Serial Fiction

No Such Thing As Ghosts (Part 8, Epilogue)

Note:  This is the eighth installment of a ghost story.  It’s not meant to be read by itself.  If you’d care to start at the beginning, click here and follow the links.


Pale light had begun to streak the sky when the van pulled up behind the little car, sputtering and coughing as its occupants jumped out.

“Help us!” Jake yelled.  He was straining at the car door, trying vainly to pull it open.

The older man rushed forward, but Gillis stopped and looked at the car roof, which was bisected by a sharp line.  The front half was (more…)

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No Such Thing As Ghosts (Part 7)

Note:  This is the seventh installment of a ghost story.  It’s not meant to be read by itself.  If you’d care to start at the beginning, click here and follow the links.


She’d started the fire with the flashlight battery and a foil gum wrapper, something she said she’d seen on YouTube.  Jake was amazed, but more he was grateful for the yellow light that came, driving away the fog and a chill he hadn’t known he’d felt until now.  Carefully they fed birch bark, then twigs and splinters (more…)

No Such Thing As Ghosts (Part 5)

Note:  This is the fifth installment of a ghost story.  It’s not meant to be read by itself.  If you’d care to start at the beginning, click here and follow the links.


It took a little while to explain the joke to Clarice, but when she got it she loved it.  It turned out she’d been a Scooby-Doo fanatic as a kid, and being compared to Daphne delighted her.  The conversation went on merrily for a time, which was a pleasant change.

It was also in stark contrast to the gloom outside.  The night had been dark before, but now with the mist rising it was almost impossible to see past the reflection of the headlights.  Jake slowed (more…)

No Such Thing As Ghosts (Part 4)

Note:  This is the fourth installment of a ghost story.  It’s not meant to be read by itself.  If you’d care to start at the beginning, click here and follow the links.


They had just made it back out of the marshy area, and the trees to either side were a bit of a relief.  Sue was saying, “Now, it should be around–” when “Look out!” came from the back seat.  Jake stomped the brakes.  What the hell–?
(more…)

No Such Thing As Ghosts (Part 3)

Note:  This is the third installment of a ghost story.  It’s not meant to be read by itself.  If you’d care to start at the beginning, click here.


The woods is never completely empty.  Even when you think you’re alone, you’re not; there’s always something watching.  It might even be a predator; there’s coyotes and foxes out there, and every now and then someone spots a lynx.  Even if not, there’s the birds and deer, rabbits and squirrels, and a teeming host of insects that you’ll never see — because they stay alive by hiding.

But whatever it is that’s watching, sometimes you can feel the eyes resting on you, tracking, measuring, making plans in which you’re either prospective dinner or diner.  The old-timers say sometimes it’s not animals; it’s something called the spirit of the woods, maybe even the trees, old and patient and waiting for you to finally go away and let them grow in peace.  But whatever it is, it’s always watching.

It was watching now.

This trip had seemed like a no-brainer in class.  Most everyone had chosen to do a research project in the library, either transcribing hours of old reel-to-reel tapes or tracking down someone else’s transcription and trying to find a story in it.  Dry and tedious; he was falling asleep just thinking about it.

But this sounded exciting!  Ghost hunters at midnight, and never mind that there was no such thing.  A bunch of kooks, sure, but they’d be sitting around telling ghost stories in a graveyard of all places.  And best of all, he’d only need to write one page! (more…)

No Such Thing As Ghosts (Part 2)

Note:  This is the second installment of a ghost story.  It’s not meant to be read by itself.  If you’d care to start at the beginning, click here.


“Whose dumb idea was this, anyway?”

Jake sighed, trying to tune out the voice from the back seat, but without any luck. He’d had a thing for Clarice for over a year now, ever since Comp Two, and she was half the reason he took this folklore class to begin with. Tall, slender, pretty, blonde, and he was beginning to realize she had a whine that could etch glass. Which she used far too much; right now she was going on about all the other things she could be doing instead of taking a long ride to nowhere.

When they’d left campus an hour ago, he’d thought – hoped – she’d sit next to (more…)

No Such Thing As Ghosts (Part 1)

Note:  There really is such a place as Myra, Maine, out off the Stud Mill Road.  I’m told it’s more or less where I put it, but I can’t swear to that, because every time I drive out there I go right on by.  On Google Maps there’s a few small buildings hidden by the trees, and I know of one staunch fellow that’s building a small farm out there.  Ghost hunters do visit the Jackson Cemetery, reputed to be one of the most haunted in the state, but there’s no gate nor even a fence.  It’s on private property, so if you feel the urge to visit do be courteous — and very careful.


He hummed quietly to himself as he adjusted the last of the videocameras. They were VHS; the now-antique analog recorders were absolutely (more…)