Haunted October #8

He remembered the streets 

The businesses coming and going 

The lights 

The finances 

The music 

The cars.

He had been a part of all of that 

Helped build that 

But now everything was a phone 

Or an app 

And everyone was glued to their hands.

He had a wet bar 

Every night 

He would pour a drink 

As much as he wanted, he could never smoke and drink together. 

He saw the City change.
And somehow he disappeared. Like all of those businesses. Those start ups. 

He looked in the mirror. His skin and his gray hair. He was invisible even to himself. 

The years fly by like rain in the wind.

And there is something painful about growing old. No one ever tells you. Or maybe they did tell you, they were just part of that elderly chasm and you never heard them. 

After you reach a certain age. You become invisible. No one really hears you and no one really sees you. Not like they used to. 

They just group you all together, like a pile of dead leaves raked together and forgotten. 

Sometimes he wondered what happened and how it changed so fast.  One minute he was young and finishing college. The next morning  he was so old he could barely get out of bed. 

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Haunted October #7

She kept drinking. 

The lights faded down 

Somehow lost in the smoke 

And the music 

Terrible karaoke 

Someone attempting Sheryl Crow 

“There’s a favourite mistake.” I said nodding to the girl on the little stage.

“At least she’s trying.” Sam laughed.  “I’ve never seen you with a mic in your hand.” 

“You never will. That’s my power.” 

We made our way to the back.  Knocked on the office door.  It opened. Men in suits moved to block the door. “Holden Caulfield” I said. 

“There’s a password?” Sam asked as we walked in. 

“No one told ME a password. Why didn’t I know the password?” 

The smoke wasn’t so bad in here.

We sat at the table. There was a card game going on. Someone offered a drink. Sam started for a yes. 

“We’re fine.” I said. Taking the drink and stirring it. I handed it to the head of the table.

 “What’s the case, How did he die?”

The younger one in the middle kept cutting cards. He always handed out a card for a case. He wasn’t a big talker. Each agent knew his assigned neighborhood. And each card had a meaning. Like a fortune. 

” Middle age is a Dead Sea filled with quiet waters. That is no place for passion. His wife knew she could never match an erotic affair.  How could she?” 

“You’re saying his wife had him killed?”

He lit a cigarette. Rubbing his forehead. “No. I’m saying. The dead seeds bring a dead harvest.” 

“You have to think ahead. Short term vs long term. What did this do for the long haul. What were you thinking?” I said. 

Sam poured another drink. I sat down and turned a card over. Looking him in the eyes. There was sweat on his face. He was nervous. 

“Eric was – impulsive. Yes, but this is just bad business. He handled your cards well.” 

He stopped shuffling… 

“You’re not here for a job …”

“You are the job.” 

“Shit.”

“Exactly” 

His eyes panicked. Before he could move he fell face down on his own cards. Cold. 

No one moved. Sam and I slowly got up. 

I looked around the room. Setting the drink straw on the table. 

“We don’t have to make a mess, but remember who watches your assets. Your family could be broke in two hours.” 

We made our way out. Back through the crowd. The music a low hum. 

“Holden Caulfield?” Sam asked. 

” an annoying dick.”  I said .

She kept drinking and lit another cigarette. 

Haunted October #6

There it was the camera flashing 

Illuminating the barn 

The smell hanging thick in the air 

Like the humidity 

Everyone wanted their picture taken 

Everyone wanted to look the same 

Dead eyes 

Pale perfect  skin 

There was no blemish 

No stretch marks 

Life sized dolls 

The photographer 

Made his living this way 

He simply gave them what they wanted 

He had his own bills to pay 

But there they were 

He felt like a dressmaker 

Or an old con man selling sugar packets 

Dead eyes staring back at him…

Everything is copy.  

Haunted October #5

The house was quiet until the painting arrived. 

Just a girl in a chair. 

No one knows why 

But the oldest sister

She cared for the painting 

And she always laughed at the stories people told,when they could hear the girl crying. Or screaming through the house. 

“Don’t pay any attention. It’s just the wind coming in from the ocean. It echoes through these old walls.”

But things started moving. 

They went missing. 

During some parties 

The fire would go out 

Or if out 

It would suddenly burn to life…

The older sister 

she looked after the painting. 

She carried it everywhere she moved.

She never married. 

And sometimes at night she could be heard talking in the halls or the kitchen…and a girl could be heard answering her. 

Haunted October #4

The strangeness 

Of watching 

The towns you grew up in 

Slowly age 

Like dead weather 

Coming up in your lungs 

The colors fade 

Like winter 

Always dragging

The streets down 

No one ever gets ahead 

No one ever gets out 

You wear it 

Like leather 

And you age with it 

Maybe our stories 

Are all tied together 

Maybe this really is the winter of our discontent 

Did you drink it away

Did you kill it away 

Did you find your way 

Somewhere 

you find your shelter

You survive another day

Small towns with big hearts 

Big eyes 

Watching the world burn

Living on the ashes 

Calling it welfare 

Believing it can build a future 

Still I sit down

I write anyway 

Haunted October#3

I remember the first time I heard them. Walking through the house at night. Three am. The lights flooded through the windows. 

That was the night the neighbours house burned down. 

The following week they found the girl in the river. 

I hadn’t thought about it much, not until I was visiting a friend. And I saw the news. Another house burned down. 

The same street I grew up on. 

“Hey I’m sorry, excuse me.” I said. Stepping over this kid he was babysitting. She just kept looking at the tv. I went into the kitchen and asked them about the house. But they didn’t know anything. 

I decided I would drive out and look around.

“Hey what happened to the kid that was here earlier?.”

“What kid?” 

“The one that was right here.”

Both of them just looked at each other. “We don’t have a kid,man.”

Later that night I was getting ready for bed. Brushing my teeth, I got a cold chill while spitting in the sink. I looked into the mirror and saw the girl sitting on the washer behind me. Her hair was wet. 

The power went out just as I looked away.

Wet feet ran through the house. 

When the lights came on I couldn’t find anything.

Today they found another body in the river…

Haunted October #2

Things don’t happen all at once 

You don’t grow old all at once 

It happens slowly 

And then it just is 

And that’s what hurts

It was every day 

All the days 

You put that thing off 

Until 

Here you are 

Looking at yourself in the mirror 

Kingdoms  don’t fall in a day 

love doesn’t die in a day

“I want a divorce.”

I said it first 

We both had been thinking it 

I think she was angry 

Because I said it out loud before she could 

But there it was 

The all at once