WBKE - Kinda/Sorta Halloween Special! AND Scary Story Time: October 2012

Hey guys, first up,  I have to apologize for being a day late in getting these posts to you. Here in New Jersey we've holed up, waiting out the rain in the dark, but all that's behind us now because I've got not only the Halloween podcast for you, but also this month's Scary Story Time! So first up, here's an hour long show filled with not only submitted stories from friends and listeners, but also filled with some of our own experiences, which you can get by:

1. CLICKING HERE

2. Going to the WBKE iTunes Store Page, or searching for us on Stitcher!

I hope you enjoy the show, guys, because of a good few reasons it's lacking Bobby, but my girlfriend Allie and I still had more than enough to say! We'd initially planned to just do a half hour, but we naturally ended up doubling that!

Now it's time for a story though. This is one of my favorites and it comes to us from, as best as I can find, just "Johnny." There's something about it's insanely simple twist that I really like. I can't quite put my finger on it. But lets just jump right in:

The Couch

Ok, disclaimer: To the very best of my knowledge, this story is true. I don't expect to convince you - truth be told, I've had a hard time coming to terms with it myself. Cliche' as it may be, I really am a rational person, and, if not for this, I would probably be the most stone-faced atheist you'd ever meet. But, after much internal struggle and debate, I have come to the conclusion that there are things in life that simply can't be explained with reason, at least in the form in which we know it. Logic, for all the trust we place in it, is really nothing more than a candle, all too easily snuffed out. And when it is gone, we are left alone in the dark, and everything we would scoff at by daylight suddenly becomes very believable.

Alright, before I wax too melodramatic, here's my story.

I was very young; only 4 or 5, at most, before either of my siblings were born. It was just Mommy and Daddy and me, living in our little house in Great Bend, Kansas. Very quaint. We were a young family, without much money, and most of our furniture was second-hand.

It was the middle of the day; summer, hot, boring. I was playing marbles by myself on the thin carpet beside the huge, old, flower-patterned-couch. Mom was down the hall in the kitchen, and Dad was at work.

Why I was trying to roll marbles around on the carpet I don't know - we had a perfectly good linoleum floor, after all. But there I was, swishing the marbles back and forth, happily bouncing them into each other. Then, in my overzealous enthusiasm, I rolled too hard. My favorite marble - the clear, ruby-red one, zipped into the dark space under the couch and was lost. Damnit. Dad wasn't home, and he was the only one strong enough to move that huge old couch for me. I'd have to get my marble back myself.

I reached my hand under the couch, tentatively at first, then deeper.

Encountering no marbles, I pulled my hand out in disappointment.

Then, a hand reached out from under the couch back at me. I remember the image vividly, and I suspect I always will. It was a slim hand, with tapered fingers - a woman's hand. It was gnarled and wrinkled, as if aged, and it was dead black. Not black as in African, black as in dead. Of course, back then, I didn't know that corpses blacken as they decompose, so I didn't know what the black meant.

The hand reached out to me as far as it could, which was just up to the wrist. Then it retreated under the couch. Then it emerged again, this time pushing with it a little crumpled up, plastic bag with a logo on it I didn't recognize. It waited, as if expecting me to take the bag. Then, when I didn't, it pulled the bag back under the couch and was gone.

I got up, walked down to the kitchen, and told my Mommy what had happened. Why didn't I run screaming, or at least run? I don't really know. All I can say is, I was a little kid; a hand reaching out from under the couch at me didn't seem like that huge a deal. I hadn't yet learned what was and was not permissible in reality. I had no worldview.

Mom was skeptical, but walked me back to the couch and explained how I was probably imagining things. She even reached her hand under the couch to convince me that nothing was down there. Later, Dad lifted the couch up for me, and the only thing under it was, of course, my missing marble, plus a few more marbles I didn't even remember losing.

But here's the scary part...

For years, I remembered this - I even developed a weird fantasy of little hand-people living under the couch, and I, in my childlike innocence, believed that they would catch me and take me away if I ever reached into their domain again. Then, as I grew older, I wrote the memory off as a dream I had had as a child - cute, but silly.

