Friday, June 14, 2019

Howard Griffiths



Howard Griffiths was born at the funeral home just like his daddy and all the way back to his great grandfather.  The Griffiths family had tended to the dead in Beguile since the town had been established.  Parker Griffith had built the original funeral home, and it had been expanded and refurbished by each generation of Griffiths that followed. 


Howard Griffiths had grown up playing in the parlour beside the cloying flower wreaths and the caskets of the recently departed of Beguile.  It was when he was ten that he had first started the Book of the Departed.  It was old man Braddock that had first suggested it.  Howard had been playing with a toy car on the carpet beside the recently departed man’s open casket when the amiable old man had asked the child to get a piece of paper and write some things about his life down; things that he wanted the people of Beguile to know.  A quiet and obedient child, Howard had quickly done what old man Braddock had asked. 


So started what had now become many tomes of the Book of the Departed. Pages filled with last-minute messages and requests for the relatives of those caught unexpectedly by death.   


Once he had taken over the business, Howard has dealt with all the requirements for the newly departed, and then had a big chat with each of them, recording all the wonderous things that they told him. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Billy



Many people in Beguile think of Billy as special in the sense that he is not quite as fast or as interactive as other people.  Allowances have been made by the adults of the town, while his peers have long been known to use him as the butt of their jokes.  

Billy’s mother, Maisey, runs the local general store, and it is here that Billy packs groceries in a slow and steady way every day.  

The older residents remember the whispers when Maisey had announced that she was pregnant, and had been adamant that a walk in the Wild Woods past Lake Brock had been where Billy was conceived.  She said that she had fallen asleep in the lush undergrowth of the looming trees, and when she had woken up she had simply known that she was pregnant with Billy. 

Though Billy is largely ignored by the townsfolk in Beguile beyond his usefulness for packing their groceries, Billy has a secret. 

He often goes to the Wild Woods and, when he does, he wears the crown of the people he is the ruler of, the ones that dwell hidden in the woods.

In fact, they only ever allow Billy to see them. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Lorelei




Lorelei had lived her whole life by Lake Brock in Beguile.  When she was a child, one stormy day, the waters of the lake had almost taken her.  Lorelei had wandered down to the shore alone, walking along the smudge of sand and had been captured by a ferocious, hungry wave. She had struggled against the water as it dragged her tumbling beneath its dark tumultuous depths. 

Just as it seemed as if her last breath had been stolen from her body and she had succumbed to the cold waters she had felt herself being cradled.  The arms had thrust her up from the depths of the water and carried her safely to the shore. 

She insisted that she was rescued by a merman that came from the waters of the deep lake and bought her to the shore.  The townsfolk of Beguile had long since tired of her stories and were not at all surprised to find Lorelei at the shore of the lake gazing into the water expectantly.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Jimmy’s



Out on the old disused highway is an abandoned gas station.  Once a busy place, popular with the citizens of Beguile, Jimmy’s as it was known had long since shut down.  


The namesake of the gas station was Jimmy Thoms, a resident of Beguile, who was known for his stoic ways. It was back in 52 when apparently Jimmy had disappeared.  Over the years there had been much conjecture about the fate of Jimmy Thoms ranging from Alien abduction, which did in fact coincide with the great UFO sightings in Beguile of 52 and 53 or the more likely theory that Jimmy had seen something he shouldn’t have.  In those days the highway had been a popular way to bypass the busy city and their vigilant law enforcement for those involved in more nefarious activities.  


Many in Beguile believed that Jimmy had inadvertently seen something in a car stopping for gas.  When the occupants of the car had realised they simply murdered Jimmy and disposed of his body in a shallow grave somewhere in the surrounding woods.  


The strange thing was that many who passed the deserted gas station would swear that just for a moment in their rear view mirror they saw the lights of the gas station flicker on and on the wind they heard the ding of the gas bowser and the muffled hoarse greeting of Jimmy Thoms.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Preacher John


Preacher John, or so he was known in the town of Beguile, was a product of his grandfather, one of those old fashioned men of God. His grandfather had wielded God as a weapon.  While most revelled in God’s love, Preacher John was more accustomed to the God his grandfather had introduced him to, a God that inspired fear and repentance and purportedly let only the righteous ascend to the Promised Land.  


In recent years Preacher John had decided to modernise the small clad building that his grandfather had constructed after many years of travelling in just a tent preaching the Word of God. Preacher John had introduced music and even had elaborate neon lights installed.  He had also added something a little extra.  At the back of the church, in the woods he had built a special place that he knew would help the many fallen of Beguile truly achieve ascension. 


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Well


Somewhere off the main highway, just on the outskirts of Beguile, there is a field that was part of an ancient farm that is no longer worked.  In the field stands a well. No-one knows exactly how old the well is but the oldest citizens of Beguile recall it always being there.  What was once a working well has long since dried up.

There is a whisper among some residents of Beguile that when the moon is waning, right at midnight, you can toss a gold coin into the well.  You won’t hear it land but within a few days whatever your heart desires will inexplicably find it’s way to you.   You would think the tales of this well would make it a treasure but it is only the most strong-hearted and desperate that throw a coin into its dark maw. Beware, as what comes to you may not be exactly how you imagined. Your lack of foresight may result in your heart’s greatest desire being your most feared nightmare. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Beatrice and the Beasts






She had always been thought of as slightly different which in a town like Beguile was something indeed.  Beatrice communed so readily with animals, especially the birds, in particular the black birds, that she was treated with suspicion by some and held in awe by others.  

She remembers the first time she heard an animal speak to her.  Beatrice had been just five years old and after a particularly bad time with her abusive father she had headed into the woods crying.  Her tear streaked face was warm and she wiped at her tears.  A deer had been standing close by and had come forward nuzzling gently at her cheek.  Beatrice had looked up surprised and then she heard the gentle feminine voice telling her not to cry.  Other animals had joined the conversation that evening and the child Beatrice had told them all what was happening. 

That very night a strange thing had happened and her father had been killed by a wolf, a surprise in a town where wolves were very rare. A kindly aunt of her mother, who had gone missing the year Beatrice was born, had come to live at the house and had bought Beatrice up in a happy home. Most often residents of Beguile would find Beatrice in a field surrounded by animals chatting away.