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The latest in Regge's series of Endless Mountains ghost stories is available on Amazon:

The Boy in the Toy Room: An Endless Mountains Ghost Story

Nora is haunted. She's haunted by the past, haunted by the future, and haunted by the boy in the toy room. Wanting desperately to fall back in love with her husband, Nora moves back to the country to work on building their dream home. Building dreams isn't easy, though: she'll have to fend off a drunken ex, contend with an interfering mother-in-law, and try to keep a battered rental house from falling down around her.

Meanwhile, someone has been breaking into the house, and her daughter's imaginary friend, the boy in the toy room, seems to be trying to burn the place down. While the men around her rage and bluster, it's Nora's job to hold things together and keep her daughter safe, whatever the cost. 

 

And don't forget Waking Up Dead: An Endless Mountains Ghost Story

If Deidra Shay had known she was dead, she might have made other choices -- but she didn't. When her best friend, Jesse, finds her body and is pulled away screaming and crying, Deidra follows her home and all hell breaks loose! Friends and family are pulled into a maze of love and sex, revenge and redemption as Jesse and Deidra struggle to figure out how to go on living after waking up dead. 

This is romance, a testimony to friendship, and one answer to what life might be like beyond the grave for both the person moving on and the people left behind.

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Monday
Nov252013

Endless Mountains Ghosts: The Real Stories

This is a rough draft of a new ghost story I was told. It's a little heart-breaking and a lot heart-warming. It is told in first person as all of these will be to protect the individuals generous enough to share their stories with me.

 

The Brother I Never Knew

 

I knew what my brother looked like. His pictures were all over our house. He died two years before I was born and I also remember the day they told me about him. I was maybe five-years-old when I walked into the living room to find my parents and syblings sitting around talking. They weren't smiling, which was unusual when I was around. Usually they wanted to play with me, talk with me, and since I was the baby of the family, gave me their total attention. But this day was different. I asked them what was wrong, because any five-year-old knows when the grown-ups are sad, and they told me about my brother, the one who had died before I was born. They were sad because they were missing him.

Maybe I was jealous, maybe I wanted attention, but mainly I remember wanting to make them laugh and smile like they usually did, and so I started being extra "cute" by making funny faces, acting out jokes, and learning to mimic TV characters. On that day and ever since then I've felt it was my job to make my family happy.

My parents often talked about ghosts. Although they claimed there were many people in our family who could see and hear ghosts, I never did. These were just stories, entertaining and fun to hear, but I didn't really believe in ghosts. 

And then, when I was about forty, my world fell apart. My son was diagnosed with diabetes, my daughter had pneumonia, and I found out that my insurance didn't cover nearly as much as I thought it would. My finances were in ruins, and I was sure -- absolutely sure -- that I was going to lose my house and everything I'd worked for all my life. It was the year anything that could go wrong did. 

In my role of family-happy-maker, I couldn't put my burdens on anyone else, so spent a lot of time in isolation trying to figure a way out of my problems. I would take long walks, or go hang out in the garage with my tools, and think. Those days my thoughts were dark and scared.

One night when I was in the garage, contemplating my next move and not seeing one, I felt a tug on my belt-loop. It wasn't just one tug, but a few, like someone trying to get my attention. I turned around, expecting to find my wife or one of my children behind me. There, as clear as day, was the brother I had never known. I recognized him immediately from the pictures in the house. He was five-years-old (I know this because of the pictures taken just before he died), small, blond, and smiling. When I looked at him, he ran to hide behind the washing machine, and then peeked out at me like he was playing hide-and-seek. He was giggling. 

We played for a little bit. I would turn away, feel a tug, hear a giggle, and when I turned around he would run away again and peek at me from behind the washer.

I got too comfortable, too happy to play with him and, in a move I now regret, decided to startle him with a trick of my own. I expected him to laugh, much as my own children would at such foolishness. The next time I felt a tug at my belt-loop, I spun around, raised my hands as if trying to catch him, and made a growling noise. Much to my shame, his grin turned into a look of terror, and he was gone.

I spent lots of time alone in my garage hoping to see my brother again, but he never came back. My problems at home improved and life went on. Then, a few years later, it all fell apart again.

This time my family was in chaos. I won't go into particulars, but I was having lots of family problems, and lots of people got involved. I come from a big, close-knit family, so that isn't unusual, but I couldn't take the strain. In order to get away from everyone I took to hiking the mountain often for hours at a time. Having spent my life trying to help pour "oil on trouble waters" so to speak, I had trouble accepting that I couldn't do anything to make things better. I was discouraged and depressed over the whole thing.

One day I was standing on the mountain looking over an empty field when I distinctly heard a voice say, "I wanna go to school really bad but they won't let me go." It was the voice of a child. I looked around and couldn't see anyone, but the voice had been absolutely clear. Suddenly it wasn't a warm day anymore, but cold and snowy. In front of me I could see a road, covered with snow and ice. I bllinked and it was gone. 

I can't explain what happened, but I know I was shown something from another time and heard a child who was unhappy. It scared me to death. I really did think I was losing my mind and was afraid to tell anyone what had happened. I kept taking walks but avoided that place, afraid to have it happen again.

I couldn't forget it, and finally shared the experience with my sister. She had practically raised my brother who had died, and then me. "Yes," she said. "He wanted to go to school and our parents got special permission for me to take him for a day." Understand, my brother was dying, and he was never going to be old enough or well enough to go to school. "The school agreed for him to go, and a date was set," my sister told me, "but when the day came, we had a big storm. The roads were covered in ice and it was too cold for him to go outside. We had to cancel. He died shortly after that."

It was a sad and touching story. I think that maybe my brother shared his sorrow with me because I was feeling so much sadness at the time. I don't know. I do know that I started going back to that spot and waiting, but he never spoke to me again. 

I do want to say that both times my brother contacted me, I was in need of comfort and companionship and I had the sense that he was offering those to me. I felt warmth, affection, acceptance, and love. How I could feel all of that and still be afraid, I can't explain. I would love to see him again. I try to see him again. Hopefully, someday, it will happen. Until then, I love you, brother.

 

 

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