secrets of the desert

They had been driving down the highway further into the west. They had come out of the Rocky Mountains and were made it across the Utah border. The day was coming to a close as Mary pulled of the highway.

“why don’t we try to find a campground?” Emma said

“ looked at the map next one is 200 miles out, and I don’t know about you but I don’t have that in me.” Mary said looking towards the sunset. Emma sighed

“Fine, but we need to find a quite Spot”

“ thats fine with me.” Mary said smiling

They found an old rest area on the side of the road. One old streetlight bathed the parking lot in an eerie yellow light. Emma gazed out as the final rays of sunlight sunk below the horizon. The pavement was cracked and broken, and it looked like the place had been forgotten as time moved on.

They settled in, just grabbing blanket and leaning their seats back, They wanted to get going early and there wasn’t much room in the back of the jeep to begin with.

Emma was nervous, but she knew it was nothing. She thought about the trip, it had been such a jump, yet it was life changing. This that changed you were scary, she needed to remember that.

Emma awoke near dawn. She felt jolted awake. The edges of the horizon were just beginning to throw light over the desert. She could tell by the clear sky that it was going to be a clear day. She leaned over to get a better look, and felt something heavy on her chest. She looked down to see her Camera on her chest.

The Camera had not been in her lap the night before. She picked up on and flicked it on. She figured she could look at pictures until she Mary awoke. Casually she hit the review button, and looked at the screen. She felt her heartbeat quicken.

“Mary” she said her hands shaking, she looked over. Mary mumbled and rolled over. Emma could feel her heartbeat thudding hard in her chest.

“ Mary!” She shouted,

Mary finally sat up scowling at Emma.

“What?” She mumbled

“Did you lock the doors?” the word tumbled out of Emmas mouth, Mary looked at her confused

“What do you mean?”

“Did you lock the doors last night.”


“Are you sure” she demanded

“ The Doors were locked!” Mary shouted “What is wrong?”

Emma turned the camera around. It took Marys a moment to adjust to the LCD screen.

“your messing with me.”

Emma felt her shaking

“ I am in the photos too Mary.” She flicked back a couple clicks and turned the camera around, she watched as Mary went white.

“ lets get out of here.” Mary said, she looked through her pocket, then in the cupholder confused

“ Emma” She said fearfully “ do you have my keys?”

“No, Mary what is happening?” Emma said fearfully.

There was a bang, and suddenly Mary was gone. Emma finally broke screaming trying to figure out what to do. There was no one hear to help. She went to drive in the backseat, but instead felt herself dragged out into the cold morning.

She screamed, and screamed yet there was no one for miles. Her screaming faced into the distance until there was only silence.

The cops didn’t show until a week later when a passing tourist called the jeep in . The Camera sat perfectly on the passenger seat.

Spooky Stories

I have never been a Summer person. I love the crisp weather and shortening days of Fall. Each year I look forward to early October. Right now in southern New Hampshire we are almost near peak foliage. We have had a dry year, so everyone expected foliage to be early this year. We have had some stunning colors though, I thought with the lack of rain our colors would be muted. Miraculously we are still getting the hallmark oranges and reds we are famous for. It is time for all sorts of Fall activities. Hot cider, Hayrides and craft fairs. We are lucky to have all the seasons, but Fall is one of thew best.


It is also time for ghost stories. Here in New England we have plenty of them. All those old graveyards and abandoned houses become more spooky when Fall comes around. We have layers of history here reaching back hundreds of years. Being one the oldest part of America, our history lends to ghost stories. Everyone knows about Salem, but there is many more tales. There is the Blue Lady of Vale end, Dogtown, Nellie Butler, and Dudleyville. There are places like the Hoosac Tunnel and Albany NH. No matter where you look in New England there are ghost stories.

Now I’m not a ghost nut. I don’t play with Oujia boards, and I don’t go skulking into the night. I am of the mind where you should let sleeping dogs lie. I don’t fully believe in ghosts, yet I think that it is best to leave well enough alone, just in case. I prefer simply reading the stories, and writing them.


As a writer, I have always loved the ghost stories. If written right, they can send a tingle up your spine with the mysteries that they hold. I love writing them, and visiting places where they originate(In daylight). I am in to classic horror. America as a whole now loves graphic horror. Personally I could never stomach it. I prefer stories where a shadow passes through the doorway, and cannot be explained. The wife that is left and goes mad for no reason. I’m old fashioned, I like to leave certain things to the imagination. I like the mysterious, where the truth is anyones guess. I love to leave things open to interpretation and I think that makes for more engaging writing.


