Lightning Ghost

ghost lightning

Once there were two girls, Rose and Lilly, looking for their mysterious friend, Roelill, who they often encountered as they hiked through the hills behind their backyard.

As they searched high and low on the trail, they encountered Mr. Man, who was walking his dog.

“Have you seen our friend?” said Lilly. “She calls herself Roelill.”

“No, I haven’t, and neither have you,” said Mr. Man. “She is an old relative of mine, and she died a century ago.”

“What?” said Rose. “That’s impossible! We see her up in these hills all the time …”

“I’ll tell you the story,” said Mr. Man.

“Thanks,” said the girls.

“In her time, Roelill was the best hiker around,” said Mr. Man. “She even finished the Appalachian Trail.”

“Wow,” said Lilly.

“A  ghost appeared and gave her the power of lightning,” said Mr. Man. “That way she could always blaze her own trail. But Roelill wasn’t sure how to use such power, so the first time she tried to make lightning strike, she rose her hand in the air … and struck herself.”

“Yikes!” said Rose.

“That’s the legend, anyway,” said Mr. Man. “Somehow, Roelill died. She was my great aunt, and I never had a chance to meet her.”

“Well, we have,” said Lilly. “She’s really nice.”

“I think she’s lonely, too,” said Rose. “She seems to really like our company.”

“She’s a ghost now, hey?” said Mr. Man with a wink. “Be careful.”

He disappeared down the trail with his dog.

The girls continued their hike.

Soon, Roelill appeared before them.

“We’ve been looking for you!” said the girls.

“I’ve been looking for you, too,” said Roelill.

She raised her hand, and Rose and Lilly were struck by lightning.

Their bodies fell to the ground, but their spirits remained standing next to her.

“Who’s next?” said Roelill.

Rose and Lilly glanced at each other.

Roelill pulled out a list.

“Oh, I see,” said Roehill with a grin. “It’s … (YOUR NAME HERE).”







The Dark Place: Monsters vs. People

demon boy

Chapter 1

It’s morning and the sun is up. My sister woke me up. Her name is Rose.

“Wake up, wake up!” she said.

“What time is it?” I said.

“It’s time to go to Disneyland … so what are you waiting for?”

I was dressed in a jiff and the first one downstairs for breakfast. Alone in the kitchen, I saw something grinning at me under the table. It looked like a little boy, but with sharps fangs and bloody red skin. In a flash, this demon’s wings expanded, and he flew through the kitchen and out the door …

It was gone!

I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t move. I was too scared.

I wasn’t sure what to think. For breakfast, we had pancakes with maple syrup.

“Dad, do you ever see … monsters?” I said.

“No, Rebecca. Monster are make-believe.”

“Just like Disneyland?” said Rose.

He laughed.

“Yeah, something like that.”

“I’ve seen monsters,” I said.

“Me, too!” said Rose.

Mom rolled her eyes.

“Sure, girls,” she said with a wink. “We’ll let that one slide.”

Dad started collecting the dishes.

“Now on to my kind of make-believe,” he said, “the happiest place on Earth!”

“Yay!” Rose and I said, and we were off to our adventure.


Disneyland was awesome! We went on the new ride, Guardians of the Galaxy, which Mom said was her favorite, and Thunder Mountain Railroad, which Dad said was his.

We went on the Haunted Mansion. Rose and I rode together. It was so much fun, and a little spooky.

Toward the end of the ride, we approached a long mirror. All the other riders had ghosts in their carts, but not ours.

There was a red-skinned demon boy curled up between Rose and me.

“Ahhhh!” we screamed.

So was everyone else riding in their carts, they were having so much fun. No one thought the demon we was real, even when he flew away!

“Mom, Dad, you won’t believe what happened!” Rose and I said as we ran off the ride and into their arms.

After hearing our story, Mom said with a frown, “You’re right, we don’t.”

“But, I have to hand it to you girls,” Dad said, “you have quite the imagination. Who’s hungry?”

Rose and I realized there might be more to our story than our parents were willing to admit.

Trouble might be on the way, but we would have to wait to deal with it another day.

After all, who had time for demon boys at Disneyland?

The Creepy Mother


(A continuation from The Haunted Halloween)

As Jack and Jane’s mother listened to their trick-or-treating tale in the kitchen, she noticed something staring at them through the window.

It had bloody eyes and sharp knives for teeth.

“Let’s go … get … some … Boba, shall we?” the mother said.

“This is crazy!” Jane said. “You never let us have Boba, or any other sweets.”

“I let you go trick-or-treating, didn’t I?”

