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I remember Grampa hunched over in the root cellar, his elongated teeth flossed by the stretched and pulsating muscle tissue of Mrs. Jasper's ruined neck. She was on the very cusp of death. I could tell by her eyes. They had a mix of wide-eyed shock that said this could not be happening and the realization that this was really the end of her existence. And it was quite an ending. Thick blood everywhere...actually there were still spurts jetting out and splashing on the dirty old mason jars full of peaches I wanted to nab and bring back to my room. Granny was cooking something with lima beans and stringy freezer-burned corned beef leftover from St. Patrick's Day, and I hated everything on the menu.

Anything tastes better if you follow it up with peaches.

After I plucked a jar off of the mildewed shelving, I waited a few minutes to see the finishing throes of Mrs. Jasper. A bummer that she chose a full moon to swing by my grandparent's house to wheeze and whine about my bad grades and rather standoffish attitude. Meh, she was always bitchy and happily single. I know she has...errr, had a cat, so I made a mental note to swing by her apartment over the town garage to let the fluffy little ball of fur out so it could return to its natural nature.

"Hurry up, Grampa. Granny is going to get pissed off if she finds out you spoiled your dinner," I said, just as my old school teacher exhaled her last garlicky breath. "At least I save my snacks for afterwards."

I shook my jar of peaches at him and he nodded in return, shaking his raw carcass around like a rat in a terrier's jaws. I left Grampa to his meal and headed back to the main house. I could get away with a lot of crap but I wouldn't ever want to cross Granny. She was the real monster of the family.


Behold a Pale Horse: The 2021 Halloween Horrorquest

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