Thank you for your Christmas card, it was nice to hear all your updates. I shall have to write fully soon but for now here’s a short note. We’re all fine, not much news, only the wedding has been moved to later on this year and the puppy is feeling lots better after the chocolate mishap on Christmas day!
There’s been some heavy snow up here and more is due. Bet it’s not much warmer on the coast but I’d rather walk on sand instead of mud.
Did you hear about Fred? Falling off the roof like that at his age! He’s home and his broken legs are healing well.
Let me know if you hear anymore about Norma. I never got a card off her.
The champagne corks pop. Laughter echoes as white froth pours from large green bottles. A sea of cups lifts to capture the raining champagne, the golden liquid sparkles. The bubbles bead along the thin steamed glasses, bursting as they reach the top.
A tickling on my arm woke me from sleep. I brushed then scratched at my arm where the itch was before rolling over and going back to sleep.
The next night the tickling happened again. I rubbed my arm and noticed how cold my skin was so I pulled the duvet closer around me. Dozing off, I thought I’d solved the problem.
The third night the same feeling on my arm happened. Half awake, I looked at my arm in the darkness, nothing stood out and yet it felt like something was there. I turned on the lamp and inspected my arm. All the hairs were standing up but there was nothing else. I went back to bed.
I was expecting the sensation that night. I lay awake and felt for the first time the actual movement of a spider walking along my arm. I turned on the lap quickly without moving that arm and I looked hard, inspecting my skin. There was no spider or bug on me or the bed…. I didn’t go back to sleep.
Night five. I kept the lamp on and dozed fitfully. Once again the hairs rose on my arm and I felt the spider walking there. I slapped my arm hard all the way down, hoping to kill whatever it was. Then I got up and washed my arm, scrubbing it almost raw. Back in bed, lamp still on, I slept well.
It didn’t end. Each night, the spider walked across my skin. Sometimes I lay awake waiting for it and other times, I woke up feeling it there. I went to see doctors, I got treatments, I brought new bedding, I washed before I slept, I tried everything I could but the spider didn’t go away.
Now, I feel it all the time. The spider is always there, walking up and down my arm.
The bridge out of the city was grid locked and car horns were blaring maddly. People’s voices rose in shouting and panic, somewhere a baby was crying and there was a dog walking past the cars looking for food.
Izzy’s hands tightened on the steering wheel and she tried not to join in the choir of horns. She glanced to the passenger seat and saw her month old son asleep there. He would be hungry soon and she would have to try and breastfeed him against the steering wheel.
A loud, constant clicking drew her attention to the right. The wide stretch of river was filled with all kinds of boats and on both side banks overcrowded with buildings blocked out a dark sky. Rain was falling in a soft patter, making a nice sound on the roof of the car.
Izzy searched for the source of the noise, knowing it couldn’t be far away. Then she saw it; one of the monsters was coming out from behind a building and entering the river.
It was the height of a skyscraper, had a bulbous dark brown and black body, with many legs each as long as a football field. It looked like a giant flea.
A nearby building exploded; metal and glass raining down on the monster and the boats below. People screamed, abandoning their cars, choosing to run instead.
Izzy got out, ran around and took her son in his car seat out, then grabbed the nearest bags. The rest of the luggage would have to be left behind. She joined the sea of people and tried to get off the bridge.
The monster let out a bellow, destroyed another building and charged forward, destroying all in its path.
Ben looked at the bent tree branch and saw the bodies hanging there. Sacks covered their heads and long dress hung on skeleton frames. Only the feet and hands stuck out and they were little more than skin covered bone.
The wind twisted the frayed ropes that went around the necks and upwards to wrap around the bent branch. The bodies spun eerily.
The boy prayed that they had no faces.
‘Go away,’ Ben whispered, ‘it’s not real.’
Shutting his eyes, Ben took a deep breath then looked once more. The hanging bodies was still there, twisting on ropes which let out painfully creaks.
Someone called him and Ben turned sharply away. His friends were waiting for him to play. Ben ran off to join them but other things lingered in the woods, waiting to be seen.
I could see more then normal. Some said, I had an eye for detail, I called it I wrong wiring in my brain. When Father built me and brought my organs back to life, I wasn’t whole. And now, I see the truths and lies of the world.
I know it’s been awhile since my last letter and I promise I shall write to you in detail later. Here is a note to say that things are going well at the Haunted House and bookings are coming in fast. It feels strange that my months of hard work are over and soon, the House will be open year around for nightly scares.
Thank you for all the antique stuff, including the china dolls and tea sets you sent. They were useful to fill the nursery room up with. Though it’s probably more horrifying then you wise to see.
I can’t wait for our open day tomorrow. We have half price tickets and also food. We are running special discount books for the future and prompting not only Halloween weekend and Dia de los Muertos night, but Christmas Zombie Feast too!
The afternoons were getting harder to get through. The time dragged and it felt like waiting for paint to dry. I had tried to fill the time with watching TV, gardening and looking out of the window.
Still though, I caught myself dozing off sometimes and even woke myself from sleep, confused by what I’d missed.
Maybe, it was lack of sleep in the night or the strangely warm autumn. Perhaps, it was a sign as there had been others, of the old age I hated admitting too. I brushed it off, blamed it on other things.
Sleep though didn’t seem to want to let me go. I felt like I was having an never ending battle with keeping my eyes open and my thoughts in one place. I would nodded off and jerk myself awake, I’d get up and shake off the blanket sleep had tried to wrap me in.
Sometimes though it was too easier to give in. I didn’t have the fight like I use too and my energy was lacking after morning activities. So, a little sleep helped me to get through the rest of the day.
The days were getting shorter and darkness always seemed close at hand. My excuse for sleeping was justified; it’s cold and dark, I liked to be warm and feel safe. Plus, the growing aches in my joints were eased when I laid down. – Not so great when I stood up though!
Stretching in my basket, I looked at the clock then the TV and tried to see if it was time for a walk. The old man had fallen asleep in his chair again, his head was on his chest and his hands were in his lap. It seemed unfair to wake him up.
I was comfy and too warm. I yawned and snuggled back down. Maybe, I should just give into these day time naps? They didn’t seem that bad really.
I didn’t find autumn cold like most people did. I found it warm and cosy. I loved pulling on a soft jumper, curling up on the sofa with a hot coffee or chocolate then burying myself in a thick novel.
Outside, the wind might be howling and the rain might be pouring but that just made perfect background noise to my reading. As the early darkness covered the sky and lingered by the windows, I pulled a blanket over my knees and wonder how the hero was going to escape this time.
The bubbling of stew and dumplings called to me before I could get there. It was a hearty meal with bread for soaking up the gravy at the bottom of the bowl. I felt hugged from the inside!
Sleepiness drifted like the night upon me and I took the book to a fleece lined bed and goose feather pillows. Safe from the world, I disappeared in between the words till I was dreaming I was adventuring alongside the hero.