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The Gathering

Welcome to the dark side of Derry Hallowe’en. Open The Gathering (if you dare) to read bone-chilling tales from writers of all ages across the county - writers who have generously shared their stories of ghostly buildings and the beings who haunt them, of alien invasions, demonic possessions, horrifying encounters, murdering butchers, creatures of the shadows and unholy contacts from under the bed and beyond the grave. Let each terrifying detail take you right to the edge of fear - but relax in the knowledge that none of these stories are real. Or are they? Happy Hallowe’en…

Welcome to the dark side of Derry Hallowe’en.

Open The Gathering (if you dare) to read bone-chilling tales from writers of all ages across the county - writers who have generously shared their stories of ghostly buildings and the beings who haunt them, of alien invasions, demonic possessions, horrifying encounters, murdering butchers, creatures of the shadows and unholy contacts from under the bed and beyond the grave. Let each terrifying detail take you right to the edge of fear - but relax in the knowledge that none of these stories are real.

Or are they?

Happy Hallowe’en…

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The

gathering

Spooky Stories for Hallowe’en

Welcome to the dark side of Hallowe’en.

Open The Gathering (if you dare) to read bone-chilling tales

from writers of all ages across the county - writers who have

generously shared their stories of ghostly buildings and the

beings who haunt them, of alien invasions, demonic possessions,

horrifying encounters, murdering butchers, creatures of the

shadows and unholy contacts from under the bed and beyond

the grave.

Let each terrifying detail take you right to the edge of fear - but

relax in the knowledge that none of these stories are real.

Or are they?

Happy Hallowe’en…

Page 2


Index of stories

The Unknown

Pierce McKee

Fearless Fergus, King of the Castle

Morna Sullivan

Hughie Mac Diarmada agus uan óg an Domhnaigh

Padraig Ó Gallachoir

Rude Awakening

Vera Doherty

Mother

Jack Scotlock

The Butcher

Luke Doherty

Preferably Rare

Perry McDaid

Possession

Sue Divin

The Dead Hand

Chris Radcliffe

The Mystery of Boom Hall

Ciarán Logue

The Monster Invasion

Enya Lynch

The Story of Annabelle Willow

Grace Lynch

Was it all a Dream?

Eimear McAnee

The Demon Tree

Perry McDaid

Amber

Meaghan McKee

Spooky House

Anita Jackson

Mr. Tickles

Martin Wilson

Lady Labyrinth

Brian Hasson

Page 4

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

17

19

20

21

21

22

23

Page 3


The Unknown

Pierce McKee (age 11)

“It’s going to be amazing and nothing’ll ruin it!” smiled Johnny to his friend. “Thanks for

bringing us, Mrs Willow.” said Niall. “So just how creepy is Hotel Creep going to be?” he

asked, unable to hide the worry on his face. “It’ll be fine boys.” reassured Mrs Willow as she

drove up the windy road. She wasn’t always right.

The hotel loomed in the dark distance. “It’s not at all what we expected.” the boys exclaimed.

“Let’s go inside.” smiled Mrs Willow. She’d a crooked smile that always seemed to match her

wild, grey eyebrows and green eyes that seemed to glow in darkness. As they stepped in,

they were amazed by the luxury of the hotel. It was old fashioned - the weirdest hotel they’d

ever seen - but amazing! They almost needed sunglasses – the carpet was smothered in

flower patterns, all different colours that clashed, nearly making their eyes bleed.

“You are the first to arrive!” exclaimed the receptionist in a squeaky clean, stiff white uniform

that looked whiter than white against the black bags under her eyes. “Here are the keys to

your rooms. Just please make sure that you do not come out of your rooms at night.” That

was strange, both boys thought but only exchanged looks. “Sumthin’s up.” Johnny whispered,

putting the key in between his teeth as he grabbed his bag. “It’ll be ok.” nodded Niall. Both

boys knew he was lying. Something just didn’t feel right.

Log Book Day 1

Alrite, tonight’s the night! We’re in Hotel Creep! Sumthin’s up. The receptionist told us not

to go out of our rooms after dark. Will we see ghosts tonight? We’ll see how it goes! J

Log Book Day 2

Today was perfect. Nobody got hurt and no ghosts were heard… yet. We went to a Horror

attraction ‘Fazbear Frights’ and it didn’t rain! We also went to KFC – IT WAS AMAZING! J

Log Book Day 3

I’VE FOUND SOMETHING TERRIBLE IN MY ROOM! A COCKROACH!... NO NOT REALLY,

JOKES!

But no, really. I was eatin’ sweets (Trick or Treat), when I dropped my bag of crisps under

the bed. I looked underneath to get them back and I noticed something strange – A TRAP

DOOR!

When I opened it and found a rusty knife. I thought that was pretty cool so I had a further

feel around. There in the darkness, my hand felt something soft. I pulled it out and it was a

mask! Somethin’s up. I need to find out what though… J

Log Book Day 4

I’ve just found this letter pinned to the door…

DEAR PERSON,

Who am I? I believe you have been snooping in my stuff. What if you tell people? I will

come and knock on your door. I’ll be the last person you’ll see. No one will ever hear of this.

You’ll never speak of this again.

UNKNOWN

A cold sensation ran down Johnny’s spine like a spider after he read that. He didn’t want to

die there. The crown covered walls, weird patterned carpet and birch wooden door would be

covered in blood! He wanted to be remembered as an animator, not this! He needed to go

downstairs and meet this ‘person’ face to face.

The stone steps down behind the kitchen were deep and dark. Darkness swallowed Johnny

up like a large black snake. His mind’s bells where ringing, “Turn back!” they yelled! Suddenly,

he saw a small light. Then, in the shadows he caught a glimpse of him, it, she - he didn’t know

Page 4


- it was staring. Standing. Waiting. It came closer, its dark eyes baring into the depths of his

heart. “Don’t hurt anyone, or me, please!” Johnny begged.

It came even closer.

“I’ll… I’ll tell someone!” he screamed.

It came closer.

Johnny ran.

It was right behind him.

“You won’t feel a thing.” it hissed.

Log Book: Day 6 Hospital

I was stabbed. I crawled back up the stone stairway with it still lurking behind me. Mrs

Willow and Niall met me in reception. They looked worried. Without packing our bags, they

got me into the car and drove at top speed to Ivy Hall Hospital. On the way I heard its dark,

ghastly voice “Bye, bye!”

