The opening of the first story, The Rented Room, in my book of stories, The Camera Obscure, coming soon!
It is commonly understood that along with a birth, a death, and a divorce, moving house is one of life’s most stressful events. I had no close, personal experience of the first three, but I was ready to risk the last, as the time had come to move on. Feeling the familiar impulse to start looking over my shoulder once again, I sold my place of solitary refuge and was about to take flight to the other end of the country. A writer, always hoping to add one more chapter to my own tale, it was entirely fitting that I was here, almost ready to leave, boxing up my treasured books.
As I picked up the last dust-covered book and placed it carefully into the box, I found myself considering again that night so long ago. I sat surrounded by cardboard vessels filled with printed tales to delight and horrify, but of all the stories I have written and read, none made such an indelible mark on my life as the story I became a part of some forty years ago. It seemed like only days back that the terrible events unfolded around me, although a lifetime had withered and died in those same hours and minutes. No, I was not the same person who had embarked on my journey all those years previously. The mirror that once reflected a face full of hope and promise now framed a weary, aging visage with eyes clouded by fear and defeat.
By Virginia Betts 2019 ( full story can be found in The Weird and The Whatnot July 2019)