The Haunting of Port Logan

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away…

Except this isn’t a fairy tale. It’s a true story about a haunting I experienced while in a small coastal village called Port Logan, in Kirkmaiden, Rhins of Galloway, Wigtownshire. I want to reiterate that this is a true story. This is not a piece of creative writing or a writing exercise. This is exactly how events unfolded.

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View of Port Logan from the old lighthouse

But let’s begin at the beginning.

In 2011, my family decided to holiday in Scotland. Having heard of the Wigtown Book Festival, and knowing my deep adoration of books, my parents chose Wigtownshire. At the time, I was midway through writing The Old Ways, and hadn’t yet found a publisher willing to take on little old newcomer me. So, we drove the hundreds of miles (315 miles in fact, and approximately 4 hours of driving) to a small pier village called Port Logan, where we were renting a holiday cottage.

We arrived to find, not necessarily a village, but a street, consisting of about 10 houses and 1 pub, imaginatively named The Port Logan Inn. I jest, but this place was like something out of Middle-Earth and I loved it. I adored this village; it was bleak, windswept, cold, saltstung, dark, and utterly joyless. Being an aspiring writer with (at the time) aspirations of Poe and Byron, it was a dream come true.

port logan inn

Don’t let the sunshine fool you

I’ve also just learned the Port Logan Inn has been closed permanently. This is especially sad as this small establishment served wild boar sausages, boasted a coal-and-wood burning fire, and proudly displayed a mounted stag’s head on the wall.

But I digress.

We were given the keys and shown into our home for the week. It was a beautiful house, three levels of wood floors and cold air, and a view of the seafront barely 10 feet from our front door. The ground floor held the kitchen and small dining area. The first floor held the master bedroom, the living room (with a sofa which pulled out into a bed), and the bathroom. The top floor/attic had been converted into a second bedroom, consisting of two single beds. This is where I slept. Again, being a bleak and depressing (but not whiskey-soaked) aspiring author, I didn’t mind the fat, black spiders who dwelt in the windows. They were small enough and kept to themselves.

What I did mind was the presence who dwelt in the room. But I’ll get to that shortly.

Our holiday passed like normal, nothing out of the ordinary. We went into the towns, bought souvenirs and gifts, attended the Wigtown Book Festival, perused many bookshops, and ate and drank in the Port Logan Inn of an evening.

One night, I suffered a nightmare. I don’t remember the specifics of it, but I distinctly remember a man with bright blond hair, almost bleached, wearing a striped shirt, calling for a boy called Eddie. I remember hearing the sing-song way he called, almost like they were playing Hide-And-Seek, or shouting for him to come in from the cold. Eddddiiiiiieeeee! Edddddiiiiiieeeee! I woke up the next morning and shook off the nightmare. Just a dream, right? Didn’t say a word about it, wasn’t important enough, and the day carried on like normal. Remember this, I didn’t say a word about it.

The night after I’d experienced the nightmare, I was having trouble sleeping. I sat awake in my bed, listening to the rain outside. Seaside Scotland in September tends to have stormy weather, but I didn’t mind. It was what I wanted. It was starting to get late, and I remember checking the time and noticing it was around 11:40pm. I was working on The Old Ways, hoping I would nod off.

Until I heard someone whistle at the end of my bed.

Not just a whistle. A tune. Someone was standing at the foot of my bed, and whistled me a tune. This was not a noise that the wind through the rattling windows could have made. This was a song. Someone whistled me a song. And they were at the foot of my bed.

Afraid now, I put away my iPad, (stupidly) turned out the light, and lay down to sleep. I pulled the covers over my head and listened to the wind and rain pounding against the window for the next four and a half hours.

I knew, I knew, there was someone standing at my bedside.

 

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I was too terrified to look. Too scared to shout for my mam. I tried to put my earphones in so I could nod off listening to calming music. It didn’t help. I put the light back on. It didn’t help. I didn’t want to admit I was afraid of the dark, but I was afraid of what was in the dark. There was a rattly old heater next to the bed, and I slid my arm out of the covers to switch it on, hoping the noise of the fan would drown out the noise of the rain against the window. It didn’t help.

