I'm thrilled that my short story Gin & Vin's Last Ride is out today as part of the Haunted anthology!
I'd originally had a different idea for this anthology but once I got the idea for a heist ghost story, it wouldn't leave me alone. Though I didn't do a heist, the idea evolved into a Bonnie and Clyde-ish meshed with an early 2000's horror movie that has always stuck with me. I'm not going to tell you which one it is so I don't ruin the story for you.
Virginia and Vincent are on the run from the law after a failed bank robbery. Taking refuge in an abandoned farmhouse, Virginia tries to keep the fatally wounded Vincent alive long enough to get him to a doctor. When she starts to hear and see things, she wonders if the house is really empty.
I've always had a love for dark and creepy stories, especially ghosts. This leads to a lot of debate with my husband who doesn't believe in ghosts, but I do. I grew up in a haunted house. Nothing crazy but something walked down the stairs or across our creaky floor from time to time. My sister has also seen the elderly woman who died in her room.
Sharing the pages with some authors I admire including Sara Dobie Bauer, Wendy Sparrow, and the multi-talented Rhonda Parrish is an honour. I especially thank editor Trysh Thompson for choosing my story, even though it didn't quite fit all the criteria.
If you'd like to read my story along with the seven others in Haunted, here's the order links.
Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned
Not all ghost stories are simple sightings and things going bump in the night. Not all ghosts are left behind because of simple unfinished business. No, sometimes that unfinished business is messy, complicated, and even deadly.
These are not your typical ghost stories—they are desire, love, and most importantly, revenge—all rolled into one. Revenge for a love stolen away, a love that never was, a retribution for a horrific act, or even an act of war.
To entice you further, I'm sharing the first part of my story here:
The 1932 Model B Ford they’d lifted two days ago drifted towards the shoulder. Virginia shook her head to keep the darkness from dragging her down. The sun was high, almost noon, but it did little to keep her awake. The monotony of the landscape, trees and fields, didn’t help. She squinted at the driver’s side mirror, but only a cloud of dust billowed behind the car; there were no signs of the men who had chased them after their failed bank robbery. She hoped they were safe but knew better than to let her guard down. With the immediate danger gone, the adrenaline that had kept Virginia going long past the time she should have passed out drained away.
“I think we lost them, Vinny,” she said to the wiry man slumped in the seat next to her. The side of his dark green shirt was almost black with the blood that had seeped from the wound in his side. His short, dark brown hair was plastered to his head with sweat. The sallow look of his skin frightened Virginia. He’d make it. They’d been through too much for it to end like this.
Vincent shifted, his narrow features pinched in pain. “We need to get off the road, Gin.” His voice had lost the usual good-humour that lurked beneath his words. Instead it was flat, tired.
“I know.” She swiped a lock of her short, dirty blonde hair out of her eyes. “We need to get you a doctor more.”
“I’ll be fine. Just need a rest.”
Virginia’s fine lips turned down. They rarely quarrelled and she hated to be contrary, but she wasn’t sure he could wait. The flow of blood seemed to have slowed. Maybe he was right. If they were caught, the men would probably let Vincent die. She couldn’t risk that. Once they found a place to hide, they could develop a plan.
A farmhouse sat back from the road, almost hidden completely by trees. Unlike the others they had passed, the grass was too long, and there was an empty feel to it—exactly what they needed. So many people had lost their homes since the depression began four years ago that she was surprised she hadn’t seen more homes like this.
Without consulting Vincent, she turned onto the narrow lane almost hidden by weeds. She grimaced as the car bumped along and hoped it didn’t hurt Vincent too much. Shafts of sunlight peeked through the bright yellow, orange, and red leaves of the maple trees that lined the long laneway to the house.
“This place looks good,” Virginia said as she maneuvered the car around another rut.
Vincent grunted his agreement.
When they reached the house, Virginia stopped the car and let out a long, tired breath, allowing some of the tension to ease from her shoulders. It would be good to rest.
A large corn field stretched out behind the white two-story house. To the left, across the neglected lawn, was a bush, the fall colours vibrant against the dark grey clouds in the west. The white paint around the windows was flaking and a weathered brown board filled the gap where a window had been. The covered porch sagged; the half rotten posts barely holding it bent with age, like withered spines. It was one strong wind away from collapse.
A sense of déjà vu washed over Virginia, making her sway. Something was familiar about the house. Maybe it reminded her of one she’d seen while she and Vincent had travelled across the country robbing small stores and gas stations.