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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 6

 

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Episode 6: Loveless

I ventured downstairs around eight o’clock. Mom had left some meatloaf and potatoes in the microwave for me before heading off to work. How she managed to drink all day and then sober herself up enough to work the night shift at Walmart was beyond me. I heated up the food, but looking at the ketchup on top of the meatloaf turned my stomach. It made me think of the Asian man with the sneer and pointed fangs.

I returned to my room and decided to take a shower before heading next door. I needed something to steady my nerves. Part of me wanted to call Angela and tell her what had happened, but instead I just laid my cell phone on the bed and headed across the hall to the bathroom. I was so freaked out even the running water in the shower seemed menacing and intrusive. After a while, I scared myself into thinking I was being watched. I crossed my arms over my breasts and tried to turn away from the shower door, but I found myself looking over my shoulder, fearing that at any minute the vampire would come lunging through the glass just to get to me. And then I would be like that girl in the puzzle, helpless and hypnotized, a willing victim to the powerful creature of darkness.

I turned off the water, slid open the shower door and grabbed a towel off the rack. If anyone was in the room they were only going to catch a quick glance at me. I have never been self-conscious about my body, but I’m no exhibitionist either. I had worn tight or revealing outfits at times, maybe to go to a show or something, but I had never felt so exposed in all my life. I wrapped the towel around me and dashed into my bedroom. I closed and locked the door. Turning towards the bed, I noticed my cellphone was gone.

I froze to the spot. I knew I had put it on the bed. But now it wasn’t there. My eyes scanned the room. Perhaps my bathroom freakout was warranted after all. Someone had been here watching. And now they had taken my cellphone. I walked over to the window and looked through the blinds at the house next door. There were some lights on and I could see some movement in one of the rooms, but no one was outside. I heard the echoing sound of a tinkling bell from behind me, and I spun to the sound, dropping the towel in the process. Naked, I grabbed up the stake from the vampire kit still on the bed and scanned the room. There was no one there. Again, the bell sounded, soft and distant. It was my cellphone. Sitting on top of my dresser, plugged into the charger.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe I had plugged it in before I headed to the shower and had just forgot about it. I went to the dresser and opened the top drawer. I grabbed some fresh underwear and slipped into them as quick as I could. Next drawer down, dark pants and a black tank top advertising an X-Japan concert my dad had taken me to in New York a couple years back. I turned away to grab my shoes and the bell sounded again. It was a cellphone notification of some kind. I woke up the phone and didn’t see anything to alert me to email or a message or anything. I hit the home button and pulled up the last used applications. The one at the top was the camera. I clicked it and the app opened to my photo gallery which was normal if you had just taken a picture. The top photo in the gallery brought me to a breathless stop. It was the picture of a tattooed moon, encircled by bloody vines, or perhaps veins. Under it were the words “Loveless”.

The first thing I thought was that was the name of my favorite song by Luna Sea, but then came the realization that this tattoo was on a boy’s hairless chest. And I knew for a fact I hadn’t taken it. I pulled up the tag info on the picture. It had been taken only a few short minutes ago, which meant there had been a boy in my room with a loveless tattoo and the balls to let me know he’d been there. But if he had thought to scare me with this, he was mistaken. Now I was pissed. I stuck the stake down the back of my pants and covered it with my shirt. I put the holy water in my front pocket and removed the crucifix from my dad’s vampire kit. looped it around my neck, letting it drop on its chain just out of sight down my shirt. I snatched the cell from the dresser and took one last look at the photo before sliding the phone in pocket. It was time to stake that pervert right through his tattoo.

Keep reading. Continue to Ep. 7

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson.

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 5

 

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5: Puzzle Freak

The first thing I noticed as I stepped from my yard into theirs was the absence of noise. It was like I had stepped into a vacuum, where even sound was afraid of being this close to vampires. I couldn’t hear the light breeze through the trees, though I could see them swaying. No birds, no creature made a sound on this property, and I have to admit it made me a little nervous.

Still, I went up the front porch steps and raised my hand to knock. I hesitated, wondering what I thought I was doing. I had just gotten home from school. What little make up I started the day off with was now gone, my hair was a mess, and I was in jeans and t-shirt; not exactly following the ‘how to meet hot guys’ guidelines. I shrugged and knocked anyway. For a moment it didn’t make a sound, and I thought maybe I should just give this up, but then I heard the noise of my knuckles rapping the door. No matter that it came about thirty seconds after I actually knocked. I listened close, hoping to hear footsteps or a voice telling me, “wait a minute, I’m coming.” Anything to tell me there were no vampires here; that I had been wrong. But no one came. I debated whether to knock louder, and in the end I decided to try the door handle myself.

I put my hand on the door and it was ice cold. Perhaps the AC was running overtime in there, but I didn’t think so. There were no window units and I didn’t see central air units outside anywhere. I tried the knob but it was locked. I decided to go around back, maybe knock there.

