Short Stories Submitted
September 2018: Moment in Time
March 2019: The Mystical Lady
May 2019: Love Eternal
July 2019: A Little Piece of Heaven
June 2019 (Short Story Contest): [To be listed after the winner’s announcement in August]
Trisha J Kelly was born in London. She has worked in various places. No longer confined to 9-5 she is living her dream by writing, receiving great feedback and wishing she started sooner!
After always wanting to write books for children, she is now doing just that. Life should be an adventure and the new series of Scarlett and Mason fantasy novels are designed to take you on a roller-coaster journey full of magical escapism and enjoyment. In 2018 Trisha released her novel idea ’24 Sleeps to Go’ which is a beautiful Christmas book with 24 stories during the advent period. One bedtime read every night up to the big day. Next up came ‘Blinky, Nutkins and Friends,’ a great Christmas adventure: A group of forest friend’s team up with a mad professor, his dog and not very friendly cat; off they go in a search of Santa Claus.
Trisha lived in Colchester Essex for over 50 years and has now relocated to Norfolk. Married with two adult sons and sharing life with two naughty twelve-year-old, Lhasa Apso dogs.
Growing up with just one younger brother who was always up to mischief, was all the inspiration needed to turn the book dream into a reality; plus a big imagination. The first in the series, Discovering Witchetty Waters will transport you straight to another place where you will want to stay forever.
Trisha has now released six books in the Scarlett and Mason Series … Discovering Witchetty Waters…In the Wrong Lifetime…The Rise of Sorcha…When Some Were Missing…The Great Storm of 1397 – Plus a follow up to the series The Mystery of the Ancient Key.
In 2018 Trisha published two crime thrillers. Harry’s Secrets is a gritty hard-hitting account of two families and how they intertwine in a world of crime. Something has got to change, and the outcome can only result in death. The follow-up book ‘The Conflict’ quickly followed. Eighteen years after events dramatically changed the way of life for all concerned- Stan Harris is finally released from prison. He goes straight back to where he left off, only this time, he is playing a very dangerous game.
Coming up in 2019 is Trisha’s new cozy mystery series, kicking off with ‘A Tropical Murder’. When things take a sudden downturn in the life of Daniella Honeystone, she turns to her younger sister, Virginia, to assist her. Things go better than planned and a twist of fate leads them into their new life; Private Investigating.
Also, in the pipeline is an exciting new YA trilogy beginning with ‘Wynter’. When one world collides with another, a new race of people is seeking refuge. The trouble is, they are trapped; the Econian’s are screaming for help in a world that is not so easy to access.
Trisha runs an indie group on Facebook (Indie self-publishing) and helps moderate in others.
The house they were moving into was nothing out of the ordinary, in fact, some might say it was a very boring, dreary looking building and they would be right. Standing back and looking at it from a distance, Rosie had no idea why the place had been left looking this way. As a female, she could see that it was crying out for the feminine touch and the love of a good woman. The cold wind whipped around her legs, snatching up the fallen autumn leaves blowing them in all directions, pulling the thick piles into the air and gently swirling them all around. The trees looked bare and naked like sheep running through a dip with their wild shaggy coats of wool strewn all over the floor.
Just for a moment, she had an urge to run through the carpet of leaves scattering them everywhere, just as a child would do, to pick them all up and throw them. Screaming with excitement, laughing hysterically at the fun of it all, jumping into them and burying
herself. From somewhere a dog joins in and barks and barks while it runs around in circles, chasing its tail, chasing the children that are now not one, but four. Their red faces are aglow with a radiant energy that is bursting at the seams. This game could go on forever and ever, and Rosie cannot help herself. Scooping up even bigger armfuls of the burnt oranges and yellows mixed with the red and golden colours she ran through the leaves, chasing the children and throwing the leaves up in the air.
The game brings squeals of delight that build up to a noisy crescendo and then just as it reaches its heights they all begin to slow down. Rosie stops to catch her breath; her heart is racing at all the sudden exercise as she bends over with her hands on her knees to slow her breathing down. She is still grinning as she turns to see the mess they have had so much pleasure in making. The children are gone, the dog is no longer here, just the wind once more blowing coldly across her face. The tell-tale leaves are stuck to her mittens, and she pulls some more crunched up pieces off of her woollen hat. Remembering what it was that she came outside for Rosie goes towards the garden shed to fetch the leaf raker. Kicking through the piles as she walks, making her way through the wet, sodden grass that lies underneath.
The swing made of two thick ropes and a large plank for a seat begins to call to her. Hanging from the highest thick branch where it has cut into the bark over many a year. Just a little at first it begins to sway in the wind bending to the left and then the right it calls to her, come and steady me, hold my ropes tightly until I stop moving. Looking at the shed and glancing towards the swing Rosie changes direction. So this is where the children are, they see her and run towards the swing because there is only one. Rosie is bigger than the kids, her legs are longer, and she can run much faster. Beating them
to it, she laughs loudly and grabbing both ropes she pushes her feet on the ground, squishing the leaves, kicking them away with her wellington boots every time she goes forward.
Higher and higher she goes, and the children watch her, waiting patiently for their turn, even the dog is sitting with them, guarding them all. He is their companion as well as best friend and playmate. Dragging her feet, Rosie brings the swing to a stop and gets off,
determined to be distracted no more. Her warm seat is quickly taken, and the children take turns pushing each other and swinging. As she turns to watch them, they have already gone again, and the swing is once again blowing around in the wind, banging from side to side.
“Ah, here you are at last I have been waiting for you.” The shed door opens, and a man is inside gathering bits and pieces putting them inside a wheelbarrow. “You will find everything you need here, a decent rake, proper thick gardening gloves, and some sturdy
bags or before you know it, the leaves will find themselves right back where they started.” With that, he gave a hearty laugh and walked towards the back of the dark shed.
Rosie looked all around; there were spades and shovels, a lawnmower lots of pots and plenty of spiders and webs, this place could do with a good clean as well. Benches with tools, and lots more tools hanging on the wall. Metal hammers, wooden mallets, a
saw, a hacksaw, pliers, pruning shears and many more things.
“Do you live nearby?” Rosie asked, but she didn’t get a reply.
Reaching onto the bench, she picked up a large torch and turned it on. Very sure that this shed did not look this big from the outside she walked forward. There was garden furniture with covers over it and a large barbeque. Right at the very back was a framed garden seat with a lovely floral pattern, hanging behind that on the wall was a donkey jacket and a thick scarf. Reaching up Rosie unhooked the coat and found herself checking the label, she knew it would be there, this was Tom’s jacket it said so, right inside. Then just for a moment, she couldn’t remember how she knew that…
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The convoy of lorries thundered along the dusty road; they each stood out for miles with the circus logo large and glistening, shining and reflecting on the sides. It didn’t take long for the white vehicles to get dirty again, trundling through the large wet muddy puddles along the beaten track. The last few miles of the journey to Marley’s Common were always the bumpiest.
‘Gypsy Rosa-Lea’ sat up with a start. Rubbing her temples in a soft circular motion, she eased away the last dregs of her earlier ‘head’. Something had been gnawing away at her for the last hour of their journey. When she had a strange feeling, she was never wrong. This time she was cadging a lift with old Tom the handyman. He was as deaf as a post when it suited him. This was fine with the fortune-teller, she’d fancied a quiet ride today.
Rubbing her eyes, she turned, glancing through the van’s side window. Sleep had taken over shortly after they began their journey to Upper Marley. As they hit another pothole, Sarah lurched forward. It was the bumps that had awoken her. A queasy feeling rose up in her stomach. Darkness fell between the trees in a blanket of shadow as they drove past Marley Woods, it unsettled her.
Sarah Stoneham descended from a long line of Romany’s, all of them had travelled with Chester’s Circus for as long as she could remember. ‘Rosa-Lea’ was her working name, as was her mothers’ before her, and her grandmother’s. They all shared the same name and were equally blessed with the gift. Unless the young woman found herself a partner in the foreseeable future; she would be the last in the line of the Romany’s.
Something was troubling her. As the posters for the circus and the fair shot by, so did the chills.
“Thanks Tom,” Sarah smiled, stepping out of the van, glad at long last to breathe fresh air.
The old man muttered a bit, stepped out of the van and stretched his legs. One by one the lorries, vans, trailers and cars parked. In two days from now the big top would be up, as would the many side shows. Including ‘Gypsy Rosa-Lea’s’ glamorous tent. The shire horses were led from the horse box’s and the men and women got to work as soon as they pitched. The food kiosk soon had the generators running, supplying hot and cold drinks and anything edible in a bun. Sarah walked away to the nearby park, she needed some time to think.
The benches were damp following the heavy April showers overnight, she sat anyway – laying out her waterproof mac. The day was warming up nicely, well, just enough for a warm jumper and no coat. With the warm sunshine beating onto her face she slowly tuned out from the nearby loud chatter from the circus hands and tapped into her inner mind. Everything around her gradually drifted into silence and inside her tightly closed eyes she could see red patterns. A dream like state enveloped her as she allowed herself to open her mind to suggestion. The unmistakeable voices of her mother and grandmother spoke in gentle tones. The man with the limp repeated over and over. Together with the words red-haired woman.
The colour inside her minds eye went dark. As if waking from a disturbed sleep, Sarah opened her eyes. Goose pimples spread over her arms; hugging herself, she stood tall and walked away. The fog had cleared in her head it was no longer pounding. The fortune teller had been given a clear message, but who was it for? What was the danger?
Saturday night came, and the Big Top was packed out, as was the fairground. Opening day was always the busiest. Gypsy Rosa-Lea sat inside her small gypsy style tent. Mauve satin curtains hung, draped with lilac tie-backs and sheer voiles. Atop her table with a heavy embroidered cloth was a magnificent crystal ball. She used this for effect only, the same as the candles, mystical charms and lanterns. The floor was graced with intricately coloured rugs. Sarah burned incense sticks in the background letting off heavenly scented forest fruits to add to the ambience.
From the squeals of loud laughter, Sarah presumed the clowns were mid-performance. Outside the air was thick with the smell of grease. Chips, hot-dogs, and burgers were the choices of the day along with sticky pink candy flosses and toffee apples. Three people had visited Rosa-Lea this evening. One elderly lady, a young man and a middle-aged woman. Nothing was out of the ordinary. Until… into the tent came a young lady with flaming red hair, tousled high in a loose topknot. Her cherry red lips and pale complexion were a stark contrast to each other. She wore expensive clothes. A cashmere sweater over tailored trousers, a tweed jacket hung over her arm.
“Please, come in, take a seat. May I call you Lucy?”
“By all means,” the young woman smiled. Her smile did not reach her eyes. She sat, puzzling where on her person her name was showing.
Sarah gently stretched out her hands, inviting her client to lay her hands palm upwards on the table. Closing her eyes for a moment allowed her chakras to open and her channels to permit those close by in another world to join in with this session.
Lucy stared at the woman with her headscarf tied around her hair, her frilly blouse and tiered skirts, wondering why on earth she thought this was a good idea.
“You have done the right thing coming to me,” Sarah spoke gently. “Tell me, who do you know who walks with a limp?”
“My fiancée,” Lucy replied.
Sarah studied the lines on the young woman’s hands, her face began to frown.
“What is it? What do you see? I need to know,” Lucy asked in a pleading tone.
Sarah could not possibly retell the horror that was unfolding before her eyes. The same dark shadows crossed over the table causing the candles to flicker, the ones that had covered the nearby trees.
“You must not go home tonight. Do you understand?” Sarah’s face plainly gave away her thoughts.
“Was your fiancé in the Army?”
“Yes, he was. Now he has flashbacks and black moods. I love him, but he frightens me too.”
“And you live with him, don’t you?” Sarah asked kindly.
When I knew the circus was in town, I had the idea to come and seek you out.” Lucy’s eyes dropped to the floor. “I’m afraid to admit I was acting in desperation.”
“That’s as maybe, but I think you’ve had a premonition, haven’t you? I know what you have been thinking. Lucy, you have been in my thoughts today, as well as … Justin.”
