It’s scary, interlude

…When I’m busy researching how to write horror. Today it’s research on ghosts. I’m studying in my bathroom, on a rainy, quiet afternoon, and then my dog starts howling. Like he’s in pain. I’m getting hairs on the back of my neck standing up…

I get out of the bathroom and into the den just to find he’s trying to tell me our house guest is back to continue repairs….

–from an interview with renowned horror film director Teddy “Marsh Bob” Fobberman, on the topic of house guests his family would receive back when he was just starting out as a director. Recorded June 1998, Scared Coatwire Productions, inc.

Caramels, interlude

Caaraamels, Caaaaraaameels. Carrrrameeels!

from a scene in the new horror film, “54 Caramels” debue film director and culinary chef Waltz Fry-Marshmallow, ca January, 1998.

Dishonest, Interlude

Horus Corley calmly walked into Beth Azure’s bedroom. The cat sleeping on her bed stirred, immediately knew something was wrong.

“Hey there, baby!” grinned Corley. He flashed his surgically sharpened teeth. The cat arched his back, hissed, and jumped off the bed. Corley laughed as he watched the cat run down the hallway.

It only takes Pestilence Men two minutes to make their target sick. Horus Corley had been standing at the foot of the bed for a half hour. Despite his best efforts, Beth Azure slept soundly. Corley smiled his surgically sharpened teeth, but it was only a smile of embarrassment. He tried again.

“Heh, heh. I’m not sure what’s wrong. Have you simply have been taking more vitamin C this whole time? You keep sleepin’ like you’re dead. Well wake up!”

Beth, curled up like a little child, hugged her pillow like it was a teddy bear. Whatever she dreamed was pleasant enough to make her smile. Was it the warmth of the blankets?

“Why won’t you listen to me?!” shouted Corley. Then he covered his mouth. Shh. Don’t wanna get the rest of her family sick. They’re not on the list. Yet.

Aw, no. He heard coughing in the next room. Beth no longer smiled in her sleep.

“Com’n, fever up,” said Corley, “I got others to sicken tonight. Wait a minute—!”

He saw Beth put her hand on her ear to check something, then went back to sleep.

Earphones?!

Something Corley’s boss did not tell him was that Beth Azure always slept with earbuds connected to her phone, which played soft music all night.

“The Briostone coulda been useful tonight,” muttered Corley.

Despite their reputation, Pestilence Men, like delivery services, had to follow rules. Corley was presently invisible, incorporeal, and could not simply remove the earphones. Due to job ethics, the Briostone, which made Corley flesh and bone for a brief time, could not be used while on the job. So how would he accomplish his mission?

He’d just return the next night. He’d return as long as it took, until the night when Beth forgot to wear them, or something unfortunate happened to her phone.

When Corley left the house, he was contacted by his boss.

“Is the task complete?” asked the voice on the other line.

“Yeah. Sure is, boss.” Corley smiled, “She is sick as a dog.”

There was a long pause.

“It will snow tomorrow,” said the voice on the other line, “The snow makes everything better for us.”

From “Fall from Autumnway” from the curiously long book of short stories, I am lettuce, who are you?

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Unlisted, Tangible, Interlude

Principal Gordon Luthar winced as he removed his shirt. How could Horus Corley have left him with a terribly nasty knife wound on the shoulder, yet made a simple stroke with his fingers? Luthar never knew it was there until he got home that evening.

He got out the antiseptic and bandages and went to work. There. That should hold until the next tribute arrives. Tribute of ether from other specters allowed the Briostone to heal his body, but the next payment would not be due for another week.

“Gordy! Supper’s almost ready!” said his wife.

“Sounds good, Lucille,” called Luthar, “What is cooking?”

“We’re havin’ minute steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, and steamed broccoli! And carrots!”

“Oh, baby! You KNOW what I like to eat!”

“Oh, I know what you LOVE to eat!” Lucille laughed.

Lucille and Gordon Luthar had been married for over 15 years. She had yet to discover his secret. Such was the skill of his Briostone. He was so alive it was like living forever. Perhaps, when she was near death, he could get a Briostone for her too?

The Briostones could, with various degrees, give its wearer the best of life and death. It could turn its wearer tangible, giving them the physical body to continue living as if they had never died, but keeping the advantages of being a specter. But that also means he or she is now susceptible to all the dangers of life. They could die, were vulnerable to attack from other specters, and therefore had to learn some form of defensive combat.

