Friday, August 21, 2009

An Ill Wind

"Come on Jeremy. Look, this is where they came down the hill."

Jeremy watched as Suzanne mimed the raiders weaving through the trees as they must have done. She really got into this.

"Can't you just see it?" she asked.

He shrugged as a light breeze came up.

"Suzanne," he said, "it's getting cold. It'll be dark soon. We should go."

"They came in the dark," she said, "with the wind out of the north."

Jeremy shivered. The wind that had begun to rise certainly felt like it had come from the north. It was cold. Cold and damp.

Suzanne moved a little further down the hill, coming towards him.

"Those in the valley couldn't hear them, not with the direction the wind was blowing."

"We heard them."

"What?" Jeremy spun around at the sound of a soft voice. No, not voice. Voices.

There was no one there.

"Are you OK, Jeremy?" Suzanne asked.

There was only the wind blowing across the hills, swaying the tops of the trees. Jeremy turned back to Suzanne.

"We really should go. It's late, and this place gives me the creeps."

Suzanne laughed. "It's an old place, Jeremy. Foul deeds were done here. There's blood in the soil." She paused. "It's no surprise it gives you the creeps.

"Yes," said the voices, "there's blood in the soil."

Again Jeremy turned around. Again there was nothing to see.

"Did you hear that?"

"Hear what?" asked Suzanne. "I don't hear anything. It's only the wind."

Jeremy looked around. The sun was low in the sky. Clouds were moving in from the north. The wind was stronger now. He shivered again.

"Come on, let's go. Before it gets dark."

"We will, Jeremy. We will, I promise."

Suzanne looked at him. "My family came from this part of Scotland. Some of them died here. Come on, it's important to me."

Jeremy nodded, resigned. "I know," he said. "I know. But when we get home, you'll make it up to me."

Her laugh came back to him, but it was cut off by a sharp yelp of pain.

"Suzanne, what happened?"

"It's only the wind," the voices whispered.

Suzanne was staring at a deep cut along the center of her palm. She looked up at him, the pain visible in her eyes.

Jeremy tried to reach her but the wind had strengthened. The air seemed to be thickening around him.

"It's only the wind." It was no longer a whisper.

"Suzanne!" Jeremy shouted as he saw a rip open in the thick jacket Suzanne was wearing. Blood welled up through the torn fabric.

The wind was howling now. "Have you ever heard of a 'wind that could cut you in two'? Why stop at two?"

Jeremy, unable to move, could only stare in horror as Suzanne screamed and screamed and screamed.


  1. I love it! Nice and creepy. The ghosts live on in the old country.

  2. Given you like, and write so well, creepy :) - I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Ethereal raiders from the north. Awesome. You kept it creepy without making it the least bit predictable.

  4. Holy Crap... that freaks me out. It's one of those moments when you don't want to look, but then you can't look away. I love reading this type of story. I hope to see more like this :-)

  5. Whoa. That kept going farther than I thought it would. Which, I suppose, is good, because you kept me leaning harder and harder into the story. It's like pure upward crescendo and then stop with deafening silence. Nicely written. Horrible thing to imagine, though. Mean old wind.

  6. I wasn't at all sure, myself, exactly how it was it was going to develop. The 'wind that could cut you in two' phrase was there, but how to get there, and what lay beyond...

  7. I'll see what I can do about producing more like this. The idea of "old places" has been with me for decades - this is one of the thoughts that sprung up.
    Glad you "enjoyed" it. :)

  8. Glad it drew you in Jeff. The hard stop at the end was good to do. Sorry for Suzanne, though. An ill wind indeed.

  9. Ghosts carried on the wind, with centuries of revenge to take on unwitting strangers. Creepy indeed. I felt quite sorry for both of them, not just Suzanne! Lovely, thanks.

  10. Oh, Kevin, you gave us a good one this week. I love a well executed (pun is up to you) ghost story. This one unwound at a satisfying rate and delivered the final punch quite nicely. Good job.

  11. Hi Kevin,
    I have an award waiting for you over on my site, ready to be picked up. :)

  12. Great ghost story - would have been a good submission for the Elements of Horror anthology that one, for the element of air.

  13. I tried them Dan, they liked the style and the writing, but not the concept. I'm writing another for them, for the water element.
    Glad you liked it.

  14. Thank you so much, Laura. Most, most unexpected.

  15. Like the pun, Jon. Overall, the pacing on this one turned out well. Glad you enjoyed it.