The Reluctant Bride
This short story was written for the anthology "Mainstream", published by Inkandescent in July 2021. The anthology gathers together 30 "outsiders" - 15 new writers and 15 established writers, including Neil Bartlett and Paul McVeigh. You can buy a copy of the anthology here.
It was an image in my head that sparked the story: an Indian bride in red stepping out from behind a large tree into a shaft of moonlight. I've always enjoyed reading ghost stories and wanted to write my own, set in an unusual location - so I chose a rural locale in Pakistan, centred around an abandoned mansion, or haveli.
The story published in the anthology was 3,000 words. Originally, the story was 5,000 words - and you can read it here.
Turn the lights down. Light the candles. Don't have nightmares ...