Posts by Kristen Jett, @KristenJett

P&M Haunt: Precious Pearl by Kat Daemon

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in PM Haunt: The Haunted House, Writing | 2 comments

P&M Haunt: Precious Pearl by Kat Daemon

Boys and Ghouls! Welcome to the Pen & Muse Haunt! The Haunted House looms before you, threatening to swallow you up. It’s larger up close, isn’t it? You know that you shouldn’t really be here. In fact, now that you’re here, you want to leave.   But you chose to come inside. Even though you knew something felt a little off. All you can really do now is try…try to stay alive. You can see the live list of participants and their post dates on this link. Good luck. You’ll need it. Muahahahahaha!     Precious Pearl by Kat Daemon When my dad told me we were moving from Manhattan to Maine, I thought he was joking. When he started packing, I went into denial, and spent a lot of time bumming cigarettes and skateboarding in Central Park. When the moving truck pulled up, blocking our narrow street, and pissing off the neighbors– I began to think this moving shit was the real deal. It was an attempt to run away from all the hell that went down here two years ago. I was sixteen then, and my dad didn’t seem too worried about me. It was Pearl he was worried about. Pearl had found mom, hanging from the planks in our apartment. That’s what happens when you live in a Manhattan loft… too many planks, making suicide that much more convenient. Pearl was six. Mom was always sad. She called it demons. I called it selfish. I knew she had shit, but why the fuck didn’t she seek help? She was paranoid of the shrinks, said they’d just put her in some sort of chemical straight jacket. Maybe, but then at least she’d still be alive. I hated that my dad didn’t force her into a hospital. He said, “Birds don’t belong in cages.” I told him they don’t belong six feet under either. The day of the move I slunk down in the passenger’s seat of our new-used fire engine red Ford SUV. Dad bought a car, because “we were gonna need it” out in Bumblefuck, USA. I missed the sway of the subway already. Pearl sat in the back, buried with our bags of clothes, pillows and anything else we could squish in beside her. We could have fit more, but Pearl argued that Amy needed a seat too. Amy was her American Girl doll. She was holding it when she had found mom, I don’t think she’s ever let it go since. So down the road we drove, Pearl holding hands with Amy, my dad forcing a smile so tight I thought his face might shatter, and me blasting Korn in my earbuds as we left the coolest city in the world for a house we’ve never even seen, in some state that averages about one hundred inches of snow per winter. My name is Elliot Asher, and my life is officially over.    ****   The house was what nightmares were made of. A thick wall of trees acted as a makeshift fence. I wasn’t sure if it was keeping people out or us in. The grounds were covered in leaves. It looked like a rusted brown carpet. When the wind blew, the carpet moved, and it creeped me out. Then there was the actual house. Smack in the middle of that heavily wooded area, it would have been the perfect spot to place a cemetery. Nothing breathing deserved to be here. It had a big old porch with front steps which looked like they would ether crack or sink if you stepped on them. The windows were enormous...

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Pen & Muse Haunt: “The House that Guilt Built” By Kai Kiriyama

Posted by on Oct 30, 2014 in PM Haunt: The Haunted House, Writing | 0 comments

Pen & Muse Haunt: “The House that Guilt Built” By Kai Kiriyama

Boys and Ghouls! Welcome to the Pen & Muse Haunt! The Haunted House looms before you, threatening to swallow you up. It’s larger up close, isn’t it? You know that you shouldn’t really be here. In fact, now that you’re here, you want to leave.   But you chose to come inside. Even though you knew something felt a little off. All you can really do now is try…try to stay alive. You can see the live list of participants and their post dates on this link. Good luck. You’ll need it. Muahahahahaha!   “The House that Guilt Built” By Kai Kiriyama He could still smell the coppery stink of blood. The salty metallic taste of it lingered on his tongue. He ran the back of his hand against his mouth, wiping away the blood and sweat. Had he meant to taste the blood? It didn’t matter, he had tasted it, the bitter, metal taste invading his mouth and reminding him that he had gotten away. So far. He didn’t hear the sirens, yet. They would be on him soon, if he stayed still for too long. So he ran. He could hear the baying of the dogs that would chase him, though they hadn’t started to chase him yet. This wasn’t his first rodeo, and they always brought the dogs. He knew they would never find him; he was too clever, too quick. This time it was too close, he knew. He knew he had been impetuous; he had taken a risk by slicing them up. He couldn’t wait. Couldn’t resist. They had been the perfect victims. How could he have let the girls get away? They were so young, so fresh, beyond perfect. Angelic. He had broken his cardinal rule. He was too close to home, and he knew he would pay for it. He needed to get away. So he ran. He pitched the knife he was carrying into the long grass at the side of the road where he ran. The rustle of the grass as the knife landed made him look away from where he was running, but only briefly. Briefly was enough. His heavy boots crunched on the gravel as the pavement disappeared. His steps faltered, his pace slowing. He was confused. He had never come this far, ran this far out of town. The trappings of city life had begun to disappear and he was left alone in the silent night with only the hammering of his heart and the ragged gasps of his breathing to keep him company. There were no streetlights, just the sliver of the moon to light his way. It wasn’t much light, not with the skinny Autumn clouds darting in front of it, casting shadows on the already dark ground in front of him. It unsettled him, sent shivers down his spine. Were they following? Had they seen him? He wasn’t sure, he couldn’t say. There were no sirens, no baying dogs, nothing but the sound of his heart and his footsteps in his ears to warn him. He couldn’t take any chances. There would be no lucky escape for him if he got caught this time. So he ran. There was no way for him to know how long he’d been running, the adrenaline pumping through his veins made time meaningless. All he knew was that he’d been running until his legs ached and his lungs burned with exertion. He stumbled as he saw the house. He slowed his steps and rubbed the sweat from his eyes. He was sure there wasn’t a house there before. His chest heaved as he...

