Hello again my friends. Now it is time to take you down a very dark pathway to a place you might not want to go. I wonder what you would say is the most gruesome, horrifying and downright nightmarish way to come to the end of your life? Cannot think? Well, let me help you. How about being burned alive, having been stabbed in the stomach and feeling your flesh being burnt away from your bones? But let it not be said this will happen to fully grown men and women. No, this fate will befall children.
This is the startling premise to my first horror novel written all the way back in the early nineties. It is set at the very beginning of the nineteenth century. A plague has been sweeping the neighbourhood and a mother and father are going to have the misfortune to lose both of their children to the deadly disease. Victoria Marchbank and her husband Samuel will have their lives torn apart when it becomes evident that there is no hope for their two darlings Edward and Norma-Louise.
However, when they are given the dreadful news that their children have indeed passed away by the visiting doctor, Victoria deals with her sorrow in a strange way. Whilst Samuel looks upon this tragedy as a regrettable result of their children contracting the plague, Victoria turns on the doctor. She accuses him of bringing about her young ones’ deaths. But this is not all, she believes the doctor was in partnership with God as they worked together to bring an abrupt end to the lives of Edward and Norma-Louise.
This is a shocking reaction from Victoria to the heartbreaking news. But what could possibly have triggered her into holding such a view? Is it merely a result of her highly emotional state? Or is something else behind it?
To give some background, Victoria has always been a devout woman. She has worshipped God with all her heart. So this sudden about-turn in her convictions is all the more unsettling to those close to her. Samuel is stunned by her behaviour. This reaches a head when she takes issue with the doctor at the funeral service for Edward and Norma-Louise. The doctor’s wife is at close hand and remonstrates with Victoria but it is of little use. She is determined she is going to get her revenge on the doctor and she does not care how long it takes until she achieves this.
Some time later Samuel leaves Victoria as he can no longer deal with her blind animosity towards the doctor. So, Victoria has now lost everything. Not only her darling children but also her loving husband. There is nothing left for her now, only a desperate search for vengeance agains the man who she believes has cost her everything.
One night when she is at home she decides she will seek out the help of the only one who can be of assistance in her time of need. She wants the Devil to come to her so she can find a way to get back at the doctor for ruining her life.
Lighting candles in every corner of the house, she pleads with all her heart that he will show himself to her and come to her aid. At first, it seems like her desperate cries for help will fall on deaf ears. But then something happens. Every candle in the house which had previously been lit is blown out except one. This is the one which rests in front of Victoria.
Suddenly the candle starts to burn brighter and Victoria hear a voice reach her. It is the voice of the Devil. An agreement is soon reached between them. Victoria will sell her soul to the Devil. In return he will give her the power in her ghostly state to exact the revenge she so earnestly craves.
Every twenty-one years following her death she will return as a spirit to take a descendant from the doctor. She will return to his home and take the life of a child belonging to him. The first time it will be a girl, then it will be a boy, then a girl. This represents the fact that she herself lost a boy and a girl.
Victoria is delighted by this agreement and happily pledges herself to the Devil. She then signs her pact with Satan which takes the form of scrawling the figure of a pentagram on her palm with a knife. As the blood oozes out of her hand she lets it drip into the candle flame. The flame grows larger than ever before. This denotes the fact that the Devil is gaining strength from Victoria’s life force. She is then ordered to take the candle and set on fire her curtains, furniture and all of the other combustible items in the house so it will go up in flames. This will allow her body to be separated from her spirit and she will be free to work towards her ultimate goal.
Victoria does indeed come back twenty-one years later and her first child sacrifice is Charlotte, the doctor’s granddaughter. She kills her in just the way I described earlier. Victoria is dressed in a red cloak with a hood which she places over her head. As the ceremony progresses she is joined by The Hooded Ones. These are figures dressed in black: also cloaked and of course hooded. One of these Hooded Ones holds the legs of Charlotte while another one holds her head. They lead her over to a raging fire in the middle of the woods which run alongside Charlotte’s home. As Victoria recites a devilish incantation she raises a knife high in the air and plunges it into Charlotte’s stomach. As the poor child writhes in agonising pain, she is tossed into the fire so that she can be consumed. Yes, she is thrown into a fire while she is as yet still living. I cannot think of a more grotesque manner of death than this.
Many years later the O’Neill family come to live in Oak Manor, the former residence of Doctor Mathewson, the man at the heart of all of this horror. Trevor and Elizabeth have three children: David, Lucy and Lorraine. Lucy is a nine year old girl who has a complex about her appearance. She is a little overweight for her age and has to wear glasses which she hates. She is a very lonely girl. She finds it very hard to make friends. Indeed, the only child she is on really close terms with is her brother David. He always looks out for her.
Lucy is soon drawn into the horror. Charlotte and the other children who have died in the subsequent generations appear to her as ghosts in the nearby woods. This is her first brush with the paranormal but it is only the start. As events become increasingly more sinister she comes to realise that she has been placed in the middle of a nightmare scenario from which there will be no escape.
Victoria Marchbank: an embittered woman
This is the first profile blog on my horror novel Retribution. I plan to provide profiles on all of the main characters in this my first horror novel which was originally written in the early nineties. I will explain my reason for the ‘originally’ tag a little later in this blog. So, if you are…
Lucy O’Neill: A girl in peril
A profile of Lucy O’Neill, the main character in my horror novel ‘Retribution.’
First excerpt from Retribution
In today’s blog I thought I would provide an excerpt from my first horror novel ‘Retribution.’ In this scene, which occurs in the Prologue to the book, Victoria Marchbank and her husband Samuel are given the heartbreaking news that their two children have died from the effects of the killer plague which is sweeping around…
Doctor Mathewson: Lucy’ saviour?
This is a character profile of Doctor Mathewson, one of the leading players in my horror novel Retribution.
Second Excerpt from Retribution
Please enjoy a second excerpt from my horror novel ‘Retribution’ which explores the close relationship between Lucy O’Neill and her older brother David.
Barbara Rushwood: A shoulder to cry on.
In this blog I take a look at Barbara Rushwood, a close friend of Lucy O’Neill in my novel Retribution who offers a shoulder to cry on when it is most needed.
Third Excerpt from Retribution
In this excerpt from my horror novel ‘Retribution’ a full expression of Victoria Marchbank’s grief is displayed in open view at the funeral service for her two young children.
Charlotte the Child Ghost
This is a blog about Charlotte the child ghost who plays a leading part in my horror novel ‘Retribution.’
Fourth excerpt from Retribution
In this blog I provide a dual excerpt from my horror novel “Retribution.’ This involves Lucy O’Neill and some difficulties she is going through.