|Photo courtesy of Shauxgirl via Wikipedia|
by Sharon E. Anderson
The day was sunny and brisk, the last vestiges of summer slowly succumbing to the crisp bite of fall. We drove out into the country, out of town and away from neighbors, we wanted to explore our new surroundings. My husband had met a new customer and he was excited to show me where this man worked.
Northern State Hospital for the Insane is located just about eight miles away from where I live. The 800 acre operation opened in 1909 and closed its doors in 1973. The hospital was in operation during the time when husbands committed their menopausal wives for being hysterical (in the Freudian sense), trans-orbital lobotomies were practiced, and mental institutions were called bughouses. The hospital had been a working farm with many of the barns still standing and, from what I could tell, could be brought back into service with little effort. Today, part of the campus is used to for Job Corps and a drug rehab center.
We strolled through the grounds that day, through the main barn, visited his customer who offered us access to a closed-off building across from the rehab center. My husband looked at me and winked. He knows I love old abandoned places, haunted places, even though they terrify me, they also help me feel alive.
Others have been here, ghost hunters, adventurers, but I had never been before. My experience with Northern State consisted of the dread I felt every time I drove past it on Highway 20. I held my husband’s hand as his customer unlocked the padlock releasing the heavy security chain wound through the double-door handles. ‘Good luck,’ he said and laughed as we went in. ‘Aren’t you coming with us?’ I asked. The man shook his head and said he didn’t like to go into the building; in fact, he avoided it as much as possible.
Astonished, I looked at my husband. ‘Just wait until we get to the atrium,’ he said.
Just wait? I had already felt the presence of inquisitive spirits watching us. Are you staying? Is he leaving you here?
When we entered the big room at the end of the hall, I had to stop. High ceilings with windows stretching fifteen to twenty feet up in a panoramic view, would let in as much natural light as possible. For a split second the windows were not broken, the room was not dingy and set with mold. People were sitting at tables, some paced, while others sat and stared out at the scenery. Nurses walked through the room stopping and chatting with patients. Are you staying? And then the image disappeared, and the room came into view. Windows now crusted over, brittle with time, and broken in the panes. The remains of tables and chairs lay in pieces scattered around the room. What was once a place of respite, now felt crowded and sad. Is he leaving you?
Curse of the Seven 70s
by Sharon E. Anderson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Date of Publication: February 12, 2015
Number of pages: 180
Sometimes love proves sweeter than revenge… even for Vlad Dracula’s younger brother...
Cassandra Blake is having a very bad day. Her fiancé dumps her for a silicone debutant and convinces her to store his boxes of precious research. If that wasn’t bad enough, she’s just moved into a cottage stocked with only sardines, peaches, and 50 year old Scotch.
Heartbroken, hungry, and a little bit drunk, Cassandra soon realizes that just when you think things can’t get any worse, sometimes they can get very strange…like finding a skeleton in the basement of your newly inherited cottage. But when that skeleton suddenly becomes a hot, romantic, and business savvy vampire named Varo…well, things start looking up.…until his infamous older brother shows up, and their centuries old sibling rivalry threatens her chance at true love.
Can their love survive her conniving ex-fiancé, his vengeful brother, and the Curse of the Seven 70s?
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“My stories are dark and twisted with a sense of humor, because if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re already in hell.” ~Sharon Anderson
First place winner of 2014 Chanticleer Book Review Summer Short Stories and Novelettes Writing Competition for her short story The Stone God’s Wife.