Archive for the ‘Scary Stories’ Category

I was eight on the rainy April day that Grandma died. She woke, served up Grandpa’s usual breakfast, fed the cat and went to the porch for the morning paper. She didn’t return. Grandpa found her reaching for the door, sharing her love for him with her eyes as she took her final breath. I knew something was wrong the minute my mother answered the phone and fell into a chair with my little brother clinging to her leg. I remember dad taking the phone from her hand but the rest of the day was a blur of hospitals, family and men in suits shoving endless forms at Grandpa. Mom put on a brave face, but cried when she thought she was alone. She wasn’t ready to lose her mom. A funeral was arranged and family gathered. All I remember after that is how sad and alone Grandpa looked.
After the funeral things went back to normal, my brother and I went to school and dad went to work. The only thing different was my mom spending her days with her father, going through legal papers and personal items. She looked tired and sad at the end of the day and I didn’t know how to make things better. Three days after the funeral I came home from school, dropped my backpack on the floor and headed to the fridge. I grabbed a soda and pudding snack before settling at the table. The house was still quiet, dad was at work, my little brother was with a sitter and mom was with her dad. I listened to the old mantle clock tick off the minutes as I mindlessly shoveled in the pudding, wondering if life would ever be normal again. Mom hadn’t even opened the mail, there was a pile at least two inches thick sitting on the table. Sliding the pile closer I picked up envelope after envelope. Credit card offer, electric bill, cable bill, val-pak coupons, sale flyers, insurance bill, nothing special. Then I saw it, the bright red envelope with my name scrolled across the front.
She remembered her heart skipping a beat as she pulled it from the pile, looking it over before she got the nerve to slide her thumb under the flap. She had never received real mail before and wanted to do it right. Proud that she had barely frayed the glued flap she slowly pulled out the contents. It  was a card. On the front was a cartoon woman with gray hair,  her freakishly long arms wrapped around a large family of children and adults, pulling them close to her. With trembling fingers she opened the card, it read “Happy Birthday! You are loved today and always.” It was simply signed “your family,” but she recognized the handwriting, it was Grandma’s. Picking up the envelope she noticed that the return address was that of her grandma’s house. Pulling the card to her chest she let herself cry for the first time since she died. It was a long, hard cry that left her drained, but the card had felt like Grandma reached out with one last hug. The rest of her family came  home, they ate dinner and she went to bed, but not before securing the card, in the envelope in her diary.
Summer came and went that year and life was a new normal. It wasn’t until fall that my mom looked sad again. When I asked her why, she said that her mom’s birthday was coming up and she didn’t know how to handle things with her dad. I thought about that a lot at school and at home. Grandpa had looked so lost lately I wanted to do something to make him feel better. Then I remembered the card. it made me feel better, maybe it would make him feel better. I raced home after school, dug out the card and put it envelope and all in a new envelope, carefully wrote out his address and took a stamp from mom’s desk. My little brother followed me to the porch.
“Where ya going?” He asked.
“To the mailbox.”
“Why?”
“To mail a letter?” I snapped.
“To who? What kind of letter?” He persisted.
“None of your business squirt!” I shouted, running the last few feet.
I remember feeling a bit bad over snapping at my brother and taking his hand on the walk home. He seemed to accept that as an apology. Days passed as I wondered if my gesture would make grandpa feel worse instead of better. Then one Saturday morning the doorbell rang, I heard Grandpa ask to see me. I entered the hall and he pulled me into his strong arms and whispered “thank you” in my ear. He said it felt like grandma had come for a visit.
That was ten long years ago, I’m nineteen years old and a lot of life had passed under the bridge since then. Family gatherings stopped, no more Christmas Eve dinners at Grandma’s, no more forced Sunday dinners, no more summer camping trips arranged by Grandma. Grandpa died two years back, I missed the funeral. My parents live their life and have all but given up on me. My little brother, set to graduate high school this year, is a computer nerd devoted to technology, there is little room for humans in his world. And me? I have a life, not the life my parents planned. I work various bar jobs, pole dance when Moe needs a fill in dancer and am not above a good night of drinking. I may or may not, use my own money to pay bills, but if a customer is dumb enough to leave  his wallet on the bar while he attends a lap dance, is that my fault?
I served another round to table four, slapped away Dwayne’s hands at table two and made my way to the kitchen. My shift was over, all I wanted to do was gather my tips, get a few drinks and head home. A few drinks turned into ten and getting home was a bit tougher that I thought. I tossed my heels into my locker, fell into my sneakers, tied what I thought was a passable bow and slapped the back door open, stumbling into the alley. I crawled to my feet as the scenery spun around. I focused on the neon drug store sign as I knew that was the direction I need to take. I stumbled down the walk, feeling good, sure I was looking normal. Sure, I bounced off the wall a few times, and into a gentleman who called me a drunk as he put me back on my feet, but I was doing ok. I went another block and found myself on my knees, my forehead on a fire hydrant. Phew, if I had fallen a second later, that could have hurt! Back on my feet I gripped the smooth window of the diner until I felt the rough brick, then turned right. Only twenty feet more and I would be home. The cement block felt rough under my fingers as I used it to guide my way. Soon I felt the splintered wood frame around my door. Diving into my pocket I fumbled my way through lip gloss, bent lottery tickets and old receipts until I found my keys. It took a few tries, but I got that sucker in the slot and the lock clicked open. I clung to the wall as I made my way up the stairs. I remember trying to put the key in the upstairs lock, but I must have failed.
A ray of morning sun, creeping through a badly cracked window cruelly pried my eyes open. I wiped the spit drying at the corner of my mouth and rolled to my side, realizing that I was on the filthy tile outside my apartment door. Rolling on my back I started to rise, stopping when I saw the flash of red. Sitting up I moved back to rest on the door as I inspected the envelope. I tore it open just as carefully as i had the first time. It was a card, with an elderly woman with long arms embracing her family. Inside it said, “Happy Birthday! You are loved today and always.” It was simply signed “your family,”
Pulling out my phone, I checked the calendar, it was indeed my birthday. Grandma had reached out again. Putting the card in  her pocket she entered the apartment, packed her meager belongings and bought a bus ticket home.

