I grew up in a haunted house.

There were corpses of a marriage hidden in the walls.

An imprint where a fist fight had taken place.

Old papers from lawyers of a forgotten court case.

One summer, a new bride moved in to take the place of the old.

And a few summers later, she was in the ground cold.

But the cops were invited to the funeral, and so the truth was never told.

The first bride of the house escaped. And the other never got to grow old.

You can find her at the end of Bridge St.

She’d love flowers by her grave.

A Summers Day

It was a hot, summers day. She went out to the field. It was filled with flowers, floral, and fragrant. She had a book in her hand and a basket for a picnic complete with a blanket that she’d grabbed from the attic. It was in one of the old trunks that no one did anything with so she didn’t think anyone would miss it.

She’d cut her hair short for the summer. It was too hot for it to be long. Her mother had been furious, but she’d felt lighter when she’d chopped it all into a brown bob.

Millie finished setting up her picnic, read, and ate, taking bites of the sandwich she’d prepared for herself. As she was in the middle of a particularly good part, a shadow fell over her.

Reluctantly, Millie looked up from her reading. She found herself staring into a pair of emerald, green eyes. “Charlie!” she gushed, dropping her book and getting up to hug him tightly. “When did you get home?”

“Just this morning,” he said, “walked all day from the train.”

Millie pulled herself away. He might have been a soldier, but he was still the butler’s son. Even if they had grown up together. She might have been the fifth youngest in a family of five, but she still had responsibilities, didn’t she?

She smiled. “Oh. Well, I’m glad you’re home.”

“Me, too.” He took his cap off.

“How’d you know I’d be here?”

“I simply had an inkling,” he said, with a grin. “Anyway, your father was kind enough to keep tabs on me the whole time. Always sent me stuff if I needed it and….”

“And what?”

He pulled something from his pocket. It was a velvet box, and inside was a ring Millie recognized. Her mothers engagement ring. Millie’s brows furrowed together. “He did say once I made something of myself, I could marry you. That is if you’ll have me. Will you?”

Millie smiled at him, wrapping her arms around his neck, and kissing him deeply. “Of course, Charlie. Of course.”

Winter Break

It was the day before winter break. We stood in the school courtyard, the old, brick building casting long shadows on our faces. Our breath came out in puffs it was so cold out.
You were smoking a cigarette. “That’s a filthy habit,” I told you.
You smirked at me. “Give me something else to do with my mouth then, and I’ll stop.”
I coughed. “Like what?”
Your eyes were blue, and sparkling even though the sun was covered up by clouds. My heart pounded against my chest.
I licked my lips, and stared at yours. “Kiss me,” you said.
Then, I leaned over, and I pulled out a single, Hershey’s kiss from my pocket and I handed it to you. Your bare, freezing cold hands grazing mine as I did.
“Happy Holidays,” I said.
“Happy Holidays,” you said softly back, grinning, “maybe next year, I’ll get a real one from you.”
“Maybe,” I said softly.


We are sitting in your dining room. The table is the same one you’ve had since college, a cheap wooden thing bought at an Ikea. The tea kettle is on, bubbling and boiling. While your Amazon Alexa is softly playing an old song, the title of which I can’t remember. It will bug me for weeks, until in the middle of the night, I’ll wake up with the title in my head.

“What are we?” I ask, softly, so soft I am not sure that you even hear it.

“I don’t know that we’re anything anymore,” you said.

And I grabbed my things, and left, as the tea kettle whistled. Like it was announcing the end of a relationship.

Old Gods

The old gods are pacing in their ruined temples, waiting to be unleashed. While some of them flicker faintly, ghosts of themselves, in and out of peoples memories.

“Remember when we were something?”

“Remember when you worshipped us from everything to death and grain?”

“Remember when you once feared our names?”

We are still here. Still waiting.

Fairytales are gone

There are no fairytales anymore. All that remains are relics, buildings covered in cobwebs, with carpets covered in glass and blood stains of revolutions. Shells of bullets left from battles fought long ago. And lonely ghosts wandering the halls and ballroom floors. Kings and Queens put to the grave, in the ground, where they should be. With a different kind of fairytale to take their place.

One without crowns and dynasties.

The Internet looks for scarlet letters

When people talk about Hawthorne, they talk about him like he’s this dusty, out of touch author. And sometimes I wonder if that’s because people miss the point of one of his most famous works and that’s why we’re where we are at now.

Hester Prynne gets put with a big, bold Scarlett A on her clothing. For a mistake that wasn’t hers alone to make. Marked forever.

And isn’t that what the internet does? It looks for scarlet letters. Sometimes deserved. Sometimes not. And so we’re all Hester Prynne.

Living with mistakes. Sometimes not even ours.

Cinema is a church

I’m not religious. Maybe because I never had any faith I could tie myself to. Maybe because organized religion has hurt too many souls for me to feel anything but apathy towards it. Still, every once and a while when I’m seeking something, I go to the movies.

The cinema. The multiplex. Whatever you want to call it.

I sit in those plush, leather chairs. Or velvet depending on which theater you are in. In total darkness. Sometimes with a friend, mostly by myself these days. And I watch the images dance across the screen. Light and sound moving together, capturing something that never was and never will be again. Introducing me to people and places that have never existed.

Delighting me, thrilling me, saddening me.

I experience the whole spectrum of human emotions in the span of two hours. For two hours, I feel something that I’ve never felt in any kind of church or temple. The feeling of, “Oh, there’s something bigger out there. And someone understands.”

But maybe I’m just sentimental. I am Californian after all. We make movies there. I think it’s in my blood to love them. Anything else would be blasphemy.