The backyard was spacious with a concrete patio and in-ground pool. A row of hedges lined a back fence that separated our properties, but the shrubs were barren, and sure enough I could see mom lying out in her bikini in our back yard. I could tell by the rise and fall of her breasts that she had fallen asleep as usual. Part of me wanted to scream her name just to see how drunk she was, but before I could I saw I wasn’t alone on this side of the hedge. A man was sitting at a glass topped table on the patio working a jigsaw puzzle. A large umbrella was mounted in the center of the table, shielding him from the bulk of the sun’s rays. He didn’t seem to notice me at first, but when he did, his head came up so slow it made me think of those old automaton gypsy fortune telling machines they had at the fair when I was like nine. He stared at me with a curious look, his eyes dark and intense, half hidden by stringy black hair that hung down in his face. He tilted his head one way and then the other, before beckoning me to him. My head was screaming not to do it, but something bolder inside made me approach his table. He held up a puzzle piece and handed it towards me as if he wanted me to place it for him. His smooth pale skin made him seem almost unnatural, and I hesitated. With an impatient jerk of his hand he shoved the piece at me. I took it from him and looked down at the puzzle he was working on.

It was bizarre, like something out of a nightmare. The unfinished image clearly suggested a view of hell, with writhing, tormented bodies, some entwined in reckless abandon, others twisting in the talons of demonic figures. At the center, a tall dark presence drank the blood of several people at once, all of them held fast in his gaze and grip. Where the puzzle piece was missing there was a young girl about the same age as myself . Her body was turned towards the terrifying figure, and she must have been looking up at him rapturously, but she didn’t have a head. It was the missing piece.

I looked in my hand and turned it over. Sure enough, the piece I held was the girl’s head, and looking at it I saw in her eyes a look of adoration and helplessness. I looked at the man behind the card table. His Asian eyes held no malice, but something within told me this guy did not wish good things to befall me. A slight sneer crossed his thin lips. His mouth began to open. He made a sound in his throat but it wasn’t speech. It was a guttural kind of moan and his lips seemed to curl back to show me the only teeth he had were two pairs of fangs. His sneer turned into the scariest smile I had ever seen. I dropped the puzzle piece and bolted.

I ran across the yard and to my front door as if the devil were on my heels. I didn’t even bother with my book bag. I slammed the door behind me and threw the deadlock in place. I kept waiting to hear the man’s body slam into the solid oak of the doorframe, but he never did. I wasn’t even sure if he got up from the table. I didn’t care to look back. I’d been too freaked out.

I went through the dining room towards the back of the house. Looking out onto our patio, I saw mom was still sleeping one off. The guy next door was nowhere to be seen, but his macabre puzzle was still on the table. Thinking he was on his way over, I ran upstairs and locked myself in my room; my dad’s vampire kit laid out and open on the bed. If anyone came through that door they were going to get hit with a one two punch of holy water and wooden stake. But no one came. I sat on the bed as the night began to fall. I heard mom come in and rumble around in the kitchen. I wasn’t sure if she was fixing dinner or a new drink, but I wasn’t about to come out my room to find out. I was waiting for pitch dark so I could go stake that puzzle working, blood sucking freak.

Continue Reading: Episode 6

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D. Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

NaNoWriMo 2017 Final Update

I don’t like how the term ‘final update’ sounds, but as November is over so is another National Novel Writing Month. I didn’t finish as well this year, but I did give it a push and made it to 20,000. That was roughly 40 pages, so I shouldn’t be too disappointed. I wrote as steadily as I could, but I didn’t get in as much writing time as I did last year. I also found it hard to stay focused on the novel I was originally writing and ended up slipping into other stories. But again, I am happy that I accomplished what I did and though I couldn’t write for very long each day, I did write which is what NaNoWriMo is designed to do. 😉

The story i was working on is not ready to begin being serialized yet, which is something I always try to do, but I hope eventually to share it with readers here. I am itching to get back into blog posts again though, so expect some short writings, flash Fiction, maybe some prompt writing in the days ahead. Perhaps by the start of the year I’ll have a new novel serialization ready to start sharing, or will have begun to get back into “Vampire Boys Of Summer.” I am feeling a little vampire obsessed these days. Big thanks to everyone who encouraged me last month in my writing. Whether you posted a comment in my updates or just a put a like on them, that helped push me along and make the progress I did. It is greatly appreciated my friends.

And Perhaps this is nothing more than a teaser, but here’s one thing I had trouble with in NaNoWriMo this year. Since I generally write in first person, I had trouble with some of the descriptions of my characters. It’s a lot different when you are not making first person observations and instead must provide more details for the reader. So here is how I first introduce my main character in November’s novel attempt. It’s basically just how the person is dressed, which has always made the fashion illiterate within me cringe. But anyway, hope you enjoy this little paragraph.

The stranger walked across the lot towards Glenn, who was leaning against the wall outside Millie’s Quick Mart. His long black cloak spread out behind him In the early evening breeze, and his long dark hair almost seemed to dance in that same air. Beneath the cloak, he wore a burgundy and black Victorian style trench coat, which would have made him fit in with the other patrons of Steampunk Charlie’s. Barely discernible under the coat was a white ruffled shirt, pleated, with gold buttons. Glenn noted the way the top button seemed to shine brightly, as if it had been buffed to a finish, and the thief within him considered the fact this guy was probably loaded, and not with alcohol. Offsetting that idea however was the fact the stranger was walking and not being chauffeured in a fancy limo. Still, it didn’t seem he had been walking long, for his boots looked brand new. Made of leather, there were no marks or creases in the material. Black laces ran up the side, wrapped around silver buttons at intervals until tapering off at the top in a small knot. Rounding off the ensemble was the fact the stranger was wearing gloves, which appeared just as new as the rest of his outfit. Perhaps the costume is a rental, Glenn thought, just as the stranger reached him.