That’s a voice I’ll never forget. I hope to never hear or see it again. I am afraid of the dark. J

Page 5


Fearless Fergus, King of the Castle

Morna Sullivan

Every morning, May opened the squeaky, creaky, drawbridge to welcome visitors to the old,

cold castle by the sea. On special days she wore a long, green velvet dress when guests

feasted like princes and kings, dancing and clapping to music. Fergus thought she looked like

a princess.

When everyone had left, Fergus gobbled hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, hamburgers and

ready salted crisps hidden under tables. He munched chunks of chocolate cake, raspberry

jelly and apple tart fallen below chairs. He ate and ate and ate until he could eat no more,

leaving only morsels for his special midnight guests.

At night Fergus was king of his castle. He chased mice up and down the stairs and juggled

with them before falling asleep. One night, Fergus woke from his mouse cheesecake dream

with a jump. He unfurled his curly, whirly tail, stretched out his legs and leapt out of his

basket. His eyes shone like two amber globes in the darkness.

“What was that?” He padded down the stairs into the Great Hall, tiptoed down more steps

into the chapel, stopped and listened. A scratching sound was in the distance. Fergus looked

round the walls, up at the ceiling and all over the floor. There was no sign of a mouse.

“Maybe it’s rattling inside a suit of armour,” he thought.

Walking through the armoury and into the dungeon he sniffed the air. Still no mice. He

squeezed behind a pillar, crept down a damp, slimy tunnel towards the gnawing sound.

“Maybe it’s the ghost of …a giant mouse?” he shivered. The tunnel turned and twisted deeper

and deeper down. He padded up a slope, round a corner and stopped. A shadow of a

creature covered the castle wall.

“Am I still dreaming?”

The beast howled, “AAARRRGH! AAAARRRGH!”

Fergus ran as fast as he could down the slimy tunnel. He felt the creature’s warm breath. He

ran up the steps, tiptoed along the parapet and froze, his knees knocking.

Two big eyes, set in a furry, hairy face stared at Fergus.

“Don’t run away. I’m just guarding my hotel.”

“Hotel?”

“It’s my hotel, – Dobbin’s Inn Hotel.”

“It’s MY castle, – CarrickFergus Castle. I followed the scratching mousey sound down to the

dungeon.”

“I was chewing my bone. The sound must have echoed in the old tunnel. Years ago people

escaped from the castle through it to MY hotel.”

“I thought you were a giant mouse and you were going to eat me.”

“Cats are too chewy and gooey. Their tails stick in my teeth. Can’t we be friends?” Dobbin

wagged his hairy tail.

“We’ll hunt mice together.”

The tunnel will be our secret.”

American tourists soon claimed they heard footsteps in the castle. News spread that

Carrickfergus castle was haunted. Visitors queued to get in and May was delighted.

Every day, underneath the castle, below the road, Dobbin and Fergus run up and down the

old tunnel, catching mice and playing chaseys all day long.

Page 6


Hughie Mac Diarmada agus

uan óg an Domhnaigh

Padraig Ó Gallachoir

Tá gleann sa Ghaeltacht Lár í dTír Chonaill ar a dtugtar Gleann Mór na nGleannta. Is í seo

an gleann ina ritheann an abhainn Ea, a éirionn í gceartlár na gCruach Ghorm agus shíleann

isteach san Fharraige Mhór ar na meilte míne idir Ard an Ratha agus Baile na nGleannta.

Lé mó chuimhne féin bhi fear ina chónaí sa Ghleann a raibh Hughie Mac Diarmada air. Bhi

sé féin agus a bhean Suan ina gcónaí í dteach beag ceann tuí faoi scáth an cnoic is iad breá

sásta. Ach nuair a tháinig an Geimhreadh isteach bliain amháin stad Hughie ag freastal ar an

Aifreann. Rachadh Suan ag Aifreann a deich í dteach phobail an Éadain go dúrachta achan

nDomhnach agus théadh Hughie na cnoic os ceann an tí go dtógfadh sé cliabh monadh.

Maidin amháin Domhnaigh nuair a bhí brat beag éadrom sneachta ar an talamh rinne Hughie

amhlaidh. Bhí sé ar a ghlúine í mbeal clampa na monadh ag líonadh na chléibhe nuair a

mhothaigh sé siosarnach ínteacht ar a chúl. Amach as coirnéal a shúil chonaic sé uan óg ag

sodar is ag bocléimnigh. Bhuail uaigneas millteanach Hughie nó bhí fhios aige nach raibh uan

óg ar bith ann comh luath seo sa bhliain.

Chaith sé an cliabh , nach raibh ach trí cheathrú lán , ar a dhroim agús bhain an baile amach.

Níor lig sé a dhath air féin nuair a d’fhill Suan ón Aifreann. An Domhnach dár gcionn chuaigh

Hughie na cnoic ar ais . An t-am seo, bhí an tuan í mbeal an chlampa agus ní ligeadh an eagla

dé Hughie gabhail ina choir. Ghoid sé cliabh monadh ó chlampa na comharsan agus bhain an

baile amach. Bhí sé ag géilleadh air í rith na seachtaine ach sa deireadh b’eagán dó a rún a

sceitheadh le Suan. Ar ndóiche chur sise caol díreach go teach an tSagairt é.

D’inis sé a sceal don tSagart. Dúirt an Sagart léis go gcaithfeadh sé a fhaoistin a dheanamh is

freastal ar an Aifreann luath is an Chomaoineach Naofa a ghlacadh an Domhnach dár gcionn.

Dúirt an Sagart leis:’ Nua atá sin déanta agat tabhair leat buidéal bheag uisce coisrice agus

do chliabh agus teigh na cnoic fan am ceánna. Déan ciorcal ar an talamh leis t-uisce coisrice

agus má fheiceann tú an tuan ban taobh istigh den chiorcal , teigh ar do ghlúine agus tabhair

buíochas dó Dhia. Ach má fheiceann tú uan dubh istigh sa chiorcal cuir an cliabh anuas sa

mhullach air agus fág ansin é ’.

Rinne Hughie mar a d’iarrfadh air a dheanamh, dhoirt sé an t-uisce coisrice ina chiorcal sa

tsneachta. I bhfaiteadh na súl bhí an tuan dubh istigh sa chiorcal. Chuir Hughie an cliabh

anuas sa mhullach air agus rinne príosúnach dé agus sheas siar uaidh.

An chead rud eile rinneadh ceirtlín tine den tuan agus an cliabh agus d’eirigh an t-iomlan in

airde is chuaigh as amharc sa speir.