Then, a few years ago, I recounted the story to my mother.

She gave me a funny look, and told me she remembered it, because, after all, she had been there. She told me that she remembered me coming to her in the middle of the day and telling her about the hand under the couch, and remembered being highly disturbed by my story, since I was an extremely quiet, well-behaved kid who didn't ever lie.

Then she told me about the couch itself. According to her, she and Dad had gotten the couch from the estate of an old woman who had actually died on it. This was the first time I had heard about this, but it sure explained why they got rid of the couch within a month of my story.

But here's part that truly frightens me, even to this day. The part that I have to try so hard to get out of my mind some nights. Remember that bag the hand pushed towards me? I've never forgotten the logo that was on it. And, recently, (as in a few years ago), I saw the same logo again, on what looked like the same type of bag, in a hardware store.

It was a bag of utility razor-blades.

THE END

Well that's a wrap on Halloween, everybody! I hope you enjoy the story, I hope you enjoy the show, and I hope you spread the word about us!

So please remember to follow us on Twitter (@WillRogers2000 and @BobbyKoester), to like our Facebook Page, and to subscribe to our YouTube Channel! You can also send us comments or questions at WillAndBobby@gmail.com! We have some amazing announcements coming up, so keep an eye on us, guys!

See you again for episode 44 of WBKE on Sunday!

Scary Story Time: September 2012

Hey guys, welcome to this month's Scary Story Time, it's a big one. But first things first: Quick disclaimer: I’m a really big fan of horror movies and scary stories. Recently I’ve been finding a lot of interesting little scary stories written anonymously by people on the internet, so I decided to start sharing some of the ones I like. You should know, before you read on, that I did not write any of these stories, unless otherwise noted. You should also know that I won’t always be posting stories that I enjoy 100%. There could be a ten-page story that I post because I like one sentence of it. In that case, I assume I’ll explain why I posted horse-shit and what merit I see in it. Sometimes, I’ll post “scary” stories that I hate, think are stupid, or maybe even funny. But more than that, you should really know that some of these stories may be somewhat graphic, so just steel yourself for anything, especially poor spelling and grammar (I don’t edit these stories). No matter what, though, I hope you enjoy them too, and if you know any stories or sources, please share them with me. Also, if you have any requests, just ask, I have a huge archive of this stuff!

Now that that's out of the way, I want to post the first story in the series I was talking about on this week's Will and Bobby Know Everything. It's called Footsteps, and it's the first part of what eventually became the book Penpal by Dathan Auerbach. It's fucking awesome, and the whole series deserves a look, though admittedly I'm more a fan of the original stories online than I am of the final book. Anyway, let's get to it:

Footsteps

This is long, so I apologize for that. I’ve never had to tell this story with enough detail to actually explain it all the way, but it is true and it happened when I was about 6 years old.

In a quiet room if you press your ear against a pillow you can hear your heartbeat. As a kid, the muffled, rhythmic beats sounded like soft footsteps on a carpeted floor, and so as a kid almost every night – just as I was about to drift off to sleep – I would hear these footsteps and I would be ripped back to consciousness, terrified.

For my entire childhood I lived with my mother in a fairly nice neighborhood that was in a transitional phase – people of lower economic means were gradually moving in, and my mother and I were two of these people. We lived in the kind of house you see being transported in two pieces on the interstate, but my mom took good care of it. There were a lot of woods surrounding the neighborhood that I would play in and explore during the day, but at night – as things often do to a kid – they took on a more sinister feeling. This coupled with the fact that, due to the nature of our house, there was a fairly large crawlspace underneath filled my mind with imaginary monsters and inescapable scenarios which would consume my thoughts when I was awoken by the footsteps.

