The Strange Flight

Photo by William Lopez on

The Strange Flight

“Too late,” said Daphne, the woman from the airline at the departure gate. “You’ve missed it.”

“What? No!” pleaded Dad, “But, I can see the plane through the door. It’s waiting just outside on the runway,” he panted.

“The rules, are the rules,” she replied, looking at the clock. “You were 25 seconds late. This gate is closed, Sir.” She began to pick up her ipad and glasses off the desk and place them in her bag.

“Daaaaad, I told you to get moving when we were in Duty-Free,” complained Savannah, his 14-year-old daughter.

“Well, when’s the next flight?” asked Dad.
“Same time tomorrow. The rebooking fee – for each ticket – is £175.”

“Outrageous!” Exclaimed Dad! “700 quid for printing four tickets off a machine?”

“Well I hope you picked up a bargain in Duty Free,” said Daphne glancing up from her desk with a little smile. Past Dad’s shoulder, she noticed the face of the woman standing behind him. She examined her features for a moment. A little smile appeared around her lips. Then she said,

“Say, weren’t you in that series … what’s it called? Me mam loves it, she still watches the repeats every afternoon on Channel 98, er… you know, it’s caller, er”

“Love Will Strike You Dead.”

“That’s the one. You were the daughter, surely? Well it was made a long time ago I suppose.”

“Yes, I was younger then.”

“Weren’t we all? Well Mrs. um,” she glanced at the name on the passport, and then at the date of birth: “Mrs Petrovski, oh my, it’s your birthday. Congratulations! You were born on Halloween! That must mean you’re a real sweety!”

“Or a witch,” said Mum, with a wink.
“I’ll call the captain and let him know we have four late arrivals. One moment please.”

Mum smiled graciously. She hadn’t acted for TV in over 16 years, but it was helpful that traces of her celebrity lingered on and could still win her favours from fans of old soaps.

“They don’t make shows like that these days,” said Daphne, the airline woman, still smiling. “Here’s your tickets. I’ll just escort you to the steps. No need to run, but we had better get a move on ..”

They soon received a much warmer reception. The air stewardess who greeted them at the top of the aircraft’s stairs smiled with perfect pearly white teeth and bright red lipstick. She was wearing a pair of red devil’s horns. Well it was Halloween, after all.

“Hello! Welcome aboard, I do hope you enjoy your flight.”

“Trick or Treat!” called out Gabriel, who was Savannah’s nine year old brother. She was ready for that, and handed him a basket of sweets. He took a handful.

“Thanks. I like this airline,” he said.

But the best was yet to come. The interior of the aircraft was like no other the family had flown on before. Instead of hundreds of seats squished together in rows, there was a long corridor with doors off to the sides.

An air steward, who was dressed in a pristine white sailor suit, said, “Your cabin is number 24. Let me take your bag madam.”

He followed them along the corridor, and when they reached cabin 24, he showed them in. There were four comfy looking seats, not at all squished together, but arranged around a little mahogany table. Their suitcases were waiting for them on two leather racks. A short flight of stairs led up to the sleeping compartment, on the upper deck, with four real beds made up with luxurious sheets and pillows.
And naturally they had their own washroom and lavatory en suite.

“Is this an aircraft or a ship?” asked Mum, somewhat baffled

“We like to think of it as a luxury cruise liner with wings,” answered the steward.
“Wow,” squealed Gabriel, who was looking out of the window. “The wings are huge and they’ve got propellers!”

“Let me see,” butted in Savannah, pushing her brother aside. “Gosh, it’s big alright, but extremely old fashioned – like out of a black and white movie. Are you sure this contraption can fly, Dad?”

Dad shrugged his shoulders. “I really wasn’t expecting this,” he said.

Mum put her arm around him, “Well it’s a gorgeous surprise darling,” she told him. “Even if it doesn’t fly, I don’t mind staying here for the whole holiday. Smell these roses … Hmmm. And there’s a bottle of bubbly on ice. This is going to be a luxury.”

“If you are ready, I’ll show you the rest of the aircraft,” said the steward.

They wandered further down the corridor to a part of the plane that opened up into a dining room for about 30 people. It was illuminated by a large crystal chandelier and pumpkin Jack o’Lanterns on each table.

“Dinner will be served once we are on our way,” said the steward. “I can book your sitting now if you like. Would 8.30 suit you?”

