Call of the Nightjar
by Colin Watts
Anna’s hopes, dreams and happiness ended suddenly when her husband, Joe, was killed in a tragic road accident a year and a half ago. After having suffered a childhood of religious oppression and isolation, Joe was the one who set her free. But now she’s alone and grieving. She now lives in a rented Victorian house on the outskirts of a small coastal Suffolk town. Anna is trying to rebuild her life with her three year old daughter. She has a job in the local department store and a close friend who helped her through her darkest times following Joe’s death. Things are looking more positive. But, as the summer approaches, the Nightjar returns.
Anna’s daughter, Lily, makes a new friend; an invisible friend, a pretend friend called Mary. But there’s something wrong with Lily’s new playmate. She’s dead.
Lily only plays with Mary at night, when Anna is asleep, and only after the Nightjar has called. Some things that Lily says Mary has told her are not only disturbing, but amazingly accurate for someone who lived several hundred years ago.
Anna enlists the help of a child psychologist to work out what may be wrong with Lily. However, Doctor Patricia Wright has never personally seen a case like this before.
Through her discussions with Lily and her own research, Doctor Wright establishes that Lily may have the past life memories of a woman called Mary who lived in the seventeenth century.
But that doesn’t explain the talismans that Lily says Mary made for her during the night, or the damp footsteps in the house, or the symbols of witchcraft painted on the wall in earth. No, there’s something else going on; something that will lead Doctor Wright to re-evaluate her original hypothesis. Something that will lead Anna to a shocking revelation and a new perspective on life.