Regularly on the podcast I write short stories for listeners who support Ghosts in the Burbs at a certain tier level on Patreon. These stories always appear at the end of the episodes. Here’s a sample of the most recent set of stories. Listen to the podcast for more of these fun horror stories, and head over to Patreon for more information.
Welcome to Patreon Donor stories. I’ll be releasing these extra episodes bi-weekly until Lilith’s story is complete.
But before we get to those Patreon Donor stories I’d like to offer a million thanks to… Suzanne Hartwick, Robin, Melissa Gregory, Kristin Peters, Jordon Belew, Laura Wingfield, Jill C., Karen Siefker, Nicole Iaquinto, Haley Pearson-Cox, Gena Hartman, David Kube, and Claire Dalton… for their generous support on Patreon. Without it, this podcast wouldn’t exist. If you haven’t yet head over to check out Ghosts in the Burbs on Patreon where each patron tier carries with it a small token of my thanks. The following patrons chose the $10 per month tier so that I might create a spooky story just for them.
Here goes, this next Patreon Donor story is a tribute to one of my all time favorite authors, the brilliant R.L. Stine, whose stories inspired me to become a writer. I may have gotten a little carried away, but, here goes…
Allison Gire and Michelina Kimmel were best friends and they had a lot in common. They were both in the sixth grade, they both loved horses, they both had long hair (though Allison’s was bright red while Michelina’s was sable brown), and they both loved the comic book Murder Monster Madness.
It was a rainy summer day and the friends had been sitting on Michelina’s bed flipping through old issues of the scary comic for hours.
“I wish we lived in Macabre Falls,” Michelina said, referring to the town in the Murder Monster Madness stories.
“Me too,” Allison said excitedly. “Then we could really hunt monsters.”
“What would you do if you ever saw a monster?” Michelina asked seriously.
“I would hit it with my softball bat over and over again and then cover it in salt and bury it in the forest,” Allison said matter-of-factly.
The girls sat quietly, considering if this would be the best method to dispatch a monster. All of a sudden they heard a loud growl.
“What was that?” Allison, said nervously.
“Maybe it was a monster,” Michelina said in a creepy voice.
There was another growl, louder this time. The girls realized it was coming from underneath the bed. They pulled their legs up and tucked them beneath them. They leaned over the edge of the bed slowly when all of a sudden a monster slid out from under the bed, screeching and swiping at them with its claws.
The girls screamed. Michelina hit the monster with her pillow and the monster broke into laughter. It rolled around the floor giggling and pointing at the two girls.
“Tara!” Michelina yelled. “You are so annoying! You know you’re supposed to stay out of my room! Get out!”
Michelina’s little sister took off the terrifying monster mask and wiggled her glove covered fingers at the girls. “You should have seen your faces!” She said as she left the room.
Once Tara was gone the girls broke into nervous laughter.
“I guess I wouldn’t be as brave as I thought,” Allison joked.
“I guess not!” Michelina laughed. “I’m so hungry. Let’s go find something to eat.”
The friends walked downstairs to the kitchen and made a snack of cheese sandwiches and chocolate milk. They clicked on the television and caught the last half of Attack of the Fifty Foot Leech.
“That was so gross!” Allison said, once the movie was over.
“Oh, it wasn’t so bad,” Michelina said with a shrug. “That actually made me hungry.”
“But we just had sandwiches,” Allison said with a laugh.
“I know,” Michelina said slowly. “Why don’t we go check the freezer in the basement. We might still have some ice pops left.”
They put their plates and glasses in the kitchen sink and then Allison followed her friend down the basement steps. Michelina flipped a switch but the overhead light didn’t reach the far corner of the room.
“This way,” Michelina said over her shoulder.
“It’s awful dark down here,” Allison complained.
“The freezer’s back here,” Michelina called, walking toward the far back corner.
Just then Allison heard a low growl behind her. She froze and turned around slowly. Standing behind her was a hideous beast. It was a little bit shorter than her with wrinkly green skin that looked like it was melting off of its body and it held sharp taloned claws overhead menacingly. It’s sharp teeth were too big for its mouth, they pointed outwards, black slime dripping from them to the ground. The thing’s blood read eyes glowed in the dimly lit room.
Allison screamed then behind her Michelina yelled, “Tara! Cut it out!”
The beast dropped its arms to its side and growled. “I thought it was time.”
“Not yet! You know the rules!” Michelina said in a strange voice.
Allison turned slowly and saw that her friend had turned into a horrifying beast. Just a slightly larger version than the one that had crept up and frightened her. “What is going on?” She demanded.
“We’re hungry,” Michelina growled.
Allison backed towards the far wall of the basement. “Ok guys, jokes over,” she said in a shaky voice as the sisters penned her in.
“I bet you wish you had your softball bat now,” the Michelina monster growled, black sludge dripping from her mouth.
“Cut it out, Michelina!” Allison screamed. “Stop fooling around.”
“We’re not fooling anyone,” Tara screached, her teeth chomping excitedly.
“You won’t get away with this!” Allison yelled through her sobs.