NaNoWriMo Day 15 update

Wow, the month sure does fly by when you’re broke, lol…okay so for today’s update, we are halfway through the month, and while some writers are already at the 25k mark I am struggling to reach 9k. Still, I feel like I’m being productive, if in short spurts. I almost feel like I’m writing flash Fiction, and I guess that’s correct in a sense because I’m not sure exactly where I’m going. In my story, or would be novel, I have introduced a whole host of characters in 8k words. Now I have to figure out what to do with them. Not an easy task when you can only write a few sentences at a time.

I am having fun with this however. Switching up my normal point of view has opened me up to all kinds of possibilities, though I’m not sure its all that well written. I guess my normal readers and fellow writers will have to judge that when i get around to sharing this latest endeavor. I’m hoping to post the opening soon, so keep an eye out and please let me know what you think.

Okay, so I’m out of here, to try and go bounce a few more sentences off the wall and see how they settle on paper. I’m really hoping to bash out another 500 words tonight so wish me luck.

Until next time….

Seven Days Of Sentences: Day 5

Just a couple more days left in the challenge. If you’re just joining me here, the challenge is this: write a story in just one sentence. Sentence can be any length, but once a period is in place, that’s it. So here we go with my attempt on Day 5.

——

The Bible told him what to do, and though it wasn’t what we would have done, perhaps our minds weren’t quite as twisted as his.

Flash Fiction: Burning Bridges

Author’s Note: wow, has it really been 17 days since I last posted anything? Ok, well here’s a short piece of flash that I wrote the other day, just trying to keep my writing chops somewhat sharp. I know there must be more to this piece buried in my head somewhere, but right now I’ll leave it here in its original form for your consideration. Hope you enjoy!

The covered bridge was in flames. We could see it from the hilltop. James watched it through his binoculars, a gift from his dad before the older man took off with the babysitter.

“I don’t see anything,” the fourteen year old said. James was the youngest of us, but in some ways the most inquisitive.

“You mean you don’t see him?” Darcy asked, a slight tremble to her voice.

“Correct. He must still be under the bridge.”

“Then we’ll have to go down after him,” I said, trying to sound brave. But everyone knew I was scared shitless. After all, I was the only one who had seen the troll face to face.

Resurrection Diaries Entry 34: Martin and Shaedra

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Entry 34: Martin & Shaedra: Tuesday Aug.9

The police didn’t come today either. But someone did. I was still in bed when there came a knocking at the front door. Penny jumped up from her place beside me and began to bark. She certainly is a good security system, I’ll give her that. I hastily dressed and when I got to the door I discovered Mr. Martin was standing on the porch, fidgeting and shuffling from foot to foot. I have to admit I was surprised to see him.

“I didn’t call the police,” he stated matter-of-factly.

“Okay,” I replied, feeling a little more relaxed.

“Maybe it’s because of something you said,” he reasoned. “Maybe I’ve been fooling myself and I just needed someone to point it out.” He looked me square in the eye. “Yesterday when I found you in my house, in her room, I wanted to kill you. I felt like you were violating my world. My little world where Mischa is okay and coming home soon.” He looked down at his shoes, “But she’s not, is she?”

“No sir, I don’t think so.”

He nodded. “What of her letters then?”

I stepped outside and Penny followed me. She went down the steps to go out in the yard, while I motioned Mr. Martin to sit on the porch. I sat down next to him. “Do you really get them every year?” I asked him.

“Yes. They are typed, printed off a computer. She says she doesn’t have time to sit down and write a real letter.”

“Does she sign them?”

“Yes”.

“Maybe it’s not her,” I suggested warily.

He didn’t say anything, only nodding to let me know he understood what I was saying. Finally after a moment, he spoke. “I want to know. I have to know what happened to my her. I know she’s just my stepdaughter, but I raised her as my own. When her momma ran off and abandoned us, we were all we had left. I love her just as much as if she was my own blood. Can you understand that?”

I said that I could.

“I’ve gone nearly twenty years believing she was still out there, and then you come along telling me you believe she’s dead.”

It was more of a question than a statement, so I answered it. “Yes, I believe she is.”

He nodded. “If you have guesses or theories, I don’t want to know. I only want proof. I want to help if I can, but I don’t want to hear a thing about it until it’s the positive truth. I can’t deal with just wondering if that’s the way things really happened. That would drive me crazy. That’s why it’s been easier for me to believe she’s alive.”

I understood that, too.

“But when you have the truth, please come to me and tell me. Promise you’ll tell me first. I don’t want to hear it from the papers or the police.”

“Okay, I promise.”

He smiled slightly and I saw a different man from the one who had once punched me on his front lawn. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a bundle of envelopes with a rubber band around them. “Her letters,” he said, handing them to me.

I looked at the envelopes. His address was typed across the face of them. I wanted to look at the letters right away, but I didn’t.

“Thank you,” I said. “I’ll give them back to you.”

“If they aren’t really hers, I don’t want them back.”

