Guest author Chris Fenge who writes Young Adult and Fantasy is published with BURST from Champagne Book Group. Chris has a truly unique bio on her beautifully done website—well worth a visit. Her story is a two-fer. Her husband wrote his version (address below).
What follows is a true story, and because it’s true it lacks Hollywood-style sensationalism. Indeed, the events were commonplace enough: two phone calls, a feeling, a coincidence of timing. Nothing more than that perhaps – a mere coincidence?
But I was there. I know the people involved. I remember the look on his face. And even to this day, years later, I feel a tingling terror that the world may not be as I believe it; that there are possibilities beyond the ordinary we both glimpsed that day.
This is what happened: the phone rang.
It was the nursing home… again. My husband’s mother was ill… again. Would we go over?
Me: “We should go. She’s 94 years old. They say it’s serious.”
Him: “They’re just covering themselves; they have to say that to relatives just in case. But she’s a tough old bird; she’ll rally. She always does.” He looked at his watch. “Our boy gets home soon. Let’s all go together when he arrives. It’ll cheer Mum up to see her grandson. She’s always had a soft spot for him.”
My husband wandered off humming a Bee Gees tune, tunelessly, in that random fashion he has when all is well with the world and nothing much bothers him. I turned back to the mess I’d created on the dining room table, a chaos of pens, elastic bands and general junk. The bureau had become impossible and I was on one of my rare cleaning sprees, getting some satisfaction from creating pockets of order. I picked up yet another black biro. Where do they all come from? They must be breeding in that bureau. Attempting to scribble with it on a scrap of paper, I was vaguely aware of my husband’s footsteps creaking their way upstairs, with the repetitive chorus of Staying Alive dwindling out of earshot. The scrap of paper ripped, and I tossed the dead pen in the bin to join its fellows before picking up another.
A door overhead slammed. There were running footsteps, and then a tremendous pounding down the stairs. My husband appeared in the room, his face stricken and drained, his eyes pure panic. He couldn’t seem to breathe and was clutching his chest. “We have to go,” he gasped. And then he pinned me with those panicked eyes and yelled: “NOW! She’s afraid. She wants me with her. We have to go… NOW!”
He rushed out leaving me dazed. This wasn’t like him at all. Something very odd was happening, so odd I knew instinctively not to argue, not even to speak. I dropped the dead pen and dashed after him, grabbing my coat as I reached the front door.
He was already at the car when it happened: the phone rang.
It stopped us in our tracks and he turned to look at me. And with that eye-contact, complete comprehension passed between us, for we both knew it was the nursing home again and that our Mum had just died. And we also knew, with gut-wrenching certainty, that in those dying moments of life she had reached out, somehow, to connect with her son.
That’s all that happened. Not much, really, when you think about it: two phone calls, a feeling, a coincidence of timing. It can’t be anything else. I can’t allow it to be anything else or my whole world collapses, and in march the ghosts and ghouls and other such rubbish that properly belong in story books.
But even today, years later, I feel a tingling terror that the world may not be as I believe it.
(Copyright © 2013 Chris Fenge. Used with Permission)
P.S. My husband has his own take on what happened, which he believes was an example of “Family ESP.” And he adds: “It wasn’t the only instance on that day.”
If you want to read his version, click on: dimensionsbeyond.typepad.com/ for ‘Matters of Life and Death: 5.’
‘THE SALAMANDER STONE”
Note: ‘The Salamander Stone’ features a demon (see Extract below). And, since I can’t create characters unless I’ve actually met them (or aspects of them), it follows that I’ve met this demon. The sceptic in me believes it was a dream. Let’s hope so. If this demon exists in reality somewhere, I want out!
BLURB: Amber uncovers a conspiracy so earth-shattering it threatens the human race. She goes on the run and everyone is after her—some for her power; some to make her their saviour; others out of twisted love or simple lust. But her necklace, the Salamander Stone, attracts more than earthly evil. A demon is after her too, and what it wants is unspeakable.
EXCERPT: In this excerpt, Amber’s enemy, Meshak, enters the demon’s lair and allows it to sucker onto his soul:
That weird cry came again, much closer now, cutting through the thick air – a high thin wail thrown far into the darkness and returning as a series of diminishing mocking echoes. Like a baby, thought Meshak, though no baby ever cried like that; no human ever cried like that.
He stood up shakily on the sandy path, straining to see, trying to make sense of this alien world. Below him, on the trail he’d just crawled, another thing was crawling. He sensed it as a furry black shadow shifting and sliding, sucking its way towards him. It cried again as it slithered closer.
Meshak knelt in the sand on the pathway, and the thing, the black shadow, stopped crying and snuffled up close, filling the air with its rotting reek. It slithered behind him and he waited. After a moment he felt a soft suction as it burrowed under his clothes and battened greasily onto his back, inching its way up his body until it reached his left shoulder. Its voice hissed, insistent, as it whispered in his ear, filling his mind and blocking out all other thought.
Meshak stood up, his body giving little shivers of excitement like greeting an old friend. A long slow smile split his face in half; an evil gleam glinted in his eye. He moved down the path and back into his own world.
And the shadow on his shoulder went with him.
Buy Link: THE SALAMANDER STONE
Visit Chris Fenge: WEBPAGE