“The Woodpile” by Frightened Rabbit Inspires Audrey

Ridgemoor Manor

Ridgemoor Manor is supposed to be empty. I mean it’s also supposed to be haunted so I don’t think it can be both. Empty and haunted.

Mama went to school with Jonathan Ridgemoor so it hasn’t even been that long. It’s just the weeds and peeling paint that make the house look so decrepit.

“Martha, this is so stupid,” I say crossing my arms over my chest.

“Oh come on, Betty. Don’t be such a Fuddy-Duddy!” Martha replies pulling my arm off and looping it with hers as we walk, our Mary Jane’s tapping in synchrony along the street. “And, Jimmy said he’s bring Roy.” She nudges my side with her elbow, like Roy means something to me.

“It’s just an old house. What’s the big deal?” I whine, my voice high and pitchy.

Martha shakes her head while she laughs, her blonde curls bouncing. “If it’s just an old house, Betty Marshall, then a quick gander won’t hurt nothin’. Oh look! There they are!”

She squeals at the boys and I think she looks like a pig as she prances over in her pink gingham dress, smudgy black lines up the back of her legs. I sigh and follow. Martha and I have been friends since we could walk, but lately she’s been completely khaki-wacky, especially when it comes to Jimmy.

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“Loud Without the Wind was Roaring” by Emily Brontë Inspires Anne

The Resurrectionist

Her:

We buried you on a Friday. It was the summer solstice. Your mom rubbed circles on my back as they lowered your simple wooden box into the ground. Your dad spoke to no one, his clothing ripped on the right side. Everyone grabbed a handful of dirt and dropped it on your coffin. Tears ran down my cheeks and splashed onto my hands, but not because you were dead — you weren’t — I cried because of the thumbtacks I’d slipped into the straps of my cork wedges. Every step pushed the pin into a new inch of flesh. How else could I grieve for you, Tavi? You weren’t dead. You promised.

Hundreds of people turned out for your burial. At the end, your family friends from Temple formed two lines, facing each other, and recited, “Hamakom y’nachem etchem b’toch sh’ar availai tziyon ee yerushalayim,” as your parents made their way to their car.

Your mom told me later, while she sat Shiva, that it was a traditional condolence. “Those are words for the living.”

When Leib jumped into her lap and pushed his head against her hand, I almost let slip that he’d been our best experiment. Leib was one life down from nine, but we’d brought him back, and now he’d never die. We’d breathed life into his body three days after suffocating him in the basement.

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“El Petó de la Mort” by Jaume Barba Inspires Julie

El Petó de la Mort by Jaume Barba

El Petó de la Mort by Jaume Barba

Bone White

I’m cradling him in my arms, but at my touch he shrinks away, though his breath comes in shallow, pained gasps. I thought I saw a glimmer of recognition when he first beheld me, then terror. I winged out of the ether, calling his name—a croak, a breeze, a grinding of bone against bone in this deathly form of mine. There he was, beautiful as ever, at the edge of the lake.

His eyes, blue as its waters, begin to cloud. His leg is twisted beneath him. He rests on a pile of stones at the bottom of the incline where he fell, in his panic.

“Cassius,” he groans, and though I no longer have the faculty to feel warmth, to feel anything, I can imagine that my heart would surge at the sound of my name.

I brush aside the hair that has fallen across his forehead and he winces, tosses his head.

“Be gone,” he says, and blood wells between his lips.

I came to bid him farewell, for I feared he had forgotten me. I was wrong, and I see now that I’ve sealed his fate, too. continue reading…