Trespasser (Part XIX)

It was probably a mistake that he had come to be here.  He wasn’t the man that he had been twenty years ago; full of youth and free from pain.  If the home’s new owner were to come home earlier than he had expected, there would be no explaining why, or how, he came to be inside.

The floor creaked beneath his feet, and even though he had been inside this house many times in the past, it had changed into something completely foreign to him. Where there had been memorabilia from the war was now empty space.  Dust collected on the wall where pictures had once been, rectangular reminders that someone had once cared enough to hang something there.

His breathing was slow and uneven.  Fear crept into his bones as he stood in this place where he no longer had any business being.  It was his home now, if you could call it that.  There was nothing here to suggest that anyone even lived in it at all.  Only two rooms showed any indication that someone had recently been in them.

The living room, where an old war veteran once proudly shelved his many achievements, where he often shared a beer with his friends, and where he was known to host the occasional football party, was now void of all items save two; an old Victorian chair, and an equally decrepit end table.  The latter rocked on wobbly legs.

Both were positioned before the large picture window that faced toward the community.  From here, one could see every house down the street.

“Of course you can,” Davie mused silently.  His eyes had fallen on the binoculars that rested on the small table.  He had seen many pairs of such devices before, but nothing quite like the ones before him.  They were black, compact, and could be worn around the head by use of an adjustable band.  There were switches on the side, and when he held the lens before his eyes, he discovered that one activated a night vision feature, while the other illuminated everything in red.

Carefully, he returned them to where they originally lay before moving on.

The only other room that appeared to have been used was the wash room.  Several rolls of toilet paper were stacked inside the linen closet, toiletries were carelessly tossed upon the counter, and a single towel hung over the shower door.  Aside from the fact that this person invested more in toilet paper, than he did in food, he might almost be normal.

Davie was turning to leave with something caught his eye.

At the end of the counter, on the floor, and between it and the toilet, was a small wicker basket.  At first, he might have mistaken it for a fancy trash can, if not for the pictures that were laying inside.  He couldn’t quite make out who the subject was in the top picture, but it appeared to have been professionally taken.

“Of course it was,” he growled as he remembered the other morning, watching as he snapped pictures of Vanessa, unaware that someone was watching his every move as well.  He stepped into the small room and leaned forward to get a better look.

He sucked in his breath with a hiss as he realized that the picture was, indeed, taken of his neighbor’s daughter.  His heart began to pound in anger, causing his blood pressure to rise, and his vision narrowed on the image before him.  As he lifted it with shaky hands, the thought occurred to him that he was going to kill this little pervert.

The thought never had a chance to finish; at that exact moment, something heavy came down on the back of his skull, and everything went black.

Three Sixty-Five, or Thereabouts

I’ve put some serious thought into whether or not I was going to write this post.  I wondered if it really mattered in the grand scheme of things.  I see these posts all the time and I feel like I should share how much I have grown since creating this blogsite, but I truly wonder.  Have I grown?  Has utilizing this form of media been beneficial?

I honestly can’t answer these questions myself.  I won’t allow my ego to step far enough forward for it to happen.  These are questions best left to my friends, my fans and the casual readers who return here from time to time.  Rather than spend the next few lines smothering you with things like; “I’ve had so much fun over the last year,” or, “I never would have thought about how good this blog would be for my writing,” I’m going to do something a little different.

I want to thank you.

Thank you for reading my posts.  Granted, it’s not very often I write in this form, I do appreciate that you listen when I’m speaking my mind.

Thank you for reading my stories.  I’ve had quite a few positive comments on my writing, and have made some very special friends over the course of this journey.  I’ve appreciated your insights, I appreciate the wisdom you share and when I’m not buried in deadlines with my books, I vow to spend more time reading your work as well.

Not that I don’t.  I try to read the stories, blog posts, reviews, (etc.) each and every day!  In the very least, I ‘like’ your work so that you know I stopped by!  And, little do you know, I occasionally promote your more interesting pieces on my various social media platforms.  >:)  It’s just that the growing list of bloggers I follow has created a waterfall of posts for me to sort through each day, and sometimes I only have enough time to read through a dozen of them before having to move on to my next task.