Savannah by now assumed that they were really staying in a hotel that looked like a plane. This talk of going anywhere was a kind of fiction, but there was no way the whole thing could take off the ground, in her view.

They continued on their tour of the long tube.

“And this area,”said the steward, showing them a bar and comfy sofas, “Is the cocktail lounge. Drinks will be served at any time other than take off and landing.”

And finally, when they had passed through the cocktail lounge, they came to a cinema with seats. “Later on, we will be showing a cartoon followed by a movie entitled, ‘The Invasion of the body Snatchers.’ I’m told that it’s not for the faint-hearted, but it is Halloween after all.”

They returned to their cabin and sat down in the deep chairs

“Well this is the strangest hotel ever,” said Gabriel.

“It’s quite a surprise,” said Mum, “And it’s all very nice, but I haven’t seen a bathtub or a shower yet.”

“Who ever heard of an airplane with a bathtub?” asked Dad with a smile.

Savannah thought he must be kidding them. He had promised the family a trip to New York for Mum’s 40th birthday, but instead he had booked them into this weird hotel that looked like an aeroplane.

“Dad you cheapskate!” she said, “Were the plane tickets too expensive?’

“No, honestly,” said Dad, throwing up his hands. “I booked us flights to New York. I wasn’t expecting anything like this. I’m as curious to see what happens next as you are.”

A smooth voice came over the loudspeaker. “Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I’m your pilot, Captain James Cook, and I’d like to welcome you aboard this magnificent Bristol Brabazon. We’re just waiting for clearance from the Control Tower, and I expect we shall be taking off from London Airport in approximately 15 minutes. Our flight to New York will take just over 14 hours and we hope you will enjoy every moment. . And may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Halloween.”

“Ooh, it is exciting,” said Mum. “A birthday mystery just for me. But I don’t think this thing can fly. If there was such a thing as a flying hotel, I think we would have heard of it, don’t you?”

“It’s like the Titanic, only with wings.” said Gabriel. “We’ve been learning about it at school. It was a huge ship that people said could never sink, even though it was really really heavy, and then it went and hit an iceberg.”

“Oh do shut up,” muttered Savannah.

A waiter came in and poured champagne for Mum and Dad, and fruit cocktails for the kids. “Would you care for caviar?” he asked.

“Rather,” said Dad.

Soon the waiter brought a silver plate of little pancakes called Blini and another silver bowl containing little shiny black eggs of Beluga Caviar.

“ERRRRR!” exclaimed Gabriel. “This is yuk!”

“All the more for us then!” replied Mum greedily, while wiping a little piece of caviar from her lip using a starched white napkin.

The steward knocked on the door: “Sorry to bother you,” he said softly, “But the captain is requesting that everyone fasten their seatbelts as we shall soon be taking off.”

“Thank you so much!” said Mum, glancing down to find the seat belt which she had not noticed before.

“And by the way, the life jackets, which of course we hope we won’t be needing, are in the bottom of the cupboard with the mirror,” said the steward. “That’s all I have to tell you about safety, enjoy your flight, and just ring the bell anytime you need anything.”

When he had gone, Gabriel asked, “Is he joking or are we really going to fly?”
“We’ll soon find out,” said Dad.

Another ten minutes passed before the propellers spluttered into action and the aircraft taxied along the runway.

“Wow!” said Savannah. “It feels like we are really moving.” She had to raise her voice because the engines were rather loud.

“Hey look!!” said Gabriel. “All the other planes at this airport are kind of weird.”

“Isn’t that one a Spitfire?” asked Dad.

Mum was looking blankly ahead of her. She wasn’t a good flyer at the best of times. Dad held her hand. She said quietly to him, “Tell me this isn’t real?”

“Honestly,” said Dad, “I’ve no idea.”

The enormous plane paused at the top of the main runway for a moment, before moving off and starting to pick up speed. The walls of their cabin began to shake and the glass in the cupboards jangled.

Savannah gripped the arms of her chair. She thought: “This game is VERY realistic. But there’s no way this huge hulking tin can can take off, is there?”

But it did. A few moments later, there was a tremendous judder as the wheels left the tarmac. Savannah felt like she had left her stomach on the ground. She closed her eyes.

“We’re gonna die,” she thought. She felt the aircraft tilt sideways as it changed course in the sky above London.

“And all because Dad was too stingy to buy a ticket on a real airline. Even BargainJet wasn’t cheap enough for him.”

