Ghoulish Behaviour

“Finn, I don’t want to…we should just go home it’s getting late”

“Don’t be a baby, Henry, you’re a big boy now, you’re ten.” Finn teased his younger brother, pointing at him with the tip of his plastic sword.

“I’m not a baby!” Henry swung his bag of candy at his brother, but Finn danced out of the way.

“Prove it. Go into the graveyard, touch the angel tombstone and come back out.” Finn stood with his hand on his hip, his smile smug as he showed off for his friend.

“Fine. But don’t leave while I’m doing it,” Henry stuck out his chin towards the two older boys.

“Watch out for ghosts and ghouls,” Finn’s friend, Bradey, said in a menacing voice, his zombie makeup running rivulets down his sweaty face.

“G-Ghouls?” Henry stopped at the entrance, looking back.

“Yeah, they come out at Halloween and eat the skin off of little boys. They eat everything, leaving behind only blood and bones” Bradey said, leering at Henry.

“Finn?” Henry turned to his brother, imploring him to come with him.

“Fine, Henry, we’ll all go. You’ll see what a baby you’re being,” Finn sighed, joining his brother and motioning for Bradey to follow.  The wind picked up as the boys picked their way through the tombstones, leaves crunching underfoot and blowing around their legs.

“Finn, how much further is the angel one?” Henry asked, turning in circles when he didn’t get a response.

“Finn?! Where’d ya go? This isn’t funny! Finn! Bradey! Fine, you’re both babies, I’m gonna go touch it,” Henry yelled into the wind, his voice swallowed up in the gusty weather.

“Henrrryyyyy,” A high-pitched voice reached him and he spun, tripping over a root and falling on his bottom.

“Henrrryyyy….I want to eat….your…skin….Henrrryyyy,”

“Stop it! Guys!” Henry wiped his sleeve across his face, trying to blink back tears and see into the darkened cemetery. He thought he saw shapes ahead of him, creeping between the plots and he started towards them. When he reached the spot he thought he had seen the shapes moving, there was nothing but two creepy looking stone creatures. He thought he saw them move and shook his head, trying to get ahold of himself. He circled the tombstones with the weird creature-markers, looking for Finn. When he looked back at the stones, only one had a creature perched on it. His heart started to beat hard and he could smell rotting eggs. The wind seemed to push at him and he broke into a run, looking right and left for the other boys. He tripped again, landing face first in a pile of mud. His glasses bent and he couldn’t hold back the tears anymore.

“Is baby crying?” Bradey asked, laughing as he came out from behind a tree.

“Sorry Henry, geez, didn’t think you’d believe us,” Finn said, coming towards his brother. He crouched down, wiping the dirt from his brother’s twisted frames before sliding them back onto his face.

“Finn…that…that wasn’t funny,” Henry sniffled, “Why were you guys creeping between all the stones?”

“We weren’t, we were right behind you the whole time bud,” Finn said, looking around. “Come on, Bradey, let’s go,” he said, helping Henry up.

“Are you kidding? No way, you guys wait here. I’ll go be the only non scaredy-cat,” Bradey said before disappearing into the darkness.

“He’ll be a minute, we can stay here. When we get home we can pig out. I’m really sorry Henry. You’re not gonna tell mom, are you?”

“No, it’s ok. I won’t tell her if you give me one of your full sized chocolate bars,” Henry smiled.

“You got it,” Finn laughed, looking around for his friend.

“What is that?” Henry asked, smelling the bad egg smell again.

“I don’t –“ Finn’s words were cut off by a loud scream. It came from the direction that Bradey had gone. Henry and Finn ran towards the sound, candy bags forgotten.

They got to the angel tombstone and saw Bradey’s candy bag, chips bags strewn over the grass.

“Bradey?” Finn called, keeping a hand on his brother’s arm.

“Dude, this isn’t funny anymore, let’s go,” Finn tried again. His foot crunched on something and he lifted it, seeing he had stepped on a white stick. He realised it was a bone, not a stick, and that it was covered in something dark and glistening.

“Henry, we gotta go,” Finn said, backing away, his hand biting into Henry’s when he saw more bones scattered amongst the candy.

The boys turned and fled, and the creatures that had been stalking them watched their departure with red eyes and full bellies.

Thanksgiving

Trevor balanced the casserole dish in his left hand, using the right to ring the doorbell. He heard the chiming from deep in the house, followed by barking and yelling. The door was pulled open by his statuesque sister-in-law. She had her Rottweiler pinched between her calves and smiled.

“Hey, sorry, come on in, he’s a little crazy today for some reason”

“Probably the turkey smells, thanks Kate” Trevor said, stepping inside and handing the dish into Kate’s outstretched, manicured hands.

“Mmm, these potatoes smell delicious Trev. Go on through, Nick is watching the game with your Dad. I’ll just pop this in the kitchen.”

“Can I help you with anything?”

“No no, go ahead,” Kate smiled, heading towards the kitchen with the barrel-chested Rottweiler at her heels.

Trevor wandered into the hunting-lodge style living room to join his brother and father.