Crawling into bed, she pulled the covers tight and gazed out at the full moon that hung in the sky like a piece of frozen blue ice. The trees lining the walk were bare, but their icy branches sparkled and danced in the light as if they had been draped in diamonds. Tucking the blankets under her feet she poured a glass of wine, opened her book and sighed in comfort as the wind gently rattled the windows. She was in the middle of chapter four when the noise came. Soft at first, than loud and insistent. From a gentle knock on the door to a ruckus that threatened to tear door from frame! Then a moment of silence before it began again.

Rolling to her side she opened her night stand, secured her gun and sprung to her feet. She shivered from the cold, hesitating at the bedroom door as she struggled over the urge to hide or confront, especially after last time.  Her mind returned to the past, the knocks, the screams, the gun going off in her hand. She had felt she was in danger, surely anyone could see that. Anyone finding someone yelling and beating in their door at one o’clock in the morning would feel threatened. She had opened the door, he made a move into the hall, his face shrouded by a hood and her hand reacted, the gun went off. The police came, the coroner removed the body, reporters plastered grainy pictures of her terrified face.

She was acquitted, how was she to know he hadn’t come to harm her? How was she to know he was a seventeen year old boy who’s car would die, leaving him on the streets and late for curfew? How was she to know a gang of thugs had chased him for his new shoes? How was she to know he saw her outside light and ran to her for help?

How was she to know he would return night after night to haunt her? How was she to know she would never find peace or redemption from her prejudice? Opening the door, she descended the stairs to face the hell she was to endure for eternity.

Flickering orange light and the roar of a train pulled her from her slumber. Sitting up, she gaped at the eerie glow dancing over her walls and sprung to her feet. She stared, watching in horror as flames engulfed the neighbor’s house. Flames crept through windows to crawl up the siding as Tim’s terrified face appeared in an upstairs window.

Grabbing the phone, she pushed 9 and 1, her fingers freezing before pressing the second 1. Her stomach turned as she remembered stumbling upon young Tim in the woods, years earlier. He hadn’t heard her approach and she hid behind a tree meaning to scare him. Instead, she watched in horror as he doused a puppy with lighter fluid and set him ablaze. The next summer he cornered her in the park, asking if she had “ever seen a match burn twice.” He ignited a match, blew it out held the hot tip on her arm. He did it twice more before she wiggled free and ran home. Her parents passed it off as kids being kids and warned her not to play with him again.

Over the years she had seen him hurt school mates and pets. His parents offered explanations for the untimely deaths of his pets and life went on. In the spring of 1998 his prom date ended up in the hospital. She claimed she was beaten, raped and left for dead on the tennis court. When questioned, by the police, Tim passed with flying colors. His date either didn’t remember, or was too afraid to name him. She moved away after graduation and never returned. He went out late at night, she had seen him, always dressed in black. The next day he could be found in his drive, detailing his car.

As she watched the house burn, her mind returned to 2001. It was a warm spring night when she saw Tim and a date arrive at his house. When  the girl hesitated he grabbed her by the hair and dragged her into the garage, where her screaming stopped. She called 911, but a quick search of the house didn’t turn up a girl or anything else out-of-place. The police treated her like a nosy neighbor. She realized Tim had abandoned humanity, feelings. love, right and wrong years ago.

