Posts Tagged 'ghost story'

She rose up

All night long, the outside world bellowed. Bellowed, honked, shrieked, krilled, ululated and yowled. She tossed restlessly, nearly sleeping but disturbed by the concatenation of sounds rising in hysterical crescendo and then falling into brief staccato silences. She woke, and slept, and woke, and slept, until 3 a.m., when the full moon was hot and the orchestra was tuning up for another movement.

“I am afraid I never will do that,” she told herself as she considered sleeping in the basement, with the spiders and the goblins still hiding in the shadows of her childhood. She rose up in her blue nightgown and went outside, where she sat on the porch swing. The silver lace vine shone in the moonlight, the honeysuckle twitched as if its dreams were restless.

At 3:20, he went past the house where he used to live. It was now even more worn by time and weather than it had been. He stopped, to see it better, and turned off his car engine. The house seemed smaller, and ghostly in the flat white light of the high summer moon. Sitting on a porch swing sat a girl, swinging gently, in a blue nightgown and bare feet. She was singing a song, a ballad of danger and gypsy love that sounded so familiar he spontaneously got out of the car and walked toward her in the moonlight.

The girl looked up and their eyes met. She stopped swinging. The birds and the beasts in the barnyard started up again and within seconds they were wrapped in cacophonous, ratcheting, chaotic sound. 

 “Good gracious!” she said, getting off the swing and stepping onto the cool grass. She started toward the house, the house with the silent windows, that seemed to him to be empty.

“No!” he said. “Stop!” But she didn’t, she didn’t stop and the house swallowed her up and the sounds were swallowed with her and he stood on the front porch in the moonlight, saying “Mom? Mom?” to the empty rooms and gaping windows and the moon slid behind the clouds in the sudden silence.

 

 

 

 

 

Reader

As a certified paranormal mind reader, I can sense more than you can imagine. Imagine that. You are sitting in your kitchen nook eating bagels with pickled herring, while I sit right next to you, too distracted by ghostly tap dancing, whirling fogs where no dry ice can be found, and the ululating wails of the permanently grieved. I haven’t had a decent bagel in years.

Once in a while, I sit one out, but it’s not up to me. It’s the spirits. I can leave my ghost-hunting equipment packed in a trunk in the attic of a distant relative’s home, but if they want to find me, the oscilloscope mysteriously turns up in my laundry basket, the night goggles are set on the nightstand next to the novel I won’t get to finish. The tape measure, slide rule, light net and safety goggle pack themselves in my suitcase, and whether I fly to Toronto, Rome or Little Rock, I know they will pursue me until I see them. Ready or not, here they come.

I’ve tried to decline, believe me. But the dead have time on their side, and they are both persistent and relentless. After a period of zig-zagging from city to city, trying to get away from the call, I get visions, reminders that I work for them, not the other way around. As a certified paranormal mind reader, I not only sense ghosts, feel and see and hear ghosts, I also read their minds and they love this. Ghosts love to be read more than anything else in the world.

Turn them down, if you dare. You will find blood spouting from your water-saver shower head. You will see glistening eyeballs staring at you from a plate of chicken livers, you will find spiders’ nests and trip wires lining the hall when you try to walk to the bathroom at 3 a.m. Feathers and whispers will tickle your ears, waking you incessantly. The teakettle won’t whistle, it’ll shriek like a pressure valve about to blow, the whipped cream will gasp and sob, and your bass guitar will tweedle like it’s been given a dose of helium. You cannot be cool with ghosts who are after your mind-reading abilities. They want to hear themselves think. You will read their minds, damn you, or they will claim yours, utterly and completely.

Halloween Armadillo Returns – story below

Every Halloween, this story rises to the top of most popular posts on Cuentos, so today I’m front paging the first paragraph for those readers who may have missed it previously:

 

Armadillo to Zombie

I’ve made vegetarian soup for vampires before. The secret is, don’t tell them what’s in it.

eyeball soup

 

A group of fingerling vampires came to my house this evening. I could hardly overlook them, although they were short. They fastened their tiny fangs to my shins and ankles and sucked vigorously, but even so I felt the blood puddling up in my shoes for as much as an hour after they took their handfuls of eyeballs and werewolf boogers and moved on to the next house – a recently remodeled mausoleum in the cemetery/crematorium across the street from Quarter’s Barbecue Emporium.  . . . . . . .

……. to read the rest, click here

Don’t look behind you….