Page 7


Rude Awakening

Vera Doherty

He just lay down on the sofa for ten minutes. The weight he felt on his chest was immediate;

was he having a heart attack?

He couldn’t move his arms. He was pinned down, he felt trapped. His hair was being pulled

back so tight it felt like it was caught in a mangle. His head was throbbing.

Then it started; it felt like one of those scouring pads scratching all over his face, up to the

hairline and out to the edge close to his ears.The weight was now on the move from one arm

to the other like a rocking sensation.

His chest was getting tighter; he was having difficulty breathing yet he could hear breathing

above him. He wasn’t sure if it was himself he heard or someone else. Now his eyes were

being pushed down hard into their sockets as if to push them to the back of his head. He had

no power to open them.

What came next made his body jerk as if a sharp nail was being dragged across his forehead

above his eyes. He felt something move towards his mouth. He tightened his lips trying to

stop any entry into his mouth. Feeling totally helpless, the ordeal continued. There was no

attempt to prise open his mouth. Then came the slimy substance on his lips.

The heavy weight was on the move; it had now lifted, and, just when he thought the ordeal

was over, a cold flat object was pressed to his face. He opened his eyes and gave out a

scream. He had frightened himself with the image staring back at him in the mirror.

With shrieks of delight a little voice shouted, “Do you love it daddy, do you love it? You look

like a scary witch. HA HA HA...

Page 8


Mother

Jack Scotlock

Here is the true story of the night my dead mother came to visit us...

Just before Christmas, thirty-nine years ago, my mother was taken into Altnagelvin and died

suddenly of a heart attack. To us she had been perfectly healthy. That night, my wife and I

were lying awake in our upstairs bedroom. We were both feeling tired and sad. My mother’s

death had shocked us, and we couldn’t sleep.

In the middle of the night we both heard tapping on the glass on our bedroom window.

(Usually, when my mother came up to visit us, she lived in the next street, she would never

ring the doorbell; she would always tap on the window and we would know it was her.) I was

awake, and, believing my wife was sleeping, didn’t say anything. But my wife was awake, and

she had heard the tapping as well.

We didn’t mention the tapping until - in the middle of the following night - the same thing

happened. Now there were no trees outside our bedroom window and our house was two

stories high. We were both awake and we tried to figure out what was causing the tapping on

the glass. There were no birds, no trees, no reason for the tapping to occur.

When the tapping happened on the third night, my wife said, “Maybe it’s your mother. Tell her

it’s okay and to go in peace.” With a trembling voice, I did just that. We had never heard the

tapping before, and never heard it after that, and we lived there many years after.

The thing is, when my late brother and I were young, we would joke with my mother, because

we were not too religious, but she was. We used to say to her, “Mammy, when you die, will

you come back and tell us there’s a Heaven?” She would laugh and say she would. I had told

my wife about this and at the time she said we were mad.

My wife often said, my mother had us that spoiled, that she would walk from the Waterside

to Creggan to get a ten pence stamp for us. It still makes the hairs on the back of my neck

stand up. I regret I was such a coward not to ask my dead mother what she had to tell me.

Page 9


THE BUTCHER

Luke Doherty (age 9)

It was the fourth anniversary since Trever’s father went missing. The sky was cloaked in red.

A filthy cloud, shaped like a devil, hung in the red sky.

Trever made his way downstairs. He almost choked. It was

horrific. The cat lay dead on the ground. ”Mummmm!!! Alex is..

is.. is.. DEAD!” he screamed. Trever tried to avoid Alex as he

tiptoed to the kitchen. Suddenly the phone rang. Trever

answered “Hello”, but nobody was at the other end…

Suddenly the post came through the door. Trever was

very confused because it was Sunday. It read…

“What?””, he said, “Cathal Meat is a butcher… No … No,

No, No, No. Is his meat… human … meat?”” As Trever

moved towards the toilet, he heard some weird noises.

It sounded like a blockage in the drain pipes. When Trever flushed

the toilet, it wasn’t clean water – it was blood…

This was not a joke. Things

were serious. Trever grabbed

his jumper and flashlight and

headed towards Jimmy’s

graveyard. On the way he passed

an old lady looking for her cat

and a huge billboard advertising

SPECIAL OFFERS on Cathal

Meat’s new finger shaped

barbequed treats.

Soon Trever arrived. “Umm… where’s Jake’s grave?” asked Trever. He thought to himself a

little while… The only place Jake could be was… Cathal Meat’s butchers.

As Trever entered the house, he heard a strange noise. “Hello!”

he said, his voice echoing around the hallway. As he tried to exit,

he froze. Turning around he saw the door shut and it made

him jump. “Hello… Trever,” came from a voice from the

shadows. Trever ran for the door but Cathal grabbed his

arm and said, “I know why you are here…”. Trever froze again.

“You do, do you?” he said his voice shaking a little.

Cathal began to grin. “Yes…” said Cathal as he started laughing. He laughed so hard he

choked. Trever ran to the basement and shut the door. Trever ran to the other side of the

room panting like a dog. He picked up the phone, but the dial was in a box marked DO NOT

TOUCH. When he opened the box there was Jake’s head…

Trever couldn’t stop staring but he picked up the dial and dialled

999 but the dial read 666. He gasped. The cloud was a devil and

now the devil’s number. “Is it just me or is that a coincidence?”

wondered Trever. Then he dialled 666 and the dial read 999.

“Yippee!” shouted Trever. Ten minutes later the cops pulled

up with guns and tazers. They arrested Mr Meat. This had been

a scary time for Trever but the moral of his story to you and others is

DON’T TRUST BUTCHERS…

Page 10


PREFERABLY RARE

Perry McDaid

The tour-guide was prattling on about some demon which prowled the area in and around

the old Grianan fort, milking neighbourhood disappearances and gossip for all their worth.

Marta had heard all these stories before. She sucked a nail with studied disdain, while tourists

milled about the crumbling fort, scaling precipitous sets of steps, admiring the view from the

impressive battlements, and eyeing up the mysterious tunnels.

Again and again the wary guide broke off his lurid descriptions of the fates of supposed

victims of the eponymous ghoul to dissuade the braver adventurers from exploring the

dark passages which honeycombed the great walls, and were rumoured to extend miles

underground – all the way down to the lough.

Marta allowed herself a secret smile. The guide might not believe his own patter, but

obviously he was reticent to take any chances with his valuable cargo. When eventually the

group settled down to picnic under the brooding, moss-endowed stone of the old feasting

hall of the clan-chiefs, Marta sat apart from the brightly clothed, camera-toting, tourists and

ignoring the odd surreptitious glance in her general direction, gazes which never really fixed

upon her striking form.

