Saturday, 25 February 2012

Ruins by Susan May James - February Femmes Fatales

Last year, Susan May James opened the very first February Femmes Fatales showcase with the chilling Shadows. How wonderful that she has agreed to grace The Feardom's pages once again with a new tale, Ruins.

Susan has a wistful way with words; a delicate beauty that dabbles in cruelty. She also describes the most inviting settings for her fictional treats - who wouldn't want to tread Abigail's path in Susan May James's new, atmospheric thriller...


You walk barefoot towards the castle ruins; heather brushes your ankles and your feet press a trail into the early morning dew. Bright sunlight tinges the mossy landscape and you pause, glancing back at the tent before changing course to move along the rocks that line the edge of the sea.

You think you are alone.

Standing straight, you stare out across the waves, your long blonde hair and white nightdress billow in the wind. For a moment you stretch out your arms and tilt back your head, like the winged angel you once purchased for our Christmas tree. When you look up, worry creases your fine features. Wrapping your arms around your waist, you bend forward, lips parting.

‘Abigail,’ I whisper as my grip tightens on the binoculars and I brace against the castle wall. Your voice, calling his name, makes me shiver and I almost feel a flash of regret. But then I remember yesterday; the two of you sitting on the rocks, laughing, pointing, drinking wine, no-doubt hoping to spy a seal or a dolphin.

‘Maybe an orca,’ I smirk.

You run back towards the tent, although you know he’s not there. Predictable, you then make your way to the car, still calling his name, still hoping.

I smile at the look on your face when you find it empty.

Finally, you turn back towards the castle—logic tells you that he probably woke up early and went for a hike around the ruins—and you chastise yourself; you should have checked there first.

Then, all of a sudden, you stop short.

I know you’ve seen it, the present I left you. Pressing the binoculars against my eyes, I watch with excitement as you double over. It takes a few minutes before you stop retching. In a panic you run back to the car, but it’s locked; the keys are in my pocket. Again, I smile.

Dropping the binoculars, I reach for my rifle.

_________ The End _________

Bio: Susan May James is a Canadian born writer living in London. She writes short fiction and is currently juggling a number of projects. Her passions include travel, photography, and history. Susan can usually be found scribbling and scattering on her blog:

Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.