He was an animal, a predator who found joy in inflicting pain. How many died? How many more would die?  Turning her back to the flames, she returned the phone to the charger, letting the flames make the final judgement.

Submit a story or poem, inspired by a weekly photo in this fun, flash fiction group. You can read submissions or add your work HERE.  Comments welcome, as long as they are respectful and helpful, not hateful.

Category: Drama/Family

Words: 100

Rating: PG

Copyright - Roger Bultot

Copyright – Roger Bultot

“I hate you!” She shouted, following her dad down the stairs.

“Sorry to hear that, I love you!” He shouted back. “And you’re grounded, so stay home!”

“I wish you were dead!” she screamed from the porch as he opened the car door.

She barely registered the noise when it hit. The tornado snatched at random, a roof here, a house there. She died inside as she approached the car, fearing the worst. She was crying, tearing at the branches when she heard it.

“Down here Baby Girl, I’m o.k.”

She loved him.

Picture it & write it is a fun, flash fiction group that meets weekly. Read the stories or submit your own HERE.

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2021 in the U.S.A. wasn’t pleasant. Special interest groups and big money had legislated the country into an unbearable stew pot of chaos.

Slang words, racially descriptive words, such as Caucasian or Latino were illegal. It was also illegal to possess soda, beer or liquor. A strict dress code was enforced and anyone caught frying food was jailed and subjected to rigorous dietary training. Persons caught smoking or using narcotics were put to death in public displays designed to set an example. Anyone caught in a relationship with a same-sex partner was castrated or mutilated in some way and sent to live in a desolate penal camp.

“Normal” couples wishing to have children underwent rigorous testing. Those  found lacking were denied. If they committed a crime, had arthritis, asthma or were otherwise deemed unsuitable, they were denied. If they couldn’t  maintain state health insurance they were denied. Abortion was illegal unless ordered by the state. If you were pregnant and didn’t pass state mandates, your pregnancy was terminated. Any child born with undetected illness was put down.

The obese were locked away until they reached normal levels. Once released they were re-checked,  if they regained weight they were terminated. Senior citizens were put down at the first sign of illness.

A new revolution formed, no muskets,  just the same desire for freedom. The first to fall were the insurance carriers who guided laws in the name of public health, while making millions. Next came the corrupt government. The movement could succeed, or they could die, but they had to try.

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Alastair, a talented photographer and writer has started a new fiction group that meets weekly to pen 150 words based on a photo.  Check out this weeks offering and submit one of your own HERE. You can also check out Alistair’s work at his blog.

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Ominous clouds gathered as wind churned the water into a frenzy. He never anticipated this when he talked Marcie into whitewater rafting. He had risen at five a.m., enticed her with coffee at five-thirty and was on the road by six. An ancient man with a beard gave them a safety lesson and they hit the water at eight. Marcie growled as they left the pier.

They returned three hours later as mother nature turned the world, and river, upside down. He was clawing at the bank when he saw them sink to the bottom. He had to return to the water or face certain death, or severe punishment. Diving into the froth, he held his breath as he searched the murky bottom with hands and eyes. Then he saw it. Clenching his fist, he floated up. Breaking the surface, he held them over his head..

“I found the car keys Hon!”

Her glare morphed into a smile.

 

Alastair, a talented photographer and writer has started a new fiction group that meets weekly to pen 150 words based on the photo.  Check out this weeks offering and submit one of your own HERE. Once at Alistair’s page, you can add the link to your own story with the link button. (A cute blue monster button)

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The first thing Meg noticed were the smells. Coffee, mustard and bus exhaust, then came the noise. She was in the city, her city,  but not where she should be. Walking to the corner she passed a news stand, the lead paper caught her eye. It was the picture actually, showing a set of stairs she walked everyday on her way to work. The headline read “Woman’s Body Found!”

Grabbing a paper she started to read as she made her way to 2nd street, hoping she wasn’t too late for work. The story related the tale of a woman in a dark blue pants suit, with open toed pumps. She appeared to be about thirty years old with auburn hair. A gold bracelet with a kitten charm was on her left wrist. Her blood ran cold, the article described her outfit, and her to a tee. The killer was still at large.

Then she saw the time stamp on the photo, 03/06/2014, it was March of 2013 when she dressed and left for work. Why hadn’t the vendor yelled when she took the paper without paying?

“Hello? She yelled, but nobody turned. “Somebody hear me, see me please!”

She was met with silence. She touched a man and he passed, her touch unnoticed. Then she saw a man in a yellow hoodie duck into a liquor store, and she recognized that hoodie. The reason for her return was obvious. Ducking into the store she planned her attack and how to expose her killer.