I began it in the summer of 2009 while I was living in Salonika (Thessaloniki) in Greece. I was all alone with 2 months ahead of me, trying to think how I could creatively enjoy my time off school as an English teacher. I had always loved writing stories and illustrating, and I had been utilising this passion for my Greek students, making up stories for them to help them contextualise vocabulary that we were learning in class, and how to use grammatical structures correctly. It proved to be fun and soon I was writing more and more for them, which made me really happy as I was encouraging them to read and also to be creative as homework tasks were set such as write your own conclusion to this story.
So I spent a lot of time in my study planning the plot and drawing sketches of the characters. I became utterly absorbed in my new fantasy world and would type away from the hours of 9pm to 4am every night; the balcony doors wide open, a gentle summer night breeze bellowing the curtains and my favourite Rock Radio Station playing in the background. It was the ONLY time that the city was quiet and cool enough for me to focus so I became a night owl. I loved it!
Inspired by many Rock Tracks playing on Rainbow:http://www.89rainbow.gr/ during the night hours,
Especially these two:
And the website that I poured over, late into each night, before and after writing:
and to the people who I chatted with in the forum and in the photo comment threads. They showed me that I wasn’t alone in my passion for abandoned asylums.
this is typical of my nightly sky views from my apartment
The City streets where I would walk
it was a very inspiring city for the writer
Thessaloniki will always be my Muse. It’s my heart (kardia in Greek) and soul (psihi) and I miss it terribly.
Here is the front cover of my book. I designed it myself using Photoshop:
Casey is a spoiled sixteen year old. She does not appreciate her parents, her privileged life or anyone who doesn’t adhere to her beliefs or passions. When her father accepts a post as a village Doctor and they move into a beautiful old mansion in the countryside, she is determined to rebel. Bored and angry to have left her friends back in the city she decides to defy her selfish parents, refusing to make friends with neighbours Lee and Lisa, and determined to spend her days alone.
But her bad attitude is about to change.
It all begins with Eliza. She discovers her punk rag doll under her bed, but there is something sinister about her. This doll is sad and torn and makes Casey uneasy and afraid. On a solitary walk she comes across a house that looks exactly like her own, but is deserted and burned out. It haunts her with terrifying feelings which draw her back there again and again. This begins a rollercoaster ride of fear, sadness, love and self-discovery. The house weaves the web which entangles Casey into a series of events connecting the doll, the boy called Lee and her fated future.
Why does Eliza, her doll, keep appearing in that house?
Who is the handsome boy wearing her favourite t-shirt who hangs out in the burnt out attic bedroom. Why is he petrified of her?
Gradually, Casey begins to piece together the sinister clues from her journal entries and sketchbooks that manifest themselves in that house. Eventually they lead her to a terrifying discovery. Can she look deep into herself and mend her selfish ways before she destroys herself and the people she loves?
You can read two ‘taster’ chapters in the review on the LULU site:
Or look inside the book on the Amazon Website. It can also be purchased here for Kindle devices:
Casey’s life, loves and encounters with the paranormal can also be followed on her WordPress Blog:
I really hope that my first short story resonates with young readers and adults alike.
There are two main themes running through the plot;
Don’t judge people on appearances and
Every action has a consequence.
Enjoy, and please leave a review on the Amazon site or LULU site if you are kind enough to purchase it, or leave a comment.
Here’s the first Chapter:
Something isn’t right here
Casey hurled her phone towards the pile of crumpled clothes in the corner of her room. Angrily, she chose the loudest rock song she could find on her track list and snatched the earphones from her bedside table. Her best friend Stella wasn’t picking up and she really needed to talk to someone. Closing her eyes, she pushed the earphones into her ears and let herself fall back onto the unmade bed. Loud music always helped her block out the world around her and today she didn’t want to be aware of anything or anyone at all.