“Do you believe they are from her, Mr. Martin?”

He weighed the answer in his head. “I’m starting to see things differently. Things I thought sounded like her, I’m not so sure about now. Maybe someone else will see what I have refused to.” He got up and stepped down off the porch. “Come see me,” he said. “Just don’t break in next time.”

I grinned a little until I realized he was serious. “Thanks for not calling the police.”

“Don’t make me regret it,” he said, and then went to his car, driving away as fast as he could. Something told me he didn’t like it here so close to the church his daughter loved.

I looked at the envelopes in my hand. “Okay Mischa, let’s see what you grew up to be…”

The typed letters painted a pretty picture of a runaway girl who became a successful dress designer. So successful she didn’t have time for a husband or a visit with the man she knew as her father. But the promise to visit was always there, “if I can find the time.” There was the mention throughout the yearly missives of personal things. She asked about Tommy Blaine, but not of Eric. Only once did she mention him in her letters. “I miss Eric too, but I know no one liked him. He was still a nice boy.” She never mentioned her mother either, as if the woman was dead to her, if she had even existed at all. She talked of Mr. Martin as if he were the only family she had. For all intents and purposes, to her he was her real dad. Her discourses to him were long ramblings that at times seemed to me to be a case of a daughter buttering her father up before asking for something. But she never asked him for a cent. Maybe these ramblings were to keep him from wondering about where she’d gone.

The one thing I had noticed right away was she never included a return address. Yes, there was a New York postmark, but never a way to write her back. I found myself wondering why Mr. Martin never tried to find her. After that many years a concerned father would have hired a detective, or tried to discover her whereabouts somehow. But I guess he was blinded by what he wanted to believe. I’m the one who had to stir things up.

I had every intention of going over to the church and asking the secretary to view the old church records, to try and find out something about the Shifletts, and their strange nephew Eric, but I was sidetracked by yet another visitor. Shaedra.

She came by shortly after Mr. Martin had left, and the suspicious part of me wondered if maybe she had been waiting for him to leave before she paid me a visit. There was something different about her today though. No longer did she wear alluring clothing and walk in the sexually confident manner she had once displayed. Now she wore a long black dress, the top nearly buttoned up to her neck. No leg, no cleavage. Now she was asexual as possible.

“Morning Shaedra,” I said standing in the doorway. “Would you like to come in?”

She looked over at the repaired picture window and shook her head. “No, I just came over to tell you goodbye.”

“Goodbye?”

“Yes, I quit my job as Mrs. Shifflett’s assistant. I’m leaving.”

I was kind of surprised at the news. “Why?” I asked.

She didn’t give me an answer, and I assumed what she did have to say had been rehearsed on the way over.

“I wanted to apologize for the other day. Trying to seduce you like that. And you being a married man. I am truly sorry.”

“It’s okay,” I replied, wondering where she was going with all this.

“I know you are a good man, and that you love your wife. She will come back to you; of this I’m sure.” She hesitated as if gauging what she was going to say next. “But you have forces swirling around you and this place.”

“Forces?”

“Paul, I have always had an insight into things. I feel things that others don’t. I’m empathetic, for lack of a better word. And I feel there is something going on here that I do not want to be a part of. Not even as a bystander.”

“What do you mean?”

“There is an evil at work in this town. And there’s an evil somewhere over there.” She pointed at the church. “I don’t know if it’s this Mischa you talked about, but there’s something dark and evil here. I feel it was here when she was a child, and it’s still here preying on the innocent.”

“What kind of evil are we talking about?”

“I do not know, but it frightens me, Paul. It frightens me enough to want to change every aspect of my life and get as far away from here as possible. I do not want to be its next victim.”

“You’re not making much sense,” I said, trying to be respectful. “If there’s an evil here, why doesn’t it come forth? I can’t imagine it’s Mischa. So what is it?”

“Maybe she is connected to it. Hopelessly tied here until it’s gone. But it’s not without form. Sometimes evil walks in the hearts of men. Please remember that.”

She turned to go, but I grabbed her arm. She spun and tried to pull away, before seeing I wasn’t going to harm her. “Please Shaedra, tell me what you are thinking.”

She placed her hand over mine. “I am thinking you are a good man, but not all men are good. I have seen his face and I fear what lies in his eyes.”

“What do you mean you’ve seen his face?”

She removed her hand from mine and gently pulled away. “Listen to everything that Mischa has to tell you. Follow her signs.” She stepped off the porch and looked up at me. “In my Bible reading this morning, it said there shall be a resurrection of the dead.”

I got ready to ask her what she thought that means, but then Penny came around the house. Seeing Shaedra she barked in alarm. The woman looked at the dog and smiled. “Keep an eye on your master, would you?”

Then she was walking to her car. I came off the porch in a trot and caught up to her just as she’d opened her door and got in. “I can’t do this alone. Please help me find out what happened.”

She looked up at me sadly. “I can’t help you, Paul. Once, I was very attracted to you, and I thought the allure was physical, sexual, but I know now what drew me to you was her. She’s all around you. She’s around all of us. She draws us all into her sorrow. I thought it was you who was so sad and lonely, but it’s her. I don’t want to feel that anymore.”

She tried to close the door but my hand was on it. Still I knew I couldn’t talk her into staying. Escape was in her eyes. She wanted distance between herself and this whole town. “I wish you the best of things, Shaedra. I wish I could leave just like you, but I can’t.”

“I know. You are connected to her now. And for that you must be wary. Don’t let the evil that took her take you, too.”

She got out of the car suddenly, and flung her arms around me. She kissed me on the cheek and whispered, “for luck.” Then without another word she was back in the car, closing the door, and speeding away.

I stood there on the lawn, watching her go, and a thought occurred to me. Maybe this is what they mean by the one that got away. If that’s the case, I wish her Godspeed and safety, for I have a dread feeling something bad is about to happen…

+ + + + + + + + +

“Resurrection Diaries” by Paul D Aronson.

Original text copyright 2007.

10th Anniversary Edition 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Resurrection Diaries Entry 33: Headache And A Bible

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Entry 33: Headache And A Bible: Monday Aug. 8

I woke up with an excruciating headache. I was still on the floor. I struggled to my feet, my head swimming in dizziness. After some initial disorientation, I felt the back of my head with my hand. I could feel the rawness where I’d been hit and I winced for a second. I looked at my hand to see if I was bleeding. Then I heard his familiar voice.

“You’re not bleeding. I didn’t hit you that hard.”

I looked over at Mr. Martin. He was sitting at the writing desk, flipping through his daughter’s diary as if it were the Sunday newspaper. He pushed the diary to the side and looked hard at me.

“Do you want to give me a good reason why I shouldn’t call the law and have you arrested?” he asked.

I shook my head, I had no excuse. I knew I’d done wrong. I had broken into his house and went through his daughter’s private things.

“The only reason I haven’t called them yet is because of Mischa,” he said. “I think you know something I don’t.”

I looked up, almost wishing he’d call the police instead. Then I could tell them what I know. But I imagine they would find me crazy without any hard evidence. I’d be locked up and unable to help anyone.

“Why are you so interested in my daughter?”

I hesitated. What should I tell him? I tried the truth. “I think she was murdered.”

He seemed to think on this a minute, and then he shook his head, unbelieving. “No, she left home. She’s fine. I get letters from her every Christmas. She’s a designer in New York.”

I couldn’t believe this. It couldn’t be. She couldn’t be alive. I knew she was dead, and he was just in denial. “Then why do you keep her room like a shrine?” I asked, casting a look around us both.

“It’s not a shrine,” he protested, and I detected a hint of anger rising in his voice. I decided it was best to let that go. I was in enough trouble. “I keep her room for her,” he explained.

“What for?” I asked. “Has she been home to visit since she left?”

“No, she’s too busy.”

“And yet you still wash her clothes,” I said, glancing over at the bureau.

He looked at me sharply.

I kept going. “Clothes that she would have outgrown after being away for twenty years.”

There was something hurt and dangerous in his eyes. I really needed to watch myself here.

“You should go home now,” he said, a dejected look on his face.

“You’re not going to call the police?”

He gave me a shrug. “I guess you’ll just have to wait and see. Now get out of here.”

He didn’t move. He just sat there at the writing desk, as if he wanted to be left alone with his stepdaughter’s memories. As for myself, I didn’t waste much time heading for the door. Still I turned back.

“I’m sorry for breaking in and invading your privacy, Mr. Martin. I just wanted to know the truth.”

He looked up at me with tears in his eyes. “The truth is she’s coming home.”

I felt like telling him she already had. Instead I left, the pain in my head starting to fade a little. I went home to wait on the police.

The police didn’t come. But the guys came to fix the window that had broken the other day. While Penny and I watched them work, I got to thinking of Mischa’s dress. The one in her closet at home had been labeled, “MB”. I got up and went to my own closet. I had put the duffel in there after Donna left me. I opened the bag and pulled the dress right off the top. Yes, it was the same dress. Same color, same design, same manufacturer. But looking at the label I saw it wasn’t the same dress at all. This one was labeled “MM”. What was going on here? Before I could dwell on it, the workers finished with the window. I put the dress back and paid them.

I went out to sit on the front porch. Penny lay at my feel and let me scratch her behind the ears. She was starting to get used to that. I looked over at the church and saw the pastor’s car in the lot. I got up and walked over there.

I found Chiles in his office, and he was very cordial. “Hi Paul,” he greeted me with a smile. “How are you?”

My head still had a dull ache, but I told him I was doing fine.

“Is there something I can help you with?”

“Well, it’s not a spiritual matter, but I did want to ask you something.”

“Okay,” he nodded, clasping his hands in front of him on the desk.

“Did you know Pastor Shiflett when he was here?”

He seemed to think for a moment. “The name’s familiar, but he wasn’t here when I came on board. I replaced a Pastor Denton. I think Shiflett was here years before that.”

I nodded. “Yes, he was here in the seventies. His wife was a Sunday school teacher here, too.”

“Well, if it were the seventies, that was way before my time here. You’ll have to ask one of the church elders.”

“Do you know if there would be church records from that time? I’d like to get in touch with him if he’s still living.”

“The office keeps records for about thirty years if I’m not mistaken,” he replied.

“Do you think I could get a look at them?”

