Welcome, one and all, to the October Frights Blog Hop!
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But, enough about us, you’re here for the Blog Hop and we’re glad to have you.
Let’s start this party out with a bang. Here’s some FREE FICTION from Naching T. Kassa.
By Naching T. Kassa
Sally woke between the walls.
Concrete surrounded her on three sides and half-light spilled into the crawlspace from above. It revealed a narrow passage before her and an earthen floor beneath. Sally rose to her feet. She still wore the black dress but her shoes had gone missing. She shivered.
Memories of the past night trickled in. There had been a party. But, no one had laughed or smiled during it. Instead, they’d wandered the floor like ghosts, speaking in hushed voices. Their faces floated through her mind but she didn’t recognize any of them. Only one seemed familiar but she couldn’t place the old man’s name.
Sally had stayed at the party most of the night, drinking until the world had become a soft blur and darkness had reached out to her. No memory explained how she’d come to this place.
The end of the passage lay cloaked in darkness. She took a step forward. Something crunched and she moved back. A tiny skull lay in fragments near her left foot. Rats. She shuddered. How many skeletons lay in this strange place? Were there any live ones among the dead?
She looked up and to the left. A small window admitted light into the room but was too high to reach. It didn’t matter. She could never fit through it anyway.
The window opened at that moment and an elderly man peered in the room. He wore glasses like the man at the party, the one she knew. His appearance conjured his name and she spoke it.
“Mr. Yamada,” she cried. “Help me!”
He didn’t answer. Instead, he turned toward the opposite end of Sally’s prison. Something staggered out of the gloom and into the light.
Chills ran over Sally’s skin. The woman’s face lay hidden behind her dark hair, her movements stilted. The sleeve of her white kimono fell to her elbow, exposing the ink which decorated her right wrist. The symbols still hadn’t healed. She’d received it the night she died.
“Miya!” Sally cried. Tears choked her voice.
New memories rose from the depths of her mind. Miya Yamada as a little girl running with her along the street. Miya at her high school graduation. The dorm room they shared at college. The tattoo shop where they marked their skin as sisters. The twisted metal of the car which took Miya’s life. Sally had driven that car, her mind fuzzy with drink.
Sally’s eyes fell upon her right wrist. Three weeks had healed the ink. The slashes were new.
The ghost approached and knelt before her. Dry and brittle bones cracked beneath her knees. Her hair parted and Sally glimpsed a pale face and accusing eyes.
“I killed you,” Sally said, her voice choked by tears.
The ghost shrieked. It grasped hold of Sally’s wrists and pinned her against the concrete wall. Mr. Yamada called out, but Sally couldn’t understand his words.
Sally screamed. Miya’s hands scorched her skin and agony filled her. Blood oozed down her arms and soaked the sleeves of the black dress. She struggled as the ghost drew near. Black lips brushed her cheek and touched her ear.
“Kokyu suru,” Miya whispered.
“Kokyu suru!” She shouted in Sally’s ear.
She released Sally’s wrists and pounded on her chest with both fists. “Kokyu suru! Kokyu suru!”
“Leave me alone!” Sally cried. She shoved Miya away and rushed toward the dark.
The ghost grasped hold of her hair as she passed and jerked her backward. Sally fell, crushing the rodent skeletons to pieces as she hit the floor. The air rushed from her lungs. She gasped. The ghost knelt beside her. She gripped Sally’s chin and stared into her eyes.
“Tell me what this says,” the ghost said thrusting her tattooed wrist before Sally’s eyes. Sally squinted at the festering wounds though she already knew their meaning. The Japanese script seemed to glow.
“Sally is my sister.”
“And this?” She pointed to Sally’s ink.
“Miya…Miya is my sister.”
“Would you die for me?”
“You know I would. Just as I know you’d give your life for me.”
“I gave my life for you,” the Yurei said with a smile.
“When we went into the spin, I offered my life for yours. I wanted you to live.”
“Do not shun the gift I’ve given so much for. Live your life, my sister. Kokyu suru. Breathe.”
Sally inhaled, her breath ragged. Her wrists ached.
Someone shouted in her face. Her eyelids opened a crack.
“Kokyu suru,” Mr. Yamada cried. “Breathe, Sally. Breathe!”
Sally blinked. The concrete walls, the rat skulls, the window, and Miya—all had vanished. She lay on the bathroom floor of Mr. Yamada’s home, scarlet stains covered the white tile. An EMT shouldered his way through the door and Sally caught sight of anxious people dressed in black.
“She wants you to live,” Mr. Yamada said, stepping away from her. The EMT took his place, but Sally kept her focus on Miya’s father.
“Live for her,” he said.
Sally’s eyes brimmed with tears. She nodded.
“I will. For my sister.”
Thank you for joining us today. Check back in tomorrow and see what tricks and treats we have in store.
And, please check out the other October Frights Participants. Just click the names below.