She knew that her thoughts made little sense, but it didn’t matter, she just wanted to blame her dad for scaring the living daylights out of her.

It wasn’t long before the steward’s voice came over the loudspeaker and said,

“Ladies and gentlemen, now we are safely on our way, Captain Cook has advised that you can loosen your seatbelts. Our first sitting for dinner will be starting shortly, and the cocktail lounge is now serving drinks. Our program of movies will be commencing in the cinema in approximately 15 minutes.”

“Let’s go and see the cartoon,” said Gabriel.
“Savannah, can you take him?” said Mum. “I’m feeling a bit queasy. This simulation is very convincing.”

Savannah thought a cartoon might take her mind of her nervous thoughts. She and Gabriel went back along the corridor towards the Dining Hall. There were half a dozen other passengers heading the same way.

“Wow!” they are really dressed up!” said Savannah.

A lady in a shimmering green evening gown was walking arm-in-arm with a gentleman in a dark suit. Some had the most elaborate hairstyles, full of thick curls.

When they reached the Dining Hall, they saw that the other passengers were no less elegant. Halloween masks had been placed beside every plate, and the passengers were trying them on. The waiters and waitresses were dressed in black capes with a scarlet lining, and some of them had ghoulish make-up to make them look like zombies or witch’s cats.

“We had better go back and warn Mum and Dad,” said Savannah. “She’ll die of shame if she wears her jeans to dinner.”

They ran back to the cabin and told Mum and Dad what they had seen.

“Well thank goodness they gave us our luggage!” said Mum. Dad had warned her that they would be going to a fancy restaurant to celebrate her birthday in New York, so thankfully she had packed her little black dress.

The family went to dinner dressed smartly, but not as smart as the other guests who were “up to the nines” as Mum called it. They took the place round the table which was laid out with silver cutlery, pristine cloth, and starched napkins. A waitress brought over a basket of hot bread rolls and Dad studied the wine menu, his eyes somewhat agog. 

Mum was staring at the crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling. The menu was overwhelming, with offerings of pumpkin brain soup, severed-finger saucisson casserole, foie gras, devilled eggs, sirloin blood steak, witch’s escargots, coquilles St Jacques, and eye-ball pasta.

“Can I just have chips?” asked Gabriel, who was baffled by what most of these dishes actually were.

The waiters and waitresses were busy coming back and forth with dishes and hotplates on wheels.

“What a frightfully delicious birthday treat!” squealed Mum in delight!

Their table was next to a window, and Gabriel spent a good bit of time looking out at the wheeling propellers and the fluffy clouds below.

Mum said to her husband, “Thank you darling for a lovely birthday treat, even if it is somewhat strange.”

“You mean spooky,” said Savannah. And then she leaned over to her mother: “Have you noticed the waitresses? They all have the same faces. Just different hair and eyes and makeup. It’s like they are cyborgs or something.”

Mum looked around: “You’re right. They do look alike. The waiters too. There are about two or three different types, but that’s it.”

“Proof that it is all a simulation,” said Dad.

“You knew all along, didn’t you?” said Gabriel.

“No, I promise,” said Dad.

Just then the lights flickered off. The plane shook and the chandeliers clattered. They were in near darkness, except for the light coming in through the windows and … the eyes. The eyes of everyone else in the room, waiters and diners, glowed like cats’ eyes. Then a few moments later the lights came back on and everything continued as normal.

“That’s it. I want to go home,” cried Savannah. “Dad you booked the worst holiday ever for Mum’s birthday. You were too mean to take us to New York. This is nuts. I feel like I’m going mad! I might never get over your stupid idea of a joke.”

“Honestly Sav, I know nothing about it,” pleaded Dad.

“Well I’m quitting this bad dream,” said his daughter standing up. “Where’s the exit?” she asked the waiter rudely.

“The way back to the cabins is this way,” said the waiter pointing back down the corridor.

“I mean, how do I get out of this flying bin?”

“We have emergency parachutes, but I do not advise that you try one, Madam, because it is rather cold outside, and only sea down below” said the waiter.

Savannah felt somewhat helpless. When she got back to the cabin she climbed up the stairs and got into one of the beds on the upper deck. She left the light on because she was too afraid to lie in the dark.

She missed the biggest treat of all at dinner. The waiter wheeled in a deathly white chocolate cake in the shape of a skull and crossbones. A green, mint-scented mist was wafting out of the eye sockets. You could see that it was lined with red on the inside.

