A door to your dreams,
And if you’re not careful,
It can lead to your downfall.

All you have to do is open it.
And then walk through.
Your imagination does the rest.

The villagers explain about the door
To their captive audience.
A captive audience surrounded
On all sides by strangers.

Linda backs away from the door.
She could feel eyes boring holes
Into the back of her head.
They have to leave this strange place.

Her friends stand as still as the cold air.
Eyes wide open in pale faces.
They can’t believe in such nonsense.
Can they?

A plain door sitting in a plain diner.
A little girl stands up and runs through the doorway
Into the lights and sounds of a carnival.
A clown hands the girl a balloon.

The village mayor turns to smile at them.
The girl returns with a red balloon
Trailing along behind her.
She runs into the mayor’s arms.

What game are they playing?
We should have escaped
When we had the chance.

Linda doesn’t like to play games.




door knocker

     A small, petite, middle-aged woman with kind brown eyes and short brown hair, dressed in a conservative pin-striped blue suit, with low black heels, came over to greet them. “Hi! My name is Irene Moore and I’m the mayor of this village. When the killings began some years back in Oasis, Leanne approached me, explaining the situation between the good vampires and The Dead. She told us that it might take some years to destroy all the wicked vampires in town. She offered us a way for us to escape the atrocities that were happening too frequently around us.”

     “We accepted her offer. She gave us this door, which opened to any fantasy that the person opening the door wanted to imagine. Whoever walked through the doorway was safe from any violent storm or attack on our village,” continued a tall brown-haired man.

     “This is my husband, Jack. He is also the village’s sheriff. He is the one who makes sure that whoever walks through the door comes out again safely.”

     “What if a person decides to imagine a horrific scene instead of a fantasy?” David asked.

     “Why do you ask such silly questions?” Mike turned to David.

     “It isn’t a silly question, because I do have to make sure the scene is peaceful before anyone crosses the threshold. Someone had to remain behind to watch over the door while the villagers escaped through the doorway. It was a huge responsibility that I’m happy is finally over,” Jack said.

     “Why is it over?” Todd asked.

     “Leanne informed us today that we are finally free of The Dead and their evil games, so we won’t need to escape any longer. We were just coming here to see our door for the last time. Our daughter, Cindy, wanted one more fantasy before it was gone for good,” Jack said with a smile.

     Cindy’s laughter could be heard tinkling merrily through the open door. It was the laugh of a young girl who was happy and carefree. That is what Shana wanted for the town and this village: a lifetime full of joy and challenges and many happy endings.

     Irene called to her daughter that it was time for her to return. Cindy waved goodbye to her new friends at the carnival and ran back through the doorway to her mother.

     She said to everyone, clustered around her at the diner, “That was fun. I will miss the magic door.”

     Irene bent down and picked up her daughter. “You will have many more adventures in life that will be real, but it will be fun to remember the fairy-tale adventures that we had behind the door. Now go out and play with your friends.”

     Cindy ran out to play. Shana looked across the street and noticed other children also running out to play in the park. These children didn’t need fairy tales, since they had a very beautiful life right here in their village.

     “I agree,” said Leanne who appeared behind Shana.  Shana turned around and also recognized Reece and Diane in the crowd.

     “I forget that you can read minds,” Shana said.

     “Sorry, we were just arriving to remove the door.”

     “Could we have a door just like that in our town?” David asked Leanne.

     “Don’t act silly,” Mike said.

     “Don’t correct me anymore. If you aren’t happy with Louise and me being a couple, then go find different friends.”

     “I’m sorry, I guess I was feeling left out. I’ll leave you both alone if you want.”

     “I want you to be friends with both of us. Just lay off of me a little.”

     “See. You don’t need a magical door to find happiness. You could find it within yourselves and with the people around you. You just have to open your eyes and your heart to the possibilities.”

     With that said, Leanne disappeared with Reece and Diane and the magical door.

     The villagers began dispersing, while waving goodbye to their new friends from town. Irene and her husband thanked them for coming and sharing the special experience with them. The couple briskly walked out of the diner into the brilliant sunshine, hand in hand.








     The streets of the village were empty of cars or people. Fallen autumn leaves swirled in mounds around the deserted sidewalks. All was quiet except for the soulful moaning of the trade winds coming off the ocean.

     The two cars pulled up in front of the diner.

     “I hope nothing has happened to them,” Shana said as she climbed out of Sam’s car.

     “What could possibly have happened to them? All the years our town was under attack, they’ve been living peacefully. It was almost if they were immune to all the chaos happening around them,” Mike said.

     Shana said, “We should begin at the diner. The last time we visited, most of the town was gathered there: eating and gossiping.”