The sun was relenting, and permitted moderate campfires caressed the inner walls with

a subdued light, casting flickering shadows which danced eerily just beyond the realm of

clarity.

Marta stretched; stifling a yawn as a hunched figure furtively felt its way along the rim of

darkness towards the tunnels. Its breathing broadcast excited anticipation to any who could

hear.

However, enamoured of a pretty brunette with a short skirt and shorter attention span, the

guide and his rapt audience remained oblivious to that deeper shadow; each stealthy step

bringing it closer to where Marta sat, frozen in a plateau of alertness.

“How do you like your meat?” The guide’s double entendres became ever triter, yet still

managed to elicit the required responses. “Where is Han off to?” a female oriental scowled.

“That boy always mischief.” “Not him again,” the guide sighed in exasperation. “I told him to

quit playing silly buggers. Missus Calhoun’s heart isn’t so good.”

“I think he went for a leak, Mom,” Han’s younger brother lied, scanning the battlements with a

hidden smile. This place was so different from Hong Kong. How could a sixteen year old resist

making the most of the ghost stories? Besides, Missus Calhoun was perfectly healthy. The

guide was being overdramatic. “How many time I tell watch language?” the tormented

mother rebuked. “You say ‘Han need privacy’ – no need rude talk.”

Marta could hear heavy breathing of anticipation from the shadow now, next to her, at the

tunnel opening. The shadow was preparing to pounce. There was only a slight rustle as the

overambitious visitor’s neck snapped, and his gaudily packaged corpse dragged deep into

the tunnels. “Demons indeed,” Marta scoffed quietly, scaled talons tearing off pieces of the

would-be prankster’s tender flesh and chewing as she went along. She should know; she had

lived there for centuries.

Page 11


Possession

Sue Divin

He died in A&E. Altnagelvin. A young lad, brought in by paramedics. Ambulance lights

flashing. Seventeen. Not long into the night shift on Hallowe’en.

I witnessed it. Impartial. Perhaps it was chosen as the night for evil. Perhaps because

fireworks masked the gunshots. Folk were heavy into the blue bags, easy evidenced in the

tilted swaggers through Guildhall Square after last orders. His had been a different six pack.

The lucky six.

Hovering in the corner, I watched him bleed out in hospital. No ketchup. No pound shop

scarlet fiction. Distant from the revelries of his peers. Crimson rivulets contrasting sharply

with the white tiles and his silence buried in the pointed communications of the medical team

and the flatline tone of the green-blip. I didn’t care. It was not my first time observing the

crossing of that line. I have centuries of experience.

In the carnival costumes there are zombies, skeletons, cowgirls and warlocks. An occasional

Legoman. An assortment of xenophobic politicians. Often, I’ve been mistaken for the Grim

Reaper, but I carry no scythe. No hood. No mask. I don’t hide my presence but am barely

noticed. Rarely commented on. A taboo, you might say. But would you say anything? Would

you? The thing is, no-one is scared until I come for them.

Perseverance is my greatest attribute. Hiding in plain sight takes extreme diligence. And I

do revel in the extreme. Hitlers, Stalins, Pol Pots, Bin Ladens. I’ve met them all. Groomed

their tactics. But there, my art is thinly veiled. Greater is my craft in the subtle scourges. The

foodbank queues. The shiver of a rough sleeper. Swallowed cries in unsafe homes.

Two things can blind people. Darkness and light. The difference is subtle, but significant.

Those in darkness sense their lack of vision. Seldom those in light. Strangled by the business

of their self-focus, not only are they blind to me, they generate my electricity. My sting.

Of course, I would be vulnerable to exorcism. Some try. Their resilience is to be admired.

Greta Thunberg. Malala Yousafzai. So many. So few. Once, someone wrote a speech about

that. 1940, I believe. That night, I nearly died. The thing I got wrong then was being too

obvious. Too visible. But now I rise younger, stronger, in the prime of my resurgence. My

dominance lies in stealth. Like any trained spirit, I possess - my greatest possession being

public consciousness. The Grim Reaper can keep his celebrity, but he treads my wake. My

footsteps. The fact remains, something about me and, something about you, is dead long

before his shadow melts elongated by anybody.

Look now. Really look. I’m hovering too in the corner of your room. On the edge of your

consciousness. Right where it meets with conscience. So, camouflaged you may have

forgotten my name. You’re not the only one. Even Dickens failed to notice me in A Christmas

Carol. Feel me, cold on your heart. I am the ghost of apathy.

Page 12


The Dead Hand

Chris Radcliffe

Through headphones plugged into an old AM radio system, Roman listened to the same

monotonous dotted code that repeated over and over again. A hobby past down to him

from his grandad, Roman spent his evenings scanning through the channels often picking

up transmissions such as taxi dispatchers, kids on walkie talkies and fishermen’s warnings of

incoming storms, but no matter what he intercepted, he always returned to the dotted code.

The code had been the object of much debate within the local radio club that his grandad

founded. Dillion, the club’s treasurer claimed it must be Russian and probably a lay over

from the cold War. Long-time members, Tony and John just thought it was an old static

interference. Whereas, Herbert, the old superstitious coot, called it a ghost code.

‘What rubbish you talking?’ Roman asked Herbert when he brought the theory up.

‘C’mon lad, your grandad must have told ye about the ghost codes.’

‘Of course not. My grandad wasn’t an old fool who believed in that kind of nonsense.’

‘Oh, he believed in it alright. In fact, I was there with him one evening when a transmission

came though that scared the lord into the pair of us.’

‘Is that so?’

‘You’re damn right it is.’ Herbert cleared his throat and brought himself closer. ‘It was late

one night in your grandad’s basement. We were listening to some Brits chat about some

commotion in the Bogside before moving onto a few new frequencies. At first it was only

static, but we started to faintly hear something in the background and after a bit of tinkering,

we heard it.’

Hebert took the crucifix from around his neck and held it in his hand. ‘As clear as me chatting

to you now boy, we heard a woman cry. Not any normal cry, now. It was the kind of cry that’s

only made when you’re in the pits of despair. The kind ye hear at a young ’un’s funeral. We

tried to get rid of it, but whatever way we turned the dials, the cry remained. I went to turn

the whole thing off, but as I reached for the plug, the crying stopped, and a women’s voice

just whispered, Please, don’t go. Stay with me a little longer. There was no one else on the

transmission. Not a soul. Only me and your grandad and we never said a word. It was like she

knew we were there. So, we stayed, and she went back to the howling until it started to fade

away to nothing but static.’