“Yummie!” said Gabriel, who was still hungry even after two plates of chips and ketchup.

“Just one moment,” said the waiter, as he lit a taper. Maybe it was supposed to be some sort of flaming Flambé, but something went wrong because the whole skull exploded like a bomb sending fragments of chocolate and orange sauce in all directions. 

There were gasps of horror from every corner of the dining area. Waiters rushed over to apologise and offered napkins to wipe the orange flavoured lava off the diners’ faces and clothes.

Gabriel was laughing his head off and asked the waiter, “Can you do that again?”

They returned to the cabin and at first could not find Savanna,until eventually, Mum discovered her asleep upstairs. “Aw she looks like little Goldilocks in the story,” she sighed with relief. It was time for Gabriel to brush his teeth.

He was supposed to spend two minutes brushing, but he hardly managed 30 seconds before he came rushing back into the cabin.

“You look like you just saw a ghost,” said Mum.

“I didn’t see a ghost. I heard one. The.. there was a voice coming out of the toilet like this, “GABBBBRIEL, Gabriel!” I’m not going back in there, even if I pee in my pants.”

Fortunately, the beds were extremely comfy and the drone of the engines was strangely comforting. But it was such a long flight that even after nine hours of sleep there was plenty of time to stretch their legs and take breakfast in the dining room where freshly flipped pancakes with all sorts of delicious fillings were on offer. While they were finishing up, the captain asked everyone to return to their seats and fasten their seat belts as he was expecting a spot of bad weather on the way into New York.

“I think this simulation is going to end with a bump,” said Dad. And almost as soon as he had spoken, the plane went over an air bump.

“What was that?” asked Gabriel, his eyes open with surprise.

“Nothing to worry about, just a touch of turbulence. It’s routine,” said Dad. “But keep your seatbelt fastened just in case.”

Thud! They hit another mid-air lump of turbulence causing the plane to jerk. Savannah gripped the arms of her chair just as they hit another one.

“This is worse than Thames Ditton!” she complained. Thames Ditton was a small town they moaned about every time they drove though because it was full of bumps and potholes.

Now they were gently descending, through dark clouds. 

 “Look!” exclaimed Gabriel, “There are goblins flying on broomsticks!”
“There are?” asked Dad, “then this must be a simulation. I was starting to think that this thing was for real.”

“I can’t see any,” said Savannah. A moment later, a sheet of lightning caught the tip of the wing and there was a brief blaze of light.

“Aha!” she screamed.

“It’s Ok, don’t worry, we’re still flying,” said Dad, soothingly.

Savannah couldn’t speak. She was shaking too much because her little brother had been right, there were weird creatures flying alongside the plane – not one, but lots of them -ugly green goblins on broomsticks.

Horrified at what she’d just witnessed, Savannah quickly drew the blinds. In shock, she said to herself, “Did I honestly just see that?” And closed her eyes.

After some more terrifying jolts and flashes of light, that seemed to go on for eternity, they broke cloud cover and were flying over a stormy sea, and not long after that Gabriel called out:

“There she is, the Statue of Liberty!”

“Oh, thank goodness,” replied Mum.

They cruised through the rain over the illuminated skyscrapers of New York and gently descended until:


The wheels bounced off the tarmac. And then, with a less violent contact, they managed to connect to the ground.
“Are we alive?” asked Gabriel when they eventually came to a halt.

“I think so,” replied Mum.

“I can’t wait to get home,” said Savannah.

“This has been the worst night of my life. Thanks for nothing Dad.”

Dad was used to being blamed for everything. He was more worried about what Mum thought and squeezed her hand.

“Well thank you, darling,” she said. “My 40th birthday has been, er, interesting to say the least. And now I’m looking forward to a nice cup of tea.”

The captain’s voice came over the loudspeaker.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats or just a couple more minutes. We are taxiing into our birth here at LaGuardia Airport on this wet and stormy morning in New York. I do hope that you have enjoyed your flight with us and we look forward to seeing you again soon.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” said Savannah, somewhat predictably.

The steward popped his head around the door, after knocking, and invited them to leave. “Your luggage will be brought round into the arrivals hall for you,” he told them

When they left the plane it’s fair to say that the family, even Dad who had booked the tickets, expected to find themselves still in London. It had been the strangest flight they had ever experienced or heard of.

And so when they showed their passports to an official who had a definite New York accent, they were not sure if it was all part of the game.

