Tag Archives: Haunted

The Visitation

I’ve passed through the doors hundreds of times, without ever really noticing the architectural details. Over the door is a heavy stone arch, supported at either end with stone corbels featuring carved lion heads.

When I climbed the stair this evening, an unusual movement caught my eye. Turning and looking up, instead of a lion’s head I was shocked to see the visage of my former college roommate, surrounded by a ghastly greenish glow. Harley’s eyes widened, before he moaned at me, with the most eerie and dreadful tone. “Beware!”

I hadn’t thought of Harley at all in nearly over thirty years, nor had I touched a drop with dinner. I’m not commonly prone to wild flights of imagination or visitations from spectral harbingers. Yet here was Harley, or at least his face was.

He moaned a second time, “Beware!”

I stood dumbfounded on my porch step and stared upward at what was once again an unremarkable stone decoration. Was some Dickensian nightmare haunting me with images of roommates past, or was I simply losing my mind?

While I fumbled for my keys with shaking hands, I felt the sharp point digging into my back. “I’ll be having your wallet.”

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200 words, inspired by this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt:

Text message counter (7)

I keep getting texts from my wife.

She always gets mad when I fail to read them. But my cell phone gets used so infrequently that I often leave it in the briefcase, or in the car. I admit it—I am a member of the pre-smartphone generation. I haven’t been trained to keep my eyes glued to a cell phone screen every moment.

When I grew up, you often had to wait hours to call someone, particularly if you didn’t have quarters for the pay phones. It’s true. And I probably sent my first email some time around..1985? Plus or minus. We wrote real letters, on paper! Stamps. Post office.

So I got an entire series of rapid-fire text messages from my wife. She assumed (correctly) that I wouldn’t have my phone anywhere I could hear it:

“Soooo, I could be dying and you would not know.”

“The funeral director is calling you now.”

“It’s my funeral, are you attending, at least send flowers.”

“One month anniversary.”

“Now I’m going to haunt you.”

“Haunt!”

And the last one:

“Panda Express coming up.”

Now the smell of fast-food Chinese fills the apartment, and there’s a pounding at the front door.

I won’t open it.

My wife sent those text messages more than a year ago, before the accident.

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(Annie’s fine. She actually did bring home noms, so plus two points. No accident, thank goodness–but the rest is based on real-life text events.)