Tell Me About Azalee

by anita marie moscoso

inspired by the Soul Food Cafe story prompt

Fractured Fairy Stories

 

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When visitors go up to Picnic Point they wait for the Children, the Elderly or people with delicate sensibilities to walk away and then they’ll turn to someone like Carmelia Colven and say,  ” Tell me about Azalee Scarett. “

Then that person- in this instance it’s Carmelia- will make sure it’s just the two of you and then she’ll tell you all about Azalee. She won’t hold anything back- by the time she’s done you’ll feel like you know Azalee.

You can count on it.

Azalee’ s story starts on the day Mrs. Whimmer went to get her mail

Right beside her mailbox laying on its side was a little black shoe and Mrs. Whimmer wondered  ‘why on earth was there a little black shoe just sitting there without a child’s foot inside of it?’

It went without saying, Mrs. Whimmer thought, that one needed the other to function properly.

Then a few feet away from the shoe she saw something else and she thought over and over again; why on earth would there be a child’s arm and hand just lying there in the road instead of being attached to a child?

One couldn’t function properly without the other Mrs. Whimmer’ s brain screamed at her.

Poor Mrs. Whimmer, her brain never did stop screaming.

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Carmelia will take another look around and then she’ll lean a little closer and whisper-

So on the very same day they find the Greene kids scattered over a mile of road who should be standing there at the end of the road but Azalee.

She was leaning against a tree and picking her teeth with a tooth pick.

When she saw the Sheriff and the rest of the- well I guess you could call them a Search Party- she pointed to something in the middle of the road and she said ‘ I’m not sure, but that looks like a shin bone to me.’

And it was.

One of the men from the Search Party swears that when he reached over to pick up the little bone he heard a growl- and he was willing to swear on the life of his children that growl he heard came from Azalee.

 

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As the weeks wore on it wasn’t just parts of the Greene children they found on the road in front of Azalee’ s house- they found the rib cage of a bear, the hind quarter of a cow, fish with their heads torn off and upon occasion small brittle bones stained by the soil they had rested in undisturbed for who knows how many years.

Then after month and month of finding dead things scattered along Burbeck Road some people in town started to feel like maybe they should have a talk with Azalee.

Maybe, a few people thought she’d seen or heard something.

The only reason no one had spoken to Azalee up to that point was simple. No one could believe that a woman could have anything to do with a cow being torn apart and scattered around like confetti. Yes, even though it looked like most of those parts were littering the ground straight up to Azalee’ s door.

So it was just before Christmas when the snows came and the roads iced over and four empty graves were found at the Abernethy county cemetery that moved the County Law Enforcement figured a conversation with Miss Scarett was in order.

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Even though plenty of people had seen Azalee in town and walking along the road to her home there were no tracks around her house or going up to her door. That’s what the Sheriff and his Deputy noticed when they went to Azalee Scarett ‘s house bright and early on a Tuesday morning. 

I guess you could say it was quiet as a grave out there.

They were about to knock on the door when they heard a cracking sound and then a pop and then the Deputy looked down to where his arm use to be and then he sank down to his knees and all you could hear was the dieing man’s final breath.

It was as loud as a gunshot.

When the Sheriff turned around Azalee was standing there with her hand covered in blood and the Deputy’s arm at her feet and then she smiled and said, ” Hell of a morning, isn’t it Sheriff. “

And then she smiled.

 It didn’t matter to the Sheriff that he was younger and taller and stronger then Azalee- never mind that he had a gun too.

He didn’t have Azalee’ s teeth- so he ran.

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It’s sort of a town scandal- how all these people let an old woman murder at least a dozen people- 4 were children. Not to mention what was going on in that Cemetery and those animals.

So one morning there was a fire, right here at Picnic Point.

No one knows how it started but they do know that hanging from a downed tree was a burned up piece of rope and in the ashes were buttons from a woman’s dress.

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The way the town ended this thing was to demolish Azalee’ s house-, which by the way was dusty and empty except for a few things they found in the kitchen.

Oh, and the place where the fire was? They turned it into a park and called it Picnic Point.

Which is pretty twisted when you consider what Azalee was suppose to be doing to her victims.

” And what was that…exactly ” you’ll ask Carmelia with a wince.

And then Carmelia will tell you,

 Fee fi fo fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman:
Be he alive, or be he dead,
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread!

How Does My Garden Grow?

by anita marie moscoso

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I recently answered a comment about what it takes to write a Supernatural Story and this in part was my answer. I also thought it would be fun to ‘show my work’ and explain a little of how I go about writing stories for Owl Creek.

amm

I’d have to say  anyone who’s ever been in a situation where your heart raced and you felt scared or angry or alone can write a ‘ camp fire ‘ ghost story.

Of course I can’t tell you HOW to write- but here are a few things you should keep in mind when you take this genre on:

The  Supernatural ( and I mean all aspects of it ) are based firmly in psychology. If you leave that element out you get the typical blood and guts horror stuff.

Now, that not scary, it’s just gross.

The next thing to keep in mind is that the best ghost stories or supernatural stories always, always, always deal with one small grain of reality and you can’t loose sight of that- once you do you’re going to make your readers feel ’safe’ and you’ll lose them.

They won’t experience your story at all because you’ve removed them from it.

As a writer WHY on Earth would you do that?

Like in Not Quite Alice the little boys who start the fire on the Ferris Wheel are just two normal little kids. The Circus people are actually from the ” Twilight Zone” but guess who turns out to be the Monsters in the end?

That’s right, the human characters.

And because the boys are two kids who could be living right next door to you  right now…that’s much more scary then any Circus Folk  working in a Sideshow.

I got the idea for IOU from a story I read on -line about how people don’t really like to share seats on a bus or train and the little things they do to make sure people WON’T sit next to them.

I was fascinated by that because I see it all the time.

Back to IOU, this guy works in Heaven and Lives in Hell- his Boss is God and the Devil is his Landlord and the train is a demon but they’re not what your unnerved by.

You’re unerved by the guy who shoves two souls into oblivion so that he won’t have to live next door to them in Hades.

All of that is subtext really and I didn’t dwell on it- what gets you is the guy shoving the people off the train with his bare hands- nothing supernatural there. But you can relate because a lot of us poor souls have been hurt at the hands of another at one point in our lives.

And THAT is scary.

So if you feel inclined to tell you’re own Scary Story just remember there are no rules with this genre, just ‘keep it real’ as the kids say and you’re story will go a very long way- Into the Eternal Night-

Good Luck

amm

thanks to Jan2 and Edith for the inspiration!

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