“Well, the secretary keeps them locked in the file cabinet, Paul. She’s gone for the day, I’m afraid. But you could see her tomorrow about it. I really don’t see where it would be a problem.”

I nodded, just a little disappointed I couldn’t get a look at them today. I might be locked up myself later.

“Why do you want to get in touch with this old pastor? Are my sermons too boring?” He laughed.

“Oh no sir,” I laughed back. “Your sermons are fine.” I thought for a minute, trying to think of a believable excuse, but nothing would come. He waited for me to answer. Instead, I just said, “I enjoyed your last sermon.”

He smiled. “Maybe you should join the church.”

“I’ve been thinking about it.”

“Good. Well, you just turn those thoughts into conviction,” he replied with a little smile. “We’d love to have you as a permanent member.”

I thought of another permanent member, Mischa. She was really permanent. Even after death, she couldn’t leave.

“In fact,” Pastor Chiles said, oblivious to my thoughts, “I’ve been meaning to give you a Bible. Can’t have you working here and you not owning one,” he grinned. He reached behind him on a bookshelf and took a black leatherbound volume down. He handed it to me. “There you go. We usually wait until someone is baptized, but maybe you’ll do that too before long.” He winked.

“I shouldn’t take your bible,” I lightly protested. I didn’t like people just giving me things. I always feel like I owe them something in return.

“Oh no, you go right ahead. These bibles are donated by church members just for this purpose.”

“Oh okay, well in that case,” I finally reasoned. I put the book under my arm. “Well Pastor, I better go. I’m expecting company soon.”

“Alright,” he said. “I’ll be seeing you Sunday?”

“Yes,” I replied, hoping I was still around Sunday.

“You are doing a fine job here at Resurrection, Paul.”

“Thank you sir,” I replied. I then begged my leave and turned to go. But I stopped, thinking of something else I wanted to discuss. “Pastor, I do have a biblical question maybe you could help with me.”

He leaned back in his chair. “Sure, fire away.”

“Does the phrase ‘cover not thou my blood’ mean anything to you?”

He raised an eyebrow. I could tell he was curious, but I wasn’t about to tell him it had been scrawled across my office wall in crayon. “I saw it in a novel I was reading the other night and just wondered if it was from the Bible.”

He put his elbows up on his desk and laced his fingers together. “O Earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry have no place.”

A chill went through me. Clearly the message on my wall had been a plea for help from Mischa.

“It’s from the Old Testament book of Job.”

“What does it mean?”

“Well, Job was a very pious and patient man. God set all kinds of troubles and trials upon him in order to test his faith. Here Job was speaking about the wrong he felt had been done to him.”

“Cover not thou my blood sounds like it was serious.”

“Well, to him it was. He used the word blood to compare his suffering with that of someone who had been murdered. He calls on the earth not to conceal the crime but to reveal it, so that his injuries or affliction may not be hidden but be avenged. You must have been reading a crime novel.”

“Excuse me?”

“You said you saw this in a book you were reading. Sounds like it’s a good mystery yarn.”

“Yes, it is. Thank you Pastor for your help.”

He smiled and spread his arms wide. “That’s what I’m here for, to guide the flock. You can find the verse in that Bible I just gave you,” he winked. “Job chapter 16, verse 18, I think.”

 

When I went home the police still weren’t there. I sat down and waited on the front porch until dark. Either Mr. Martin hadn’t called them yet or they were waiting until morning to get the arrest papers in order. I looked down at Penny resting at my feet.

“Well girl, guess ole Paul has gotten himself in a mess.”

She barked twice in response. “Yeah I know. I should have left things alone.”

I looked at the Bible Chiles had given me. “Maybe I should turn to the Word, huh,” I grinned.

She barked twice again, and I opened the book to the front page. Inscribed just inside the cover in a familiar feminine hand were the words “Mischa was here…”

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“Resurrection Diaries” by Paul D Aronson.

Original text copyright 2007.

10th Anniversary Edition 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Resurrection Diaries Entry 32: In The Martin Household

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Entry 32: In The Martin House: Monday August 8

Restless dreams. I didn’t get much sleep last night; maybe I can use that as an excuse for my unlawful actions today. I kept dreaming of classrooms and all the things “I” had written on the chalkboard in them. Not my baby, Not me. I’m alive…

Could it be? Could Mischa be alive? No, that’s not possible. How could I be seeing her ghost and all these strange things happening if she’s out there alive somewhere? No, I think she’s trying to tell me something else. I just don’t know what. But maybe some more answers can be found in her bedroom. Maybe there she can speak to me in her own words.

So that is why I went to the Martin house this morning. I parked just down the street, far enough away so Mr. Martin wouldn’t see and become suspicious of a parked car so close to his house.

Before too long, I watched him leave, obviously on his way out to work. He got in his car and drove off, not even so much as glancing my way. I waited a few minutes and then I got out of my car and walked towards his house. I looked around to see if anyone was watching. I didn’t see anybody, so I went around back and tested the door. It was locked. The door had a small window. I pulled a handkerchief from my pocket and wrapped it around my fist. The window made a small breaking sound when I hit it. The handkerchief not only protected my hand, but muffled the sound of breaking glass as well. I reached my hand through the shattered window and unlocked the door from the inside.

