Friday, June 19, 2020

Grayson Buchanan





Grayson Buchanan had appeared one warm July day in Beguile following the opening of the new establishment in town called Kapow Comics.  As the first such store  in Beguile it attracted a lot of attention from the locals and those passing through town. 


Grayson did not speak much about his past despite the curious questions asked by customers.  He explained to those who enquired  that it has always been his dream to open a comic book store.  


Kapow Comics is a popular hangout for the young and the young at heart.  A strange talking point is the mural at the very back of the shop. It is  full of colourful comic book action and attributed to an itinerant artist who spent some time in Beguile just before the opening of the store.  


More observant customers  in Kapow Comics may notice a space on the blue skies of the mural where a steampunk craft flies absurdly through the surreal skies on its own.  To the keen observer it may seem as though the rider has suddenly and mysteriously  disembarked from the vehicle.


There are whispers that Grayson looks just like the imagined driver of the fabulous craft and that perhaps he some how fell from the mural.  Though the more even minded visitors shrug off this possibility, there are some that stand staring at the cerulean painted sky, convinced

Friday, May 15, 2020

Benedict Denver



At the place where Lake Brock empties into the sea there is a lone lifeguard tower on a small beach known to locals as Bounty Bay.  Only manned for the summer months, the tower houses four local lifeguards who take the shifts in turns and patrol the small stretch of pristine and popular beach.  


When their shift is done at night they always leave the door to the tower unlocked so Benedict can get in and watch the dark waters.


In the 1930s Benedict Denver was the only lifeguard on duty when a king wave had hit the shoreline of Bounty Bay.  The treacherous wave had dragged four people out to sea in a tumultuous surge of turbulent, dangerous water.  Ever vigilant Benedict had thrown himself into the roiling waters and managed to drag two of the struggling swimmers to the shore.  He then decided on the third person, a woman being pulled beneath the water.  The fourth victim had disappeared beneath the waves after being swept out to sea.  As Benedict got the third victim to the sand and held her as she coughed up sea water he caught a glimpse of what he thought was the last victim of the wave.  With renewed hope that the man was alive Benedict swam out into the turbid frothing waters. He disappeared along with the fourth victim of the wave whose body washed up along the coast a few days after the king wave had hit.  Benedict’s body was never recovered but within a month there was chatter about a life guard at the tower at night after the beach was closed.  


Then came the accounts of those ignoring the closed beach signs and getting into trouble only to be rescued by a lifeguard they hadn’t ever seen at the beach by day.  


As the rumours persisted and the reports of strange rescues continued it was decided it would be prudent to leave the door to the lifeguard tower open so Benedict could see the dark waters more clearly. 



Sunday, April 26, 2020

The Dead Letters






Stanley Brewster has been the mailman in Beguile for almost twenty years.  Rain, hail or shine Stanley always ensures the citizens of Beguile receive

 their mail on time.  


The post office is manned by Gertrude Dalton.  A spinster, Gertrude holds  the fort until Stanley’s return in the afternoon.  


It isn’t  until the post office closes  at four in the afternoon that Stanley and Gertrude are able to work on their favourite project, the Dead Letters.  Stored in a bright red box the Dead Letters arrive mysteriously at all hours.  They have no stamp and are always hand written on exquisite stationery. They are all sent care of the Beguile Post Office, with no name and with no return address. 


The first letter had arrived over 5 years ago.  It was perplexing at first and without knowing what to do with the strange letter Stanley and Gertrude had placed it in a red box.  As the number of mysterious letters grew, the urgency to do something about them became tantamount. 


After several sleepless nights Gertrude had decided it was time to open them. The letters are all from the same man, a Lieutenant Donald Abraham and  are written to the Lieutenant’s “Darling”. 


The letters are all very personal and tell of the adventures and longings of Lieutenant Donald Abraham.  


Stanley and Gertrude enjoy working together late into the evening reading and re-reading the letters. In fact they have created a journal with a timeline and information about the Lieutenant and his so called “Darling” in an attempt to discover who she may in fact be. 


The strange thing is that Stan and Gertrude discovered Lieutenant Donald Abraham died in a battle in December 1894 but still the dead letters come. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Bungalow 9



Bungalow 9

Along Lake Brock just before it spills into the sea there are a collection of brightly coloured holiday bungalows.  Built a few decades earlier, they remain a popular place for holiday makers.  The nine bungalows have been placed with care right on the shores of the lake much to the delight of anyone that rents one. 


Identical in layout and decor they are equally sought out, that’s all but bungalow number 9.  Even in summer, the most popular holiday season, when accomodation in Beguile, especially along the water ways is at a premium, bungalow number 9 is always empty.  


Many have no idea as to why they refuse the bungalow and decide to holiday somewhere else if all the holiday accomodation is full.  Older members of Beguile know why though.


The holiday accomodation known by its collective name of the Rivers Rest was built by Janey and Wilbur Duff.  Long time residents of Beguile they had bought to fruition their dream of building a place that families could enjoy on the shores of Lake Brock.  The first few years saw the Rivers Rest  filled with holiday makers enjoying the sun and water and the simple but comfortable accomodation.  Popular with seniors and children alike the colourful little bungalows were booked all year round. 


