FULL STOP

April Storybood Corner prompt

Copyright–Adam Ickes

This is my story this month of April for Storybook Corner hosted by Adam Ickes. Each story is supposed to be 300-500 words in length and inspired by the photo prompt given that month by Adam. http://adamickes.workpress.com/2014/04/21/storybook-corner-prompt-april/

FULL STOP by P.S. Joshi

As I barreled down Macklyn Road on my way home, I felt dead tired as usual. I’d worked my tail off putting in overtime at my hardware store in Rayford. I don’t get paid spit as I’m my own boss. Sometimes I wish I was back at Rigbee’s, the big chain store in Cincinnati. The pay was poor but I had regular hours.

Our home is an old remodeled farmhouse at the end of Benson Road that crosses Macklyn. For some doggone reason a fool in the past had the county put a stop sign where the two dirt roads intersect. I figure the guy had influence or it would never have happened. The only purposes the sign serves is to collect money for the county and as a target for hunters in the area. The thing’s like a sieve.

I stopped as it would be just my luck a sheriff’s patrol would be out to check that night. The county uses every excuse it can find to squeeze a few extra bucks out of us. My high beams were on as it was black out as  printer’s  ink. All at once they caught and held somebody standing along side the road.

I slowed to a crawl and thought, “Should I offer help?” The guy looked like hell: torn clothes, blood smears on his face, missing teeth. I stopped and spoke out my open window.

“What’s the matter buddy? Need help?”

He looked dazed. “Where…where am I? I don’t understand. Where’s my wife? She was sitting right beside me in the car. I can’t find her. She might be hurt and I can’t find her.”

“Get in buddy and I’ll take you into town to the sheriff’s office. They’ll send out a search party.”

“I…I don’t know. I hate to leave with her laying out there some place. She could be dying.”

“Get in buddy. You’ll never find her on your own.”

Reluctantly he opened the passenger-side door and climbed in. He looked even worse up close. It was a hot night and I’d shut off the air-conditioner but  felt a chill.

I decided to try and make conversation. “You  from around here?”

“Yeah. We live in the old farm house at the end of Benson Road.”

“Buddy you can’t live there. That’s where my wife and I live. We’ve lived there for five years. It was the old McDermott place.”

He studied my face. “But I’m Mack McDermott. That’s impossible! I know where we live!”

I stiffened. I’d just remembered what I’d been told in town. The McDermott’s had died in a terrible car crash six years before.

I turned to look at my passenger. The seat was empty.

At home, my wife look worried.  “Jack,” she said, “What’s the matter? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Still shaky, now sweating, I swallowed hard. “You’ll never believe me.”

ogre-castle-words

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23 thoughts on “FULL STOP

    • Thanks, HM, for reading my story and commenting. I’m glad you liked it. My ghost stories are a bit scary, but not extremely so. I have a limit when I read things also. I admire Stephen King’s ability and had my son buy his book on writing, but I don’t read his horror books. I’m subject to nightmares as I have a big imagination. I watched one season of The Walking Dead on TV because an actor friend of my daughter’s is in it, but that was the limit. My daughter doesn’t watch it either. 🙂

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      • I’m not a big Steven King fan either, but I have read his book on writing. I admire his writing skills.
        I have friends who love the Walking Dead, but I’m not interested in Zomies. They’re too ugly.
        In honor of those friends, I’ve written a few humorous short stories about them and Zombies.

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      • When I saw that lonely-looking country road, I thought “ghosts” so I made it dark. When it comes to Zombie stories, they sometimes get fairly brutal and there’s a limit to how much blood and gore I can take. While I know it’s the work of the technicians, I have a big imagination and it looks “very” real due to their artistry.

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    • Thanks, Adam, for reading my story and commenting. I’m glad you liked it. 🙂 When I saw what looked like a country road, I thought “ghost.” I never thought I’d be writing ghost stories but I find I enjoy it. It might be addictive like Friday Fictioneers. XD

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    • Good for you! I’ll go and read your story. I’m having a bit of trouble off and on commenting on other people’s blogs. My comment gets wiped out. So if you just get a “Like”, that seems to be all I can do at this time. I’ll comment as soon as the system rights itself.

      This is the only way I can comment on your story. My comments on other blogs are still being wiped out. I really liked your story! I love friendly ghosts. XD I’ll bet the business at that bed and breakfast was brisk. Visitors probably thought it was like Disney World. Well done! XD

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      • Thanks for the comment. Hope things clear up soon for you.
        I have also thought it would make a cute comedy movie. If only the right person would come along and see it.
        Of course, I’d share with you and Adam. You did inspire me. Phyllis ;0)

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      • Thanks Phyllis. It would make a cute comedy. I’ve seen lots worse ideas become successes. Thank you ahead for sharing and I’m sure Adam would be grateful also. 🙂 I’ve thought of lengthening some of my flash fiction to short story length. Adam seems to be working on some projects. I notified WordPress, through my blog helpline, of my problem and it seems to have cleared up for now. 🙂

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      • Patrick, I’ve also lengthen a few stories I wrote for Friday Fictioneers.
        I never thought I could write short stories until join writing challenges. My stories usually can’t fit into one novel. But now I have a nice collection of short stories. i guess we never know until we are properly inspired.
        Phyllis

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  1. I know exactly what you mean, Phyllis. Those photos start my imagination working. I had never written stories before Friday Fictioneers either. My daughter writes some of her own material as she does comedy skits for a theater company in Chicago and she encouraged me to start writing. She and a friend are writing a play. I’ve thought about writing for years but never started until I began blogging. My daughter came to visit and helped me set up my blog. Good Luck with getting your material published! I’ve found so much good material on the internet about writing. I’ve only had my computer for about a year.

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  2. That’s a great idea, Bjorn. In a longer story this would not be the end of it I’m sure. Perhaps other ghosts would enter into it. O_o If I lengthen this to a short story, changing it a bit, I’ll think about that. I have to make note of some magazines that accept ghost stories.

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