I hesitated just a minute in the doorway. I didn’t know if Mr. Martin had a dog, but I didn’t want to find out the hard way. So I waited just over the threshold. Nothing stirred in the house. I was alone. No dogs.

I moved through the first floor of the house. The only light was that of the sun coming through the half open curtains. On this floor it appeared to look like the typical family home. Kitchen, dining room, den, bathroom, and a small study off to the side. Briefly I looked through the study, but I could tell this was Mr. Martin’s place to work. A computer terminal and work station dominated the room. I wondered just what he did for a living and whom he worked for. There were some pages on the workstation, but they looked like invoices and business documents, so I passed them over quickly. I left the room in search of other things.

Even though I knew no one was home, I crept upstairs quiet as if I thought I was going to wake someone. The second floor contained two bedrooms, a full bath, and what appeared to be a small walk-in pantry. One bedroom door was open. It was easy to see this was his room from all the “guy things” that dominated his living space.

The other bedroom door was closed, and when I put my hand on the knob, I knew somehow I was getting ready to walk back in time. I opened the door and peered in.

The first thing that struck me were the colors. Pink and violet, clearly a girl’s room. The canopied bed was draped with a spread upon which cute cartoon characters worked in gardens and among flowers. A large bureau sat in the corner, a huge mirror sitting atop it. On the mirror were taped dozens of photographs and I went over to take a closer look.

The pictures were of a cheery blonde haired girl. Always smiling, her blue eyes sparkled with life and vitality. I knew she hadn’t put these pictures of herself here. Her stepfather had. This wasn’t just Mischa’s room anymore. It was a shrine.

I opened the drawers of the bureau. Clean, neatly folded clothes were inside, dozens of mothballs in each drawer. Had these clothes been sitting here untouched for over twenty years? Then a thought hit me, something strange and maybe not my own. Had Mr. Martin been washing her clothes regularly in these years of her absence? To be sitting in a drawer for years, these clothes, mostly undergarments, pajamas, and pull over tanks and shirts just looked too well kept. Was he lovingly washing her clothes as if she were still here to wear them?

I looked around the rest of the room. There was a walk-in closet. I opened it and looked inside. Every hanger was full. Dresses, slacks, and coats. I flipped through the rack. Then I saw it. The dress. The yellow dress. The one her ghost had worn on many occasions. I pulled it out and held it up to the light. How could this be? I had found this same dress in the duffel bag Penny had dug up. How could it be here? Or were there two of the same dress? I checked the inside label. A pair of initials was written in permanent ink on the label. “MB”. I tried to remember what the label said on the one I’d found. Didn’t it say “MM”? I made a mental note to check the duffel when I got home to make sure the dress was still there. If it wasn’t, then that meant somehow it had found its way back home, and I don’t even want to think of the further implications that suggests. It’s bad enough she kept having me find her anklet, even worse to think of her returning her own clothes across town to her room.

The only thing in the room I hadn’t looked at yet was a writing desk by the window. It was an old roll top desk, and it lay open, the sunlight coming through the window to light its walnut top. There was something etched in the wood, scrawled by a sharp instrument. “Mischa” it read. I smiled, imagining this pretty young girl carving her name in her desk, letting everyone know this was her domain then and forever.

I ignored most of what was on the desktop, little cups holding straight pins, rubber bands and barrettes, pencils and erasers. Instead, I went straight to the desk drawers. Inside the first drawer was a stack of magazines with titles like Teen Beat, Circus, even Highlights For Kids. I smiled to myself remembering some of these from my own youth. I picked up the Teen Beat magazine. On the cover The Bay City Rollers grinned as if they would be teen idols forever. I laughed to myself thinking of the one song of theirs I could remember, “Saturday Night”. I wonder if Mischa had liked that song. Underneath the magazines were some old vinyl 45’s. I looked at the titles. Song titles like “Seasons In The Sun”, “Shannon”, and “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero”gave me the idea she was typically tragic. But it was the last record that made me stop in my tracks. Donny Osmond. “Go Away Little Girl”. Wasn’t that what had been on my office wall? Had she written it? Or had someone haunted by her ghost penned that message?

I put the magazines back, covering the records up, and checked another drawer. In this one were drawings. Made by a meticulous, but feminine hand, they were designs for dresses and other outfits. They were quite good considering they were drawn so long ago in the “have a sunshine day” era. Could Mischa’s dream had been to be a clothes designer? Did Mr. Martin believe his stepdaughter had run away to the big city to follow her dream? I looked through the stack of drawings, and then I spied just what I was looking for underneath them all.

It was a book with a small lock on its front, clasped shut. On its face in flowing script she’d written in bright purple: “Private stuff! Keep out!” I tried to pop the clasp, but it wouldn’t open. It was locked. I looked in the bottom of the drawer for the key, but it wasn’t there. Who knows where it was after all these years? If he knew her diary existed, it might even be on her stepfather’s key ring. I tried prying the lock open with my fingers, but it wouldn’t budge.