     They entered the diner with Shana in the lead. The diner was packed with people to overflowing. There weren’t enough seats for everyone, so most people were standing in the aisles. They weren’t noticed as they quietly stood behind the crowd of people at the front door.

     All the villagers were looking at the same thing: at the door behind the diner’s long counter. The door was open, and Shana could see a colorful and noisy carnival on the other side. She knew that there couldn’t be a carnival outside the diner; however, the scene looked so real that she could even see a Ferris wheel turning. Then a little girl from the diner walked through the doorway to become part of the scene; she ran to the clown who handed her a large red balloon.

     Shana’s surprised gasp caused the villagers to turn around and stare at her. She knew that she’d been spotted, so she just smiled.

     Rose walked over to welcome her and her friends to their village. ”I know that this looks strange, but it is totally harmless. This is how we’ve dealt with the tragic events that have occurred around us.”

     “Is the scene outside real or a figment of our imagination?” Shana asked in wonder.

     “It’s both. First, a person imagines a peaceful scene. Once he opens the door, he walks into the fantasy world of his own choosing. Whoever walks through that door with him or her will experience that same adventure.”

     “How could that happen? Are you witches, or supernatural beings?” Shana asked.







Let’s take a walk.

Down the path

covered in flowers.

Down the stairs

to the beach.

Can you feel the ocean breeze?

Can you smell the flowers?

The sun rides high in the sky.

My mood is riding as high.

Let’s not stop.

Let’s keep walking.

Fisherman are bringing in their catch.

Seagulls circle around them.

Searching for any scraps of fish.

Can you smell the fish?

A unique aroma.

Let’s sit down and

watch the waves,

lapping at the shore.

At this moment,

life feels perfect.

Life is perfect.





A door opens in Oasis that can lead

to anywhere that you might imagine.

It needs a gatekeeper to ensure

your safe return.

The residents of the quaint fishing

village have kept this door guarded

and a dark secret for many years.

Be careful what you dream,

for reality might not match

your dreams or your wildest expectations.








What secrets are buried in Oasis, Florida? Who lives in the quaint gingerbread house and who are they watching?

Anna led them across the front room, which was furnished with antique couches and chairs. To the right, Linda stole a quick glimpse of the dining room with its beautiful crystal chandelier and large dining room set. On the left, she had already seen the quaint living room with its flowery curtains and ornate antique furniture.
They climbed the narrow staircase, which was set back behind the front desk. At the top, Linda looked around and was startled to find that the house was much larger inside than it had appeared from the outside. As they followed the long hallway, they were shown five bedrooms: each with its own unique color scheme and furniture. The first room on the right was done all in pink with white and gold furniture. Toys were scattered about the room with dolls lined up on the bed—as if the inhabitant was expected to return at any moment.
The room to the immediate left was decorated in blue, with boys’ dark furniture and toys. The next two bedrooms, on either side of the hallway, also displayed children’s furniture and belongings: one with green furnishings and the other one with purple. The last bedroom, straight ahead, belonged to Abe and Anna.
Linda was entranced by the rooms and all the furnishings. When Anna requested for them to visit the attic, Linda agreed. She hoped the attic was full of old clothes and items from the past.
They climbed a narrow staircase that descended from a trap door in the hall’s ceiling. They discovered the attic to be bare, except for the lone rocking chair that was facing the gravel road leading out of town. Linda walked over to gaze out the small triangular window, when the chair began to rock by itself.
Anna said, “Everyone in the family takes turns watching the supposedly deserted mansion down the dirt road, and End House at the edge of the dark mountain. Both spots can be clearly seen from this vantage point.”
Linda realized that this meant that someone was actually sitting in the chair—right at that moment— causing it to start rocking. She didn’t ask any more questions, but just grabbed Shana’s arm and pulled her out of the room, bidding the couple a hasty goodbye. She didn’t think that she could remain in this unnatural house one moment longer without either screaming or pulling her hair out. She was freaking out over the house and the strange story that she’d been just told.


The town is under siege.<br /> The moon is rising above the raging waters.<br /> The residents of Oasis must find shelter.<br /> The deserted streets are being pummeled by the storm.<br /> The Town Hall is waiting for them with open doors.<br /> What is waiting for them inside?<br /> Only The Dead know.<br /> The Dead Game by Susanne Leist<br /> http://www.amazon.com/author/susanneleist<br /> http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dead-game-susanne-leist/1116825442?ean=2940148410881</p> <p>

The town is under siege.

The moon is rising above the raging waters.

The residents of Oasis must find shelter.

The deserted streets are being pummeled by the storm.

The Town Hall is waiting for them with open doors.

What is waiting for them inside?

Only The Dead know.

The Dead Game by Susanne Leist





Linda and Shana had to find answers to what was happening to their town. Young girls were disappearing and never heard from again. Strange shadows were stalking them in the evenings. What was going on?