“Hey Trev, beer’s in the cooler on the porch. Patriots are up by two. Don’t let Frankie out when you open the door,” Nick greeted his brother, not moving from the plush leather couch.

“Hey, Thanks,” Trevor said, grabbing a chilled beer from the red cooler.

Trevor waved at his Dad, whose eyes were glued to the television. His Dad waved back, that mere acknowledgement and second not watching the game his way of showing affection. Trevor sat down with his cold bottle. The couch seemed to sigh as he settled his weight into it.

“Happy Thanksgiving,” Nick clinked bottles with Trevor and they sat watching the game for a few minutes in silence.

At half time, Nick turned to Trevor, “Where’s Jenna?”

“She’s at home, she’s just not comfortable with Frankie yet,” Trevor said, watching the bikini models advertise the truck on television.

“Ah well, she’ll come around. Kate did. She’ll’ see what a big softie he can be.”

“yeah, hopefully.”

The Rottweiler bounded into the livingroom, his massive paws on Nick’s knees in an effort to lick his face.

“Speaking of softies,” Trevor joked and their Dad gave a dry laugh that turned into a wracking cough.

“Dinner’s ready, folks!” Kate called from the kitchen.

Trevor headed towards the formal dining room, Nick’s teenage boys already seated and munching on warm rolls.

“Hey Uncle Trev, when’d ya get here?” the younger one, Will, asked.

“Hey guys. Not too long ago. How’s school going?”

“Good, I’ve been off this week though. Frankie bit me and it got infected,” Will said, wide eyes darting to the kitchen.

Trevor looked startled, “What? Your Dad never said. Why’d he bite you?”

“Mom’s got him on a new diet or something that makes him grumpy,” Will answered, his brother kicking him under the table.

“I’m sorry that happened bud,” Trevor said. He heard a crash from the kitchen followed by growling and he hurried towards the sounds.

“Frankie, it’s ok. We’re all gonna eat together now,” Kate’s soothing voice reached Trevor as he rounded the corner.

Kate was backed against the butcher block island, her hands out in front of her in a placating gesture.

Trevor moved to where Nick lay, face down on the tile. He had a bruise swelling up on his temple, but his chest was rising and falling rhythmically.

“Good boy, Leo,” Trevor whispered to the rottie, who stood over Nick in a protective stance. Reassurred about Nick, Trevor turned to his youngest brother.

“Frankie, good to see ya buddy. What’s going on?” Trevor smiled, creeping in front of Kate.

“I won’t eat in the basement today,” Frankie said in his soft monotone, cocking his head to the side as his dull gray eyes roved the kitchen. His cargo shorts were ripped and his thumbs stuck through holes in the arms of his sweater.

“You’ll eat right now, with us,” Trevor said, his tone even.

Frankie focused on Trevor, loosening his grip on the baseball bat in his hand.

“That’s it, give me the bat,” Trevor said.

“Eat now? Everyone?”  Frankie asked, his eyebrows crooked.

“Sure, bud,” Trevor started forward as his Dad walked in.

“Frankie, what the hell?” He roared, his voice raspy from a lifetime of smoking cigars. Startled, Frankie turned, swinging the bat.

The wood connected with the old man’s skull and he crumpled to the ground.

“No!” Kate screamed and Leo lunged forward, his teeth clamping onto Frankie’s calf.

Frankie kicked out and the dog hit the kitchen wall with a crash and a whimper.

The sounds brought Nick’s sons into the kitchen, their eyes wide as they took in the violent scene.

Frankie lurched to the side, grabbing Kate by the hair and dragging her backward a few feet. Getting out of the way, Will ran towards the front hall.

“Too much trouble. Too much noise. I won’t eat in the basement today,” Frankie kept muttering, his motions jerky and frantic.

Trevor spoke in soothing tones, trying to keep pace as Frankie edged towards the front door, his meaty hand around Kate’s throat as she struggled. Suddenly, Frankie’s eyes widened and he dropped Kate. He looked down in shock at the fire poker sticking out of his stomach.

“Dinner time?” He asked, confused, as he fell forwards. Will stood behind him, his small, bloody hands held out in front of him.

Thanks For Stopping By

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by and welcome! This is my first blog posting on my first blog…ever. I may be behind the times but I have always been a lover of a sharp pencil and a crisp, clean, piece of paper. I’ve heard that the only way to reach people is online, so, on that note, I’ll keep this first post short and sweet; I don’t want to scare you off just yet.

This past year my grandfather passed away, though I felt that I lost him a couple years before. Alzheimer’s is a scary disease, creeping in in between jokes about misplaced car keys and sighs from listening to the same story for the fifth time. Before the disease progressed, my grandfather was a brilliant, quick-witted, loving and generous man. We all have those loved ones who seem to really “get” us and who encourage our true passions. For me, that was him.My 6-year old stories were just as interesting as whatever mystery novel he was reading – and he made sure I felt that way. When he died in February, I hated the idea of writing or reading, and tried to avoid anything that reminded me of him. I have made too many excuses and procrastinated away too many hours and thought, “why not today?”

Now that I have bared that tiny part of my soul to you, dear reader, I invite you into the darker parts of my mind as we explore.