Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oliver Presents Mary Ricksen

Thunder and lightning crash and collide in the blood-red sky, splintering the night into brilliant white light. 

A werewolf howls, its keening wail slicing through the cemetery looming high above the haunted mansion. Spooked by the pounding echo of her own footsteps, a Veiled Lady races up the stone steps to the mansion and taps on the heavy mahogany door.

Oliver, dressed in black tails and top hat, flings the door open. It creaks open on rusty hinges. Smiling manically, he extends his arm.

Right this way, mademoiselle.

The Veiled Lady and Oliver enter the parlor.  The doors that have parted disappear into the wall. Dark, flowing drapes shroud odd shaped windows, and black tapers in sterling silver holders flicker in the dark paneled room. Oliver seats his guest on the black rose settee. Frozen concoctions swimming with strawberries in crystal flutes await on the coffin table. When tapping hammers out a tune on the wall, Oliver kisses the Veiled Lady with a wink and a smile.

Good Evening. It is my great pleasure to introduce the lovely and enchanted Mary Ricksen. Mary has a ghostly tale that will send shivers skating down your spine. Take it away, my pretty.

Many years ago my sister and I used to play this game. We would lie in bed late at night and play when we couldn’t sleep. The old, Gothic, Victorian house, my great grandmother lived in creaked and groaned all over and we never knew what was house or what could possibly be ghost. The odd shaped windows and doors that opened into walls added the mystique. You had to be sure both feet were well away from the edge of the bed.  Better safe then sorry.

The idea of the game was to guess the tune. We would tap out the music on the bed while hearing it in your head. I don’t know how we did it, but we always guessed right!

I really hated the room we stayed in. It was all dark corners and deep closets. Shadows were so dark; one had to feel your way out of the room. But every time we visited we ended up in the same room.

Dark, thick, heavy curtains lined the windows. Not a speck of light got in when they closed.  Wood pineapples were on each of four posts on the old cherry wood furniture.

We stayed on the third floor. I don’t know why because there were four bedrooms on the second floor. And we were the only ones visiting her. The only ones up there. Alone. My cousin used to tease us telling us how great Uncle Snidely had died up there and he watched his heirs all the time. She told us about him and showed us his picture. We were primed!

No night lights allowed, we were big girls.

One very stormy night at Great Gram’s place we lay there tapping out songs. Thunder boomed and lightning knocked out all the street lights. After one particularly loud boom I realized I had to take a pee.  My sister ran to the window to look and I jumped outta bed and ran. The tile floor chilled my feet as I walked on little squares. I picked up the seat and quickly did what I had to. Flushing the toilet I ran back down the dark hallway to our room.

My sister was talking. “I still can’t understand what you’re trying to have me guess.” She sounded flustered.

“What are you talking about?” I jumped on my bed closest to the door.

“Very funny, I’ve been trying to guess the song, but you keep tapping out nonsense. I told you I give up and still you keep tapping. What was the song you were trying to have me guess?” She asked.

“I just got back from the bathroom, I haven’t been tapping anything.” I chuckled. “What you been playing our game with a ghost or something?”

Her voice quivered. “Did you just say you just came back from the bathroom?”

“Yes.” Now I was getting scared.

“Well I have been trying to guess what song and you, well I thought it was you, were tapping away like crazy. I had no idea what you wanted me to guess.” She jumped on my bed as a loud peel of thunder ripped the skies.

“Someone was here, something, oh man, something was playing our game with me.” She shivered against my side.

Just then we heard it. In the silence between lightning strikes. Tapping. Tap, tap, tap…

“AAAAAHHHHHH!!” We screamed in unison.  Both of us jumped up and ran outta that room so fast our feet flew! Screaming the whole way we yelled. “AAAHHHHH!!”

My great grandmother appeared at the end of the hall. “Girls, what’s wrong?” She hugged us close.

“Ghosts.” We wailed in unison. She calmed us down and urged us into her huge high bed. Between breaths we told Gram what happened.

“Oh that wasn’t Uncle Snidely. We have no one in the family by that name.” She laughed and we laughed.

We got under the covers with her and snuggled. Warm and secure we felt foolish. Until she closed her eyes and sighed.

“The only person it could be is Uncle Frankie, he loved music.”

