JM Dragon 2003

© 2003 by JM Dragon

Email: jmdragon@jmdragon.net

* * * * *

Part one

The Past…1942

The train pulled away from the station as Milly looked around the empty platform; typical Charlie was late as usual! It would have to be raining like cats and dogs too and she didn’t have an umbrella. She’d called the farm and left a message for Charlie to let her know that it was the last train from London and she would have to come collect her.

As it was the third year of the Second World War all the men, except those not able to fight for King and Country, were away from home. The only taxi service in the village didn’t run because both the father and son, who ran the business, were stationed overseas. Walking towards the gate that led to the small country lane she smiled at how tranquil it was here, you wouldn’t even know that war raged in this quiet backwater. Yet in London, every few days, bombs hit the city. Air raid warnings and running to the shelters had become a part of normal life there. Making her even more determined that at the weekend, when she could get back, she came home to a semblance of normality. That and her love for Charlie. Not that anyone knew they were in love they had to be discreet. Probably would always have to be because people were not necessarily tolerant if people were different.

Fortunately for them, her grandfather had left her a small cottage here in the village of Snagglenook. Charlie had managed to get a job on the local farmers land, which was a good way of getting fresh produce in abundance when others in the bigger towns struggled on meagre rations. Her job in the city, translating German documents for the government, was secretive and she was unable to discuss the contents of anything translated with anyone outside the government department. She was tempted though, and had briefly mentioned her current project to a friend last weekend when she hadn’t been able to get home. Her current project was suddenly proving very interesting and she had made a breakthrough that evening before she left. Perhaps when she went back on Monday all would be revealed. She hoped so, since she hated a mystery preferring everything to have its place and order in life, especially her own and Charlie’s.

“Do you need a lift?” a very pretty brunette in a small black salon car pulled up alongside her, dragging her out of her thoughts.

“No, thank you all the same.” Politely replying as she looked down at her wristwatch…where was Charlie?

“Are you sure? It’s dark and the weather isn’t good, no taxi service either.” The stranger persisted indicating the worsening weather front with expressive pale grey eyes turned heavenward.

Annoyed with her lover for being late, Milly snapped at the woman who had offered her the lift. “I’m quite alright thank you. I can see its getting dark, do you think I’m blind?”

“Whoa there, I was only trying to help.” My goodness where had politeness gone since they had committed to this war!

As the brunette rolled up the window of the small car and revved the engine in readiness to leave, the heavens opened and the rain poured down soaking Milly in seconds. Damn, if she had to walk the two miles home she was going to catch pneumonia!

Tapping on the window as the car began to move away it stopped again and the window came down partially. “Yes?”

“If you don’t mind, I’d like to take you up on your offer of a lift.”

Surprisingly, there was no hesitation from the pretty stranger in the car, which she was thankful to note as she heard the reply, “sure, hop in.”

Milly opened the door of the vehicle sinking into the ruby leather upholstery. It was worn but comfortable and thankfully out of the torrential downpour. “Thanks.”

“No problem, where do you need to be?” The woman shifted the gear stick with a loud crank. Milly glanced sideward at the woman, could she drive?

“Lavender cottage, on the outskirts of the northern end of Snagglenook, is that okay?”

“I live above Frays bakers, it isn’t so very far away.”

“I’m sorry, if you drop me at Frays, I’ll walk the rest of the way.”

“It’s pouring with rain, it isn’t a problem.”

Quietly sitting in dripping clothes she looked out of the window at the trees that they sped by. The woman might not change gear smoothly but she certainly zipped along the small lanes. Probably speeding also.

“My name is Violet Reed. I’m having a rest from London and all its problems.” The woman spoke in a lilting, soothing voice that reminded Milly of someone who hadn’t a care in the world. That surely couldn’t be the case…not now with everything in an uproar around the world.

“Millicent Packer, I work in London and come home for the weekend.” Her voice, quiet and measured, giving little away. Part of her personality generally and now it came into good use with her current work.

“Don’t know how you can stick it in the good old capital with all those bombs dropping all the time. I’m glad to be out of it for awhile.” They were heading for the hilltop as the car screamed its annoyance at having to climb the steep slope.

“I enjoy my work.” The driver turned and gave her an odd glance, then returned her vision to the black sight in front of her. She hated driving in lousy conditions and you couldn’t get it much worse; driving rain making it impossible to see more than a foot in front of the windscreen. The small wiper blades doing blessed little to help the matter. However, just over this hill, they would cruise down towards the tiny village.

