October 12, 2012

Exploding Heads and Frankenstein: Guest Post by Jessica R. Patch

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?”

“Go home.”

“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.

Our imagination.

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:

Blog: http://www.jessicarpatch.com
Twitter: @JessicaRPatch
Facebook: Jessica R. Patch, Writer


  1. Hahaha! This is hilarious. My friend and I always talked about moving into an old abandoned house in town, but we never actually broke into it. ;) Scandalous! LOL.

    1. LOL! It just takes one big rock and a bratty little brother. :)

  2. Suspense is in your blood! Look at your little bad self breaking into haunted houses...go Jess! Thanks for the morning laugh, and Lindsay--cute blog and I love your "trusting that He's got this" up top:)

    1. I never thought of it like that, but you know what? You're right! It is in my blood. LOL

    2. Thanks so much, Susan! It's great to have you here. :)

  3. Ahhh, that's hilarious! I just want to know if anyone else ever saw your purple drawing!!

    My favorite fall treat--it's probably a tie between pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider. Oh, and this amazing pumpkin dessert my aunt makes. And, wait for it, candy corn. (P.s. I can't believe Tim never answered your tweet. How rude!)

    1. Ahem...my BROTHER's purple drawing and I hope not! I'm sure whoever came in to clean up later to re-sell probably flipped a lid. :)

  4. Jess, all I can say is...I love you!! Thanks for being my guest today. Oh, and happy birthday tomorrow. I'm enjoying my slice of virtual cake right now, and it's not even 6 am. Yum yum.

    1. It's already been a blast! Love you bunches, friend! Thanks!!

  5. Oh my gosh, Jess! My respect for you has skyrocketed! Lol

    1. LOL! Aw thanks, who knew forced entry would do the trick?!

  6. I love it, thank for a smile this morning!

  7. You are soooo crazy, Miss Jessica Patch! And that's why I love you! Do you still torment your brother? Just curious. :) Happy birthday!!

    1. I try, but he lives about 6 hours away so I only get a chance to drive him nuts (and vice versa) a few times a year. :(

      Love you too,friend!

  8. Ah! A surprise birthday party! Woot! Thanks for my cake and of course letting me hang out with you, Linds! You're so awesome! :)Cake before 6 am is Uber-delish!

  9. Jessica! You and I would have made a great team as children. :) I was always coming up with these great plans and schemes, but I would NEVER have had the guts to break in and actually pull it off!! That's so funny and knowing you, I can totally picture a little Jess with green marker in hand. :)

    Thanks for the laugh and happy birthdays! p.s. I don't like cats, either, and I recorded a vlog post that I'll share next week with a story about my disgusting cat and why it reminded me of you. :) Haha - not that the disgusting cat reminded me of you - but what happened! Sorry - I could have deleted that sentence and started over, but it was too funny. :)

    1. Yeah, sure! lol I can't wait to see it. Thanks for the Birthday wishes, Minnesota! You betcha!

  10. Great story! Too bad there aren't any pictures of the crayon drawings. :) BTW, happy birthday, Jessica. We're only 9 days apart. Woot for October babies!

    You've just inspired me to tell a birthday story on my blog. Good thing I have over a week to think of something good. Still probably won't top your hilarity! :)

  11. Happy Birthday tomorrow, Jessica! You really should've been born on the 31st. lol

  12. My brother just posted (under his WIFE's name) on my fb page about this and here's his comment:

    "I believe being the artistic one in the house that the Frankenstien was a very accurate protrait demanding respect by all true believers of the horror genre thank you very much and also i remember you saying its mom get down and she'll drive right by lol"

    He may be the artist (not) but I'm definitely the speller! hee hee!

  13. Great story, Jessica! You're a great story teller. Got me in the mood for the Fall for sure! I love just about anything pumpkin. Pie, bread, you name it!

    Happy birthday!

  14. Also, I should have proofed this before sending. LOL

  15. HAHAHA! What a great story! The funniest thing? I can still see you being up for trying that today. In the front my subdivision (current day), there a completely neglected house with an overgrown yard whose owners drive hearses. Yes, HEARSES. Two of them. One white. One black. I've never seen people enter or exit this house. I'm tellin' ya, modern day creepers. :)

  16. Funny story, Jess. Donna's (above) subdivision sounds like a scene out of The Burbs...lol!

    Have a Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!

    1. It did sound very Burbs-ish which happens to be one of my favorite movies! "Once they get in here, Ray, it's all over." LOL

  17. I always appreciate a nice blog.
    Japan is autumn.
    Autumn is the season for the Japanese very favorite.
    It is the best among them fall in Kyoto.
    Northern Hokkaido, the south you can enjoy the autumn to Kagoshima.
    Japanese exodus has begun seeking vacationers fall.
    It is also recommended Kyoto.
    Friend of Japan. Ryoma Sakamoto.
    I'm sorry I was wrong spelling.

  18. Too funny Jess! You sound like you were as much fun then as you are now. Happy Birthday!

    1. My mom might say differently...and my brother. LOL

  19. I was laughing so hard at this! I totally dig the haunted house idea, who CARES if it's vandalism/breaking and entering! Such a fun post--and happy birthday! October is a lovely month to be born (my daughter was, too!).

    1. I love being an October baby (isn't that a movie?)and a Happy Birthday to your daughter! :)

  20. Jessica, you crack me up! Love this story.

    I'm with you on the caramel apples, too. But mine are required to have a layer of chocolate over the caramel to reach favorite status. So yummy!

  21. Oh Jess! You're great for a morning chuckle! I'm soooo boring compared to you! LOL Anyway...favorite Fall treat?...I'm with you on the caramel apples. Although, truth be told, I eat them any time I get a chance. :)