The Welsh Valleys #WordlessWednesday #Photography

Wordless Wednesday – No words, just pictures. Allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Photo of the Welsh Valleys showing mountains, fields and clouds in the sky
What can you see in the Welsh Valleys?

Not sure what Wordless Wednesday is or how to participate? Click here for full details.

Are you participating in Wordless Wednesday? Leave a link to your post in the comments section, and I will visit it and leave you a comment (providing it is Wordless). I will also share the post on Twitter, providing you have connected your Twitter account to your blog.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Eerie Encounters: The Ghost In The Shower #WordlessWednesday #Photography

Wordless Wednesday – No words, just pictures. Allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Photo of shower cubicles with a ghostly figure in the background
Can you see the ghost in the shower?

Not sure what Wordless Wednesday is or how to participate? Click here for full details.

Are you participating in Wordless Wednesday? Leave a link to your post in the comments section, and I will visit it and leave you a comment (providing it is Wordless). I will also share the post on Twitter, providing you have connected your Twitter account to your blog.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Flash Fiction Friday – The Ghost In The Dress

August 8, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about “the one who left the dress.” A 1940s-era dress still hangs in an abandoned house. Who left it and why? You can take any perspective and write in any genre. It can be a ghost story. Or not. Go where the prompt leads! Click here for details.


The Ghost In The Dress – by Hugh W. Roberts

The ghost always returned on the night of February 14th. Dressed in World War II uniform, we’d watch as it undressed and put on the dress we’d found behind the wood panelling in the main bedroom.

Our mother didn’t want to keep the dress in the house. She referred to it as an evil piece of cloth, but we couldn’t allow her to dispose of this piece of 1940s history.

“Does it still fit me?” the ghost always asked.

We’d nod our heads, smile and reply with the same answer.

“Yes. And you look so pretty in it, David.”

***

Image of a 1940s dress hanging up in an abandoned house
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.

***


Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love ‘More Glimpses.’

***

32 short stories and flash fiction pieces take the reader to the edge of their imagination.

More Glimpses

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

Follow Hugh on his social media platforms by clicking the buttons below.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Do You Believe In Father Christmas?

When I was eight-years old, I did the most despicable thing.

On Christmas Eve 1970, I told my five- year old sister that there was no such thing as Father Christmas. She was horrified.

Telling her that Father Christmas did not exist was the worst thing I ever did.

My mother was so angry with me. She sent me to my room.

I missed supper. I missed the carol-singers outside our house.

I missed seeing the first snowflakes of what was to be my first white Christmas. And I missed the evening of Christmas Eve, my favourite time of the year.

However, worse was to come.

I cried myself to sleep, blaming Father Christmas for what had happened.

Sometime during the night, I was woken by hands around my throat.

“You evil boy!” boomed the voice. I was too frightened to open my eyes.

“Open your eyes, boy! Do it, or you will never see Christmas again.”

He forced me to open my eyes. I don’t know how he did it but he somehow did.

I couldn’t believe what I saw.

I was shocked beyond belief. It was Father Christmas who had his hands around my throat.

“You never, never tell anyone ever again that I do not exist. Do you understand me, boy?” I tried nodding my head, despite being in complete shock.

“Good. Now, look deep into my eyes.”

Seconds later, I saw a flock of robins in his eyes and, before I knew it, they were propelled into my eyes.

The screeching sound they made hurt my ears. I could not scream for help to my mother or father because of the tightly gripped hands around my throat. I finally managed to close my eyes and the screeching robins and hands around my throat disappeared.

Terrified by what had happened, I crawled under my bed. I curled up into a tiny ball and shivered the night away. Sleep did come but only briefly.

It was the sound of laughter that woke me.

I could hear the muffled voices of my family. It was Christmas morning and they were already downstairs.

How could they have forgotten to wake me up?

I crawled out from under my bed and made my way past the open door of my bedroom. On the floor, at the top of the stairs, were two empty Christmas stockings. How could they have emptied their stockings without me?

I ran down the stairs and into the lounge, which was lit up with Christmas lights.

“Mum, Dad, Julie…I’m sorry,” I cried, but none of them took any notice of me. “Please forgive me, don’t spoil Christmas.” But it was no good, they just ignored me.

