Friday, 6 April 2018

Ghostly Inspirations F is for Flowers #AtoZChallenge 2018 plus #FreeFictionFriday

So on to my offering for The A to Z Blogging Challenge 2018
My theme this year is Ghostly Inspirations
a collection of spirits that have been prompted by my encounters with places and times. Some are spooky, some more about atmosphere. I'll be describing each inspiration and the phantom that came to my mind, and then I will share a drabble, which I hope will entertain. :)

For another F, Wittegen Press's #FreeFictionFriday - see the bottom of the post:

Disclaimer: The places and experienced I have used for my inspiration are real, but my ghosts and drabbles are complete fiction, linked to nothing and no-one, alive or dead. When writing about my inspirations, I may have changed names and obfuscated specific details to 'protect the innocent' :).


F is for Flowers

I visited Canada a while ago, British Columbia to be more precise, and part of the trip took us to Butchart Gardens in Victoria. The sunken garden, which is one of the parts of these gardens, is a place of glorious flowers and plants and water features all disguising what the place once was, a robbed-out empty limestone quarry.

The origins of this beautiful place is the inspiration for my ghosts today.

(Just a reminder, Butchart is my inspiration, my ghost and story have no basis in reality, hence in the rest of this post, I’m calling it Ballard Gardens.)

There is more than one ghost today. They come from the time when the empty Ballard quarry was being converted into a garden. Topsoil was taken from nearby farmland to create the surface of the lower garden, loaded into horse and cart and driven to the quarry load by load. One of the carters, Eddie Jay, was a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, which is what Rose Walters, his sweetheart, loved about him. She would sometimes ride with him on his many trips to and fro with earth for the gardens.

One fine Summer day, having dumped his current load, Eddie turned his cart around, laughing and joking with Rose in the sunshine. Deftly, he leant down as they passed one of the new flower beds, collecting an exotic flower for his lady love, presenting it to her. She accepted with a girlish giggle.

Unfortunately, the young couple were so involved in each other, that neither saw the dog in the path ahead when Eddie drove the horse forward. The dog barked, the horse reared and then set off in a terrified lurch down the rough track. Eddie tried to bring the animal back under control, but the cart bounced wildly, throwing Rose out. She screamed as she hit the ground, but not for the broken leg she had sustained, for Rose was crying out for her lover, who, failing to stop the horse, headed straight at the quarry wall. Neither Eddie, nor the horse survived. 

Rose never recovered from that day. Her leg never mended properly, but as soon as she could hobble, she began turning up at the forming gardens, asking people if they had seen Eddie that day. The Ballard’s indulged the grieving girl, never blocking her way until one day she was found in the pool at the bottom of the lower garden. Generously, her death was ruled an accident.

Both Eddie and Rose have been sighted at different times in Ballard Gardens, Rose more often than Eddie as she walks around the lower garden, head bowed, flower held up to her face, Eddie on the path just outside the lower garden, waiting for his love to join him.

All the employees know the story, and most have seen the lovers, even if they give them a wide berth.



Last tourist car away, Jamie locked the gate. Then, one eye on the sunset, dashed towards the lower garden: it was a Rose evening.

After working at Ballard Gardens all Summer, this was Jamie’s last week - now or never. She spotted the bonnet first - her heart entered her throat. She paused, took a deep breath and, goosebumps rising on her arms, walked towards her quarry.


The figure ahead stopped, turned. Jamie stopped too - close enough.

“Eddie’s up there, waiting.”

Jamie pointed. Rose followed her indication. Jamie didn’t look, but she shivered with Eddie’s presence. Rose smiled - then was gone.


Other paranormal and spooky stories by Sophie Duncan.


Free Fiction Friday

It's the 1st Friday of April and that means it is Free Fiction Friday over at Wittegen Press. A new short story is now up for all the subscribers to our newsletter.

It is completely free to become a member and all you need is a valid email address. Fill in the form at the bottom of this page and you’re done. Don't worry if you join after the 1st Friday, the password for the month will be included in the welcome email after you subscribe.

What we WILL DO for our subscribers:

  • Send you an email on the 1st Friday of the month to remind you about the short story and give you the password for the month as soon as the story goes live.
  • Send you information about new books, competitions and events, so you don’t miss anything.
  • Give you two Free eBooks just for joining.

What we WON’T DO to our subscribers:

  • Spam you with loads of random advertising.
  • Reveal your email adress to anyone else.

This Month's Short Story

by Sophie Duncan
Genre: ghost
Length: ~2K wds

Molly has been a Clippie on the number forty-two all her working life. She loves her job and nothing is going to stop her from helping her fares. 

Newsletter Subscription Form

We'll send you details of book releases, competitions and other news from our authors, BUT we WON'T spam you, or pass your details on to anyone else.
Wittegen Press

We will also give you 2 FREE ebooks just for signing up.

* indicates required


  1. Hi Sophie - well that's put paid to me enjoying my visit to Butchart Gardens ... roses too = will not be too happily enjoyed ... creative horrors ... quarries and horses ... not nice - cheers Hilary

    1. Butchart Gardens are fabulous, well worth a visit :)

  2. Replies
    1. I don't think I've ever come across a ghost that stuck around due to being happy - maybe I should write one later on.

  3. Replies
    1. So close and yet so far away, but Jamie helped.

  4. Replies
    1. Well, a gal's gotta help out another, even if she is dead. :)

  5. Flowers and ghosts - an unexpected but great combo!

  6. Do the winter storms affect their search for each other?

    Tale Spinning

  7. I was curious to how you'd connect flowers to ghosts. Wonderful job and the story about the gardens was haunting.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    My A to Z’s of Dining with IC
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author


Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear from you. :)