** HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE! **
HAVE A SAFE AND SPOOKY NIGHT!
HAVE A SAFE AND SPOOKY NIGHT!
(A story in honor of Halloween. As the days of October shorten, a young man descends with the sunset shadows down seven cellar stairs. If you're just joining us, you can go back to Part 1.)
oh god oh god oh god
Paulie's fingertips shook.
He stood at the edge of the black basement and listened. The odor in the air smelled sharper. More than just a ghost of crispy brown and dried up worms. The stench snaked into his pants, but also repelled him.
A match lit in the darkness.
Caught the sparkling glitter of eyes.
The flame fluttered down, then cupped under smoky glass. A shimmering red hiss transformed to chilly blue, then finally blazed white.
A woman sat on the edge of the table beside the lantern.
"Hi Mrs. Brennan," Paulie said.
She laughed and shook her head at the formality. He knew she liked it, though.
"Are you coming in?" she said. Her voice was slow. Mischievous.
Over her shoulder, one of the old shovels leaned in the middle of wall. The handle was dark where the old dust was smeared away. Paulie's eyes lingered on it as he spoke.
"I've been thinking a lot about last week," he said. "Actually, I can't get it out of my head."
Her smile spread, showing teeth. "I like that."
He thought about telling her he visited the cottage every day of the week, but didn't want to look weak. Needy. Besides, she might be pissed about drawing attention to their secret place.
"You want to do the same thing again? I liked the kidnapping game," he said, looking down at the solid legs of the table. "I could handcuff you again. Tighter this time. I could do...more."
She eased off the table and approached him. It made him even more self-conscious. "Oh? Like what?"
Her hands dug into the muscles of his upper chest. Her weight pushed him back.
He swallowed, tried to speak, but no sound came out.
"I have something extra special planned," she said. "Something even better."
The decay was so much stronger, not nice like he remembered.
He glanced down to where the dirt floor was dug. Something curved up from the grey soil.
She kissed his neck, and his heartbeat throbbed down in the center of his jeans.
"It makes me so hot just to think about it," she whispered. "I almost can't stand it."
With her lips, she traced a half circle around his neck. "It's amazing for guys. You see it in their faces."
"What?" he croaked.
She turned his shoulders. Away from the room and its lumpy floor.
Bits of his clothes were coming off. Mrs. Brennan threw them into a corner on top of others, stiff and old.
"Under the hickory tree," she said. "There's a stool."
"There's nothing like it. Nothing in the world."
She pressed him up the stairs into the new night. The tree towered black against the sky.
"Mrs. Brennan, I--"
A rope dangled from a crooked branch.
"Shhhh," she said. "Do it."
His bare skin stepped onto wood. The stool legs teetered.
The noose near his shoulders made no shadow on the stairs. All of the hickory's darkness plunged into the basement below.
His heart thundered.
"Don't worry, I'll let you down," she said. "I promise."
He saw the furnace heat in her eyes.
"Do it," she said.
He slipped the rope over his head.
look at me please look at me I'll do whatever you want so you never look away
His hands dropped, and she pounced.
i love you
Hair flying wild, she kicked the stool away.
Back to Part 6.