Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Ghouls

I hope someone's still here, looking at this. Otherwise, they'll have missed out on the other part of the story, the beginning.

The Ghouls

“Those stories about the graveyard that Pete told us sure were a lot of bunk, Mimi,” Steve said. He was walking Mimi home from the Halloween party they had gone to that night.
            “Oh, sure! Everything’s a lot of bunk to you, Steve! You laugh everything off!” said Mimi. Her voice had anger in it, but it also betrayed a slight trembling.
            “I know, I know,” she continued. “Pete was just trying to scare us, right? But you’ve heard those legends about the Tunnel Road graveyard, too. Admit it, funny things are supposed to have happened there.”
            “Sure, Mimi, if you say so. That’s just why I thought we’d walk home the long way, by Tunnel Road, to prove to you that there wasn’t anything funny going on.”
            “That’s easy for you to say. You don’t live a block away from Tunnel Road like I do!”
            “You people who live up there have the wildest imaginations!”
            “And the people who moved away from Tunnel Road, they all had wild imaginations, too?” countered Mimi.
            “Of course!”
            “And those dug-up coffins the police found, those were hallucinations, I suppose?”
            “Real, but strictly kids’ stuff,” Steve said, brushing it off. “Some guys’ll do anything for kicks. They just want to get a few people like you scared, that’s all.”
            “Even my grandmother said she had suspicions of…you know, those…things that Peter was talking about.”
            “Ghouls?” Steve laughed. “C’mon, Mimi, give me a break, will ya? There’s no such thing as grave robbers anymore! That went out with modern science.”
            “I’m not talking about real-people-type grave robbers, you fool!” Mimi said in an angry whisper. I’m talking about the other kind, the spirit kind that are half animal, half ghost.”
            “You mean the kind that look like that thing walking behind us?” said Steve.
            “Very funny! But as you can see, I’m not laughing!”
            “You mean the kind that rob graves and eat corpses?” Steve said with a mocking smile.
            Mimi stopped walking. They were at the beginning of Tunnel Road. Steve looked at her, and he could sense that all of this really was no joke anymore. Mimi stared ahead vacantly. Her muscles stiffened. Her fingers worked on the clasp of her pocketbook, twisting it nervously.
            Steve had wanted to make a show of his bravery tonight in front of the girl he wanted to ask to go steady with him. He thought he would impress her. But instead of sending her trembling into his arms for protection, all his talk had gradually gotten Mimi so worked up that romance was the last thing on her mind.
            “I’m sorry,” he whispered to the frozen figure by his side.
            She acted like she hadn’t heard him, but started to speak.
            “When my grandmother was a young girl, she lived on Tunnel Road. She even used to play in the graveyard.”
            “What’s that got to do with anything?” asked Steve.
            “As she was walking home one night, she saw a gleam of light coming from the graveyard. She heard sounds like people hard at work digging, too. She went in to investigate, kneeling down behind a tombstone. By the light of an old-fashioned lantern, she saw some dark figures standing next to an open grave.
“Ghouls?” gasped Steve.
            “She never knew who-or what-they were. All she said afterwards was that they were yanking with all their might on a thick rope. She remembers something coming up out of the ground, but then she fainted. Her parents told her they found her the next morning sitting next to that tombstone with a blank look on her face.”
            “She couldn’t have been unconscious all night!” said Steve.
            “That’s what I always thought,” Mimi replied. But anytime the subject was brought up, she insisted that she didn’t remember anything else that happened that night. I think she remembered more happening, but didn’t say.”
            “Probably afraid to relive it,” suggested Steve. “She probably should’ve have gotten it off her chest. Would’ve made her feel better.”
            Mimi turned with a reproachful look towards Steve.
            “Something scared her terribly, Steve. I don’t know what it was, or even if it was real. I do know that when I was younger and my parents and I moved back near the old homestead, she made me promise not to go near the place.”
            “And did you?” Steve asked skeptically.
            “What do you think?”
            “I don’t believe you!”
            “It’s not so much the promise,” Mimi said. “but if you could have seen those old eyes of hers when she talked about it!”
            Steve put his hands in his pockets and looked at the ground, thinking. She’s acting like she’s a little girl, he said to himself. Mimi took a long, deep breath.
            “C’mon,” she said. “You want me to go through the graveyard with you? Then, let’s go.” She grabbed his arm and started pulling him along.
            “You really mean it?” Steve asked her as they walked.
            She looked up at him with an expression he could not interpret.

Hello Again!

