Q.L. Pearce – Prose
Excerpt from Spine Chillers
The House on Beech Street
Jason stepped inside. The air within was tainted with an odor that made him gag.
“What is that smell?” he asked putting his hand to his face.
“What smell?” Mike responded. Thomas just shrugged his shoulders.
“Do you know the story of the Carlson’s?” The woman didn’t wait for an answer before she continued. “They were a typical family. The little girl, Anisa, took ballet lessons. The boy, Junior, played baseball. Some people said he had the talent to go far as an athlete … that is … if he’d lived.”
The group entered the kitchen. The table was set for five as if the family would be sitting down for breakfast any minute. Jason noticed a pitcher’s mitt on one of the chairs.
“He was a lefty,” he said to no one in particular.
“Mr. Carlson’s mother slept in the spare room. She was an invalid and needed a lot of care. Mr. Carlson and his wife had quarreled about it that fateful morning and he’d left early. When he came home he found his wife in that very chair.” She pointed to the one at the end of the table. “He’d brought her flowers and wanted to apologize. It took him a few moments to realize she was dead. It seems she had taken a handful of sleeping pills with her tea. The police found the rest of the family in the basement along with a cracked, bloody baseball bat.”
“What happened to the dad?” Mike asked.
“They found him two days later hanging from the tree in the backyard. He’d left a note that said he wasn’t alone in the house. The neighbors claimed they heard noises late at night … screaming. You’ll notice that the houses on both sides are now empty. No one wants to live near this place.” She paused and looked in the direction of the front entrance. “Sometimes I can’t wait to leave.”
Motioning for the boys to follow, the woman moved from the kitchen into a dimly lit hallway. She opened the first door on the left. “This was the grandmother’s room.” Jason was hit with a wave of a smell like rotting fish.
Excerpt from Spine Chillers, by Q.L. Pearce
Copyright © Glass Apple Press 2016.