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3 Comments

  • emily guziak
    Posted November 2, 2022 at 2:39 pm

    As the car tires crunch on the gravel, my seven-year-old body relaxes and I release a sigh. I lift my sticky thighs from the carmel-colored vinyl backseat and smile.
    We’re here.
    Straggling plants with the beginning of buds form a sentinel as our Buick wends around the flower gardens and comes to stop near the huge, brick farmhouse. I feel, deep inside me, the oldness of this special place – the ‘farm,” – where we come on spring weekends to play with our cousins and eat charcoal-broiled chicken on the grassy lawn. I feel my great-great-aunt floating about the gardens – though she is long dead – in the pointy, grey suede shoes that are in our dress-ups at home, and I pretend I live on this farm.
    We belong here, I think, me and my cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents who gather on Sundays, because here everyone is happy and all there is to do is to chase the sheep, play in the barn, and in the brook where icy water gurgles over our toes as we squish them deep in the mucky bottom.
    We’re greeted, when we arrive, by Trudy and Paul, who do the work on the farm. Like my great-great-aunt, my grandparents just come to the farm to have fun, so the people who live in the farmhouse do the work.
    We are visitors, even though the farm is really our’s, and we spend our time in the small, brick, musty-smelling cottage while Paul and Trudy take care of the big farmhouse. We are lucky, I know, and maybe this is why my brother Robbie is so nice to me at the farm. My uncles are all happy, too, spending hours sipping Pabst Blue Ribbon beers and nudging chicken pieces to and from on the charcoal-burning grill.
    When I am seven, I don’t think about the farm ever slipping away from us. It is a happy place where time stands still, and there are no other houses and we get to eat dinner on plastic plates and cups because we all eat in the back yard behind the cottage.
    Paul will lift his sweat-soaked cap and ask us if we want to ride on his tractor, and he is nice to us and will not eat with us but says his wife Trudy has cookies for us. And we knock on the kitchen door of the big farmhouse and she answers our knock, opening the screen door and smiling behind her cat’s eye glasses and hands us molasses cookies.
    They like the farm, too, I think, even though they don’t sit with us and eat chicken. In the farmhouse, Mom says, is all the dark, fancy furniture that our great-great aunt brought with her from the city, a long time ago. Once, Mom takes me in the farmhouse and shows it to me.

  • John William Roche
    Posted November 2, 2022 at 5:25 pm

    This is a transcription of my 1st Tuesday story. It is totally unedited. Sorry, I could not move the file. So, I copied and pasted.

    NOVEMBER 2022 1ST TUESDAY WRITE AND READ

    (THIS IS TRANSCRIBED EXACTLY AS 1ST DRAFT WAS WRITTEN)

    PROMPT- GHOSTLY ENCOUNTER

    BRAINSTORM AS FOLLOWS:
    LANDSCAPE GHOST                                           F4C PILOTS
    OKINAWA CAVES                                                 HERBERT SCHNACKENBERG
    ANNIE IN CONEY ISLAND                                   DEB
    DISNEY WORLD HAUNTED HOUSE               SUE
    HARRY CHAPIN/TAXI                                           ANGELA/BOB JAMES
    JOHNNY GAMAGE

    THE WINNER WAS :

    LANDSCAPE GHOST

    I am not the first crazy Roche on the planet. My father had nine brothers and sisters. The Roche clan was a wild and crazy brood. They usually had 3 or 4 large family gatherings a year. The usual stops were at my Aunt Jeans manse in Yonkers, my Uncle Rich’s estate in Amityville, or Uncle Jerry’s in New Jersey.
    I was a child (under 10) when these events took place. All of the Clan was alive at the time. Being of Irish heritage, these were not dull gatherings. A lot of food, and yes, alcohol was consumed at these events.
    My favorite get togethers were at Aunt Jean’s. She lived in a large mansion in Yonkers, NY at the top of a hill on Landscape Ave. My memory of the manse was that it resembled the house on The Adams Family. The appearance was downright scary; at night even threatening.
    Inside, there were what seemed to be to an 8 year old boy, a million rooms. Everything was dark inside. The floors and stairways creaked with every step. The walls,doors and woodworks were not maintained.
    Periodically one could hear a door slam. I thought nothing about the sound until my father told me it was “The Landscape Ghost.” My aunt rented out a handful of rooms to the downtrodden, as well as welfare recipients.
    One of the boarders was murdered one day while out panhandling in Yonkers. While he wound up in the Westchester County morgue that night, his soul had other ideas.
    The soul returned to my aunt’s home and took up permanent residence. My aunt and grandmother, who was living at the time, talked about sounds made in the middle of the night. On a daily basis there was the late night squeaking of doors and creaking on the floors.
    Aunt Jean and grandma said they just learned to live with it. I was about 10 when Grandma Roche passed. It was at that time when Aunt Jean didn’t want to live with the Landscape Ghost anymore. She sold the house and bought an even bigger house in Peekskill, NY. She may have left the Landscape Ghost behind, but there are many more stories coming from Peekskill.

  • Mireille Shenouda
    Posted November 5, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    A Ghostly Encounter: (Non-fiction  incomplete essay)
    I emigrated to Canada. My daughter and her family with whom I lived had been on a trip during the week-end. The garden was huge and I was glad to have a nice book to keep me company. I had a nice cup of coffee on a table beside me,raised my legs on a chair and made myself comfortable, after admiring the blooming flowers and the colourful autumn leaves on the trees.
    Peace and quietness prevailed so it never crossed my mind that an intruder or burglar would break into the house or garden. But suddenly, my peace of mind was disturbed by hearing footsteps. I didn’t take it seriously in the beginning thinking that I was  carried away by my imagination, strongly influenced by being a voracious reader with a passion for reading thrillers.
     However, I felt I did hear footsteps and actually getting closer and closer …oh no, fear swept over me although nothing could be seen. I sat up straight, trying to concentrate, hoping I was dreaming, but… an inner voice kept telling me “Call for help, as you are terrified. Did I lack courage? Let’s face it. I hadn’t a clue of what was going on, except that my heart was racing! What on earth could I do before this creature assaults me? I noticed in dismay that my heart beats were beating faster and faster.
    How could I defend myself without any object close to a weapon? I thought I would scream for help but panic overtook me and I could hardly hear my own voice, trapped in my throat.
    So, I was all alone, trembling from fright, from head to toe, without a soul to assist and rescue me from this dreadful danger.

    Mireille Shenouda
    mirkam2005@hotmail.com

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