In Luthar’s case, his Briostone was among the Rare types. He could get dressed, have a wife, and run a school with all the demands being Principal required, at the cost of lesser specters paying him tribute.

Specters with Lesser type Briostones could not have the life that Luthar enjoyed. Not without lots of hard work to raid other stones. Consequently Luthar had many enemies.

Ether now flowed in the veins of specters, instead of blood, and it was what kept the Briostones from shriveling up. Merging them with other Briostones could make them more clear, increasing their skill.

Certain levels could be acquired from injecting ether into a Briostone to change it from common quality, to premium, to rare. But there was that certain level of quality that just could not be attained.

The Unique class of Briostones was legendary. They required far less ether to perform, which explained why the specters who had them never revealed themselves. Scarcity and random appearances were telltale signs that a specter had a Unique class Briostone. The more they showed, the greater the risk of being attacked and losing it.

Yet if Luthar could get his hands on a Unique level Briostone, merge it with his own Rare Briostone? Who knows what it would create!

Actually, it might blow up.

Never mind that, it’d still be cool to have one!

There were 23 other specters whose haunts were on school grounds. Luthar knew them all rather well. They all had agreed to give him tribute on certain days of the month. Some poor soul had written a children’s book about them. The teachers would never know how frighteningly real it was.

Yet that was a book on the specters who appeared most often. In reality, there were a few other specters in and around the school and the neighborhood. They did not appear as often and therefore were not considered as “scary” as Luthar, alias “Hector Hundred.”

The Unlisted group of specters appeared at first glance to be solo types. Their need to appear only happened when other flashier events happened, like New Year’s Eve, or in catastrophic events like hurricanes or tornados. In truth, they were a very tight-knit organization. Their level of danger was far greater than that of Luthar. That bothered him. They had to go.

All the occasional, strange phenomenon, without-a-trace stories were the work of the Unlisted group. They tended to have their meetings in abandoned buildings under heavy guard. But they never invaded onto school property. What if they ever did? Would the students be safe?

Luthar mused briefly if Corley was working for the Unlisted. Hmm. The only specter he knew that might know the Unlisted group members personally was the former head coach. He only appeared on a quarter moon. Or was it a half moon?

It didn’t matter. He showed up in human form, body intact, often enough at the local pub. Luthar hesitated, then looked up the number and reached for his home phone.

 

From “Fall from Autumnway” from the curiously long book of short stories, I am lettuce, who are you?

Accidents Happen, Interlude

You knew already how this would end,” said Luthar.

Horus Corley held his hand to his face. He winced in pain, limping away.

“This isn’t over, Luthar,” said Corley, “Or should I say, ‘Hector Hundred.’ Perhaps your beloved school should learn the truth?”

“They will never believe the truth if it comes from a kidnapping thief,” said Luthar.

“Oh, well I’ll just take that to heart. I might take on the protective persona too.”

“But not without this,” said Luthar. He held Corley’s Briostone in his hand. The latest knife stroke removed it from Corley’s neck.

Corley looked wild eyed. He kept feeling for the Briostone. His beloved “children,” now free of his control, vanished. The specters’ dual for dominance was over.

“Thank you for your patronage,” said Luthar, “This will provide that I stay in charge a little while longer.”

Luthar held his own Briostone with Corley’s. The former absorbed the latter and became more translucent.

“Mine proves the stronger,” said Luthar.

“Oh, Yeah?  Well, watch your back, Luthar. Cause there are others. Just like me,” sneered Corley, “Know that we don’t like you as Principal. So watch. Your. Back!”

As he said it, he tossed something at Luthar. Instinctively Luthar dodged the projectile, but the missile was not seen or felt. What was it? Was it even real?

“What did you throw at me?!”

Corley only grinned surgically enhanced sharpened teeth. He tipped his fedora and vanished.

 

The local TV news had by now arrived and were able to cover Principal Luthar exiting the gutter drain with Shawn Skipperson. The seventh grader was taken to the hospital to make sure he was ok, which he was. At the insistence of the reporters, Luthar made a brief statement.

“Accidents happen,” he said, “I’m so glad it did not end in tragedy.”

One reporter asked why he went in himself.

