WELCOME TO THE 13 DAYS OF HORROR
My next featured guest on the 13 Days of Horror is a writer with such a unique edge, her prose is a voyage through the magic and mysteries of spirit and psyche — she has muses working for her. Having collaborated thirty-three writers for the stellar venture, Harbinger*33, backed with her own witty, diligent, and talented works, she is a gale storm of splendor and a true comrade to many.
It is with great honor to introduce to you my next guest, and kindred spirit, Kate Pilarcik and her story, Apparition.
Bill didn’t have a ghost of a chance when Mary died suddenly the night following the annual Christmas cookie exchange on Mocking Raven Lane. Bill adored all the merry merits of Mary. Why, that’s why Bill married Mary. Admiration knew no bounds for the passions, pleasures and playful priorities that Mary brought to the blend of their loving life. Oh how Mary loved life!
Mary created and considered, then created some more, and Bill loved Mary’s creations ever more. He cherished her pottery, plantings and photography, her tapestries, timetables, teriyaki and tiramisu. Whenever Mary baked up a storm for any season’s reasons, he played their special song while the oven attuned to 350-bake. Midst brown sugar and sprinkles, almond flavoring and the warm flavor of Mary’s appetizing eyes, Bill slowly undressed his pal and his gal, let fingers linger, sensed thoughts collide, and came into new understandings every way inside. Proud Bill told talented Mary time and time again, “Just like you Mar, perfection is delicious.”
On the pre-holiday afternoon of the annual thumbprint cookies bake-a-thon — which the whole neighborhood knew were to die for — Bill’s thumbprints left slow, swooning indentations all along Mary’s supple breasts, pulling her natural lovely nakedness oh so tenderly into his own. Aye, that was the rub that tendered the Bill. The whisper from the big-hearted man into the woman who flexed his vitality, rasped with feeling over the raspberry filling, “Sweet Mar, never change any ingredient. How could it be you if otherwise?”
As the calendar turned a new year and turned Bill’s life achingly upside down, the new neighbor Edna showed up with casseroles and condolences. Eager Edna edged into pedal pushers, then short shorts, then a string bikini as spring gardening turned into backyard summer tanning. While cutting the lawn one day, Bill noticed where the grass was greener. Theirs was a spirited howl of a whirlwind relationship from late May to early October, in which Bill bedded and wedded Edna in a thinly veiled ceremony attended by the knowing neighbors of Mocking Raven Lane. The reception was held at one of Bill and Mary’s former favorite haunts, where some said they felt uneasy around easy Edna.
Every night felt so familiar as Bill told Edna how well she filled out Mary’s silks and satins, which he hadn’t the heart to toss into Thursday’s trash or the Goodwill receptacle downtown. He told her she was an apparition to behold.
Halloween night saw Edna half-heartedly backing the buoyant boyhood spirit of Bill at the door, with Reese’s, Butterfingers and Snickers galore. He chuckled past princesses, Transformers, zombies and more, after asking one pirate tyke, “Hey — where’s your buccaneers?”, and the kid jeered back, “Under my buckin’ hat!” To Edna the joke fell flat. Bill reminisced how Mary would’ve giggled on and on about that.
Funny, in all the groups of Trick-or-Treaters, one costumed neighbor mom fringed the sidewalk’s edge more and more. In the midst of the mist of the darkening dusk, he sensed a melancholy her non-smile was putting out. Cheer of prior years hauntingly reminded ~ he just missed Mary. Mentioning the freaky frequency he’d gazed at the gauzy lady, edgy Edna crackled and snapped, “Most likely the vicious vampires are changing their get ups behind the bushes and hitting us up for more than their fair share. Can we shut the porch light out yet?”
Upstairs in bed, Bill heard Mary’s grace of giggles. His dreams? The radio? Nope ~ he’d remembered waiting until 12:15 when their old favorite radio station played Clapton’s “After Midnight”. A simple play list maneuver, but any purposeful pun set off Mar’s giggles. The allure just took off from there. Nope, the radio was off . . . but the music wasn’t.
Bill didn’t have a ghost of a chance when “Unchained Melody” began to play. Like the wind, her song stayed on his mind, as engulfing passions tend to do. Desire aspires to where intertwined fires flair and flare. Her spirit, or his bewitched, bothered and bewildered thoughts played “Misty” for him next. A chilling sensation just out of reach had his guilty reach go to Edna. Chilling there too; no real surprise. He strained to adjust his eyes towards two small approaching lights. Warm lights like ~
The first shot that rang out in the dark went straight through Billy Boy’s heart. The following volley sought where Mary wondered if evil Edna even had one. When she’d viewed their vows at the flimsy altar of intentions, her solemn dark of soul vow became to taunt, daunt and haunt the man who done her wrong, the man that should’a known . . . the proof wasn’t in the pudding that fateful night, the secret was always in the sauce, the raspberry sauce.
Three ghosts now aghast circle-swirled the wretched room. Two rookies and a seasoned spirit of soul who knew how to create an entrance, amongst other titillating talents. Take tonight ~ she’d done her tutorial well, bided her time, knew the Halloween power of forging worlds. With the savvy of mentor Marley’s ghost, Mary unchained her refrain dead-on, evenly at Edna’s eerie “Eeek”.
There were sparks to her aura and she knew how to use them. In solemnity of spirit, she taunted just right, “I saw you through your garbage. That’s where you nonchalantly your vile vial. Since it didn’t make my raspberry butter batter better that afternoon, you were bitter. You tried to take over my perfect life. You set out to become my Bill’s wife. But it takes love to have a perfectly delicious life. Cold souls can’t. Disintegrate Bitch!”
And with that declaration of centering her power, Mary turned on the power of that which was hidden ‘neath her diaphanous spinning swirls ~ the trusty dust-buster that mutilated grime and the remnants of this farcical crime. Marley had showed her the adjustments for molecular karmic ‘vacuumation’. Edna was now an eon of her former self.
“And YOU!” She turned to Bill, the only lights in the room the flash of eyes he remembered taunting him so well. Despite her dismissive disgust, he was desperate for her tantalizing touch, that sink into sensation of skin against skin . . . errrr . . . apparition against apparition? How the sorcery did they express pent-up passions? Does ghostly charm disarm or alarm?
Mary’s soul though, went solely for harm. “You willingly let another ingredient prevent perfection. By the powers vested in me by the Exalted Spirits of Eternity, your punishment is permanent paralysis of reach and touch and please and ease. A vortex of vulnerability is where you’ll flail. Nothing personal any more Bill, I’m sentencing you to hell.”
Mary positioned the life-size pottery images she’d conjured into various dead shadows in various darkened windows. The folks on Mocking Raven Lane went about their street sense and left lifeless recluses to themselves. The sage among them though, (and those who burned sage), remembered that perfection was the joy of a life vitally lived as Bill and Mary had vibrantly done. At nights, Mary at first visited hers and Bill’s old haunts, but with true character no longer tormented by a broken soul, Mar ‘s heart opened to a new whirled’ wide woo of warlocks . . . and wonder of wonders, developed a zest for zombies along the way. Zing went the gossamer of her spirit and un-life passed perfectly. She became a ghostwriter and is finishing . . . this . . . story . . . now.
Kate Pilarcik further rivers her writings at: At The Bijou