I knew there was someone else in that room with me, and if I looked out from my bedcovers, then they would know that I was awake.

I eventually nodded off, somehow. The next morning, at about 8am, my stepdad came into my room and woke me up. The very first words that left my mouth that morning?

“I’m not sleeping in this room again. There is something in here.”

Of course, rational mind him, he didn’t believe me. My mother was a bit more believing. But, humouring me, my stepdad agreed to sleep in the attic room the next night, while I slept in my mam’s bed instead. He’d had a few, so was a little tipsy and therefore inclined to sleep deeper.

The next morning, the morning of our last night in Port Logan, he told me he hadn’t heard or seen anything. I decided to sleep in the room one more night. My mam agreed to sleep in the attic room with me, in the other single bed on the other side of the room. I was comforted by this. She snores a little, so I got some earplugs so I could sleep easier. I drifted off first, and she took my iPad to watch some videos or read for a while before going to sleep.

Around 45 minutes later, she gently shook me awake.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“I’m going back downstairs, do you want to come?” she said.

“No, no, I’ll be okay.”

“Are you sure? I can make up the sofa bed for you?”

“No, I’m alright.”

“Are you positive? Absolutely sure? You can sleep in the living room.”

“Yeah, I’ll be okay, I’m half asleep and I have my earplugs anyway.”

“Okay… If you’re sure.”

I fell back asleep and didn’t even hear her leave the room to go back to the master bedroom downstairs. The next morning, she admitted to me a little something.

She was trying to get me out of the room. She wanted me to go downstairs with her. She saw something in the attic room.

While reading on my iPad, she’d started to nod off. In that half-state of sleep and awake, she experienced sleep paralysis. This is a fairly common and easily explainable phenomenon. What is not fairly common or easily explainable, is how she saw a little boy with bleach-blond hair and a striped shirt standing at the foot of my bed looking at me.

What is also not easily explainable is how she knew, but didn’t know how, but she knew that this little boy was called Eddie.

Not only that, but a few months later, while out at a Chinese restaurant, and again while slightly tipsy, my stepdad did admit to feeling very uncomfortable in the room. He didn’t see or hear anything, but there was just an unpleasant atmosphere up there that he just couldn’t explain.

I still tease in mock outrage that they both let me sleep in the ghost room and didn’t say anything!!!

My mother says she didn’t want to frighten me. Little late for that, don’t you think, Mama?

 

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This is Gary, he’s here to ease the tension

We’ve tried to look up any other hauntings of Port Logan, or anything about missing/dead men or boys called Eddie, but our searches have brought up nothing.

To this day, it has been the most sinister and terrifying encounter either of us have experienced. And my mother and I have both had ghostly experiences in the past. None of them have ever measured up to Eddie, and the Haunting of Port Logan.

 

Do you have a ghost story you want to share? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

 

It’s Been A While

I am so sorry for being away so long, I know you just can’t survive without my inane ramblings. In my defence, I’ve been to Disneyland 😀

I know, that’s no excuse, but it’s so hard to concentrate when “Under the Sea” gets stuck in your head for two and a half months. Especially embarrassing when you start humming in front of your MD.

 

Actual footage of me dancing in the kitchen.

So, what’s new in the world of RK? Let me go through it…

Writing: I think I have maybe a chapter (or two) left before Age of Magic has its officially completed First Draft. Then I have to go through and fill in all those delicious plot holes that I spot every single damn time I read through it. I have a list, don’t worry. I do love lists.

Reading: Hoo boy. My New Year’s Resolution is to fall in love with reading again. I don’t read as much as I used to, so I’ve downloaded a very helpful app called BookBuddy, which helps you keep track of the books you’ve read, and lets you rate and comment on them.

I’m currently onto my ninth book of the year. I lost a month or so struggling through a particularly abysmal novel (and the Disneyland thing kinda got in the way too), but I’m back on it. My aim is to read 50 books this year. I… don’t think I’ll reach that target. But I’ll make a good attempt at it!

