Wellington Street

In which we take a stroll down a very strange lane.

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Factory 1 "The Trick-or-Treaters"

Their parents wouldn't help them purchase Halloween masks. Should have reconsidered. Shouldn't have been cheap. They should have at least made their children keep their mouths shut about it. Was a cool night. Lot's of kids on the street...still took several houses before people realized the kids weren't wearing masks.

My boy Noah decided he wanted to go as a skeleton this year. Can still smell the face paint under my finger nails. That pungent, awful smell. You never forget it...When I was a kid everyone used the face paints. Masks cost money. Was cheaper to throw something together. My family didn't have a lot of money back then. On really bad years we would sometimes stay home, my sister and I. We were embarrassed. I try not to let those memories affect my kids.

Noah, Beth and I left the house around seven. Margaret was at home. Figured it was best. Her face was a little swollen that day.

We heard screaming about twenty minutes after that. It was an older woman. House full of plants. Had lost her husband the other year. Loves kids though. Hands out the big candy bars. By the time I reached them she was already on the phone with police. The kids stood there, unfazed. Didn't seem to realize that anything was wrong. The stitches were fresh. Whatever he doped them with it was enough to make sure they didn't feel any pain.

I ran across the street. Noah and Beth followed.

Paranoia - A short story

On The Grey Flag

The old lady was staring at her. She knew it.

Four months ago, Julia had married the love of her life. Her husband, Mike had just been named head curator at the art museum where he was working in. She was three months pregnant with a boy they would call Joey and after Joey is born she would quit that stressful writing job of hers to be a full-time housewife. Nothing could go wrong in her perfect life.

The day it arrived, Julia and Mike were busy unpacking their luggage from their trip to Venice when the doorbell rang. Julia ran out to get the door and when she opened it and looked down, there it was.

The package was encased by a bubble wrap, with an additional layer of plastic over it. At first glance it was about two feet tall and one foot wide. Julia carried it into the living room and unwrapped it. The rectangular wooden frame in the package was old, but kept in good condition. Flakes of the golden paint that coated it were coming off but it was still a beautiful frame, with very fine carvings of flowers at its corners. But Julia didn’t notice that, her eyes were fixed on the painting in the frame.

It was a portrait of an old lady who looked almost in her eighties. She had a sharp chin and high cheekbones and her pale skin was weathered and covered in wrinkles. The old lady’s graying hair was tied up in a bun and over it she wore a white bonnet. She had a hooked nose, almost too big for her face, with a sharp tip like the beak of a hawk. Below that nose she had very thin and dry lips. The edges of her mouth slanted slightly upward, giving her a smile that looked more like a smirk to Julia.

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