23-Oct-2020

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23-Oct-2020

Welcome to this week’s Spooky Flash Fiction!

Just one more week of haunting fun to go!

When the Joke’s on You

This Week’s Flash Fiction Friday is brought to you by:
The original Annabelle (Raggedy Anne) Doll
One of those Hay Bale Hooks
and
An Abandoned Farmhouse

“You ready to do this?” I asked.

Mary scoffed. “Of course.” She jerked her chin toward the boys. “Think they’ll scream like little girls?”

“Of course they will.”

Eric and Peter. Juniors. Hot. Popular. Twins. They’d asked us to Homecoming, and we’d been going out ever since.

Peter and I were dressed as Raggedy Anne and Andy, while Mary and Eric were dressed as Princess Ariel and Prince Eric. Mary thought it was ironic.

“The wisps of fog are a nice touch,” Mary said.

I looked across the field. “We couldn’t have asked for a better Halloween night. There’s even a full moon rising.”

Mary held her fist out.

I bumped it with my own, then turned somber. “Time to act scared.”

Mary took my hand, and we walked close to one another.

The boys, who had gone before us to check out the old gate, waved us forward. Our footsteps crunched on the gravel driveway, and brittle grass rasped as we moved into the field.

“What’s the legend again?” Peter asked me in a low voice.

I let Mary go and moved to his side. He slid his shaking hand into mine. I fought to keep the smile off my face. “Years ago, when our parents were kids, a farmer and his family lived here. Normal people. They had a son and a daughter. They went to church and participated in the community.”

Our footsteps seemed to get louder. The grass grabbed at my socks and dress. A cloud moved over part of the moon, taking some of our light. Peter’s fingers tightened around mine.

Mary continued with the story.

“One fall, no one saw them for a few days, so the Sherriff came to investigate. He expected to find them sick with the flu that had been going around, but he found nothing inside the house.”

My eyes darted to the sagging structure to our right. The line of the roof looked like a swayback horse, and most of the windows had been boarded up.

I took it from there. “The Sherriff could hear the animals in the barn, so he went to check it out.” We stopped in the shadow of the tall building. My words turned to a whisper. “The door was shut, but the Sherriff pushed it open.” I reached out and pushed the door.

A loud screech sounded as it swung open a foot.

Peter was holding on so tight that I was losing feeling in my hand, and Eric’s arms were wrapped around Mary.

Even my heartbeat sped up.

I glanced at Mary, who swallowed and continued. “Inside he found all four members of the family hanging on hay bale hooks, which had been hung from the wall. Legend has it, that the hooks are still there.”

I could hear Peter breathing hard. I gave the door another shove, and got it open another six inches. Before Peter could object, I slipped inside dragging him behind me.

The layout of the barn was familiar, so I didn’t bother with my phone, but Peter had his out with the flashlight on in a second.

The inside was just as Mary and I had left it the day before. Dirt floor. Old shelves. A few rusted tools, and on the far wall…

Eric used his phone as well.

“I don’t like this,” Mary said in a scared voice. “We should go.”

That girl should be an actress.

“I can’t see the far wall.” Peter squinted into the darkness.

I took a step forward. He followed. Our feet shuffled, kicking up dirt which settled on my tongue. “I’ve heard that other families have tried to live here, but one of them always dies, and they leave.”

We went around the broken-down plow. Peter has strangled the life out of my hand, but I didn’t let go. I pulled my phone out with my other hand so I could record their reaction.

The beam of their lights got closer to the far wall.

“What’s that on the ground?” Mary asked.

The small lump had yellow yarn on it.

“Is it a doll?” Peter asked.

I squatted down and picked it up. Mary had found it at an estate sale. “It’s old. Maybe it belongs to the little girl who died here.”

“Anne?”

The tone in Mary’s voice pulled my eyes up. I followed the light, and found the hooks still in place. Only they weren’t empty. I glared at Mary. “Did you do this?”

She held up her hands. “No.”

We both turned on the boys. “Did you?”

Peter looked at me with confusion. “What are you talking about?”

Each hook had a doll impaled on it. Raggedy Anne. Raggedy Andy. Princess Ariel, and Prince Eric.

“Not funny,” I said to Mary.

“I told you, I didn’t do it.”

“Do what?” Peter asked with anger in his voice.

I sighed. There went our perfect video of boys screaming like little girls and running out of the barn. It was sort of a ritual for all the new kids who moved in. I opened my mouth to explain, but a low growl filled the air.

The world stopped. My ears seemed to open enough to hear my own breathing and the blood in my veins. They also picked out a scrape of something on the dirt behind us.

“Very funny.” Peter let go of my hand and crossed his arms over his chest. “I assume this is some stupid joke you play on the new kids?”

I shook my head and slowly turned around. The growl sounded again, and I saw a pair of glowing yellow eyes.

“What’s that?” Eric asked.

Before he could answer, something pounced on him and started ripping him apart.

I screamed, then a weight hit me, I felt something go through my stomach, and the world went black.


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