One of the most recent ones that I’ve finished is Wintersong. Oh, my heart… here are my thoughts on it:

“Beautiful, heartbreaking, and utterly wonderful. A few slow pages after the marriage, somewhat repetitive in places, but made up for with the poignancy and beauty of the words. Almost like poetry. Or music. How apt.”

Movies: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was amazing, Beauty and the Beast was lovely (I cried three times but that’s nothing new), and Passengers was awful.

Games: I’m playing Dragon Age: Inquisition for the billionth time. Can’t wait for the next one where we get to visit Tevinter. TEVINTER. Imagine a Dalish Mage wandering around Tevinter. Should be interesting. Also bought two new games, Until Dawn and The Evil Within. Should be an interesting change-up from my usual RPG games.

TV: OMG did you see Emmerdale?! I’m kidding, I don’t watch TV. Well, I watch Grimm. And Supernatural. Quite disappointed in both at the minute, to be honest.

Music: Disney. Yeah, did you expect anything else?

I don’t think I have any more hobbies… I’m off for a whoooooole week now though, yay! ^-^ Happy Easter to me, we have SO MUCH CHOCOLATE 😀

Time to write, almost at the end!

Blessed be,

RK )O(

Newest Poem!

Just wanted to share my newest poem with you. I originally wrote it for the National Poetry Competition, but lacked the courage to submit it. So, it’s just a new poem now. Enjoy!

 

Malice

A fantôme curled a finger
And the flickering heat spread quick
“Fire, Alice! Fire!”

It crumbled, the world
A fond kiss, Alice
Hands red, shaking, dripping
Don’t be afraid, Alice
Gripped the blade, a vorpal bite
Off with her head, Alice!

The lights go out
And that wonderful land spreads far and thick
A toxin in my head
Snicker-snack, snacker-snick!

It’s dark
Too dark
Can’t see
Who’s there waiting for me?

It’s white
I can see
Only white
But cold!
Too cold!

Shaved
Depraved
Makes me well-behaved
A hole in the head
Gives the troubles more space
A tincture
A cure
Makes me more demure
“No more talk of rabbits and dodos, Alice.
It’s time to face what you committed.”

A race! A race!
A pool of tears too deep to trace
Around and around we go
Until our feet are bloodied roots
The fire made you forget your boots

A curious eye winks from the shadows beneath
Made curiouser by a Cat
Who vanishes;
Leaving only a grin
A wicked slash of teeth

Shall we play a game, Alice?

Chess and cards
A castle in the sky
Jam yesterday and jam to-morrow
But never jam to-day
Too big to play,
Alice

Follow the vale of tears
To find the repugnant Lepidoptera
Steaming and piping in the cool night air

You’re late, Alice
Too late
What’s that you’re humming, Alice?

Dum-Dee-Dum-Dee-Dum

The Hatter won’t be pleased, Alice

But the Dormouse
The Dor
The Door
The door!

Enough, Alice!

But I found the Queen, Alice
She has my face
Wearing her heart on her lace
A Suicide King sits beside her
Says his words in reverse

I don’t understand, Alice
What don’t you understand, Alice?
When can I go home?
You can’t go home, Alice.
Why?
You’re mad as a March Hare, Alice
Mad as a Hatter, Alice?
Madder than Hatter, Alice.

Oh, Alice, don’t you know, dear?
We’re all mad here.

alice

As you can tell, it’s based on Alice: Madness Returns, a fun but twisted game by American McGee. Check out the trailer here.

Blessed be,

RK )O(

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

christmas-pooh

It’s almost Christmas time once again, and it’s that special time of year that turns everyone into either a Holly Jolly Santa Claus, or a complete douchebag.

This is a very short PSA to remind people to not shout or abuse people in retail or customer services. We’re human, just like you, please don’t take your frustrations out on us.

In other news, Age of Magic is about 4-5 maybe 6 chapters away from completion, and, aside from a teeny-weeny blip in the middle of November wherein I lost all motivation to finish it, it’s going well. Apart from the fact that it’s about 30,000 words too short.

Uhm. Oops? 😦

writer-working

I think once Christmas is out the way, I can really knuckle down and get to that ending I’ve been building up for so long. And it’s a nice segue into the as-of-yet-untitled Book 3.

