Friday, 14 February 2014

#OBRT #Horror - Take Me To St. Roch’s, collected in Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall @RayneHall

Jean hated silence. It gnawed at her nerves and sapped her spirits, especially during night-time drives. Maybe she should give up teaching evening classes, and try to get by on her widow’s pension alone. Or perhaps she should scrape together the money to buy a radio for her car.
In the darkness, the slopes of the Sussex Downs sank into valleys, and woodlands merged into fields. The windscreen wipers screeched across the glass, smearing dirt with the remnants of a November drizzle. At least the sound kept the silence out.
A hitchhiker pumped her arm up and down. Jean disapproved of hitchhikers on principle, but this might be an emergency. Why else would a girl hitch a night-time lift at a crossroads in the middle of nowhere?
Jean could do a good deed, and at the same time get stimulating conversation to kill this unnerving silence. She slowed the car. It stuttered to a halt, then the motor went dead. A battery replacement was long overdue.
Leaning across the passenger seat, she opened the door. “Do you need-”
The girl slid into the seat and crossed her arms over her chest “To Seelsden.”
To Seelsden PLEASE, Jean almost corrected. Young people these days had no manners. The girl had not even given her the chance to say that Seelsden was out of her way.
But to refuse would be rude, and besides, the girl might get picked up by a psychopath.
“Seelsden it shall be.” The car hiccuped, but started on the fourth try.
“Do you live there?”
The girl shrugged.
“I’m Mrs Jean Mills. I teach in adult education. Local history, mostly. What about you?”
Another shrug. So much for conversation.
“Of course, these days it's not safe to reveal personal details to a stranger.”
“I'm Anne.”
After that conversational effort, the girl sank back into silence, with her arms tightly crossed and her chin on her chest
Jean glanced at her from the corner of her eye. She was about fifteen, skinny with an unhealthy pallor and the kind of dishevelled look favoured by teens. Her smell suggested that she had not had a bath for weeks and compensated with perfume. If so, the scent was badly chosen, over-sweet with an underlying note of something rotten. On the other hand, the odour might stem from a smoked substance. Jean thought it better not to ask.
The silence stretched for mile after mile. Silhouettes of trees and steeples stood black against a violet sky.
“That's Seelsden up there.” Jean winked the indicator into action. “Where do you want me to drop you off?”
"St. Roch’s.”
St. Roch's, PLEASE, Jean wanted to correct, especially since that church was another three miles off her route. Once Seelsden’s parish church, it now stood lonely and desolate on the ridge. Long ago, after an epidemic, the survivors had burnt their village and rebuilt it further away, leaving only the consecrated church in place.
But it was cold and dark, and the girl was tense. The way she kneaded her fingers in her lap, the way she hardly spoke a word. Heaven knew what bad stuff had already happened to her that night. Jean had a teacher’s protective instincts. She would deliver the girl safely to her doorstep.
St. Roch’s came into sight, a huge silhouette of silent stone. Not a single house in the vicinity.
“Where exactly do you live, Anne? I'll walk with you to make sure you're safe.” Jean got out and clicked the car door shut. A damp chill wrapped around her.
“This is where I need to be.” For the first time, the girl turned her white face towards Jean, and unclenched her arms. The stink spread.. Something dark protruded from her chest: a piece of half-rotten wood.
“What the... do you... Are you hurt? I'll take you to hospital.” Jean grabbed the handle of the driver's door.
Anne croaked a laugh. “It doesn't hurt, you know.”
Jean berated herself for overreacting. This was nothing but a drug-induced prank. A belated Halloween party with fancy dress.
“But you must dig me a grave in there.”
Jean adopted a stern tone. “The joke has gone quite far enough, Anne. I admit you've given me a fright with that phony stake, pretending to be a vampire -”
“Nah. Vampires aren't real, you know.”
“Then what are you supposed to be? I mean, what archetype are you aiming to portray?”
“I'm a suicide, right?” Anne sounded proud, as if she had announced that she was a head girl or a carnival queen.
Jean recalled the custom of burying suicides at crossroads, with stakes through their hearts to stop them from rising. “Not many people will appreciate the difference, but as a historian, I congratulate you.”
“Then you understand. I must get into the consecrated ground at St. Roch's.” Anne pointed at the curving gate. “You'll bury me.”
“Now listen. I agreed to drive you to Seelsden, and I gave you a lift here.” Jean clung to her denial. “But I don't have the time to play games. Hop back into the car and I'll drive you home, wherever that is.”
The girl pushed between Jean and the car, leaning insolently against the door. Jean grabbed her wrist to pull her out of the way. The flesh felt as squishy and cold as a wet sponge, with little substance.
Thirty Scary Tales
Thirty creepy, atmospheric stories by Rayne Hall.
The horror in these stories is spooky, creepy, unsettling and sometimes disturbing. It is not very violent or gory; however, the stories may not be suitable for young readers without parental guidance. PG 13.
This book is a compilation of volumes 1-5 of the Six Scary Tales books. It includes the acclaimed stories Burning and The Bridge Chamber.
All stories have been previously published in magazines, ezines, collections and anthologies. British English.
Stories in collection include:
The Devil You Know, Greywalker, Prophetess, Each Stone A Life, By Your Own Free Will, The Bridge Chamber, Only A Fool, Four Bony Hands, The Black Boar, Double Rainbows, Druid Stones, Burning, Scruples, Seagulls, Night Train, Through the Tunnel, Black Karma, Take Me To St. Roch's, Turkish Night, Never Leave Me, The Colour of Dishonour, Beltane, The Painted Staircase, I Dived The Pandora, Terre Vert and Payne's Grey, They Say, Tuppence Special, Disturbed Sleep, Normal Considering the Weather, Arete.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Horror
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Rayne Hall on Twitter


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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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