A Quandary of Existence

A quiet so loud
I am deafened by the nothingness
A light so bright
I am blinded by its’ darkness

Inside is outside
Life is just a dream
Inner worlds reflected
To the outside deflected
Sanity in my madness
Light in my darkness
An upside down world
Or am I the hanged man?

Voices that talk to me
They say I am not alone
That I am connected
To everything I rejected
All is me just reflected
In a word – redacted
Where is the edge to this?
Is my head hanging beyond?

I am so small, so very tiny
Just a speck in eternity
I am though at the center
And yet I don’t remember
This is all simply just me
Yes, everything that we can see
Everything and nothing too
An eternal quandary

Is there an answer?
How would I possibly know?
I mean how?
When I can’t even
Frame the question
Got a suggestion?



An Old Man in Scotland

In the run up to Halloween, here is another true and strange tale of the paranormal. I will post a new strange true story each day so don’t miss them.This will be last until next Wednesday as its a long weekend public holiday here….

We were touring the west coast of Scotland for a day or two. We had set out from Glasgow that morning and fully intended to go back there that night but the day had been fun with lots to see and do and so by the time we entered Inverary it was already quite late. In fact, we had already visited Inverary jail that morning before motoring a bit further up the coastline so the idea of staying the night there seemed a good one and would give us more time to look around.

In the end we settled on the George in the main street and booked two rooms. My ex-wife and twin boys were allocated one room while my elder son and I would take the other. The twins were very taken with their room and excitedly showed me the oak paneling, portraits on the walls, four poster bed complete with heavy curtains and the quaint but airy bathroom en suite that had an old fashioned bath on four legs. They thought it a great and funny room. I didn’t like it. Not at all. I was relived to be sleeping down the hall in the more modern part of the Hotel. Our room was normal with two side-by-side single beds separated by a small table and lamp.


By this time in my life, I had things more or less under control. It had been a long time since anything really strange had occurred and at times, I rather missed that. That night however, especially in that room, I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up and a shiver went down my spine. I put it down to a draft at least initially.

We ordered dinner in the bar and enjoyed a couple of beers too. We couldn’t really make it late because the twins were still fairly small and tired early in the evening. Reluctantly, it was soon time to go to bed and off we all went up the staircase accordingly. Given my earlier discomfort and sixth sense that not all was quite normal with the hotel, I was uncomfortable.

I slept like a log. Really, I did. Nothing happened at all. I was relieved. At breakfast, I remarked that my ex-wife looked like she had had a bad night. She glared at me over tea and toast and said, “You have no idea!” The twins nodded in unison.

“What happened?” I asked.

“Dad, there was an old man, a nasty old man in our room,” said one of the twins.

“Really?” I asked.

Apparently, they had got into the four-poster bed and switched on the TV. After as short while, they switched out the lights and although all was OK until after they slept, my ex-wife said that she felt like someone was watching her. Later they were woken by the bedclothes being pulled from the bed and one of the twins swore that there was an old man in the room that didn’t want them there. Noises and unexplained bangs occurred throughout the night and eventually our son pointed at a portrait that was dimly visible on the wall and said – “Its that man, Mummy.”

The portrait removed from the wall and turned to face it, they tried the best they could to sleep with the lights on. It wasn’t much of a night’s sleep for any of them by all accounts. There was an ‘old man’ odor in the room too I was told.

For once, it wasn’t me that experienced bizarre things. None the less, I had known there was something about that room and I had said nothing. Not that it would have made any difference I suppose.

If you enjoyed this story you will also enjoy my novel – The Last Observer – great price on Kindle all winter! This story is taken from My Haunted Life.

Neil Humphreys – This Dad Really is for Life, Not for Weekends

What an awesome article about being a Father…..

Dads for Life Toolbox

From Picking up a Penguin’s Egg Really Got Me into Trouble. Used with permission. From Picking up a Penguin’s Egg Really Got Me into Trouble.
Used with permission.

There is usually a nod of feigned sympathy. If I’m lucky I get a doleful look and a sad smile. Occasionally, I’m treated to a sympathetic hand on the shoulder as friends rally around to help me deal with my loss.

It’s not easy for them either. They also struggle to come to terms with my predicament; their eyes darting around the room as if seeking a solution, kind souls struggling to find the right words, scrambling for a suitable reaction to my loss, my handicap; my unbearable circumstances.

