Janice’s grandfather lived in a camper behind their farm. When she visited him each day, they played checkers and watched cartoons. He’d remove his teeth and click-clack them on the table to amuse her. Mama said death was final and she needed to let Grandfather go. Mama baked blueberry pies, and sang soothing lullabies at bedtime. Grandfather said death was final and she needed to let Mama go. Janice didn’t know whom to believe. She continued on, playing checkers, watching cartoons, enjoying blueberry pie, listening to Mama’s songs, and wondered about the gravestone out back that listed her own name.
Author’s Note: When I was in kindergarten, my friend Janice and I would walk across her farm, past the horses, and visit he
The agent disclosed that the prior owner had hung himself in the closet. Not deterred, Connie requested time alone in the house. Death didn’t always mean hauntings, and hauntings weren’t always malevolent.
She tentatively entered the closet. “Are you here?” she asked aloud. “Are you here?” she repeated. A translucent man appeared, suspended by a rope. He smiled and offered his ethereal hand. Connie reached out.
Electricity tore through her body. Agonizing pain in her neck—can’t breathe.
He stood before her, as she swung from the rope. “Your turn,” he said. He left the closet and all went black.
Author’s Note: After I bought my first house I was told that the previous owner had hung himself there. Though I never saw or heard from him from the other side, I was always on the lookout.
Five months into Allie’s pregnancy, Dr. Mason informed her there was no fetus. She viewed the ultrasound picture of an empty gray-scale sack. “Screw your tests,” she said. “I’m carrying a child.” Doctor Mason patted her hand. Month six, the baby kicked. Month seven, a tiny hand pushed against her from the inside. Month eight, constant movement convinced her that life grew within. On delivery day, blood and urine tests still reported lack of human life. The doctor bullied her. “It’s in your head.” Two hours later, a creature akin to a goat ripped from her to start His reign.
Author’s Note: I was reading through brainstorming cards (Writer’s Toolbox) and saw one that said, “the smell of chicken.” I thought of being nauseated by that if I were pregnant. Then came this story.
Marilyn pedaled around the old oak tree on her brand-new tricycle. She’d ridden all day, carving a circle around the tree to mark her territory. Grandma said stop, but Marilyn didn’t listen. Round and round the tree she rode, shiny black tires butchering the grass beneath. The tree swayed its branches in warning but she wasn’t deterred. The tree swung harder, slapped her across the face with its leaves. She pedaled faster. Determined. Thunderous noise roared above. She soldiered on. Slaughtering. Rumbling grew louder as a shadow enveloped her. A giant branch smashed down upon her. The surviving grass cheered.
Author’s Note: Many years ago in my town, a freak wind storm caused a tree to fall on, and kill, a four year old girl who was riding her tricycle.