Pushing Daisies

There were three things that were constant on Maybelle Street. The first was the barking of Mrs. St. Claire’s precious, long haired poodle Casper every morning. The second was the sound of Mrs. Daphne DuBois yelling at Mrs. St. Claire’s precious, long haired poodle as it tried to dig up her prized magnolia’s from their flower beds. The third was Mrs. Daphne Dubois prized magnolia’s themselves, which bloomed every Spring. And won First Prize at the county fair that summer so often, it was rumored that she bribed the judges with either her sweet potato pie or money depending on who voiced that particular rumor allowed.

There were many stories about Mrs. Daphne Dubois. But three in particular stood out. The first, most popular one was that she had been involved in a fling with a writer of some renown from the Mid West as a girl, and still had a picture of the two of them tucked away in a locket given to her by her mother. The second was that, as a young Beauty Pageant Queen, she had had a secret screen test for Scarlett O’ Hara but ultimately had to turn the role down because she was too young. The third — and this was the one people talked of in hushed tones — was that her husband had ran away with the maid, because Mrs. Dubois cared more about her flowers than him. And he was never seen or heard from again.

Early in the morning, Mrs. Daphne Dubois would rise from her bed to the sound of her ancient powder blue alarm clock. She would put on her pink furry slippers, her pink robe, then shower and ready herself for the day. Once her hair was done, and her face was done, and her sundress of the day was done, she would go down stairs and have a simple, light breakfast.

Buttered toast, and orange juice, one of the few indulgences she allowed for herself. She would grab her gardening gloves from the drawer in the kitchen which she kept them, along with her gardening tools on the end table by the entry way, and her sunhat to keep her face freckle free. Then, with everything in hand, she would go out to her lovely, front yard where her lovely, prize winning flowers were and begin her day of gardening.

So was the routine on Maybelle Street. Mrs. Daphne Dubois on her knees, tending to the soil, shovel in hand, like Persephone, bringing forth Spring with the touch of her fingers.

But, as fate would have it, there was always something watching, waiting to bring Persephone down to the ground. In this particular case, it was Mrs. St. Claire’s precious, long haired poodle: Casper. Who had taken it upon himself to sneak from his owners yard, into Mrs. St. Claire’s to get at the precious flowers that he had such a fascination with. And so, it was how Maybelle Street awoke, to the sound of Mrs. St. Claire’s hysterics as she tried to pull her precious dog away from the prize winning flowerbeds of Mrs. Daphne Dubois.

Only to have him pull up the flowers, and a human femur. It wasn’t long before the rumors circulated on the tiny, little street on a small town in the middle of no where. But not Mrs. St. Claire knocked on Mrs. Daphne Dubious door, with shaking hands, to show her what her little mongrel had found.

“D-d-d-aphne I’m so s-s-sorry. I don’t even know how he got in there. I’ll pay for them all, of course. But — — but — — “ she helplessly gestured to the bones that had been pulled out of the flower bed.

“Calm down, Alma St. Claire. You’re going into hysterics!” she went outside, a shawl over shoulders, and looked at what her friend had found. Human bones, strewn across the lawn by the dog. Her face paled, and she muttered a name she had not muttered in nearly twenty years. “Jameson.”

“Jameson? Y-y-your husband?” Mrs. St. Claire stammered.

“Yes, isn’t it obvious? That girl of his took care of the gardening before I learned how after he….departed. You knew me then.Didn’t have a green thumb, not till I devoted myself to flowers after he left.”

Mrs. St. Claire’s eyes widened. “Yes — — yes, of course. That makes absolute sense. She must have killed him because he wouldn’t leave you for her. Well — — Daphne, the police!”

Daphne reached over, and gripped Mrs. Alma St. Claire’s hand tightly. “Alma, my dear old friend, do you think you could call them for me? I…I don’t have the strength.”

Mrs. Alma St. Claire gripped Daphne Dubious hand. “Oh, yes…..poor dear…of course I’ll call them.”

“I’ll go back into the house,” said Mrs. Dubois, “to wait.”

“Yes, of course.”

Mrs. Dubois glanced at the bones of her husband, scattered, on her lawn and her face remained cool. Not a single tear shed. She retired to her home to wait, despite the on going hysteria that was fast filling Maybelle street. She went to her fridge, pulled out a pitcher of lemonade, poured herself a glass and then retired to the dining room table to drink and wait.

And in the first hour, Mrs. Dubois pulled out her hip flask, and poured whiskey into her lemonade. It was mid morning when the doorbell rang. She smoothed her greying, blond hair, then the skirt of her dress, and fiddled anxiously with the pearls around her neck that had been a gift from her husband. She got up, and she went to answer the door trying to make her face as cool as possible.

“Gentleman,” she said, to the two policemen that stood at her door.

“Mrs. Dubois,” said the tall, thin man with a brown mustache who was named Hank Haywood, “we’re here about the bones.”

“Yes,” she said, “I…I have reason to believe that it was my husband. There was a girl, you see, who worked for us as a gardener, taught me all about flowers you see and….”

Hank Haywood coughed, and put his hand up. “You don’t need to explain, Mrs. Dubois. This is Maybelle St. We know all of the scandals here.”

She gave him her former Beauty Pageant Queen smile. “Oh, well, bless your heart, Officer Haywood. I’m certain my dearly, departed husband will be in excellent care.”

“Of course, ma’am,” said Officer Haywood with a nod. He glanced at her flower beds, still all torn up. “Shame about your flowers, ma’am. They are a staple here. What’s your secret?”

She gave a girlish laugh. “Oh, you’re too kind. It’s the soil. Always the soil.”

“Well, at least there was only one. Good luck with the other.”

“Yes, good luck, indeed. Thank you, Officers.”

They nodded politely at her, with a tip of her hats, and then they went off with the ambulance that was carrying her husbands bones. When they were long gone, Mrs. Dubois went to the second flowerbed. And she went to work, tending her flowers.