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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Scary December

 As anyone who uses a computer knows, there is a hole - similar to the one in Judy Davies story below - but this one holds thousands of lost files. No one knows how the computer chooses which files to snatch, files that will never see the light of day or appear on the computer to which they were sent. And that's what happened in October. Two entries were sent to the October Stuff and Nonsense contest. Two entries that Terry Rozum's prompt stimulated. Two entries that didn’t pass go but went to the dead files hole. Both writers, Judy Davies and Candice Connor, won a free edit of the first ten pages of their current WIP from yours truly, which, hopefully, makes up for the Fleeing Files of Fall.

Today, you can switch gears from candy canes, eggnog, and the scent of pine and return to gingerbread, pumpkins, and the scent of decaying spirits in the night.  Mahala

A Night to Remember
 Judy Davies

            "Church Street cemetery was quiet until the loud, haunting scream rang out near midnight.” Well, of course, it was All Hallow's Eve. One should expect strange sounds tonightor maybe not. After all, aren't cemeteries supposed to be quiet? Nonetheless, maybe we should just have a look around to make sure. Perhaps the scream didn't come from the cemetery. Maybe it came from someone in a passing car or from that creepy house up on the hill. I shuddered at the thought. That house had always given me the creeps, but tonight it looked especially ominous. 
            "Let's check it out, Sue," I whispered to my friend.
            "Are you kidding? One more scream like that and I'm outta here--short cut to your house or not."
            "Aw, there's nothing here but a lot of dead people buried in their caskets. They're not going to jump out at you. Quit worrying."
            Weaving our way through the front section of the cemetery, nothing seemed amiss and the scream had not recurred. 
            "See, I told you this short cut would save us time."
            Sue was convinced until she spotted an unexpected hole. No dirt piled around it, just a hole about the size that would neatly fit a casket. 
            We peeked in as we started to walk by.
            "See, just a hole," I started to say. That was until I realized there was already a large casket in it, lid open and several claw-like marks at the edge of the lid and on the ground above. 
            "See, ya!" exclaimed Sue, as she took off running.
            "Hey, wait up! Let me catch my breath," I puffed. "Man girl, you can haul butt. You should be on the track team."
            "I am," replied Sue flatly. "Now let's get out of here."
            We continued toward the back gate of the cemetery. At least I'd gotten Sue to slow to a moderately fast walk. Maybe the gravedigger was just checking to see if he'd left enough room for an oversize casket to fit; it was an early morning funeral and he wanted to be certain everything was ready on time. 
            So much for logic.
            Beside our path lay a chain with some keys attached and a slightly soiled white sheet, similar to something in which a body might be wrapped. Probably planted as a Halloween prank, I reasoned.
            Too late. Sue saw the sheet and was gone. "Meet you at the back gate," she called over her shoulder.
            I looked at my watch. It was the bewitching hour all right. What was I thinking? The caretaker always locked the back gate at 10 p.m., and the front gate locked automatically at midnight. The fence and gates around the cemetery were easily ten feet high. I guessed I'd better go back and get those keys. Hopefully, they would open the back gate. If not, it would be a very long night in a very quiet cemetery.
            I was sure Sue would be thrilled.                        

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