“I’m principal of Bernard Berenson Middle,” said Luthar,  “It is my responsibility to look after ALL of my students. They are MINE, even as they are yours. Even the deviant skateboarders. Mr. Skipperson is important to me as everyone else.”

Roger was at home. He had finished his homework that afternoon and was working on an article. It wasn’t something he was particularly excited about: construction for a new building dedicated to science and math. The teachers and staff were mostly upset about it because it would take up parking space. It would take two years to build. Roger would not see it until his Sophomore year of high school.

But then Principal Gordon Luthar was on the news. Footage was seen of him coming out of a gutter drain with a boy in his arms. Apparently he had rescued the boy, who had been trapped. Somehow Roger could not believe that. There had to be more to the story than that.

Wait. There. It was brief. Roger paused the DVR. On Principal Luthar’s left shoulder was a red patch staining his dress shirt. Blood. Anything could have caused it. But in a gutter drain?

 

From “Fall from Autumnway” from the curiously long book of short stories, I am lettuce, who are you?

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Beyond the Gutter, interlude

Subsisssstence. More. Subsissstence,” was heard from far below in the darkness beneath the grate that would not open. Even further in could be heard the screams of a frightened teenage boy. The terror had reduced his emotions to that of a little child, squalling, wailing, whimpering—

And then silence that screamed infinite times louder.

 

Gordon Luthar wasn’t in his office and had gone for the day.

“Can you give me his home number?” asked Assistant basketball coach Mr. Hind to the secretary.

She gave Mr. Hind the number to Principal Luthar’s cell phone.

“He doesn’t like to be called unless he’s in the office,” she said, “But if this is an emergency, I think he’ll understand.”

“Thank you,” said Mr. Hind. He then called Principal Luthar.

“Hello, this is Gordon Luthar”

“Yes, Principal Luthar?”

“Indeed. Who is this?”

“I’m Jeffry Hind, the assistant basketball coach.”

“Oh yes. Congratulations on yesterday’s win.”

“Thanks. Listen, a young man has fallen into a gutter drain. There seems to be some trouble down there, and, well, I can’t get the grate open.”

How delightful, he thought.

“The grate is spring-loaded. Like a mousetrap. Have you called the local authorities?”

“Yes, I have.”

“You may not want to go down there yourself.”

“I feel it’s my responsibility,” said Mr. Hind.

“I insist. Call them anyway. If you feel you must help, there is a latch that unlocks the grate in one of the corners of the opening.”

Mr. Hind found a small knob in one of the corners, but it needed pliers to move it. A well timed strike with a crowbar set the knob to unlock. The grate opened like shutters in a window.

“Okay, it’s open,” said Mr. Hind.

“There should be other teachers still on school grounds at this hour. I will be right over. We may need to call the boy’s parents.”

Principal Luthar hung up first. A police k-9 unit drove up. An ambulance drove up a few minutes later.

When Principal Luthar drove up, paramedics, a fire engine, and local police had arrived on the scene. Yellow police tape was now sectioning off the area.

“I am Gordon Luthar, principal of Bernard Berenson Middleschool,” he said to the chief firefighter, “What is happening so far?”

“I tell you what, we’re havin’ a tough time finding the boy.”

“How so?”

“The drain opens up to the city sewers. The sewers go for miles. He could be anywhere.”

Luthar started to understand the situation. If the boy was not found and retrieved in a timely manner, then his plans would unravel. He’d never hear the end of it if the boy died. He had an idea where he could be found, but simply leading authorities would be suspicious.

Luthar waited until the firefighters went into the drain single file. He counted to 100. Then he went in himself.

In the drain it was cold and dark, but one could stand upright. The firefighters carried flashlights. A couple police officers went with them for protection. But they were going the wrong way. Trouble didn’t lurk that direction.

The Briostone, that Luthar wore around his neck, not only kept his physical appearance. It also helped him see in the dark, speak with other ghosts, and gave him a sense for danger. He went in the opposite direction as the authorities. Soon he was hearing what he wanted to find.

“Subsssistence,” could be heard in the next room.

“Simper, what are you doing?” said Luthar.

There was young Shawn Skipperson, huddled in a corner of a large room. Six feet above the ground he had been plastered with mud and filth to the wall, but was still alive and unhurt. His captor, a lemon colored, massive crocodile, stood there watching his prey. The real culprit couldn’t be far away.