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Pen & Muse Haunt: Love’s Grove by Brian LeTendre

Posted by on Oct 24, 2014 in PM Haunt: The Haunted House, Writing | 1 comment

Pen & Muse Haunt: Love’s Grove  by Brian LeTendre

Boys and Ghouls! Welcome to the Pen & Muse Haunt! The Haunted House looms before you, threatening to swallow you up. It’s larger up close, isn’t it? You know that you shouldn’t really be here. In fact, now that you’re here, you want to leave.   But you chose to come inside. Even though you knew something felt a little off. All you can really do now is try…try to stay alive. You can see the live list of participants and their post dates on this link. Good luck. You’ll need it. Muahahahahaha!     Love’s Grove  by Brian LeTendre   “I should be home by dinner on Sunday,” Helen said into the phone. “And I told Karen if it’s too buggy, I’m leaving early. You know I wouldn’t even be going if it wasn’t her birthday weekend. I hate camping.” She flicked on the windshield wipers as the fall New England clouds started to spit. “Well, it’s the only time I get to see her since she moved two hours away,” Helen continued. “Yeah, well next year she can come down to our house and visit. Listen, I’d better let you go, since I’ll probably lose you soon anyway. All right, I’ll try. Yup, love you too.” “Jeezus,” Helen exhaled as she tossed the phone down on the passenger seat. She could feel her heart beating like a jackhammer, and her hands were so clammy she took turns wiping them on her jeans. Thank God I let the Ativan kick in before I called Phil, she thought. She’d been having the affair with Jeff for almost four months now, but this was the first time they’d decided to take a trip together. Until then they’d been screwing around in the office after work (and that one time in the back of his Infinity). But they both realized it would only be a matter of time before their co-workers figured them out if they didn’t take their liaisons somewhere else. And so, Helen found herself driving three hours north of Massachusetts to Danford, Vermont, where she and Jeff would be screwing their brains out for the next couple days. She picked her phone back up and dialed Jeff’s number. It went straight to voicemail. “I’m guessing you’re in a meeting,” she said. He usually picked up whenever it was her. “I just got off the phone with Mr. Oblivious, so we are all set. Get your ass up there as soon as you can. I’ll be waiting–probably. I might just start without you.” *** “Look What I Found on Craigslist” was the subject line of the email Jeff sent Helen at work four days earlier. She clicked the link and saw a pictures of an old house nestled between foliage-covered mountains and a small body of water. “Pretty great, huh?” Jeff asked, having snuck up behind her. Helen closed her eyes when she felt his breath on her ear. A second later, the citrus and sage scent of his aftershave reached her nostrils, and she inhaled deeply. His visit to her cubicle was a nice distraction from the policy audit she’d been working on. “You have to stop doing this to me at work,” Helen whispered, her eyes still closed as she remembered what she’d done to him after work the night before. “Hey, I’m just following orders,” Jeff replied. “You said we need to take our relationship outside of this place. And I found a place near where your friend lives, just like you told me.” Helen felt a small tinge of guilt over involving Karen, but she knew she could count on...

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Pen & Muse Haunt: MA by Michelle Ceasar Davis

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in PM Haunt: The Haunted House, Writing | 2 comments

