The Ghosts of Havenholm (Part One)

This following is part one of a serialized novella by New Westminster author JJ Lee and features the first two chapters of The Ghosts of Havenholm. We are so very proud to be able to publish this work.

The story: “Oscar has a number of problems. He just moved to Havenholm, a creepy neighbourhood that most people in town avoid. He has no friends. Nearly everyone he meet appears to be dead. And then there is the decrepit groundskeeper, Mr. Maurais, a man who hungers to consume Oscar’s soul.”

Stay tuned for Part Two in August. 

Ghost of Havenholm Chapter 1 and 2CHAPTER ONE

The summer haze may have made her shimmer, if she was real at all. In the tall grass across the road, a distance away, Oscar saw a tail of red hair and the flutter of a yellow skirt or dress.

He rubbed his eyes. He hesitated on the top step of the front porch of his new house in Havenholm. New isn’t quite the right word for Havenholm because it was, in fact, one of the oldest neighbourhoods. It was isolated from the rest of town. Only one road led to the area, which was plenty enough. Few people in town ever visited for the place had a grim history.

Havenholm had been the grounds of a sanatorium and later an orphanage. Then it had been a college for deaf and blind children. A great fire had burned down all the buildings on the hill. Now, Oscar saw only thick woods and bits of meadow.

His father had told him that lives were lost and, as a result, only on rare occasions did local folk cross the road that ringed the hill to set foot on Havenholm proper. On the outside edge of the ring road stood the only houses that survived the fire. A mere three of them had families living in them, including Oscar’s.

But none of Havenholm’s history was the cause of his reluctance. Continue reading “The Ghosts of Havenholm (Part One)”

The War In Me

Guns for 10-2-F (1)

This piece originally appeared on Tenth to the Fraser in Issue Zero of our print magazine, April 2016, and was originally presented as a part of the Wait for Me, Daddy celebrations.  

When I was 11 years old, two blocks from my home, a stand of trees grew on a strip of land. You’d cross a few streets from our home, and it would bring you to the place that we called The Woods.

It wasn’t a forest or a nature preserve or a park. Just leftover, neglected, underdeveloped parcel of land, fringed by tall grass and old trees in the middle. I’m sure now it would appear to be a mere back lot but back then it represented a place of freedom, a wilderness.

When there was enough of us to form two sides, my friends and I would head to it with stolen broom handles, broken hockey sticks, and garbage can lids in our hands and we would play our games, wargames.

Absolute anachronology ruled. We were fantastic eternal chameleons warriors. Nazi one moment, then shining elf, knight of the Round Table next, a merry man of Sherwood Forest, or even a Nazi Elf. It was all possible in the Woods.

I don’t remember much about the reasons for our wars. We just wanted to fight it. Continue reading “The War In Me”