“Horus!” said Luthar, “Horus Corley! Where are you?!”

Another yellow crocodile appeared out of the shadows of the room. Beside it, smiling wickedly, stood a squat little man. He was dressed in a trench coat and hat. His ears, which in life he had surgically altered to look long and pointed, stuck out from under his fedora. His purple lensed glasses concealed conniving eyes, and reflected light from another place.

“Is it time to visit me again already, Luthar?” said Corley, “I’ve paid my tribute.”

“The honor you had is now tarnished,” said Luthar, “Why have you captured one of my students?”

“C’mon, man,” said Corley, “My children gotta eat.”

“I normally let you have your fun,” said Luthar, “But your activity today is causing a scene. It is getting in the way of MY PLANS.”

“Look, man,” said Corley, “We’re hungry. Don’t you smell that? It’s liver. Liver! Fresh! Young! Liver!”

“I am asking nicely,” said Luthar, “Release the boy. Unharmed. Return him to his friends. Depart from this particular drain.”

Corley turned to his crocodile familiars.

“What do you think, Madison? Simper?”

“Sssusstain,” The two yellow crocodiles hissed. They had a sudden weird gleam in their eyes.

Luthar stretched out his arms. From his sleeves emerged twin daggers. He clanged them together to make sparks.

“This is MY school,” said Luthar, “You will cease this. Or I shall bleed your etherial blood dry.”

“You’re not the only one with a Briostone, Luthar,” retorted Corley, “How about if we got ether from you this time?”

Corley took out a single dagger from his coat.

SHING

The dagger extended two feet longer.

“Naw, sorry Luthar. I think we’re cozy right here.”

From “Fall from Autumnway” from the curiously long book of short stories, I am lettuce, who are you?

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Subsistence, interlude

Hey, hey watch this!”

The skateboarding seventh grader gained momentum up the concrete ramp for the gym used for handicapped wheelchair users, across a level area past the building entrance. He jumped over the guardrails with the help of a homemade ramp he had made in woodworking class. He tried to use the skateboard to glide down the descending rail, but nearly midway lost his balance. He did not land well, crashing onto the sidewalk.

“Woe, dude, that was so gnarly!” said his friends, who were also skateboarders.

It was after school at 5 p.m. and the deviant seventh grade skateboarding clique were beginning to get rowdy.

 

The seventh graders at Bernard Berenson Middle were, simply put, lesser forms of eighth graders. They were the great divide; the servants of the eighth graders, guardians against scummy sixth graders.

But they were only the guardians and servants of the cool crowd. Those eighth graders who were average or lowly were either seen as other seventh graders and befriended or were picked on, depending on the seventh grader.

But all these particular seventh graders thought about was the next rad trick on a skateboard after school. They weren’t really into the social agenda. Therefore, they were left to themselves.

So when Shawn Skipperson, the next skateboarding seventh grader, sped up the ramp, over the guardrails, successfully pulling the guardrail gliding stunt, for a few seconds, only to fall into a large open gutter drain— no one heard his fall. And no one expected the drain to close by itself.

The boy’s friends looked for him. He wasn’t far, just in an obscure place, on the blind side of the gym. But they did find him.

“Dude, Shawn, why’re you in there?”

“Major bummer, man! Get me out!”

The three boys pulled on the grate to the drain. It would not budge.

“It won’t open!”

“Ah c’mon, man, it’s dark down here.”

Something stirred.

“I think all the teachers are gone, right?”

It got closer.

“Well let’s try again to open the grate, ready?”

Ssss.

“Holy crap, guys! I just heard something!”

“Pull!”

The three boys pulled again on the grate. It started to open. Something was weighing it down.

SSSuuubsss.

“C’mon, guys, please hurry!”

SSSubssisssss! 

Shawn’s legs were pulled back from under him. He fell to the ground on his belly. He was being pulled backward, away from the light of the grate.

Ssssubsssissstence. 

 

“Ok, got it?”

“Glad I had these on hand. Yeah, now put your crowbars in the grate opening for leverage. Yeah, that should do it. Now Pull. Pull. Pull! PULL!

It had been two minutes since they had heard anything from Shawn.

Good thing Mr. Hind, the assistant basketball coach, was still around to lock up. With his help the boys were able to open the grate. He had also called the police. Paramedics were on their way.