“I dreamt he was going to kill me. I needed to know if there was another life for me,” Lucy shivered as tears fell down her cheeks.
“Yes, there is, but you won’t find it here. You must get away, but you already know that, don’t you? Maybe I can help you.”
For the next few days, Lucy Barham stayed with the generous people of Chester’s Circus. She was safe in their arms. Under no circumstances was any man with a limp going to be admitted through the main gates.
A week later, the convoy of lorries made their way along the bumpy track, heading for the next town. Sarah wasn’t staying with the circus. She’d formed a great friendship over the last few days and had seen a happy ending for both her and her new friend. A long way from here in a land warm and sunny was going to be their lifelong destination. Yes, there was a bright and happy future for them both, and their future families.
He glanced inside the magnificent ballroom. The ladies in exorbitant ballgowns waltzed in colourful circles around the room. Their dancing partners wore high, starched collars, with tipped wings. Their dark suits complimented the colourful ambience of the ladies. He could not see her, anywhere. She was not dancing tonight. His love was not in this place. Many beautiful women twirled gracefully, their ringlets flounced as they danced. The couples gazed into each other’s loving eyes. None of these ladies held a candle to his beautiful amour. His secret love. The music faded into the distance as he made his way towards the grand entrance.
Aimlessly, he wandered the magnificent staircase, searching for her. Turning, searching, always. ‘My love, do you hide from me? Why do you hide?’ His voice whispered into the ether, lost forever, in the steps he graced. She was watching him, calling out his name. Gathering her skirts in her hands, she quickly followed him, all the while, calling. ‘Wait for me, my darling. Wait for me.’ Her calls could not be heard. He kept walking, searching. The love of her life could not find her, she could not reach him.
Would he find her in the large conservatory? Might she be there? The couples sat all around, nibbling delicate triangular sandwiches. The finest tuna and refreshing cucumber tingled their taste buds. Many fancy, miniature cakes, perched on doilies, masqueraded temptingly on cake stands. Large ornately decorated, china pots of tea, adorned the tables. The starched, pure white tablecloths had equally pristine serviettes, encased in silver rings. Smartly dressed ‘Ladies and Gents’ of the highest gentry sat whiling away the afternoon. The chatter and laughter were a constant hum in the room with the glass roof and Victorian décor. No, she was not here. His love was playing games with him; she always did. ‘You are not dancing, nor admiring the view from the sweeping staircase, neither do you partake in afternoon tea. Where are you, my love?’ He swept towards the lounge.
‘I am right here, behind you. Why can you not see me?’ she shouted and shouted. ‘Please! turn around, for I am right here.’ The stunning lady floated above the floor, before sinking inside the wall. She disappeared once more. Where had he gone? Her handsome man with his steely grey eyes, teased black hair and delicate trace of sideburns. ‘Wait for me, for I cannot see you,’ she whispered.
Many men lounged in the smoking room. The sumptuous leather chairs made perfect resting places. They drank the finest whisky and smoked fat cigars while talking of finance and business. His love followed him inside, calling for him, her voice was hushed in a breeze. ‘I am here, I am right here with you,’ she confessed.
‘You are not here either, my love, where could you be? I’ve searched all over. Are you a part of my imagination, I wonder? For your face is becoming a distant memory.’ Slowly, he sailed away into the distance. His image was becoming faint to her.
To the library he hurried. Surely his love would be found here today? Lost in a romantic novel perhaps, with a lacy handkerchief clasped in her hand. He kept searching among the bookcases. ‘Do not hide from me, my love,’ he whispered in silence. ‘We have a journey to make. We shall take it together. Why do we roam in circles?’
She called him and called him, always she called him. It was morning in the study. Was that where he was? Reading a newspaper, possibly. Her spirit form passed straight through the wall. She would not find him there, either. She kept calling, always she called him. The lady was heart–broken, and many would hear her calls. Many, but her love. Her cries, as his, were but whispers in time as they passed each other. They were destined to remain in ghostly form for all eternity.
I wanted to share my favourite place with you. The Lake District in England. There is something very special about the whole area, not to mention how stunning the whole place is; if I could live anywhere, it would be here.