“Yeah, and look what good that did us,” Jack said. “We had to escape for our lives from a haunted house.”

“Even so, the night is young, so there’s no reason why we need to be trapped inside here,” the mother said, as she stared at the creature in the window.

She hurried them out the door and into the car.

They drove away.


Half an hour later, Jack and Jane and their mother returned home, sipping their Boba. Lucky for them, no sign of the ghost.

“Phew,” the mother whispered to herself as she checked on the kids, in a sugary daze playing on their phones, sipping their drinks on the couch.

Meanwhile, as the mother’s Boba sat by itself on the kitchen counter, waiting to be enjoyed, the ghost crept out of the trash can and inside it.

When the mother returned, she took a big slurp.

“Ewwww, what happened to this?” she said.

Her Boba tasted rotten, so she poured it down the drain, but it was too late. The ghost slipped inside her mouth!


Jack was busy playing ‘Zombie Slackers’ on his phone in the living room when he accidentally spilled his Boba on the coffee table.

“Hey, Mom, I had an accident, can you bring me a napkin, please?” he said.

Her first impulse was anger.

“How about you get up and get it yourself, young man?!”

“Sorry, Mom, no can do,” Jack said. “I’ve got too many points in this game to stop right now …”

Suddenly, the mother seemed to be possessed by her anger, or maybe something else. She grabbed a knife and approached her son from behind as he lounged on the couch.

She noticed the puddle of Boba on the coffee table, and it disgusted her to see her son sitting idly next to it.

Jack took his eyes off his phone long enough to notice her glaring at him.

“Not a knife, a napkin,” he said. “Gee, whiz, Mom!”

The mother shook out of her daze.

“Oh, right,” she said. “Silly me!”

She returned to the kitchen. Instead of getting a napkin, however, this time she grabbed a larger knife.

She returned to where her son was seated on the couch. She raised the knife high, ready to strike.

Jane glanced away from her game of ‘Bored Unicorns’ just in time to notice her mother.

“Gosh, Mom, don’t you listen to anything we say?” she said. “Not a knife, a napkin!”

Jack and Jane turned toward her, roused from their stupor.

Perhaps their problem was worse than they thought.

“Is something wrong?” Jack said.

“Wrong? No, not at all!” the mother said, with a strange gleam in her eyes. “I’m just sick and tired of waiting on you two all of the time, and now I’m ready to have this house to myself!”

The mother screamed. She began to chase her children around the house with the knife.

The children laughed, but played along.

Up and down the stairs Jack and Jane went, but the mother was not fast enough to catch them.

Finally, they stood waiting for her at the front door.

“Joke’s not funny anymore, Mom,” Jane said. “Either you stop acting like you’re possessed, or we leave.”

The mother stopped to catch her breath. As she gasped for air, a ghost came out of her mouth.

It had bloody eyes and sharp knives for teeth.

“I’m getting bored chasing you two kids around town,” it said. “I need an easier challenge.”

“So do you, Mom,” Jack said, as he and Jane hugged her tightly. “You work so hard, and I realized while you were running after us with the knife, we haven’t been very grateful or cooperative lately. We’re going to start helping around here more.”

“Yes!” Jane said.

“Thank you, for listening to me,” the mother said. “I’m so lucky to have such great kids.”

“I’m outta here,” said the ghost, floating toward the street. “Sweet talk makes me sick. You people give me the creeps!”

“Happy Halloween to you, too,” Jane said, and she closed the door.

The Haunted Halloween


Jack and Jane, a teenage brother and sister, were trick-or-treating by themselves one Halloween.

They were dressed as Ghostbusters.

They saw a black house with red lights at the end of a long street. They decided to investigate.

Jane rang the bell. Before the door opened, she was so excited that she shouted, “Trick-or-treat!”

The door swung open, but no one was there.

However, there was a gold plate filled with candy on the stairs.

Jane stepped inside without a second thought. Jack followed her into the house.

Jane reached for the candy.

It disappeared.

“Looks like the trick is on us,” Jack said.

The door slammed shut.

“Not funny!” Jane said.

The lights went out.

At the top of the stairs, they saw a ghost. It had bloody eyes and sharp white knives for teeth.

The ghost snapped its fingers. The red lights turned on, and dozens of ghosts appeared.

“Get ‘em!” it shouted.

The ghosts chased the ‘Ghostbusters’ around the house.

Jack and Jane hid upstairs in a closet.

“Something’s wrong here,” Jack said.

“No kidding,” Jane said. “We’re trapped in a haunted house!”