I told my mom about the footsteps and she said that I was just imagining things; I persisted enough that she blasted my ears with water from a turkey baster once just to placate me, since I thought that would help. Of course it didn’t. Despite all the creepiness and footsteps the only weird thing that ever happened was that every now and then I would wake up on the bottom bunk despite having gone to sleep on the top, but this wasn’t really weird since I’d sometimes get up to piss or get something to drink and could remember just going back to sleep on the bottom bunk (I’m an only child so it didn’t matter). This would happen once or twice a week, but waking up on the bottom bunk wasn’t too terrifying. But one night I didn’t wake up on the bottom bunk.

I had heard the footsteps but was too far gone to be woken up by them, and when I was awoken it wasn’t from the sound of footsteps or a nightmare, but because I was cold. Really cold. When I opened my eyes I saw stars. I was in the woods. I sat up immediately and tried to figure out what was going on. I thought I was dreaming, but that didn’t seem right, though neither did me being in the woods. There was a deflated pool float right in front of me – one of those ones shaped like a shark. This only added to the surreal feeling, but after a while it seemed like I just wasn’t going to wake up because I wasn’t asleep. I stood up to orient myself, but I didn’t recognize these woods. I played in the woods by my house all the time and so I knew them really well, but if these weren’t the same woods then how could I get out? I took a step and felt a shooting pain in my foot which knocked me back to where I had just been laying. I had stepped on a thorn. By the light of the moon I could see that they were everywhere. I looked at my other foot but it was fine, and as a matter of fact so was the rest of me. I didn’t have another scratch on me and I wasn’t even that dirty. I cried for a little bit and then stood back up.

I didn’t know which way to go so I just picked a direction. I resisted the urge to call out since I wasn’t sure I wanted to be found by who or what might be out there

I walked for what seemed like hours.

I tried to walk in a straight line, and tried to course-correct when I had to take detours, but I was a kid and I was afraid. There weren’t any howls or screams, and only once did I hear any noise that scared me. It sounded like a crying baby. I think now that it was just a cat, but I panicked. I ran veering in different directions to avoid big thicks of bushes and collapsed trees. And I was paying close attention to where I stepped because by that point my feet were in pretty bad shape. I paid too much attention to where I was stepping and not enough to where those steps were leading because not long after hearing the cry I saw something that filled me with a kind of despair I haven’t experienced since. It was the pool float.

I was only 10 feet from where I had woken up.

This wasn’t magic or some supernatural space-bending. I was lost. Up until that moment I thought more about getting out of the woods than how I got in, but being back at the beginning caused my mind to swim. I wasn’t evensure that these were my woods; I had only been hoping that they were. Had I run in a huge circle around that spot, or did I just get turned around and start making my way back? How was I going to get out? At the time I thought the north star was just the brightest star, and so I looked and found the brightest one and followed it.

Eventually things started to look more familiar and when I saw “the ditch” (a dirt ditch my friends and I would have dirt-clod wars in) I knew I had made it out. By that point I was walking really slowly because my feet hurt so much, but I was so happy to be so close to home that I broke into a light jog. When I actually saw the roof of my house over a neighboring, lower-set house I let out a light sob and ran faster. I just wanted to be home. I had already decided that I wouldn’t say anything because I had no idea what I could possibly say. I would get back in the house somehow, clean up, and get in bed. My heart sunk as I rounded the corner and my house came fully into view.

Every light in the house was on.

I knew my mom was up, and I knew I would have to explain (or try to explain) where I had been, and I couldn’t even figure out where to start. My run became a jog which became a walk. I saw her silhouette through the blinds, and although I was worried about how to explain things to her that didn’t matter to me at that point. I walked up the couple of steps to the porch and put my hand on the doorknob and turned. Right before I pushed it open two arms wrapped around me and pulled me back. I screamed as loud as I could: “MOM! HELP ME! PLEASE! MOM!” The feeling of being so close to being safe and then being physically pulled away from it filled me with a kind of dread that is, even after all these years, indescribable.

The door I had been torn away from opened, and a flash of hope shot through my heart. But it wasn’t my mom.

