Heaven Calling – Part 6 #RomCom #WomensFiction #ASMSG

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Welcome to my weekly blog series – Heaven Calling

Out every Thursday.

Blurb

Camilla’s enjoyment of heaven life came to an abrupt end after she discovered her husband Gerry was dating back on Earth. He’d spent two years grieving her but in Camilla’s eyes this was not long enough.

With her own team of angel assistants; Anna and Gabriel, some soothing harp music and God’s help, Camilla is certain she can influence the outcome of Gerry’s dates and get him back to mourning her.

Brace yourselves for this week’s part! 

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The Trouble With Eva #blogbattle #thriller #fiction

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‘Rach wake up!’ cried a familiar voice.

I struggled to stir from my dark sweaty dream.

‘Please wake up!’ 

I prised open one heavy eye lid. No one stood in front of me. Keeping my head on the pillow I reached behind to feel my husband’s side of the bed.

‘Pete’ I murmured. My hand felt a cold and empty space.

‘Over here!’  The voice had a female owner.

I turned my head and followed the voice.

‘What the…’ I muttered, frantically rubbing my eyes whilst scrambling to sit up.

Eva, my best friend, was stood staring back at me, from the corner of the room.

‘Eva’ I gasped. ‘You….you’re here!’

‘Hey Rach’ she replied, giving me a small wave. ‘I’m back’.

I watched as she stepped into a shaft of pale light, poking through a tear in the blind. A thin smile spread across her face.

I pinched myself hard. 

‘I know we didn’t part on good terms Rach but I need your help’ she stated and took step forward to sit on the bed.

I took a huge gulp of air as she perched on the corner of the mattress. My eyes flicked to her waxen arms and then to her long blonde plait hung over one shoulder.

‘You’re here’ I murmured as my body started to tremble.

‘Yes its me Eva’

Her voice echoed in my ears.

She leapt up without warning, making me jolt. I watched her run over to the window, yanking hard on the blind and flooding the room with golden light. She stood eyes closed and arms outstretched for what felt like an eternity.

‘It feels so good to have the sun on my face again!’ she marvelled as I clutched a pillow.

She made her way back to the bed but became distracted by the collection of photos on the wall.

‘Looks like fun’ she pointed to the photo of Pete , my husband, and I on holiday. We’re laughing into the camera, tanned and smiling. The Mexican holiday we took to forget about what happened and bridge the chasm that divided us.

‘Where is Pete?’ she asked, staring at the empty side of the bed.

‘He doesn’t… sleep…much nowadays’ I mumbled, feeling my body stiffen at her mention of his name.

She moved onto the photos of me on the beach with our mutual friends. I watched her inspect the image of me and the girls sat on logs, arms linked, tartan blankets thrown over our shoulders and the orange glow of the beach bonfire lighting up our faces.

‘Do they still talk about me?’ she asked, turning my way, her piercing blue eyes drilling deep into my soul.

‘Yes of course’ I lied.

‘Eva’

‘Eva’ I repeat myself.

‘Huh’ she murmured, still staring at the photo.

‘Why are you here?’

‘I told you I need your help’ she answered, sitting back down on the bed. ‘To find out what happened on that  night Rach.’

My heart stopped beating and the air in my lungs evaporated. My freshly painted white bedroom started to spin and I reached out to steady myself on the wooden bed post.

I watched her draw imaginary circles on the bed with the tip of her finger. A door in my mind opened and out rushed the things I thought I would never have to think about again.

‘I met some guy at a bar’ she said continuing to draw. ‘He invited me to the beach with some people he knew on that night.’

‘I had a few drinks and fell asleep’ she kept her head down.

‘Rach’ she murmured, tracing a large invisible circle. ‘I don’t drink much and I never sleep on beaches’.

Nausea washed over me.

‘When I woke up someone was taking me out in a rowing boat’ she said quickly. ‘Everything was blurry Rach, my body felt so tired and I couldn’t see who was rowing’.

My mouth was so dry my tongue stuck to my front teeth.

‘They pushed me out of the boat Rach!’

My heart pounded in my chest whilst my body shook. 

‘Eva…you left …a note’  I stammered. 

She glared at me, her mouth falling open. 

“Is that what you believe Rach?” she asked, her eyes were almost black. ‘You believe that I would do such a thing?’

I break eye contact with her to look at my white knuckles gripping the quilt.

‘It was a tough time for all of us’ I mumbled through chattering teeth.

‘Are you being serious Rach?’

I look away.

‘It must be hard for you with me telling you all this stuff. Especially after everything that happened between us.’

Her words echoed inside my head.

‘You have to help me find some answers’ she pleaded, her eyes glistening with tears.

‘But you had an affair with my husband Eva’ I murmured, my chest aching like an invisible wound. 

She hung her head and laced her fingers together. 