Seasons Changing

So here we are, almost halfway through the week already. I never used to believe the adults when they said as you got older time went by fast. They were right. All around us the leaves are changing, the weather is getting colder. I still can’t believe the Summer is gone. We are getting ready for the Columbus Day influx, here in NH. One final weekend of tourists before the Winter winds blow the remnants of Summer away.


Falling Leaves. Bennington NH.

I am still working on my pictures, and it finally feels like I am making some progress. I am nearly done with 2015 folder, and working on 2016 as I go. The business is slow, but my pictures are getting better, that has counts for something. I am still working on the website. That has been the biggest challenge, and I am nowhere near finished. I kinda got over my head a bit, not knowing too much about website design and such. But I will figure it out.


Greenfield NH

I’m trying to get in the habit of writing more. It keeps me balanced, and I find that my moods better when I do write. I feel the jerk towards my fiction, but with November coming up I’m holding off. Until them, I’m just going to keep writing.

Grey Skies of November

The air has a bite to it tonight. The skies are dark as we prepare for rain coming in from the west. As I make my way out from work, my mind drifts to the changing seasons. I have always found the cold air against my skin refreshing. The landscape has changed so much within the last few week, that to a visitor it would be unrecognizable.

Moonrise. Photo By Colleen Ann

Photo By Colleen Ann

The trees are bare and the gray muted sky reminds me of cold nights. Fall is waning, and we speed towards Winter. The days grow increasingly shorter. In the mornings the pale sunlight comes over the horizon. Soon we will be have deep cold nights full of stars.

I don’t complain if I can help it. Life is too short. I want to sped my time doing what I love. I enjoy quiet places where I can take pictures, and move around undisturbed. Like taking a stroll through a Cemetery to take pictures. They are quiet places, with an incredible amount of beauty. Many people avoid them due to their relationship to death. Yet Death is part of life. It is just part of the greater picture. Once you come to terms with that you are able to truly understand the value of your existence. So much of our experience is shaped by our attitude,

Against he Sunset. Photo By Colleen Ann.

Against he Sunset.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

I never saw my life here, yet as I look back I am thankful. I have been through so much, yet I am stronger than I have ever been. The struggles have made me thankful for what I have. I see life through a different lens due to my circumstance. I am incredibly thankful for what I have, and would not take back on of my experiences for a moment. Everything that I have faced has shaped the individual I have become.

Little Novembers

The trees are bare as we continue our march towards Winter.  The snowbirds are beginning to leave, and many people are outwardly complaining about the coming weather. I welcome this time of year with open arms. It is just another stop on the wider journey. The colors have faded away, the brown  folded leaves of the oaks are the only that remain. The naked branches reach towards the pale sky in a lonely manner that has always captivated me.  Everything is turning inward on itself, preparing for
the long winter ahead. The landscape seems to fade, yet it takes on a new stoic beauty.

Old Tracks. Photo By Colleen Ann.

Old Tracks.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

We had fog earlier in the week. It was burning off as I drove to work, and I beheld an incredible landscape. The sun peaked through where it has burned off, hitting the rolling hills below. The landscape glowed, as patches of blue sky became evident above us. Our landscape in New England is old, yet incredible. Every corner of this region has new things to behold. It reminds me how lucky I am to live in such an incredible place. It influences me, and drives me to write. The landscape feeds my soul. The bare November landscape hold secrets all her own.

Over the Water. Photo By Colleen Ann.

Over the Water.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

Now that life has settled down some, I look forward to more writing.  My weeks have been so structured, that by the time I get around to writing, it is too late. I wait until my mind is lagging towards sleep, and that is never a great time to share ideas. I have felt guilty, yet knew that taking a break was important. Being secured in my job gives me the peace of mind to be able to write, and for that I am thankful. The last six months has been a new experience. At times it has been incredibly hard,  yet I have arrived at a place where I feel better.

Bring on the Snow.

Deep River

Something had happened in Millers swamp years ago. Becca and Alex had kissed their mother goodbye to play in the woods. The village children played out in the deep woods for as long as anyone could remember. They would come back to town near sundown, sneaking in through doors that were always unlocked.

Photo By Colleen Ann.

Photo By Colleen Ann.