Armadillo to Zombie

I’ve made vegetarian soup for vampires before. The secret is, don’t tell them what’s in it.

eyeball soup

A group of fingerling vampires came to my house this evening. I could hardly overlook them, although they were short. They fastened their tiny fangs to my shins and ankles and sucked vigorously, but even so I felt the blood puddling up in my shoes for as much as an hour after they took their handfuls of eyeballs and werewolf boogers and moved on to the next house – a recently remodeled mausoleum in the cemetery/crematorium across the street from Quarter’s Barbecue Emporium.  

I strapped a tourniquet on my legs to staunch the flow of blood and staggered through the streets.

 

hamburger mutagens

hamburger mutagens

Weak, confused, I stopped for a Big Mac to give me strength, slit my finger with a letter opener and squeezed three drops of blood onto the three pickle slices laid neatly on top of the 100% mutilated cattle patty. 

Feeling much better, I resumed my walk through the city, wanting now to find salvation, some spiritual succor.

At the mall, a group of Hare Krishnas congregated, looking displaced. Their saffron robes hung loosely from their withered vegan bodies.

“Have you seen Little Buddha?” I asked them politely. 

“What? Keanu Reeves? Right!” said the eldest Krishna, whose shaved head sagged at the back of his mottled neck. 

I got a cappuccino and a cherry squeeze at the food court and continued my search for salvation in the city of the damned. The undead crowded the aisles at Walgreens. In Kmart, their faces were ashen and tinted as the voices of demons cried out the blue light special again and again. At Walmart, the brains of the enemy were on sale, writhing in a vat of pickled Chinese torture water. The roast beef glistened; its juices squirmed as tenderizer tore its fibers one by one each from its brother. Dried possum lips hung from the checkout stand rack. frog The venom of flesh-eating African frogs was bottled and sold in the sundries department at Osco that day.

I couldn’t stand the sight of them. Sick with loathing, I went to the produce department for yams, parsnips, blood oranges, kohlrabi and teatree oil to make myself a remedy to cure these cursed imaginings.

graveyard At the cemetery, I shared them with a man in black tattered velvet. His headstone read “Justice Not Mercy,” but he would not tell me why.

His hands were long and thin, nails crusted with graveyard soil more than a century old. His teeth were blackened. His breath was foul and sweet. He ate yams and parsnips, but said the kohlrabi gave him gas.

“I was once living, like you,” he said. He scratched his companion, a molding armadillo, behind the ears. The armadillo made a wet snuffling sound, like a pig snorkeling through the carcass of something left dead in the barnyard to rot. The armadillo coughed, and sputum bubbled out of his nostrils and one eye. I offered him a handkerchief.

armadillo

“I’ve had this armadillo since before I was dead,” the man in the velvet suit said. “My name’s Ned. Ned Hall. He was buried with me.” 

Suddenly, the armadillo began to cry. Green tears the size of quarters ran down his face.

“Armageddon, that’s what it was,” the armadillo said, between huge gulping sobs. “Armageddon, ruination, we’ve all been damned to hell.”

smoking“Give it a rest, would you?” said Ned Hall. He lit a cigarette. Smoke trickled out of his ears.

The armadillo continued to sob, muttering “Apocalypse, death, destruction, second coming – all I need is an open grave,” until at last he subsided, with many hiccups and whimpering sidelong looks at Ned Hall.

“I keep telling him” said Ned. “He don’t have to stay here with me in this goddamn cemetery – if you’ll excuse the expression. It’s no vacation for me either, being buried with this sorrowful dead armadillo. I didn’t know they’d bury the fool with me. I’d a told ‘em don’t bother, if I’d known he was going to whine and moan at me for the next hundred years.”

He pulled an old boot out of the grass on the grave next over and pulled it on, lacing it with a boot hook and then scraping the unhallowed mud off his sole. 

“Where’d that other boot get to?” he said, starting to emit a thick greenish slime that glowed in the darkness as he became more angry. 

“Hellfire and damnation,” he hollered at last. (“Armageddon,” said the armadillo.)

“Resurrect my boot, you bloodthirsty abnormal afterlife pain in the hiney,” he said to the ‘dillo, and the creature did, rooting around in the gravesite with his dead-cold snout.

Leaving the two of them arguing in the graveyard, I went to Smiths, where I found my salvation at last in supersaver double coupons good for anything in the store with an ungodly smell.  I made my purchase and went home alone. Or so I thought, at the time.

halloween face


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