Hello again! I'm very happy to see so many pageviews. Please comment, or I'll feel lonely. :( I've mentioned that this wasn't the whole story-in fact, there was a beginning that my teacher gave us, and told us to continue. I'm going to type it all up here. Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and please, visit again. I'm going to be keeping up new posts and poems, but I'll be more encouraged if you comment! Tell me what you think of my writing. My next post will be the beginning of the story.

A Halloween Story

Hello again. It's been a while. For Halloween, my Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Das, gave us an assignment. We read part of a Halloween story, which stopped abruptly just as it got exciting. We were supposed to write what happened next, and this is my version. Hopefully, there will be more than a minority of one (me) reading this, so feel free to check out my poetry. Have a Happy Halloween!

What Happened Next

            Ahead of them, the graveyard slowly came into view. Though it was near midnight, the full moon filtered through the branches of the oak trees, and illuminated the cemetery in silver and gray. As they neared the cemetery, Mimi, who had been walking fast, gradually slowed. Steve slowed too, until they were walking with tiny steps through the menacing iron gate.
            Nothing moved. The old oak trees and their bare black branches were eerily still. The only sound was of their sneakers crunching through the leaf litter. In the cold light of the moon, the graveyard looked oddly peaceful. Then startlingly close, a barn owl hooted. They both jumped.
            It was Steve who spoke first. “Come on, Mimi, let’s go. There’s nothing here.” He said. He felt a strange, panicky urge to be far away from here, to be sitting in his cozy room with a cup of cocoa in his hand. The dark sky seemed to have a physical weight, pressing in on him.
            Mimi looked at him, face wide and pale like the stark moon above them. “It was your idea to be here. We’re not backing out now.” Her voice was hushed. They were both whispering, though there was no one else there.
            Steve was nervous, but he didn’t want to sound scared in front of the girl he liked. “Fine, then.” He had an idea. “Where’s the tombstone they found your grandmother in front of? Let’s go look at it.” He said with false bravado.
            “Okay.” Mimi said. She started striding to the other end of the cemetery, and Steve hurried after her.
            The back of the cemetery wasn’t so well-tended as the front. Withered tufts of weeds poked up around the gravestones, and dead leaves lay thick on top of them. Mimi stopped in front of a large, crumbling tombstone at the very end, in a hidden corner. “This is it,” she said. Steve reached up a faintly trembling hand, and brushed the oak leaves aside.
            “Edna Parker,” he read aloud. “Died in 1888.” He was getting more and more nervous. Knock it off, he told himself. There’s nothing here. All of a sudden, there was a rustling noise behind them. They both jumped, turning around fast. There was nothing there. “Let’s go, Mimi.” Steve said. He could no longer disguise the fear in his voice. Mimi shook her head. She was staring at the ground in front of the tombstone. Steve followed her gaze. The earth was turned up. It looked fresh.
            “Something was dug up here,” Mimi said, eyes wide and scared. Steve wanted nothing more than to run. But Mimi reached out her hand, and scrabbled in the freshly turned dirt. Her fingers touched something cold and hard. She unearthed it. “It’s a wedding ring,” she said. They both stared at the plain gold ring, glinting ominously in the moonlight.
            Then a hand reached out of the dirt, and grabbed Mimi’s wrist.
            They both screamed, shrill and high. Steve stared in horror at the hand. It was dark, scabbed, and seemed damp. He turned to run. Mimi’s voice stopped him.
            “Steve!” she cried piercingly. “It’s pulling me in!” Steve stood there, hesitated for a lengthy moment. Mimi’s legs were braced against the gravestone. Her calves were quivering with the strain. “Steve!” She screamed, and her voice was pure terror.
            Steve reached out a hand to help the girl he liked. He took hold of her other hand, and yanked hard. The hand was supernaturally strong. He grunted with effort, mind blank with horror, breath coming in little puffs of adrenaline. Finally, Mimi came free. They both stumbled backwards. Dark, rotting fingers were still fastened to Mimi’s wrist. She shrieked and shook them off. Beneath the grave, a fingerless hand was grabbing at the hole, a dark arm snaking out, bracing itself. It was trying to climb out. Without another thought, they ran.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Hi. Haven't posted in a while. This poem I wrote about a year ago, or maybe a year and a half. It was Friday night and I was going to see a movie with my mother. She was being real mysterious about the movie we were going to see, and only told me it was about ballet. It was called First Position, I think. Since this movie was being shown in only one theater, we drove to San Francisco and stopped at an obscure little theater/coffee shop hybrid. It was colorfully painted, and paintings and pen ink drawings by local artists hung for sale on the walls. They were all very interesting-paintings of Star Wars characters done on pieces of old skateboards, vivid and grotesque Cubist paintings, fantastical drawings of little girls in strange places. I went into the theater, which was a tiny place only a little bigger than a middle school classroom. It smelled stuffy, like an old lady's house. The screen quality wasn't that great. But the movie was powerful. It was one of those rare movies that actually teaches you something, that caters to a sensible and intelligent audience, that holds in it pieces of wisdom like hidden diamonds. It was about the lives of five contestants in a ballet contest. These contests are about the only way aspiring dancers can be noticed and picked up by prestigious schools. And you only have one chance. What this movie taught me was that professional ballet is hard. You have to work your ass off at practice every day, do a bunch of really painful-looking stretches, and try to convince a skeptical panel of judges that you are good at this-no, not only good, but a genius-in front of an audience of hundreds. The physical and mental strain of it is enormous. I can't imagine the amount of determination, perseverance, and dedication it would take. Injuries are common, and if you get one you're pretty much out. What is all this hard work, stress, and pain for? A few minutes on the stage, flying in bliss. And yet, what those children, children with the professionalism of adults, truly believe is that it's worth it.


