I can remember my old bedroom like it was yesterday. Actually, in truth, it was bloomin hideous. I had cream wallpaper but it was covered in brown and yellow flowers so actually it just looked brown. Half the wall was covered in a wood panel which had been painted white and I had a poster of Patrick Swayze which surreptitiously moved from the wall to the door, depending on how I was feeling at the time and how easy it made it to kiss him. He always kissed me back. Good old Patrick!


Of course Dirty Dancing was my favourite but he wasn’t too bad in this either!

Because our house was above the cafe then, the bedrooms at the very top were all attic rooms with the sloped celings. I would spend hours looking out my window. You had a birds eye view of our garden below. It was a large garden.My Mum was mad about flowers and gardening (hence my name) and she would potter outside for hours on end. She always made my dad build her things and when he had to build her a pond, there was almost a divorce thats for sure! I would sit out with her into the evening somedays,on my swing and making up songs.

My bed was in the corner of the room and I was incredibly scared of the dark. So I would sleep with the light on every night. Not a side light: a full light. I say I slept in there but until I was about 11 I had a tendency to creep into bed with my Mum and Dad. I could not understand their constant frustration as I only wanted to be close to them. However, now as I have my own children, the thought of my daughter still coming into bed in years to come fills me with dread. My whole future sex life eradicated until she was old enough to leave home. No doubt I would become one of those frustrated retirees who goes to yoga and looks at their Vagina in a hand mirror.

If I had the gift of fortune telling or hindsight though, I would have got into my Dad’s hospital bed and proclaimed that I would never leave until he left me. I would hold him for as long as I could, for every second that remained and he would know I was there, holding tight. In actual fact he would have probably thought I was the milkman as he was definately a little less lucid towards the end.

Anyway, one night when I was asleep in my own room, I was woken up with a start. It took a little while to register what exactly the sound was but, in the corner of my room I could hear a baby crying. It was so loud that I was sure my Mum and Dad would burst in at any time. I told myself it was a cat outside and merely took myself into my Mum and Dads bed. I would hear that baby cry once a month, always in the same place and always really loud. There was a particular night that I was already in my Mum and Dads bed and the crying woke me up from the other room. It woke my Dad up too because he sat up and looked around the room in a daze. I know for sure that he heard it. When I asked him the next day he denied all knowledge but what person in their right mind would confirm to their eight year old daughter that they had also heard the phantom infant in her room?


One of our Sundays out. Pretty sure this was Cricket St Thomas.

I was scared of that house. Even when we moved into our own official proper house next door and we used the old place for storage, I would rarely go in.If I did, I would run up the stairs and run out again, always feeling like someone was hot on my heels. I still have nightmare about it to this day and I often wonder if that baby was trying to tell me something.

When my Dad was well into his final months, I had decided to practice Reiki so that I would have a hobby to give me a break. My Reiki teacher was lovely and we would spend a lot of time on other spiritual subjects such as Tarot and past lives. We were talking about spirit guides one evening: not something that I really agree with and purely because if it were true, mine should have been sacked years ago! My teacher was convinced that I had a male sibling who was always around me but, it had only ever been my brother and I and I had confirmed with my Nanny that Mum had never lost any children.

When we first moved into our house, our actual house next to the cafe which my Mum had her ‘eye on’ for years, it was great fun. Effectively we had two houses and I would play in the new house all on my own for whole days on end. I would cook with the pots and pans and lone bottle of white wine vinegar that was left in the cupboard by our original neighbours. My Dad would tell everyone that listened that when he was decorating the front room he had removed seven layers of wall paper and on the last layer he found a newspaper cutting from the wedding of Queen Victoria’s son (or daughter, I can’t quite remember) It wasn’t until I was in my late teens that my Dad told me that all the time he had been decorating, he was aware of a figure stood behind him. It was even more surprising because my Dad was never really like that. He was very much straight forward and he certainly was never superstitious. That was surprising based on his parents background too. That house was everything to me though, I loved it and it loved me back (as any house could and showed itself to do so!) There were often times that I would hear someone walking around outside my room when everyone was in bed but, it never bothered me. I never saw anything and we always discussed that whoever or whatever was there was willing to live with us too. My Dad was adamant he had seen a dog running around too and this was before he was on large doses of morphine. Just two weeks before he died, something quite incredible happened (that will be continued)

One of the last things I cleared from that front room when my Dad had gone was our long mahogany dresser. The things I found in there meant what was thought to be a quick job took hours.I sat there on my own and took everything out of those drawers, one thing at a time. I found old dog pedigrees from when my Mum and Dad went to dog training classes (with dogs of course!) and I found umpteen letters and cards that me and my brother had made for them over the years. I even found a dried up old condom which was more than perturbing.