Ohh, and I need to write the blurb, and the synopsis, and go through all the edits… I forgot about all of this. Crikey…

2017 is going to be great. We lost so many famous names this year, and there are only three weeks left of 2016, so everyone form a protective ring around Tim Curry and Sean Connery, and we can safely see out 2016.

Merry Christmas everyone, and have a Happy New Year!

Blessed be,

RK )O(

On Dragons

red dragon

I once had a dream where I was riding a dragon.

This is fairly normal for me, as you can imagine. But this one time when I was riding my dragon through the night air (escaping something, if I remember correctly), I remember exactly how it felt. And the sensation was beyond magnificent.

The lurching, the swaying, the feeling that the ground was so far away. The sweep of enormous wings underneath my legs like sails. The air rushing past, not warm, not cold. I felt the currents of the wind carrying us through the night. And the roar. Oh… It was glorious. Majesty and might in one earth-shaking thunderous noise.

Was this the most vivid dream I’d ever experienced? Or did I own a pet dragon in another life and this was just a memory? I’m hoping for the latter.

Dragons are probably the best known magical creatures in media. Literature, movies, games, music, dragons have left their claw-marks on the collective hive-mind of fantasy fans. Often the symbol of kings and great heroes, dragons can be beautiful, terrifying, powerful, and dangerous.

One thing we need to address first and foremost:

Dragons have four legs and wings. Wyverns have two legs and two wings.

The dragons of Skyrim, Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter, are wyverns. The dragons of Dragon Age, Dragonheart, and How to Train Your Dragon, are Dragons. (Well, mostly; I’ve noticed a few wyverns sneaking in HTTYD)

dragon gif

I imagine one isn’t really interested in counting legs when one is on FIRE.

King Arthur’s surname means “chief dragon”. Fitting for the Once and Future King. England’s patron saint, St George is famous for slaying a dragon. A popular folk tale where I live tells of the Lambton Worm, a poisonous dragon (or wyrm) so large it wraps itself around a hill and devours livestock.

In France, dragons are used in the stories of Christianity triumphing over Paganism. Dragons symbolise raw, wild, untapped power.

Myths, legends, folklore, even Bible stories are rife with dragons. The Devil himself is often depicted as one in his most powerful form.

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Dragons who don’t speak are animalistic, therefore act as animals do. “I am hungry, therefore I shall eat.” Do we begrudge cats killing mice and birds? It’s their nature. It just so happens “birds and mice” to a dragon are “cows and sheep and the occasional human” to us. They don’t know any better, they’re just hungry animals.

Of course, not all dragons are like this. (Yes, I used the phrase #NotAllDragons.) A famous phrase states “Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.” But some dragons, like Draco from Dragonheart, strive to be good and help humanity.

4legs-Dragonheart

Dragons are wise. They have to be, they’re long-living beings. They can’t live for hundreds, maybe thousands of years, and not accumulate knowledge just as they accumulate wealth. In Braveheart, dragons are shown to save humans in danger. A stark contrast to, say, Smaug, who can’t help noticing how tasty Bilbo looks.

smaug

Eregon, book and movie, has an interesting spin on dragons. They imprint on a human (their ‘rider’) upon hatching, can hold telepathic conversations, and share sight with each other. Mushu, from Mulan, remains to this day one of my favourite Eddie Murphy roles. Yes, it’s lighthearted and goofy, but he’s a funny dragon. Who can’t love a funny dragon?

dishonour

In conclusion, I’m beyond excited to start work on the as-of-yet untitled book three, because I can finally write about dragons, and describe them in all their awesome majesty, and give them all the respect and honour they’re due.

Blessed Be

RK )O(

I Do Not Wish To Live In A World Without Dragons

"I am the lasht one!"

“I am the lasht one!”

This post has nothing to do with the title, I just adore this line and will be inserting it into Age of Magic as soon as possible 😀 click-bait for dragon nerds like me! I will actually compose a post about dragons shortly, I swear.

So, hello, hello, and hello to all of my darling pixies whom I have been severely neglecting these past few weeks! I am a bad, bad mistress, and as punishment, I will not be eating cookies for a week.