bright young things
flying  things
gleaming across the stage
transforming into stars
they fall

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Key

This is a poem that reminds me much of One in a Million. Like the Mysterious Benedict Society, only those who seek will understand it's whole meaning. Clues, like keys, are left in this poem. You must find them all if you are to unlock this woman's heart.

The Key

In the lazy
Light, it dangles
From the man’s hand-
Tanned, speckled
With little hyperpigmentation stars-
Moving quickly, little
Excited movements.
The woman watches the key,
Curious, anticipating,
Then darts her eyes back
To the man’s face, quickly
As if she were afraid of missing
The boyish, thrilled expression
Written there on the strong cheekbones
And wide, golden brow.
“A house, where we both may live,”
The woman captures the words
And hides them in her soul.

The woman is disappointed.
She hides this in a bright smile
Thoughts confined behind her eyes.
What was she expecting?
Not a mansion, of course. Of course not.
A tidy, two-floor residence
On a staid suburban street
Would be fine. Would be welcomed.
What was she expecting? Not
A cottage. A shabby, weed-filled fixer-upper
Of course.

The man does not see
Does not notice
[Because who would want to?]
His fiancé’s reservations.
He takes her boisterously by the hand
And leads her into the house.

She doesn’t approve
Of the cracked windows,
The mildewed carpet, and
Filmy whitewashed walls.
She can’t imagine
What they could promise.
But as her fiancé walks
From room to room, abounding
In praise, images leap
From the whitewashed walls-
As if transcribed
From his mind to hers.
She sees the two of them chatting
In a bright and cheerful kitchen,
Their children playing
On a Persian carpet, a
Four-poster bed in the
Cobwebbed master bedroom.
Then they are out again,
But before the peeling door
And after her fiancé strides away
And down
She sneaks a last look in.
The walls are as empty and as cold
As when they first arrived.

Now the woman lifts
Her left hand, drearily
In front of her face.
From the ring finger dangles
A key, bronze
In the faint fluorescent light
Leaking from the next-door apartment.
She remembers, foggily
How it glinted when it was thrown
Forcefully, angrily
At her. Thunking against her chest,
Slicing her heart in two.

On a whim, on a desperate hope
The woman grabs the key,
Totters up from her unwashed sheets
Staggers out the door
Falls crookedly into her car
Grasps the steering wheel
With wobbling hands.

A corner, a stretch
Of blindsided time-
A turn, two turns,
The car parks before
A falling-down, weed-crowded
Fixer-upper cottage.
She runs, purposefully now
To the door, inserts the key
And turns it forcibly.
She steps tentative into the house,
Ghostly in the night.
She runs her hand along the wall,
But no images leap
From his mind to hers-
Her heart has been severed, disconnected
From his.
She is alone in the house,
Moonlight falling like tears
Upon her bowed shoulders.

Monday, October 1, 2012

How Can I Describe The Night?

There's just something about the night-downy layers of grey and white, the moon in passing leaves shadows bright. Breathing slow in the window's glow-flakes of light, like falling snow. Whoops, I just wrote another poem there.  But there's just this softness, this dreaminess, about the night. Half-awake, you rest in the drowsy silence, in a state of calm meditation. The whiteness that the moon leaves behind leaves even shadows soft and gray, rather than black. Nothing is black-there's only shades of gray. And yeah, I'm waxing poetic again. Here's the poem I wrote, before I start babbling again.

How can I describe the night?
Past the moon, the raven’s flight,
The softened light, evanescent white,
Gentle glimmers, slow and bright
How can I describe the night?