As I cleared the very last thing from the musty wood and moved the dresser away from the wall, a brown envelope that had been wedged in the back of the drawyer fell to the floor. In that envelope I found my Mum’s NHS card and our baby bracelets. Most bizarrely, the envelope also contained my Mum’s two maternity cards from her pregnancies with my brother and I. It wasn’t very interesting, mostly her weight and sugar levels etc.. However on her maternity card when pregnant with me there was a prominent section which stated in scrawly handwriting….’One previous full term pregnancy and one miscarriage at 11 weeks before this pregnancy’……………………




‘This is my first piece of fiction I have written. It is not the beginning of a novel, just simply a piece of writing to see if it is even worth me going down the fiction route. It just so happens, that I am going to use any audience to gauge whether or not I really should ‘give up the day job!’ Just to be clear to my actual real life boss who I have worked for for many years, I do actually still want to work. That was merely an expression. So here goes:’

Gianni was handsome, not in the traditional sense but, in a self confident way. His line of work meant that he carried with him an ‘edge’ that most women found attractive. His dark complexion and olive skin gave him the look of a roman god, which technically, to him anyway, he was. His tailored suits and crisp white shirts left just enough darkened skin available to his admirers and his expensive watches often glistened and caught the attention of some very attractive ‘magpies’. The occasional flecks of grey in both his hair and stubble gave a weathered look and an explanation of the things he had seen during his some 27 years in a slightly ashen existence. A want for the best and most beautiful things meant that he was constantly in a bubble of euphoria, a self obsessed shallow life that gave pleasure for now but, was soon to come crashing down.

This was the day, the day that had started like any other. The day which he had woken up a wise man and upon ending he will be a broken one. The day where he was feared and admired at the same time. Where the only worry he had was that he did his job and kept his other family happy, cleaned up his mess and turned off his emotions because being a wise man, that was what you did. This is the day that he had irradiated his own flesh and blood. The day to begin all future days: the day he had killed his own sister.

There were times, particularly as the sun was sneaking down behind the clouds, that the shine on the sea looked like a flowing bed of diamonds. To him, anyway. If it really had been diamonds, he would never have found himself in this situation. Not just the situation, but the feeling deep inside him which would not go away. It resided at the bottom of his stomach like a layer of thick tar, so thick he could almost feel it and nothing he ever did could make it go away. Even the warm meditteranean sun on his face on an evening like this would not soften it.

Gianni was used to the black, his whole world was dark but, he had never known any different. From the moment he could walk he always knew the type of life he would lead. If he had lead any other, he would not be complete. He was important. He made things clean, made the bad go away and he delivered justice in a way that most people would only dream of. It was only after the events of today that that dark which previously built him up and protected him like an iron cloak had started to envelop him. The once strength he felt had become his very own black hole, pulling him further and further into it, the black tar seeping out from the inside.

Instead of the breeze and smell of the warm sun on the bark of the olive trees, Gianni found this smell like no other. He could taste it and he could feel it, it was cold. Although it was the middle of the afternoon in the most beautiful place on earth, his eyes burned with the flouresant light and the once warm free sandal bound feet were encased in crunchy blue material: man made material that made him feel like he did not exist below the ankle.He didn’t exist anymore anyway.

Why had he never thought or felt this place before: he had sent many people there, too many to count. But, his thoughts of them had ended just as soon as his eradication was complete. As soon as he had cleaned them from the dirt in which they came. A dirt that his world had created, but the dirt in which he lived. It had been easier not to comprehend that this other world existed. This world was fake, it was cold and it was sterile but, before it had never cared for anything that had any importance to him. Omertà didn’t matter here: the man in the white, hiding half of his face did not care who he touched. It was only now, in this instance that Gianni had to accept it as part of his new life. His old life, he could never go back to, he would never see in the same way. Somewhere which he had never comprehended for 27 years would now, never leave him.

Knives were an addition of power, they carried fear and they were easily gotten rid off. The beautiful warm sea which looked like diamonds sometimes and carried with it happy memories of children and sand castles was also a friend to death. The blood which once pumped through veins and carried with it feelings of love and feelings of contentment, could be washed away by this giant as if it never was, as if it never mattered.The sea was his collaborator, his playground of forget and yet now, in this cold unforgiving room, it was a distant memory to him. His whole way of life was a distant memory.

The day had started like any other. She was supposed to be somewhere else, living her life as she always did: living without knowing what he was but being proud of him anyway. In an instant, the two worlds which completed his life had merged into one and only the black remained. Those that had feared him, those that he had eradicated, that loving ‘family’ that he had felt a part of forever had been for nothing. He was on the outside looking in. He had become those that he once towered over, weak and vulnerable and most importantly: repentant.

Gianni saw the knife on the side. Had it touched her. Had she felt it. The power in which it had held for him since he was a child had dissipated into nothing but fear. Had part of her been left on its cold steel, only to be wiped away as if she never mattered either. He wanted to take all of her home, not leave one part of her behind. He wanted her complete and as she was. How could his life before betray him like this. Perhaps the ghosts had led him here. He would walk amongst those ghosts now like only an outline. The outline of a person that his shallow life had once made him anyway.