The grate behaved like a great weight was attached to it. They got the grate open, but it slammed shut.

Mr. Hind called again.

“Shawn. Shawn, can you hear me?”

Nothing could be heard from Shawn. But soft, barely audible words could be heard seemingly far below.

Subsssistence. More. Subssistence.

From “Fall from Autumnway” from the curiously long book of short stories, I am lettuce, who are you?

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No Room for Reporters, Interlude

The Berenson Times was a student-run newspaper. Covering everything from sports highlights to who made the honor roll, the weekly paper addressed various school topics.

The latest topics this week were Miss Long’s new hairstyle, the new addition of “breaded pork fingers”(also known as “Mystery Meat Special”) to the hot lunch menu, and frightening proof the cafeteria was haunted.

The Berenson Times was headed up by the 8th grade English teacher Mrs. Eweson. Her love for all things ice cream showed in her writing, in her choice of stickers when grading, in the posters on the walls of her classroom, and in her dress size.

“So you wanna work for the Times, huh?” said Mrs. Eweson as she adjusted her glasses.

“Yes Ma’am,” said Roger.

“You’re rather late in the season to be applying. We’re full for the quarter. If you apply in January, we can have you on full time. But we can always make room for part time, volunteer, reporters,” said Mrs. Eweson, “Tell me why you want to write for the Berenson Times?”

“I want to explore topics and places in the school normally not covered.”

“And what do you have in mind?”

“I want to cover what other places around the school might be haunted,” said Roger.

“Now we’re not in the business of ghost hunting,” said Mrs. Eweson, “And we’re not a tabloid.”

“That’s fine, just let me write,” said Roger.

“However,” said Mrs Eweson, “You are in eighth grade. And you’re making straight A’s in my classes. I can make an exception for you in that regard.”

She smiled a knowing smile to Roger. Mrs. Eweson was one of the few teachers who approved of Roger’s sneaking into the cafeteria to prove it was haunted.

“What are you saying, Mrs. Eweson?”

“I’m saying write what you wanna write, kid!”

Roger was estatic.

“But first let me know what you’re covering.”

Roger walked away with renewed vigor, staring at his newly issued Press Pass. As long as he had this, and it was relevant for a story, he could go places others could not tread.

 

Principal Gordon Luthar was reading a newly pressed copy of the Berenson Times. There was an article here written by some Mr. Roger Flair. Hmmm. Was that the guy who trespassed into the cafeteria? It must be. He wrote about his findings about the Red Veil Phantom. And about, who was that? “Hector Hundred?” Blood on the walls? How barbaric. It shouldn’t be in a school paper, relevant or not.

Principal Luthar looked at his watch. It was Monday. Almost that time again to make an appearance. Visiting her was a random visit. He made sure, every quarter, to visit the others and remind them to who it was that put them there. He never predicted that his appearance would be witnessed, or that the witness had on hand, of all things, a mirror. Who could have guessed that he’d get caught by a student? He thought detention would make him not do it again and keep quiet. Now he’s writing about it in the newspaper?

Principal Luthar got up from his desk and addressed his secretary.

“Eugenia, I’m going out for a bit. When I return, have Mrs. Eweson come to the office.”

“Yes, Mr. Luthar,” said Eugenia. “Um, she’s in class right now.”

“She’s in class you say?” he asked, “Fine. Send her in when her class is over.”

Principal Luthar calmly went outside and to his car. In the glove compartment was a syringe full of dark green liquid. He injected the needle into a strange, soft green stone attached to a necklace he wore around his neck. He wore it hidden, under his shirt at all times. The soft stone briefly turned a brighter shade of green and became shiny again.

The Briostone once again showed exuberance. It was a hassle to satisfy. One had to inject ether harvested from other specters, or it would shrivel like a raisin and reveal who he was. But it was one of the few ways to remain physical and among the living.

 

From “Fall from Autumnway” from the curiously long book of short stories, I am lettuce, who are you?

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Reverse Psychology for Middle School Ghost Hunters, interlude

Social life at Autumnway Middle had been tough for Roger. Academics were about the same level of difficulty, but social status is what makes or breaks you in middle school. Bernard Berenson Middle had jocks who bullied, and cool people who mocked and jeered, but Autumnway had rich snobs.

