Devlin Marsh’s Wife

” Why does Devlin Marsh’s wife  hang pictures of dead people on her walls?”

There are pictures of people in laying in coffins or sitting in chairs and they are surrounded by flowers and mourners and in one a dead girl,  her eyes flat and dull stares at you from forever.

I think Devilin’s wife is  named LaVerne, but I could be wrong.

I have never asked and most people don’t want to know about Devlin Marsh’s wife who came into the world on a night where a storm tore through her home town and the lighting strikes almost burned the hospital she was born in to the ground and after Devlin’s wife grew up most people wished it had.

Devlin Marsh’s wife, whose name could be LaVerne has pictures of old people and young people dressed for the grave hanging from the walls in her hallways and sewing room, in her sitting room and there is even one hanging in her pantry in a heavy silver frame where the dead man in the faded picture  looks all day at the food Devlin and (I think her name is) LaVerne will eat for their meals.

Devlin’s wife is good with a knife and she is a fine and patient cook- so Devlin has said  about his wife.

If I could ask- I think her name is LaVerne- one question I think I would ask about the one place in her house that does not have pictures of dead people hanging from a single wall.

It’s on  closet door in a spare room.

And it is nailed shut.

From the inside.

So I have heard.

Target Goes ” Mean Girls ” On Trick Or Treaters Homemade H’ween Costumes

I ran across this story about an ad that Target is running.

In it they are saying that unless you buy your kid a costume ( from them ) you are telling the entire world that  you are cheap and that you are pefectly willing to ruin your child’s Halloween and their entire childhood because of your cheapness.

What the heck?

When I was a kid this was how we went about costume shopping.

My parents made a big deal out of taking us to K-Mart to buy one of those plastic masks with the matching plastic costume, we’d chose out a treat bag and buy a pumpking on our way home with our loot. After that we’d spend the next few days trying our costumes on and if we were good we’d get to wear them for dinner until bed time.

On Halloween Day me and my friend- first it was Bonnie and then later Darrin- would spend the entire collecting rolls of toilet paper and eggs.

In  case you’re curious we’d go to our neighbors and say that we were out and our Moms had sent us over to borrow some. Today my husband says to me, ‘so basically you were defacing their property with their own toilet paper and eggs.

” Yeah” I told him.

“That’s evil he says.”

” We were just being practical. ” I said in defense of my childhood self. ” If we took the stuff from our own houses our Moms always noticed and we’d get busted.

Busted means that they would send our Dads Trick or Treating with us.


 We’d spend an hour or so running from block to block hiding our stash and then we’d have to race home, put together the costumes we were actually going to wear, find a place to stash those and then we’d go home and change into our K-Mart Costumes to wear for pictures ( and BTW yes I DID love those- ) We would trick or treat a few houses in those and then… and then….

We would change into whatever we wanted.

Sometimes that change involved swapping costumes parts, adding to our costumes or making something at the last minute out of paper bags and clothes that we found in our Grandparents closets. We probably looked like a mess, but who cares? We didn’t then and all I remember now is the fantastic times we had.

I believe that on Halloween of all nights you dance with them that brought you- have some fun, but I would advise chose who brings you with care and humor.


Here’s what people on YouTube are saying about the Target Ad

Mocking kids/parents who have the creativity and drive to make their own costumes. Way to go, Target. You should be real proud of this one.

Wow, this is a great message for people during a recession! Go buy the crappy printed on plastic crap for twenty bucks instead, really Target?! Or I could sew something awesome (a Jedi and a fairy princess this year) that will be totally unique and durable, instead of cheap, disposable, and just like every other kid.

Why spend time with your kid making something together for Halloween, when you can just go to Target and spend $19 for a memory that will last, oh say, two days?
Way to go, Target! Spending time with those little rugrats is overrated, anyway.

And meanwhile on Reddit, there’s a popular thread called “Target Makes Moms and Kids Feel Like Sh*t for Having Homemade Costumes,” where this comment basically sums up the tone:

The idea of it being a bad thing to make your own costume is ridiculous. Making costumes is a great way for parents to bond with their children and create happy memories.

A Jezebel commenter writes:

Unless Target is treating me to free drinks and an evening of Chuck Norris jokes, I think I’ll stick to homemade, thanks.