That’s when I saw the strange boy.

“Oh, that’s lovely, Hugh. Grandma sure knows how to knit Christmas jumpers,” laughed Dad, as he hugged the strange boy.

For the rest of the day, I watched as the boy with my name took my place. Nobody bothered me. Nobody even noticed I was there. It was as if I were a ghost.

I finally went to bed and cried myself to sleep. The whole family had arrived at our house and a Christmas party was in full swing.

The next morning, my mother woke me up.

“Are you feeling better, Hugh?”

“Are you talking to me?” I asked her.

“Of course, I am. Who else goes by your name in this house? Come on, it’s Boxing Day and we need to get over to Grandma’s house.”

I didn’t ever say anything to anybody about what had happened, and I didn’t see the strange-looking boy with my name again.

Well, I didn’t see him until the following Christmas Day when the whole thing happened again. And it’s happened every Christmas since then.

You see, my place is now taken by a ghost, but only on that one day of the year when I become a ghost.

I’m so happy and thankful that it’s not Christmas every day.

Do you believe in Father Christmas?

#fiction #christmas #shortstory #shortstories

Story taken from the short story collection Glimpses – Available on Amazon.

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Where Do Your Ideas For Stories And Blog Posts Come From?

When I wrote my first short story, shortly after I started blogging in February 2014, I never gave much thought of where the idea for the story had come from. 

However, I remember the moment the story came to me and, since then, I’ve never really talked about it a lot. Why? Because it could have been the visit from a ghost that gave me the idea.  

There I was, ironing the third of seven shirts, and up walked Grace Simmons demanding that I write and publish her story on my blog.

Are the characters in our fiction the ghosts of our imagination?

Somehow, Grace had managed to get her story into my head and, within seconds, I’d abandoned the ironing board for the keyboard. 

An hour later, I’d written Grace’s story, published it on my blog, and the first comment had come in. Smiling, I thanked Grace, who had long disappeared to wherever it was she had come from, and I returned to the ironing board wondering if I’d just been visited by a ghost.

Who is Grace Simmons, and what is her story?

Grace is a character from, Last Train To Aldwych, the first story in my book, Glimpses.

What I’m not sure about is whether Grace Simmons is a ghost who visited me. I can’t say I physically saw her, yet the image of her is firmly embedded in my mind

About the story.

A journey on the London Underground takes Grace Simmons to an annual encounter with a ghost she always meets at Aldwych Station on the same date every year. However, with the prospect of further meetings never being able to take place, Grace must ensure that this final meeting is one where she and the ghost will never part.

I’ve often wondered if the story was born from an idea, an experience, or if I was just lucky enough to have stumbled upon it. Then again, was it told to me by the ghost of Grace Simmons?

#Glimpses #books #shortstories #fiction #scifi
Glimpses – The First Collection of short stories and flash fiction by Hugh W. Roberts

Grace’s story has not only had some wonderful reviews, but it is the story that went on to launch many more short stories from me. My readers loved the story and encouraged me to write more.

Where do lost ideas end up?

I don ‘t know about you (and I hate to say this), but many of the ideas I get for blog posts and short stories find their way to the ‘Door of the Forgotten.’ 

Why? Because I fail to write them down. 

Within seconds of arriving, an idea can be flying towards that open door, with me failing to pursue it. In this modern world of technology, you’d think that should never be allowed to happen, yet it still does. 

Many of the other short stories in my books came to me from ideas I’d get after reading writing prompts, participating in writing challenges, or by looking at photos. 

Even reading comments on a blog post can spark off ideas for short stories and blog posts. Some come to me within seconds, whereas some ideas can take weeks to reveal themselves. 

The mystery of Grace Simmons.

To this day, Grace Simmons remains a mystery to me. When asked, I still cannot answer the question ‘where did the idea for ‘Last Train To Aldwych’ come from?

For those of who not familiar with Aldwych, it was a station on the London Underground from 1907 until 1994.

#transport #London
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

When I sit down and think about it, one of the first things that come to mind is the number of times I had walked past Aldwych underground station in London. 