The taxis in the rank were decidedly yellow – not the black cabs they were used to at home and as they drove into the hubbub of Manhattan and through the canyons between the skyscrapers, they all agreed that after this Halloween, reality would never be quite so real.

And in case you are wondering, they had a lovely week in New York, despite the rain, and flew back to London on a totally normal airline with a tiny bit of legroom, video screens in the backs of the chairs, and food that tasted like rubber.

~ The End ~


A Mother’s Call

A Mother’s Call

A daughter was in her room upstairs, doing her homework, when suddenly she heard her mother call to come down for dinner. She jumped onto her feet and began making her way towards the stairs, but before even took a step, hands grabbed her and pulled her into the laundry room besides the staircase.

She panicked before realizing it was her mother, her real mother, eyes watery and bloodshot. “Don’t go down there honey, I heard it too.”

White When Red

You can close your eyes if you want. Sometimes things are less scary. ~ Tyler Joseph ~

White When Red

A man just moved into an apartment and heads to the receptionist to get his keys. The receptionist gave him the key with a smile but warns him not to disturb the door with no number on his floor. He wondered why but didn’t bother to ask, he was too busy with his new apartment to care. After he finished unpacking he began to get curious. He questioned why the receptionist would warn him of such things, and so he stepped out of his apartment to check the door with no number.

He tried the door knob first but it was locked, so instead he got onto his knees and peeked through the keyhole. The apartment he was looking into was empty. His eyes scanned the whole place before stopping at a woman, standing face against a wall, in the corner. He noticed her pale skin and long black hair before stepping back, suddenly feeling perverted in a way for invading someone else’s privacy. He brushed it off, assuming she was someone that did not want to be disturbed.

The next day he got more curious about the woman and eventually went back, straight away getting onto his knees. He peeked through the keyhole and saw all red. Red. He assumed that the pale woman must have caught him peeking the last time and covered the hole with something red.

He left the door alone and instead went down to the receptionist to ask her questions. The receptionist sighed and asked, “you looked through the keyhole, didn’t you?”

He admitted to it and so she felt obliged to tell him the story. She told him that a couple used to live in that apartment a long time ago, but the husband went crazy and killed his wife. However, this couple wasn’t normal.

They had pale skin, black hair and red eyes.

~ The End ~

The Red Wristband

“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe ~

The Red Wristband

A doctor was working at a hospital, a hospital where the patients were tagged with coloured bands. Green: alive. Red: deceased.

One night, the doctor was instructed to get a few supplies from the basement of the hospital, and so he headed to the lift. The lift doors opened and there was a patient inside, minding her own business. Patients were allowed to roam around the hospital to stretch, especially those who have stayed long. The rule was to be back in their rooms before ten.

The doctor smiled at the patient before pressing the number for the basement. He found it unusual that the woman didn’t have a button already pressed. He wondered if she was heading to the basement too.

The lift finally reached the floor where the doors opened. In the distance a man was limping towards the elevator, and in a panic the doctor slammed the elevator button to close. It finally did and the lift began to ascend back up, the doctor’s heart pounding.

“Why did you do that? He was trying to use the lift.” The woman stated, annoyed.

“Did you see his wrist?” The doctor asked, “It was red. He died last night. I would know because I did his surgery.”

The woman lifted her wrist. He saw red. She smiled. “Like this one?”

~ The End ~

The Cabin

The abandoned cabin

The Cabin

A hiker decided to go on a hike by himself. Something he was not very used to. The whole day was normal. Trees and bushes engulfed his surroundings. He enjoyed being outdoors in the mountains. Nothing seemed strange to him, that was until he was making his way back to his car. He figured an eight hour hike was good enough. The sky was already getting dark and he needed to get back, fast. What was odd was how much he didn’t recognize the trail back. He began to panic.

Night had already taken over and all he had was a flashlight and no clue on how to get back. He knew it was already too late and too dangerous to keep going through the perilous forest. He began to worry that he would have no shelter for the night when almost luckily enough, he stumbled across a broken-down cabin. It was dark, and seemed like no one had visited it in years, but he knew it was the only place where he could rest until daylight, especially since his flashlight was running out of battery. He knocked on the door a few times but no one answered, so he let himself in where strangely enough, a perfect bed fitted for one person awaited him in the center. He knew that if the owner came back he could explain himself, he was sure that the owner wouldn’t mind, or was even probably dead. So he went ahead and got himself comfortable in bed. As he tried to sleep, he couldn’t ignore the collection of paintings around the room; portraits of strange looking people all peering at him, each wearing a smile that sent chills up his spine. Not too long after his  exhaustion from the hike got the best of him and he was able to ignore the faces

The next morning he got up early and was shocked to see that there were no paintings around the room, but windows…

~ The End ~

Who’s In My Bed?

