Click to Enlarge

Ghoultide Greetings: Horror Stories for Christmas
Click one of the above links to purchase an eBook.

ISBN-10: 1-89484-196-4
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Supernatural/Horror
eBook Length: 129 Pages
Published: October 2002
OUT OF PRINT

From inside the flap

Snow is falling. The fire is in the hearth. The presents are under the tree and it is time for ... horror! Since Dickens' Eberneezer Scrooge, Christmas has been a holiday of horrors. GHOULTIDE GREETINGS offers fifteen tales to add a chill to your holiday season. So break out the eggnog and prepare to meet the haunted clock in the hall, the strange ornament that no one remembers putting there, the little girl lost in the storm, the curse of a thousand cuts and many more.

Reviews and Awards

"...G. W. Thomas provides a short story that engrosses you from the first few words. Unable to turn away from the tale, knowing that it will end in an horrific manner, does not detract from the power of the writing and the wish for a happier ending..."
-- New Hope International


Ghoultide Greetings: Horror Stories for Christmas (Excerpt)


PROLOGUE:

THE BELLS OF ST. ANDREW


Cabot could hear the crash of waves long before he saw the sea. Llangrannog. That was the name of the place. A small, rocky cove on the western coast of Wales with the old abbey cradled in the valley below. He topped the rise of the land and looked down at a cold, gray sea that was devouring the large white flakes of snow trying to fill it. Cabot imagined how the Atlantic stretched on unimpeded for miles until it met with Ireland, off beyond sight.

It was just as easy to imagine the water rushing on endlessly until it came to the Canadian coast, to Newfoundland. Canada was vast, empty and beautiful, covered in a blanket of snow that stretched from British Columbia to Nova Scotia. But this was different. Canada did not have what he was experiencing now -- agedness.

How many men had stood here at Llangrannog, near Cardigan, and watched Roman ships bringing conquering armies? Or Danish ships headed for Ireland? The Saxons, the Normans? The fleet of Elizabeth I under Raleigh and Grenville? And all the other men and women who stood here. Life upon life stretching back to the prehistoric monolith-builders. Canada was old but not like this.

Then there was the feeling that Cabot had had ever since leaving Montreal airport on the 22nd, a fair journey from his own home on a distant shore in British Columbia. Here he felt somehow secure, safe from something he had never realized endangered him. A feeling that he was about to finish something that he never knew he had started.

He had tried to describe the essence of the emotion to his wife, Candice, but she had little time for ethereal things, busy filling her list of souvenirs and presents for the people she hadn?t left three days ago. Cabot had given up the moment his eye had gleaned from hers that wall of disinterest he usually saw when trying to share a story he had written. She listened politely, then...

His stories. Somehow they made sense here. The large bound book, six hundred dollars to print in a Victoria shop, stashed under his arm. He had lied about the money. Told Candy that he had needed the cash for their trip to the UK. She left the matter to him as she did with most things concerning their?no, his?vacation. Candy had wanted to go to the Kootenays to be with family, or at least, go someplace hot. But he had stuck it out and now they were spending Christmas in Wales.

Cabot scolded himself for being angry with Candice. He loved her deeply. He had never known why in the course of their twenty years of marriage, but he had all the same. She was his opposite in most matters but somehow his complement in others. Still, there was a force tugging at him. The Welsh knew it, spoke of it, a longing for something one never had. And in this place, Llangrannog, it all made perfect sense. Here was what he had longed for. He felt better.

Taking a seat on the crest of the massive hilltop, the man gazed out to sea, then watched how the wind played with his shirt sleeves. There was no rush. He could take as much time as he wanted. Eventually he turned to the book, thick as an encyclopedia, bound in black plastic leatherette. The tome looked ancient, erudite. All his stories, every one. Since Cabot had turned fifteen he had scrawled down the short, sometimes strange or violent tales that came to him in intuitive flashes. Every one. The last had been written six months ago. A sad occasion, for he knew it was to be his last. Candice had found him tearful and chastised him when he told her why he was crying. "You?ll write plenty more stories," she crooned. "God, knows I?ve put up with your stories this long. Why not another fifty years?"

But there wouldn?t be another fifty. The feeling had begun months earlier. He had finished reading David Copperfield, a book he had always wanted to read. Upon finishing it he had felt that some kind of cosmic jigsaw had slid into place for him, that on a checklist in his soul, one less thing existed between him and -- The same feeling when he had seen Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker performed in Victoria's Queen E theatre. Another piece, and another until --

Wales-- that had been the final piece, just as the last story had finished the book. And somehow Cabot knew that when he left Candice at the bed and breakfast that morning in Cardigan that he?d never see her again. Their life together had ended. Love had kept them as one for a score of years, but the end belonged to him and him alone. Her end was her own business.

Cabot stared at the first page of the thick volume, which wanted to jump out of his fingers in the heavy breeze rising off the sea. Snowflakes sprinkled the pages, melted, but Cabot did not care. There was the first story in his book. He wiped the wet clots from his glasses, then began to read. And in reading he felt some kind of power charging inside of him, like a litany of prayer?