“Wait a minute,” Jack said. “I have an idea.”

He turned on the closet light. The light was red like the others in the house.

He grabbed two white sheets. He used his pocket knife to cut eye slits in each. Then, he stuck a sheet over himself and his sister.

“Stay close to me,” Jack said. “We’re heading for the door.”

“I hope this works,” Jane said.

Brother and sister, hand in hand, exited the closet. As they walked downstairs, a ghost approached.

“Hey, did you see those kids?” it said.

Jane pointed upstairs.

“They went that way,” she said.

“Gee, thanks.”

As the ghost floated away, it turned back toward them.

“Wait,” it said. “If the kids went upstairs, then where are you going?”

“Out of here!” Jack said.

He and Jane yanked off their sheets.

Jack opened the door, and brother and sister fled into the street. They ran all the way home.

When they arrived, their mother couldn’t believe their wild tale.

“Sounds like the Ghostbusters got busted,” she said with a wink. “Good thing you’re safe now.”

But as she spoke, she noticed something staring at them through the kitchen window.

It had bloody eyes and knives for teeth.


S’more Boy Returns

s'more boyThroughout the school year, Autumn’s classmates often returned from weekend getaways, regaling her with tales of pitching a tent, hiking through a forest, and hearing stories around a fire. Camping quickly captivated Autumn’s imagination, a great American tradition the six-year-old wanted to experience herself.

Of the joys of camping, however, one garnered Autumn’s attention the most. S’mores. She longed to eat the gooey, marshmallowy, chocolatey, graham cracker sandwich.

On a hot afternoon in June, Autumn arrived at a mountaintop camp with her father, Marshall, his girlfriend, Chloe, and Chloe’s brother, Will, ready for her first outdoor overnight adventure.

Their over-stuffed car came to a grinding halt at the entrance to the park, where Marshall stepped out to check in with the ranger.

Meanwhile, Autumn stood by and swatted flies buzzing around her head. In the time her father talked to the ranger, she was bitten by two mosquitoes. Intuitively, Autumn started to wonder what other ‘joys’ she could look forward to on her maiden voyage into the wilderness.

“Okay, I think we’ll try that hike tomorrow morning …” Marshall said, concluding his conversation with the ranger.

The ranger, a white-haired lady with piercing blue eyes, bent down so she was eye-level with Autumn and said, “How about you, dear, what would you like to do on this trip?”

“Eat s’mores!” Autumn said.

“Yes, s’mores, of course, what is a camping trip without them?” the ranger said, and she began speaking in a hushed voice. “But Beware, young lady, a ghost is said to inhabit these woods. They call him S’more Boy. He likes to eat the treats of our camp guests, so be sure to clean up after your mess, so you won’t be visited by an uninvited pest!”

“That’s one way to keep the trash in the cans,” Marshall said, “and another way to keep the kids up at night. Thanks.”

“You bet,” the ranger said with a grin, waving to Autumn as her father tugged her away. “Have a nice trip!”

“Is there really a ghost?” Autumn said as they walked toward the car.

“No,” Marshall said. “I think she was just saying in a roundabout way that we need to keep our site clean, unless we want bears or something to ruffle through our stuff.”


Marshall realized that between the ranger’s comments, and his own, there was little to put a child at ease.

“You have nothing to worry about,” he said, patting Autumn’s head, buckling her tight in her car seat. “Never mind what that lady said, or me, all right?”

“What was that all about?” Chloe said as Marshall put the car into drive.

“Ghosts and bears are coming to get us tonight!” Autumn said.

“Oh, boy,” Marshall said.

“No, S’more Boy!” Autumn said.


They found their site and pitched the tent. Well, actually, Marshall, Chloe and Will pitched the tent while Autumn scrambled up some boulders until her father yelled at her to get down. He asked her to collect sticks for the fire.

That was a task Autumn managed handily, finding stray branches and twigs until there was a pile so big waiting to be lit that it was larger than Autumn herself. After that, Autumn wasn’t sure what to do. There were no TVs or pizza parlors or water slides like there were at home. Not only was camping hot, with a lot of bugs, but it was also boring. Some trip this was turning out to be.

“Now what?” Autumn said.

“Looks like you’re going to have to entertain yourself,” Marshall said.

Autumn did. Life in the woods took a little getting used to, true, but once Autumn came to terms with the fact that she didn’t have the usual gizmos and artificial amusements to keep her occupied, she adapted well.

First, she gathered an assortment of rocks — big ones, small ones – lined them along the campsite, and went into business.