In the fifth year of the Rivers Rest Janey, a beloved host, was said to have left to help an elderly relative in a neighbouring town.  Wilbur gallantly kept the bungalows open and did his best to accomodate those holidaying by Lake Brock.  The year that Janey was absent was one of the hottest the locals could remember and Lake Brock was a popular destination for those wanting to cool down.  People staying in Rivers Rest started to complain to Wilbur about an unpleasant odour.  Always a thoughtful and accommodating host, he assured them that it was a tidal quirk from the lake and that the hotter summer days were to blame.  Though it was bad some relief was give by the stiff sea breeze that came in from the coast. 


After about two weeks though, as the stench increased guests started to leave Rivers Rest. One family that decided to stay had two teenage boys who were inquisitive and decided to trace the source of the reeking odour.  It bought them to bungalow 9.  The curtains were drawn but the locks were flimsy and the two troublesome boys decided to break in to the deserted bungalow.  They jimmied the door and were greeted by a nauseating stench the source of which revealed itself as their eyes adjusted to the darkened room.  


Janey hadn’t  made it out of town, in fact she sat, propped up in a chair in the corner of a room, her suitcase placed neatly on the floor beside her. 


When finally questioned Wilbur explained that the “woman in the water” had taken a dislike to Janey and had insisted he do something about her. He didn’t have the heart to bury her in the ground and Janey had always had a soft spot for Bungalow 9. 


No further explanation was ever given about a woman in the water and Wilbur spent the rest of his life in psychiatric care during which time he liked to regale his fellow inmates with tales of the mysterious woman who stepped from the depths of the lake one winters day. 


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Susannah




Susannah Gladstone had never been predictable.  She was what the people in Beguile liked to call a free-spirit.  Part of the wealthy Gladstone family, from a young age she refused to conform to the norm.  

In her teens she had rebelled against any attempts at curtailing her desires and thoughts.  Now in her late twenties, things haven’t changed much with Susannah.  

It’s just accepted that she turned her back on the wealth and comforts offered by her family and lives in a Gypsy caravan, making a meagre living on handicrafts. The people of Beguile are not surprised to see Susannah dancing haphazardly in some field or another, seemingly to some unheard, ethereal tune.  


What the people of Beguile don’t realise is Susannah isn’t dancing alone at all.  

For those old enough to remember, there was a tragedy in one of the fields that Susannah frequents.  A Gypsy camp was razed to the ground in the middle of the night.  Susannah survived the tragedy as a baby and was adopted by the Gladstones who, interestingly enough, owned the field and had a vested interest in keeping it clear.  The Gladstones had taken the orphaned child in, raising her as their own, but never imagined that Susannah would one day return to the fold of her wayfaring, if not dead, family. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Photographie




The Photographie was opened in 1899 by Charles Frontiac, a photographer from the continent who had travelled to Beguile and opened a photographic studio.  The first in the area, the Photographie attracted a lot of attention and interest, with clients coming from far and wide. Generations of Frontiacs had worked at the Photographie until it was inherited by Sylvie Frontiac-Meyer.   

A respectable citizen of Beguile, Sylvie had been a popular photographer and had installed  the latest equipment for developing the photographic memories of other Beguile residents.   She had married one of the Meyers, a banking family in Beguile, and there was talk of a child. 


That was until she met an itinerant preacher by the name of Silas Simpson.  No-one knows what made the fun-loving photographer just walk away from her husband, career and life, but walk away she did.  A small careless note attached to the door of the Photographie was the only indication she had left with the preacher.  The handwritten note said nothing more than “Gone with Silas”. 


After the shock and gossip had died off and the Meyer family had hired a photographer to keep the Photographie open something strange started to happen.  Every film developed for someone in Beguile contained an extra photograph from the 24 on the reel.  This 25th photograph was always different but the subject was the same, Sylvie trapped and suffering in some hideous way.  The authorities investigated but the strange unexplainable exposures were never explained and Sylvie was never found.  People stopped going to the Photographie terrified by what may turn up in their pile of happy photographs. The distraught Meyer family decided it was best to close the studio down. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Nathaniel Stanton




Nathaniel Stanton or The Mesmeriser, as he is known professionally, performs at all sorts of events and parties in Beguile.  His astonishing magic skills have made him highly sought after as a performer.  


Born in Beguile he lives in his family home in the mountains beyond the wild woods.  Following in the tradition of his father and grandfather it was not a surprise that Nathaniel would choose to make his living as a magician.  The Stanton Family come from a rich heritage of magic with its beginning somewhere in the depths of Old Europe in the 1700s. 


Nathaniel is particularly famous for a trick he performs with a butterfly and a small garden of red tulips.  The audience loves the trick and always walk away baffled, trying to work out how it was done.  Some even whisper it’s an elaborate and sophisticated automaton, a sensible suggestion.  In this case however not accurate, after all Nathaniel and in fact his entire family do not require the deception of constructed magic, they use real magic.