Ghosts can only haunt the places where they had died. This was why he was so careful to never kill anyone in his own home.

He was clever and well-connected enough to not be concerned about being caught, but a haunting was something that terrified him. He refused to be at the mercy of something that he could not fight. Most sensible people did not believe in ghosts, so it was unlikely that he would be able to seek help if he were to find himself so assailed.

And, to be clear, he was a sensible person. He was simply also a person who knew ghosts existed. The first time he saw one he had spent too long at a scene after he had finished. His meditation was interrupted by a woman’s weeping. The very same sound that he had permanently ended hours earlier. For a moment he saw the woman, whole and standing and impossible, and he had fled. He had needed to hire a cleaner for that one, which was embarrassing, but he could not return.

In the following weeks, walking the streets of his city, he began to feel unsafe for the very first time. Faces in windows were staring directly at him. Some he recognised.

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The fog arrived an hour before the ship, rolling onto the shores and fillings the streets. The ship, far too large for the available docks, beached itself on the small patch of sand on the lakeshore.

It was well after dark, but the sound drew many of the townsfolk to the shoreline. They watched as the crew stepped over the sides, falling from the ship. Those that landed in shallow water waited patiently as those that fell upon the rocks were forced to take time to set broken legs which showed through translucent skin. Together, the entire crew began to walk through the town.

The townsfolk who had watched from the shore now hid in their hastily locked and barricaded homes with their families. Some heard knocking at their doors, tapping at their windows, footsteps on the roof. Those brave enough to approach their thresholds could hear what sounded like pleas, but what remained of the crew’s vocal cords was not enough form words.

By dawn the fog had receded and the ship had disappeared. The townsfolk stared at the footprints and depression left on the shore of the lake and wondered what would have happened, had they opened their doors.


It was not Phillip’s job to pay attention to the guests.

His sole duty was to patrol the grounds surrounding the house and prevent anyone from passing through the gardens.

He tried not to pay attention to who arrived, how they were dressed, or how many entered through the large doors.

Despite his attempts to ignore the guests, Phillip heard their laughter as they approached the house. He saw the invitations held tightly in the hands of beautiful people and heard laughter and familiar conversations about who would be there and how long the party might go for.

He had done this job for decades, night after night. His pay had not risen in all that time. The same amount delivered as a cheque in his mail box every day, regardless of whether the post had arrived. He never saw who delivered it.

It was 7:02 and Phillip made certain that he was around the side of the house, hidden from view by the immaculately trimmed bush. He heard her laughter, heard the scuff of shoes on gravel as she nearly tripped in unfamiliar heels. If he stepped out, she would greet him cheerfully. She would be wearing her mother’s red dress and the necklace he bought her for her birthday. But he refused.

His daughter had been invited to the party.

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Non Attendants

There is a booking tonight
An urn of coffee is heating
Biscuits are plated beautifully
But no one attends the meeting

There is some conversation
Like voices in the distance
Shadows move under the lights
But no attendees are in existence

No one recalls the appointment
The last to leave does not even glance
Just turns off lights in an empty room
Which are turned back on by unseen hands

They do not quite recall each other
Smiling at strangers each time they meet
Still, it is nice to see those who see them
and it will be just as nice the same time next week

Two Sentence Stories (Part 8)

As she lay in the hospital bed, her mother held her hand and told her to squeeze if the needle hurt. It did, but it was quick and her mother hurried to put the syringe back into her purse as she heard the doctors coming down the hall.

The best part of living in a haunted house is that I’m never alone. Plus if any of them depart or stop entertaining me, it’s very simple to create new friends.

He thought that the statue in the courtyard had been moving closer to his door each day and her was relieved to not see it from his window that morning. As he tried to leave through the front door, he found that he could not turn the knob, as thought it were gripped tightly from the other side of the door.


A Shared History (Part 2)

Part 2 is a lot longer than intended, but I didn’t want to split it into 3 parts


There was a shoe rack beside the front door and a table with keys on the other side. There were stairs directly ahead and two doors on either side of the hall.

He walked through the left door, confident with his knowledge of the house’s layout, into the loungeroom. Only the back wall showed damage, although the smoke would have not made this a safe place during the fire. He had analysed the information and come to the conclusion that there was no space that would have guaranteed safety in the house, anyone inside would have had to leave through the front door. Falling asleep in front of the television would not have save the woman who lived here.

He continued through the open doorway to the kitchen. It was much darker here, the back wall having largely collapsed. He peeked around, trying to find the source of the fire. The reports indicated that it had been an electrical fire, but he needed to know for himself so that he could accurately piece together the events.

The shelving on the right wall had been burned away. From the charring on the wall below, he deduced that the electrical socket on the wall beside the fridge had started the fire. He took only a few steps into the wall, staying under largely undamaged ceiling. He turned in a circle, his torch focusing on the highest point of the walls. He found what he was looking for above the doorway he had just come through. The smoke alarm.

He dragged a footstool from the loungeroom to the doorway and began to prise it from its holder.  With his feet sinking into the soft cushion, he could not quite get the height he needed. He leaned up onto his toes, the hand holding the torch pressed against the doorframe for balance. It was hard to twist the smoke alarm one handed, so he turned off the torch and put it on the footstool and blindly gripped it with both hands. The moment it clicked, he heard a noise from the entrance to the house and fell, the alarm thrown from his hands as he reached to catch himself. He landed on the charcoal smeared floor of the kitchen.  He quickly grabbed for the torch, pressing the lit end against his belly to smother it as he fumbled with the switch. The moment it was off, he froze and listened.

It would be so easy for someone to think that loud creaks were simply the house settling. He couldn’t have been that loud and he was sure that he had not screamed as he fell.

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I lived here once, long ago
In the space where houses grow,
I had no walls, a roof or a bed
but had sweet rest, until I was dead

But life goes on and life must grow.
What lies beneath they need not know.
New families now live where I lie,
an unknown grave better utilised

It is soft peace to know their lives,
the families on either side.
They are my sisters and my brothers,
Aside my wall, strangers to each other.

My name does not need to be known.
I know theirs better than my own.
I am content as forgotten bones
at rest in the wall between two homes


I cannot for the life of me find my car. It’s not in its assigned space. There is a car I don’t recognise there already. I’ve never had that problem before: management are very clear about the parking spaces. Probably some new neighbour. I’ll have a word with them.

As I consider keying the blue paint, I realise that I don’t actually have my car keys either. So. I’m locked out of my apartment, looking for a car I wouldn’t be able to drive regardless of if I found it.

I am not a smart man.

I try to think hard about the last time I drove. It was raining, I’m sure of it. I remember running to the car, hunched over my bag to protect it from the droplets. I must have looked ridiculous: a shuffling figure in the darkness. My clothes are still damp and hear myself drip as I walk away from the carpark.

The sun is shining, but it doesn’t seem to do my clothes much good. I still leave wet footprints on the warm pavement. I notice two teenagers point at my footprints. I move faster before they can take a photo of my sorry state.

I pull at my collar. I wish I was wearing more casual clothes, but I suppose the last time I was driving, it was home from work. I don’t remember getting home, although I remember rushing towards it. I was late for something. Something that seems very unimportant now.

There is a puddle in the street, almost dried up by now. It hasn’t rained in days, after all. I look at my reflection, and look away quickly. I’m a bedraggled mess. It’s a miracle no one is staring at me.

As I walk along the street, I hear a car horn honk and it reminds me of something. A car honking for a long time, bright lights, impact…

I’m such an idiot – I remember where I left the keys! they’re still in the ignition of the car, at the bottom of the lake. Fortunately I don’t remember exactly where that was. Well, that’s probably for the best. I think I can only stay as long as I have unfinished business, and thanks to my poor memory, this little task will take a long, long time. As I said, I am not a smart man.

I continue walking down the street, into the bright sunshine, leaving wet footprints behind me.

Three Questions (Part 2)

Despite my success, my mother was still the target of my father’s anger. Every trip outside the house was scrutinised, every phone call monitored. On the rare occasions that he left the house, my father would often sneak back into our home quietly, trying to catch my mother in some act I didn’t yet understand. I know now that she stayed because she believed it was best for me. She couldn’t take me away until I knew fully how to use my power, and she couldn’t leave me alone with him.

I was eleven the night that I heard my parents’ arguing stop. Read More »