All I Have Ever Known

Halloween Prompt #29

Photographer Unknown

There is something about a room


with wax flowers under glass

and portraits of stern ladies with lace collars

hanging from walls hiding behind faded wallpaper

and outfitted with chairs that aren’t

comfortable to sit in

and couches that are meant to be looked at

that makes me hunger for the days

when ghosts could haunt places

like dark cavernous bus stations on stormy nights

and the bus is going to be late, if it shows up at all

and long empty hallways at hotels where the elevator takes ages to reach the

floor they’ve been called too and it’s just you and that

lady with her face to the wall mumbling the time over and over again

waiting for it, will it show up you wonder.

It’s a shame

that with all of the places I could haunt

the only places I have to chose from

are already dead.

Francie Had A Dream


” Kelby, ” my wife was whispering into the dark next to me, ” Kelby, are you awake?”

It was way past midnight, close to three in the morning. I was hoping if I just laid still and kept breathing slow she’d think I was asleep and I wouldn’t have to go through this with Francie again.

” Kelby.” she touched my shoulder and then took her hand away. ” Kelby can you hear me? I had that dream again and it’s freaking me out.”

Freaking her out? I thought. That’s a laugh. Nothing freaks Francie out. It’s not in her nature to freak out.

She used to asleep at horror movies. She’s always asking me how they end. It’s pretty annoying as you can imagine. She likes to hold the popcorn bucket so when she falls asleep the bucket usually slides off of her knees and if I don’t catch it, no popcorn.

It got to be a waste of money, she never saw the entire film and they don’t give away that popcorn as you know.

Francie powered on like it didn’t matter if I was awake or asleep or even in the room.

” It’s that dream where I think I’m dead and then I think I’m awake and bonus-  I’m alive and someone, sometimes it’s you or Lily from down the street will tell me, ” But Francie, we buried you yesterday. Shouldn’t you be in your coffin?

And then I wake up and it goes around and around. It’s enough to make me crazy. ”

There’s this little catch in Francie’s voice and I feel like an award winning jerk. She’s scared and I’m pretending to sleep.

I turn over and she has her back to me.

” I’m sorry Francie. I’m sorry you’re having that crazy dream. But you’re awake and this is no dream and you’re going to be fine.”

Francie pulls the blanket over her shoulder and she says to me,  ” I’m not dreaming. I know I’m not dreaming. I know I’m awake. And I know this Kelby. You’re not here. We buried you yesterday and you’re in your coffin.”




The Best Night Ever


My plastic jack-o-lanterns, the ones with the crooked black smiles

are stuffed with chocolates  shaped like bones and eyeballs

and something called gummi worms

which in my opinion

are not as tasty or interesting as the real thing.


My costume is set out on my bed upstairs.

It took me all year  to decide on the perfect costume and it came in the mail just



I’m going to be Grandma with a blue wig and wire framed glasses  and my cat is going to

be the  Big Bad Wolf and my dog is

going to be Little Red Riding Hood with bouncy blond curls.


I do not think that they like their costumes. When I pulled them out of their packages

and held them up they ran under the dining room table and when I walk by they snap

their heads away from me and my dog jingles his collar and my cat spits.


” Where is your Spirit boys? It’s Halloween!” I scolded them.


From their temporary home under my dining room table

my dog turns his face away and my cat- who never has a problem with voicing his

disapproval or anger with me says, ” Probably being exorcised by a Priest- as you

very well know.”


” We will take care of that later, ” I promise. ” But tonight  it is Halloween and we have

other things to do. Like have fun for starters. “


I go to the front door, open it just a crack and I make sure no on is outside.

All clear.

I open the door wider and step out onto  the Halloween welcome mat with the  (REALLY?)

smiling witch ( there is no such creature as a smiling witch, trust me  on this one )

and jump up and down on it.


I can hear a the gears that work the trapdoor lock into place and hold.

Oh joy. This is really going to work.


I go back in and as I shut the door.

A tingle rushes up and down my spine and my mouth

starts to water.



every single star in the Universe is lining up  for me and my friends under the dining

room table


 it is

Halloween at last

and we are ready for-


The Witch’s House

RDP Wednesday: MELODY

When I used to go for walks with my Grandfather and his dog Darwin my Grandfather would point out the mushrooms that you could pick and eat and he would point out plants whose roots were so deadly and so poisonous that you’d be convinced that brain or not, these particular plants were capable of being homicidal maniacs too.

Something that deadly, I came to think, were that deadly for a reason.

Just like people.

Sometimes we would go to the back part of his property where we have an honest to goodness family cemetery- most of the markings on the gravestones had been almost wiped clean by the elements.

That patch had been very old and had been neglected for a very long time, it should have been dead but it wasn’t.

One of my Great Uncles had a little dog perched on top of his headstone and it still looked like a dog, it had a sad face and it’s ears dropped down against the side of it’s head.

If I could have, I would have pried  that little dog lose and taken it away – maybe put it in a garden where you didn’t have to be careful of which mushroom you picked or which berries you could eat without fear eating the wrong one and having  them turning your guts to mush.

In my mind, that little  stone dog was still alive- unlike it’s neighbors that were dead or waiting for their chance to do you in.

It was on one of our walks where Grandfather was a little more quiet then usual and I wasn’t as chatty when I first noticed this odd little melody that Grandfather was humming. The tune reminded me of a bat chasing bugs at dusk- it was all over the place but it  moved with purpose.

” That’s a funny song, ” I said ” what is it called?”

I thought I had heard him humming something like it before, but it wasn’t the same exact song.

We stopped in front of the Caretaker’s Cottage, a decrepit  stone cottage that we called the Witch’s House. The Witch’s Houset was missing most of it’s roof and it’s side door, but not it’s front door.

That door was chained shut.

” It’s not a song. ”

” What is it then? Because it sounds like a song to me. Kind of. ”

” Lillis, shh, listen. ”

I heard creaking and sighing, I heard dry leaves rustling over little stones.

I looked from the cottage to my Grandfather. ” I’m humming the sound the wind makes when it goes through the Witch’s House. ” he told me.

” You really are. ” I was pleasantly surprised. ” So it never sounds like the same song. I get it. Very clever. ”

Grandfather smiled at me and I saw his eyes slide to the left, towards the cottage and when he looked back at me I was smiling too.

” Of course, there isn’t a breeze and there hasn’t been a breath of wind all day. Not a single breath. ”

” Oh you can always hear a breath or two  coming from the Witch’s House, Lillis. Always.”