PARANORMAL/GHOSTLY GOINGS-ON – MARGARET TANNER
I don’t write paranormal or shape shifter novels, although I do envy those who can. Then I began thinking about it. Actually, in my historical romance novel, Daring Masquerade, which is set during the 1st World War, there are two ghostly scenes.
Harry who is the heroine has a dream about her husband Ross who is fighting in France. Ross thinks he hears Harry calling him back from the brink of death.
Ross did not see where the firing came from, but felt a thud, first in one leg then the other. As he sank to his knees, a bullet slammed into his chest. He toppled forward. Soldiers ran over him. Boots pressing into his back forced him deeper into the mud.
This is the end. He would never see Harry again.
He regained consciousness. It was daylight. How long had he been lying out in no-man’s land? Groggily, he got to his hands and knees. Pain and exhaustion racked his body. Breathing was agony. The landscape see-sawed. Shell fire echoed in his ears.
What’s the use? All I have to do is close my eyes and sink back into the mud and oblivion.
Too tired to fight any more, he started slipping away. His body floated upward and the pain disappeared.
“Ross, don’t leave me. Fight Ross, fight for me.”
“Harry?” He opened his eyes but he was alone. Only dead men, twisted and grotesque lay out here in no-man’s land with him.
“Harry, help me. I don’t want to die out here, twelve thousand miles away from you,” he cried out.
His head spun like a top, every bone in his body screamed in agony. Gritting his teeth, he dragged himself up onto his knees and crawled back the way he had come that morning.
Harry woke up from a horrible nightmare. Ross called out to her. He must have died. Her nightgown was wet with perspiration and she shook from head to foot. He kept pleading with her to help him, but she couldn’t. Every time she reached out a hand to touch him, he would slip back into the mud, just out of reach.
Gilbert slept in the cradle beside her bed. She could hear him breathing and his face felt warm to her touch. She still breastfed him in the daytime, but now he slept through the night.
Lighting the bedside lamp and keeping it turned down so as not to awaken him, she stood staring down at him. How sweet he was. He had Ross’s grey eyes and a pretty rosebud mouth. His dark curls were shot with copper highlights.
Oh, God. She grabbed the rag doll and held it to her heart as she rocked backwards and forwards on the bed. Sleep proved impossible now. A glance at the clock on the dresser showed two-thirty in the morning. Slipping on a dressing gown and carrying the lamp, she wandered down to the kitchen, raked up the coals in the stove and set the kettle on to boil. How long would it take to hear anything from the authorities about Ross?
Tears filled her eyes, trickling uncontrollably down her cheeks. The love of her life gone, the two men who meant the world to her were lost, but she still had little Gilbert. God had at least been merciful in that respect.
Next morning Jack called her a fool. “It was a nightmare, a bloody nightmare, girlie.”
“No, it wasn’t. It seemed so real. Ross called out to me, I know he did.”
“Let’s say he did call out to you, it doesn’t mean he’s dead, for God’s sake.”
“He lay in mud, covered with blood. I tell you, Jack, I could see him as clearly as I see you. He held his hands out to me. I tried to help him, but he kept drifting away out of my reach.”
Daring Masquerade is published by Books We Love, and is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other outlets. At the moment, Books We Love is running a special deal, buy from their books shop, and you receive another e-book for free.