It was a man, and he was enormous. I thrashed around and kicked at the shins of the person holding me while also trying to get away from the person who had just come out of my house. I was scared, but I was furious. “LET ME GO! WHERE IS SHE? WHERE’S MY MOM? WHAT’D YOU DO TO HER!?” As my throat stung from screaming and I was drawing in another breath I became aware of a sound that had been present for longer than I had perceived it. “Honey, please calm down. I’ve got you.” It sounded like my mom.

The arms loosened and set me down, and as man approaching me blocked out the porch light with his head I noticed his clothes. He was a cop. I turned to face the voice behind me and saw that it really was my mom. Everything was ok. I began to cry, and the three of us went inside.

“I’m so glad you’re home, Sweetie. I was worried I’d never see you again.” By that point she was crying too.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what happened. I just wanted to come home. I’m sorry.”

“It’s ok, just don’t ever do that again. I’m not sure me or my shins could take it…”

A little laughter broke through my sobs and I smiled a bit. “Well I’m sorry for kicking you, but why’d you have to grab me like that?!”

“I was just afraid that you’d run away again.”

I was confused. “What do you mean?”

“We found your note on your pillow,” she said, and pointed at the piece of paper that the police officer was sliding across the table.

I picked up the note and read it. It was a “running away” letter. It said that I was unhappy never wanted to see her or any of my friends again. The police officer exchanged a few words with my mom on the porch while I stared at the letter. I didn’t remember writing a letter. I didn’t remember anything about any of this. But even if I sometimes went to the bathroom at night and didn’t remember, or even if I could have gone into the woods on my own, even if all that could have been true, the only thing I knew at that point was,

“This isn’t how you spell my name . . . I didn’t write this letter.”

The End

I love that story, and honestly, it works as a beginning to a greater narrative. Go to Amazon and buy the book or go read the original series!

Anyway, I know you're probably freaked out right now, but I have the perfect remedy, it's my new YouTube companion piece to Scary Story Time. It'll be updated every month on the 13th along with the regular blog post, and it features me reading the worst of the stories I've found. So check out the first video!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W872j1QipzU&feature=youtu.be]

That's it for this month's Scary Story Time, so go subscribe, tell your friends, and email us at WillAndBobby@gmail.com with comments/questions!

New Scary Stories next month!

Scary Story Time: August 2012

Hey guys, I know I'm a day late with this month's Scary Story Time, but deal with it, I've been globe trotting. Well...I flew to Oregon. As a matter of fact, it was a horror story in and of itself, one which I'll be writing about in the next few days. But that's not why you're here. This is: Quick disclaimer: I’m a really big fan of horror movies and scary stories. Recently I’ve been finding a lot of interesting little scary stories written anonymously by people on the internet, so I decided to start sharing some of the ones I like. You should know, before you read on, that I did not write any of these stories, unless otherwise noted. You should also know that I won’t always be posting stories that I enjoy 100%. There could be a ten-page story that I post because I like one sentence of it. In that case, I assume I’ll explain why I posted horse-shit and what merit I see in it. Sometimes, I’ll post “scary” stories that I hate, think are stupid, or maybe even funny. But more than that, you should really know that some of these stories may be somewhat graphic, so just steel yourself for anything, especially poor spelling and grammar (I don’t edit these stories). No matter what, though, I hope you enjoy them too, and if you know any stories or sources, please share them with me. Also, if you have any requests, just ask, I have a huge archive of this stuff!

So without much further ado, I'm going to post three stories this month, because each one is very short. These particular stories are interesting though, because they're among the first anonymously written scary stories I ever saw online. They're the stories that got me interested in scouring the internet for more. So lets get to it:

