Savannah, GA - My Favorite Place

Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: The Dance

“Are you scared yet?” Joe whispered as he came from behind to pull me close to him.


This was our first time in Savannah, and we were determined to have the best time possible. It was the big St. Patrick’s Day festival, and there were thousands if not millions of people there. Us and a few friends decided about a month ago to come.

We arrived early yesterday morning. We are only going to be here 3 days so we’ve planned every moment out. There were four bus tours that we wanted to take, and then, of course, was the haunted mansion tours that were a must.

Jill, Jonathan, Joe, and I walked all day today, it seems like. I’ve always been fascinated with everything and anything old, so being here is a real treat for me. We ate at Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House restaurant for lunch and then we had dinner at an English pub. It was wonderful. We went on a few excursions today, but the best is yet to come. At midnight tonight we are going on a tour of the Sorrel-Weed House. We’re all really excited, but I must admit that I’m sort of afraid of that stuff.

As midnight approached, Savannah’s southern-happy-feel began to change. Without the sunlight illuminating the old buildings and alleys, everything looked much more old, dark, and scary. When we pulled up to park next to the mansion, the feeling of dread swept over me. The house stood tall and the general feeling of gloom hit me in a rush. On top of everything it started to mist outside. It wasn’t enough to classify as a sprinkle, but it was really playing a number on my curly hair.

“I’m nervous,” Jill said as we approached the back of the home.

The start of the tour begins in the carriage house, which in itself is pretty spooky to me.

“Don’t be scared, baby. I’m right here,” Jonathan said with a pervious smile on his face.

“Come on in, and take a seat in here,” the tour guide said as she led us into an adjoining room in the carriage house.

“This place freaks me out,” I whispered to Joe.

“It is kind of creepy,” he replied.

“We will begin our tour by taking a short stroll around the block,” the guide said.

We followed her out into the street, and around a park. We stopped and looked at a few mansions that were rumored to be haunted. One of which was the home in the movie Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil. The stroll was interesting, besides the mist. Jill and I took pictures all along, hoping to catch some ghostly image.

Then we were escorted back to the house, of which we were led into the basement. The guide didn’t tell us anything about the basement, we just moved right through it and went up the stairs. We were put into a room; I’m not sure what it was supposed to be used for. But we all stood there while the guide told us background about the past owner. Legends of voodoo, and dead wives, and suspicious accusations were told to us. It all seemed neat to me, but the validity of it was completely theory.

All of the sudden I started to feel a little sick. My stomach was churning, and I began to experience severe cramping. I went on about the tour for a few more minutes, hoping it would pass. It didn’t.

“Is there a restroom I could use?” I asked the guide.

“No, there’s one across the street they keep open,” she answered.

“I’ve got to go. I’ll catch back up with ya’ll,” I said as I flew out of there. I could hardly wait. I run through the rooms, back down the stairs to the basement, and out the back door, and across the street.

When I came out, I felt better. I must have eaten something bad earlier, who knows. I walked back to the house, and almost immediately when I stepped into the basement I began to feel sick again. I didn’t need to go to the restroom again. My stomach just felt uneasy. The basement was dark, pitch black, actually. There were no lights at all. All I could see was the stairs, which were illuminated by the lights on the second floor. I walked up in a hurry, and followed the same path that we took when we all came in. When I came to the living room or parlor area, I slowed down and peaked in. Something told me to not walk in the room, so I stood in the foyer just looking in. I couldn’t hear the guide or anyone, but then something caught my eye.

There was a huge mirror above the fireplace. I stared at it. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it, and that’s when I saw it. I could see a person’s head and shoulders moving in the mirror. I looked around the room again, and there was nothing. But the person kept moving in the mirror. It was a woman. Her hair was pinned back in a fancy twist, she was gleaming. She looked happy, like she was having fun. At first, I couldn’t understand why she was moving in circles, but then I realized what it looked like. It looked like she was dancing.

I was in awe. I just stood there, frozen. I had never seen anything remotely paranormal, and here I was experiencing something that I would probably never experience again. After watching her for what seemed like forever, she turned to face the mirror. The happiness wore off her face, and she stared back at me with a somber look.

“Are you scared yet?” Joe whispered as he came from behind to pull me close to him.


*This story is fiction.
Vanessa K. Eccles
(c) Copyright 2010
This is what really happened...
This is the basement to your left. There really were no lights at all. I couldn't see anything when I took this picture. The flash is the only source of light on this photo.
Below is the living area or parlor. See- it really does have a huge mirror on top of it. This room adjoins to another living area. They are only seperated by two incredibly large pocket doors. These doors were opened when the family had a large party, which they did very often.
If you're ever in Savannah, you need to take time out to visit the Sorrel-Weed house at night, late at night if you can. It really is something to see.
My husband and I visited here in December of last year. We had an awesome trip. Our first night there, we visited the Sorrel-Weed house. And it was sprinkling, dark, and midnight. There was only us and the tour guide that night. I became sick, really sick, when I first began our tour. I didn't leave to find a restroom. I would have never have been that brave, but I did have to stop the tour early. The guide told me that people get sick in the house all the time. I later spoke to a Savannah historian who verified that. The strange thing was that I felt fine as soon as I left. I took a lot of pictures in and around the house, and I got a couple of strange things in my photos. I've sent those photos to the Savannah historian as well as Sorrel-Weed website.
This was one of the strange photos. Some people see nothing, and others see it. You be the judge. I sent it to the Historian, and she saw exactly what I saw. You may need photo software to get a closer look. **Hint: look below the reflection of the flash.

