her. The way that old clock with all its different sounds helps her to keep track of the time.
This story made me more conscious of the noises in my own house, all those noises we usually ignore, telling ourselves it’s just the building settling or the timbers contracting.
Elise’s story is devastatingly sad but beautifully written, describing the desperate lengths a child will go to find a safe place. Elise’s story grabbed hold of me like the poor lost child she is, insisting that I stay with her and read every word.
Jonah Traust, a villain in handyman’s clothing, obsessed with the notion that houses have secret occupants, terrified me as he hunted for the mystery presence in the house. I was on the edge of my seat as he systematically homed in on the poor child.
Elise is determined to stay hidden when the levee breaks after a storm and flood waters attack the house. Traust perishes, battling on in his search, and I could breathe again.
I worried for Elise. How would she survive if the house did not?
This story is both terrifying and upsetting. The fate of Elise, this helpless child, will haunt me for a long time…
I swallow my words, a slow-moving bitter taste.
Full of broken glass that burns my veins.
A storm raging inside, a fire that cannot be quenched.
Fuelled by anger, disappointment, loss,
a life lived too long.
The past doing what it does best,
haunting, stirring the mind to self-destruct.
Ghosts of those once loved smooth the sharp edges
of the hills and troughs dug by bitter memories.
It is better to have loved.
A life lived without is a hollow bubble.
The space inside too hard to handle.
So my friend if love is offered,
Take it, keep it safe.
Don’t live life in an empty bubble…
© Anita Dawes 2021
The start of a new week… will this be the best so far this year? I am determined to shake off some of the doom and gloom, see you on Friday to compare notes…
Beauty disguised as decay
Gothic windows, painted by time
Kissed by autumns warm orange
Trees stripped of their summer leaves
Above the balcony
Behind dirty windows
Shadows linger, layers of time live together
Unaware of each other
Objects move by unseen hand
No one owns up to having touched
Late at night, whispered words of
are we haunted, touch the interior
Do ghosts live here?