The Extraordinary Life of Amy Winston, Book 1
When Gunter killed a worthless soldiers, he never smiled.
However, when a soldier held his ground and fought a good battle, Gunter would smile because he had bested the best.
However, that has gotten him in trouble, and frankly the one hundred and thirty-eight spirits that followed him home are driving him crazy!
Thankfully, Amy convinces Uncle John to fetch a Catholic Priest.
For some, Amy is an angel incarnate; for others, she is the child of Satan. In her early years, Amy learns the skills of a soldier and discovers she can heal with the touch of her hand. Upon the death of her beloved Uncle John, he stays as a protective ghost to assist the soldiers in their vigilant efforts to keep her safe. Never has a girl arrived at Madam Cousec’s School for Young Ladies with more charm, more friends, or greater protection. She’ll need them all to survive the head girl and set her future in motion.
Gunter watched the Colonel leave. “He went all the way to Salisbury to bring you back. I wish I could oblige him by getting better. He thinks it’s in my head, you know, that I’m feeling guilty about killing these sons of bitches. Excuse my language, Father, but I hate them. I didn’t hate them when I killed them, but I bloody well hate them now!”
He noticed one coming through the wall. He threw a book at it and told it to get the bloody hell out.
“No, let them come in,” Father Duncan insisted. “I think they should hear what I can do for you…and them.”
Within a few seconds, dead spirits crowded in the room. They were everywhere: hanging from the lights, sitting on the lamps and bedpost, filling every space in the room.
“My, there certainly are a lot of you,” Father Duncan said in pleasant surprise.
“I was a soldier,” Gunter explained.
“A sadist, more the like,” one of the dead yelled out, causing the others to yell out insults as well.
Father Duncan held up his hand and they all quieted. “Now, I can tell everyone here is very unhappy, which was not the plan. When you die, you should go to heaven and it is the most wonderful feeling you can ever imagine. Your whole body tingles with rapture.”
Now the spirits were really angry and blamed Gunter for ruining their deaths. A few caused books to fly at him, but he swatted them away.
Father Duncan raised his hand and they quieted once again.
“Gunter did not keep you from going to heaven,” Father Duncan said.
“Then what happened?” the apparent leader of the group demanded.
“I don’t know, but let’s see if we can figure it out together.” Father Duncan stared at the mob of ghosts. “Who here was the first to die?”
“That would be me,” the apparent leader growled.
“Excellent, so tell me, when the light came, why didn’t you go to it?”
“Because I was angry. This bloody bastard smiled at my death. The light came while I tried to strangle him, ’cept I couldn’t do it, since I hadn’t no body no more. But I could tell he saw me, so I kept yelling at him, telling him what I thought about him.”
“All right. Who is the second oldest death?”
A spirit in the back raised his hand.
“And why didn’t you follow the light?”
“Because he told me to stay and help torment the bastard…begging your pardon, Father.”
“And the third?”
“Same reason,” the man on the lamp replied.
All the others were nodding in agreement.
“So, we’ve now figured out what went wrong. Instead of going to heaven and being filled with this amazing joy and happiness, all of you ignored your lights to help scream curses at Gunter because he smiled when he killed you.”
“This is your fault, Coby,” one of the spirits complained. “You started it!”
All the other spirits fell into quick agreement. They would have pummeled Coby into the ground, if such a thing were possible.
“We are not here to place blame. We are trying to understand what has happened and to fix matters so all of you can move to where you belong and be happy,” Father Duncan reminded them.
Coby raised his fist at Gunter. “He can’t be happy. I won’t go if it makes him happy.” A few in the mob of spirits agreed, but most were quiet now.
Father Duncan turned to large fellow. “Gunter, you said you didn’t hate them when you killed them. So why did you smile?”
“Because they had been good fighters and I was happy I bested them. I never smiled when I killed those who weren’t good at their job. In fact, I usually cursed them to hell for wasting my time. But these sorry bastards were the best I fought and I was proud that they had fought so hard, and even prouder that I had bested them.”
“So, it was a compliment to their skills, when you smiled?”
Gunter paused. He damn well didn’t want to let this lot of torturers know that. “I wouldn’t say that,” he growled.
“But that’s because they have ruined your life and you are angry at them now. But then, before they abused you so, you thought well of these men, did you not?” Father Duncan persisted.
“Yes, I did, but that was before I knew the sorry lot.”
Father Duncan laughed softly and smiled. “There are many times I cannot help because the grievances are all too real. But this was a simple misunderstanding of what Gunter’s smile meant. Now that you know the truth of his smile, wouldn’t you rather go to heaven and be happy? This misunderstanding has stolen years of joy from all of you. I can help you on your way if you’d like to go.”
Father Duncan and Gunter had to cover their ears from the din of ‘me first’ that came as his reply.
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More About the Author
Liza O’Connor’s favorite books are Pride & Prejudice and Douglas Adams’ five book trilogy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Go figure…
Raised in the southern mid-section of U.S., Liza escaped to the East Coast once out of college. She’s worked as a journalist, a radio DJ, a security guard, a stock broker, a strategist, and a business solutions consultant to name a few of her many occupations. Again…go figure.
She learned to fly planes, jump out of planes, hang-glide, kayak and scuba dive, to name of few of her ‘let’s kill Liza’ sports. However, her favorite activity is to hike with her dog Jess among the shaved mountains of NJ.
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