A few years ago I had an experience which I find hard to explain. I have made my stance quite clear in previous posts regarding the supernatural but this singular incident stands out from the crowd. It is the moment when I was closest to believing in the existence of ghosts. Woolwich, a town in south east London, is not well known for its paranormal activity but it is where I found myself at 4am one morning. I was a bus driver, and as such, a regular patron of the less populated hours.
Nothing seemed unusual about that particular morning as I collected my bus from Belvedere Bus Depot. The shadows danced no more provocatively than usual and the faint London mist seemed no more sinister than it had on previous mornings. I was allocated DWL30 (DAF-Wright-Long-30), which in itself is nothing newsworthy. The route I was scheduled to serve would start at Lewisham and, once I had performed the standard vehicle checks, I set forth for this location. The most efficient route would take me through Woolwich town centre and it was there that my morning took a turn for the bizarre.
As I drove through the town centre I glanced in my rearview mirror and was greeted with an unexpected sight. Sitting there in what I had earlier confirmed to be an empty bus, was a figure in white. This was no ordinary figure, even when you remove that fact that I was driving an empty bus. This was a figure of a man wearing a 1970’s white disco suit. As clear as day, I can remember his flared trousers and ruffled shirt as he sat, uninvited and unexpected, on the third seat from the back, to the left of the centre aisle. I often run the events through my mind and am amazed at just how much information I managed to glean from what was no more than a quick glance, but it still does not retract from the vividness of my memory. He was there, or at least that is what my mind would lead me to believe. The traffic signal turned red in front of me and I stopped the bus, giving me the opportunity to turn my head and look down the aisle. The man was no longer present and this surprised me. My first assumption had been that the figure was an undiscovered sleeper, a passenger who had fallen unconscious and had remained on the bus, and his sudden absence threw me into a mild panic. I didn’t know what to think or do as I sat stationary at what had switched to a green light; thankfully there was no other traffic on the road at that time in the morning. My mind raced to find a plausible explanation and finally settled on the fact that I had found little sleep the night before and it was exhaustion that was haunting me not some spectral presence. I was tired, that was all. I was seeing things that existed only in my mind. I was a victim of a sleep deprived hallucination, nothing more, and it was nothing a strong cup of coffee couldnt cure. Yes, I considered the possibility that at some point during the 1970’s a man, on his way to a local disco, could have been involved in a fatal traffic incident and that his spirit could conceivably haunt that particular intersection but I found it far easier to blame my lack of sleep. Maybe I am just unwilling to admit that I had indeed experienced a paranormal event, but somehow I doubt it. I want to believe, truly I do, but if I can find a way to rationalise the situation I will. I am a firm believer in one thing, if ever I do encounter beings from beyond the grave there will be no doubt and no room for interpretation. I will keep looking and I will forever be a hopeful sceptic.
SNEAK PREVIEW OF JUST MEDIUM
The Spin-Off Sequel To The Dark Comedy Best Seller
It felt like waking up but her head was clear, there wasn’t the fuzzy awareness that she’d become accustomed to. Her mouth didn’t feel dry and her chin was free of residue, left behind by her usual nocturnal drool. She didn’t feel queasy yet hungry at the same time. She didn’t have an overpowering urge to drink coffee. She felt as if she’d just woken up, but she hadn’t. She would never wake up again, at least not from a state she would normally consider sleep. She would never need such sleep to wake from, there were many things that she would no longer need.
Doreen Wilson knew she was dead, it had been expected. In fact, her local G.P had been surprised by her capacity to linger on for so long. Doreen hardly considered spending three years trapped within her own bed as living anyway. Forever plugged into respirators and heart monitors, with little strength to move and the nagging dread that her every breath would be her last, scared her more than death ever could. Now it was all over. No more medication, no more hourly injections, no more machines squeezing every last ounce of life out of her frail, dying body.
She stood over her bed and looked upon what was nothing more than an empty shell. Her skin was so thin it was almost transparent. It clasped her bones like tightly wrapped cling film. Her face was gaunt and pale. Her eyes were sunk deep within their sockets and were shrouded in shadow. They looked pained but Doreen had not suffered in her passing. It was probably the cocktail of medication they had pumped into her veins that had saved her from any discomfort but she chose to see her death as a release from such bodily restraints. She had been trapped by life and now she was free. She could move, she could breathe without labor. There was no pain in her joints and, to her own surprise, her feet no longer felt numb and lifeless. She was dead, she harbored no doubt in this regard, but she felt more alive than she’d felt in years. A sense of elation flooded through her. I had feared death. I had expected a curtain to fall on my existence, a last act and the end of the show. She’d often wished that some kind of existence would follow death but had ultimately considered it a false hope. She still existed but most importantly she was still herself. She still had her memories and the same personality; she had lost nothing but the withered body that had imprisoned her.
“I’m still me!” She punched her fist into the air as she cried out her name. “I am Doreen Wilson and I’m still me!”
Release Date: TBA
The deathly silence is about to be broken. She disliked the company of others and death did little to warm her spirit. She had led an independent life and she faced death in much the same way. She was finally alone, finally free from the mindless babble of others, at least that’s what she thought. May Elizabeth Trump was the rarest of spirits and she was none too happy about it either. She was a dead medium, a ghost who can speak with the living, and her services were to become in great demand. Flung into the limelight and smothered with unwanted attention, May soon discovers that it is not only ghosts with long awaited messages that have taken an interest in her. Something dark was lurking in the shadows, stalking her. Even the dead are not left to rest in peace. Dead Medium: A humorous, character driven story and a unique vision of life after death. Not your average ghost story.
(Just Medium is a work in progress and subject to change. )