‘Rach please help me. I need to find the person who murdered me’

This was my entry into this week’s Blog Battle contest. These fierce international contests are organised by the one and only, superstar author….cue trumpet fanfare…Rachael Ritchey! If you want to compete or check out the other entries please head over to Rachael’s blog

The word this week is chasm.

My genre is thriller. 

This is an extract from a story I have been writing.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/56611644@N00/5202624522″>Shandi-lee XVI {window dreams}</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

© Lucy Mitchell and Blondewritemore, 2016.

The Garden #blogbattle #shortstory

These blog battles or short story contests are organised by the legendary Blog Battling Queen & Author of the ‘Beauty Thief’ – Rachael Ritchey. If you think you are tough enough to compete join us!

This week’s word is oasis.

Here is the Blondewritemore entry:

The Garden

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I wake to find myself alone on a bench in a garden.

I don’t remember walking here. My head feels thick and heavy.

“You need to go back” says a voice. I look round to see a man walking towards me. His face is blurry but his voice is familiar.

“I am happy here” I say staring out across the quaint little garden. An army of tall trees stand on guard, keeping out the rest of the world. A blanket of grass covered with a pattern of wild colourful flowers is hemmed in by a cobbled path.

“You need to go back” says the man, his voice tinged with urgency.

“Its so quiet and peaceful here. Like a little oasis” I say letting the garden’s tranquility soothe my busy mind.

“I am being serious Emma you need to go back” says the man.

He knows my name.

“Do you know where we are?” I ask watching the wild flowers sway gently in the breeze. My eyelids feel heavy and I fight the urge to lay my head on the bench.

“Do you really not know?” he asks.

I shake my head. This garden does not look like somewhere I have been before.

“Do you not remember what happened?” he asks.

I think about what I can recall. I only remember pleading voices and the white light. Then waking up in the garden.

Shaking my head I mumble “I don’t remember much.”

I feel warm and sleepy.

“You have to leave Emma” persists the man.

“Why should I go back and leave this beautiful place?” I ask.

“Because I love you Emma and I don’t want to lose you” he says with a croaky voice.

I want to go back but the garden is enticing me to stay. It’s so beautiful.

Other people arrive in the garden. They introduce themselves to me as Ron, Maggie and Brook. We all sit and listen to the whispering trees.

Ron says he won’t be going back. He is staying in the garden. Maggie is considering going back. Brook is desperate to get back but doesn’t know how.

“Emma please come back” says the man with the blurry face.

“You should go back” says Ron. He looks like someone’s grandfather with tufty white hair, blue eyes and spade like hands.

“Do you think so?” I ask Ron.

Ron nods before saying “I don’t think it’s your time to stay in the garden”

I sit and think about what Ron has just said.

“Do you like the garden?” I ask Ron.

“Yes it reminds me of my garden back home” sighs Ron.

“Emma you need to hurry and stop being stubborn” says the man with the blurry face.

Ron gives me a cheeky wink. “Now stop being stubborn and get back.”

I stand and get ready to leave the garden.

Ron gives me something. It’s a rolled up piece of paper. He tucks it into my pocket.

“Give this to my wife Doris, she’s sat outside” he says.

I say goodbye to them all. I wish Maggie and Brook luck in finding their way back. I smile at Ron who has folded his arms and leaned contentedly into the bench. For one last time I look out across the garden and say goodbye.

The white light takes me back.

“You’re back!” exclaims Chris, my boyfriend. I look round and see that I am in a hospital bed attached to bleeping machines.

“You lost control of your car Emma, it’s been touch and go for days” says Chris leaning over to kiss me on the forehead.

“I love you so much Emma. I thought I was going to lose you” he says squeezing my hand.

I smile and then remember Ron’s message. I retrieve the bit of rolled up paper tucked into my gown.

“Here” I say to Chris. “Can you go find Doris, who is sat outside and give her this?”

Chris looks oddly at me but follows my instructions. Sometime later he returns.

“Well?” I ask. “Did you find Doris?”

“Doris thanks you for the note” he says. “Ron has told her not to be sad about him as he will always be sat on the bench in the garden”.

photo credit: Photopin

This story is dedicated to my Grandpa George who passed away earlier this year. I like to think that he is now sat in the garden watching the pretty wild flowers swaying gently in the breeze.

The Resident’s Ball #blogbattle #shortstory

These blog battles or short story contests are organised by the one and only Rachael Ritchey. If you think you are tough enough to compete join us!

This week’s word is Time

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The Resident’s Ball

Roxy stood in front of the locked door, bare foot and shivering in a flimsy cotton night dress. 

The hallway was dark and deserted, and yet she didn’t feel alone. Turning slowly around she ran the beam of her torch across the wall behind her. It found the row of portraits. The former residents of Semper House Nursing Home were watching her from their ornate gold frames.