Yet as the sun had sunk down, there was no sign of either child. Frantic when their little ones never came home, mothers and fathers headed into the cold wet expanse at the edge of town. A heavy fog had begun to form, swirling around them as they searched. Many from town came, yet they had no luck. They were later joined by the State Police and search and rescue. The entire town was searched. They brought out the dogs, and called the childrens names until they echoed off the trees. News teams from around the region came, digging into the tragedy, exacerbating the pain. The posters went up of a little girl with brown hair and a boy with shocking blue eyes. Day after day, people headed out to Millers, and every night came back with nothing. It was a cold January day when officials called off the search.

The children were never found.

Months passed, then years. The news teams left. The posters became worn and eventually disappeared all together. Every year, as the days became cold and dark, the air became thick with the stories. They had been taken, or killed in the swamp. Others believed that they had been led astray, or had drowned. Yet no one knew what had happened. All they knew was that two kids went into that swamp and never came back. The cold, dark swamp sat in silence, refusing to give up any secrets.

Photo By Colleen Ann.

Photo By Colleen Ann.

After the disappearances Deep River changed. Door were locked at night. A heaviness lay over the town. The carefree innocent of the town was swallowed up. Many people moved away, looking to escape the memories.

Miller swamp took on a life of its own. Many who remained avoided it all together, fearing the same fate. Even those who loved the place began to stay away. Hunters who had been going out there for years, began to have a funny feeling about the place. Others has sworn they hear voices out there, echoing off the water. Other had seen shadows or felt as if something were watching them. A somber feel lay over the place, and questions echoed in the air. Locals began to believe that the swamp was Becca and Alex’s final resting place, and the stories continued.

One night a young man came into the tavern, shouting.

“ I saw some crazy shit out on Millers,” he shouted ‘I swear, a man and a women, out over the water!”

Incredulously a group hurried down the dirt road to the spot. The night was clear and cold, and the full moon illuminated the large expanse. Tufts of dead grass stuck up, and old leaves floated on the surface of the placid water. They stood there expectantly, yet as they gazed out nothing moved.

“ This is creepy, lets get out of here.” One of the girls said tersely.

Without another word they made their way back to the cars. The young man took one last glance before he got in, grumbling as they took off back to town.

Two figures sat at the other edge of the swamp, just out of sight. The watched as the cars headlights faded into the darkness. They stood hand in hand, knowing the entire story. The young man looked at the girl with a bemused expression. He had a deep white scar running down his cheek and shocking blue eyes. She was somber, yet beautiful, with a shock of brown hair.

Photo By Colleen Ann.

Photo By Colleen Ann.

“Do you think they’d recognize us?” He said looking up at the girl in the pale moonlight.

She turned her gaze towards him, a thin smile forming.


Sweet Late September

The road passes down the big field where the barn was. A couple years ago we had heavy snow and the it’s back finally broke. The roof caved in and the barn fell in upon itself. This Summer, they finally took a bulldozer to the weather beaten remains. Now nothing remains but a fresh patch of grass where the barn used to stand.

Swamp Maples. Greenfield NH. Photo By Colleen Ann.

Swamp Maples.
Greenfield NH.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

Its been a busy week. I have been transitioning into a new job, which has taken up my focus. Working from 9-5, I no longer have to rely on pulling small profits off essays, which I’m thankful for. Way too many people expect you to write for little to no profit. I don’t mind negotiating prices, but I refuse to put my heart and soul into something that is not furthering my career. I need to change direction once again, but I look forward to the challenge. I have time to allow my writing to continue to grow without the pressure bills bring. Most important, I can do the writing I want to do, not the writing I need to do for money.

Maples are the first to go. Temple NH. Photo By Colleen Ann.

Maples are the first to go.
Temple NH.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

Fall has really begun in Southern NH. The road continues on, dipping down before crossing the swamp. Our temperatures have dipped into the 40’s at night, and the Swamp Maples have begun to turn. They never disappoint, always displaying deep reds. Around town small bits of colors are bursting through the canopy. The oaks at the meetinghouse are melting into a fiery orange that intensifies each day. The pumpkins are ready to be pulled from stems, and the vegetation is beginning to fade. With the cold temperatures and the shorter days, the sweaters are being pulled out, and the brisk winds remind us that Winter soon will be here.

Endless Orchard. Hollis NH. Photo By Colleen Ann.

Endless Orchard.
Hollis NH.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

The turn in season brings another new beginning. Fall is so many incredible things in New England. Its deep orange of the trees on the common. The hay rides and the deep smell of Summer fading away. The crisp taste of apples pulled off of gnarled apple trees. The bright sunny days that hold a slight chill. For me its a new beginning, and I am hopeful as I look forward.