Who’s the monster?

Who’s In My Bed?

A father went to say good night to his seven year old son, very well knowing that if he didn’t his son would have trouble sleeping. It was a nightly routine between them. He entered the dimly lit room where his son waited under his blanket. With the first glance the father could tell there was something unusual about his son tonight, but couldn’t put his finger on it. He looked the same but had a grin that drew from ear to ear.

“You okay, buddy?” the father asked.

The son nodded, still with the grin, before saying, “Daddy, check for monsters under my bed.”

The father chuckled a bit before getting on his knees to check only to satisfy his son.

There, under the bed, pale and afraid, was his son. His real son. He whispered, “Daddy, there someone on my bed”.

~ The End ~


Photo by Ruka72 Pap on


-By Crystal Arbogast

Fannie Poteet sat cross-legged on her Uncle John’s front porch; her favorite rag doll clutched under one arm. The late afternoon sun shone through the leaves of the giant oak tree, casting its flickering light on the cabin. This golden motion of light entranced the child and she sat with her face turned upward, as if hypnotized. The steady hum of conversation flowed from inside of the cabin.

“Ellen, I’m sure happy that you came to church with us today. Why don’t you spend the night? It’s getting awfully late and it will be dark before you make it home.”

“I’ll be fine Sally,” replied Fannie’s mother. “Anyhow, you know how Lige is about his supper. I left plenty for him and the boys on the back of the stove, but he’ll want Fannie and me home. Besides, he’ll want to hear if Sam Bosworth’s wife managed to drag him into church.” 

The laughter that followed her mother’s statement broke the child’s musings and she stood up, pulled her dress over the protruding petticoat, and stepped inside.

“Get your shawl Fannie. When the sun goes down, it’ll get chilly.”

As the little girl went to the chair by the fireplace to retrieve her wrap, her uncle came in from the back with a lantern. 
“You’ll need this Ellen. The wick is new and I’ve filled it up for you.”

“I appreciate it Johnny,” Ellen said. “I’ll have Lige bring it back when he goes to town next week.” 

Ellen kissed her younger brother good-bye and hugged Sally gently. Patting her sister-in-law on her swollen belly, she said,” I’ll be back at the end of the month. Don’t be lifting anything heavy. If that queasy feeling keeps bothering you, brew some of that mint tea I left in the kitchen. Lord knows I’ve never seen a baby keep its mammy so sick as much as this one has. It’s a boy for sure.”

Upon hearing this, Fannie frowned. She was the youngest in her family, and the only girl. After living with four brothers, she had prayed fervently to God every night for Him to let her aunt have a girl. The only other comfort she had was the pretty rag doll that her mother had made for her. Tucking the doll under her left arm and gathering the shawl with the same hand, she stood waiting patiently. Aunt Sally kissed her lightly on the cheek and squeezed Fannie gently. “If I have a girl, I hope that she will be as sweet as you,” her aunt whispered. Uncle John patted her on the head and said, “Bye Punkin. When that old momma cat has her kittens, I’ll give you the pick of the litter.”

This brought a smile to Fannie’s face and swept away the darkening thoughts of boys. 

Ellen secured her own shawl about her shoulders and tossing one side around and over again, picked up the lantern, which had already been lit. Taking Fannie’s right hand, the pair proceeded on the three-mile trek back home. Heavy rains during the last week had left the dirt road virtually impassable for anyone on foot. Ellen and her daughter would return home the way they had come, by following the railroad track. The track was about one half mile above the road. It wound and wound around the mountains and through the valleys carrying the coal and lumber, which had been harvested from the land. Once on the track, they proceeded in the direction of their own home. Ellen began to tell Fannie about the trains and all of the distant places they went to. The little girl loved hearing her mother’s stories of all the big cities far away. She had been to town only a few times and had never traveled outside of Wise County. Fannie remembered her papa talking about his brother Jack. 

Uncle Jack had left the county, as well as the state of Virginia. He was in a faraway place called Cuba, fighting for a man called Roosevelt. She wondered what kind of place Cuba was, and if it was anything like home.

