Figments of My Imagination

Weirdtober 5 ~ Haunted stroll

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We agreed to meet for a haunted stroll offered by a famous old cemetery near our high school. Six cheerleaders, now in our seventies, still looking for excitement. We paired off and held hands as a precaution on the foot path. An actor who reminded us of Vincent Price narrated the event as we held up our candles to illuminate his face. 

After a few history talks about people unfamiliar to us, we slowed our pace to drift to the back of the tour group. I wanted to walk through the Confederate soldier section, and my friends agreed to tag along. The crunch of leaves and twigs underfoot was the only sound at first. 

We froze when we heard what seemed to be a faded bugle sound. It sounded like Taps to me, but I didn’t say anything to disturb the reverie. One of my friends thought she saw a soldier hanging from a tree, but we teased her that it must be a dummy for Halloween. 

I tripped over a shovel which pivoted upright and struck another cheerleader. The domino effect caused her to fall backward and knock two more down. One fell beside a crypt that was opened slightly as if someone tried to get out. 

Needless to say, we forgot that our doctors had told us not to run anymore. Lucky for us, we found our tour group as they headed out the front gate.

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Figments of My Imagination

Weirdtober 4 ~ Swing with me

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Becca loved to swing and pleaded with me to take her after dinner the night before Halloween. She said her friends would be there at 6 PM. It was not at a park but rather a large swing set next to the town cemetery. I helped her tie her sneakers and zip her jacket. Becca pulled the hoodie over her head and ran to the car. 

We arrived on time, and she skipped ahead of me along the path to the swings. I pushed her a few times, and she giggled as she went higher and higher. I sat on the bench beside the children’s water fountain and watched for others to appear. No one came, and it was almost 6:30 PM. 

When I told Becca the others weren’t coming to swing with her this late, she looked at the swing on each side of her and began to cry. The swings started swaying, gradually picking up speed. I didn’t feel a breeze at all, and don’t understand what made them move. Two lanterns lit up a minute later on the path from the swing set to the cemetery gate. 

I shivered when I stood up and almost lost my balance. Becca dragged her feet to stop the swing when I said it was time to go home. As we walked past the fountain on our way back to the car, it rumbled and water spurted upwards. Becca held my hand and turned to wave behind her. 

“There’s no one there, sweetie,” I assured her while noticing the swings still moving. 

She hugged me as I helped her into her seat. “I was saying good bye to my friends. You just didn’t see them.”

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Figments of My Imagination

Weirdtober 3 ~ Beyond the grave

Mary Martha, affectionately known as M & M, is from South Carolina. She is a successful finance manager, but she’s quite shaken due to two robberies at her office. To frazzle her nerves more, her husband was murdered a few years ago. She has a son with disabilities at home. He does not speak but uses sign language to communicate his needs.

She prepared her son’s favorite Halloween meal for dinner as he watched a horror movie with closed captioning. She glanced at the television and read “Happy 13th anniversary.” How weird to see that on a movie tonight of all nights. Maybe she imagined it. Her subconscious calendar reminded her this day would have been her 13th wedding anniversary with Jason. Goosebumps crawled up her spine and down her arms. She shook and twisted trying to rid her body of the eerie feeling.

After dining on tacos with a hidden candy pumpkin in each shell and a soda filled with spider ice cubes, Mary Martha and her son retreated to the living room to finish the movie. He shared his candy corn with her, and they hugged pretending to be frightened of the ghouls on the screen.

Tucking her son in bed later, she bid him good night and walked toward the doorway. She turned to smile and throw him a kiss when he suddenly spoke, “I wish I could have been here for our wedding anniversary.” Her eyes widened and her ears recognized her husband’s voice. Her son rolled over and went to sleep as if nothing happened. Mary Martha knew her mind was playing tricks on her because her son has never spoken a word before. 

What a weird way to end Halloween!