She hated the new house they had recently moved into. It wasn’t as much the house itself, just the dread of what she would do all summer without her friends who were now hundreds of miles away. She had already seen the nearest neighbours, who were at least ten minute walk away, sitting on their lawn listening to severely irritating chart hits. The girl, who was probably a year or so younger than Casey, seemed to her to be a bit dull in her floral dress and silly sandals. The boy, as far as she could remember, was about eighteen although it had been difficult to tell, not having stuck around long enough to catch their attention. There was no way that she was going to waste her time even talking to them as they obviously had nothing in common. She could hear mother’s insistently gabbing voice in her head now, ‘Why don’t you go and make friends with Lisa and Lee, love? Lee’s only a year or so older than you! And their parents are so nice, they came to welcome us to the village yesterday…’
‘Nice’. How bland. Her mother was disillusioned if she thought for one single second that she would hang out with them. It just proved to her that her parents didn’t understand a thing about their own daughter. They were too busy fussing around all her father’s new patients at the clinic and trying too hard to make friends with everyone. What about her? Did they care about her at all? Had they bothered asking her opinion as to whether she wanted to move or not? No. Plain and simple. Anyway, she didn’t need them. She didn’t need anyone.
Her Doc Marten boots felt heavy from trudging around in the woodland behind the house. They had left a muddy, wet line smudged across the pillowcase. She kicked the pillow and scraped her foot along it, spreading the mud even further. Her mother would kill her but she didn’t care.
She hung herself over the side of the bed, feeling the blood pumping in her temples. Twisting her head a little, she could just see dim outlines of boxes and junk under the bed, some of the things she hadn’t even taken out of the boxes. There was the games console that her parents had given her when they moved. She didn’t want more things, she just craved someone to talk to, someone that understood her. She flipped over onto her stomach to reach further underneath and suddenly her hand touched something soft, something like wool. She laughed out loud as she pulled out Eliza by her hair. She thought her mother had thrown her out ages before they moved saying as always that she looked evil and manky. But here was the doll she had made all by herself from scraps of clothes and old socks. She pressed Eliza’s dusty hair against her cheek and felt strangely comforted. She sat up and arranged Eliza so she perched, lifelike on the edge of the bedside table, her striped, lanky legs bent up towards her chest.
‘Hi Eliza,’ Casey whispered, pulling some fluff out of her bright yellow hair, ‘I missed you. I guess it’s just you and me now.’
Casey stared at Eliza’s huge, uneven eyes that were outlined in thick black acrylic paint. She had hated all the other dolls that relatives had given her throughout the years. Stereotypical bodies and faces of ‘beauty’ that everyone was expected to adhere to. She had always preferred the misfits, the ones who were considered ugly for it would be them that came through as the strong ones, the ones who had good hearts and more than one brain cell in their heads.
Suddenly, Casey’s eyes went blurred and a she swayed a little, overbalancing for a second. A feeling of unease gripped her chest as she tried to focus on Eliza. She turned down the volume of the Nirvana song and shook her head to try and clear it. Kneeling on the bed, she looked back at Eliza and what she saw sent a hot blazing stabbing sensation into her chest. She drew a breath but her lungs felt tight, too tight to breathe at all.
Eliza had moved.
Her legs were hanging down now, but not limply as a rag doll’s legs would. They were bent at the knees, and her head had turned so her eyes fixed on the window. Eliza’s head never moved, it was sewn too tightly.
That was not the worst. Her face had changed. Her mouth wasn’t smiling as it had been when Casey made her. Her thin lips were curled down at the corners, the stitching loose and torn at one end. She had been smiling when she was pulled from under the bed.
Casey had been holding her breath for way too long and let it out with an almost desperate sigh. Something isn’t right here, she realised with dread, gasping as an icy finger slid up her spine. Without thinking any more, she jumped up knocking the bedside table against the wall with a thud, grabbed her bag and almost flew down the stairs, her hand covering her mouth so she wouldn’t actually scream. She was screaming in her head though. She had to get away, as far away from her bedroom as possible.
© Serena Grey ‘Abandoned~a teenager’s journey of self discovery’ 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from these Blogs’ author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Serena Grey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.