Don't Worry About It

You're slowly stirred awake by the distant ringing as the phone beside your bed pulls you out of your dreams. Your thoughts gather themselves and you groan, reaching over to answer. As soon as you place the phone to your ear, you're greeted by the background noise consisting of twisted screams. There were people in agonizing pain begging for help or death, not that the interference allows you to hear any individual voice clearly enough. "Get out of the house now!" The call ends abruptly after what you could have sworn was a voice from closer to you than on the other end. You shift yourself to the side of the bed, sighing while rubbing your eyes. A call this startling and this early in the morning would keep you awake. Your wife shuffles to the side, apparently also woken by the call. She wraps her arms around you and gives a light kiss on the neck. "Don't worry about it." Her half-asleep mumble calms you down somewhat. Just as you're about to place the phone down, it rings again. You fumble slightly and drop it. Instead, you feel your wife's arms tighten around you, preventing you from leaning forward. It's then you notice a subtle difference between the arms around you and the familiarity of your wife's. "He's too late to save you anyway."

The End

Spooky. That one might seem stupid to you, but it kind of gets me. No matter what, I think we'll all agree that this next one is fucking completely stupid:

Hungry Snake

There was a couple from Florida who owned a python. It was a very large snake and they’ve had it for a while so they did not put it in a cage and they let it be free in the house. The couple started to become concerned when the snake stopped eating. All the snake would do is lay around and occasionally it would slither onto their bed and stretch its body out. They finally decided to take the snake to the veterinarian because it would not eat anything, even its favorite meals. They doctor did a thorough exam and turned to the couple and said: "You need to get rid of this snake immediately. It has been refusing his food because it’s getting ready to eat you. When it stretches out he’s measuring how tall you are and if he can fit you in his body."

The End

See? It's definitely one of the dumbest scary stories I've posted so far, but it follows a rule of scary stories that I really like. I love it when a scary story ends with a character suddenly revealing an obvious truth. I've posted stories before that end with a character basically saying: GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! THE THING YOU THOUGHT WAS HARMLESS IS DEFINITELY NOT! So do with that what you will. Anyway, I'll end now with a legitimately solid story:

The Bells

Two young girls were best friends. One day they were chatting casually and the conversation turned unexpectedly to the afterlife, wondering if there was such a thing. So, they made a little promise, whoever goes first would ring a bell from the other side to tell the other. They then bought a pair of bells.

Several years later, one of them died in a traffic accident. In the memorial service, faint bell sounds were heard. The friend was happy that she remembered her promise, and that there is someplace they might meet again someday.

… Then the sound became feverish as if the ringer was in a panic.

The End

Kaboom. What a nice little story. It's clever and atmospheric and just overall well done. It's one of the stories that I think Bobby would really like. Because he basically hates all of these.

Anyway, I think that's it for this month's Scary Story Time, so let me just tease you with a fun idea I had. Bobby and I are going to be spreading out into a new medium pretty soon, and I'm thinking of some new ways to do Scary Story Time. Maybe you'll be able to listen to me tell you one soon!

Thanks for reading, guys, I hope you enjoyed the stories, and feel free to talk about them or send me some either in the comments or at WillAndBobby@gmail.com!

See you next month!

WBKE - Episode 19: The Madness of Dr. Tanzler

This week on Will and Bobby Know Everything we're joined by our buddy Cooper as we discuss magic, music, and madness. That's right.

We're talking about Penn & Teller!

We're talking about Michael Jackson!

And then we delve into the horror, the weirdness, and the madness of Dr. Carl Tanzler!

I can't warn you guys strongly enough that the story of Dr. Tanzler is not for the easily disturbed, the feint of heart, or anybody with a weak stomach. It's truly bizarre and disgusting. More than that, it's a true story! Seriously: here's the Wikipedia article, complete with pictures!

Anyway, enjoy the show and feel free to let us know what you think in the comments!

Click here to listen from your browser!

Click here to go to the iTunes page (rate us)!

Or search for the show on the Apple/Android/Blackberry app Stitcher!

For more detailed instructions, click here!

Anyway, please e-mail us at WillAndBobby@gmail.com with comments/questions/requests to host, check us out on Facebook (and click the "Like" button!) and follow us on Twitter: @WillAndBobby!

More than that, enjoy the show and spread the word!

Episode 20 (and news of our upcoming LIVE EPISODE) coming next week!

