(Online exclusive! Spooky Story to Tell in the Driftless submission)
By S.A. Olinger
Adult Fiction Entry
Gabby heard boo-hoo, boo-hoo. A child crying but from where?
She was the only one of her large noisy family who seemed to hear it.
She looked to see if anyone was missing. One mom, one dad, one grandma, two sisters, one baby brother and an old dog. All here, but what had she heard over the din of the whole family?
There it was again, boo-hoo, boo-hoo. Maybe it was a hooting owl. Gabby slipped outside to the front porch knowing no one would notice she was even missing.
The moon was full and bright, with clear skies overhead, the kind of dark you can see in. The porch swing was swaying and creaking as the house flag snapped and flapped in the autumn wind. There it is a third time, boo-hoo, boo-hoo, and it was close too. Like right there on the front porch. Gabby was scared but curious. She didn’t scream but wanted to. Instead, Gabby lowered her head and squinted into the moon lite darkness. She slowly looked to her left and then to her right, scanning every inch of familiar scenery by memory and looking for anything different, or out of place. And there in the corner tucked below the railing was a young girl, crying. Her knees were tucked up under her bowed head. She seemed to be dressed all in black, including a pointy hat.
Still Gabby held her scream although she felt it could burst out at anytime. Gabby took a deep breath, stood firm than slowly approached the crying girl. Halfway there the girl stopped crying and raised her head looking straight at Gabby, who was looking at her. Their eyes locked and at the same time they both yelled, who are you? They both were startled. Gabby jumped backward while the stranger started to rise. Once on her feet she took a step toward Gabby and said BOO! Gabby’s head swayed back although she held her ground.
Gabby asked again who are you?
The frazzled stranger was wide eyed yet silent, as she seemed to slowly float toward Gabby. Gabby noticed her tear streaked face and asked are you lost? What’s your name, I’m Gabby?
Unsure what else to do the girl said, my name is Mollie, and I’m kinda lost from my mom and my aunties. I’m gonna be in such big trouble and I don’t know how to find them?
Suddenly there was a rush of air, followed by a hoo-hoo followed by an erie MOLL – LLIE. Mollie croaked like a toad…twice. Before Gabby knew it Mollie whisked past her spinning her around.
What happened next happened fast. Slowly, three figures stepped out from behind trees and quickly mounted brooms and flew toward the moon. Mollie was whooshed away by another woman on a broom who told Mollie, jump on.
Gabby waved good bye to five pointy hatted figures all in black riding brooms as they flew into the dark sky one chilling October night.