The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Legend of the Stone Angel
by Lori Safranek
Summer evenings are so long, Pa always lets us stay out late. My brother Jerry and I just run around the woods, go fishing, make up stories about ghosts and try to scare each other.
After supper that night we lit out for the woods. We had big plans. We were going to walk all the way through the woods to the town cemetery. Jerry’s friend Felix had told him a story about the Stone Angel, our town’s own haunted headstone.
According to Felix, some family had ordered the Stone Angel to be placed in the cemetery after the death of a young woman who died in a terrible house fire. Felix said that, if you look into the eyes of the Angel, the woman’s ghost will come out of the statue and chase you away.
My brother had bet Felix his brand new baseball that he could look into the angel’s eyes and not get chased away. Of course, I had to go along as witness.
“There she is,” he said when we had walked halfway through the cemetery. “Right there.”
I looked where he pointed. The Angel Stone was larger than a man, and beautiful. Full, feathered wings that looked like they could flutter away any second and a gown wrapped with rope just like the angels painted in our illustrated children’s Bible.
“I don’t like this, Jerry.” I said. “It don’t seem right.”
Jerry laughed and walked closer to the statue. He had to bend his neck backward to look into the Stone Angel’s eyes.
“Look, Sally, I’m looking right into the Angel’s eyes,” he said. “I don’t see any ghost coming out to chase me away.”
He laughed, but I still felt scared. I started to call him away, tell him we shouldn’t mock the dead when I heard a huge cracking sound.
“Jerry! Move!” I shouted.
In a heartbeat, the Stone Angel toppled completely onto my brother, with a crash that shook the ground. He screamed as the huge weight fell on him. I ran to him and fell on my knees at his side. Crying, I saw blood leaking out the corner of his mouth. I shook him, even though I knew he was gone. I wept until I realized I needed to get my Pa there.
I jumped to my feet and ran home. I told Pa what happened and he jumped in our old car and drove hell bent for leather out of our driveway. Ma sobbed for a while, then she remembered me and what I had seen. She fussed over me then tucked me in bed and said to get some rest.
How can I sleep? I’ve lost my brother and life won’t ever be the same. All because he wanted to prove he could look in an angel’s eyes.
Fiction © Copyright Lori Safranek
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Lori Safrenek:
Freak Show is a collection of short stories based on the adventures of performers from Steiners Freak Show, a traveling circus side show. Steiner carefully selects his freaks so that they are genuinely blessed with real talents, none of his performers are fakes! From the lovely young Snake Charmer to the Tattooed Man whose tattoos fade away and relocate themselves on his body, every single one is the real thing! And Steiner’s family of freaks run into some frightening adventures that bring them near death! This isn’t some barker’s come on, folks, this is the real thing. Come to the freak show and see what happens after the sideshow closes!