Snagglenook was a quaint village, nothing to get excited over. It didn’t have any claim to fame other than it was over five hundred years old and that wasn’t that old in England. They did have the village church with the usual resident eccentric vicar. What else could you expect with a population of around one hundred and fifty. There was a small grocery shop run by the Mead family, who were relatively new to the area, only second generation. Fray’s, the bakery of course, and according to old man Fray, the family had single-handedly built up the town. Not that anyone believed him since it was on public record that the Bentley’s, who owned the manor house south of the village, had that claim to fame. The local police station was run by Police Chief Blood, a kindly man, who would have retired had it not been for the war and no one to replace him. Then there was a schoolhouse for the village children, hardly the most prestigious building in the village. Judy Gilmore, who had arrived five years earlier, was doing her best to teach and the kids loved the middle-aged spinster, not to mention she had a do-gooder attitude by turning the school over to refugees from time to time. The tiny garage, with only two pumps, was in the hands of Jeffrey Ransome, a handsome young man who had taken over from Ralph White when he enlisted. No one knew much about him or why he wasn’t in the armed forces but according to gossip, there was a good reason. Sam and Kathy Sinclair ran the hardware with anything else anyone might require without having to shoot off to the nearest large town. Finally, there was the village pub. What would a village do without one? The Forest Green was the social gathering place and had been for centuries. Even the new village hall, which had been built at the turn of the century, couldn’t quite take away its power of persuasion to the locals. Captain Ben Riddle, who had a story for every occasion and when he didn’t made it up to keep the clients happy, ran the pub. No one seemed to know, or care if his title was real or not; he was a village favourite anyway.

“Have you lived here long? I came here about a month ago and haven’t seen you around, that’s all.” Milly was annoyed at the interrogation. She would be having choice words with Charlie when she got home for not meeting her.

“I keep myself to myself and no, not long.”

Wanting to say more at the abrupt reply, but needing all her concentration as they rounded the hilltop, Violet felt the tyres skid as she held onto the wheel. “Kind of an atrocious night wouldn’t you say?”

“I think that is kind of putting it mildly,” Milly, who was very uncomfortable, wiped away a few droplets of rain that were trailing down her neck.

As they came over the hilltop, the lights of the village twinkled and Violet smiled, knowing that in a few minutes time they would be down the hill and almost to their destination.

“Almost home.” Violet grinned turning to the other woman, who in turn looked at her with an impassive expression.

As they went on the downward slope, Violet braked to slow the descent and felt the pedal shoot to the floor but with no answering reaction from the brakes…twice more and then a third time before she quickly turned to her passenger. “Hold on, the brakes have failed…”

Trying vainly to stop the descent, they careened towards the open road each holding their breaths, praying that the momentum would ease and they would come to a stop.

Fate had it decreed, that day, that neither woman was going to have a quiet end to their day as a shadow crossed their path. Thinking the shadow a dog, Violet tried to swerve and miss the creature. What she hadn’t banked on was a large oak tree barely two yards from them, a crash of the vehicle against wood or the resounding crunch of metal. The car finally halted severely embedded inside the tree trunk…

* * * * *

Somewhere up there!

The Custodian walked through the throng. It was becoming crazy. The number of new residents that they were processing everyday was multiplying by a thousand fold the normal intake. War was a waste of life but it also gave them a headache too! At times like these, he really wished he’d had a better earthly life to allow him to take up a better position. Never mind, only another two hundred physical earth years and he could have that vacation.

“Move along please, move along.” He announced waving the bewildered people to the next available station line. Some knew what was happening, other’s were shocked and out of it until they could be settled into a new habitat. Others were simply uncontrollable, very like the two women who were bickering, causing even more upset than allowed.

“Ladies, please be quiet!”

“No way! I want to know what’s going on.”

“Yes she does and she blames me for it too!”

The custodian gave the taller of the two women a small smile. It was hard to come to terms with a situation that was unexpected and in their cases, it was just that…a tragic accident. It happened and eventually they would find peace. It always ended that way, as it should.

“You need to wait in line to be allocated your living space.”

“Living space? I already have a place to live, a cottage in Snagglenook. I want to go back there now! If this is someone’s idea of a practical joke, they picked the wrong person to play a prank on!”

“Oh, I don’t know, this sounds interesting. What’s on offer?” Violet asked with a lighter tone. She had already come to terms with the fact that hitting the tree had resulted in a fatal accident. Nothing much she could do about it, therefore you had to make the most of what was on offer. At least they didn’t appear to be in Hell and she’d often thought she might end up there. Pity she had to take sourpuss with her though, the damn woman was nothing short of a moaning nightmare.