The sun’s last rays were sinking behind the tree-studded mountains. Shadows rose ominously from the dense woods on both sides of the track. Rustling sounds from the brush caused Fannie to jump, but her mother’s soothing voice calmed her fears. 

“It’s all right Child; just foxes and possums.” 

A hoot owl’s mournful cry floated out of the encroaching darkness and Fannie tightened her grip on her mother’s hand. 
Finally, night enveloped the landscape, and all that could be seen was the warm glow of the lantern and the shadow of the figures behind it. It was a moonless night, and the faint glow of a few stars faded in between the moving clouds. Fannie tripped over the chunks of gravel scattered between the ties and Ellen realized that her daughter was tired. 

“We’ll rest awhile child. My guess is that we have less than a mile to go.”

Ellen set the lantern down and the weary travelers attempted to get comfortable sitting on the rail.

“Mammy, it’s so scary in the dark. Will God watch over us and protect us?” 

“Yes, Fannie. Remember what that new young preacher said in church today. The Good Lord is always with you, and when you need His strength, call out His name. Better still, do what I do.” 
“What’s that mammy?” 

“Well,” Ellen said, stroking her daughter’s hair,” I sing one of my favorite hymns.” 

While contemplating her mother’s advice, Fannie was distracted by a sound. The sound came from the direction they had traveled from, and the girl’s eyes peered into the ink like darkness. It was very faint, but unlike the other noises she had grown used to along the way. The slow methodic sound was someone walking, and coming in their direction. 

“Mammy, do you hear that?”

“Hear what child?”

Fannie moved closer to her mother and said, “It’s somebody else coming!”

Ellen gave her daughter a comforting hug and replied,” You’re just imagining things Fannie. We’ve rested enough. Let’s get on home. Your papa will be worried.” 

Ellen picked up the lantern, took Fannie’s hand, and the two resumed their journey. After a while, the sound that had unnerved the little girl began again. This time the steps were more distinct, and definitely closer. The distant ringing of heavy boots echoed in the dark.

“Mammy, I hear it again!” 

“Hush child.”

Ellen swung the lantern around. 

“See, there’s nothing there.”

Fannie secured the grip on her mother’s hand and clutched her rag doll tightly. The hoot owl continued its call in the distance, and the night breeze rustled the leaves in the trees.

“The air sure smells like rain,” said Ellen. “The wind is picking up a mite too. We’ll be home soon, little girl. Yonder is the last bend.”

Fannie found comfort in her mother’s voice, but in the darkness behind them, the steps rang louder. It was the sound of boots, heavy hobnail boots.

“Mammy, it’s getting closer!”

Ellen swung the lantern around again and said, “Child, there’s nothing out there. Tell you what; let’s sing “Precious Lord”. 
Fannie joined in with her mother, but her voice quivered with fear as the heavy steps came closer and closer. She couldn’t understand why her mother seemed oblivious to the sound. 
Ellen’s singing grew louder, and up ahead the warm glow of light from their own home glimmered down the side and through the trees. A dog barking in the distance brought the singing to an abrupt end.

“See child, we’re almost home. Tinker will be running up to meet us. Big old Tinker. He’s chased mountain lions before. He’ll see us safely home.”

“Let’s hurry then Mammy. Can’t you hear? It’s closer and I’m scared. Let’s run!”

“All right child, but see, I’m telling you there’s nothing there.” 
Ellen made another sweep around with the lantern and as they proceeded she cried out, “Here Tinker! Come on boy!”

The dog raced up the path leading to the track and the two nearly collided with him as they stepped down on the familiar trail to home. 

“Ellen, is that you?”

Fannie’s heart filled with joy as her father’s voice rang out of the darkness.

“Yes Lige. I’m sorry we’re so late. I’m afraid I walked a bit fast for this child. She’s worn out.”

Elijah picked up his daughter and carried her the rest of the way home. Once inside of the cabin, Ellen helped Fannie undress and gently tucked her in bed.

The comforting sounds of her parents’ voices drifted from the kitchen. Even the snores of her brothers in the back made her smile and be thankful that she and her mother were safe and sound. Before closing her eyes, her mother’s voice rang in her ears. 

“Lige, I heard the steps. I didn’t want to frighten the child. I kept singing and swinging the lantern around and telling her there was nothing to be afraid of. But Lige, just before we got off the tracks, I turned the lantern around one last time. That’s when I saw what was following us. I saw the figure of a man. A man without a head!”

