“There was a sudden sound as if someone were inhaling deeply.  Sebastian noticed that the lid of the coffin had sprung open ajar, as if by magic.  He still couldn’t see inside.  Sebastian furrowed his brow straining to see what he could not.  Then slowly the coffin’s lid opened without any creaking sound.  Sebastian shook his head as the motion happened, in fear of what he might see. The casket revealed nothing.  It was pure white lining as if it were brand new and just purchased.  But was it his?  Had Sebastian just witnessed his own destiny?  The questions leading him to this point begged for answers, none of which he had and in a flash, a woman’s body appeared.  She was wearing a red dress with matching shoes suitable for a night on the town.  Her hair looked as if it was made of steel wool and her skin looked burnt.  The eye sockets were onyx orbs and they seemed to hold some unknown liquid, which swirled inside. Sebastian watched in horror as the woman rose up on her heels as if a lift were assisting her.  Her blackened teeth receded and she reached out to him, raising her right arm, pointing to him and as she motioned to speak, black ooze poured out of her mouth like slow moving tar.  “Do you remember me, my son?” Sebastian felt a single tear stream down his cheek, “Mamá?”  He asked.  “I miss you!””




16754104_1420825051269548_404749438_n“A very happy man, Sam spent the next few months with Loryn and his happiness prevented him from noticing that the corn in his fields had stopped growing. It had been months since the planting, and the following day’s three-foot growth spurt, but now it seemed that the corn had stopped maturing. Two hundred acres of still six-foot corn stalks with no hint of corn on any of them haunted him. He walked the fields searching for just one ear of corn, but there were none. He checked the soil and found the morning dew supplied sufficient moisture, even though it had never rained once since he had come to the town. It appeared to be late fall, but the temperatures didn’t get any colder. The whole growing season for corn appeared to be out of whack with no reasons as to why. Loryn didn’t have any answers, and her only pressing concern was planning the wedding. She told Sam that she wanted to talk to Pastor John about presiding over their wedding. Pastor John Moses was the most influential man in the town. Even the mayor, Jed Bailey, bowed to his recommendations. She left the farm to go see the pastor, and left Sam wondering what he did wrong in growing his corn. He pulled a stalk from the ground and saw no problem with the way the roots grew. He wanted to go talk to Charley, thinking that maybe an experienced farmer could tell him what he did wrong. He started his car and it immediately died. He figured that the leaded gas he put in it had finally destroyed the engine. Loryn came back to tell Sam the good news that the pastor agreed to marry them. She found Sam under the hood of his car covered with oil and grease. She ran to him and wanted to hug him, but he was filthy, so she refrained. “Oh, sweetheart, what is wrong with your fancy car?” Sam, irritated that he couldn’t fix it, angrily declared, “I knew it would die sooner or later. Do you suppose Silas could fix it?” She had known Silas for many years but didn’t think that he could fix it, knowing what kind of problems he encountered with more simplistic cars. “You can ask him, but my car doesn’t have this many hoses and wires on it. I don’t think that he will know where to begin with this, but he did tell me about a week ago that he had a Plymouth for sale. Do you want me to ask him if he still has it?” Sam, having seen the classic cars in town, was interested and asked her to ask Silas, given that she knew him better than he did. Loryn and Sam walked back to the house. He cleaned himself up while he listened to her excitedly talk about having the wedding in the same park where they had the celebration for Sam arriving in town. They decided that they wanted to marry the following spring when the flowers were blooming. She declared that the pastor wanted to meet Sam, so she planned a visit with him the following week. Loryn talked about the wedding to many of the women in town while Sam asked the other farmers for suggestions as to why his corn stopped growing. The farmers didn’t appear to understand what Sam rambled about because they all viewed his fields as having normal growth. He knew from his family farm in Virginia that something was amiss, but he didn’t tell them that they didn’t know what they were talking about. He just let it go and joined the ladies talking about the wedding.”





“”You’ll have to go in.” Jenny frowned. “I don’t want to go in there.” Turning to his sister, Jayden pleaded with her. “Please Jenny, what if the poor thing is stuck in there? You’re smaller than me, you need to go in and check.” Jenny sighed as she pulled off her backpack and set it on the ground. She took the flashlight she was still holding and placed it on the top of the pack. “I’ll go in, but if I get bit by a spider or something else, I’m going to kill you.” Jayden laughed. You’ll be fine Jen. I’ve never even seen bugs down here, the other times I’ve been in the caves.” Jenny grunted. “That doesn’t mean they aren’t in here. I don’t think we’ve ever come in this far before either.” Dropping to her knees, Jenny then crawled through the small opening. She yelled back at her brother. “Hey, shine your light in here, it’s really dark.” Jayden bent down and focused his flashlight in the hole. With the added light, Jenny could see the area she was in wasn’t very large and she could see the dog looking at her with sad brown eyes. The animal was sitting just in front of her. “It’s okay puppy. We won’t hurt you. I just need to get you out of this place.” Jenny reached forward and began petting the dog, who stepped close to her and started licking her face. Jenny giggled. “Hey, that tickles.” She put an arm around the puppy and bringing the dog with her, started backing out of the hole. Standing outside, Jayden saw his sister slowly coming out. As she backed all the way out of the hole, Jayden reached down and took the puppy so she could stand up. Once she got up, Jenny brushed the dirt off herself, and then she smiled. “Isn’t he cute?” Jayden frowned and then saw why Jenny was calling the dog he. Laughing, Jayden nodded. “He sure is, I hope we can keep him.” Jenny pointed at the dog. “He’s got a collar on Jayden. He must belong to somebody.””

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