Jerry screamed. A ghoulish figure peered out from behind the curtain. It’s dark shape and twisted horns froze Jerry in his tracks. Why did he to take a shortcut through the old Thompson place? On Halloween of all days. The sun would be set soon. He wanted to run, but his feet would not move.
A cold breeze kicked up. Jerry shivered and the figured changed shape. That’s when Jerry realized he was looking at the reflection of the tree limb’s shadow. He shook his head and continued across the front yard toward the back field. Just a few yards across the old corn field, over the fence, and he would be home in ten minutes.
Walking around the side yard he gawked at the house. There was something he did not trust in its old frame. Suddenly, Jerry fell to the ground. “Stupid stump.” he kicked at it. The stump felt strange, almost square. He brushed the leaves away. To his horror he had just kicked a headstone. Jerry had walked into the middle of an old family cemetery. He tried to jump up but something had his hand!
Jerry screamed, “Let go of me, leave me alone!” He heard the leaves rustle and looked down. His hand had caught under a gnarled tree root sticking out of the ground. “I’m lucky I didn’t break my hand.” Jerry gave a nervous laugh at his own silly fears, and slid his hand free. From the rear of the house he heard the back door open and slam shut. Jerry started walking faster. He didn’t want to run into some vagrant, or ghost, this Halloween.
As he passed by the back door Jerry shook his head. “You fool, it’s only the wind.” The screen door swung back and forth as the wind blew. Slamming one direction, and then the next. “I wonder how long that thing has lasted that way?” Jerry continued past the house and across the field towards the fence.
He hopped over the fence and looked back across the field. Two shadows were standing by the back door. “More ghouls?” Jerry thought, and smiled at his own silliness. Of course they weren’t. They were just shadows from the trees. He turned and continued towards home. A few minutes later it dawned on him, “The rear faces north. There wasn’t any sun near the back door.” Jerry decided he would not take the short cut through the old Thompson place anymore.
If you enjoyed this story, please check out my blog at Gary’s Writing Corner for more short stories.