Halloween Flash Fiction Blog Event with Kate McMurray
One of the potentially creepiest (in my opinion) images that our authors had to choose from for these flash fiction stories is the one that inspired Kate McMurray’s original short. And, it takes us back to one of the paranormal entities that really *does* give me the heebie jeebies… ghosts…
By Kate McMurray
“This is your idea of a good spot for a date?”
Brad grinned at Kyle and said, “This is a good Halloween date spot. It’s super creepy isn’t it?”
Kyle looked around at the abandoned smallpox hospital, just reopened to tourists, although why anyone would come here for tourism eluded Kyle. This place was creepy as hell. The site was dominated by a hollowed-out stone structure, parts of which didn’t have a roof to shelter Kyle and Brad from the crisp October air as they walked through it. If the windows had glass, the panels were cracked or broken. The floors were scarred and dusty. The metal frames of a few of the old beds still littered the floor.
“I bet this place is full of ghosts,” Brad said. “I read it’s haunted.”
“You think your apartment building is haunted.”
“It totally is. The elevator got stuck on my floor again yesterday.”
Kyle didn’t have the heart to tell Brad the tricky elevator in his building—which, granted, also used to be a hospital—was more a marvel of engineering failure than proof of the paranormal.
He glanced out one of the windows and saw a girl dancing around near the front entrance of the hospital. People should really keep better watch on their kids. Especially in places where it would be easy to stash a body. That thought made Kyle shiver.
“See?” said Brad. “Did you just walk through a cold spot?”
“There’s no such thing as ghosts. It’s just chilly.”
“Aw, poor baby.”
Brad stopped walking and tugged at Kyle’s sleeve. He rubbed Kyle’s arms as he looked into Kyle’s eyes, which did have the effect of making Kyle feel pretty toasty.
“We’ve fallen behind the rest of the tour,” Kyle said.
“Eh. The guide told me that’s okay. We just have to be back at the lab building by four for the next part of the tour.”
Brad’s eyes sparkled mischievously. “I asked because, you know. It’s been a while since we had any alone time.” He waggled his eyebrows.
Kyle laughed and shoved Brad away. Brad stumbled, but caught himself before he fell, laughing too.
“Not here,” Kyle said. “Are you crazy?”
“I was kidding. But I did think that touring somewhere kind of scary on Halloween might make you feel more like you wanted to, I don’t know, get snuggly. I mean, if we run into a ghost, I’ll totally protect you.”
Kyle rolled his eyes, but he took Brad’s hand and tugged him to keep walking. “Like going to see a scary movie, right?”
“Sure,” said Brad. “And, who knows? Maybe we’ll run into the ghost of, like, Typhoid Mary or something.”
Kyle sighed. “This is the smallpox hospital. Typhoid Mary was quarantined on North Brother Island, not Roosevelt Island.”
Brad squeezed Kyle’s hand. “See, and I knew you would know things like that. This trip is not only to see something haunted, but also to see a part of New York’s history. You usually like that kind of thing.”
It was true, Kyle did, so he nodded. “Okay. Thank you, then.”
They caught up with the tour, where the guide was going on about the gothic architectural flourishes, from the shape of the windows to the castle-like structure of the roof. “It’s romantic in a way, don’t you think?” said the guide.
“I think so,” said Brad quietly, squeezing Kyle’s hand again. Kyle smiled.
They returned to the laboratory building a little while later, ready for the next phase of the tour. The guide paused to count and verify everyone had made it out of the building. When he seemed satisfied, he nodded. “Okay, I have something really exciting to show you next.”
Kyle looked around, hoping the girl he’d seen earlier had found her parents. There was no sign of anyone under the age of twenty, though. “Hey, I think we forgot someone.”
The guide furrowed his brow. “No, I have everyone here. Thirteen people on this tour.” He counted again.
“There was a girl, too. I think she broke off from the pack. She was maybe ten years old. Didn’t someone bring their daughter?”
Now everyone stared at Kyle. “Um, sweetie?” said Brad. “There was no girl. Not like the one you’re describing.”
Kyle looked back toward the front of the hospital, where he’d seen the girl dancing. “But I saw…” He turned back toward the group. “Forget it. I must have imagined it.”
But had he? He could have sworn there’d been a girl in a dark dress, dancing in front of the hospital as if she hadn’t a care in the world, her long hair caught in the breeze.
The guide announced that the next stop on the tour was the insane asylum called the Octagon. Brad was saying something, but Kyle couldn’t shake that image of the little girl. He cursed under his breath.
Brad nudged him with his shoulder. “Don’t worry, babe. I’ll keep you safe from the ghosts on this island.”
“Let’s just keep going.” But he didn’t hate the idea of Brad protecting him. He took Brad’s hand again, just to be safe.
I don’t know what it is… but ghosts just CREEP ME OUT!! Well, done, Kate! Talk about getting in the holiday mood! So… everyone… for a chance to win a copy of Kate McMurray’s newest release, Such A Dance, tell me in the comments below which supernatural creature really freaks YOU out? Are there any that make you cringe? We’ll be talking more about paranormal (and not so paranormal) stories at the 2016 Coastal Magic Convention, Kate and her other Featured Authors would love to see you there!
All giveaways this week last from their posting date, through November 1st. Winners will be chosen and notified by email on Monday, November 2nd. All giveaways will be fulfilled by the author. You can find the kickoff post for this year’s Halloween Flash Fiction Blog Event HERE, for a listing of all of this week’s participating authors, many including giveaways. Good Luck, everyone!!