By Karen E. Stokes
Following the discovery of a photograph found within the pages of a book purchased at the local market, a boy enters the lives of a mother and her young son. On the surface, he appears ordinary, almost angelic, until his presence reveals something much more sinister.
Presented with both physical and psychological communications, Jess oscillates between reality and that of another dimension, her protective nature compromised by a dark and mysterious realm. The humdrum ‘everyday’ routine is fused with fear and uncertainty - was she chosen or was it by pure fate that she and her son had become the centre of the spirit boy’s world?
As the mystery deepens, Jess soon realises she is battling something far greater than she had first imagined. Was the spirit boy’s presence communicating an accidental drowning or an abhorrent crime? What really happened that fateful hot summer’s day by the park lake?
There are many restless spirits among us, most of which have lost their way or simply can’t let go of the living, but there is always a reason. Whether it’s a score to settle or the need to convey a message, like Sam, who was clinging to Jess in pursuit of peace, such as it exists. There are ghosts that linger for years in castles and stately homes, each one with a specific and valid story. Lester understood Jess’s unfortunate circumstance. He advised her to continue the search for Sara, just as Maggie had recommended, or consider spiritual cleansing (exorcism), with a penchant for the former, in that it would be the most satisfying outcome for everyone. The backlash from any method of exorcising could be detrimental if unsuccessful and should only be considered as a last resort.
Everyone seemed reasonably happy with Lester’s assessment. Jess drew comfort from a fresh understanding of why those on the ‘other side’ communicate with the living and if scaring people shitless was the only way to cut through, then so be it. Maggie looked decidedly unwell, continually routing in her handbag as if to hide away. “Are you okay?” Jess asked. Following a significant pause she addressed the group. “Yes. I must apologise. Unfortunately this case has triggered painful memories and I just couldn’t go on with it,” she said. Jess felt guilty, having been so quick to judge and encouraged her to share the details if she was able. “A mother once came to me for a reading following the death of her son who had been killed in a road accident. He was right there in the room, covered in blood soaked wounds, crying in pain.” Maggie said. It was the stuff of nightmares, but she wasn’t quite expecting to feel the way she did. It’s one thing being in a room full of people, but to be in close proximity to the ghost of a dead child was, for her, unbearable. Mum understood entirely, and was thankful she had never encountered such an extreme case, until now. Lester insisted he stay in touch with Jess to offer support and asked that he be informed of any new developments – a lifeline which Jess embraced wholeheartedly.
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Karen E. Stokes
I began my literary journey in 2010, writing purely to see where it would lead, hence my first novel ‘An Ordinary Life’ was finally published in 2014, under a different name. The work was biographical, written in the third person using a fictional character, which I found incredibly grounding and therapeutic, fuelling my desire to continue.
Born and bred in Sheffield - a ‘true Yorkshire lass’, as they say, I was raised amid shop-keeping and a tight-knit community by parents who were both articulate and creative, and as such, I inherited many skills with which to occupy my time.
I clearly remember a love of reading from an early age through to my teens, with a passion for poems and limericks, evident in a recent discovery of a piece I wrote about my father when I was only ten years old, which demonstrates an early talent for rhyme and phrasing. Among my favourite authors are Fay Weldon and Martin Amis.
As a versatile creative, I am also a successful digital artist, commissioned by an art licensing agency based in Florida. My work as a musician and professionally trained vocalist spans more than twenty years in the entertainment business.
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Author: Karen E. Stokes