My long-time friend and fellow writer, Jeanette McSherry, also had a story read in the recent episode of the Alone In A Room With Invisible People podcast, along with my own. She asked me to post her story online for her since she doesn’t have her own site yet.
This story came about when we were discussing story ideas driving along in the car. She was trying to come up with a Hallowe’en themed story and I told er to mash-up two unexpected things.
‘Like what?” she asked.
‘Well, first take a concept from Hallowe’en, or the horror stories you’ve written.’
‘Okay, killers. What else?’
‘Next look around you and pick something at random from the environment and mash it together with your first concept.’
At that point we were driving past a field of cows. And that is how this story was born.
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by Jeanette McSherry
Bubba and Leroy were the only kids on Hemlock Lane, so it was imperative they be friends. Bubba’s Dad owned a stretch of cornfield and a pasture on the eastern bank of Raccoon Holler. Leroy’s Papa helped till the fields, plant and now near Halloween harvest a crop of pumpkins. Both boys, being seven years old, were susceptible to scary stories and Bubba, like his Grandpaw was a gifted storyteller.
“Did you see that scarecrow Dad put up last week? Every morning it’s plum torn to shreds.” Bubba said as he stroked Spooky, their black cat.
“There’s nobody but us in these here parts to be up to no mischief.” In the fading light, Leroy’s face was too dark to show the fear reflected in his eyes. “Maybe the birds were hungry or needed the hay to make nests.”
“Nope, the clothes looked like something with claws had ripped them apart. And the jack-o-lantern Dad used as a head is smashed to pieces.”
“Well who do you think done it?” Leroy asked.
“Who else? The cows.”
“Cows don’t do no shit like that,” Leroy replied, taking a good look at the setting sun. “We should get back before we get a licking.”
As they walked through the rows of corn, the little black boy reached out and held his fiend’s hand. Before they reached the pasture, rain clouds had obscured the last rays of sunlight. A pregnant, haloed moon was visible coming over the horizon. It looked about the size of a barn – only bigger.
Approaching the trees near the driveway, the boys heard something rustle.
“Come on,” Leroy hissed, reluctant to take off running without his friend.
“Ah, it’s just one of the cows. Probably Marybelle,” Bubba said bravely.
Something huge and dark blocked their path. Leroy began to shake. “It’s a bear” Leroy declared.
“Is not. Probably just one’s of Farmer Quid’s bulls got out. Don’t run though, it might chase you. Stay calm. Let’s back up towards the corn.”
Leroy did not like the idea of going back into the darkness. He moved west towards the pumpkin patch. Two, three, more cows blocked their path. One of them moo’d and Leroy jumped a good two feet. The bull charged.
Bubba ran towards the cornfield. Leroy screamed for a second, then all was as still as a grave. Hiding, his heart throbbing and tears running down his face, Bubba remained unable to move until morning. When he heard his Dad’s voice calling for him at dawn, he struggled to find his way towards the house. He had to pass the pumpkin patch.
Leroy’s bloody body lay crumpled beneath the scarecrow. The new jack-o-lantern had been cut in half to cover the boy’s trampled skull. Spooky, licking blood off Leroy’s face, meowed.
You can find out more about Jeanette at her Facebook page: