Don't play with fire!!!!!!
Just a short tale, my friends ! But worthy of inclusion in our little anthology, I hope you agree!
Many years ago, a young student and his female companion found themselves on a Biology field trip in the charming village of Stoke Gabriel in Devon. The group of teenagers of which they were a popular part were staying in a charming old Hotel called the Gabriel Court. This happy band of 'A' level students shared their lodgings with an ageing but companionable group of residents, who found the joie de vivre of our youthful heroes a refreshing change from their usual quiet existence!

One night the young people returned to their hotel in a somewhat 'carefree' state, having passed  the preceding few hours in a nearby public house. Relaxing in the guests' lounge over a last glass of wine, the discussion (perhaps directed by the wood-panelled surroundings) turned to the topic of the supernatural….someone, perhaps recklessly, suggested conducting a séance, and in as little time as it takes to write it, an alphabet was scrawled on some playing cards and an empty glass placed upon the highly-polished oak table. The first questions were asked and everyone accused everyone else of pushing the glass: certainly the movements of the glass seemed random and meaningless.
Eventually, just when comfy beds seemed a good option,  someone posed the question: 'Is there anybody there?'
The glass suddenly took on a life of its own: it swerved to the centre of the circle of cards and began to flitter backwards and forwards: ' Y…...E……..S' This unexpected response resulted in a few nervous giggles around the table. Someone added the inevitable rider: 'Who is it?'
The glass moved so rapidly that all thoughts that someone was pushing it were instantly dissipated:

I….A….M …..A….L….L

"Ian who?" someone enquired., in a vain attempt to lighten proceedings. The glass had been released, but now began to move by itself! One of the group, a seventeen year old girl, began to sob uncontrollably.


This time the meaning was plain. The glass returned to the centre of the circle of letters and abruptly stopped.
N*gel, one of the more prosaic members of the party, gave his blunt opinion: " It's all a load of cr*p!!"
The glass slowly rose a metre from the surface of the table and hung there above its reflection for perhaps ten seconds. Nobody breathed. Then it flew to the wall and smashed into a thousand shards!
The youngsters fled precipitately from the lounge, to lock themselves shivering in their bedrooms: sleep was a long, long time coming that night!


The rest of the field trip passed uneventfully enough, but on returning home, N*gel found that his father had unaccountably hanged himself…...two weeks later, perhaps depressed at this unexpected tragedy, the young man jumped from a multi-storey car park…….

Unbelievable! But TRUE!
I have another story to relate to you...this one was given to me by a good friend, and concerns an experience of his father's during the Second Great War.

Like an earlier correspondent , the gentleman in question was in the British Royal Air Force: he served with the RAF Regiment in airfield defence.

One day Bob (for that is the name we shall use here!) was keeping watch over a row of Wellington light bombers that were shortly to leave for a perilous raid over Germany. A second Squadron that shared the airfield had departed on a daylight raid some hours previously, and their imminent return was a further cause for vigilance.

As the scheduled start-time for the mission approached, the bomber crews were delivered to their aeroplanes in an eclectic variety of vehicles. The young men tumbled out of jeeps, trucks and open cars and climbed with easy familiarity into their frail craft to begin their pre-flight checks. Soon the airfield reverberated to the throb of radial engines, and one by one the Wellingtons began to move from their dispersal points towards the concrete runway.

Suddenly Bob noticed a figure in RAF blue walking among the taxi-ing bombers. To his horror. he saw that the young airman was but a few strides from the milling airscrew of the nearest Wellington…..

Bob waved his arms and screamed a warning: too late!  The figure, seemingly looking over its shoulder at him,  walked straight into the hazy circle of rotating metal!

Instead of the spray of blood and decapitated corpse that Bob was expecting, however, the blue-clad figure continued its progress totally unharmed!  Our hero could not believe his eyes! He turned to climb the ladder of his gun position: when he looked back from the parapet, the young airman had vanished!

The denouement? Oh yes. there is one!

Some thirty minutes later the squadron of bombers that had carried out their mission earlier began to return. The first craft to land told the story only too plainly, for gaping holes could be seen all over the fabric-covered fuselage.

Bob, ever-ready to assist, jumped onto the running-boards of a passing Ambulance truck which sped towards the decimated squadron. It pulled up under the nose of the first Wellington. A horrific sight greeted Bob and the Ambulance crew: the fuselage around the nose-turret was riddled with flak holes and great chunks of plexiglass were missing. What remained was red and sticky with blood. Clambering up onto the roof of the truck, Bob peered tentatively into the turret: staring back at him was the lifeless face of the young airman whom he had watched walk through the churning airscrew half an hour before!