I’ve grown quite the collection in this old burial grounds.  I gain new mourners every week.  Many of the empty plots have become filled with the stories I’ve resurrected and there are many more waiting for those to come.  I may not always show my appreciation immediately, but I make my rounds.  A good undertaker always does, doesn’t he?  And though some of my plots are rough around the edges, so too do I find the time to clean them up from time to time.

By my count, there are now (as of this post) one hundred and two mourners who have visited or regularly visit.  Some of you are quite lively!  Others?  Others have faded back into the lands of reality, leaving their own blogsites untended and overgrown.  I’ve enjoyed meeting each and every one of you, and I look forward to meeting those who venture here in the future.  While you may not like some of the creatures I bring to life in these lonely old plots, you can always count on something new to ‘popping’ up from Beneath The Headstone.

Where Did I Go?

Out of curiosity, a mood I sometimes find myself in these days, I sometimes Google myself or the things I have written.  It’s a habit that started three years ago, when writing was yet  wishful thinking and I was focusing on running an online fishing tackle supply, and it has since stuck.

Because I was competing in prices against several commercial names, I would spend hours researching the prices of their products vs. the prices of mine.  There were a handful of my products that were unique and I created a small campaign to promote them.  While I don’t need to get into the details, I will say that I just happened to find one of my products after doing a search.

As I was wont to do, I searched myself.

Lo and Behold, nearly all of my products popped up in the search!  And thus the beginnings of an addiction was born.

No, not the addiction to finding myself online.  I can see how you would jump to that conclusion!  No, it is an addiction that pushed me to do things which would get me on the Google hot list.

With the business it was all about the products.  The more I could find for my business; the more I could make mine to sell, the more I wanted to see if I was ‘searchable’ because of my efforts.

And just like my business, so too has it been for my writing as well.

When I first joined the WordPress experience, I could expect to find my work on the first or second page of a search using my pen name.  It wasn’t long before R. Richardsson’s Beneath the Headstone, and the many posts that it contained were the only thing on the first three pages!  How very exciting!

I continued to work hard on my posts.  I began writing webseries for my site to help further the cause.  (Oh, and because I also wanted to have free stories for you to read as well!)  And for months, I felt like the King of the hill.

But this has all changed.

I have read that Google has made changes in how its code works, that these changes make it harder for a person to be seen.  I completely understand that this is something built to help protect against the many, MANY scams that are out there, but what about the little man?  What about the entrepreneur trying to make an honest living?  What about the independent writer trying to get his or her name out there?

Maybe I’m thinking about this the wrong way.  Or am I?

I know that my work stands on its own.  It’s a testament to my efforts and I hope that you have enjoyed reading at least some of the stories I share with you.

I know that my work stands on its own, but it’s disheartening that you can’t find my pen name, either in written form or through images anymore.  When I talk about my work with people in passing, if I’ve sparked enough interest in them, they may go and try to find out more about this R. Richardsson character who writes Horror, Paranormal Fiction and Fantasy.  When they do, it’s as if I don’t exist.  If you search for my website, ‘Beneath The Headstone’, now that’s a different story.  At the time of this writing, there were at least three links on the first page alone!

I don’t claim to understand how Google figures its mechanics.  I try to use what little SEO knowledge I have to the best of my ability.  I don’t spam links to my site on people’s blogs, and when I comment on their own writing, I try to add something meaningful to their work.  I promote my work on social media, but I also try to inject a sense of myself into my posts/tweets as well.

I feel like I’m doing all the right things, but as far as Google is concerned, there isn’t a search result where my name rightfully belongs these days?  So the question remain; where did I go?

Well the answer is simpler than you think.  I’m right here, you see, right where I belong; Beneath The Headstone, in the boneyard of my mind, where all stories are given a second chance at life.

I do so hope that you (continue to) enjoy these little beasties I keep sending your way, because sooner or later, one of them’s going to get you.  And when it does, I hope it keeps you awake for many nights to come.

Or at least one.  One is good.