Pen & Muse Haunt: MA  by Michelle Ceasar Davis

Boys and Ghouls! Welcome to the Pen & Muse Haunt! The Haunted House looms before you, threatening to swallow you up. It’s larger up close, isn’t it? You know that you shouldn’t really be here. In fact, now that you’re here, you want to leave.   But you chose to come inside. Even though you knew something felt a little off. All you can really do now is try…try to stay alive. You can see the live list of participants and their post dates on this link. Good luck. You’ll need it. Muahahahahaha!     MA by Michelle Ceasar Davis Class ended early so I decided to get an early start on the next issue of our college newspaper. I walked into the office and found the rest of the staff standing around the editor’s desk, even though neither the editor nor the advisor were in the room. “Someone get fired?” I asked when I got into the huddle. “Hardly,” Kylie said. “We’ve been discussing the assignment we were left.” “Don’t you mean assignments, as in plural?” Avion shook his head. “No, man, we got one for a group, for all five of us.” “They call it a human interest story,” Dayn said. “I call it macabre and in poor taste,” Nita finished. “You’ve got my attention,” I said. “What is it?” “Investigate the old frat house on the north side of campus,” Dayn said. “The one that has the cemetery behind it,” Kylie said. “I guess I’m not understanding the problem,” I said. “What are we investigating?” “C’mon, Jeremy,” Avion said, “it’s the sixty year anniversary.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Of the murders.” “People have said the house is haunted,” Nita said. “Witnesses have seen things, heard things,” Dayn said. “Are you scared of a little ghostie?” Kylie asked, putting her fingers in his face. He rolled his eyes at her. I turned to Nita. “Is there another reason why we were asked to look into this?” She sighed deeply and began to chew on her bottom lip. “I don’t know if I should say anything else. My sorority sisters will never trust me again if I say anything.” “We can protect your identity. You can be an anonymous source.” She walked to the window and looked over the trees toward the rundown building. “It’s not that simple. I’m a legacy member. I know things none of these other girls will ever learn.” Kylie took a drink of her Diet Coke. “Ever? Really?” Nita ignored her and continued. “My mom and aunt are also Delta Sigmas, and when they pledged, each girl had to spend five minutes inside the house. It freaked both of them out so bad, they never told me what happened to me until I was near the end of my own pledging.” “So what happened?” Avion asked, his voice lower than his normal baritone. “Something grabbed my mother’s hair and touched my aunt’s hand. My mom said she would have all her teeth pulled without anesthesia if it would keep her out of that house.” “Did you have to do it when you pledged?” asked Dayn. “No, thankfully. When my mom and aunt began planning activities for the pledge classes, they made sure that one was left off the list.” “But no one has seen or heard anything out of that place in nearly twenty-five years,” Kylie said. Nita counted on her fingers. “That would be around the time my mother and aunt pledged.” Kylie walked toward the other side of the room in frustration. “Please don’t tell me you’re all scared of a silly story told to sorority...

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Pen & Muse Haunt: Whiskey In The Raven Room by Ashly Nagrant

Posted by on Oct 18, 2014 in PM Haunt: The Haunted House, Writing | 0 comments

Pen & Muse Haunt: Whiskey In The Raven Room by Ashly Nagrant

Boys and Ghouls! Welcome to the Pen & Muse Haunt! The Haunted House looms before you, threatening to swallow you up. It’s larger up close, isn’t it? You know that you shouldn’t really be here. In fact, now that you’re here, you want to leave.   But you chose to come inside. Even though you knew something felt a little off. All you can really do now is try…try to stay alive. You can see the live list of participants and their post dates on this link. Good luck. You’ll need it. Muahahahahaha!     Whiskey In The Raven Room by Ashly Nagrant Once upon a time, they told me that my aunt was a witch. I was 12-going-on-13 at the time and had spent too many days at her old house with my three younger cousins, all boys and none well-behaved. It was meant to be my aunt watching me and my younger brother while our mom was at work. Instead, it generally meant she sat on the porch, looking off into the woods that surrounded her house and smoking cigarette after cigarette. I was the oldest of the leftover children, so I was the one who had to wrangle the tribe of Lost Boys and I hated it more and more every day. Summers were the worst, endless hot days spent listening to the boys scream the new language they were discovering day by day. Every time I learned some new and even more horrible term for a part of my body. They were amused by the slang and mystified by the idea that I was something different underneath my clothes. By the time school started each year it was a blessing. I could delay the arrival even further, walking slowly up the only road into the woods that reached her house. The road was named for the Evangelist family that lived along the corner where the gravel met the highway, they were distant cousins of ours but they never so much as said “Hello,” when I got off the school bus. They’d ignore me, sometimes giving me looks that made me pull my bag or jacket closer, trying to hide behind. The fall I turned 13 was warm, almost summer until the beginning of October. It was the last time I ventured into the woods.   Once upon a time, I found a door. I’d spent so much time in my aunt’s house that I should have seen it before. But it wasn’t until three days after I stopped going into the woods, when I had the deepest need of a hiding place, that I finally saw it. It was the same stark white as the wall, as if it had been painted over, even the lock and the knob. But when I twisted, it opened easily, leading to a dark closet that contained a ladder that led up into the roof to a square of light. I closed the door behind me and climbed. I didn’t know the house had an attic, actually, it didn’t make any sense that it would, but I was willing to excuse spacial relations if it meant an escape. And at the top of the ladder I emerged into a strangely well-lit space, smelling of fresh wood, the strange comfort of a sloping ceiling. There was little stored up there, probably why I’d never even heard it mentioned before. There was just an old wood chest, a threadbare overstuffed chair and a lamp beside it. I should have asked questions but at that time I was even ready to accept the idea that I was...

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