I no longer had control of my body and I began talking in a deep monotonous voice. To this day I can't remember what I had said, the whole time I was pleading to Hans in my mind for him to help me. It felt like I was drowning.
The spirit left as suddenly as he had arrived and I wasted no time in packing my things together and leaving. All the way home I kept asking Hans why that had happened to me and why hadn't he helped me when I needed him the most.
In hindsight I think I was angry as well because if my George had come though instead, I know that wouldn't have happened.
Hans said I had let my guard down too much, but how would George have come through if my guard was built up like Alcatraz eh? I ask you!
George hadn't come through to me at all, I was on my own, I realised that then and the lonelier I became, the more my bitterness increased. I know in my heart of hearts I wanted George to come back to me, to be like nothing had changed, to still be together, even if it was him in spirit wandering around the house, making the place look untidy!.
Hans had tried to explain but I hadn't wanted to listen. If the loved ones of complete strangers could come through to talk to me, why couldn't my George? The requests for readings kept coming through, as if nobody realised my world had ended. Life on the outside carried on without me.
The day after that strange reading I was 'approached' in the kitchen. I must admit I've felt bad about how I handled this one ever since but I had to set a precedent. I was sitting at the kitchen table having my morning cuppa when a young girl with her hair in pig tails and a teddy bear in her hand began to materialise in the chair opposite me - in George's chair actually. She didn't even get chance to form properly, never mind speak before I put my hand out to prevent her wasting any more of her energy.
"But...my Mummy!" She cried, and I just cut her off, dismissed her cold and quick without any consideration. Spirits don't intentionally bother people just for the sake of it, and when she realised I wasn't playing the game, she began to fade as quickly as she appeared.
She deteriorated in front of me like a watercolour painting in the rain, the last bit of her to go was the red and white checked school dress she wore. I've never forgotten that.
Hans didn't speak to me at all that day, but I could tell he was disappointed in me. And something else must have shifted on the spirit side, because nobody ever visited me again.
So I've deliberately contained myself within this house for the past five years; fooling myself into thinking I was happy in my own company, pretending that I didn't feel the odd tell-tale drafts or chill and that I didn't hear the odd voices of souls who passed invisibly around the house, pleading to me to be acknowledged, helped.
Fiction - Another Brick In The Wall, Another Man In The Crowd By Steve Rudd
'It doesn't look any different on this side,' the disembodied voice yelled over the void.
'I never said that it would look any different. But I bet it feels different,' ventured an old man's voice on the Eastern side of the wall.
'Not really,' the disembodied voice declared. 'At least not from where I'm standing.'
To some people, the momentous fall of the Berlin Wall signified freedom
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 2 Chapter 2 By Frank Beill
It was too late in the day to visit Tweed Street school - the children and their teachers would be long gone by now. This left only the address I'd been given for George. Hessle Road was not a long walk from Princes Avenue but a tram ride was quicker or to be precise two tram rides were: one into the city centre and one back out again to get me to my destination.
All the old reactions
Fiction - The Service By Joe Hakim
I'm a professional. I get the job done.
It's already getting dark as I arrive at the station. I make my way past the perimeter fence and park my car in the shelter. So begins the process of shedding everything that makes me who I am, in order to become somebody else.
You can never tell what kind of night it's going to be, so even now after all this time the anticipatory adrenalin
Fiction - The Emporium of Illusions By Andy Bilton
I cannot decide which foam bath to put in to the tub. Mood, I feel, is an important player in a first date situation and I do not want to fold at the first hand by getting in to the wrong one before tonight's encounter.
So do I pour in some of the Marks & Spencers 'Tranquility' that has an unnerving resemblance to Rowntree's Lime Jelly and 'treat myself to an indulgent bathing
Fiction - The Horrible Death of Tony Clare: Retribution and Revolt By Sean Davey
Tony Clare, British Premier, bringer of war, pestilence, famine and social impotence, died today. Killed by an unknown man. A man driven not by his hatred for the Prime Minister, but by his own need to right the wrongs that Tony Clare's society was responsible for.
A society which neglected its own people, raped the land, taxed the workers and killed the innocent.
Fiction - Dig Your Own Hole By Joe Hakim
Things were going well. We were on schedule and under budget, Chris Chambers, so my boss was chuffed to bits. "It's going to be a good year," he said slapping me on the back, a huge shit-eating grin plastered across his face. As he looked around the building site, he tipped back his hard-hat and his chest expanded like a proud father watching at his children running around.
Fiction - Load the Cards By Sean Davey
Loading up the cards and I start thinking. I think about casino's, and all that is.
Imagine a building dear reader, where degenerate, and often eccentric behaviour is not only the norm. its positively encouraged. Heavy drinking and gambling is as much a part of the punters mind as work, or going for a meal. Its just what they do to get their kicks.
Fiction - Charity Begins in the Toilet By Shep
Like most stories this one starts at the beginning with a middle aged man kissing a middle aged woman on the middle of the lips. I'm not sure where the middle starts or ends but I'm fairly sure its centre is an equal distance from these two extremes.
The man's head jacks back and forth like a mother bird trying to vomit out some nourishment to her
Fiction - Goths in Denim (I only dress like a Goth!) By Jason Ince
'That can't be the time!' I scream, staring at the clock-slash-radio-slash-CD player. This is the last time I try a DVD marathon within one day, I'll kill Stanny for suggesting it to me. The phone starts to vibrate before the ringtone kicks in. It's Clark's tone...again, 'damn you, Clark!'
I charge across the room and leap over the chair and snatch the mobile.
Fiction - Absinthe - A Cautionary Tale By Sean Davey
In pursuit of the perfect high, man invented absinthe, and I among others regularly enjoy its powerful effects. But on some days, store-bought brands are far too timid for the task at hand. On these days we need the homemade stuff.
Created in garages and lofts, jam packed with wormwood and all those other alpha-terpenes to get the brain synapses into full gear.
Fiction - Punishment By Nick Quantrill
Punishment by local crime-fiction writer and thisisull.com contributor,
Nick Quantrill, has won a nationwide short-story competition run by HarperCollins.
Entrants were invited to submit a story of no more than 1,000 words in the
Here's what the judges had to say about Punishment :
'We were impressed with the use ofRead more...
Fiction - Friday Feeling By Nick Quantrill
It was building up to being another busy Friday afternoon shift. It was probably no busier than any other shift, but the extra tiredness that Detective Constable Maynard felt by this point made them feel that much longer. He had been sent to Young's general store in East Hull straight after attending a suspicious death over on the other side of the city.
Fiction - The Morning After By Joe Hakim
They'll be here soon.
There's nothing much to do other than wait, so I make another strong cup of coffee and light
up another cigarette. Even these seemingly arbitrary actions are cast into a new focus now.
This patch of time I'm occupying is a bridge - a bridge that spans the space between
the way my life used to be and the way it's going to be. I look around my living room
Fiction - In A Room By Joe Hakim
I wish there were bars so I could hold them, wrap my fingers around the cold steel and press my face in between them, but it's just a room, I'm in a dark room with no windows and no features, so I just sit and think and think and think.
I am a captive, a hostage in a foreign country. I'm apart from my family and friends and I don't know if I'll ever see them again.
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 2: Prologue (June 1904: Hull, Yorkshire) By Frank Beill
From the outside the two-storey building looked even more forbidding now than the first time I saw it. Eighteen more years of Hull soot had turned bricks from red to dark brown. The dank smell of Grandmother's skirt returned to me. I caught my breath. So many emotions stirred inside me. Doors in my mind that I'd kept closed for so long were opening again but this time