“We have many varieties of living space, which would you choose?” The custodian warmed to the brunette. She had obviously worked out that she was dead and decided to take things as they came; the other woman was not going to be that easy.

“Choose, we get to choose? Do you have a brochure with the options.” Violet’s eyes lit up like electric beams as she wondered if instead of the bed-sit over the baker’s. Maybe she could have a lavish apartment on a cloud with a view of the ocean below.

Milly blew out an exasperated breath. What where they talking about? This was ridiculous!

“Questions, questions. You newcomers always have questions. Yes, you have a choice. I will personally show you what is available. Follow me, please.” The man turned towards the nearest station area with Violet following closely behind him. Milly, however, refused to budge an inch.

“No way! Not until I know what’s going on and so should you!” Milly shouted at them as they both turned to observe her. The Custodian, with experienced patience and Violet, with undisguised irritation.

“I know all I need to know. I didn’t leave much behind in the other life, so why not aspire to better things here.”

Milly’s heart rate speeded up, other life? What other life?

“Millicent, I’m sorry but you had a terrible accident and you have fortunately come here to rest.” The custodian spoke softly not wanting to frighten the woman anymore than she was already.

Glancing from one to the other, Milly gave them both a scathing look, “Not me, I’m not dead! This is a dream and I’m going to wake up in bed next to Charlie and laugh about this.”

Violet hadn’t realised that the other woman wouldn’t let go of life as they knew it. She had assumed that the woman was intelligent enough to work out they had died and gone to…heaven by the looks of this.

“Hey, Millicent, it isn’t that bad. We get…”

“Isn’t that bad! Damn you, it was your fault. I refuse to die!”

The Custodian watched the two women sparring. It was quite entertaining from the humdrum, although it didn’t help matters.

“Millicent, please take a look around. You are not the only one who has been involved in a tragic loss of life.”

He motioned for them to look at the other people who wandered around in all kinds of dress, many of them military uniform. Some appeared to be laughing and joking with others, some pensive and shocked while other’s wandered aimlessly until someone came to their aid.

“Where are we?” Milly asked again, this time her voice low and less threatening.

“You are at the loading stage of your journey. A time for a fresh start and a clean slate.”

“Really? Well, I had a clean slate in the previous life and I want to go back. So should you!” Milly accused the other woman while crossing her fingers at the clean slate statement. Well, perhaps she had a few indiscretions, but none of merit to mention here.

Snorting disbelief at the sentiment, “who cares. No one is going to mourn me I might as well start again. What’s your problem anyway, you’re dead you’re going to have to live with it. Pardon the pun.” Violet said sheepishly as she smiled at the custodian who gave her an understanding smile back.

“I take it you’ve forgotten why I’m here?” Hands folded over her chest glaring at Violet daring her to say something stupid.

With a guarded expression she replied, “I guess I’m partly to blame, although you did take up my offer of a ride, remember?”

“How could I forget! Next time you should have a plaque attached to the vehicle saying this is a one way trip.”

“Oh, funny, ha ha…”

“Ladies, please! This is getting us nowhere.”

“Nor am I!” Milly announced belligerently.

“I’ll go wherever you want as long as it’s as far away from her as possible.” Violet quickly replied. She’d had enough of the other woman’s whining. Whoever Charlie was would probably get a good night’s rest. Perhaps that was a bit cruel under the circumstances but the woman goaded her to think that.

“Unfortunately, Violet, your situation is entwined with Millicent’s. You both need to be settled.”

“What! You never told me that! Why?”

“As you were, in part, responsible for the death of Millicent, you are obliged to see her settled before you can embark on your own choices.” The Custodian held up his hands in a show of resignation at the prospect. Sometimes the rules were harsh on innocent parties and in this, he knew Violet was totally without blame.

“Damn, I wasn’t expecting that.” Violet turned to stare at Millicent Packer wondering what she thought, but as she saw the smug smile, she knew without words…bitch!

“It was an accident! Something ran out in front of me, a dog maybe and I’ve always been a sucker for animals…would you have done anything different?” glaring at Millicent.

Before she could reply the Custodian spoke again and this time, it was with a rather abstract tone, “actually, it wasn’t an accident.”

“What do you mean it wasn’t an accident?” Milly quickly noted the comment and immediately latched onto it.

“Oh, nothing ladies, it isn’t important anymore.”

Quickly eating up the space between her and the man, she was as close as she could be whispering with a menace in her voice, “I want to know…no…I deserve to know. So does she! What do you mean, no accident?”