They followed Main Street until it ended at the sheriff’s office. A narrow dirt road led the rest of the way from town. It ran past the bed and breakfast and the huge isolated mansion, before it curved farther inland to join the bustling highway.
The sun was perched low in the sky, making everything around them appear hazy. In the distance, Linda caught a quick glimpse of the bed and breakfast with its purple gingerbread trim. Then the building seemed to be floating in the air. Linda had to blink her eyes several times to clear her vision so that she could see the pretty house with its wide porch. She was afraid that she was beginning to lose touch with reality.
They turned off the road to walk up the path leading up to the front door. Nothing seemed to grow anywhere near the house: only sand and pebbles. They climbed the stairs and walked right in, since the door was standing wide open. Taking time for her eyes to adjust to the dark room, she noticed Abe Halloway sitting alone at the front desk, looking up at them. His wife, Anna, was standing nearby, dusting the dainty furniture with a feather duster.
Abe came around from the desk to stand before them. Anna stopped dusting to stand beside him. They looked like they’d just stepped out of the American Gothic painting of the overalls-clad farmers—they just needed a pitchfork between the two of them. She didn’t understand why Abe always dressed in overalls, while Anna wore dresses from another century.
They were both smiling now, so Linda walked over to greet them with a huge smile plastered on her face. “Hi! We were just taking a walk and realized that we haven’t visited this house in a long time. We never see either of you in town anymore.”
They didn’t answer, but just watched her. Linda decided to attempt a different approach—it might not be as tactful, but what the hell; they were in real trouble. “Something bad is going on in town. People are disappearing and are even getting killed. Not only are we afraid, but so are the fishermen and their families. Have you heard anything about the weird goings-on in town?”




Linda and Shana were investigating their friends’ disappearance from the mysterious party at End House. They extended their search to include the deserted mansion and the quaint gingerbread house, both located on the dirt road leading from town.

They walked outside into the brilliant sunshine. Shana proposed another idea that had Linda sighing unhappily to herself. “Let’s continue interviewing people: we could take a walk down the gravel road, and even swing by the pretty bed and breakfast.”

“We can’t come back too late, because Todd will be waiting for me. Although it is nice outside for a brisk walk…” Linda looked around at all the residents and tourists who were out and about, enjoying the beautiful day. She nodded hello to people along the way, including her friends, Ralph and Lewis, who were bartenders at the Oasis Hotel. They lived in another town and commuted every day to work. It would be nice, for once,to be like everyone else and simply enjoy an innocent stroll through town.

They followed Main Street until it ended at the sheriff’s office. A narrow dirt road led the rest of the way from town. It ran past the bed and breakfast and the huge isolated mansion, before it curved farther inland to join the bustling highway.




Linda and Shana hadn’t remained in their apartments, like Todd had requested, but were driving to the small, peaceful fishing village.

As Shana drove along the cobbled road, Linda thought about how much she loved visiting the pretty village. It was nestled in lush green shrubbery, alongside a busy dock with fishing boats going in and out for the day’s catch. The houses were beautiful with large gardens and backyards, complete with patios and swimming pools. Each house was painted a different color of the rainbow.

The village was only a half a mile from the Oasis Hotel, but the two places seemed miles apart in lifestyles. The hotel catered to the rich of Oasis and to very wealthy tourists, whereas the village seemed more down to earth: kids playing in the street and laundry hanging in the backyards.

The village offered many unique stores for tourists. The town square had gift shops, boutiques, and a large assortment of antique stores. The remaining stores—such as the diner, grocery store, hardware store, and gas station—were popular with the villagers.

In the center of the square was a park with tall trees, a huge grass lawn, white painted benches, and a colorful playground. Kids could be seen playing in the playground, while people were out walking their dogs or just standing around socializing under the shady trees.

They parked their car in front of the diner, which appeared to be very busy, with a constant stream of customers entering and exiting through its front door. This was as good a place as any other, decided Linda, for them to begin their investigation.

As they walked from their car, they were enveloped in the sweet smell of flowers from the colorful rose bushes lining the busy sidewalks. Large trees provided shade for the pretty white benches along the stone pathways. It was a sunny day, so many people were strolling by the shops—many with ice cream cones cradled in their hands.

Since it was already noon, the diner was full of customers: mothers with babies, men taking lunch breaks, and teenagers hanging out in groups. Most of the orange and green vinyl padded booths were already taken. Bright sunshine sparkled through the clear windows, directing its glare on the animated faces of the diner’s patrons.

The diner appeared to be a cheerful place. But then Linda noticed that all the diners were staring at them. It had been very noisy when they’d first entered, but it had turned much quieter once they’d settled into a booth. Linda thought again of the dividing line in town between the older and newer residents. This time there seemed to be an imaginary line dividing this village and their town.