The fiction of Jacqueline Applebee

"The Love of Books" is my Lesbian Paranormal short story.  It is available to buy from Torquere Books, in electronic format.


Hannah works at a business library, and she believes in fact, not fiction. So when she hears tales of a ghost who haunts the marketing section, she thinks it's all a laugh. Until she meets the very Edwardian Marjorie, that is. Marjorie wants to read a decent romance, and she wants Hannah to get it for her. Will Marjorie convince Hannah that ghosts can be very real?

Excerpt from "The Love of Books"

I silently slid a book from its position on the shelf and gazed at the sight before me – two female students kissed each other at a leisurely pace. One swept her hands beneath the band of the other’s cropped top, and my own dust-caked fingers inched over my small breasts – I had been shelving books all morning, and the paper had dried my skin, bleaching it from dark brown to parched gray. I mirrored their movements as I spied on them – a single row of accounting books, my only defense from being caught in the act. The couple's breathing became more ragged as they enjoyed themselves, and soon they were tugging open buttons in an attempt to enjoy more in the confines of the library. I glimpsed a flash of flesh before they abruptly stopped. Alexia, my fellow library assistant came into view, oblivious to the charged tension she met. She ignored the glares from the two students, and then she started putting books on the shelves, before the couple walked away. I held my breath until she was done, and felt like a pervert.
    It was summer vacation at the University, but the campus library was still open, running a minimal service five days a week in the sweltering heat. Most of the students had gone, with only a few souls remaining who were re-taking their exams, or carrying out research. Watching the overheated students getting down and dirty amongst the tall shelves of books was a good source of entertainment during this time, and apart from stacking books, it was also the only thing to do.
    I'd only worked at the library for a week, when Eneko had told me about the resident ghost – an Edwardian specter who was supposed to haunt the marketing section right at the back of the library. I had laughed at his tale, thought it was something he'd made up to scare the new girl, but as the hot and humid days rolled by sluggishly, I found evidence – books on advertising that I had shelved now lay scattered on the floor, my trolley was repeatedly hidden upside down in the silent study area, and books on public relations lay in a messy pile against a wall - if it wasn't a ghost doing this, then it was one sneaky sod.
    I don't like fiction – I like facts, and a ghost was an unknown idea that I grappled with; an impossible element in my otherwise ordered life. I like predictable and safe - that's why I had wanted to work here. Numbers, figures, equations, that's all there was in this library… except for the students, of course. The nineteen year old undergraduates with tight, revealing clothing and too much attitude made the long, hot days stretch with an endless parade of G-strings peeking out of low-slung jeans, ultra short skirts and fake tans. The older, sleeker postgrads were a different sort altogether, but no less tantalizing, with confident good looks, and an easy-going sexuality that made me put my brightest smile on, whenever they would come near.
    However, none of them seemed to notice me. I suppose they were too busy judging books by their covers to give a skinny black girl a second glance. I have flat tits, just about got hips. I'm tall and lean; my curves are subtle, but they're still there. If I were being generous and pretentious, I'd say that I was an Art Deco woman, but without all that fancy bronze stuff going on.
    That afternoon I was busy putting books back on the shelf in a quiet section at the rear of the library. I wiped perspiration from my eyes and tried to breathe normally in the hot, dusty atmosphere. Accounting, economics and business were the only subjects we covered, and these books tended to be thick and very heavy, so I was becoming rapidly exhausted. I had just put the last weighty book down when a sharp noise made me start. A fat book lay on the floor beside me, but as I reached to pick it up, another one joined it, and another, and another. I looked up in wonder as a dozen books were swept invisibly off the shelf to land on the floor with low thuds.
    I held myself still as I felt a strange presence behind me. My flesh became raised with goose bumps, and, as my skin altered and tightened, I felt other things tightening too. My nipples protruded through my thin T-shirt, and I shivered, suddenly cold in the overpowering heat. Finally I managed to shuffle around, and, as I turned, I saw a shimmering woman holding an accounting book in her hand.
    "All these books on numbers and not one speaks of love," she sighed, before throwing that book down to join the rest on the floor with a bang.

If you liked that, and would like to read the entire story, it is available for download at Torquere Press.