‘What a load of hogwash.’ Roman replied.

In the months since Herbert’s story, the ‘ghost code’ had been the same as ever. Dull,

repetitive, and comforting. Roman closed his eyes, and turned the volume up, and sat there

thinking off how he first heard it with his grandad until he almost drifted off to that consistent

tone as somewhere, in the background, ever so faintly, someone started to cry.

Page 13


The Mystery of Boom Hall

Ciarán Logue

Miss O’Sullivan hadn’t always been known as Winnie the Weasel. It was Conor, after all, who

had come up with the nickname. He knew he’d be hitting a raw nerve if he said it in front of

her again and did exactly that during a telling off one day and was sent to the library to do

lines.

A dusty book caught his eye amongst the haze of boredom; Haunted Derry. As he leaned

over to pull it out, it fell to the floor, open on its back with The Mystery of Boom Hall facing

upwards. The abrupt appearance of the headmistress, Mrs Hamilton, a woman who noticed

and knew everything, brought a swift end to his diversion.

A brief scan had been enough to leave him spellbound for the rest of the day. The girl pining

for her lover, her brooch, a deadly fire. With the adrenaline of adventure and the youthful

curiosity of a cat brewing inside him, he had to see for himself.

He’d managed to rope his friends, Odhrán, Dara and Anthony, into joining him in ducking

through traffic on Halloween night on the walk towards Boom Hall, armed with nothing but

two small torches. Excited chatter had filled the early part of the journey before a nervous

silence crept in as they neared the Foyle Bridge, skulking under its carriageways and past

the graffiti-daubed columns. A muddle of feral youths in a scatter of beer cans and used

fireworks grimaced from the steps. It was a still, moonlit night, interrupted only by the

rustling of leaves and cars zipping by overhead.

“It’s fenced off,” said Conor.

There’ll be gaps,” replied Anthony, ever confident.

Conor’s curiosity was tempered by his friends’ ignorance; he hadn’t told them about what

he’d read. To them it was a bit of fun. To him it had become more; an obsession.

Anthony found a gap in the fence and marched through the darkness towards a ground-floor

window.

“Dara, gimme a footy, will ye.”

The others tagged behind. Guided by the light from Conor’s torch, Anthony hopped into the

room with one hand on the window ledge for support.

“C’mon ye chickens!”

At the moment he spoke, the light from Conor’s torch illuminated a figure stood behind him

in the middle of the room; a girl, dressed in a white shawl, her brooch reflecting in the light.

Odhrán yelped. Dara froze. Conor dropped his torch.

“G’on gimme some light?!” yelled Anthony, oblivious. There came no reply. The three

onlookers were diving through the gap in the fence, fired on by the adrenaline of fear.

Anthony leapt from the window into the darkness and the grass below, smacking his ankle off

a rock. Guided only by moonlight, he limped towards the fence and scuttled along the path in

a fog of confusion to find his friends.

The figure faded just as quickly as it had appeared. They say ghosts are simply spirits with

unfinished business. Boom Hall had become more intriguing than ever.

Page 14


The Monster Invasion

Enya Lynch (age 14)

It was two days before Halloween and Connie Arthurs was planning her costume with her

best friend, Tellina, for the Halloween School Disco.

“How about zombies?”, suggested Tellina.

“No, everybody’s dressing up as that”, replied Connie. “We have to be different!”.

“What about Skeletons, they’re cool!”, says Tellina.

“Yeah! That’s perfect. Sorry, I have to go. I’ll grab the costumes later, cheerio!”

Connie walked downstairs to the smell of her father baking muffins.

“Hey sweetie! I’m leaving these off at Chris’ tomorrow night when you’re at the disco.” Ever

since March when their neighbour, Chris, helped them stock up on toilet rolls for lockdown,

Connie’s dad has been crushing on him.

“How do they smell?”, asked Dad.

Connie took a deep breath.

“Yummy!”

Her dad grinned, “Perfect!”.

“Can you take me to the Halloween shop? I need to buy me and Tellina’s costumes for the

disco”, asked Connie.

“Sure, I’ll take you now” replied Dad.

The drive to the Halloween shop was filled with music blasted from the radio. Once they

arrived, the place was packed.

Connie grabbed the costumes and waited in queue.

“Out of my way loser!”. It was Alice. Everybody hated Alice. She thought people would do

anything she said, “I said move!”.

Connie continued to ignore Alice, to her obvious annoyance, and eventually bought the

costumes.

Later that night Connie felt excited, lying in bed, but that excitement wouldn’t last for long…

The night of the disco had arrived, and Connie was dressed, ready to go. Her dad drove her

to the disco and she met Tellina at the entrance.

“Ready?” asked Tellina.

“Ready!” declared Connie.

When they opened the door, they were greeted by deafening screams and what appeared to

be green and blue monsters chasing everybody.

“What the hell is happening?”, shouted Tellina, loud enough to be heard over yelps of others.

It was a monster invasion! Connie grabbed the first thing she saw and smacked it over the

head of an approaching monster, killing it instantly.

“Quick Tellina, help!” Alice was absorbed in slime and struggling to breathe. Even though

Connie hated her, she had to help Alice. Tellina whipped out a pocket knife.

“Why do you have that?” Connie asked, concerned,

“You never know when you’ll need one”, replied Tellina.

Tellina cut open the sac of slime and Alice was free.

“Thanks” Alice Mumbled.

They walked away…

“Come on. Don’t leave me”.

“You’ll be fine”, snapped Connie.

“You need me! I can help” remarked Alice.

“Fine”, Connie groaned, reluctantly giving in.

The next 20 minutes was filled with fighting, saving (thanks to Tellina’s handy pocket knife)

and many screams from Alice.

Page 15


Just when they thought they’d saved the school, an ear-wrenching bang came from behind

them. Another monster, but bigger! Way bigger. It towered over them…

Slash!

“Nobody hurts my daughter!”. Connie’s dad had slayed the monster.

“Thanks Dad!”, Connie exclaimed.

And just like that, our story has ended. Everybody is saved and Halloween can be enjoyed…

Without any monster interference.

Page 16


The Story of Annabelle Willow

Grace Lynch (age 8)

On a hot sunny day, Annabelle Willow was outside sitting against an old oak tree with her

cat, Ginger. Annabelle loved Ginger more than anything. But Annabelle’s life wasn’t so nice.