Scary Story Time: May 2012

Hey guys, Happy Mother's Day! It just so happens that today is also the 13th of the month, which means it's Scary Story Time. In honor of mothers and children everywhere, I'm mashing the two holidays together! So here are THREE scary stories centered on the lady we all know and love (mom) and the stuff we all feel and hate (fear). But first:

Quick disclaimer: I’m a really big fan of horror movies and scary stories. Recently I’ve been finding a lot of interesting little scary stories written anonymously by people on the internet, so I decided to start sharing some of the ones I like. You should know, before you read on, that I did not write any of these stories, unless otherwise noted. You should also know that I won’t always be posting stories that I enjoy 100%. There could be a ten-page story that I post because I like one sentence of it. In that case, I assume I’ll explain why I posted horse-shit and what merit I see in it. Sometimes, I’ll post “scary” stories that I hate, think are stupid, or maybe even funny. But more than that, you should really know that some of these stories may be somewhat graphic, so just steel yourself for anything, especially poor spelling and grammar (I don’t edit these stories). No matter what, though, I hope you enjoy them too, and if you know any stories or sources, please share them with me. Also, if you have any requests, just ask, I have a huge archive of this stuff!

Now here we go: We're going to start with a story that I told in Episode 5 of Will and Bobby Know Everything, which was all about The Supernatural. So you may have heard it before, but it never get's old.

In The Kitchen

A young girl is playing in her bedroom when she hears her mother call to her from the kitchen, so she runs downstairs to meet her mother. As she's running through the hallway, the door to the cupboard under the stairs opens, and a hand reaches out and pulls her in. It's her mother. She whispers to her child, "Don't go into the kitchen. I heard it too."

The end.

I fucking love it. That's basically the perfect scary story. And it takes about two seconds to read. Amazing. This next one is pretty similar, but still pretty great:

Upstairs

When I was a child I lived in a rented two-floor house. Both my parents worked so I was often alone when I came home from school. One early evening when I came home the house was still dark. I called out, “Mum?” and heard a voice say “Yeeeeees?” from upstairs. I called my mum again, and again got the same “Yeeeeees?” reply. I felt she was calling back at me and climbed up the stairs. When I reached the first floor I called her once more and the voice “Yeeeeees?” came from the furthest room. I felt both uneasy, but felt a strong urge to see my mother, and started to walk towards the room. But just as I was about to open the door into the room I heard the front door downstairs open and my mother come in, carrying a lot of shopping bags. “Sweetie, are you home?” my mother called in a cheery voice. Hearing her voice made me feel instantly better and I turned back to go downstairs at once… but not before I had a quick glance towards the room. While I watched from the top of the stairs, the door to the room slowly opened a crack. For a brief moment, I saw something strange in there. A pale face, staring at me.

The end.

And the final scary story for the day is a pretty long one, but it's also pretty great. This one isn't scary from the perspective of a son or daughter, but it's got to be a fucking nightmare from the point of view of a parent. Enjoy, it's one of my favorites:

A Game of Flashlight Tag

When I was ten, I played a late night game of flashlight tag with a bunch of neighborhood kids. If you don’t know what flashlight tag is, it’s the same as tag, but you play it in the dark, the person who’s “it” gets a flashlight, and they have to yell the name of the person they see with it in order to “tag” them. It was really cloudy that night, and most people had their curtains drawn, so it was the perfect level of darkness for hiding in. The side of the street my house was on was skirted by a broad length of woods. That was basically the boundary for our side of the game. You could run through any yard, even go across the street and run through their yards, but you weren’t allowed to hide in the woods, because it was too difficult to find anyone in there, and it was very easy to trip over tree limbs or end up with poison oak. Of course, this rule was frequently and flagrantly ignored when people got too close to being caught. They’d duck off into the bushes for a few seconds, or run behind a group of trees to evade capture. I don’t remember who was it at the time, but I was hiding in a backyard two houses down from my house. The family that lived there had a little playhouse for their daughter, a swing set and a doghouse but no dog. I would periodically duck into the doghouse whenever I saw the flashlight’s searching beam approaching. Those of us trying to hide from the “it” person liked to spook each other in the dark by jumping out of nowhere and making each other scream, giving away our positions. I thought I knew where the “it” guy was, but I got comfortable hanging out on the swing set. Suddenly, a person with a flashlight came around the corner of the house and angled it almost directly at me. I jumped and ran for the edge of the woods. When I got there, I hovered in case they saw me and were going to yell at me for cheating. The beam of light seemed to explore the swing set where I was, then came in my direction, but there was no sense of hurry at all to it, and I wondered for a second if maybe I’d attracted the attention of the homeowner. Most people on the block knew we were out playing flashlight tag, but you never can be sure that someone won’t get nervous if you stay in their yard too long. So I crouched down in the grass and waited to see who it was. They shined the light right in my face and I tried to cover it with my hand to avoid identification. The creepy thing was, they never said anything, just shined that light on me. “You got me!” I exclaimed, hoping that if it was a homeowner, they’d realize I thought they were the flashlight tagger. Then I realized that two houses down, people were yelling and there was the “it” guy’s flashlight beam chasing them around. I stood up and tried to see who was shining the light on me. They just stood there, not moving, not saying anything. I felt a little freaked out. “If you don’t want us playin’ in your yard, I’ll go tell them it’s off limits, okay?” The person started walking toward me. I didn’t feel right, so I started walking toward the edge of the yard. The person just kept shining the light on me and coming toward me. So I ran. When I looked back, the person with the flashlight was running too, and they were an adult, much bigger and much faster than me. I felt scared now, not sure why this person was chasing me. I was running toward where the other kids had been, but they were gone now. It just seemed to be me and the person with the flashlight. So I turned right and ducked into the woods. I dropped to the ground, shaking bushes and stuff to try to confuse the person, then shimmied under a ring of thick bushes and curled up. I could see the flashlight in the woods with me, looking around. I could hear the person’s footsteps breaking sticks and crunching on pine needles. I didn’t know what the fuck was going on, and I just wanted to get back to all the other kids. Eventually, the flashlight wandered deeper into the woods and I crawled quiet as a mouse back to the edge of the trees and then got up and ran toward the street. I was immediately caught by the person who was “it”, but I didn’t care. He yelled loud that I was now “it” and I tried to tell him that there was someone else with a flashlight wandering around in the woods, but he took off into the dark yelling about “no tag backs”. “Don’t go in the woods!” I yelled, but nobody responded. Of course, any who heard me would just assume I was talking about not cheating at the game, but I was sincerely worried about that person wandering around in them. Of course, now I had a flashlight of my own, so I thought, I should go and see if I can find out who that was, just to make myself feel better. I went back behind the house I’d come from and a bunch of laughing shadows scampered out of sight into neighboring yards. I ignored them and headed straight for the trees. I couldn’t see any other light in there, so I thought, maybe he went home. I didn’t know if it was a man or a woman, but I didn’t imagine any women trudging through the woods at night. So I went about playing the game again, albeit anxious because of the lingering thought that there was someone wandering in the woods who didn’t seem to be playing the game with us. I ran across the street and chased people through the backyards there, but after a while I found the lots empty and realized that they must have gone back across the street. I ran back over and was exploring the Beeches’ backyard. Mrs. Beeche had a clothesline with a bunch of drying sheets on it, and