Monday, November 5, 2012

The Ranch House...A Short Story

This week the subject of the Weekly Writing Prompt was submitted on Halloween, and that helped inspire my little story. Here's the rules: Stories must be 500 words or less, they must be finished and submitted by Tuesday night (6 November...) and the stories need to be linked to the following website: HERE. In addition, the photo above must be used in the story and there are five words that need to be included in the story. This week's words are: 






(that's not one of the words--more of a suggestion...)

The Ranch House

          “DRIVE!!” Sam yelled at his friend as the two jumped into the aged and rusted Corolla. “Get us out of here!”
          “What do you think I’m doing? You think I wanna die?” Tom shot back after firing up the reluctant engine and maneuvering his brother’s car from the abandoned ranch property.
          “Hurry! Sam screamed again loud enough to cause damage to Tom’s right ear. “We’ve got to be as far from here as possible before the sun sets!”
          “I’m driving, so SHUT UP!!” Tom exploded, fear coursed through his veins. Sweat from the 18-year old's hands caused his fingers to slip from the steering wheel as the uneven road tested the car’s suspension.
          As the car screamed into the awaiting evening, Sam continued looking back; He prayed nothing was following them. As the distance between the Toyota and the hovel they boys just left, Sam’s breathing and heartbeat began to return to normal.
          “Man!” Sam said, his voice still alive with fright. “You said in school yesterday that there was nothing out there.”
          “There wasn’t anything like that out there last week. I’d sure love to know how a coffin showed up in the middle of that run-down farmhouse. Not to mention, the bats!”
          “They weren’t there last time, man! All that was there last time was some books, some old clothes, a crazy trophy from Jackpot, Nevada, of all places, and a needlepoint hanging on the kitchen wall. I thought maybe whoever lived there might have buried some money under the floorboards, or something.”
          “So, last time, there was no coffin? No bats? No dirt piled up under the coffin?”
          “Nope—nothing!” Tom said, his voice returning to normal.
          “Do you think we’re safe?” Sam said hoping that by saying the words out loud would make it so. Tom glanced at the sun and calculated they maybe had 10 or 15 minutes until it dipped below the Oklahoma horizon.
          “I don’t know…maybe.”
          “Why do you think the bats attacked us like that?”
          “How should I know?” Tom said honestly. “Maybe they were protecting the coffin. Why did you have to look inside?”
          “I wanted to see if it was empty, and it was…”
          The two drove in silence for several miles as the sun hovered in the western sky. Sam glanced back a final time. The eroding structure had long disappeared behind the winding dirt road. As Sam turned to look back at the road ahead something caught his attention.
          “Tom?” Sam said, his voice monotone…autonomic.
          “Yeah?” Tom turned and the look on Sam’s face turned his blood to ice. “What? What’s wrong?”
          “Tom…there’s blood on your collar.”
          “What the…!” Tom stood on the brake pedal until the car slid to a stop. Dust previously undisturbed engulfed the car and filtered through the open windows. Tom’s hand reached for his neck. He withdrew his hand and stared at his shaking fingers, covered in red.


  1. Replies
    1. I guess it worked! It was fun to write, too!

    2. I agree creepy, but good creepy :-)

  2. Brilliant! I'm at work reading this and had to jump up to do something just as I read the line '...there's blood on your collar.'
    I had to rush back to read the finale, good work.

    1. Thanks Heather! The picture looked so calming to me, but kind of creepy, too. And with "needlepoint" being one of the words, I just had to go the other way ;). Thanks again!