These kids were from the rich elite, often old name, high society families, destined to run for political office or at least purchase the mega-huge houses on the outskirts of town. Some Autumnway students were nice, some were total jerks, but none of them had a problem with tuition going up for the third time in one school year.

Roger’s rich grandparents had insisted he go to Autumnway and paid for him to go. Consequently, everyone knew that his parents weren’t rich, but greatly respected his grandparents. They reminded him every day. Roger hated that. Yet leaving Autumnway, snobbery and all, felt more like an exile to Roger.

He still had found a circle of friends who didn’t care whether or not he was rich. He had teachers who were impressed at his high grades. And his crush was just barely starting to warm up to him, blossoming into something more—Then his grandparents’ death caused the fall from Autumnway, and threw his social world into chaos.

However, life at Bernard Berenson Middle was beginning to get interesting. Fourth grader Eric was forced to pay Roger ten dollars for following through with the ghost challenge. The recording was too dark to see anything, but the sounds recorded provided strong evidence that the cafeteria was haunted at night.

The whole event made Roger a hero, boosted his popularity, and got him into trouble. News of the event reached the principal’s office, which eventually lead to Roger getting detention after school for one week.

“That video you posted to Youtube? It sealed your fate. You let the whole world know you sneaked into the cafeteria after hours at the dance!” exclaimed Principal Gordon Luthar, “Who would have thought. Hunting GHOSTS. Who knows what you stirred up just by SNEAKING IN THERE. You’re not supposed to be in the cafeteria after hours.”

“But it was unlocked,” said Roger.

“Where you went was off limits. What you did was dangerous. Off limits and danger spell detention.”

“Then why is there a book in the school library on the ghosts around the school grounds?”

“It’s a work of fiction,” said the principal, “After this week, return the book to the library. And don’t let me catch you ghost hunting again.” He paused for effect. “Now. Was this a bet you were doing?”

“Um, Yes,” said Roger.

“Uh-huh. I thought so. We caught a certain fourth grade student running his mouth about it. He’s in detention too. I figure we might as well make you guys an example. There are consequences to disrespecting the rules.”

 

The first afternoon of detention was harsh. Roger’s parents certainly didn’t like it when they learned he had to stay after. But once the initial shaming and disapproval was over, detention wasn’t so bad as it was made out to be. It was just yard work.

On Friday afternoon Roger counted the hours before he was able to stop hauling brush to the dumpster. In passing, he met Eric the fourth grader. He was the one caught as the instigator for the whole-trespassing-for-a-bet scandal.

“Hey, Roger,” said Eric.

“What do you want?” said Roger.

“I’m sorry I got you into trouble.”

“Me too,” said Roger.

“But it also won you approval with the cool crowd, didn’t it?” asked Eric.

“Where are you going?” asked Roger.

Eric had an impish grin on his face.

“Do you still have that book on ghosts that haunt the school?”

“No, I returned it Monday,” said Roger.

“Well I checked it out.”

Eric showed him the book: Berenson Haunted: A List of the 24 Scariest Ghosts that Haunt Bernard Berenson Middle School.

“Look here,” said Eric as he quickly flipped through the book.

“Page five: #21: ‘Coach Steadman: The Flying Headsman,’ who is seen near this very spot.”

“At the dumpster?”

Eric pointed to the double doors that lead to the gym.

“The new gym was built right after his death. He’s why basketball games are never held on Friday night. He’s seen in the rafters of the gym ceiling, circling the banners. He’s supposed to flap around like a bat in the bleachers and screech his whistle at the people in the very top stands. Especially in the areas where no one ever sits. But it’s only while under a half moon and at 10 p.m. on a Friday. Complicated conditions, but I bet it’s worth it. Guess what today is?”

Roger looked at the sky. It was after 5 p.m. A large half moon reflection was visible.

“I can’t get in trouble again,” said Roger.

“That’s fine too,” said Eric, “Because I got us a cover to stay out later.”

Eric gave Roger a flyer.

“Reporters needed for Berenson Times?” said Roger.

“Sure. This way we can investigate all 24 ghosts on campus,” said Eric. ” We get evidence, and write a story proving whether or not it’s all real. And it’s school related.”

“Trust me, they exist,” said Roger.

“But it isn’t believable,” said Eric. “If it’s published in a paper, then it’ll be believed. Whatcha think?”

 

From “Fall from Autumnway” from the curiously long book of short stories, I am lettuce, who are you?

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