“Hey, don’t bring me into it.”

“You’re in it as far as I’m concerned, and I want the truth.”

The Custodian realised that he’d made a mistake. If only he had learnt from his original blunders on earth…a loose tongue hanged you in the end. Now he might have another hundred years added onto his work shift for that error. “I’ll speak with my superior. Ladies, please be quiet until I come back.”

He was gone as quickly as he had appeared, mingling in with the white clouds.

“What a mess!”

“Oh, I don’t know. It was working out great until you decided to know everything. What are you expecting, that they’ll send you back?”

“Yes! Why not, we might not have been meant to die.”

Laughing sarcastically at the remark, “sorry to burst your ego bubble, Packer, but no one wants to die.”

Annoyed as she heard her surname used in such a familiar fashion, “My name is Miss. Packer, if you wouldn’t mind.”

“No, I don’t mind, Packer will do nicely. Anyway, what can you do about it; I’m already dead!”

Both women turned away from each other, arms crossed over their chests, to wait for the Custodian to return. For the first time since they had arrived, complete silence was between them.

* * * * *


Back in 1942…a few weeks after the accident

Charlie Bootle felt numb.

The funeral of her close friend and closet love of her life, Millicent Packer, had taken place and she was now here, alone once more, in the cottage they shared. If only things had been different!

That had been the message going through her brain after PC Blood had given her the devastating news. If only, if only!

There had been a nice service in the village church and Milly had been laid to rest next to her grandfather. They had then gone to the local pub and had a few toasts in her memory and the other woman who had died as well. Not that much was known of the other woman, though the Fray’s said she had been a bright bubbly friendly woman, who had obviously offered a lift to Milly. Other than the police saying it was an accident and she must have hit a tree in the bad weather that was all they knew.

The inquest had said death by misadventure and had been straightforward. The only difficult part had been someone to come forward for the other woman’s body. It hadn’t happened and with all that was going on, it was going to be hard to locate a relative. Therefore, Charlie had decided to bury her next to Milly. It was the right thing to do and a place the relatives, if they ever turned up, could come to grieve.

Now she was left with…nothing but memories. She had to move on but where and what to, that was the problem? She’d fallen for Milly four years before as a giddy eighteen year old. Although there was a ten-year difference, it hadn’t mattered and they had eventually started to live together when she had turned twenty-one. Now it had ended and she didn’t even know if she would lose her home as well as her love. A trip to the solicitors next week was going to confirm that one way or the other.

Sinking into Milly’s favourite chair, she looked at the book that her love had been reading before she died and the poignant memories once again tumbled over her. She felt the tears stinging her cheeks; this wasn’t fair it really wasn’t!

* * * * *

Up there…

The senior Custodian pursed his lips and pulled at his chin shaking his head as he watched the two newcomers squabble over irrelevant things. What was past was past! Here they would start again it was that simple. Though one of them readily agreed to do so, the other adamantly refused to participate, providing them with a problem.

“Ladies, please, others are trying to find a modicum of peace after their passing!”

Violet, her face a shade pink, turned as she realised she was becoming as bad as Packer bickering with the woman over nothing really. What difference could her protests make; they were dead. She’d like to see the faces on everyone if they suddenly rose from the grave, “sorry.”

“Well, I’m certainly not sorry. Are you in charge…”

“I’m not exactly in charge, Millicent, merely a servant of a higher power.” The senior official gave her a gentle smile reminding them both of a saint that you saw on depictions in paintings.

“Any chance of Jesus’ autograph?” Violet asked with enthusiasm attempting a little levity into the fraught situation.

All eyes turned to her in stark amazement as Milly replied sarcastically, “God, give me strength.”

The original Custodian, who was standing beside her, whispered, “He might, and you never know these things.”

“Okay. I want to know who killed us…no, who murdered us?”


“I won’t rest until I know, so expect me to be standing here for eternity.” Folding her arms, Milly stood like a statue, making it clear that she meant every word.

“Is she always like this?” the senior Custodian asked Violet.

“Wouldn’t know, I only met her that fateful day.”

“Millicent, it is a rule here that all the previous happenings in your old life are forgiven and forgotten, it is a good rule and people are happy. If we allowed people to continue with their old memories, what happens below would occur here too and we do not allow that. I’m sure you understand?”

“Not me, I want to know the truth.”

The senior Custodian spoke quietly to his junior who had first come to their aid. They both stared at the women who were causing so much trouble. Didn’t they realise that it was a busy time here for them, though the end was in sight?

