Week 4: Halloween-ish Flash Fiction and a Give@way for You!
I can’t believe how fast this month has passed.
We have two more awesome stories for you this week. A Simple Mistake by Sherrie Lea Morgan and Haunting Beauty by Betty Bolte.
We hope you enjoy our stories for week four of our give@way for readers.
After you read this week’s spooky stories make sure to scroll to the bottom to enter.
Happy Halloween…stay spooky our friends!
-Tessa & Team PoisedPenPro
A Simple Mistake by Sherrie Lea Morgan
I made popcorn, whistling a tune from long ago. Setting it aside, I paused as the sky blasted white from a lightning bolt. I grinned and headed down the hall toward the guest room. The sounds of the girl’s giggles interspersed with the storm raging outside. It’s a good night for a movie. I pushed open the door and gasped. What the hell? My twin nieces jumped up and jostled to hide the Ouija board sitting on the floor. My heart pounded against my ribs as I chewed them out for playing with such a thing. Both chimed in simultaneously, saying they’d only started playing. That is before I interrupted them.
With my heart pounding against my ribs, I demanded they tell me what they had done. Both agreed they’d only asked if anyone was around, their name, and got a response. They both promised. Only once did they say hello. Although I never touched a Ouija board, I’d heard the horror stories and shuddered. I scolded both and ordered them to bed. No popcorn movie night now. Grabbing the board and its guide, I rushed downstairs and tossed them into the fireplace. Then I stood watching the flames eat the wicked thing.
As soon as I dropped the girls off at school the next day, I found a local metaphysical shop and asked to see a psychic. We sat in a small room covered in bright-colored scarves and painted pictures of angels. I told her what the girls did last night and asked if there was any reason to worry. Her face paled, and she swallowed several times before responding.
“As long as they didn’t ask the entity’s name,” she said.
“But they did,” I said.
She frowned. “Well, it might still be okay, as long as they didn’t respond.”
“But, they did,” I said, my voice rising along with the speed of my pulse.
She raised her hand and rubbed her temple.
“There’s a good chance they invited the thing into your home by responding. But we could fix it.”
“How? The girls are innocent, and I need to protect them.”
She stood and gathered some herbs from her shelf, along with a small bottle of water. “This is rainwater, she told me. Blend the herbs in the water and pour it on the board within twenty-four hours.” She wrote feverishly on a piece of paper, then handed it to me. “You’ll need to recite these words as you do so. It’ll prevent the spirit from coming—well, staying at your home.”
“After you’re done, you must bury it somewhere. Not on your property,” she warned. “As far away as possible.”
“Can’t I just burn it?” My stomach clenched, waiting on her response.
“No, no,” she whispered. “Don’t burn it, especially in your house.”
She leaned forward and whispered, “If you burned it, then it would force the entity to remain in the spot of the fire. The board is a portal, and burning it would lock it closed. It couldn’t go home.” She paused a moment, then continued. “That would be the worst thing to do as you’d be trapping it, and entities didn’t like getting trapped. They get angry and search for ways to get revenge. Some even latch onto people for the rest of their lives.”
“I understand.” Boy, did I understand. I didn’t like it one bit, and frowning, I left.
That night, I sat before the fireplace. I’d miss the twins’ monthly visits, but it was too late. I poured a glass of wine and waited. A bubbling laugh forced its way past my lips. As the fire crackled, I laughed…and laughed.
Haunting Beauty © 2022 Betty Bolte
A thump sounded overhead, then another. Footsteps? I shuddered. “We should…go.”
The ancient house moaned, wind whispering past like voices of ghosts in the dark.
“Not yet. I want to see where it happened.” Cam grabbed my hand, and I squeaked in alarm. “Come on, Georgie.”
I planted my feet, but he tugged harder and drew me close. My heart raced so in my chest I could only hear its thundering in my ears. I stumbled along beside my fiancé toward a back room, stepping over a dropped pillow with what looked suspiciously like dried blood on its embroidered front. No, maybe catsup. I swallowed back the fear rising in my throat. Probably blood.
“They say she died in bed. That’s probably the bedroom, don’t you think?” Cam eased us closer to the scarred door, mostly closed as if trying to keep secrets from escaping but failing miserably.
“I…” I swallowed again instead of revealing the depth of my fear. He’d talked about invading the abandoned house for months to satisfy his morbid curiosity about the decades-old mystery surrounding the remotely situated farmhouse like fog. We do everything together, which I’m usually happy about. Even proud. This Halloween night? Not so much.
A thud behind me had me twisting around to stare into the dusky light of the hallway. Cam squeezed my hand and then let go as he strode briskly down the hall and with a flick of his hand told me to stay put. Alone. “Cam?”
He disappeared around the corner. I sucked in a shaky breath and tried to keep my knees from knocking together. I folded my arms across my chest as I stared down the empty hall. Suddenly, a light flared at the far end, illuminating a monstrous face floating in the darkness. Floating toward me slowly, inching closer with its open maw and glowing eyes. I screamed and the face vanished.
Cam guffawed. He clicked on his flashlight and swept the light over my face. “Gotcha.”
He sauntered up and I punched him on the shoulder. “Not funny.”
He pulled me into his warm, comforting embrace and held me tight for several moments. Kissing me lightly, he gazed into my eyes. “I’m sorry. I won’t do that ever again.”
I nodded and snuggled into his chest. “Thank you.”
He’s such a good man. Smart. Loving. Playful. His entire family loved to prank each other. If I weren’t so nervous about being in this reportedly haunted house, I would have laughed at myself. But something about the chilly and foreboding atmosphere of the place had every nerve on edge.
“Let’s just take a peek and then we’ll go have pizza. Okay?”
I nodded and squared my shoulders. “With extra cheese and jalapenos.”
“Jalapenos?” He noted the stubborn lift of my chin. “Fine. You win. Come on.”
Gripping his hand, I followed him through the squealing door as he pushed it open. He stopped just as the door bumped into something, sweeping his flashlight over the area. The bed occupied the center of the far wall, its mattress bare and…stained. The broken-out window let the sighing wind breathe through the bedraggled lace curtains.
“Looks like she really did die in bed.” Cam strode closer to the marred mattress, dragging me reluctantly along. He pointed to the largest dark red blotch. “I bet that’s where she bled out, too. It’s terrible to think about it.”
“See enough?” I hoped he had. I was more than ready to leave.
“Yeah.” He swept his light around the room one last time and then froze. “Uh…”
I looked where he aimed the light, shining on a young woman’s otherworldly figure in a white nightgown, blazing gold orbs for eyes, dangling dark tresses shifting in the eerie wind. She summoned us with a mesmerizing sweep of her ghostly fingers.
I screamed then turned and ran without looking back. Cam’s footsteps followed me down the hall and out the door. We tumbled into his Jeep and sped down the driveway, never to forget the haunting beauty.
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