The office I worked in was a few minutes walk away, and I’d often visit the station at lunchtime to buy a cheese and pickle sandwich. 

Just inside the station was the sandwich kiosk that, to this day, made the best cheese and pickle sandwiches I’d ever tasted.

Another mystery. 

I’d enjoy talking to Margaret, the lady that owned and ran the kiosk, and most weekdays we’d catch up on our daily lives while trying to put the world to right.

It was a sad day when the station closed and even more tragic that on my way back to the office that day, I lost Margaret’s phone number. 

On the evening of 30th September 1997, by the time I realised I’d lost the piece of paper she’d written her home phone number on, Margaret and her cheese and pickle sandwiches were long gone.

I tried many avenues to find her, but all to no avail. 

The mystery of Margaret’s disappearance is as much a mystery to me, as where the idea for ‘Last Train To Aldwych‘ came from. 

Then again, did those daily visits to Margaret plant the idea for the story deep within my mind, only for it to resurface into a story many years later? 

Margaret had, after all, told me stories about her and her family and how they would shelter in Aldwych underground station during the blitz of World War 2. 

The following film was shot on the day that the last train to Aldwych actually ran. Can you spot Grace amongst the last passengers who made that journey with her?

Have I, at last, solved the mystery of ‘Last Train To Aldwych‘?

You can read ‘Last Train To Aldwych‘ in Glimpses, my first collection of short stories.

Click here to buy a copy.

Where do your ideas for blog posts and short stories come from? Share them with us in the comments.  

This was a guest post originally published on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. It has been edited and updated since its first publication.

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Moving In

“As you’re an author and writer, I thought this would be the perfect new home for you, Mr Roberts.”

“Oh, I already love it. How old is it? Of course, I’ll need to see the inside, but I like what I already see.”

#writephoto #fiction #flashfiction #shortstory
Image credit: Sue Vincent

“It’s over 200 years old. The seller has instructed me to accept any offers just below the asking price. If you make an offer today, I’ll ensure it’s taken off the market.”

“Perfect. I’m going to get so much inspiration and so many new ideas for my next novel by living here.”

***

Twenty minutes later.

“Sign here, Mr Roberts. All being well, you’ll be in tomorrow. The current resident has already left. She was delighted when I told her you were the buyer.”

“Wonderful. I hope she’ll be happy in her new place. I can’t wait to start using that huge, dark study in the attic. I wonder how long it’ll be before I have my first visitors?”

•••

It wasn’t long before I had my first visitors. Two days after moving in, I watched the new owners of my new home move in. A family of four; the two children under the age of six, they couldn’t see or hear me as I watched them unpack boxes.

The ‘Hauntings’ Estate agents had come up trumps in finding me my next place to haunt.


Written in response to the #writephoto challenge hosted by Sue Vincent at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

When The Clocks Go Back

Old Tom watched the clock. At two in the morning, they always came back to haunt him, but only on this day of the year when he’d forgotten to put his clocks back an hour before going to bed. The same ghosts, year after year, but only on the night that the clocks went back.

An hour later, they were gone, and he could sleep, but one year he never woke up again.

***

The day before the clocks went back, Monica moved into Tom’s old house the following year. Tired, she decided to put the clocks back an hour when she’d wake up the next day.

She was woken at two in the morning to the sound of her bedroom door opening. She froze in terror as the ghost of an old man danced around her room while slowly making its way over to her.

“What are you doing in my house and in my bed?” the ghost bellowed.

When the clock struck 2am for the second time in an hour, Tom’s ghost disappeared, and Monica’s eyes opened. Had she just had a nightmare?

Monica noticed that her bedroom door was wide open, sitting up in bed. She was sure she had closed it. She always closed her bedroom door at night.

As the cold autumnal air hit her bare skin, Monica felt a shiver go down her spine as she got out of bed, walked across the room and closed her bedroom door.

Getting back into bed and pulling the covers over her head, Monica soon fell asleep.

When the clock struck 2am for the third time, it was the sudden movement of something under her bed that convinced Monica it hadn’t all been a nightmare.

***

#shortstory #flashfiction

Sleep tight tonight and, on the night the clocks go back, always remember to put your clocks back an hour before going to bed.

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