Just then loud footsteps sounded overhead. “Girls!” A voice called. “Where are you?” Michelina and Tara’s parents were home.
“Oh, thank God!” Allison sobbed. “Here! We’re down here!” She screamed as loudly as she could.
The Kimmels stomped down the basement stairs and took in the scene before them.
“What in the world are you girls up to?” Mrs. Kimmel asked.
The monster sisters hung their heads guiltily.
“Now girls, you know darn well you aren’t supposed to feed without us,” Mr. Kimmel admonished.
Allison’s mouth dropped open. She watched in horror as Mr. and Mrs. Kimmel transformed into horrible, slimy monsters. Her scream was cut short as Michelina took her first bite.
…Meanwhile across town…
Pam Bayer was staying with her cousin Sara Hughes for the summer while her parents traveled through Europe. It was mid-July and they’d run out of ideas for passing the time. They’d gone swimming at the Mill Pond that morning then had bologna sandwiches for lunch and now they were sitting lazily on the porch in Sara’s back yard. They stared out into the dense woods. They weren’t allowed back inside until Aunt Martha called them in for dinner.
“This is boring,” Sara complained.
“We could walk down to the market,” Pam suggested.
“We don’t have any money, dummy,” Sara said only half jokingly.
All of a sudden there was a loud crack. The noise had come from the woods. The girls stood up, listening. A girl stepped out of the forest. She wore a white dress and black patent leather shoes.
“Hi,” she called shyly, waving at them.
Pam and Sara exchanged a look.
“My name’s Anastasia Kovaliova – Davies, I live next door.”
The cousins exchanged another look. “Next door?” Sara called back, “No one’s lived in that house in over fifty years.”
Anastasia paused then said, “We just moved in. What are you guys doing?”
“Nothing, we’re bored,” Pam replied. “We were just trying to think of something.”
“You wanna play hide and seek?” The girl asked.
Sara shrugged and said, “Why not.”
“Peachy! Today’s my birthday. This will be great fun.”
“Happy birthday,” the cousins said in unison, walking down from the porch.
“How old are you?” Pam asked.
“Twelve,” the girl replied.
“We’re twelve too!” Sara said with a laugh.
“What a gas!” Anastasia said.
“Um, sure,” Pam said, thinking the girl talked kind of funny. “So where do you want to play hide and seek?”
“The forest,” Anastasia replied.
The cousins looked into the dense woods nervously.
“I’ll hide first,” the girl said, then she turned and took off into the woods.
“Are you sure we should be doing this?” Pam said in a low voice.
“We can’t just let her hide in there thinking we’re going to look for her and then not show up,” Sara reasoned.
They entered the woods. There was a path, but a very narrow one, the brush to either side threatening to over take it. The tree coverage was so dense that even though it was the middle of the day it felt like dusk.
They’d walked for about ten minutes when Pam spotted a flash of white through the trees. “There!” She said in a whisper, pointing.
The cousins stepped off the path and into the woods. They walked as quickly as they could, trying to keep Anastasia in sight, but the trees and brush got thicker the further in they ventured. Suddenly, the forest opened up and Pam stepped into a clearing.
“I’ve never seen this place before,” Sara said, coming up behind her.
“Where did Anastasia go? It’s like she disappeared,” Pam said nervously.
The girls scanned the clearing. There were large stones arranged in lines in the center of the clearing.
“Oh no,” Pam breathed.
“What is it?” Sara asked, suddenly spooked.
“I think this is a graveyard!” Pam whispered.
“No way, why would there be a graveyard in the middle of the woods, dummy?” Sara asked.
“Look, I’ll prove it,” Pam strode forward toward the stones. She didn’t see the twigs strewn across the ground and she tripped, falling hard on her elbows and knees. “Ow!” She grunted.
Sara rushed forward to help her. But as she bent down to help her cousin she froze, ice trickling down her back.
Pam looked up at her face. “What’s wrong?” She asked. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
Sara pointed at the stone on the ground right next to where Pam had fallen.
Pam looked. The stone was in fact a headstone. They were in a graveyard. “I told you it was a cemetery!” She boasted.
“Read it,” Sara said in a shaky voice.
Pam looked at the stone carefully. Chiseled into its surface were the words, Here Lies Anastasia Kovaliova – Davies, July 15, 1944 – October 31, 1956.
…Meanwhile three streets over and two months earlier….
Lisa Davidson was lost in thought as she refilled the salt shakers in the greasy kitchen. The Spring formal was in two weeks and Lisa had been working extra shifts at the diner to save up for a new dress. Her parents had died in a Alaskan cruise accident years before and had left her in Uncle Jacob’s care. He was mean and boring and he acted like they didn’t have any money, even though she knew her parents had left her an inheritance.
She dreamed of walking into BeDazzled, the high end boutique in their town, and having her choice of any one of their gorgeous array of dresses. They even had dyed to match shoes.
Lisa sighed and tied an apron around her waist before slipping the order pad in it’s front pocket. She walked out of the kitchen and into the diner. It was a slow evening, which wasn’t a good sign for her dress fund.
Then a group of three girls came in and sat in one of the booths. She hadn’t seen them before, each of them carried a BeDazzled shopping bag on their arm.