Her Mum and Dad were dead. Now her Mum’s sister was looking after her. Annabelle’s

Aunt hated her dead sister, so she burnt every photo of her in the house. Cleverly though,

Annabelle had hidden one of the photos just after her Mum died and kept it.

As she sat below the old oak tree, Annabelle held the photograph of her mother in her hand.

She looked up and saw an evil looking raven perched on the branch above her. Suddenly,

it flew down right beside Annabelle. “Shoooo!” she said but the raven never moved, even a

bit. “Urgh!” shouted Annabelle. In a flash, the raven swooped down and snatched the picture

from Annabelle’s hand. “Noooo! Stop, you cheeky bird!” she screamed. But the bird kept

flying away from her. She kept running until she tripped and fell flat on her face. Annabelle

was knocked out.

The hours dragged by. Finally, she woke up. She lifted her head to see she was in a shadowy

forest. She got up and looked at her watch – it was just after midnight. The trees rustled,

almost like they were whispering to each other. Phantom mist cloaked the tall shadowy trees.

She did not like being there. Chills crawled down her spine. Was there something lurking

under the quiet of the moonlight?

Suddenly, she heard a scream. It sounded like it came from right behind her. Annabelle ran

deeper into the forest. She stopped to see something in the distance and ran until she was

right in front of a gate – an old metal, rusty gate. Annabelle reached out her shaking hand.

‘Creeeeek’, the gate opened. She saw a faint silhouette of a still house. Little did Annabelle

know, but she was in ghost territory. Shaking in fear, Annabelle walked towards the shadowy

house.

She walked in through the side door that lay ajar, unaware that phantom listeners were in

every corner of the house. She was in a kitchen. On the table was a knife covered in what

looked like blood. “Maybe it’s ketchup?” she wondered. She ascended the stairs. ‘Creeeeeeek,

creeeeeeek, creeeeeek’. When she was at the second last step, the air suddenly turned ice

cold. Annabelle could feel her heart thumping in her chest. She was at the top. She could

hear the pacing of footsteps, up and down the landing but there was no one to be seen?

Annabelle was frozen in fear.

Then she heard someone whistling a lullaby. Annabelle decided to walk into a room that

happened to be a baby’s nursery. She walked towards the crib. Suddenly she heard a crying

baby but there was no baby to be seen! Annabelle was frightened but she was even more

curious to find out what was happening, so she walked into the next room… a library.

She went towards a desk which had a lit candle on it. On the desk there was also a

handkerchief. On the handkerchief was a red stain which looked, again, like blood. Suddenly,

Annabelle heard a clicking sound almost like a key turning in a lock. It attracted her attention.

She raced down the stairs to check the door but to her disbelief it was locked. How would

she get out? As she was struggling to open the door, something caught her eye. On the

floor lay an old newspaper. She picked it up and read the front page. ‘MOTHER AND CHILD

MURDERED AT MIDNIGHT’. Annabelle paused. She looked at the picture. It was of a woman

holding a baby. In the background was a house. Annabelle almost fainted.

The house in the picture was the exact same house that she was standing in! She continued

to read. ‘PEOPLE SAY THE MURDERER IS STILL IN THE HOUSE’. Annabelle threw the

newspaper on the floor and ran into the kitchen. The knife on the kitchen table was gone!

Page 17


Annabelle started to panic. Suddenly a hooded figure with a knife in hand was coming

towards her. She ran for her life. Up the stairs. Her foot fell through a step. The hooded figure

was fast approaching.

“You’re the murderer from the newspaper!” she yelled. The murderer took her knife and

stabbed it through Annabelle’s chest.

Silence fell over the house.

Annabelle died at the scene of the crime.

Her ghost shall live on within the walls of the haunted house, protected by a pitch black

raven.

Page 18


Was it all a dream?

Eimear McAnee

On chilly day in October, Cara was getting ready for school and wondering why she had to wake

up this early. She made some toast and got ready for school. Then she called out ‘Bye Mum.’ She

thought it was strange she got no response, but she shook off the strange feeling. When she

arrived at school, she realised there was literally no one there, but the front door was open, and

the lights were on. She shivered as a cold breeze whooshed through her. She quickly walked to

her form room. She was now Year 9 and thought the school was good enough. She didn’t get on

with most of the pupils, but the teachers were nice enough to her. When she entered her form

room there was no sign of life anywhere. ‘Maybe it’s a bank holiday and I just didn’t know,’ she

muttered to no one in particular.

Then all of a sudden, she heard a voice softly singing a lullaby and the sky went dark. There was

a distant bang that sounded like two cars colliding and two women screaming, one of which was

the voice of the singer. Cara immediately froze and a shiver ran down her spine when she heard

all of this happen. She was now panicking and was internally debating with herself whether she

should call an ambulance with the phone in the classroom or just get the heck out of there.

She decided to call an ambulance but when she got to where the phone was and tried to dial the

number it wouldn’t work. ‘The power must be out,’ she thought to herself. Seeing as her plan of

calling an ambulance didn’t work, she decided the best course of action would be to get the heck

out of here and go home.

She peeked her head out of the door and froze when she saw a ghostly white figure gilding

down to towards her, singing softly. The figure seemed to be of a woman in her early thirties

cradling a child. She was wearing what looked to be a beautiful white wedding dress now stained

with blood and there were pieces of glass which impaled her skin which was the colour of

caramel. She was stunningly beautiful, but she gave out a sad aura and her eyes looked haunted.

Cara stood as still as a statue and held her breath while the woman glided past her. Then

suddenly the lights flickered, and the woman turned around now, fixing her with a cold stare and

suddenly lunging at her. Cara shrieked and tripped over her own feet and then she suddenly shot

up in her bed, a cry on her lips.

Cara felt relief flood her that it was all a dream. She thought to herself, ‘I’ll make myself a hot

chocolate and watch a movie after that.’ So, she got up out of bed and made herself a steaming

cup of hot chocolate. She made her way to the living room and grabbed a blanket and wrapped

it around herself.

She grabbed the remote and turned on the T.V. She swore her heart stopped when the news

channel came on and she saw a news story about a car crash outside her school. There were two

cars involved, one containing a few dunk men, four in total. They were all seriously injured but

they all survived. That wasn’t what caught Cara’s eye though. The part that caught her eye was

who was in the other car. It was a lesbian couple who just got married, and their baby girl. Only

one of the women, the one who was driving, survived. She had a few injures but she was alive

none the less. Unfortunately, her wife and baby weren’t so lucky. They had both died on impact.