her daughter Charlotte liked to hide among the linens and stay close to home in case she got too scared of the dark. She was only a year younger than me. I thought I heard something at the tree line, so I went over and was waving the flashlight around into the woods. “Stay outta the woods!” I remember yelling. I waved the flashlight back and forth a couple more passes, then saw someone off in the distance. I held the light on whoever it was. They were about half a job into the woods, hard to make out, but it looked to me like Charlotte. Charlotte had brown hair that her mother insisted on keeping shoulder length. We always dressed dark for flashlight tag, and Charlotte liked to wear this deep purple sweatshirt, so it was usually easy to tell when you had found her. “Charlotte I see you!” I yelled. She just stood there. I continued to hold the light on her and call her name, but she didn’t seem to move. She stood there partially obscured by a tree and looked at me. The distance between us was enough that I couldn’t see if she was blinking or not, but she had her head propped at an angle like she was looking around the trunk at me with her mouth hanging slightly open. Every now and then she sorta twitched or squirmed. It was a real freaky kinda movement. “Charlotte! Come out of there!” I yelled. “Everybody! Charlotte’s it, but she won’t come out of the woods!” Some kids including my friend Dustin appeared behind me and started joining in my yell for Charlotte to come out. “Do you see her?” I asked. “Yeah, she’s over behind that tree. Charlotte, get over here!” Dustin said. But she wouldn’t come. “Charlotte, are you okay? Get over here, dummy!” Charlotte seemed to stand up straighter and then disappear behind the tree. We could hear movement, but it seemed to be going away rather than toward us. Dustin started shouting Charlotte’s name again and trudging into the woods after her, but I grabbed him and gave him the flashlight to take with him. I was scared again, because this all seemed surreal. I went to Charlotte’s house and knocked until her father answered. “Mr. Beeche, Charlotte won’t come out of the woods, and I’m worried about her,” I told him. I wasn’t sure if he’d take me seriously, but he rolled up his newspaper and disappeared into the closet behind the door for a moment before returning with a huge flashlight strapped to a car battery. “Show me where she is,” he told me, so I lead him to the woods and pointed to where I’d seen her. “She was right there,” I said, “by a tree, but she wouldn’t come out and she was acting like she was sick or something.” A bunch of the other kids kept calling Charlotte, Charlotte and I could see Dustin’s flashlight beam moving around through the trees. Mr. Beeche went in after him. They explored the woods for a good fifteen to twenty minutes, and Mr. Beeche started getting real angry. We could hear him yelling very loudly for Charlotte, threatening her with all sorts of punishments if she didn’t get her ass back in the backyard that instant. The game was over by now, and we kids just stood there in the Beeches’ back yard among the linens and watched. Dustin came running back out of the bushes with a dead flashlight. Eventually, Mr. Beeche came back out of the woods. “Game over, kids,” he said, “Get inside. Ask your folks if they can help me and to bring flashlights.” We all ran back home. My dad went out with three different flashlights. My mother went and turned on all the lights in the back rooms and opened the curtains and shades to help illuminate the back yard. I sat on the couch all upset and she eventually came back and hugged me and sat with me while I told her about the person with the flashlight chasing me and how I thought maybe Charlotte had run into him. Mr. Beeche had gone inside and called them to report a missing child. They brought huge lights and did a march through the woods checking very thoroughly, but didn’t find her. My mother told my dad what I’d told her, he told an officer and I ended up giving a statement. They went to the house three doors down and knocked, but the folks that lived there had been asleep and didn’t know who would have been in their backyard. The police asked all up and down the neighborhood, but nobody claimed to know anything. The other end of the woods came to a back road mainly used by logging trucks. They found Charlotte two days later, on the other side of the logging road, down an embankment that ended at a stream, stuffed into a drain pipe. Her neck had been broken and she was apparently stabbed multiple times afterward. My parents wouldn’t tell me about it, they thought it would upset me, but Dustin told me all the details at school the next day. It was the most awful thing our town had ever had happen. The police blocked off the logging road and spent months tracking down loggers and truckers who frequently used it. There was a curfew for months and we were told not to play flashlight tag anymore. We didn’t argue. What leaves me shaking to this day is the memory of Charlotte’s face, hanging out from behind the tree, looking at me. Sometimes I wonder if at that moment, I had been witnessing her death. And I wonder if that had almost been me.

The end!

And that's all this month! Now go have a great day with your mom, just make sure it's really her.

Now, real quick, let me help you get rid of that chill in your spine. This is a picture I found by google "Dog dressed like a woman:"

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Awesome.

See you next month!