I don’t like creepy things, do you?

Horror and paranormal is not something I read or watch. I get spooked easily and have a very active imagination. As I teenager I would be plagued by nightmares for weeks. As I grew up I knew to stay away from anything like that.

These two subjects are very big in the book world and there are plenty of people who love a good horror film. Personally I can’t understand why a perfectly sensible and normal person enjoys being scared or frightened. If that’s you, perhaps you could explain what drives you, I’d really like to know.

I wrote a story called Embers of Webster Street and it was about a girl dealing with her mum who suffered from dementia. It’s a difficult subject seeing someone you love forgetting things, and ultimate not always recognising you.

My Nana showed signed of it for years before it was recognised. We thought she was just a bit batty. She was a joker, liked to have a laugh, and I remember what day she was trying to get out of the car, stumbling or struggling a little and we laughed. She asked her if we were laughing at her, we stopped when we realised it was a serious question. Normally, she would have laughed too, and it was at that point I knew something had changed.

My auntie, her daughter, took her in when she could no longer care for herself. Eventually she was admitted to hospital and my sister and I went to visit. By this time she was no longer our Nana, just a shell of a person who couldn’t even speak. It was the strangest thing because she looked like Nana, she had the same eyes, nose and mouth that we knew so well. She was a funny lady, always talking, always joking and yet the woman in front of us stared with blank eyes. It was heart-breaking.

So when I wrote Embers of Webster Street, this was my main topic, only my pen took on a life of its own. It was supposed to tell the story of Jen, who feels tremendous guilt over having to put her mum in a home.  But my pen introduced the ghosts of all the people who had lived in the family home. How her twin sister didn’t see them and  and how her mum couldn’t accept it.

It turned out to be my first paranormal story.

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Who is the Bitch?

by Karen J Mossman

 

Yes, that really is the title of my post, and for a reason. I didn’t know what meant or why.

Let me explain. I keep a diary and have done for many years. I’m on my fourth five-year diary now. The first yearly diary I was given in 1973, I just wrote whose birthday it was and occasionally that we went out somewhere. I was fourteen.

My Nana gave me this. Nana was a lovely lady but always a little eccentric. She often did odd things, and Mum told me that Nana’s mother was just the same. Nana got worse as she got older with many peculiar incidents. In her seventies, she began to show signs of dementia. By her eighties, she was just a shell.

In the diary, there was one entry, just one. At first I thought it was something she had written for herself before deciding to give it to. Years later I began to realise she had written it especially for me, as if to tell me something.

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Aunty Bitch Rutter’s birthday, send 1 oz of poison. If she had written it for herself, she wouldn’t have put aunty. She never referred to it, either.

Aunty Kath was Nana’s sister.  I remembered going to her house, then we stopped going. That’s because she and Nana fell out. They didn’t talk again for seventeen years. When they did, I was grown up. She was lovely, as was her husband. She was kind and so like Nana in looks and ways it often made me laugh. I was very sad about all the years we’d lost. I’ve no idea what could have been so bad as to fall out for that long.

Families can be funny things, and have strange dynamics that sometimes makes it difficult. Maybe it runs in the family because in 2010, I fell out with my brother and we have never spoken since. It’s sad because I don’t think there is any going back.

Has there been something like this in your family? Did it every get resolved?