The wife who had survived was barely conscious after the collision but apparently had said one

thing to the ambulance worker who was helping her ‘You want to know what the worst thing

about this is? Most newlywed couples are on their honeymoon a few days after their wedding,

I’ll be at my wife and child’s grave and my last moments I spent with them will be hearing my

wife singing to our baby girl trying to sooth her into sleep. I’ll miss them both’.’ Then she went

unconscious. Cara felt as though her insides were twisting and turning.

She froze when she heard a soft voice behind her say ‘You thought it was all a dream?...’

Page 19


THE DEMON TREE

Perry McDaid

It was a twisted old hawthorn, or maybe blackthorn with pronounced knotholes, which

looked for all the world like two eyes and a mouth. The remaining knobbly branches

stretched imploringly towards a haughty blue sky, like a starving child of exploitation

reaching for the first world.

The summer sun made these emaciated limbs appear pitifully welcoming, and the three

boys hunted scurrying woodlice, heaving at bits of looser bark to prise the poor creatures

out of dark crevices, eager for that satisfying crunch provided when the robust exoskeletons

collapsed under the pressure of hand-held stones, carefully selected and retained for that

purpose.

“We’d better go home,” Gortai urged, feeling a nip in the air which would announce the wane

of another day of boyish adventure; a casual check on the barren haw from the meadow

affording him the opportunity to detect the dark gathering of rain clouds along the skyline

directly behind the growth’s scrawny silhouette.

“Looks as if those branches were arms. What if the tree were alive?” Ciaran suggested.

“Naw, sure there’s other trees like it; they’d all have to be alive.”

“What if they were but are playing dead because they’re afraid of this one,” Ciaran insisted,

warming to the fantastic. “Or,” Gortai joined in the game of fancy, scrutinizing the old stump

with new eyes, “she was a witch turned into a tree by wizards as punishment for something?”

“Like freezing the other trees, which used to be able to walk around, and can only wave their

arms now.”

Ciaran eyed the avenue of larch, beech, oak, sycamore and chestnut with a certain, if

transient, nervousness. “Maybe we’ve wakened her by picking her scabs,” Ciaran continued

in a subdued timbre, automatically accepting the gender, still eyeing the thirty foot trees as

they swayed in the strengthening gusts.

And she’s casting an ancient storm-spell, so she can get the water she needs, to get the

energy to break the wizard’s spell completely.” They stood silent in a sudden drizzle; goose

pimples announcing the creepy feeling sneaking up on both of them. It was a dread they

might have described as sinister or even menacing, had they been older.

Now that it had been said aloud, the raised limbs of what had once merely been a wizened

play-frame with attitude; really did look as if they were calling the storm to the tree, and the

clouds were obeying. The veiling of the sun changed the angle of light. The mouth knot-hole

seemed to leer at them. They stood mesmerized for a while, oblivious to the aerosol rain

which infiltrated their clothing.

“My granny will be worrying I’ll catch cold,” Ciaran curtly informed Gortai out of the silence.

“Yeah,” Gortai returned just as brusquely, “my dinner’s probably ready.” They ran to the hole

in their neighbour’s back fence, struggled through, and ran all the way home.

Condensed excerpt from McDaid, P. (2012) Pixels: The Cause and the Cloud Cuckoo, Derry, Narwhal Publishing, pp.

134-6.

Page 20


Amber

Meaghan McKee (age 11)

In the dead of night, creatures crawled as a wizened hand grasped daylight within its freezing

cold, bony fingers. The night was so dark, blacker than black. Even the bravest souls would

shiver and shake in this night. Large trees loomed over graves like skyscrapers. Dead souls

roamed the world, crying out, scaring nearby listeners.

That icy morning, the condensation had trickled down the window like pure crystal tears.

Amber Grace Willow had risen from her bed and looked out of her window as a crow glided

past - his murder soon followed, as did hers…

Amber shivered as she slowly walked out of her room. She pulled her old baggy sleeves over

her hands like mittens. Light crept through the curtains of the hall. Amber blinked as her

eyes got used to dawn, and she let out a bellowing yawn. As she tiptoed into the kitchen, she

stared at the clock. It was six am. She usually awoke early when no one was awake because

it felt quieter at this time. Amber decided to get dressed and go on a walk. She ran up the

stairs and into her bedroom and threw on her neon blue beanie. Her patched up jumper

covered her bruised hands. Her old ripped jeans just about reached her ankles. In less than a

minute she was gone.

Slowly, she walked down the street with her hands in her pockets. It was winter so the sun

was only coming up. Her eyes glistened as she watched the beautiful sunrise. Amber stared

deep into the woods to try to see. She stumbled into the darkness as it swirled around her.

Tall trees loomed. Branches snapped. What was that?! Something latched on to Amber’s leg.

Quickly, she tore the thing off and dashed away. She ran so far and so fast that she didn’t pay

attention to where she was going. THUD! Amber tripped over a piece of wood. Light faded.

Everything went black.

Amber awoke in the middle of nowhere. She stood up and to her horror she was in front of a

random, shady looking hotel. The old, large, rusty letters read out “Sullivan Savoy”. They hung

there like lifeless bodies - some had even fallen off. Amber shivered as she realised, it was

night! How long was she out for? She wished she had stayed home. She was so cold, Amber

rushed into the building. Time felt like it was frozen when the door slammed shut. Quickly,

she got to the door and held the handle as if it was a million pounds. The door didn’t budge.

Tears streamed down her face as she collapsed to the cold, icy floor. She lay there in her own

sorrow. Drowning in sadness. Amber dared the ground to swallow her up. “Why me?!” she

thought to herself.

AAOOOHHHHHHOOO! Amber looked around, suddenly a bony slimy hand grabbed her

wrist. Amber let out a shriek of terror as another skeleton hand grabbed her other wrist. The

floorboards broke in two as she fell into a never-ending (or so it felt) hole of hands. After a

lifetime, she landed on a leather chair.

Black surrounded her.

Buckles tied her to a chair. A glitchy unknown voice spoke. “Hello, welcome to Sullivan Savoy,

founded in 1846, this recording is from 1918 but still is found true. Sullivan Savoy - scary? Not

really. Spooky? Not really. Bone quaking, heart racing, limb clutching? YES!” Amber’s eyes as

widened as wide as could be. Her mouth opened as if to let out a scream. “Welcome to your

doom!” boomed the voice.

