| Not For Bedtime is a
unique collection of tales from around the world. There are ghost, murder,
macabre and similar, the odd lighter touch, even true stories; from authors
as varied as well known published novelists, regular magazine contributors
and journalists, and a careful choice from some of the best new and amateur
writers. This is a diverse, carefully chosen selection which should satisfy
almost anybody. |
published by Infinity Junction
from One Case Too
Many, by Brian Hunt -
A gory scene in an ordinary suburban semi, surrounded by a nice garden in a comfortable part of town, as happens. Warm Spring morning. Neighbours cutting the lawn or walking the dog. Big green hedges and small red gnomes. Beautiful naked woman on a blood-soaked bed. Fitch always wondered about the eight pints of blood capacity of the human body. More like twenty eight it seemed to Fitch. Up the walls, on the windows, on the curtains and soaked into carpets and clothes. And the smell of death and sweet fresh blood lingered in the bedroom air...
from Seraphim by Gaye Jee -
The street lamps cast pools of light on the wet cobbles, illuminating the heads of the saints as they keep their stony vigils on the walls of Charles Bridge. Fog rising from the river curls its tentacles between the statues, wreathing a head for a few seconds or obscuring entire sections of the ancient walls. The Vltava flows oily and invisible thirty feet below. A bell somewhere in Hradcany strikes three.
The sound of running footsteps batters the muffled air, and then a cry. Jakub, his bare feet filthy and bleeding, almost catches his wife's shoulder as she flees under the gothic archway of the Bridge Tower. But a chipped cobble tears the ball of his foot and he sprawls on the wet stones. By the time he heaves himself upright again, she is poised on the wall between the statues of St Joseph and St Francis Xavier. She briefly turns her face towards him, the features blurred by the fog into a pale moon partially eclipsed by black hair.
"Witch!" he screams, "Whore! Come back here and ... " Just as he thinks she is about to step into the air, the drifting mist obscures her figure only to part again as he reaches the place where she stood. The wall is empty...
from Double Barbecue, by Desmond Meiring
"You're going to kill me!" said the thin captive in the middle, in a sing-song voice.
The clown held a gun on him, a standard police Beretta 9mm, silencer fitted.
The blond man, the leader, replied in English, as if to humour him, and not in his native Afrikaans: "Why kill you, hey, Johnny? We just need a little chat, to get you to stop using your blerry printing-press for the commies, see? We can't have that! We might even give you a drink or two, man!"
The driver, solitary in front, exploded with mirth. The shortest of the three inquisitors, he made up for that by the extreme breadth of his chest and shoulders. His voice was full of Scottish gravel. He too wore a shirt, slacks, sports coat. They all still looked in uniform. "A few drappies, indeed! To speed him on his way!"
"Hou jou bek!" said the blond leader curtly. The Scot was silent at once. Ahead, the asphalted road to Chapman's Peak twisted away under their headlights...
adapted and greatly compressed from Genna's
Ghost by M.A. Randall -
Sunlight cut through the room in criss-crossing rays. White sheets shrouded everything. Helen swiped the nearest away to reveal an antique oak dresser, and the memories surged back.
On the dresser were a few of her childhood belongings: a hairbrush, a vanity case, and various bottles of perfume, all, it seemed, neatly positioned, their placement almost purposeful. It had been her dresser as a child. This had been her bedroom. It was as she had left it twenty years ago, but why had her father preserved it? Maybe he had truly loved her? Maybe he had dearly missed her? The questions, she abruptly understood, were revelations, and her emerald eyes welled with tears.
Beside the dresser was a sheet that concealed something tall. She knew that it was a full-length dress mirror, its oval glass bevelled at the edge into the border pattern of a twisting rose bush. As ten-year-olds playing hide and seek, she and her sister Genna had sometimes hidden behind it, or on rainy winter days they had dressed in all their glittery clothes and paraded in front of it like the models they'd dreamed of becoming.
She pulled off the sheet to reveal her reflection; only it was not her reflection.
Those hinges wailed again, but she couldn't turn to look; no way could she tear her gaze from what lay before her. She heard Steven's heavy rasping as he entered, and then his startled words.
"Oh Jesus Christ, that's..."
She knew it was fear that had caught his voice, and she whispered the remainder of the sentence for him. "Genna's ghost."...
NOT FOR BEDTIME INCLUDED AUTHORS -
Desmond Meiring, Bill Gaston, Catherine J. Gardner, Brian Hunt, Gaye Jee, Anne Forrest, Lana Van Dyke, Rachel Grant, Jane Rusbridge, Evelyn Murray, Mark Randall, R. Hammond, Lavinia Judd, Tim Cook, Jeremy Laing, Kerin Gedge, Mark Hayden, Stephen McMurray, J. C. Hibbert and Janet Royale, John Cadwallader, M. T. Gasson, Paul Lee, Gaynor Blackburn, Neil Guthrie, Kay Dee, Betty Warrington-Kearsley, Lynne Gammond, Terry O'Neill, Barbara Henderson, Graham D. Smith, Eleanor Rogers, Betty McIlroy, R. J. Owen, Emma Lee, Amanda Steel and Amy Parker, Paul Scott, Neil Gee.