At The Fork In The Road

 

As a rule if you have to explain a story you probably have a problem with it-like it’s not ready to be told yet.

However, I’m going to explain this one for a very good reason.

I wrote it as part of a project at the Soul Food Cafe.  Recently  I was reading through the older work that I’ve done there and I came across this story- and liked it. I liked the way the characters played off of each other and I liked the feel of the Diner in the middle of nowhere.

To wrap this up,  this story is my very own version of Frankenstein’s Monster and being that Halloween is coming I thought I would  done some edits to try to help it stand on its own. There were about three ‘chapters’ before this one and almost as many after it, so if you feel as if you’ve walked in on the middle of a conversation, you are right.

So in the Spirit of that, please come along with me to

The Fork In The Road

 

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I am traveling through a place called The Valley of The Bones in a bright red jeep with my friend who was stitched together from body parts stolen ( it’s not like they give them away you know ) from a cemetery by his parents and until very recently was hiding in a house owned by a crazy man who killed his wife and in the end had a famous poem written about them by a famous writer with a drug problem.

What will appeal to the public now days is getting to be very predictable.

Anyway, back to my story:

As you can see I guess my friend’s parents  really wanted a kid.

I’ve always really wanted a dog but look- unlike some people I have limits for what I would do to get one.

My name is Sunny Longyear and friend’s name is:

” Milo.  After all of these years I  still can’t believe your parents named you Milo.” I make sure to snort and laugh extra loud- even though this stopped being funny about 600 miles ago.

” And I can’t believe you had parents. With you I see some sort of spawning scenario.” Milo is shading his eyes- I guess the light is hurting them.

Good I thought to myself.

That spawn comment was mean.

” Hey. That’s funny. You want to hear something funnier then that?” I ask as I reach into my under the driver’s seat where I store important stuff like breath mints and lip gloss and my Pez Dispensers.

” No.”

” Well, this is not a magical journey-” I say as I pull my favorite sunglasses from under the seat and toss them on Milo’s lap. ” This Jeep is not magic. We are getting low on gas.”

” I know something funnier then that.” Milo tells me.   Didn’t hear what those people were saying when you told them where we were going? Oh no wait. You couldn’t have. You were- oh how did you put it- you were resting your eyes on the bar. … Let me refresh your memory, they told you to not drive through the Valley of the Bones, they told you to stay out of it, they told you it was a stupid, stupid idea. So what did you do first thing this morning?”

” I bought this  jeep and stocked up on Pez and Water. But I forgot to find a Valley Of The Bones map. My bad.”

” God.”

“As a rule Milo, I think it’s a dumb idea to buy a car on the fly. But what I really like about this vehicle, no matter what it’s faults will be down the road is this-  it  doesn’t talk.” I point out to Milo then I turn on the radio. ” It does that instead. Pretty neat- don’t you think?

” What am I doing here?” Milo looks like he’s about to jump out of the Jeep and take his chances with the a giant scab of land called The Valley of The Bones when we go up and over a hill and there right in the middle of the road- is a Diner called.

” The Fork In The Road.”

There are gas pumps out front, an old fashioned Soda  Pop Machine with motor that was working extra hard because of the heat and a tin sign that was being pushed back and forth in a breeze of wind that was not there.

” Well. This is convenient.” I say to Milo.

” Yes. It is.”

” We should probably just keep going.” I say.

” I think so.”

” Pump or Pay?” I ask

Milo reaches over and I hand him some cash and then he goes, all alone  to

The Fork In The Road.

coke-sign

After what seemed like hours ( you stand there and pump gas in over 100 degrees, I promise you that minutes will indeed turn into hours and hours in a matter of seconds ) the Jeep’s tank was full, I wanted to leave and I could see Milo through a dusty window talking to a woman in a yellow and white dress with a cap on her head, and I’m not thinking waitress when I see her- I’m thinking

…Nurse…

and on the heels of that thought I start to see keys…keys and locks and doors that only lock and open from the outside and then I run straight into the diner before I can change my mind.

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 Milo is looking at the Woman and the woman is looking at him and the Diner is cool and dark. There is only one table and two chairs in the entire diner and the menu on the wall behind the cash register says:

TODAY’S SPECIAL:

YOU!

Welcome To The Fork In The Road

breakfast served all day long

Brother I think to myself  as I read the sign -would you like some crackers  with that CHEESE?

” Hey Milo, did you pay up? We have to go…”

The Waitress ( Nurse, it’s a Nurse  but I won’t let that thought live in my head for to long ) says to me while looking at Milo ” You’re friend was asking me if we had a map. Of course what you need in a place like The Bones is a guide.”

” Really.” I practically shout at Milo’s back hoping that will make him turn around.

” This one, ” she says to me ” stinks of the grave and one doesn’t have to look very deep to see how flawed it is.”

“It- he has his moments.” I say as I try to figure out why she thinks Milo is a guide.

” He’ll do in a pinch…but…”

” Time to hit the asphalt Milo, let’s get a move on- ” I grab Milo’s arm and pull him away from The Waitress ( Nurse ) and when I look at him I can see his glasses are off and…

” You took his eye! You sick piece of work, give it back!”

The Waitress pulls a lace hanky from a pocket in the front of her apron and she dabs the corners of her mouth with it and then she delicately folds it and puts it back.

If she burps, I’m going to pull her heart out of her chest with my bare hands I think.