Chains clanked. Skelton bones scuttled. The darkness cleared like a phantom fog. No words

were spoken but an echo fell on the now still house. Staring at the moonlit floor, Amber

scurried away as fast as she could. Noise knocked upon the walls. The ghastly ghost and

ghouls let out a lonely cry as they listened and watched.

Page 21


Mr. Tickles

Martin Wilson

There is a man who lives under my bed and his name is Mr. Tickles. Mr. Tickles

is no ordinary man – Mr. Tickles has an insatiable appetite, although his tastes

are rather specific. I call him Mr. Tickles because when he is hungry, he lets

me know by tickling me in the middle of the night. I have never seen Mr.

Tickles’ full form. His face, bathed in the darkness of my bedroom is only

illuminated by his glowing, crimson red eyes. His fingers, dipped in moonlight

are long and wiry, his nails sharp and pointed.

The night I met Mr. Tickles, he woke me from my sleep by tickling my feet. I

jolted awake, sitting up in bed. My mouth opened to scream when I saw the

scarlet eyes, but nothing came out. He raised a crooked finger to his lips.

Trembling, my body was paralyzed with fear. He did not speak but simply

opened his mouth and pointed in. I nodded in acknowledgement of what he

wanted, and he smiled. I heard the bed creak as he scuffled back under the

frame into the inky blackness.

On the night I left an apple at the foot of my bed, it was still there the next

morning. The night I left a plate of cookies at the foot of my bed, they had

gone stale by morning. On the night I left a chicken breast at the foot of my

bed, I heard meat being chewed and spat across the room. I woke the next

morning to a poultry massacre.

The following night I left nothing at the foot of my bed and Mr. Tickles was

not pleased. But instead of tickling me, I felt the duvet shift, and the cold

body of Mr. Tickles slide into bed beside me. My body gripped itself in fear.

His icy breath prickled the hairs on the back of my neck as he lay pressed

against my back.

A chill ran through my body as he let out a grunt and then whispered into my

ear with a deep, raspy wheeze; “You are much too small.” The duvet shifted

again, and I felt Mr. Tickles slither back out of my bed into the confines of

darkness. Silent tears blinded my vision and dripped to the now saturated

pillow.

The following night, I invited my friend Jessica over for a sleepover. On the

night Jessica slept at the foot of my bed, Mr. Tickles ate well. There were no

screams, simply noises of flesh being torn from the bone and satisfied grunts

by a well-fed Mr. Tickles. As he finished his meal, I knew it would only be a

matter of time before he grew hungry again. I have lots of friends at school

- many of them I don’t need - certainly not as much as Mr. Tickles needs his

food. After all, his tastes are rather specific.

Page 22


spooky house

Anita Jackson

I grew up in a terrace of houses which was just beside a very large stately

house with a gate-lodge. For many years I walked past with my Mum, and

the lady who lived in the small house was always out cleaning the windows

and brushing the path. I later found out it was because she loved to talk

to people passing. Her and my Mum spent ages chatting, especially on a

Saturday afternoon.

Years passed and I moved away when I got married. One day I was visiting

my Mum who lived still in our family home in the terrace. To get to my Mum’s,

I had to walk pass the gate-lodge. Feeling nostalgic, I glanced up to see if

the gate-lodge still looked the same. To my utter surprise the lady who lived

there was out cleaning and called to me. I could not believe it! I went up to

her and she was asking all about my work and how married life was. She told

me she watched me go past her door as a child, then teenager and then as an

adult. We chatted for a long while and I was so surprised how she didn’t look

any different after all the years. I heard a shout and saw the ladies husband

wave to me.

I told my Mum who I was just chatting to and she looked in shock at me and

said I could not have been talking to the lady, both her and her husband had

died nearly 15 years ago! I thought maybe my Mum was teasing me, but, then

I remembered that the lady was wearing the same nylon coat she wore when

outside cleaning all those years ago! How can this be? Mum said that they

had both been killed in a car accident and the house has been empty ever

since.

I told my Mum that the house was perfectly painted with clean windows

and drive! She said that this was impossible. Together we put on our coats

and walked the short distance to the gate-lodge. My stomach flipped when

indeed, when we reached the house, it was empty, dilapidated and dirty.

I couldn’t speak; I was totally shocked. What had I just witnessed?! What

was happening to me? How did I have the conversation just a short while

ago with these two people? Just then, another neighbour of my mother’s

neighbours, Mr Anderson, came along and stopped to talk to us. Mum told

him what had happened. Mr Anderson just smiled and said I was one of the

lucky ones, that the couple did not just talk to anyone, but only the people

who they liked. He said he could tell me stories from others who have

had these chats. Mum was not too pleased as she had spent a lot of time

talking to the couple for many years and they had never appeared to her. Mr

Anderson reiterated that they only spoke to people they liked!!!!!

Page 23


Lady Labyrinth

Brian Hasson

I stand alone. It’s dark. I can’t see anything - but I do see my whole body,

I’m watching myself! Again, I look but all I see is a thick heavy mist all

around; even my feet can’t be seen. A blind fear now. I’m afraid to move

as I’m unaware of my surroundings. I hear the tribal wailing of the ghost

fiddles playing in the distance; a trembling starts to vibrate through

me from the souls of my feet up. Maybe it’s my mind playing tricks -

but why would my mind play tricks…wait…why am I doing this…? Who

am I even talking to? Oh shit, I’m outta here. Hesitantly, I move a step

forward; I feel there is someone right behind me, a breath can be seen

but not heard. I move again. They move too. I start to run, soon I realise I

can see. I’m in a forest with lots of old trees, erie and overhanging, they

look at me as if I’m not welcome there. Although my pathway is clear,

I focus my eyes on the path before me - afraid to even look sideways.

Careful not to trip I watch where I place my feet in between the roots

of the trees; some are narrow and thin while others thick and great in

strength. Then, all of a sudden, I don’t feel it anymore; there’s a complete

calm, no trembling, no heartbeat, no breaths. Just peace. It’s like light

at the end of the…shit I spoke too soon. My heart races and I run again.

My breath grows heavier and heavier. I can’t keep running. It’s not my

legs but the ferociousness of the beat of my heart - it’s going to get me,

I’m sure of it. Something is clipping at my heels; my heart beats louder

and my breath still grows heavy. I see no end and no help is arrivi…again

it’s just disappeared and I feel safe. Did I even move? I open my eyes.

Sometimes I don’t like where my mind takes me.

Page 24


facilitated by

Anne McMaster

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