~ The End ~

The Ghostly Rescue

Photo by Shakhawat Shaon on

The Ghostly Rescue

One afternoon, a couple was traveling on the road when all of a sudden at a far distance they saw a woman in the middle of the road asking them to stop. The wife told her husband to keep on driving because it might be too dangerous, but the husband decided to pass by slowly so he wouldn’t stay with the doubt on his mind of what might have happened and the chances of anyone being hurt. As they got closer, they noticed a woman with cuts and bruises on her face as well as on her arms. They then decide to stop and see if they could be of any help.

The cut and bruised woman was begging for help telling them that she had been in a car accident and that her husband and son, a new born baby, were still inside the car which was in a deep ditch. She told them that the husband was already dead but that her baby seemed to still be alive.

The husband that was traveling decided to get down and try to rescue the baby and he asked the hurt woman to stay with his wife inside the their car. When he got down he noticed two people in the front seats of the car but he didn’t pay any importance to it and took out the baby quickly and got up to take the baby to it’s mother. When he got up, he didn’t see the mother anywhere so he asked his wife where she had gone. She told him that the woman followed him back to the crashed car.

When the man decided to go look for the woman, he noticed that clearly the two people in the front seats were dead; a woman and a man, both with their seatbelts on. When he looked closer, he noticed that one of the dead was the same woman that was begging them for help!


A Strange Solitary Walk In The Woods

Photo by Atharva Sune on

A Strange Solitary Walk In The Woods

©Kelly Jeanne 2022

It was the most bizarre experience. Out of nowhere she found herself in the woods. It’s as if she just materialized there out of nowhere?

This has to be a dream. What else could it be?

After the initial shock of not finding herself tucked safely and warmly in her bed, she had no other choice but to start walking.

The first thing that struck her was the blackness of the night. The moon was nowhere to be found, which meant she had to walk slowly with outstretched hands, feeling for the tree branches to steady her footing.

It’s true what they say. When one of your senses is failing you, the others take over. Every nocturnal sound she heard was heightened.

With each step she took, she heard – and felt – the crackle of the dry leaves underneath her feet on the forest floor. At times she’d step down onto something spongy. It made her sick to think her foot might have landed on a dead, decomposing animal!

As her feet carried her forward she could hear the sporadic rustling of the leaves on the ground, which indicated the little creatures frantically rushing deeper into the safety of the forest.

It seemed with every step she made, the owls gave their warning cries, sending all the residents of the forest in a panic, as they scurried to get away from her.

She believed the owls were the sentinels, standing guard, keeping all the creatures of the night safe.

The funny thing about pitch blackness, her eyes were becoming accustomed to it and was able to make out certain shapes, but nothing specific. She thought she saw what appeared to be so many low hanging branches. The darkness can play so many tricks on the eyes and other senses.

She didn’t know where she was heading – when or where her journey would end – only that she had no other choice but to keep going.

If this is a dream, please let me wake up now!

The usual musty, earthy odor coming from the dead leaves on the forest floor beneath her feet was getting stronger. Her heart began to race within her chest and ears. She could feel her blood coursing through her body; pounding in her ears.

The warning cries from the sentinels of the forest were no longer heard. The scurrying footsteps of the tiny forest creatures were no longer heard as well. They knew to stay away from this part of the forest. All she heard now was dead silence.

The odor got even stronger and made her think of fresh kill. Even though she’d never smelled that before, her instincts told her what it was. She kept straining to see in the darkness. Other than the nameless shapes all around her, there was nothing to give her any solid clues.

At the last minute her instincts told her to turn back. Just then, what she had mistaken for a part of a tree, reached out and grabbed her! She let out a scream. Complete blackness enveloped her, but not before she saw the angry, red eyes, hungrily looking at her.

Try Topping This Spine-Tingling Chiller!

Can you scare us in two lines or less? Give it a try!

Husband kills his wife while their 5 yr old son was still sleeping. The weird thing was that kid didn’t ask for his mom even 3 days after she went missing. Father:” Is there something that you want to ask me ? “Kid : “I just wonder, why mom is always standing BEHIND YOU…

Try Topping This Spine-Tingling Chiller!

Photo by Marek Kupiec on

I always thought my cat had a staring problem. she always seemed fixated on my face. Until one day, when I realized that she was always looking just behind me. 8.