When I first visited Derwent Water in the lake District, I was just nineteen years old. In those days, I was in good physical shape and would think nothing of walking a ten-mile hike. And this was after dancing the night away in the small hours most nights.
The beautiful mountain in the background of Derwent Water here is called, Skiddaw. At 931 meters (3,054 ft) Skiddaw is the fourth highest mountain in the lake district. In addition to its high altitude, the Skiddaw range has a somewhat grand and majestic appearance, emphasized by the surrounding flat valleys which isolate it from other Lakeland fells. I’ve always loved the dip in the centre. For me it is the trademark of this mountain.
In fact, the Lake District is home to the top ten highest mountains in England – including Scafell Pike – England’s highest mountain, standing at 978m (3209 ft). So, it was going to be no mean feat dressed in footwear as flimsy as pumps, to even think about walking up Skiddaw. Not to mention the fact it was a fair walk from the caravan site to even get to it, you can see how far it is and I was situated somewhere behind those trees!
I can’t recall how many hours it took to reach the top, probably all morning. It is deceiving, because when you’re up close, there are many routes, hills, sheep, cycle tracks. Cyclists can take three hours. All uphill, but back then I found it an adventure. I wasn’t wrong. I will never forget reaching the top and just sitting, drinking in the views. When I sent a postcard home, featuring Skiddaw, I told my parents it was like sitting in heaven. I haven’t changed my opinion on that.
All around on various mountains and walkways were never-ending tracks disappearing into clouds whichever way you looked. The town of Keswick below looked tiny. The lake was magnificent. It’s not often I’ve sat somewhere over three thousand feet up, looking down. Safely of course, on a grassy plain! As a rule, I hate heights, it wasn’t like that.
My love for the Lake District stemmed from there and a few years later I returned. For me, travelling along and waiting in anticipation for the scenery to change from the flatness of the South-East of England to the sudden dips in the road of the Lake District, marks the start of adventure. The landscape has similarities to the Peak District or Yorkshire – excepting they don’t have the vast stretches of water, which complete the picture.
The stone walls in the fields, stone bridges and houses are all part of the ambience. Nothing compares to showering under this water, which is so, so soft. There is only one place in the world I would like to visit which seems to share this beauty and that is the Italian Lakes. This was on the agenda this year, but as one of our dogs hasn’t been too great, we won’t leave them behind now.
I managed to be fortunate enough a few years back to take my children to the Lake District on holiday in 2003. As they were ten and thirteen at the time we managed to find enough to do for their entertainment as well as our own. It isn’t all sheep and walks!
Last year I wanted to return. We spent a week on the shores of Lake Windermere which is equally beautiful. The stay was lovely in a log cabin with a hot tub and a far more tranquil setting to the one I fell in love with forty years previously. We had visits from woodpeckers, squirrels and tiny unusual birds. I’m not sure what they were. I was on a mission though, to spend one day back at Derwent Water, Keswick. I had to see Skiddaw again. Alas, my knees had different ideas, long walks are off the radar now, so I was unable to get as close as I’d have liked. As I toddled around, I found myself in a mixture of shops, including charity shops.
I couldn’t believe my luck when I found a print of Skiddaw and the fields in front of it. Not only that, I found the perfect frame. With a friendly smile and a few kind words, the shop volunteer agreed to take the print out of the frame it was in, and put it into one I knew would fit it so well.
Among my holiday souvenirs, I was bringing home a reminder of my favourite place in the world. Now it sits on our caravan wall and I have a constant reminder of my little piece of heaven. I doubt I will go back again. True to form, the picture has grey clouds, which is a common feature in the Lake District. The temperatures never peak like they do in our South-Eastern corner. But they don’t have to, it’s all part of the charm.
Thank you for reading about my favourite landmark. If you have ever thought of visiting the English Lakes, don’t wait. Google them today and see how gorgeous they are. When you see the dip of Skiddaw, think of me sitting at the top! I’ve been very fortunate to visit the Lake District four times. I’d love to get to the top of Skiddaw again, the mind is willing at least.