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Figments of My Imagination

Weirdtober 2 ~ Uncanny

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Madison couldn’t help but stare at a toddler in the waiting room. The mother noticed and shifted in her chair. The little girl with curly brown hair played with a handmade doll on the floor. She kept covering her doll’s face with a blanket then picking it up and hugging it. She repeated this several times. The mother paid no attention but occasionally peered over her magazine at the staring woman. 

She sensed a strange familiarity with the little girl. The eyes and expressions reminded her of the child she lost. She even pulled her left earlobe like Georgia did. She decided to speak to the mother, “Your daughter is a cutie. What’s her name?” The mother replied, “Daisy.” With eyebrows raised and a feigned smile, Madison spoke, “She’s beautiful.” That was her daughter’s middle name, but she didn’t mention it. 

The toddler brushed the hair back off her face, and a startled Madison stood up. The child had a heart-shaped strawberry birthmark on her forehead exactly like Georgia had. She was so shaken up at all the similarities, she had to get out of there. She fumbled for the key fob and pressed the horn button to find her car. Thinking, “It can’t be my baby. We buried her two years ago.” 

She drove to the cemetery and knelt to place a single daisy on the grave. As she stood up, she noticed fresh dirt around the marble marker but was too emotional to inquire about it. She just thought of how the toddler had an uncanny resemblance to Georgia.

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Figments of My Imagination

Weirdtober 1 ~ 13th floor

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I worked on the 13th floor for twenty-five years. Our employees always joked it was an unlucky number. I commented that many buildings didn’t have a thirteenth floor.

After lunch on Friday the 13th, I rode the elevator up to our floor. When the door opened, I couldn’t remember which way to go. I checked the stairwell to be sure I was on the right floor, and the sign indicated I was on the correct level. I walked around the floor past the restrooms and water fountains but couldn’t remember where my office was. There was no one in sight. 

I felt slightly disoriented and got back on the elevator to go downstairs. I bought a cup of coffee and took a big gulp. This time I got in the other elevator with two attorneys and said hello. They spoke a greeting to me, so I knew I wasn’t dreaming. My coffee was hot and tasted good which I’ve never noticed in a dream before either.

I got off again at the 13th floor, turned left, walked past the break room to my office and opened the door. A mystery prankster had covered my monitor with fake spider webs and plastic fanged teeth were sitting in my chair. 

None of my coworkers admitted the prank, and I never told anyone about the elevator ride to the strange 13th floor. Guess it only existed in my imagination.

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Based on true events

HeartSpeak

Staying together

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I don’t think they married for love
He was a recent widow with children to raise
She was his high school sweetheart long ago
They ran into each other when she moved home

Three dates later he proposed to her over hamburgers
And they were legally united at the county courthouse
No honeymoon was had nor romantic dinner celebration
The next day started with school lunch boxes and laundry

They stayed together beyond the empty nest
He traveled with a racing team and owned a trucking company
She went back to school and became a registered nurse
Their paths rarely crossed outside the bedroom

Rarely do they talk or see each other anymore
He lives alone in a northern state near his children
She lives alone in a southern state near her children
But they have been married more than thirty years

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HeartSpeak

If I didn’t have a dog

Schroeder

If I didn’t have a dog, my clothes would be hairless
If I didn’t have a dog, there would be no squeaky toys to step on
If I didn’t have a dog, I would have all the watermelon and blueberries to myself
If I didn’t have a dog, I wouldn’t need dog biscuits or puppy pads
If I didn’t have a dog, there would be nothing jumping up and down outside my bathtub
If I didn’t have a dog, I wouldn’t get any wake-up kisses
If I didn’t have a dog, my morning walks would be slower
If I didn’t have a dog, sofa naps wouldn’t have a snuggle buddy
If I didn’t have a dog, there would be nobody to play fetch with
If I didn’t have a dog, I would miss a wagging tail and zoomies at night
If I didn’t have a dog, there would be no friendship with unconditional love
I am glad I have a dog!

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