“I will be back.” With that, the senior Custodian left them.

“So, what do you do for fun around here?” Violet asked, praying for small talk with this man rather than the bickering with the other woman. Packer was a real pain in the ass.

“Fun? Ah, well, everyone makes their own fun.”

“Great, so anything goes kind of style?”

“Yes, I suppose.” The man smiled. He liked this woman. She was very easy going and he knew exactly the place she should consider. That would be when the issue was resolved with her companion and he knew exactly where she should end up. God forgive him for such evil thoughts.

“Is that all you can think about, fun?”

“Yes, what’s wrong with that? Better than moaning all the time like you. Thank God we only shared a car journey home once, twice would have been like going to Hell.”

“The way I see it, one journey with you put us in Hell!”

“Ladies, please! My dear, Millicent, I can assure you that you are not in Hell unless you wish to make it so for yourself.” The Custodian was affronted at the woman’s remark. She was very bitter, far more than many who had been in a similar position.

“I’ll reserve judgement.” Milly turned away from the other two and watched one of the many lines of figures queuing to be given a new chance. A part of her smiled as she realised that even here, in ‘heaven’, you had to queue, what an irony.

“Packer, why can’t you just accept it! I thought you had more intelligence, I must have been mistaken.” Violet said bored with the woman’s constant nagging.

“Will you stop calling me Packer.” Snorting out her own name in annoyance. This woman surely had brains, didn’t she? And, why wasn’t she interested in who wanted them dead…or at least. “Do you already know who killed us, is that why you’re not interested?” Milly accused, moving menacingly closer to the brunette.

Violet shrank away from the woman who looked deranged. As Milly got closer, the senior Custodian appeared with another figure that didn’t speak. Its aura, which was all around the figure, was one of peace as well as tranquillity and the essence of serenity could be felt.

“Ah, so you came back. About time too! Now, can we get to the point, please?” Milly strode purposefully towards the figure and was held back quickly by the original Custodian.

“I’m afraid you can’t approach, Millicent. Only the senior Custodian is allowed to communicate directly.”

“Oh really, not another of your stupid rules.”

Violet watched the figure that was dressed all in white. It was hard to tell if the person wore a dress or it was a unisex tunic. It was almost impossible to distinguish the gender…the figure was so surreal. Her fascination wasn’t lost on the figure that turned bright blue eyes to stare at her position; she felt a lump lodge in her throat. Now she was totally at a loss for words as her body totally relaxed and an inner peace settled within her.

The senior Custodian spoke softly; giving what he said would be the final decision on the subject. “You will be allowed the chance to find your killer. We intend to send you both back to…”

“Hold it right there, both of us?” Violet retorted quickly. She didn’t want to go back, whoever it was might kill them again.

“Why yes. It was, after all, a double murder and until Millicent is settled, you cannot do so. Didn’t we explain that clearly enough for you?”

“I’m not going with her,” turning to look at the figure she then spoke directly to the entity. “No way, Saint, whoever you are. I’m staying here. I haven’t a problem with this starting over business, she can go on her own. I’ll even give up a chance for Jesus’ autograph, you can send me on my way now, if you wouldn’t mind.”

“She goes, you go.” The ethereal figure disappeared, the senior Custodian with it.

“Great, that’s exactly what I wanted. Come on then, let’s get this show on the road.” Milly rubbed her hands together and grinned at the Custodian.

The man glanced at the previously unhappy woman and wondered what it was in human nature that brought about a sudden shift in personality. Then he was given his answer as Violet spoke in a resigned unhappy voice.

“Wonderful, now we know how to get you to be happy, give you your own way!”

As both women looked at each other in loathing, they felt a sudden rush in their senses as they experienced total blackness, having done so once before…at their deaths.

The Custodian gave a rueful look towards the land below the clouds and rubbed his jaw, had the senior Custodian told them everything? He had better ask, otherwise there could be more trouble brewing with those two. Although he had been in awe, that was the first time ranks had been broken and the power had talked, if only briefly, to a journeyperson. It had been the first time, to his knowledge, in centuries.

* * * * *

Home again?

The area was dark as they came to their senses standing next to a tall ancient oak tree. Both women looked around unable to see much except for a multitude of lights from the buildings in the distance, though not that distant.

“We ended up here?” Milly glanced around. There wasn’t any evidence of a car accident and no vehicle in the vicinity. Wouldn’t it have been wise to leave them the car to enable them to go into the village as normal and not pose any suspicions?