“Who needs magic crystals?” she yelled, to everyone and no one in particular. “I have red ones, blue ones. I have crystals that heal you, and crystals that make you fly …”

None of the neighboring campers seemed to appreciate Autumn’s wares, but Will offered to buy a rock, which made Autumn happy, for a moment. Then, it was on to another game …

Autumn chased bunny rabbits. She sang and danced in a makeshift theater she outlined in the dirt with a stick. She even made a fishing pole with a branch, string and rock for bait, trying to lure tadpoles from the pond.

When it was time for the hike, Autumn led the charge. She climbed hills, strolled fallen trees, skipped rocks.

Life was good, despite the heat and bugs, and in time even that didn’t bother Autumn as much.

Eventually the sun set, a fire made. Day turned to night, the weather cooled, and even some of the bugs went away. Marshall, Chloe, Will and Autumn ate dinner. They sat under a canopy of stars and gazed at each other across the orange glow of firelight. When they weren’t talking, there was only silence.

Chloe, Will and Autumn took turns telling stories. They roasted s’mores, and they were even better than Autumn imagined they would be. She loved pushing the gooey marshmallows through a stick and roasting them over the fire.

For a while, camping was heaven. Then, Autumn couldn’t take anymore. She was done, she realized. Exhausted. She didn’t even think about cleaning up her mess; she dropped her gooey marshmallow stick and approached her father, arms raised in surrender.

“Daddy, put me to bed,” she said.

Marshall brushed his daughter’s teeth, changed her into her pajamas, and laid her into her sleeping bag. He told Autumn a story about a little girl who is given a special gift for her birthday, a box that allows her to travel in time. Autumn loved the story, but even so, in the back of her mind, she hadn’t forgotten about S’more Boy.

In the middle of the night, she woke. Something scratched along the tent, and she heard a faint voice.

“Give me more,” said the voice with a low, frightening moan. “More s’mores, more s’mores …”

The next morning Autumn startled awake, frightened by her nightmare. But it may not have been all in her head, because there were small footprints around the camp fire.

“Daddy, can’t you see, S’more Boy’s for real!” Autumn said.

She found her stick. Licked clean.

“See?” Autumn said.

Marshall stared at the footprints and stick.

”Might be some unwanted company,” he said, and left it at that.

Camping that day was little different than it had been the day before, including the relentlessness of the heat and bugs. The games continued, but instead of them being shorter, Autumn, Will, Chloe and Marshall found ways to make them longer.

For example, they made wreaths out of twigs to decorate Autumns makeshift theater and then watched her sing and dance.

“Camping requires a lot of improvisation,” Will said, and they laughed, including Autumn, after Will explained to her what ‘improvisation’ means.

That night, after Autumn enjoyed her s’mores, she was not as willing to go to sleep as easily as she had been previously, however.

“Daddy, I’m scared,” she said, sobbing in her sleeping bag. “I’m afraid S’more Boy is going to get me!”

“Oh, sweetheart, it’s okay,” Marshall said, rubbing her hair. “Don’t be afraid. S’more Boy is just pretend, remember?”

“But I heard him …”

“You cleaned up after yourself tonight, right?”

“Yes,” Autumn said, wiping the tears from her face.

“Then you did everything the ranger told you to do,” Marshall said. “You have nothing to worry about.”

That night, Autumn slept soundly until she again heard scratching along the tent. This was no nightmare, either. She startled upright in panic and shook her father.

“Daddy, Daddy, S’more Boy’s here!”

Marshall rose, groggy, and listened. He didn’t hear anything except the wind rustling in the trees; certainly there was no sign of a ghost looking for a treat.

“False alarm, sweetheart,” Marshall said. “Now quit scaring yourself, and get some sleep.”

Marshall’s head was about to rest on his pillow when he heard it. Faint, and not so much the moan of a boy, but a boy’s fiendish cackle. And the boy was getting into something …

Marshall sat upright, no longer groggy. He grabbed his flashlight, and Autumn clutched his arm as he unzipped the tent and shined the light toward the smoldering campfire.

Smacking a s’more in the fading glow of the firelight, the pest turned and faced them.

“Is that a bear?” Autumn said.

“No, a raccoon,” Marshall said, smiling. “How about that? I guess the ranger’s tale got to both of us.”

“You were scared too, Daddy?” Autumn said, loosening her grip on her father’s arm.

“A little,” he said, “but there’s nothing to worry about, after all.”

Father hugged daughter.

He shined the light around the campsite, to see if there were any more raccoons, but there were none.

When he shined the light back on the campfire, ‘S’more Boy’ was gone.