Photos were taken by me and are (c) Copyright 2009-2010.

Finding Joy In the Simple Things...

I've been trying to keep myself busy for the remainder of this wintery season. It's been difficult, I might add. I am more than ready for spring and summer.

I have recently been visiting a few local antique stores because I've been in search of blue and white "made in England" plates that feature people and landscaping. I've had some luck, but not as much as I have hoped for. BUT what I did find last week, has brought me a new interest. I found these three large spoons, which could are probably small serving spoons. They are absolutely beautiful! I had no idea what they were worth, if anything, when they caught my eye in the store. They were taped together and for sale for a dollar (for all three). Crazy, huh?

So, anyway... I started doing some research and what I found out was amazing. These spoons are stamped WM Rogers. They also have a stamp on the back "Pat 1900." How neat is that? They are the York pattern, which I assume was popular because I was able to find others online. They are worth approx. $7.50 each, and I paid a dollar for all three. I've attempted cleaning them up, and they look better than they did. 

So that got me thinking... do I have any other old silverware? Yes! I do. And here it is to your right. This is an antique heirloom set that was given to me by my mother-in-law, and it was her mothers. It was in serious need of some polishing, so I spent hours last night polishing each piece, and this is what it looks like now. I wish that I would have taken a before picture, but coulda-shoulda-woulda, right? :) I started researching the brand of these, and I found out more neat information. The only marking on the back of the pieces is "Monarch Plate." I googled it, of course. And I found out that Monarch Plate was made by the National Silver Company, which was in prodution in the early 1900s until the 1950s. It took me hours to go through every known design to them to find out which design these were- they are the Mildred design circa 1936. They have a place for monograming, but they are not monogramed. Their worth, from what I research is about $150-175. They are in their origional box, from my knowledge, and they even have the original warranty certificate still with them. After doing all the reseach, it was thrilling to realize that there was value in something that I already had. I never would have guessed. I suppose, that goes to show you that Christmas can come at anytime during the year.

Question From Me...


Once in my sleep, I dreamed.

Of a life of perfection, or so it seemed.

A life so planned, with every detail.

That had life catching me if I fell.

It’s funny how these things work,

How dreams haunt you, forever they lurk.

College degrees, big house, and nice cars,

Lead to mortgages, debt, loans, and happiness afar.

Once upon a time, I thought.

Maybe I could be more than even what I sought.

I challenged myself with an education,

Only to find that it’s not always possible, even with determination.

Sometimes I wonder, my dear Lord,

Didn’t You give me these dreams to be more?

Or is this all a shadow of my ego?

A figment of mind, brought on by thoughts of long ago.

If it’s just me, and I’m not meant,

To be this person I want, and all my life spent.

Just let me know Your will,

I will wait for it, O’Lord, in the still.

Vanessa K. Eccles
(c)Copyright 2010


The Rain


The kiss of rain,

Dancing on my cheek,

The moist stain,

Offers solace to the meek.

The enticing smell,

Puts a smile on my face,

It’s saying, “All is well.”

Flowers yearn for a taste.

Brown to green,

I can almost see the fade.

Sometimes the sun can be mean,

But rain provides the shade.

A much needed break,

From it’s brutal rays,

Sweet moisture it will take,

And hold onto during rough days.

Your Spirit pours Your love,

Down like the rain,

Quenching our thirst from above,

O’ how mighty You reign.

Thank You for thirsty days,

A time to endure,

Thank You for the rainy rays,

That gives me strength to seek You more.

Vanessa K. Eccles
(c) Copyright 2010

New Year/New Goal:

2010 is flying by already, and although I may be a little late... I've decided to make some short term goals for myself. My husband has agreed to fund a trip to a Wrtiers Conference this summer IF and only IF I finish my second book. To be honest, I've been taking a little break from it, and this is just what I need to kick myself back into gear.

But here's the kick. Not only do I have to complete Book #2, but I have to have it edited. On top of that I have to have a query and synopsis written for it, and THEN I have to have a written proposal for Book #3! Woo... I've got a long road ahead, but I'm determined to make this happen. I'm very much goal oriented, so him giving me this little deadline is going to do me wonders.

I'm excited to get this ball rolling again. I've been working hard, and so far in the past three days I've written 5 chapters. I just hope I can keep it up!

Wish me luck! :)

A little More Info...

I've started to post a few short stories that I've written. All of them that I will post were written for Absolute Write's ( Flash Fiction Challenge, unless otherwise stated. It's a weekly challenge that a few members participate in on Sunday nights. They give us a prompt, it's usually a word or phrase. For there we have 90 minutes to write, edit, and post a short story. It's a think-on-your-toes type of deal. It's something that I've become really fond of. They are a lot of fun, and I some of them I will be sharing with all of you. Please remember that all writing is (c)Copyright 2009-2010 by me.

Another thing that I would like to add is that most, if not all, of the stories are inspirational. They are apart of a book that I'm putting together. So, I guess, you can consider them a sneak peak. :) They are all about 4 pages long or under 1,500 words. Most are quick and to the point, making them an easy read. They are fiction, but some are inspired by something in my life. Those stories with some real detail will be noted.

I hope that you enjoy them, and leave comments, if you like. I love to read them.

Vanessa K. Eccles