I do not employ a foreign domestic helper.

I know. I know. The depravation must be unthinkable, unfathomable. My daughter is being raised in a Dickensian sweatshop. Her every waking moment is like an audition for Angela’s Ashes. She spilled some Ribena on the kitchen…

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Getting Older

I once thought that
I would last forever
Had no concerns at all
Burned the candles at both ends
And in the middle too
But there came a time when
I suddenly understood
Time, was moving quickly on
Everyone looks older
But not necessarily wiser
Certain songs are sung memories
Of times now long gone
Partying with people
Whose names I no longer remember
Yes indeed, life has moved on
Getting older
Getting bolder
With each passing day
Where there is a will
They say that there is a way
But the way my body feels
I’m sometimes not so sure
Quite frankly
The word manure
Or a derivation
Comes to mind
And you know
What I find
So bloody difficult
Is actually that
Aging is so damned


A Meeting with God

In the run up to Halloween, here is another true and strange tale of the paranormal. I will post a new strange true story each day so don’t miss them.

A few weeks into my college days, as I made my way from the Students’ Union building to my student flat on the 19th floor of a campus building, I noticed a rather suspicious looking character who seemed to be following me around. As I entered one of the elevators in the ground-floor of the building, he followed peering sideways at me but looking away whenever I tried to catch his eye. As the elevator arrived at my floor, I was hoping it was all just my imagination and that perhaps he would continue up to the top floor above me. But, as I left the elevator, he followed and as I reached the doorway into the group of six study bedrooms, shared kitchen, and bath that was my home on campus, he was still right there – right behind me.

“Do you want something?” I asked nervously.

“Gary, I want to talk to you,” he said quietly.

“How do you know my name?” I asked in surprise.

“Oh, I know a lot about you.” he replied. “And I must speak with you – Now if possible.”

Reluctantly, I let him in to my study bedroom and he introduced himself as an Indonesian student. He practiced meditation, he said, and he had been asked by his Guide to talk to me and help with some challenges that I was facing. I was rather incredulous but convinced. How exactly did he know my name?

Anantha and I actually became firm friends from that point forward. He really did know a lot about me for someone I had just met and that seemed both mysterious and alluring. He tried to help me understand that I was a ‘sensitive’ and that this sensitivity meant that I was open to all the flotsam and jetsam of the astral world. He also told me that my uncontrolled reaction – pure fear – was attracting things from that realm that I was probably better off without. He started to teach me some psychic self defence methods that were useful but the problem was that at the smallest hint of any phenomenon, I became a total wreck and fear possessed me completely.

In order to help me overcome this deep-seated fear, he suggested that it might help if I could share a controlled experience with him. Sitting me down in a comfortable position, he asked me to close my eyes and relax. Peeking out of the corner of my eye I watched him do likewise. Suddenly, I was with him in a stone tunnel, it seemed to go on for a great distance and as it did so, it slowly curved around so that you could not see where the tunnel went. What I could see though, was the brightest light I have ever seen. It filled the tunnel with golden light but its source was always just around the bend in the tunnel so that it could not actually be seen directly. The light began to fill me with laughter. It made me feel very happy, happier than I had ever felt and happier than anyone has any right to feel. I began to laugh out loud and as I did so, tears of joy sprang from my closed eyes. As I laughed an odd thing happened. My laughter seemed to become magnified thousands of times and to descend in pitch until I realized that this was not my laughter anymore but someone or something else’s laughter. The laughter permeated throughout my entire being so that everything was laughter and golden light and I knew then that I was in the presence of God.

When I finally came out of the trance that I had found myself in, Anantha was already sitting opposite me with a smile on his face and a questioning look in his eyes.

“You see, He is always there for you,” he explained. “There is no need to be frightened. All you have to do is trust in Him.”

As I discovered on several occasions since then, a wonderful experience like that quickly fades just as the memory of a dream fades. At the time that it happens and shortly afterwards, it feels as if it should surely stay with you forever, but it fades just the same as consciousness returns to normality. And, with its fading away so too the newly found and almost grasped confidence went with it and as Anantha left, I was ashamed to feel just as frightened as I had been before.

