Sunday, September 14, 2014

Do you believe in ghosts?

I sure as hell didn't. I mean seriously? It's all smoke and mirrors right? A scam for some person to swindle millions of dollars out of unsuspecting people. My grandma paid this medium to contact her husband after he died and was taken in for about $10,000. I felt badly for her but come on, there is no life after death... at least not like that. But now... I'm not so sure.

As I rode in the taxi that Ross had gotten for me, I watched the beautiful countryside pass by and I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming connection to the old place. I felt like I was home after so very long away, I was finally home. It helped that the men were fricken hot too! I mean Ross was amazing! But he was really secretive too.

I practically knew Graeme’s and Gerard’s life history but I hardly knew anything about Ross Sutherland. Then it hit me. I didn’t have any of their phone numbers.
Ah hell! I wanted to scream. Great job, Nik… Ugh! Okay okay, whatever… I mean how many Ross Sutherlands or Graeme and Gerard Fergus’ could there be? I’m in Scotland… my luck? There’d be hundreds.
Too late to worry about it now, I thought as the rolling hills of the Scottish countryside raced passed my window. Besides I have a date with Jamie Fraser. I pulled out my iPad and turned it on. A message popped up on my screen. I read it and couldn’t help but grin.
Miss Writer,
                Grabbed this while you used the facilities on the plane, hope you don’t mind. I wanted to tell you that I am very glad you decided to join my friends and me on my plane. I do hope you are having as much fun as I am… Something I wanted to tell you about MacCulloch Castle might whet your writer’s appetite. Like all Scottish Manor Homes of at least seventy years, it is reportedly haunted. The ghost of Fearsome MacPherson roams the halls. I have included a link to his biography and some sightings. I do hope you find this as interesting as I find you. Trust me, if I could, this flight would not be only two hours. It hardly seems fair. I can hear you moving about in the cabin. I’ll return this to your bag but before I do, I have to tell you… you look so fricken hot in those Prada's and your American Pride t-shirt. It was for selfish reasons I invited you along. I couldn’t stop looking at you and trust me I really don’t want to. I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing each other again very soon.
                Graeme and Gerard send their love and wanted me to take their picture. Check your photos, lass.
                                                                                          Yours Respectfully, (But not too respectfully)
                                                                                                   Ross Sutherland

The cab suddenly got very warm. Ross thinks I’m hot? He couldn’t take his eyes off me? There’s no way. He had to be joking. Yeah, the guys put him up to it. There’s no way Ross thinks I’m cute. Not the way I look right now. Maybe tonight when I actually dress up and put on some makeup to hide my ridiculous amount of freckles… but right now? No, he was teasing. He had to be. Besides I’m not looking… oh but I was looking. Crap!

I have to admit his ghost story appealed to my mystery/thriller mind. What if I could utilize this Fearsome MacPherson in some way in a new book? One I hoped I would be able to write on this retreat. It was no use, I knew I still couldn't write. Man, Daren really did a number on me, didn't he? Oh well. My dad rang me on skype and as the taxi pulled into the drive of Castle MacCulloch I was telling dad for the ninetieth time that I was fine and everything worked out, I promised to call him tomorrow and show him the grounds. (I had forgotten to call him when I landed and he was frantic) Hanging up with him, I thanked the cabbie and got out. He helped me with my luggage and tipped his hat to me. I smiled at him and handed him a twenty pound note, hoping that would be enough of a tip.
“No need, lass,” he said. “Mr. Sutherland’s valet already took care of everything.”
“Oh,” I replied. “Great well, um… thank you for driving me all this way.”
“No worries,” he grinned and bid me a good day.
He must be pretty important to have a private jet, hobnob with Hollywood royalty at Heathrow and to have a personal valet. Geesh, who is this guy? A clap of thunder made me jump. I was under the awning but I really wanted to see the old place. I hadn’t gotten a chance to read through what Ross had sent me while I was talking to my dad, but his ghost story sounded intriguing. If there was a perfect look for a haunted house without the Disney right in my head, this place was it.
Red brick and stone faded with age. Battlements and guard towers wrapped the main part of the hotel. I could definitely see a ghost living here. I grabbed my two bags and headed up the ramp to the main doors. Immediately my stomach twisted in knots. These people were going to be fricken famous. What the hell am I doing here? I’m just a girl from the Chicago suburbs. Deep breaths. I can do this.
“Hello,” I heard a breathy voice say behind me.
“Hi,” I forced a grin and turned.
No one was there.
“Hello?” I called out again. “Anyone there?”
There was no answer only rain beating the pavement harder. A chill ran up my spine. Shivering I tugged my leather biker coat tighter around me. I took a step towards the open door. Just as I reached for it, it slammed shut. I screamed and stepped back.
“Okay not funny! Whoever’s playing around, just stop. I’ve had a hell of a day and I really don’t need this too,” I said to no one.
“You all right, lass?” A man’s voice came from the door.
I whirled around and glared at him.
“Everythin’ all right?” he asked.
“Peachy,” I answered storming passed the older man and into the lobby. “Nikki Thompson, I’m here for the writer’s retreat.”

I swear it was crazy! I heard the voice clear as day but no one was there. My room is amazing, by the way and I made it in time to hear Elliot Ross speak. I need to freshen up though and a glass of champagne sounds amazing right now! Talk soon!!

Love, Nikki

Silent Whispers (c) M. Katherine Clark

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