I went over to the bureau and grabbed one of the hairpins out of its cup. Returning to her desk, I used it to try and pick the lock on her diary. The lock was from a simpler time so it took only a minute or two before I got the clasp to spring open. I opened the book and began to flip through its pages, not really knowing what it was I was looking for. The diary contained mostly events of her day. People she knew in school. Things she did. “Got up, went to school, met so-and-so at the playground.” No revelations there. Every now and then, there would be an arrow-skewered heart with some boy’s name in its center. Sometimes it was Tommy. Sometimes Eric. One even said Sam. Whoever he was. Maybe one of the high school football players all the girls drool over. And then I came to an entry that caught my roving eye.

“I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about Tommy,” she had written. “I know he loves me, and wants to marry me someday, but I’m not sure I love him that way. I like him a lot, he’s my best friend, but is that reason to want other things with him? I’m really confused. When I stand next to him I get butterflies in my stomach and sometimes I feel a warmth in my body just thinking about him. But I don’t know what to do. I want to save myself, but for whom?”

I flipped several pages over.

“Oh my God, Eric kissed me today. Not just any kiss either, but with his mouth open and everything. I can’t say I didn’t like it, because I did. I don’t know if I want him to kiss me again though. Why diary? Because when he was kissing me all I could think of was Tommy and if he kissed like that.”

It felt very voyeuristic to be reading her romantic thoughts like this. I felt like I was intruding, that these were things she didn’t want anyone to know. But another part of me said she wanted me to see this diary. There was something in here she wanted me to find. I skipped half the book and began to read again.

“I can’t begin to tell you my joy, dearest diary! I do love Tommy Blaine!! When he kisses me I nearly jump out of my skin in excitement. His touch sends chills through my body. Oh God, I have never felt like this. Can you keep a secret? I know you can. We spent the day at his house after school the other day. I know Nat and Lynn are mad I didn’t meet them at the park like I was supposed to, but I wanted to be alone with Tommy so bad. No one was home at his house. We were kissing on the couch and then it happened. Oh God, I can’t even say it without it sending chills up my spine. It hurt a little at first. But the second time, Oh God!!!!! I love Tommy Blaine!!!”

This was followed by hearts and x’s and o’s, all the things she could think of to describe her exploding passion for Tommy. I felt almost embarrassed reading about her first sexual experience, but again something told me she wanted me to know her joy and happiness, and how things were with her and the Blaine boy. I had feeling all this was short lived though, as I turned to the next page.

“Eric still thinks I like him. I let him kiss me that one time, and now he’s in love with me. I guess it was my fault responding to his kiss the way I did, but it was my first French kiss. Since then Tommy and I have gotten closer, and my feelings for Eric have changed. I want to be nice to Eric, I really do. He’s my friend, and not many others like him because of the rumors, but how do I tell him about Tommy and me without hurting his feelings? Is there even a way?”

I continued to flip through the book. I didn’t look at every page but skipped through them haphazardly, my eyes seeking out whatever it was she wanted me to see.

“Diary, I am sick today. I haven’t felt so well in the mornings.”

“I almost told Eric today, but then Amy came around, so I kept my mouth shut. He’s still sending me love notes, and now Tommy knows. He wants me to tell Eric to get lost. Says if I love him, I’ll do it.”

“I don’t know how to tell mom & dad but I think I’m pregnant.”

“We’re having baptism Sunday. Eric and I are volunteers to help prepare the baptismal pool on Saturday afternoon. Tommy isn’t happy about me being alone with Eric like that, but maybe this is a good time to finally tell Eric about Tommy and I. I love Tommy. I don’t love Eric.”

“I thought I felt something stir inside me today. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but I don’t know, what if I do have a life growing inside me? Maybe I could get Mrs. Shiflett to take me to the doctor. I trust her not to tell my folks.”

“I feel like I’m dying. It’s not just being sick in the morning, but I have this feeling of dread, like something bad is going to happen.”

“I chose some baby names in case I’m pregnant. If it’s a girl I think I will name her Penny. I always liked that name. And if it’s a boy I’d like to name him after Paul Stanley (dreamy sigh), but I should name him Tommy Jr, I guess.”

“I told Tommy I might be pregnant. He’s freaked out a little. Mrs. Shiflett told me she’d take me to the doc on Monday. She made me tell her why. I think she’s so willing to help because she thinks it’s her nephew’s baby. I couldn’t tell her the baby had nothing to do with Eric at all.”

“I have no time to talk today, diary. I’m late getting to the church, and I was supposed to help Eric fill up the baptismal pool this afternoon. Instead I’ve been with Tommy 🙂 If I hurry though, Eric may still be there and I can break the news to him gently. Talk to you soon…”

And that was the last entry in her diary. There were still blank pages left, but she never got the chance to fill them with her thoughts. Something told me she never came back that Saturday. She never returned from helping Eric. He killed her. She told him about her and Tommy and in a jealous rage he killed her. And the child she was pregnant with too. Jesus, it’s true. Mischa was murdered…

This thought was interrupted by a noise behind me. I had been reading her diary and was oblivious to anything else until it was too late. I just barely heard the creak of the door, the heavy step on the floor behind me. Before I could turn around, there was a blinding pain in the back of my head. Someone has killed me too, I thought, and then my vision left me. I felt my own body hit the floor, and a voice hovering over me, “Guess you thought I was stupid, huh?”

Then I lost all consciousness…

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“Resurrection Diaries” by Paul D Aronson.

Original text copyright 2007.

10th Anniversary Edition. 2017. All Rights Reserved.