Anantha did help me a lot though. Through slow perseverance he got me to a state that I could best describe as the toleration of fear. He was also someone that I could share my thoughts and experiences without fear of reproach or that look of horror as your confidant realizes that you might well be a total freak. Unfortunately, he left the college at the end of my first year returning to Indonesia and I never heard from him again.

If you enjoyed this story you will also enjoy my novel – The Last Observer – great price on Kindle all winter!

The Last Supper

Here is another true and strange tale of the paranormal. I will post a new strange true story each day so don’t miss them.

At the beginning of my second year of college, I moved into a flat in West Bromwich. It was quite a distance from the University but it was the only thing I could find that I could afford. There was a bus ride into Birmingham and so I just had to get used to the idea of commuting.

At some point I had acquired a very large paper poster of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper. I really liked the painting and would often spend time studying the detail of the picture. It hung proudly on the main wall of the flat.

One evening, I went out and ended up at a party. I met a girl there who was an art student. We got talking and I mentioned that I wrote poetry and song lyrics she talked to me about how she was expected to paint and create a group of art items around a theme for a project. Somehow, we arrived at the idea, that perhaps she would use my poetry for that. The only thing left to do was for her to review the poems and so we made arrangements for her to visit the following Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday morning, when it finally arrived, I tried to tidy and clean the flat. I was quite keen to impress her if the truth be told. I even went out and bought a few small cakes from the bakery and spent a small fortune on some decent instant coffee. She duly arrived and she sat opposite me across a small table and in between munching on the cakes, she began to read some of my poetry . At once, she spotted the theme that we had discussed and that had initially piqued her interest – fear, ghosts, astral plane and so on.

“Why do you write so many on that set of topics,” she asked.

I tried my best to explain. I told her about the Cavalier ghost, the activities at my house that had followed me to West Bromwich, about my interest in understanding it all and my avid reading of books on magic and the esoteric.

She laughed. “That’s a load of bloody nonsense,” she giggled.

To be honest, I was a bit angered by that reaction. She sits there, reading my innermost secrets in those poems and when I explain what motivated them she laughs!

“No, it isn’t nonsense. Not at all,” I said firmly.

“Of course, it is. There are no such things as ghosts.” She said matter of factly. “Magic is something done on stage by people using trickery.”

“No, you are wrong.”

“Prove it,” she said.

Those two words – Prove it – Damn it, I would try. I was pretty angry at having my intelligence questioned and being insulted by a person who had plainly never experienced anything at all unusual. Prove it Indeed.

I began mentally repeating the words “Make something happen – prove it to her.” I didn’t really expect anything to happen to be honest. I had not really ever tried to make something happen as to be honest, I was too scared of what might happen myself to try. Anger and indignation, pride and ego this time however, motivated me to try. There was no technique, no magic words, just a deep-seated will driven by anger to make her eat those words.

“I will,” I said forcefully.

To my utter amazement, the windows behind me suddenly rattled and with a loud cracking noise, blew wide open. A rush of air entered the flat blowing her hair back and scattering the pile of poems all around the room. Her eyes, probably like mine, widened in total shock and awe. Then, the piece de resistance, the huge paper Leonardo Da Vinci Last Supper picture, pinned to the wall with pins, suddenly billowed off from that wall behind her, passed over her head and landed on the coffee table in front of her. It actually flew against the wind from the window to get there.


There was a moments silence as she surveyed and computed what had just occurred. White as a sheet, she leapt to her feet, clutched her belongings and ran out of the door. I never saw her again.

I too was shocked. Actually scared silly might be more accurate.

I really do not know what happened that afternoon. Did I really cause that to happen or was it simply just a freakish coincidence that at the moment I willed something to happen, a strong wind blew open the windows of the flat. It had never happened before and it never happened again. I guess I will never know. It was however, a long time before I ever tried to work magic again.

If you enjoyed this story check out the My Haunted Life series on Kindle.


The Power of Imagination

A fall into the ocean
A swim across the sea
Vivid imagination
Scheming silently
But can’t you see it?
Can’t you see it?
Can’t you see it too?

A flight into space
An atomic spark
Particle to particle
Like a walk in the park
But can’t you see it?
Can’t you see it?
Can’t you see it too?

Just deprivation
Sleep deprivation
A word is forming
Some translation
Form and meaning of

Weird Tales CoverOriginally published in Weird Tales, 2006 by G. Michael Vasey