Annals of Amoral Advertising, Part One: Target Despises Homemade Halloween Costumes

Sweet Screams

“A woman is sitting alone in a house. She knows she is alone in the whole world; every other living thing is dead. The doorbell rings.”

Thomas Bailey Aldrich  circa 1870:

“He sat alone in the dark, afraid. Someone put matches in his hand.”

A Ghost Story- Author Unknown


Walk Into My Parlor
– by Mary Howitt

“Will you walk into my parlor?”
said the spider to the fly;
“Tis the prettiest little parlor that you ever did spy.
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show when you are there.”
“Oh no, no!” said the little fly,
“to ask me is in vain;
For who goes up your winding stair
can never come down again.”

Indiya’s Uncle


Indiya Olencia was sitting in a hospital room, with her Uncle on the last day of his life.

She was sitting on a chair next to the window watching the snow fall and he was watching something on TV.

” Indy, did I ever tell you about the two old ladies out in the hall?”

” What hall? This one?”

” No, the one on the ship, that cruise I took when I was in my early twenties. They were in that hall.”

” Nope. I don’t think so”

” Well, It was the strangest conversation I’d ever heard- and it haunts me to this day.”

Indy wasn’t sure how she should feel about a dieing man telling her a story that was haunting him to his grave, still she told him- ” what did you hear?”

” We were having this costume party- it was Halloween and for a few days up to the night people were talking about their costumes. Some brought them on board and others were putting them together there on the ship.

I had my cabin door open when I hear this one lady say, ” You know what I’d like to be for Halloween?”

Then I hear this other lady say, ” I have no idea. “

” Alive. Alive would be nice.”

All Indiya could think to say to that was, ” yeah?”

” That’s what I heard. I was curious how you dress up to look alive so I go to my door and open it and look down the hall and it’s empty. Empty as a tomb. I figured they must have gone into one of the other cabins. I’ll be honest with you Indy, I’ve spent my entire life saying that’s what they did.”

Indiya’s Uncle who was about to fall asleep in the next few minutes and would be dead shortly after that looked at her.

One of his eyes was halfway closed, the other was wide opened- she looked directly into the opened one and she nodded. ” Then she looked out the window and watched the snow falling, heavier now and she figured that she would spend the rest of her life telling herself the same thing.

Once Upon A Nightmare

” Once I had a nightmare ” my friend Domino told me ” about this witch who tried to break into my house “

” Okay, ” I tell Domino thinking this sounds like a good story to kill that long bus ride home from Seattle ” so how did it go? “

“Well, in my dream I heard my dog crying and in my dream I woke up and went and looked out my bedroom window. “

” And your dog was…”

” Hanging from a tree. “

” Like Hell you say. “

” It’s true, so I tried to run down my hallway to help get her out of the tree but the floor was gone and all I saw where the floor should have been was this dark pit filled with people with snake’s eyes and they were talking to me in a language I couldn’t understand.”

” I really hate it when that happens…” Domino looks at me a little strangely and I say ” you know… in my dreams.”

” Well sure.  So anyway I go back to my bedroom and crawl out my window and then I fall into my rose bushes. “

I turned that image over in my mind a few times..

Domino isn’t into breaking a sweat for any reason- she wouldn’t run wouldn’t run from Lizzie Borden  swinging an ax to save her own  life so I couldn’t begin to imagine her crawling out of a window.

I smiled and encouraged she went on.

” When I get outside there’s this woman standing by Tippy and she’s got her back turned towards me. As much as I want to help Tippy I don’t want her, whoever she is, to turn around.”

” No. ” I tell Domino. ” You certainly do not want that.  It’s a psychology thing…”

” Yeah well, she doesn’t turn around. She just reached up and grabs Tippy by her neck and yanks down. “

” Damn. ” I say ” So what did you do?”

” I run back to my front door and just as I run through it, the door slams shut and I throw myself against it…and I can feel the knob turning in my hand and just before it opens I lock it.”

” Good for you. “

” It didn’t matter, because the door swung open and pushed me back and then the Witch came in with Tippy. She was dragging Tippy by the rope and then Tippy opened her eyes and- she wasn’t Tippy anymore.”

” What was she? “

” Dead.” Domino says sadly. ” And I started to cry and scream for Tippy not to leave me and then I woke up.”

” Look, it was only a dream right? I mean Tippy isn’t really dead and the Witch didn’t get you.”

