Near 500 words: A Halloween Story

Friendships had never been easy to come by for Jane. Then she met Eleanor Whitaker. It was a Wednesday and she was late for work. She barely caught the bus. The bus was already packed with only one seat left. That was beside a white haired elderly woman wearing a white cashmere sweater.

“Would you like to join me?” the woman suggested.

Jane nodded yes and took the seat. “I’m late for work,” she said, still trying to catch her breath.”

“I used to hate that. I lost a lot of jobs being late for work.” Jane wasn’t in the mood for talking. The woman was. “I don’t have to do that anymore. I’m retired.”

Jane looked at the woman. “Yes,” then she went back to what she was thinking. How she was going to have to finagle her way with her boss?

“You know what I finally did to prevent getting fired,” the woman said.

Not really curious but trying to shut her up, Jane shook her head and turned away from the woman.

“I cast a spell,” the woman said.

Now curious, Jane turned back to the woman. “Did it work?”

“Did it ever? And it was my first one too.”


The house, like Darnell, was all settled in for the night. Helen was in the kitchen finishing the dishes. Darnell was ready for his daily writing session. Two hours to work on the novel he’d been at for some time. The writing was going well. The monsters were gathering for the attack on the fort.

One of the dogs barked outside. Growl had a habit of doing most of the barking. The other two ignored his barks. They knew he was just showing off.

Helen brought Darnell a cup of tea. She sat it down next to his computer. Then she kissed him on the cheek. “Is it going well?”

Darnell returned from his imagination. He was a bit bothered. It was like he’d been woke from a deep sleep. He smiled, not wanting to let his emotions get the best of him. He looked up and said, “Yes. It’s going well.”

“Will you have some pages for me to read soon?”

“I think so,” he said, back in the waking world.

Growl made another bark. “That dog,” she said. “Will he ever stop?”

“When he stops,” Darnell said, “he’ll be done for.”

“Guess you’re right. Well, I’ll leave you to your story. Don’t let the monsters drag you away.”

“I won’t,” he said as she slipped away. Then he asked himself, “Just what did she mean by that?”

He began a new paragraph. The first sentence came, then a second, and soon the paragraph came to an end with the words: “The dog had stopped barking.”

Gold Fever

The old Indian woman tried to dissuade the two men from crossing the river and going into the mountain. “There is evil up there,” she said in her native tongue.

Roscoe answered her in the Indian dialect, “We’re going, Maria.”

Delmore didn’t like what he was hearing. He didn’t like the tone he was hearing in either Roscoe’s or Maria’s voice. “What? What did she say?”

“She warned us not to go into the mountains. There’s devils up there.”

Delmore smiled and touched the gun hanging from his belt. “I ain’t afraid of no stinking devils.” Delmore was a realist, a practical man who only believed in his five senses. And he didn’t believe in no devil. Or ghosts either, for that matter. What he and Roscoe believed in was the gold.

The two men finished loading the burros and climbed on their horses.

Roscoe turned and tipped his hat and bid her farewell.

Maria looked up at him. She did not smile. “Adios,” she said. There was sorrow in her voice. She had done her best. She had given the two Americanos a warning. Like the others, they did not listen. “Miguel,” she called for her son.

A young Indian man came outside from the small store. “Si?” the son said to his mother.

“Get out the devils.”

As the weather vane turns

This one is a horror story for Halloween.

From a distance,  the ancient two-story house with its dozen rooms looked like it was a grand mansion. The image of the rows and rows of garden fooled folks. It made the old home place seem to be the best of houses. In fact, it was the worst of houses. It was haunted. It didn’t mean to be haunted but it was.

As the wind rotated the weather vane outside, it sounded like screaming coming from a distance. But the screaming was closer. It was inside the house and the screams came from the basement. That was where the old man kept the bodies of his mother, his sister, his wife, his two boys. He went on a rampage one night. At the end of the night, he was the only one left alive.

Why didn’t he get caught? When people came to the door, he shushed them away. The town nearby came to the conclusion that the family was strange and crazy and the townsfolk left them alone. That was best.

The old man went into town only rarely for supplies. He didn’t talk much, just bought his goods, then he went back to the house. It was only after six months when no one had seen him that people began wondering. Finally, the sheriff went out to check.

The old man’s corpse sat in his large chair. The chair was facing the basement door. He held an axe on his lap. On his face was a scream. Down in the basement, the policemen found the rest of the family, chopped into small pieces, their heads laid out on a table. On their faces were smiles. It was as if they had brought about the old man’s death and they were rejoicing.

Funny thing was. The wind carried no more screams.

Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Song: Something a little different for Halloween

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. With Halloween coming up, I thought why not have some fun. Each year the band Lake Street Dive does a special video at Halloween. This one was for 2015. Enjoy:

And just in case you want to know what they are like when not doing Halloween, here’s a taste of their regular sound: