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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Blogtober 2023, Day 9: Handcuffs

Yet I wanted to look and see

That nobody stood at the back of me;

But I thought once more: ‘Nay, I’ll not unvision

A shape which, somehow, there may be.’

Thomas Hardy, The Shadow on the Stone

“Pop had passed out during Johnny Carson after too many cans of Schlitz.” Glen ignored the ‘No Trespassing’ sign on the window and led the group into the old, dark house. Except Carrie. She opted to stay on the porch despite Spencer’s pleas to join them inside.

Glen entered the front hall of the house and turned to the left where his father’s old recliner sat. He walked to it as he continued his tale.

“Pop loved Carson. I came down the stairs there, found him snoring his chair and decided to turn off the TV. It was chilly, kind of like tonight, so I decided I’d thrown an afghan over him. My granny - Dad’s mom - crocheted one for us and mom always had it draped on the back of the couch. The couch was against the window.”

Glen turned and pointed at the window. The crowd gathered around the weathered and torn recliner that now was home to some rodents. Except the man in the cardigan. He stood clutching his satchel at the foot of the short stairwell that led to the dark second floor.

“I look out the window,” Glen said. “A face was there. Peering back. Not human. Not at all. I was frozen. Fear gripped me like handcuffs.”

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