Instead of burping she says:

” Leave it here.  Leave it here and I will guarantee your safety anywhere in this Valley- even beyond it. I can do that. Let’s sweeten the deal- being as you were kind enough to make a delivery to my establishment- I think that is in order. Let’s say  I’ll even find  something more proper to guide you.  What do you say?”

” I say that the day I need help from a nasty  grave robbing  Ghoul  that’s the day I go back to my house in the suburbs, paint it pink, get married and get a dog named Spot. That’s what I say.

Milo. Door. NOW.”

I reach down and grab my sunglasses off of the floor and as I do I catch a familiar scent coming up from the floor.

I know that smell, I used to smell it everyday for over 20 years at work at the Funeral Home.

 I know that smell.

It’s embalming fluid.

And

The Fork In The Road

Diner-

the diner that serves breakfast from dusk to Dawn

 reeks of it.

12

Milo and I are standing next to the Jeep I have named Tomo and he’s saying we need to just get in drive and I tell him, ” I know how to get rid of that thing. ” I say as I point to the diner.

The Waitress is in the Window looking at us and by the time the sunsets she will be on the in front of the window and by the time night falls on The Bones she will be out on the road doing what Ghouls have always done.

” She took your eye and ate it Milo.”

“Well, technically it wasn’t my eye to begin with.”

You know- Milo does have a point.

” Look. Just tell me. Why do you want me to let it live. Just answer me that. That Ghoul  is one nasty piece of work and if this place were to burn to the ground with her the world would not miss either one of them.  In fact, it might just be a better place for it.”

Milo gets into the Jeep and takes the sunglasses off and as he wipes the dust off of them with the tail of his shirt he says, ” I don’t think either one of us are in a position to say who lives or dies in this world. I think we should leave that to the people who actually live in it.”

He looks right at me and I look into Milo’s empty eye socket and I agree.

I climb up into the jeep and turn the key.

And then we drive away.

 

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The Ghost Lady

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My favorite part of Christmas wasn’t the presents or the food or even the free Sideshow that my family and friends provided that I in turn have shamelessy used in my writing years later

My family and friends are in ALL of my stories.

Anyway.

The best part was when we’d turn off most of the house lights, light some candles sit around the lit Christmas Tree and do the only thing you could do after a hard day of eating and drinking and making Merry.

We’d tell stories.

Everyone had a chance to tell a story- no matter how old or young – you got a chance to have the floor and tell stories like that one about that time when….

My Grandfather Saw The Ghost Lady

One of my Grandfathers was a dark haired Englishman and the other was a dark haired Filipino man and they both shared a similar experience.

They both saw the same woman at the same time- and they were living on opposite sides of the world.

So, in your minds eye picture my English Grandfather driving his 1940 Ford Coupe- his dark hair slicked back and wearing a snazzy suit- down the unlit rural streets of a town just outside of Seattle.

It’s a cold night because it’s Christmas Eve and it had started to snow a little that afternoon and the roads were icy and dangerous but that was fine with the dashing handsome man with my laugh that would one day become my Grandfather because he’s a good driver and he has no intention of not showing up at his family’s house in time for Christmas Dinner.

And somewhere in the Canefields on the big Island of  Hawaii my other Grandfather- a dark handsome man with jet black hair and my eyes- is driving  something called a Willy’s Jeep- through the dark fields towards his home along the bluff of the Waipio Valley where his family is waiting for him to bring home the treats for their Christmas Party.

And as they almost reach their homes they each see standing on the side of the road- a woman.

Her hair is white and her eyes are green .

She’s wearing a black dress and her hair is pulled back and she’s wearing rings on all of her fingers.

Each of them pulls up to the side of the road and asks the woman if she needs help.

” No” she tells them. ” I just need a ride.”

” To where ” they ask.

 She leans in and whispers, ” Why, I want to go to wherever it is you’re going.”

Both of them don’t like her- they don’t like the way her hand rests on the hoods of their car, they don’t like the way she sounds, they don’t like the way she seems very sure she’s going to get what she wants.

” You can’t come with me. ” they tell her.

The Woman slams her palm down and the Car and the Jeep tilt a little to the left and she says, ” I go where I want- do you hear me? And what I want is for you to let me in!”

Both of my Grandfathers start to pull away and that’s when they look down and see that the hem of the woman’s dress is floating a little above the ground- where her feet should be.

But weren’t.

When they looked backup into her face she was smiling.

” I travel these roads but I don’t walk them.”

Did she tell you how she traveled them? I asked over 30 years later.

Neither man answered me.

Their story always ended with them driving off and the Ghost Lady being pulled back into the trees at the side of the road or the canfields by the shadows.

I think she did answer and in the end when they died I think they won- whatever that Ghost Lady said, whatever curse or threat she made- got left on those roads years ago.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if they had let her in, would I be here to tell you this story?

I could answer it if you like…or you could leave it here on the side of the road.

The choice is yours.

Happy Holidays

from

amm

Merry Christmas From Anita’s Bridge

 Just a few shiny decorations to help you get into the Spirit ( ha, ha ) of things during Christmas- of course I write about werewolves and curses and pychos sooooo…..it may not be the traditional sparkly stuff but it is fun.

Happy Christmas from

Your Faithful Storyteller:

amm

And open this door ( well, click the Pic ) and enjoy a

 Universal Horror Christmas Carol

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funny pictures
moar funny pictures

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GO TO:

LIVE FROM ROSWELL

Don’t ask why…just click

 

now- go forth or stay in the shadows-

whatever jingles your bells

and

like my Mom says:

It’s the Holidays, it’s for everyone

enjoy yourself!