5th Excerpt from ‘The Cornwall Ghost Story’

In today’s blog I am going to provide another excerpt from my horror novel ‘The Cornwall Ghost Story.’ In the following passage Fiona Noble decides she has to follow through with the advice she received from Esmeralda when she met her in the woods. She has to return to the Esmeralda’s journal from where she left off to see if she can work out what happened to George:

Sitting herself down at the kitchen table, Fiona opened the journal at the last entry she had read.  Before long she was once more immersed in Esmeralda’s world.  As before it did not make for uplifting reading.  But then how could this be possible when she was taking on board the desperate yearnings of a woman who had to face up to a life without her true love?

‘As each day passes,’ wrote Esmeralda.  ‘The prospects of George’s return become more and more remote.  My heart bleeds every time I think what might have happened to him.  It is this not knowing I find so hard to accept.  How can I possibly bear to remain in this futile state where I cannot say for sure whether my sweetheart is dead or alive? It is driving to me to distraction.’

It was driving Fiona to distraction, too.  If only she had some news which would comfort Esmeralda.  At times such as these Fiona had to keep reminding herself that the Esmeralda she had met in the woods was not the same Esmeralda who had composed the lines which rested in front of her.  Too much heartache had come her way for this to be so.  She had endured far more hardship in her life than most people would be able to overcome.  But at the moment there seemed to be no likelihood of an end to the turmoil which had come her way.

It was just as these negative thoughts were flowing through her mind that Fiona looked over at the kitchen door which had an unusual design in that there was a mirror attached to it.  Somehow there was a bright light shining out from it.  Shaking her head in confusion, she looked again only for her eyes to pick up the same signals.  It was there all right, just as clear and vital as the day she saw Esmeralda’s reflection staring back at her in the dressing table mirror in her bedroom.

She moved across the kitchen to take a closer look.  As she approached the mirror a scene took shape in front of her enraptured sight.  She saw George in his prison cell and to her surprise noticed the door to his cell was being opened.  Surely he wasn’t being released? But no, there was no sign of such a positive twist to the unremittingly gloomy storyline.  Instead two guards took him in hand, as they led him out of the prison house.  Before long George was out in the fresh air with his guards following close behind.

‘What could this mean?’ wondered Fiona.  ‘Where are they taking him?’ It did not take her long to work out the true nature of proceedings.  ‘This must be the French idea of an exercise period,’ she mused.  ‘Allowing the prisoner out, so he can stretch his legs.’

This was an interesting enough development but Fiona could not understand why she was being shown this vision.  What possible part could it play in the ongoing storyline? It seemed puzzling on the face of it.

Just then, however, a further development took place which explained fully to her why she had become privy to this vision.

George had been moving his way through an area of woodland with his jailers when suddenly there was a disturbance, a commotion indeed of startling proportions. 

Out of nowhere a group of unsavoury individuals assailed George and the guards who trailed behind him.  At first, Fiona worried for George’s safety.  Were these men here to cut him down, to murder him in cold blood? If they were, she could not understand why they had embarked on such a cause.  What harm could George have done to them, a shipwrecked sailor who had been clapped in irons by the French as soon as he had swum ashore?

Such ideas as these soon passed from Fiona’s mind as it became clear such notions were far removed from their true intent.  They did not wish to harm George: they wished to save him.

As quick as a flash, two of these men had taken hold of the guards and with lightning quick reactions cut their throats with switchblade knives.  George looked about him in panic as the two Frenchmen breathed their last.

Taking a closer look at these would-be rescuers, Fiona realized they must be pirates.  But what did they want with George? She simply could not figure out their motives, if indeed they had any.  But they must have.  Why else would they burst upon a prisoner with a guard made up of two sturdy fellows and place him at liberty? There had to be a logical reason for it.

‘They are pirates, though’ reasoned Fiona.  ‘So maybe there is nothing logical in what’s going on here.’

She didn’t know if she based these reflections on anything substantial or whether she was thinking of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies which her family so much enjoyed watching.  Certainly she wasn’t sure if Johnny Depp featured in this gang, but there were several who reminded her more than a little of the motley crew with whom he journeyed over the seven seas.

Fiona looked on enthralled as the pirates led George away.  The scene slowly melted away at this point, leaving her to wonder where they had gone.

‘They must have a ship anchored nearby,’ she thought.  ‘Although I don’t understand why they would need George.  They must have somehow caught wind of his capture by the French.  It must be his sailing background they are interested in.  It’s the only thing about this strange situation which makes any sort of rational sense.’

Fiona settled back in her chair and waited for Alan and the children to return.  She certainly had some interesting news to impart to them when they did arrive back to the cottage.

Categories:My Books

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