I am so incredibly excited to have one of my best writing buddies, Jessica R. Patch, guest post for me today! Not only is Jess hilarious (as you’ll soon see), but she was one of the first bloggers to make me feel truly welcome in this writing community. When Jess and I got to meet last month at ACFW…well, she gave me the biggest hug ever. And things got silly.
Tomorrow just happens to be Jess’s birthday, so we’re gonna do a little virtual celebration. Sit back, grab a slice of cake, and hang on for some hilarious entertainment, a la the birthday girl.
Well, it’s October. I’m observant, aren’t I? October is one of my favorite months. Maybe my most favorite. I love Fall. I love the colors, hayrides, soups, ciders, and the smell of cinnamon in the air. And I’m a fan of Halloween. It’s not my favorite holiday. Christmas is. But I love a little mischief and costumes. Maybe it’s the writer in me and the fact I write suspense mostly.
I’m a mischievous kind of girl. Always have been. So I thought I’d share one of my favorite stories that hasn’t landed me in suspension, on house confinement, or jail.
Everyone, I hope, has a kid best friend. Well mine lived down the road and we spent summers plotting and planning ways to make a quick buck for our club—members of two. With this club money, our big goal was to rent a room at the Ramada for a night of pizza and swimming. Not the tightest goal, but for ten year olds what do you expect?
We’ve done many things. We’ve drug my brother around town as a clown with makeup, forcing him to perform for neighbors. I think we might have raised a dollar on that one, but not so sure it was worth my mom and grandma’s falling out over “loaning” me all the left over Mary Kay makeup that wouldn’t come off his face. Nothing like a red-stained face and black smudgy eyes for church. Just sayin.
One day, my friend and I decided what would be better—in October! than opening a Haunted House for the community? People would come in droves. Droves, I say! So we biked down the street and stood on the sidewalk, leaning on and old Apple tree while contemplating how we would get into the abandoned house and turn it into a Haunted thrill for paying customers.
We stared at it awhile and then inched into the yard, hidden by waist high grass. “We need to bust that glass out.”
“That might be loud and draw attention.”
Now, let me just stop right there and answer your question: If you were scared of breaking into a house that didn’t belong to you, how in the world did you think it would be okay once you did, to earn money by opening it up to the public?
I have no answer.
I was a dumb kid.
My brother happened to ride by and see us. Of course he stopped. “What are you guys doing?”
“No! What are you doing?”
We told him our idea and before we had the chance to conspire once more, he nailed the back door glass with a rock and shattered the glass, sending a shattering ring for miles. We ducked in the grass, our hearts beating like scared mice in front of a starved, pregnant cat. I hate cats, btw.
When no one came around, we entered the house with our markers, crayons, tape and some old hay from a field. Yeah, I know. But whatever. We did it.
The area we stepped into was a walled-in back porch. And on the wall nearest the back door, we spotted gold.
A wall mirror!
“Hey, I bet it’d be cool if when customers came in, they looked in this mirror and instead of seeing themselves, they saw a witch!”
My friend agreed. And we started working on creating the most terrifying witch ever. Black hat, green nose and all. We didn’t quite have time to figure out how to get our own reflections off the mirror…again, dumb kids. Nope, about that time my knuckle head brother, about 7 or 8, said, “I did it!”
We turned around, and on the wall he’d plastered a dwarf size drawing of Frankenstein. In purple marker. Purple. As if that would be believable. Had he learned nothing from our witch?
Now you’re an adult and you’ve had to have seen 1st and 2nd grade drawings, right? Yeah. That was on the foam green plaster walls. I mean I can see why he would choose Frankenstein. It was two fold: 1. It’s October and hello? it’s a Haunted House. and 2. The walls were green. But still? It wasn’t a looming Frankenstein, or even a great drawing. It was sad. Really, really sad.
It was at this point, my friend’s face turned the color of one of the tomatoes in my dad’s yard size garden, which I also hated. For a moment, I seriously thought her head was going to explode and for a second longer I thought, “Dude, a bloody haunted house. That’s rad.”
And then we heard it.
The sounded of a witch’s scream.
High pitched. Piercing our ears.
I backed against the wall. My brother dropped the purple Crayola and inched next to me. Shallow pants and shaking breaths filled the back porch.
Maybe it was nothing.
We heard it again, calling our names, echoing off the walls.
“Where are you?” The word “you” shook as the witch held it out.
“Don’t tell!” My brother clutched my arm. As if I’d hand myself over to a witch. My brother? Well, that’s a different story. I was always willing to offer him up on the altar of self-preservation.
“What do we do?” my friend asked.
“Maybe she’ll go away.”
But she didn’t. She just kept hollering, as if she knew we had broken into that old house and was victimizing it with our freakishly bad artistic skills.
When it finally died down, we snatched our bikes and booked it home. My friend rounding the corner and leaving dust in her trail. No time to ride her half way.
Inside, we washed our hands. Did she know?
“Where were you when I called?” My mom asked.
*We never went back to that house and I don’t know if my mom knew what we’d been up to or not. Driving around town hollering for us wasn’t unusual. Embarrassing, yes. Unusual, no. Maybe I’ll ask her. But then, I’m still kind of scared of her witchy ways. J
Happy Fall, Ya’ll!
What is your favorite Fall treat? I love caramel apples!
Jessica R. Patch writes inspirational contemporary romance with plenty of mystery and suspense. A passion to draw women into intimacy with God keeps her motivated, along with heaping cups of caffeine in the form of coffee. When she’s not hunched over her laptop or teaching the new & growing believer's class at her church, you can find her sneaking off to movies with her husband, embarrassing her daughter in unique ways, beating her son at board games and contemplating how to get rid of her irksome dog (she hasn’t attempted any of them…yet). She is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Agency.
Connect with Jess:
Facebook: Jessica R. Patch, Writer
Connect with Jess:
Facebook: Jessica R. Patch, Writer