Jealousy burned within her. It wasn’t fair. Here she was bringing people food for ten cent tips and these girls had all bought something at the expensive boutique.
She approached the table, her heart pounding with anger.
When she’d returned with their drinks the girl in the pink sweatshirt asked, “Where do you go to school?”
“Shadowside North,” she replied, placing their sodas on the table.
“We go to Shadowside South,” the girl replied.
Emboldened, Lisa asked, “Did you guys find anything good at BeDazzled?”
The redhead with crimped hair said, “Oh yeah! We have our Spring formal coming so of course we had to go there to pick out our dresses! BeDazzled is the best! I’m Tayna Wick, what’s your name?”
Lisa spent some time talking to the girls. Tanya especially seemed nice, and really cool. The girl wore a bright purple sweater with mustard yellow leggings and feather earrings. Still burning with jealousy she waved goodbye to the girls when they’d finished their meal. She was pleased to see they’d even left her a good tip.
Lisa went through the rest of the evening on autopilot. As she was closing down for the night she went to wipe down the table where the girls had been sitting. She bent down to pick up a napkin that had fallen to the ground and that’s when she saw it. A gleam of hot pink. It was a BeDazzled shopping bag! It had been pushed far back under the table.
But she’d seen the girls walk out of the diner. And she was certain they were all carrying their shopping bags. Had one of them left something behind? It must have been that Tanya Wick, she’d been sitting in the seat closest to where the bag had been placed. She reached to retrieve the bag and peeked inside. Something was wrapped in silver tissue paper.
She quickly tucked the bag under her arm and brought it back into the kitchen where she hung it on the rack next to her jacket. She finished cleaning then grabbed the coat and the bag and hurried out into the chilly night air.
Lisa drove to her house. Convincing herself that she would look up Tanya’s phone number in the phone book so she could return the bag to her. She parked in her Uncle’s driveway and glanced over at the bag on the passenger seat next to her.
It couldn’t hurt to just peek at what was inside, could it?
She carefully pulled the tissue wrapped package out of the bag and unwrapped it.
Inside was the most beautiful dress she’d ever seen. Gold beading made intricate designs over a silky white fabric overlaid with white lace. She checked the tag of the strapless dress, it was her size!
Lisa slowly folded the dress and re-wrapped it in the tissue paper. She carried the bag into the house and rushed up the stairs so her Uncle wouldn’t see what she was carrying. He’d just accuse her of wasting her money on clothing.
Once upstairs she took of her waitress uniform and slipped into the dress. It fit her perfectly, hugging her curves just right, the silky fabric was so soft and light. The dress looked as if it had been made for her.
She made a decision. She would keep it. Tanya seemed like a girl who could afford to buy another dress. If she came back to the diner asking for the bag Lisa would simply say she hadn’t seen any bag left behind.
Lisa hung the dress up in the back of her closet. Then she sat down on her bed and called her date from the phone on her bedside table. “I’ve got a dress! Can’t wait for formal!”
He said he wished he could see it. She replied he’d have to wait and be surprise.
On the night of the formal Lisa’s date called early in the evening to say he was going to send the limo to her house first because he was running a little late. Lisa climbed into the limo and found that privacy divider was up so she was unable to see the driver.
“We’re going to 1313 Foggy Lane,” she said in a loud voice, hoping the driver could hear her.
She watched out the window as the night passed by, she couldn’t wait to get to the formal to show off her dress. When they missed their turn she began to get concerned.
“Um, sir? We were supposed to turn back there,” she called to the driver.
The driver did not respond, instead she felt the car pick up speed.
“Sir?” She said, a note of panic in her voice.
Instead of responding to her, the partition slowly came down. In the rearview mirror she saw Tanya Wick’s face reflected back at her.
“How do you like your dress?” Tanya asked in an icy tone.
“Tanya! I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to-”
“You didn’t mean to steal it?” Tanya barked. “Because you took that dress I missed our Spring formal last weekend and now my boyfriend is dating my best friend!”
“I’m so sorry, I-”
“Well, I hope you like that dress because it’s the last thing you’re ever going to wear!”
Lisa felt the long car accelerate even faster.
“What are you doing, Tanya? Please stop! I’ll do anything! I’ll give you back the dress!
“Too late!” Tanya yelled, before laughing maniacally. “You ruined my life and now I’m going to end yours!”
“Stop!” Lisa screamed. Out the window she saw the sign for the Shadowside Quarry speed past. Out the front window she saw the black hole of the quarry approaching, too fast. They’d never be able to stop in time. Without thinking she grabbed the handle and pushed the door open, throwing herself out of the luxury vehicle. She hit her head hard on the ground and landed in a slump, aware of a sharp pain in her ankle.
She watched as Tanya drove the limousine over the edge of the quarry. A moment later a loud boom erupted and a flash of fire lit up the nighttime sky.
Lisa looked down at her beautiful dress, now tattered and torn and she began to sob.
This has been Ghosts in the Burbs. Be sure to head over to GhostsInTheBurbs.com for all the links. Goodnight, sleep tight, and don’t forget your night light.