Domino looks at me and I look at her and Domino asks me if I think she’ll have that awful nightmare again.

 ” Domino”  I say as I  pull a rope from out of my pocket ” you’re not awake yet.”

Anna’s Mirrors

There is legend

about a girl named


who was not sane-

and one day her family sent her away to be cured

at a hospital

on a road

out in the middle of nowhere.

There were bars on all of the windows.


The Doctors

who were not sane

locked her in a room full of mirrors

and the things that lived in Anna’s Brain

the things that drove her insane

went to live in the mirrors

where it was dark and quite and they didn’t have to listen to

Poor Anna’s Brain scream and scream and scream anymore.


One day

for no reason at all

the people died and the hospital died

and so did the things that hid under the beds

and in the closets.


Now Anna’s Mirrors hang from walls

in houses and libraries and shops and hotels


some are hanging in buildings with rats in the walls.


 If by an unlucky

turn of fate

you find

one of the cool dark mirrors that hung in poor Anna’s room

in the hospital where the Doctors were not sane

and you press your ear to the glass

you can  hear


moving around in there

and that something

that was  never sane

used to live inside of

Poor Anna’s Brain

Bancho Church Has A Grave Thought

Bancho Church is a horror writer- at least that’s what he gets paid to do and that’s what he says he does for a living and on good days he’ll say to himself, ” I am a horror writer ” and mentally he gives himself a big kiss.

But when Bancho has days where he spends most of his time watching video clips on his computer and chatting on-line with his friends he doesn’t feel like a writer. On those days he wishes he had stuck with his original line of work- he used to be the top salesman for a company that sold pathology equipment.

When he had down days at Waxons he’d clock out and go to the bar around the corner and drink beer and eat peanuts until he had either picked his spirits up or drowned them in a  sea of Dark Ale.

Now when he had down days with his writing he goes outside and does yard work.

So that is where Bancho was the day he saw the old lady waiting at the bus stop across the street from where he lives.

She was wearing a bright red coat to protect herself from the chilly fall air and she was wearing a hat decorated with birds and fruit to cover her almost shoulder length gray hair to- well- as near as Bancho could figure it out- she wore that for fun.

Bancho waved and the old lady slowly raised her arm waved back and then Bancho turned away from the street and started to rake leaves.

There were millions of them.

Millions and millions he was thinking over and over again because he wasn’t thinking about anything useful- like maybe the book he was working on- when he reached down to scoop up the pile of leaves at his feet to put them into the yard waste bin.

They crumbled almost to dust in his hands.

He dropped them into the open bin and started to rake up another pile- and as he did the dark wet leaves curled a little on the edges and started to break apart.

He kicked at the pile with his foot and looked up.

The old lady in the red coat raised her arm again to wave and this time when she waved she wiggled her fingers too.

He waved back.

Bancho moved the little pile of leaves around with his foot and some of them broke apart and the ones that didn’t almost did.

Bancho felt a cool  blast of air make stroll by and he heard it make its way up into the tree’s  branches around him and leaves- some red others gold and lots of still green leaves fell into yards and the street for as far as Bancho could see.

And he knew that if he were to walk to each and every one of those leaves and picked them up in small bunches in his hand or step on them they would crumbled to dust.

The old lady in the red coat with the birds on her hat shrugged.

” Well. ” Bancho thought to himself ” The leaves are dieing. That’s what they do in the fall. They fall from the trees and they die because-“

Bancho ground a fresh green leaf to a fine powder  and he said out loud ” they get old.”

Bancho looked up and across the street and the Old Lady was now hatless.  Her hat was now on her left hand and she was twirling it on one finger.

And then from down the street Bancho could hear the bus coming towards them.

It crawled to a stop and Bancho could see the Old Lady make her way to the back of the bus and she wasn’t moving like an old woman.

She bounced down the aisle  and he could see her swing into a seat and he saw her, as the bus slid away waving to him- at least he thought it was her- he saw the red coat and she was actually waving her hat at him- but the woman he saw had long dark hair.

It couldn’t have been her, he thought as he reached for his rake.

What had he just seen, he asked himself A Vampire who feeds off of leaves to make herself young?

Bancho laughed at himself  as he pulled his rake along the ground and when the sharp pain shot up from the middle of his back and he was forced, for a few minutes to support himself against his rake he tried to  keep on laughing.

But he could not.