Drama(2)

5

Glue

Christmas ornaments always come with memories attached to them.

The Christmas tree was up by the first weekend in December and fully decorated by Sunday night, just before prime-time TV, but all feelings of accomplishment faded when Renfield the cat jumped headlong from the entertainment center onto the top of the tree and rode it down like Slim Pickens riding the A-bomb in Dr. Strangelove, a movie Bob loved enough to have viewed multiple times (Karen...Read On

3

Local Infuences

Bodies at rest tend to stay at rest, no force moving them forward

By mid-afternoon it was snowing, one of those early spring one-last-time sucker- punch squalls, and as the sun went down, and the streetlights came on the temperature rose a couple degrees and the snow began to mix with freezing rain. This would have been around the rush hour. There were only five people in the Tip Top, two of them playing pool and requiring quarters, but the rest just...Read On

Flash Fiction(8)

10

Forks

More unsettling were the ragged circle of butter knives stabbed angrily into the wood ceiling.

“Where the hell are all the forks?” John grumbled from the kitchen, not for the first time. “Emily takes them,” said El from the dinner table. “No I don’t!” wailed Em. El turned to her Dad. “Emily takes them and she hides them,” she said. “This is between her and me,” said John. “No need to get involved.” Sensing a temporary victory, Em added, “And quit calling me Emily!” John shushed...Read On

11

Betty Bones

Betty Bones lives in the old house at the end of the street with her three dead children.

Her name is Betty Bowens, though all the neighborhood kids call her Betty Bones, and she lives in the old house at the end of the street with her three dead children. They are dead; she is not, merely old, very old. Her children died of different causes, at different times: hit-and-run, cancer, suicide. Two were adults when they died, the cancer and the suicide. Her boy Tristan, poor...Read On

9

Clockwork

Perhaps clocks weren’t misbehaving. Perhaps time was.

Clocks had a way of misbehaving in the house. Clocks often misbehave, particularly mechanical ones. The clock in the car that is two or three minutes slower than the clock last spied before leaving the house. The clock on the oven timer that never quite matches up with the always correct digital clock on the iPad being consulted for a recipe. The unused coffee-maker clock forever...Read On

15

Lodgers

Houses sometimes held onto what happened inside them.

The house stood at the entrance to the block, dwarfing all the other houses. John and Alice learned a bit of the history of the house from the previous owner, who was a bit of an amateur historian. The original owner of the house, a Mr. Reginald Bowens--the man who built it, gave it life, brought it into the world--was a railroad scion for C&S Railways. The smaller houses in the...Read On

14

Mother of Glass, Mother of Tears

Mirrors are a kind of window.

“You’re fat,” the little girl inside the mirror said to Em. It was long past midnight. Em’s parents and sister were in bed. Em was standing in front of the closed door of her room, where her Dad had hung the full length mirror. She regarded the reflection. The person in the mirror looked just like Em. She wasn’t Em, though. She wasn’t even a little girl, though she looked like one. She...Read On

14

Pennies

Don't you want to know what blood tastes like?

The woman in the mirror spoke to her. This was before she covered all the mirrors in the house. This was back when she was like eleven, maybe twelve, before all the crazy shit happened. Back when they first moved into the house. The woman had been in her mirror for some time. Hiding. At first, Em didn’t even now she was there. She thought it was her own reflection. Em noticed the woman...Read On

10

Pupa and Chrysalis

She felt beautiful.

Em asked her Dad to mount a full length mirror on the inside of her door when she was nine years old. The mirror whispered to her just after she turned ten. Or rather, something in the mirror whispered. She had just started fourth grade, and for the first time in her life noticed that others looked at her, others judged her: her clothes, her skin, her weight, her hair. She started...Read On

11

Supper Table

She just watches. She watches the house. She watches all of us.

Supper was grilled chicken and rice, with green beans, one of El’s favorites. Her Mom noticed the subdued reaction when her plate was placed in front of her. “Is something wrong, honey?” asked Alice. Silence, at first. Eventually, El told the family that she saw a ghost in the house the night before. “Where?” asked Em. “In the bathroom,” said El. Em started laughing. “Were they...Read On

Horror(5)

4

Lost and Found

Certain places in the house held shadows within them.

The basement didn’t show up on John’s radar until about a year after they had lived in the house, though other spots did, and much more quickly. His daughters took note of the upstairs hallway before they even moved in. Em said it felt weird. John felt it too, and even Alice, who did not put much faith in the supernatural, said she thought of the countless footsteps of previous lodgers...Read On

13
Recommended Read

Don't Look

His tear was red, and spattered as it landed.

Dad was at work. Mom was at the grocery store. Her sister Em was at a friend’s house. El sat on her bed, playing with her kitten, Shadow. El had a feather on a string, and tossed it out like a fishing line for Shadow to chase. Something sounded from outside the room. Shadow jumped off the bed at once, his attention no longer on the feather. He bolted out of the room and took a sharp turn...Read On

13

Doorways

Something terrible lay slumped in the corner of the room.

In retrospect John blamed the incident on his own suggestibility, and on the scrapbook. The previous owner, Henry Stode, considered himself to be a bit of an amateur historian, at least when it came to the house. He had inherited an overstuffed scrapbook from the previous owner, who had inherited it from another previous owner. The book was not organized in any way; it had originally been...Read On

11

Growing Old

They’d grow into old age together, all of them, the dead and the living.

The girls had been getting along pretty well together in El’s room, El playing teacher, Em playing student (they always played the same roles without variance), but then Em had turned rebellious on her teacher and was threatening to not do her assignment until El shared some of her apple. Now they were fighting. John and Alice knew this because they were on the first floor of the house, in...Read On

11

Window

"Remember. The attic is off limits."

The realtor described the place as a grand old dame of a house: a three-story high Victorian in a state of slight disrepair, built in 1897 but with so many random, period-inconsistent architectural details added on over the years (a deck over the front door, a mudroom added on the side, several of the larger rooms broken up with wallboard and framed for apartments) it did not qualify for...Read On

Poetry(1)

8

Apprentice

My first poem; be kind.

Apprentice I cannot hope to ever match your lovely flowing lines you measured words, your metered pace the cadence of your rhymes All I know is how your words touch something deeply hidden They recognize a secret place They call my name unbidden And so I dance to your sweet song It frees me, brings me light My stumbling gait, my earthbound waltz  is transformed into flight...Read On