Mary Ricksen
Mary loves Vermont and North Carolina in the mountains. Rows of corn and cherry trees
were playgrounds in the summer. She loves animals, horses, cows, and critters who live in the wild. Small town life is her future haven after big city madness. She made up her mind that someday she'd be back in the country, even in just in her books.
Love, happiness, a little bit of magic, and a hunky hero with a happily-ever-after
ending is her favorite thing to read or to write. Especially if they are time travel!

Purchase her books from her Publisher's
The Wild Rose Press
Mary M. Ricksen
"Know that love is truly timeless"
Secretary - Chapter: Florida Romance Writers
Tripping Through Time   ISBN#1-60154-392-1
You Gotta Read Reviews-Absolutely wonderful! An excellent
first novel.  Rated:You Gotta Read!


P.L. Parker said...

LOL - what a comforting last thought from your great gran! Great story, Mary.

Sharon Donovan said...

A warm welcome for my good buddy Mary Ricksen! Spoooky story, Mary, gave me goose bumps.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Patsy, another chiller, eh?

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello Mary dear friend, and dear Sharon and Oliver as well.

Boy, what a creepy tale that was Mary, and you told it so graphically I could feel the hairs rising on the back of my neck! Great punchline!

Hywela Lyn said...

*waves* to sister hostess Patsy. Sorry Patsy, didn't see you there, hiding behind Sharon!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hugs Lyn, dear friend. As long as the gang's all here, group hug!

Mary Ricksen said...

Mary rushes into the room to participate in the group hug!
That house was one scary place. But I wouldn't mind owning it today. I love those old Victorian homes. That door to no where used to freak us all out!

Joanne Stewart said...

Oh, fantastic creepy tale, Mary!

StephB said...

Mary, there's nothing like a gothic victorian house to capture the ambience of Halloween. hehe. Thanks for sharing your story. I remember a couple of creepy soties like that from my childhood as well. As an eight year old, I actually thought there was a vampire under the bed.

PS...don't forget to hit up Oliver for a glass of wine.


Sharon Donovan said...

Mary, Gothic-inspired homes are cool. Who could forget Dark Shadows. Grin

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Joanne, that was a good ghost story by Mary, shivers

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Steph, isn't it fun reminiscing about things that go bump in the night. Stick around, here comes Oliver with libations

Calisa Rhose said...

Great story Mary! I love ghost stories.

Oliver said...

Ladies ladies, libations of the haunted mansion are served. Mary my pretty, a blood-red strawberry frozen cocktail. We have deep red wine, Bloody Marys, Cherry Martinis. Munchies, tortilla chips and salsa, olives, caramel balls, chocolate vampires and candy corn!

Mary Ricksen said...

Pass me the champagne! It's the only thing I drink alcoholic! And Olive I need it after that! Thanks.

Maeve said...

HOLY CRAP!!! I should NOT have read this tonight. Hubby's working the midnight shift so the only one left to protect me is nine pounds of chihuahua/terrier fury! I think I'm gonna sleep with the lights on tonight. SHEESH!

Mona Risk said...

Ouch, Mary, this a terrific story, funny but spooky. I'm terrified of ghosts, werewolves, demons, etc... I can imagine you and your sister running out of the room. How old were you?

Allison Chase said...

Aw, he scared you, but all he wanted was to play the game with you and your sister! What a great story, Mary!

Sharon Donovan said...

Waves to Calisa Rose, Mauve, Mona and Allison. Thanks for visiting the haunted mansion, ladies. Here comes Oliver with the bubbly. POP

Oliver said...

Flutes of chilled champagne, my pretties. Mary, my sweet little pet, just because you so endearingly called me 'Olive' I tossed a few in your bubly. Wicked wink

Sharon Donovan said...

Thank you all for visiting today. A special thank you to Mary Ricksen for being my featured guest. Love you, sweetie. Please join us in the haunted parlor tomorrow when Oliver presents P. L. Parker. Until then, may the luck of the Irish be with you as you travel through life.
Sharon and Oliver

Mary Ricksen said...

Sharon you're the best! Thanks to all who visited and commented!!!

Beth Trissel said...

I love it, Mary. Great story.

Mary Marvella said...

Good story, Mary R! Old houses were perfect places for ghosts to linger.

katsrus said...

That sounded so creepy! I would of ran too.
Sue B