Her beam was drawn to one face from the past. An handsome elderly man with twinkling blue eyes and a chiselled face. The brass plate underneath his portrait read ‘Stanley Burroughs‘. It also read ‘he died twenty years ago. Stanley had been a much loved resident of Semper House and would be missed by his wife Vera.

Roxy shivered as she recalled her conversation with Vera, his wife, earlier that day. Vera’s excited chatter about her late husband echoed in her mind. There was something odd about the way Vera spoke of Stanley. It was as though he was still alive. 

Her beam seemed to linger on Stanley’s face. Roxy felt a cold feeling creep over her. It seemed an odd coincidence that she was now drawn to his portrait.

She turned back to the door to notice something lying by the foot of the door. It was a piece of yellow card with the words ‘Resident’s Ball’  and ‘Midnight’ written in beautiful italics on it. What was this Resident’s Ball she asked herself? She knew all the activities planned for the residents but there was no Ball.

The old grandfather clock started to chime, signalling the arrival of midnight.

Roxy pressed her ear to the door to listen for any sounds of life.

She wanted answers to all her questions about Semper House. The nursing home was hiding a secret and she wanted to know what it was.

Sounds of feet moving past her room, whispering voices and doors closing had woken her. In a panic she shot out of bed, believing the noises were from one of the elderly residents, confused and frightened.

As much as she tried to convince herself that the noises were from a resident who needed rescuing, she knew that no one at Semper House suffered with mental confusion. This was one of the mystifying things about the place. 

All the residents were well into their centenary years, each one with their mental and physical health still fully intact. Doctors, nurses, pills and medicines were unheard of. No one shuffled, or relied upon wheel chairs or sticks. Everyone walked briskly around the place, straight backed with their heads held high in the air. It was like time had stopped for everyone inside Semper House.

After the first couple of weeks in her new job at Semper House she found herself quizzing the other staff members about the residents.

“What keeps them all so youthful?” Roxy asked the other members of staff during break time, one afternoon. She was met with a wall of blank looks and shrugs of shoulders.

“I can’t be the only one who thinks there is something strange about this place” she persisted, looking from one face to another.

Marjorie, one of the experienced nursing assistants, leaned towards her and smiled. “The residents have discovered the secret.”

What secret?” Roxy asked, her mind racing with intrigue.

Marjorie shook her head. “You will find out for yourself. It really is quite a spectacle.”

Roxy watched Marjorie rise from her chair. As she was about to leave the staff rest room Marjorie turned and said “no one ever leaves Semper House.”

Roxy’s mind had worked tirelessly to try and work out what the secret at Semper House was. She started to notice other oddities about the residents. They all sat together in tall backed red leather chairs, set out in a tight circle with all members of staff under clear instruction to never move them. Within this ring the residents laughed in union, chattered excited and debated furiously topics of the day. Nobody was sad or lonely at Semper House.

She tried to break the circle of residents by talking to each one individually, searching for a shared interest with which to build a bridge but this proved fruitless. Secret messages were conveyed between the residents with a glance or a hand gesture.

Her heart thumped noisily in her chest as she bent down to pick up the card. It was then she noticed the keyhole in the wooden door, big enough for an eye to catch a glimpse of what was taking place inside the Resident’s Lounge.

As she knelt down the chilling touch of the stone floor tiles against her bare legs made her gasp. Carefully she positioned herself on her knees in front of the oak door.

An eerie blue light started to stream through the keyhole and she could hear the soft tinkle of a piano start to seep through the door.  

Her face brushed the smooth surface of the door and she gently placed her eye over the keyhole.

What met her eyes made her stop breathing for a moment. The tired old Resident’s Lounge had been magically transformed into an elaborate Ball Room. There was a grand piano in one corner, an opulent chandelier hanging from the ceiling and a large open space where elegant dancing couples twirled around to music.

Roxy gasped as one of the couples stopped briefly by the door. The lady leant back revealing herself as Vera, one of the residents. She was wearing a breath taking purple silk dress and her grey hair was adorned with an array of feathers and jewels. Her dinner jacket clad partner spun around and Roxy instantly recognised the face. It was Stanley Burroughs from the portrait. She watched as Vera laughed and he started to dance away with her.

It was all too much. She drew back from the keyhole shaking her head and trying to soothe her racing heart. Maybe she was dreaming? Was this part of a nightmare? Stanley had been dead for twenty years. 

A warm hand was placed on her shoulder making her yelp in fright. As she looked up she saw that it was Marjorie, holding a torch and smiling at her.

“Have you been watching the Resident’s Ball Roxy?” asked Marjorie.

Roxy nodded but was unable to speak. The sight through the keyhole had rendered her speechless.

“They all come back for the Resident’s Ball” she said quietly, nodding towards the row of portraits lit up by her torch.

“This is what keeps the living residents so young and happy. The Resident’s Ball means they are never alone at Semper House. They get to dance the night away with their departed loved ones.”