“Don’t ask me, I died too remember.” Violet was concerned herself. Something didn’t seem right to her but she couldn’t put a finger on it at the moment.

“How could I forget! Come on let’s go into town, I want to see Charlie she’ll be worried about me as I’m so late.” Looking down at her watch, she was surprised. It was still the same time she had checked just prior to the accident. Damn, it must have stopped. Placing it close to her ear then pulling a face as she heard the ticking of the mechanism. Oh well, that was a minor point.

“Do I get to meet Charlie?”

“No you don’t! You go back to the Fray’s. Won’t they be worried if you don’t turn up?” Milly was astounded that the woman would suggest such a thing. If it were up to her, she would have left the brunette in ‘heaven’.

“We both need some sleep. I suggest we meet tomorrow for lunch at the pub and go over any details we have.” Milly began to walk briskly towards the town.

“Hey, hold up, Packer. Shouldn’t we be doing that now rather than tomorrow? Anyway, I’m not sleepy.” Violet wasn’t. In fact, she felt great! A little disorientated, but great nonetheless. Must have been that relaxed ambience up in the clouds.

“I haven’t time to trade arguments with you, Violet, come on.”

Following as fast as she could, at least ten steps behind the Packer woman, Violet muttered under her breath about walking this fast, couldn’t she slow down.

Ten minutes later they were at the edge of town and both women looked at the surroundings. This wasn’t Snagglenook, it couldn’t be.

“He did say we would go back, didn’t he?” Violet asked as she glanced around the buildings. There were some of the ones she recalled vividly but also many that shouldn’t be in the town.

Milly was astounded at the changes and it had changed. There was still the pub that looked as it had when she left on the Monday. Opposite the pub had been the tiny garage except this wasn’t tiny it was a large forecourt with several pumps and flashing lights in the window of the building that usually housed the mechanic. As she stared closer, she saw a young man laughing and joking around with a pretty girl. Not only that, strange music blared out making her shake her head at the noise level.

“Packer, it isn’t our village, is it?”

Milly tried a couple of times to answer but the sound dried up, what could she say? She turned to look further down the street. At this time of night, it was usually pitch black as everyone followed the strict blackout curfews not wanting to tempt any enemy bombers flying over at night. However, streetlights were well lit and the houses down the small main street all had lights glaring out.

“I think they made a mistake.”

“Mistake? This is some mistake, Packer, what do we do?”

“Don’t ask me, I don’t know. They don’t give you a handbook for this type of situation, you know.” Milly was feeling as hysterical as the brunette sounded and she placed a calming hand on her arm.

“It’s all your fault, you know. We could have had this new wonderful life but oh no, you wanted to come back to this!” Waving her arms around agitated.

“Look, the easy thing is we go over to the garage and ask where we are.”

“You call that easy? Go ahead.”

“Aren’t you coming with me?”

“Oh yeah and you want me as what exactly?”

“Support would be nice for a change.” Milly interjected her tone despondent. She really didn’t understand any of this and that meant dying as well.

“Support you shall have, I’ll be right behind you.” Violet gave the woman a sweet smile that didn’t reach her eyes as she followed her towards the brightly lit garage.

As they approached the building, the girl came out and walked towards a car that was parked next to one of the petrol pumps. She had walked within a foot of them but had not acknowledged them in anyway. Not only that she didn’t look familiar and Milly knew most people in the small town; she was obviously visiting.

With a hand on the door of the building, it opened suddenly and both women suffered differing degrees of shock as the young man they had seen at the window walked out. Not only didn’t he see them, he walked right through them!

Violet shrieked feeling an unfamiliar sensation as the man literally walked through the middle of her. Turning terror filled eyes to Packer, she was amazed to see the woman’s face as pale as snow staring at her own body. Apparently she too had experienced that strange feeling.

“Packer, does this mean what I think it means?” disbelief in her words.

Blinking several times Milly was certain that someone was playing a prank on them. It had to be that. No one could be so cruel as to do this to them… or could they?

“My God, Violet, we’re ghosts!”

“Yes, I know, but that’s not the worse of it.”

“How can it get much worse?” Milly was angry at the powers that be who had sent them there and didn’t see Violet glance around her meaningfully.

“This isn’t Snagglenook! How can we possibly find out who murdered us and get back!”

* * * * *

Continued in part 2

Visit Dragonjuls' Storybook at:

This is copyrighted material, all rights reserved.  It may be reproduced, duplicated or printed for personal use only.  For all other uses, please contact

The Athenaeum's Scroll Archive