Except this one I have in my hand right now. *nom*

This is a very brief post, and I’m very sorry 😦 I’m going to try and post more, I swear I am. Things have just been extra-hectic at the Day Job because we’re moving to a brand new office next week. Huzzah.

I’ve also been squirrelling away with writing Age of Magic. We’re now officially OVER HALF-WAY COMPLETE 😀 *fistpump*

Still such a dorky move, Snipes...

Still such a dorky move, Snipes…

Speaking of dorky, WHO WATCHED THE GAME OF THRONES SEASON FINALE?! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG FLAIL PLOT TWIST.

Too tired at present for a full-on fangirl breakdown, but from about 15 minutes in, I had this look plastered on my face:

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Yep. Wasn’t pretty.

Anyway, I’ll be attending an Author Evening at my local library in September (thanks to the fantastic organisational skills of an old friend of mine, who works for the libraries where we live). It should be fun and interesting, and will hopefully to promote The Old Ways a little 🙂

I’ve got an extremely busy weekend lined up, but I’m going to try and post a little more often. Like I said, I’ll post something good about dragons soon 😀

Blessed be, darling pixies! ❤

RK )O(

What Makes A Good Bad Guy?

Proceed at your own risk.

WARNING:

THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE OLD WAYS.

PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

 

I was procrastinating performing extensive research for my novel on Pinterest earlier today, when I found this gem:

villain low self esteem

When I first saw it, I laughed. I mean, I laughed hard. Because my immediate thought to myself was, “Of course not, Erlik thinks he’s the best thing ever created!”

Then I went deeper into it. And I realised the whole reason he thinks so, is because he does have low self-esteem. He acts the way he does, because of crippling insecurity. He spends the entire novel hot on Mab’s heels. He swings from one emotion to another in the blink of an eye. He’s often shown drinking heavily (in the morning! What a lush). He’s infamous (in-universe) for his sexual exploits, and has the… *ahem* extensive progeny to prove it.

These can be symptoms of low self-esteem. Addictive, promiscuous, and chaotic personality traits. While he never displays anxiety attacks or a lack of self-confidence, he certainly has something about him that indicates he dislikes himself, and is projecting that dislike upon others to make himself feel better.

Well, mostly not that.

Loki has low self-esteem too. Yes, that’s my excuse for using his picture…

So is that what makes a good bad guy? (Okay, okay, I’ll say good villain from now on. Makes for less confusion) Well, I don’t think it is. Erlik has low self-esteem, yes, but he’s also funny, charming, sinister, manipulative, vindictive, and so deliciously wicked.

I… may be a little biased. #TeamErlik

Anyway. Is that what makes a good villain? ‘Nice’ qualities? Human qualities? Well, I don’t think so. I mean, I think they certainly help, but Sauron was a perfect villain, and he had no human qualities at all.

Good villains can be relateable. They can have something in them that makes regular, less-villainous people go “Oh, that’s like me! Wait, is that good?”

What about those villains who know they’re evil? The ones who relish in their darkness. The ones who torture and torment for fun. Lookin’ at you, Ramsay Bolton.

Ramsay

Couldn’t resist, sorry :3

There are villains who believe they’re the hero of the story. Villains who believe they’re doing what they’re doing for the greater good. I think Heath Ledger’s Joker has a little of that in him. He wants to unleash chaos for the people of Gotham for them to realise their full potential.

A good villain must be a foil. A contrast to the hero. An opposition to everything the hero stands for. Erlik is a Dark Prince, while Thomas (eventually) is a White Knight. Thomas has a strong moral high ground, whereas Erlik is underhand and plays dirty. Everything Thomas is or becomes, Erlik is ultimately the antithesis. In D&D terms, Thomas is Neutral Good, while Erlik is Chaotic Evil.

That’s what makes a good villain. Next time you’re writing, talk to your villain. Ask him/her/it what they’re fighting for. Ask them what they want. Does that goal conflict with what the hero wants? Do they believe they’re the hero of your story? Talk to them, and find out. Then you’re on the right path.

Now, go, writer! Write! Write like you’ve never written before!

Blessed be,

RK )O(